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Monday, March 31, 2008

Taylor Hicks Sightings The Equivalent of UFO Sightings?

Taylor Hicks was in town, supposedly this weekend to perform at the Greenhill School annual Gala. The Gala is a fundraiser to assist families with scholarship monies so their smart and gifted children can go to this fabulous but expensive private arts focused academy. I say supposedly because his name has not been on the school's website in ages and there were no mentions about this function on any of the Taylor Hicks' sites that I found...of course I'm not part of the Taylor Hicks Headquarters site; perhaps the moderators had something on that one.

I searched the local news stations, the on-line paper editions, such as Pegasus.com (I write for them occasionally) and the Dallas Morning News on-line. I was coming up with nada. Too, apparently since Hicks' made no impromptu bar appearances, nothing on the club-lines either.

Since no Taylor news to be found, for grins and giggles, I googled, Taylor Hicks sightings March 29. This is what popped up: The Month... I kid you not. Is it just me or is that not just completely hilarious?

I'm a big Science Fiction buff and write in the genre. I currently am working on something loosely being titled, The Dome Dwellers. I think Mr. Hicks might be an interesting inclusion. I, kid...
Latest UFO Sighting in Texas:

Then there's that whole crop circles thing and those large mountain drawings in Peru topic I could veer off into but instead:

Here's some more Freakiness: UFO's, Aliens, and Religion:

Carly Hennessey aka Smithson VFTW Style

In the event there is anyone out there who thinks Carly is truly a newbie to the recording studio and to concert performances here's few blasts from the past featured on VFTW brought to them by Stephanie Bates.

stephanienbates videos

I think I liked her poodle-do better than the black and lanky locks she now features.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Into the Mystic: Misconceptions and Concerns - MFOYA, Taylor Hicks, and Other Issues

Recently the battle of the fans seemed to be reigniting. I saw my name - sort of- pop up on Chill's site; then there were three new sites hitting the internet.
Click the video:

Let me clarify. I feel in love with Taylor Hicks during his run on American Idol. His spaztastic bravery captured my heart and soul. I feel in love with the gray haired boy's ability to go where no one else had ever taken that cheesy show before. Hicks came on and broke the mold so to speak and this show has never recovered. I think that's why Simon Cowell and 19E seem to pack such a grudge against the man.

I am not one of the fans who ever entertained thoughts of any romance toward the guy. I admire Taylor for his street fighting smarts and determination. He's a force to be reckoned with and I am a sucker for folks like that. I happen to live with one.

I've been reading on one of the new sites how they want to have sex with him one moment and slap him the next and that sounds completely ridiculous to me. They sell the man so short to not relate to and discuss his musical talents, his drive.

Yesterday it came to my attention a new site called, The View to Your Ass. I followed a link to get there and was appalled at what I saw and read. I was rendered speechless and felt my IQ plummet 30 points for reading what was on that site. Many fans in the Taylor Hicks fan world may have thought that notorious MFOYA was behind that site.

Contrary to their beliefs - MFOYA was integral to shutting that site up and encouraging the site personnel to remove the pictures and disturbing posts accompanying them. Certainly MFOYA may have brought about conflict and issues with their website concerning Mr. Hicks and Ms. Caroline Lyders, but they would never have so brutally attacked someone in the fan base like this site did. It was like something I'd never witnessed before and certainly something lawsuit worthy.

Then there's the site called, 15 Minutes of Fame. It is operated by someone who has been stalking me on-line since last Fall when they saw my posts on MFOYA. I'm not really concerned about their behavior but Darling Man is. He's of the opinion that someone who spends their time writing about folks who, in their estimation, have insulted or decried their Idol, in this case, Taylor Hicks, they might be dangerous.

There have been many news worthy instances in which fans of someone have committed murder and crimes against other folks who they consider an 'enemy' of their object of desire and loyalty. For those who are linking to the 15 Minutes site and in communication with them, such as The View From the Inside, I'd be careful in your promoting of this person, lest you be considered part of their intent.

On this site is a review on stalking and cyberstalking. They are falling into the categories listed on this legal page.

Cyberstalking involves using the Internet or other electronic means to harass.

Either type of action may or may not be accompanied by a credible threat of serious harm. But both types can cause psychological damage, and each can potentially lead to an assault or even murder.

All states have anti-stalking laws, but the legal definitions vary. Some state laws require that the perpetrator, to qualify as a stalker, make a credible threat of violence against the victim. Others require only that the stalker’s conduct constitute an implied threat. The model anti-stalking code developed by the National Institute of Justice doesn’t require stalkers to make a credible threat, but it does require victims to feel a high level of fear.

Now, to be honest, I'm not feeling any level of fear, but Darling Man is getting concerned. I wonder if any of my readers would be concerned should this happen to them? The individual running that site has posted under "Reader" and can be found on RADAR and SPLASH. They use to post my entire blog on SPLASH but got bored with that after a while.

In recent years stalkers have seized on the anonymity of the Internet to commit their crimes. This has added a new dimension because many victims of cyberstalking don’t know the identity of the stalkers. That can make the fear more palpable and prosecution more unlikely.

The fact that cyberstalking doesn’t involve physical contact doesn’t mean it is any less dangerous than “real life” stalking. It’s not difficult for an experienced Internet user to find enough of the victim’s personal information, such as phone number or place of business, to establish his or her physical location.

The reality is that any type of stalking can lead to a physical attack if the situation is not properly dealt with as soon as possible.

In any event this is what is recommended to do regarding steps to report this activity. I see that since I warned the site operator, they published my warning and laughed at it.
17. If you are a victim of cyberstalking, act promptly and firmly to defuse the situation. Take potential threats seriously. Very clearly tell that person to stop, saying something like, “Do not contact me in any way in the future.” Sometimes it is helpful to copy your “stop” message to the abuse department of the harasser’s Internet service provider. (If you have trouble determining that ISP, contact www.Cyberangels.org or www.Haltabuse.org .)

That said, Darling Man has reported this individual to a few sources including Cyber Angels.

He's also reporting them to Wordpress with the CyberAngels report. Frankly I think he's being silly, but then what do I know. Any thoughts? Does anyone think what this individual is doing in the name of Taylor Hicks would be condoned by the man? I'm somewhat interested in that to see really how truly mentally unbalanced are we as people who follow Taylor - and what does that say about Mr. Hicks?

Taylor Hicks - Projects, Appearances & Hunter S. Thompson

You might be wondering what Taylor Hicks has in common with Hunter S. Thompson. Well absolutely nothing.

Tonight at the Greenhill School Gala, doors open at 6:30 p.m. Called the "Heart and Soul Gala" this year, Taylor Hicks is the featured performer according to past news sources. General Parking at Loos Stadium with shuttle transfers.

What seems strange, perhaps only to me, but the past several months there hasn't been any direct statements on the Greenhill School site regarding Taylor, nor information posted on his myspace regarding this event.

I'd think that the school would have pictures on the guy on their website as well as Mr. Hicks having something to say about it on his myspace. I'm not a member of the THHQ fan site so perhaps he's posted something on that site.

Curiously I'd think this Headquarters for all things Taylor Hicks would, as a feel-good promotion for him have a snippet featuring him contributing his time and talents to the fund-raiser at the Greenhill School.

Recently he performed for the Children's Miracle Network at their 25th anniversary bash in Orlando, Florida along with Donny and Marie Osmond. The Children's Miracle
Network raises funds for children's hospitals and helps 17 million kids every year.

Taylor Hicks has also been exploring the commercial side of success in having his name associated with products. There are many celebrities that go this route and make a substantial income from these endeavors.

Currently his name is being associated with a specialty door company and as reported in al.com A Memphis developer says he hopes to convince Starwood Hotels to build a Westin near an entertainment district planned adjacent to the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

John Elkington, CEO of Performa Entertainment Real Estate, said Friday that Starwood, which manages the BJCC-owned Sheraton Birmingham, is awaiting results of a hotel study that was commissioned to determine if that area can financially support the higher rates of a Westin.

It seems that Taylor Hicks has been approached to possibly become a national commercial spokesman for the entertainment district. Many months back it was said that Mr. Hicks had signed a letter of intent to open a club in the district. No further news has followed up concerning this issue.

I'll check the news lines later today to see if Taylor Hicks has any further mention at the Greenhill Gala and of course try and follow up with any reports or reviews that may come out of this event.

Myself, this looks good to me, I'm an avid Hunter S. Thompson fan.

AFI Dallas International Film Festival - ‘Gonzo: The Life and Work of Hunter S. Thompson’.
When: Saturday, March 29, 12:15 p.m.
Where: Landmark Magnolia Theater and Bar, 3699 McKinney Avenue, Suite 100, Dallas

Directed By: Alex Gibney
Per report:"Few journalists have attained the notoriety of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. His legendary status is due as much to his scintillating writing as his outrageous antics. However, Thompson’s steadfast ability to remain true to his convictions created an entirely new style of journalism, dubbed “gonzo,” and has solidified his place in history as one of America’s most influential writers and rebels.

Focusing on the good doctor’s heyday—from 1965 to 1975—the film includes clips of never-before-seen or heard home movies and audiotapes, and passages from unpublished manuscripts.

Director Alex Gibney interviews a broad spectrum of Thompson’s peers and paints a three-dimensional portrait that reveals a man whose actions both attracted and repelled the people closest to him. What’s remarkable is how truly daring Thompson was in taking on the establishment and how absent that voice is today. His passing created a void that may never be filled, but Gibney’s terrific film at least helps preserve his legacy."
Favorite Hunter S. Thompson stories:

This guy was Genius:

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas:

Friday, March 28, 2008

Deep thoughts from John Mayer

I started my day out feeling very restless. I've three hours until I'm due to meet with that certain someone, downing my fourth cup of coffee, and a wee voice tells my index finger to tap on John's blogs. Sometime reading Johnny he's brief, snappy in and out. Other times, times like today he delves into that genius that makes him John Mayer and with words, reaches inside and pulls you to him. One thing, Johnny is never boring.

He's been off in Japan for a while taking in Japanese baseball, among other things, and importantly taking time to just listen.

One of my favorite paragraphs in this blog of John's written yesterday (click the title link to John's entire post):
This is about us all. Every one of us. Who all seem to know deep down that it's incredibly hard to be alive and interact with the world around us but will try and cover it up at any cost. For as badass and unaffected as we try to come off, we're all just one sentence away from being brought to the edge of tears, if only it was worded right. And I don't want to act immune to that anymore. I took the biggest detour from myself over the past year, since I decided that I wasn't going to care about what people thought about me. I got to the point where I had so much padding on that, sure, I couldn't feel the negativity, but that's because I couldn't feel much of anything. And I think I'm done with that.

So much truth in what lies within that paragraph. I'm often quite guilty of that 'padding', and have out of necessity isolated facets of my life to maintain sanity and normalcy. Yet often in those efforts, the sanity and normalcy that I strive for are just an arm reach away.

Life comes at you fast, and it seems faster each day. Going out to public places you can feel it too. Folks are almost at a run through the grocery stores. Many don't even concern themselves whether they might be about to crash into that feeble elderly lady pushing her cart slowly up the aisle, or that run away toddler hell-bent on the toy aisle.

Driving the streets of Dallas you almost need a Nascar caliber vehicle to keep up with the masses whether you're on the freeway or a suburban street. School zones are a huge hazard zone in my area. Finally through much campaigning the ISD has established police officers at our busy four-way stop. The hapless crossing guard has - with kids in tow, almost been hit numerous times. Everyone of the opinion their agenda the most important, their lives the only one that matters. It's disheartening.

Returning back to John's post, he writes about ways he plans to renovate his life, to feel again, to enjoy himself while there is time, because as I said, life comes at you fast. He closes with:
Stop acting careless. In fact, care more. Be vulnerable but stay away from where it hurts. Read. See more shows. Of any kind. Rock shows, art shows, boat shows. Create more art. Wear hoodies to dinner. Carry a notebook and hand it to people when they passionately recommend something and ask them to write it down for me.

Root for others.

He's a wise guy for all of his thirty years. Thanks again John for sharing. That restlessness I felt upon awakening is lifting.
Here's one of the songs I love from John: "Belief"

video c/o hctibytipidneres

David Hernandez, Making Rent, Following Constantine?

David Hernandez has been reported on TMZ, MTV and other acronymic sites as traveling to New York to audition for Rent. Season four contestant, Constantine Maroulis has all ready 'hit that' - he toured in the Broadway international touring company of the show as the lead role Roger Davis. Adding to other Idols that have been a part of the Rent production, both Frenchie Davis and Tamyra Gray (she's brilliant) have had spots in the musical.

In the MTV piece it is revealed that Hernandez auditioned for but was turned down to play Roger Davis. Currently he is apparently being considered for a more minor role. The producers were impressed with his big voice, but hesitant to portray him as a lead due to his lack of experience. Still if he is selected for any role in this production it lends to his resume' and certainly can benefit his career. Personally, I think Hernandez a good fit for Broadway. His performances on Idol were certainly on the theatric side, and then too his history as a stripper can lend something... to acting skills.

David Hernandez' best performance on the show, video c/o akersora

This is a cheeky Connie performance, the guy can be funny. Video c/o LoveMyCon

Thursday, March 27, 2008

VFTW: The Truth on the Contestants

Interesting videos put out by one of the VFTW crew investigating the stories of some of this season's Idol contestants. Theme behind these exposes, discovering the truth behind this show. What this blogger is presenting to you, dear readers, a glimpse behind the curtains, a view at the man or men standing at those control panels.

We'll start with some of the contestants tonight, and begin with one of the biggest show 'plants' in the group, Carly Smithson.
"The Lies of Carly Smithson" video care of Worster: tikiadam

Carly Part 2:

Kristy Lee Cook, a little insight set to video by tikiadam:

Truth, isn't that the American Way? We like to think it is. I think it's intelligent to look at both sides of every coin.

Let's check out some information set to music on Michael Lee Johns. tikiadam put this together in honor of our very own Outback Idol:

It is what it is. What we have a dearth of, this season, on this family friendly show is a lack of true reality; instead we're being fed a meal planted and lightly scripted. Rather like the okra I prepared the other night, planted, grown, picked then lightly breaded.

Is this wrong? Should the show be run amuck with obviously previously professional musicians pitted against the likes of someone who's not made records, who is not a seasoned performer? Is it a fair fight or just a provision to create good television, good ratings and better revenue? Just something to think about.

The Altruistic Blogger vs the Lunatic Fringe

Nothing sparks the mind and senses for certain Taylor Hicks fans than a good roll in the fan mud pit. It seems the Lunatic Fringe aka The Fanatics are happily once again in the pursuit of all things conflict centered and all things detrimental to their alleged purpose. Thing is they think they are actually performing some kind of great service to Taylor Hicks when in fact they are doing the total opposite.

Honestly I waded right into the situation concerning Mr. Hicks and Caroline Lyders of my own volition, without realizing that there were Fanatics such as can be found on the site formerly known as The Caroline Lyders Fan Club. These are the caliber of fans that you read about in magazines with a mild horror. The type of fans who would actually attack and maul you in a public place for in their minds, insulting the object of their desire. Thing is back last Fall, my curiosity got the best of me and like that adage, 'curiosity killed the cat', I was reminded of how that could work.

Regardless of The Fanatics or any fans of Taylor Hicks regarding the outcome of all of this with the story of Taylor Hicks and Two Women, I learned a valuable lesson. I also had some great but somewhat twisted fun along the way.

It was my pleasure to discover a certain cyber-soulmate, an entity who has become an almost 'folk legend' to the fanatical Taylor Hicks fans. So much so, there have been some recently created new sites concerning this individual. One is operated by someone who has been in the Hicks' base for a long time, the other site operated by a former poster with MFOYA. There's a third who has fit themselves into the mix as well. They all have in common an affinity for Wordpress. I find that interesting.

I stopped by just to say hello on the site for some of the previous MFOYA posters, mfoyaOrphans. Through The Fanatics I discovered, The View which is basically seemingly baiting the fans, teasing they actually have the inside scoop on MFOYA. Some folks posting on the site are eating it up like good cake, ala Chill - others are skeptical and wanting the Truth. I predict this site is just going to meander along and not provide any information of any basis regarding the Truth behind MFOYA. But hey, I could be wrong.

I almost forgot this other relatively new site, the blogger apparently seeming to have a number of issues including stalking - or trying to - as a hobby. This blogger calls herself "15 Minutes of Fame". She devotes a little mention to me and has done some on-line homework and proudly tries to "out" my real life name as Jewels Richardson. Hell that name is associated with this blog so no big revelation. Big revelation, that's not my real life name. I added this to her site, but she's obviously one of the cowardly bloggers who will attack others and not let responses through. It seems commonplace in the Hicks' rabid fanbase. Here's the message I left her:
Hi, saw my name mentioned, so figured I was invited. To clarify, Jewels Richardson is not my real name. Apparently you’ve been trying to do your stalking homework darlin, but look the name up in Dallas. It doesn’t exist.

I have one book out and another in the works. I write Science Fiction. I don’t publish under the name Jewels Richardson in those books, rather I use a man’s name. I’d never tie my professional life, my book writing life and my on-line blogging to one name. I do also have a job that does not involve writing, it involves star gazing. Just an update to my little page in your blog, of which of course, you’re not devoted to hate like the other ones. *wink*

Carry on.

Apparently she's another loser who's all bark and bite, behind the safety of their anonymous little hate site.

These three new websites just prove more solidly what MFOYA pointed out during, in and around the gossip story. Many in the Taylor Hicks Fan base are completely nuts. That's going to make a sweet book in itself one day.

Read yesterday Chill appears to be trying to stir up the old fight with me, and I'm thinking that delusional broad simply lives for one mass on-line drama after the other. I guess her current fighting with some of the Chris Daughtry fans an insufficient entertainment source for her obviously empty life.

To The Fanatics, have fun out there. I'll be watching, but mostly, I'm just gonna:
video c/o bsarles

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Top Ten Moves to Nine: Chikezie is Out - Jason Castro Stays!

Chikezie leaves the contest tonight so the confetti and glitter won't be for him. Too bad really as I was really digging the man the previous two weeks. At least Chikie brought the fun. Reality check tonight as expected for Jason Castro. Seriously the Powers that Be are undoubtedly sending the boy a message as well as the at-home crowd. You can't get by just on being the prettiest manboy to ever enter this reality music show, you have to prove to the audience you want to be there and possess some talent. Talent, Jason has - that's certain.

Jason Castro got cocky this week. That cost him. Could cost him a great deal if this next week goes the same direction. It's a shame too, the guy could really take this if he really wants it. That's the key I suppose. Too, the locals behind him got cocky as well, devouring custard at Culver's Restaurant in Rockwall and partying it up instead of getting serious with the dial tones - sad in that it was homeboy's birthday. Overall conjecture was he's got it in the bag, of course he's going to be safe, the girls love him. I'm saying and perhaps now they'll listen - those girls voting are a fickle bunch and opinions and motivations blow in the breeze. Turning point here, will his dedicated fans step up and put down the custard next week to vote? Will Jason come out and perform in a way I know he can and throw a big surprise factor into the show?

Sure we all have seen the gorgeous hippie boy play his guitar, be all soulful and sweet, but this boy has a passionate side that's capable of much more than he's given the at-home and studio crowd so far. Thing is with his lack of experience I think he's hesitant to come out like that on this show; it's a fear thing. Fear can be a huge defeatism mechanism. Something that Jason Castro needs cast aside.

You, Jason Castro, can bring that game you've not shown the viewers yet. Bring it and they will love you for it. Time to elevate the game, mijo. Time to bring what you brought to Deep Ellum, baby.
"Elevation" Lyrics U2 video c/o cobacchi

American Idol Top Ten Perform: Yes, God Bless the USA

First thing that hit me last night was Paula. What was she wearing on her arms? They were like sleeves, yet almost gloves. I'm guessing she was bringing Madonna back or something.

Now that the Top Ten have been 'selected' the show is on a count down to the confetti and glitter finale. At this point I'm envisioning David Cook as last Idol standing. Granted he's taken already created versions of songs not normally considered rock songs, revised into rock songs, but he's done it well, and he possesses a very nice voice. I dare say for this season's 'Daughtry' he outdoes The Daughtry in the vocal department.

First batter up to the plate was little and lovely Ramiele Malubay. She was ill according to the judges, and they all chimed in as being under the weather as well. She had chosen, "Alone" by Heart, a big song to try and pull off. Season four winner, Carrie Underwood did, and with grand style, season six had Gina Glocksen do the tune and it was one of her best that season. I thought the song was handled alright, but Ramiele was not a stand out of the night. She has a big fan base and that may be what keeps her in this another week. Her cutesy baby talk banter is beginning to really irritate me, her comment, "At one point my voice just went bye, bye", rather insipid.

Adorable Jason Castro was up next unexpectedly selecting a song by Sting, "Fragile". Overall he looked lovely, his vocals were very nice, but unfortunately he needs to change tactics or he'll be soon out of the running. This show is all about the surprise factor when it comes to certain weeks and how viewers see the contestants. Folks can be fickle and easily bored, if he is uninspiring, the votes will go to someone else or his fans won't feel the motivation. Granted this guy's got a huge on-line fan base, but even they will cut back on the votes if he slacks one more week. That said, it's a close race at the bottom, I just hope he survives this week.

Screamer from that hideous show, "The One", Syesha Mercado delivered a sassy, polished performance last night of "If I Was Your Woman", by Stephanie Mills. Annoyingly she brought back the baby cry voice in an attempt to look more personable and add some goof factor. She was stressing her potential 'goofability' apparently to demonstrate she does have a personality underneath that cool and collected exterior. You know her handlers in real life are coaching this gal; "More personality SyScreecha, more humor, bring the fun, you're coming across like a robot."

Whereas the judges raved about her, I just liked it, but it was a better performance than she's previously shown. I think that sometimes the judges go over board trying to make their picks look better than they are and so elevate their own status. Actually, I had thought Simon might tell her it was a little bit 'cabaret' as Syesha threw in a lot of camera face and poses, but he abstained.

Sadly Chikezie Ezie reverted back to the 'orange suit' type performance we saw in the beginning. Granted his vocals sounded alright, but he's not Luther Vandross, he needs be Chikezie. I thoroughly enjoy this guy when he's mixing up the beats, and having some kind of fun. He performed "If Only For One Night", a Luther Vandross tune and this week fell out of favor with Darling Man. He loved Chikezie last week and the week prior. Hell, D.M. just likes the crazy, that's why he hangs with me.

For the most part I have never been a fan of The Police. I like Sting on his own, but with the band, not so much. Brooke White did "Every Breath You Take", I liked how she changed it up. She bobbled the entry but recovered like nothing happened so props to her. Mostly I was glad she left the crazy at home and did not spaz out an inappropriate "Woooo", although that would have been entertaining. Gone too the fluffy dress that made her look like an Easter Peep and she sat instead of trying to maneuver around the stage. Better than last week, but not as good as her "Let it Be". Regarding winning this show, I'm seeing her more like placing in the top four.

Michael (Lee) Johns aka I-coulda-been-a-tennis-pro, once again annoyed me just looking at him. I must reluctantly say, he knows his Queen and did an okay job on his conglomeration of "We Will Rock You" and "We are the Champions". He was not as good as he obviously thought he was following the performance, though.

He reminds me so much of Constantine Maroulis from season four.

I think that Carly Smithson is starting to see the undercarriage of that bus she's beginning to be tossed under. The show has perhaps gotten from her what they needed and she's on the down side of the Top Ten. Her tune, "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler while not bad vocally in the song, ended badly. That big ending was wrong, drawing down her performance. She spends a great deal of time in this song bent over crouch that had Darling Man remarking, "She looks like she's about to take a crap." (Yes, he's all class.) Her facial expressions are just getting more strange, and really, she should consider wearing something to cover those arms - sleeveless only really works when you have nice toned upper arms - not even mentioning her giant tattoo.

It seemed apparent that David Archuleta's Dad picked out this song for him. Simon even sent a sideways message to that effect saying, "I'd be surprised if you picked that one out yourself." Little Archie sang "You're The Voice" as sung by David Foster. I'd never heard of it, and Darling Man just got up off the couch saying, "I can't watch anymore of this shit."

Simon was spot on describing the song as being like something you'd hear at an amusement park (he's thinking Disney) with "animated creatures". That was hilarious and very true. One of the most awkward moments of the show happened with Little Arch as well. Seacrest who has apparently taken No Time to get to really acquaint himself with any of the contestants blew it when hashing over Little Davey's upcoming Prom. He asked if Archie had a date yet, then pointed at a gal sitting with Davey's Dad insinuating perhaps he was going with her. What I missed the first time watching the performance was that gal appears to be his sister. Certainly you can go to a Prom with your sibling, it happens - someplace - but it was odd.

Kudos to Kristy Lee Cooke who actually showed some strategy last night. She pulled a patriotic rabbit out of her hat with Lee Greenwood's "God Bless The USA". Of course she was simply vote pandering by playing to the American consciousness, portraying herself as that good ol' All-American girl, but to her credit she sang the song well. that background image of the flag waving did not hurt her one bit either. Wonder if Dad slipped the stage hands a few bills for that nice display? Oh, I kid.

The winner of the night was David Cook. He apparently does his homework and came up with a great version of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean", remix created by Chris Cornell. Remember, he pulled the Doxology rock version of “Eleanor Rigby”, before that, and then had the Incubus version of “Hello”. One could say he's basically developed a knack for imitating rock cover versions of Pop '80's tunes, perhaps something he did at home on the Karaoke circuit. That said, David Cook can sing. Nice vibrato, controlled and not on the 'goat-boy' side. This man should do well after Idol as an artist.
video c/o bonk 65

I was a little taken back by the shots of his baby pictures. When the first one was shown, our FOX affiliate was cutting to commercial which was hitting on the upcoming news segments and seeing that baby picture flash by I thought one of the stories might be about a baby born with a giant skull. Returning to the regularly scheduled programming we see that in actuality that was David Cook as a baby. He was quite funny and self-effacing which made him seem pretty cool as a regular dude and pointed out that he indeed had this uber sized skull. I was reminded of the old movie "Mars Attacks" and I think if Dave lost the comb over we'd still see that sort of cranial imagery. He also bears a slight resemblance to Jack Nicholson, who also has a large dome. That said, he was my favorite performer last night.

Who do I think will leave? Hard to say today.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Jason Castro (Feliz Copeanos)

Although Jason pushed the limits of the 'cute factor' in his film segment, I enjoyed Jason's singing in espanol. Next time mi amore, usted necesita conseguir más serio a mi muchacho. También proyecte más seriedad en su intento.

video c/o muzicidol
Castro, you need to come out swinging next week baby, although this week's song choice was absolutely lovely.
Lyrics: "Fragile"
If blood will flow when fresh and steel are one
Drying in the color of the evening Sun
Tomorrows rain will wash the stains away
But something in our minds will always stay
Perhaps this final act was meant
To clinch a lifetimes argument
That nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could
For all those born beneath an angry star
Lest we forget how fragile we are

On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star like tears from a star,
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are how fragile we are.

Should Jason go home this week, it will not be because he lacks talent, rather he has rather lagged in the attempt department the past two weeks - with this show, to get the folks to vote you have to motivate them. Too he has apparently a "fame-whore" so to speak running on some of the boards on-line creating a situation similar to what Elliot Yamin faced during his time on the show. This show is made or broken on-line. Sure there's a big audience watching on the TV, but they also migrate to the internet. Push ultimately comes to shove on-line, with this show and the contestants.

I wish my Jason the best of luck, but right now, with all the effort the other contestants put out tonight, he's in trouble. We voted with three phones tonight, and for the duration, over and over. I hope he has incited that commitment in many others or he's out. I'll cross my fingers.

MFOYA: Chasing the Dragon, Fanatic Style

Taylor Hicks and Caroline Lyders once again in the hearts and minds of the loyalists that hover on the Fanatics site. The quest for the identity of MFOYA is alive and well.

Apparently to these Taylor Hicks fans, MFOYA is rather like some sort of mythical dragon these forum folk feel the need to continue to chase. (You too,Teddy-Boy)

You can't change what has happened, time for a change.
"Change It" Stevie Ray Vaughn

The consequences for curiosity, didn't it kill that cat?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Amanda Overmyer's Exit Interview

This interview with Entertainment Weekly's Jessica Shaw exemplifies why I like Overmyer so much. Chica is loaded with brass,smarts and she's nobody's fool.
E.W. Interview proves my biker sistah will be just fine. Overmyer's a realist not a fairy tale queen and I think much will come from her time on the show. The show could not use her, so she's out. Bravely she utilized what was open to her during her time on Idol. Frankly I couldn't see her going through the Pop-Tart Tour motions.

One of my favorite quotes from the article, Amanda says, ''I'll probably give it a good six months or so and beat the pavement. This will not be the unicorn I will chase for the rest of my life.'' Shaw then added, "Wow. That is so refreshing to hear. Usually when I do these interviews, the contestant talks on and on about how he or she is destined to be a star." Overmyer replied, "I hate those fucking answers. Are you kidding me?"

I'm thinking that Overmyer might just be absolutely brilliant.

The article ends with words from this very wise lady.
Shaw, "You sound very grounded and normal about this whole experience. Good for you."
Amanda, "That's the attitude I've had with all of this. I'm thankful to be here and feel very privileged to have come this far. But I absolutely refuse to be nostalgic about it. You know why? That's when you lose a sense of reality. I saw it happen with a few people. It's just ridiculous. We have the potential to be stars right now. We're not stars. All we are now is recognizable. That's it. I've got a hell of a lot more work in front of me before I can exhale and say, ''All right. I've made it."

Words to remember for anyone watching, following or being a part of this reality show. Past contestants who have won might remember and take to heart those words. Being on the show or even winning the show, does not a superstar make.

Kudos Amanda Overmyer. Rock on chica.
Video c/o z1990
This is who she has reminded me of, musically.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Jason Castro, Train, as in Pat Monahan Songs

I don't know if the illustrious powers that be over at American Idol have gotten clearance for any songs by Train but these tunes a good fit for Jason Castro's voice.
"Drops of Jupiter" video c/o Speedvideo

Now that shes back in the atmosphere
With drops of jupiter in her hair, hey, hey
She acts like summer and walks like rain
Reminds me that theres time to change, hey, hey
Since the return from her stay on the moon
She listens like spring and she talks like june, hey, hey

"When I Look to the Sky" video c/o janusOx

The gals would like this one.

Pat Monahan has a fine voice, but I think Jason Castro could pull this off. He's got the right feeling of soul to provide what this song requires.
"Calling All Angels" video c/o snradio

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Interesting Introspection from T.W.O. on Castro

Reading the Television Without Pity boards I came across some interesting commentary concerning Jason Castro. It's nice to read too, that the folks, even on this board, overall seem to really like him, in that T.W.O. Pity way...

Daisy Wolf writes:
I thought this particular performance was silly and weird but I could not stop saying "Look how CUTE he is!" just like Simon said I would. He is just so charming, and I think he knew he was being a silly freak and that made it tolerable to watch.

That said, he needs to get back to his guitar, stat.

brunch writes:
I actually really enjoyed this performance ... definitely got the "pleasantly surprised" that I was looking for yesterday. I think what I particularly liked was the breaking of the fourth wall, the look on his face as he busted into the French that clearly said "What am I singing? What does this stuff even mean? Look at me, singing in French!" I thought he sang it well, and moved around a little bit more, but mostly I just enjoyed that he seemed to be getting such a kick out of himself singing a song he didn't even understand.

Personally, I got a good laugh out of his "my bell" comment. Jason has had a couple of standout performances for me, but this week was pretty boring and off.

He's the kind of music that I'd listen to when I'm feeling mellow and cruising along. He's got the kind of voice that only really works for songwriters. I'm not sure how far that can take him on Idol.

IKnowBetter, a fellow Texan says:
So Simon thinks Jason is charming and goofy and that it is working for him? That will last until about the Top 8, when America needs to get busy choosing the "best singer" for the next AI. Then Simon will turn on him and say his goofiness is annoying.

His vocals might not be the best, but right now he is the only one whose cd I would buy. Even if it ends up being dl from his Myspace.
(I agree, he's the only one I've cared to buy iTunes of out of the group; not just because he's a local guy, but rather his songs the only ones I have cared to spend money on because of their sound. "Hallelujah" was brilliant.)

mellotune writes - and this one made me laugh:
Hell has officially frozen over. I actually liked Jason's "Michelle". I could have done without the "silly" he brought to the performance. If he could have just looked into the audience and sang about how much he loved Michelle, all the Castro fans would have exploded into flames. Maybe he had to be goofy for the safety of the country, lol.

lawgal writes, and I identify with this one:
I still love Jason, but during his weird performance, I had that awful feeling you get the first time you look at someone you thought you were madly in love with, and start to think, "Hmmmm, maybe not so much." Terrible song choice, weird delivery. But, he's still my TV boyfriend for now. Gotta step it up, babe.

That's it for now on the T.W.O. commentaries, ending with this one by gingko, Didn't get AT ALL the polka vibe others have mentioned upthread about Jason's performance. Then I rewatched it and I really think the polka sound is because of the rhythmically tuneless girl clapping that thankfully my brain seemed to tune out last night (thanks, brain...)!

Please God, make them stop or, at least, let someone with a cattle prod loose on that front row. I know this is just AI but enough, goddamit.

Really that mosh pit idea - whodahell thought that up?


Amanda Overmyer Rides Home

Frankly I thought Kristy Lee Cook should have gone home last night, but I knew she most likely wouldn't. This show is getting so predictable, scratch that, is predictable. You see, Kristy Lee Cook represents the 'country music' faction of this group. Looking down the road,19E/American Idol are all about having a wide mix of performers in hopes of attracting more viewers to take that next step following the show's finale and buy their over-priced seats on the inevitable Summer Pop-Tart sponsored tour.

Follow that logic with the fanbase numbers over at the American Idol boards combined with what Idol bloggers have had to say and Overmyer was out. Many of the (male) bloggers while not being fans of either gal expressed appreciation for Kristy's looks. One thing this show does is monitor the bloggers and writers who comment on the show for feedback.

One thing, Overmyer handled herself with grace and dignity. I got the impression Tuesday night when she finally spoke back to the judges that she knew her time was limited. Loved it last night when she pried Kristy off of her and directed her back to the seats. Ride on Overmyer, best wishes to finding venues to continue with your music.

Here's a song for Amanda,
"The Motorcycle Song". Ride on chica, here's hoping you keep on rocking and riding.

If you'd like to write Amanda Overmyer a note, follow this LINK and sign it. It is a 'fan' note so keep it positive.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

American Idol: The Beatles - Again

The American Idol top eleven took the stage last night and we viewers were provided, what amounted to, overall, one of the worst performance nights ever. Describing the reality of the night escapes me, so I'll simply provide a run-down in order of performance of what and how it happened. I'll not over bore you with word for word judge panel comments, you'll have to look else where for that. It's a sad thought, but I wonder if the show is now regretting having The Beatles songbook available.

In the unlucky first spot was Amanda Overmyer. Rocker biker chick performed The Beatles tune, "Back in the USSR". I admit to being surprised that she uttered not one "chile" in the entire performance - that was almost a disappointment. I did get a kick out of Amanda for finally speaking out instead of just standing there as the trio of judges picked her performance a part. She sassed the judges when it was suggested she come out with a "nice ballad" sometime in the competition, replying, "ballads are boring". Seriously, I wonder if she could get up and do something from The Silver Bullet Band collection like "Turn the Page"? Overmyer carries a sort of Bob Seger as a chick vibe. I think it's one ballad she'd turn out well.

I also appreciated that she clarified why she's even on this show. Sounding very much like Taylor Hicks, Amanda let it be known she'd be happy performing in full bars and clubs. What Overmyer made apparent, she's there not for the Star Maker Machinery to use her, rather the other way around. No matter the outcome in the end with this show, I see Overmyer making this experience work the most satisfactorily for what she wants, out of everybody in this group. Of all the contestants, she seems to know herself the most.

Kristy Lee "Cowgirl" Cook blows through "You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away". At least at the end of her forgettable performance, she provided one of the most entertaining moments. Following Simon Cowell's reference to her being like "wallpaper" (I'm thinking the kind you find in houses from the '80's with the silver and gold accents, much like her dress last night.) Kristy followed up telling dear Mr. Cowell 'you know I could blow you out of your socks'. That nearly "R" rated moment, encouraged by voluble host Ryan Seacrest as he blushed up and let America know 'it was hot in there'. Yeah, we 'got it' Ryan. (Insert sigh.)

David Archuleta began almost tentatively with "Long and Winding Road". Of course he reminded the viewers about his forgetting the lyrics last week in his 'Most Memorable Moment' film segment prior to his performance. Certainly the producers encouraged him with confession being good for the soul and all of that nonsense. He seemed to be keeping the lip-licking to a minimum although he can't stop entirely, and he's still quite gaspy. Saving Grace for him this week, he did not try and walk and sing at the same time, kept it simple. Why is he reminding me of Forrest Gump? "Sing Archie, Sing" rather than, well, you get the idea. He brought the glory notes this show loves, ala Clay Aiken and so of course the judges loved him.

Michael Johns sings "A Day in the Life" and he is absolutely awful. Simon should have saved the wallpaper comment for him although it wasn't even as good as Kristy's performance. One line he sang made me laugh out loud, "Dragged a comb across my head". His grizzled drab muffed up hair looked like it could have used just that prior to the performance. He was abysmally out of tune, anyone with any musical knowledge could hear this wanna be Eddie Veddar is simply not good. He goes through the same karaoke motions song after song. His self assessment in the prior to performance film when he brags about his "Bohemian Rhapsody" performance is nauseating.

His smug mug following his performance proved how highly he thinks of himself. Randy said Johns still hadn't found the right song yet to showcase his vocals. That's ridiculous in itself, the man's in the top eleven for heaven's sake, still not finding the right song? Face it this is as good as he gets, pal.

Paula finally showed her coherence and lucidity of late can falter. She valiantly tried to make excuses for him by bringing up some of the difficulty in performing with an ear piece (which most of them were wearing). Michael Johns, who happened to not be wearing an ear piece, stood there seemingly going along with the moment. Ryan brought the honesty, revealing Johns wasn't wearing an ear piece. It's embarrassing for the fact Michael Johns was going to go along with the lie. I said to Darling Man, "Wow, that's awkward". Granted Paula is what looks like 50 feet from the stage, but Michael Johns should have immediately manned up and revealed her excuse for his dismal performance wasn't valid. Likely if Ryan hadn't pointed it out, Michael would have taken the excuse. Johns should go home this week, but likely he'll make tour.

Brooke White was a complete disappointment last night following the charming take of last week's, "Let it Be". I saw the drab potential soon to be heard when she appeared on stage to perform "Here Comes the Sun" dressed in a layered fluffy yellow dress. I was not wrong. Without guitar or piano she was not entertaining and her vocal abilities certainly not Sun caliber. Her take on "Here Comes the Sun" was like our Dallas weather yesterday, a soggy, dreary, and in her words, a 'dootadoodoo' mess. Almost irritating during critique, she couldn't shut up she was so busy agreeing with the judges' negative comments about her. Shadows of Melinda Doolittle from last season ran through my mind. Is she safe for Top Ten? Most definitely; 19E will want that performance of "Let it Be" on the Pop-Tart Tour.

David Cook 'Peter Frampton'ed' "Day Tripper" utilizing for the first time on Idol the Vox box. That was really the only part I found entertaining. Lest dear readers you think this an original version of the song take a listen to Whitesnake's take on it - add touch of Frampton. Simon's right Cook, do something different next week, I'm getting bored. That said, his voice still sounds better than The Daughtry's even as he strives with the forces inherent in his Les Paul guitar to be The Daughtry. Dude, just don't ever, for the love of Rock, tattoo your own name on your back.

Carly Smithson performed, "Blackbird". She took this song and personified it to mean her struggle to make it in the music business and how she perceives the outcome of her time on this show to become. Chick looks like she's forty years old and she glorified the ending singing it in an inappropriately overly emotional yet typical American Idol way. She's not going anywhere though, she's in this for the top tier spots.
video c/o Idolfanatic4:

This is the version The Beatles wrote if you're interested to compare.

Dreadlocked Darling, Jason Castro drew "Michelle" as his song of the night. He came out without his guitar and while he has a distinctive, gorgeous tone to his voice, and manages to deliver the French lyrics in a girl-pleasing way, it's not what he's completely capable of regarding performance. Jason delivers a disappointing Vanilla-Idol performance and while he's adorable and charming and I love him, he's got to change it up or he's doomed for an earlier than perhaps he should, exit. Too if Castro is looking at a viable career in music he needs let go of the image of the Teen Heart throb with Dreads and just be a musician next week. He's capable of that and is shorting himself if he doesn't. At least he brought the affable goofiness that is the real Jason. Being brutally honest, this is his worst performance to date, on this show.
Another video c/o Idolfanatic4 (they do a great job)

Syesha Mercado was singing for her life last night to stay on the show and did "Yesterday", it was okay, she certainly was better than some tonight, and it was one of her better performances.

Chikezie once again brought the shades of Taylor Hicks to the show and even attempted the harmonica in his version of "I’ve Just Seen A Face". It starts out pretty good then he brings out the mouth harp, followed by jug band in a way that just misses the intention. Not last week's stroke of genius but I could sort of see where he was trying to go, sadly he doesn't get there. Big mistake, such a drastic change up and altering of his vocals. Simon called it "Achy Breaky" and that insults Billy Ray Cyrus, because it wasn't even that good.

Ramiele Malubay does "I Should Have Known Better". She's off tempo, vocally uninspiring shaking her little stuff in a strange outfit that looks part blues-chick part Victoria Secret.
video c/o casezille108

Judges praised her and obviously think she's a needed addition for the Tour. Their comments might save her.

Simon's assessment regarding 'mediocre' on target for most of the performances this week. Overall with the exception of Little Archie, their worst endeavors yet. That said, only positive to say about Archuleta, he remembered the lyrics and did not disrepect The Beatles.

My pick for going home this week, Kristy Lee Cook.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Jason Castro, Ben Harper and Jack Johnson

Jason Castro, one of this season's better performers on American Idol is being compared in the press to Jack Johnson and Ben Harper. Not a bad comparison.

Video c/o dinodannyboy89:

Video courtesy of optigan:

Ben Harper is one of my favorite acoustic performers, he's beautiful from the inside out. The man is soul walking on two feet.
Video c/o kris061: "Steal My Kisses"

This tune would be good for Jason to do: "Burn One Down" video c/o lester020

Jason Castro watch party tonight at Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall, Texas. A previous watch party at Jason's home church drew over 600 friends and fans. The church has plenty of room, and a large screen to view the show on - news coverage by local media including FOX 4, should be there. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. - bring your cellphones and be ready to cast your vote for Castro. For any and all very local news - we're talking Jason's home town news here folks, check this link.

The Beatles to be featured tonight with Mariah Carey acting as a guest judge. Why Mariah you might ask? Well it's simple, two words - Clive Davis. Seems the Pop diva has a new album coming out and this simply a part of her well-constructed campaign to promote her new CD, “E=MC2,” which hits stores on April 15. (She will appear again on "AI" on April 16.)

What will Jason be singing? Well true to their honest selves, Mom and Pop Castro are abiding by the stringent Idol rules and I have no spoilers.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

IDOLS Count Down to Eleven

The Beatles were one of the biggest groups in the history of modern music and in my opinion, anyone seeking a career in this industry needs know their music history. It seems the current young chosen one, David Archuleta has no love for their music nor much in the way of knowledge of the contributions this famous band made for modern music. Just one other addition to my belief the boy is perhaps simply an overrated highly trained reality music show contestant. His fall from grace this week amazing in how delicately he was handled by the judging panel and the media. Archuleta did the very thing hundreds of Idol wanna-bes in tryouts did that got them eliminated: he forgot his lyrics, not just one line, try four.

Poor David seemed unfocused and lost, meandering about the stage like a lost pup. He completely Failed at attempting, "We Can Work it Out". Too, he was horrendously out of tune as well. Granted, in the past he has shown the ability to sing, but he seems to possess little original personality and little propensity to be an entertaining performer. Watching him fumble the lyrics made me consider that walking while singing, just not his thing. Archuleta actually strikes me as more of a curiosity to begin with, he's small for his age, I mean he looks like he's twelve. Combine that with his possessing a much better voice than you'd think by looking at him, add Mormon, add the fact he's won Star Search and he's all kinds of news.

Archuleta is appealing to those who love puppies and kittens, perhaps triggering a maternal vibe from those so inclined to appreciate sweet boys who mind their Mommas. He's fortunate that a large contingency that follow this show fit that demographic, most likely we'll see this past week set aside as, "nobody's perfect" by his fans. Seems too, his Stage Parent of a Dad has ties in the show, but more on that to be talked about later. Little Archie entered this competition with The Chosen One practically tattooed on his little boy forehead - but will he actually win this season?

One thing this week's show reminded the viewers, the importance of what type of presence a contestant transmits to viewers. Last week during David Hernandez' film spot the guy, for reasons unknown to me and perhaps most of the viewers watching this show, talked about a large booger. Like a cherry on top of a hot fudge sundae, the story courtesy of VFTW, 'came out', pun intended, about his being a stripper back in Phoenix. Add to this combination a really abysmal performance of "I Saw Her Standing There". His attitude being in the bottom three was rather disturbing as well. I kept getting images of Stripper going Postal...

Backtracking, Syesha Mercado actually started the night and presented, "Got to Get You Into My Life". First thought popped into my mind The Beatles ala Dionne Warwick. The Merv Griffin show too came to mind - a show I haven't thought of well, in ever. I've read some bloggers say it was 'fresh' and new, in fact it was really a little on the retro side. Check it out: video c/o Idolfreak08

Next up was the best moment on the show, in well a long time. Yes, Taylor Hicks, we were thinking of you, when Chikezie, who had not impressed me one bit, came in and blew the stage up. He entertained, created a dynamic presentation of "She's a Woman" with a piece that surely when this show hits the tour it will be included in the line-up. Great part, Ryan Seacrest lost his mind and my Darling Man got excited about the show. This performance should thrust him into the Top Ten: video c/o RadioKalin

Little Ramielle Mulabay was next, she looked adorable, had new best friend forever, Danny Noriega in the seats with her family rooting for her, but she wasn't memorable. Sorry Danny, but I wasn't "likin' it". Next week she needs to really step it up or she's going to be out sooner rather than later.

Jason Castro was sweet, soulful and completely endearing. He presented "If I Fell" with an uncanny emotional tone. Jason Castro has the gift that enables him to transmit that emotional vibe through the television to the viewers. He's compelling to watch, and even though the guy's new to performing,like Professor Chan said on the Vote for the Worst site, he's like some kind of savant when he picks that guitar up and sings. I love Castro's knack for emotionally phrasing the songs he performs, it's like the treatments of the pieces come absolutely naturally to him. Video c/o debz28

Last I read, his performance of "Hallelujah" had created 181,876 downloads last week for Jeff Buckley's iTunes piece. Jason Castro also remains one of the highest sellers in the American Idol iTunes downloads, with the only performer with three tunes in the top ten downloads. If this doesn't indicate to the show his ability to create revenue and be commercial I don't know what else would.
Here's the current rankings:
1. David Archuleta — Imagine
2. David Cook — Hello
3. Jason Castro — Hallelujah
4. Brooke White — Let It Be
5. David Cook — Eleanor Rigby
6. Brooke White — Love is a Battlefield
7. David Archuleta — Another Day in Paradise
8. Carly Smithson — Come Together
9. Jason Castro — Daydream
10. Jason Castro — If I Fell

Carly Smithson aka Hennessey performed "Come Together" and while the judges ranted and loved her, I did not. I am with Rickey on this one, all I got out of the performance was The Face. Click that link if you dare.

David Cook came out and rocked "Eleanor Rigby" and continued in the vein of Chris Daughtry. It was good, granted one of the best of the night actually. I'm liking him more, he sounds better than The Daughtry.

Brooke White was lovely in her pretty barefeet playing piano to "Let it Be". She's by far superior to most of the group regarding talent. I'd not mind seeing her win this show. She fits the vanilla feel good personality of Idol, and she's really into being there. Her tears were brilliant.

Amanda Overmyer (yes, Chance, I too, have been misspelling the gal's name) kicked it with "You Can't do That". We played the Overmyer Drinking game, adopted from the Taylor Hicks Drinking Game, subbing "Chile" for "Woo". The "Chiles" about killed us. (Seven in all) Check out the Chile in this video, courtesy of Irlocal

She's Janis meets The Beatles, and whoa, check the Beetle Juice pants. This biker sistah, the new Queen of Irony. Loved it.

The Man from Down Under should have just stayed there. I was completely once again unimpressed by Michael (Lee) Johns. Only part of this performance I enjoyed was Simon's comment to Randy, "What's the Irish girl's name?". Seriously I was that unimpressed.

Kristy, Kristy, Kristy. What the hell was she thinking? "Eight Days a Week" goes square dance. Hell, she should have come out dressed in full puffy skirt and boots to accompany this horrible arrangement. Girl would have gone home if she'd talked about her boogers last week. Maybe she can eventually get the horse back that she sold. Poor traded-in-for-fame Flicka.

Measure of an American Idol

Scanning through the chart information, I have to look this stuff up, my wee brain won't retain any/everything. Current standings for album sales for some of the Idols, no Idol Tards, this isn't everyone who made an album just the only ones I'm deeming worthy of chartable mention. These are some of the definitive Star Maker Machinery Idol performers.

At the Number 1. spot, local Dallas darling, Kelly Clarkson: 9.4 million
Kelly's sales break down like this:
Breakaway: 5.9 million
Thankful: 2.7 million
My December: 740,000

Resting on her country laurels at Number 2, Carrie Underwood: 7.9 million. I have to admit I do like the "Before he Cheats" song.
Some Hearts: 6.2 million
Carnival Ride: 1.7 million

Still standing in the third position, Clay Aiken: 4.8 million, and I've never bought one.
Measure of a Man: 2.8 million
Merry Christmas With Love: 1.4 million
A Thousand Different Ways: 522,000 (hmm, quite the decline going on there...)
All Is Well EP: 53,000

We find the Ego that is Daughtry at number four; 3.6 million - nope didn't get one of these either. Only album out post-Idol, his eponymous one.

Surprising me at the numero cinco spot, Ruben Studdard: 2.5 million total! Way to go Big Man! The Velvet Teddy Bear has sold:
Soulful: 1.8 million
I Need an Angel: 451,000
The Return: 236,000

Right after him, Fantasia: 2.3 million total.
Free Yourself: 1.8 million
Fantasia: 502,000 (Ouch! Look at that drop! Good she's gone Broadway and that Oprah seems to like her.)

My darling Southern Rock Bubba, Bo Bice sits at seven in the ranking with 706,000 total.
The Real Thing: 670,000
See the Light: 36,000 (That is just painful to read, but hey, man, I bought one and I like it.)

Funny Country Pickle is Number 8. Kellie Pickler's Small Town Girl went and surprised many with 702,000 in sales so far.

Blog inspiration and Soulmam, Taylor Hicks, is Number 9, Taylor Hicks: 699,000. Yeah, I know, no single to hit the radio and all that and still a respectable sales number. Better luck on the next CD. Hicks needs to get all "Soul Thing" second time around. Take that Modern Whomp theme and well, at least tweak it...

Big Number 10 is someone I forgot about entirely, Josh Gracin, his album rides in with 695,000 units sold.

Lovely and under appreciated Elliott Yamin is at Number 11: 563,000 total.
Elliott Yamin: 484,000
Sounds of the Season: 79,000

At the even dozen mark, Jordin Sparks: 473,000 total. She did do a brilliant job singing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl.
Jordin Sparks: 424,000
EP: 49,000

Unlucky 13 is Katharine McPhee, the Queen of Melisma who with Katharine McPhee sits at 366,000 units sold.

Dear Bucky Covington, with Bucky Covington has sold, 317,000 units.

Beat Boxing boi trying to make the Big Time, Blake Lewis with his 'interesting' album cover has sold only 286,000 total.
Audio Day Dream: 240,000
EP: 46,000

There are many stories out in the media how this show is over-rated, regarding creating stars and musical heroes, but I feel it serves its purpose. It's sometimes very entertaining television. Like last week as an example; Ryan Seacrest and Paula's Coke cups obviously were crossed in the dressing room. It was great fun watching Seacrest completely lose his mind over Chikezie's performance. It was for a good cause at least. I was completely entertained watching my Darling Man - he was curiously jumping right along with Ryan and he doesn't even like this show, nor did he have what Ryan must have had. D.M. was digging what the Chik-ster did - the surprise that entertained millions, even my skeptical sometimes cynical Darling Man.

True, though, many of these kids that have ground through the Idol Machinery have made much of themselves. Jennifer Hudson, one great success story. Her performance in Dreamgirls, amazing. Here's some Jennifer to take with you on your way - she sings for her supper at the Clive bash:

Friday, March 14, 2008

"If I Fell" Jason Castro

Lovely, soul searching, soul touching performance. Man, Jason has tamed my savage heart with this performance:

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Jason Castro a Few New Pictures And How Chikezie Taylorized the Night

I'll have a wrap up on my views on the show later - and some more on Jason. Watch Party information etc...
Chikezie was a pleasant surprise this week, he sort of Taylorised his appeal, check out his video - the most creative this season, love the arrangement:

Monday, March 10, 2008

Guitar "Instrumental" - Jason Castro

I'm not going to take the time to say what I'm thinking about Guarini, much to do and short on time. Here's video, interview Jason Castro:

Idol watch party tomorrow night in Rowlett, so "Hallelujah" and Happy Birthday! Jason Castro turns 21 this month.

Jason's friends and fans are inviting everyone to a birthday celebration and Idol watch party this Tuesday at Rowlett High School. Bring your phone and be ready to vote! The doors of his alma mater open at 6:30 p.m., and Neighborsgo editors will be in the mix to capture the excitement. (One of their previous Ngo videos featuring Jason made it to an episode of TMZ.) Be there or well, you know...

It will be interesting to see what song the producers finally decided to let him sing.
Of course with the American Idol viewing public this standing can change in a moment due to song choice or whatever hits the publics' fancy. True too that this is simply another on-line opinion, but the The Province, a Canadian source noted for following this show writes,

"Castro is new favourite to win as we wait for sordid details about other contestants."
The Province
Published: Monday, March 10, 2008

Who will win American Idol?

- Jason Castro, 7/5

- David Archuleta, 8/5

- Carly Smithson, 9/5

- David Cook, 3/1

- Michael Johns, 5/1

- Brooke White, 8/1

- Ramiele Malubay, 12/1

- Syesha Mercado, 15/1

- Kristy Lee Cook, 50/1

- Amanda Overmyer, 75/1

- Chikezie, 100/1

Beatles Week On THAT Reality Show

American Idol, that craptastic show I love yet hate is featuring a week devoted to the Beatles. Song choices are to be limited to the McCartney/Lennon song book and songs available are within the years 1962 through 1966 from what I've read. In fact, Amazon has an album titled, Beatles/1962 - 1966. Likely the contestants are selecting from these tunes:
1. Love Me Do
2. Please Please Me
3. From Me to You
4. She Loves You
5. I Want to Hold Your Hand
6. All My Loving
7. Can't Buy Me Love
8. Hard Day's Night
9. And I Love Her
10. Eight Days a Week
11. I Feel Fine
12. Ticket to Ride
13. Yesterday

Disc: 2
1. Help!
2. You've Got to Hide Your Love Away
3. We Can Work It Out
4. Day Tripper
5. Drive My Car
6. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
7. Nowhere Man
8. Michelle
9. In My Life
10. Girl
11. Paperback Writer
12. Eleanor Rigby
13. Yellow Submarine

***One spoiler rumor, Jason is/was wanting to perform "I'll Follow the Sun". No confirmation if that song was approved.***

There are several selections that would work well for my Idol favorite, Jason Castro. These appealed to me during my hippy dippy period:
"Day Tripper": video c/o gardner9

"Norwegian Wood": video c/o MAXI1230384

Because of what I do:
"Paperback Writer" video c/o Daytripped

I love the "Rain" inclusion in this video, great job, Daytripped. ;) Maybe that song is on the list - that would be great too.

For my Biker sistah, Amanda, "Hard Day's Night" or "Nowhere Man" could work.

I can just hear Randy-I-don't-know-INXS-from-Simple Minds yapping to Michael Johns, "Dawg! You gave (insert Beatles song title) it the Michael Hutchence treatment, Dude! That was Hawt!"

I'm waiting to see how this show can mess up Beatles, I'm sure they will find a way.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Jason Castro Idol Rising

I am at a point I'm wondering how far Jason Castro can really take this show. Initially I was simply thrilled that someone from our area representing the Deep Ellum arts scene had decided to take on this cheesy show. In words similar to what Paula Abdul said, Jason brings a favorite rainbow of 'colors'. (Pauler is so beautiful when she's tripping along with some good meds.) In the American Idol Top 24 After Party, Castro made me love him more; who can resist a guy with flowers in his hair?

Scanning the topics of discussion and articles written over the past several days, there have been more than a few talking about Jason Castro making a big impact with his performance this past week. That said, to date, he's the only contestant who has their song in the top 100 on iTunes. He also was pivotal in sending "Hallelujah" sung by the late Jeff Buckley to the number five spot out of basic obscurity.

This is a subtle yet important showcase exemplifying Jason's burgeoning impact this season in this competition. Considering that Jason Castro hasn't been singing that long, an even bigger point selling his natural and raw talent. Jason Castro has just recently decided to pick up the guitar, and the singing because he found himself, while out in Aggie Land, without his drum kit and needing an outlet for musical expression. Originally Castro was a drummer throughout his high school days. He had been involved with two bands, playing drums, Keeping Lions and Charlemagne.

In this video created a few years ago, Jason Castro shreds some skin (can't resist a good excuse to use a double entendre).

In this article, found in the Calgary Herald, Benjamin Eckstein, writes, "Who will win American Idol?". Mr. Eckstein gives a run down to anyone interested in the gambling side of this show as well as just his personal take on the current standings of the contestants.

- Jason Castro.......................... 7/5
- David Archuleta................... 8/5
- Carly Smithson..................... 9/5
- David Cook............................. 3/1
- Michael Johns....................... 5/1
- Brooke White........................ 8/1
- Ramiele Malubay................ 12/1
- Syesha Mercado................. 15/1
- David Hernandez............... 25/1
- Kristy Lee Cook.................. 50/1
- Amanda Overmyer............ 75/1
- Chikezie............................. 100/1

"If you were not one of the millions who watched this week's shows and missed Jason Castro's cover (he's the one with the dreads) of Leonard Cohen's haunting "Hallelujah", you missed one the most chilling, most brilliant performances in Idol history. With that amazing effort, Castro has jumped all the way to the top of the odds chart.

Everybody's favourite, David Archuleta, was good, but not great, so he slipped to second, while Carly Smithson performed well, holding down the third slot.

The other huge move up the ladder was David Cook, who brought out his guitar and ripped up a cover of Lionel Richie's Hello. The biggest surprise was that we lost one of our dictators, Danny Noriega instead of Chikezie. But Castro is still in the hunt."

Jason Castro on my local news station, KDFW FOX 4 report:

American Idol Interview with Jason Castro, absolutely gorgeous guy. He's typical of the type of folks I know in Dallas; the way he talks, the way he presents himself, the arts background.

Check out Jason Castro singing at LakePoint Church, Rockwall, Texas:
What can we call this, Dreadhead gospel perhaps. Love. this. guy.

I have to say, his leaving that drum kit behind has worked out very favorably musically for him. Next to Josiah Lemming, who was erroneously denied entry into the Top 24, Castro undeniably one of the best raw talents to be discovered by this show.

Speaking of Josiah Lemming, he recently gave a concert to good reviews. This kid reminds me of the type of natural talent along the lines of Paolo Nutini. Video from the Hotel LA Cafe:

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Where in the World is Taylor Hicks?

Taylor Hicks seems to be missing in action these days; no word on his myspace site nor news popping up on-line. Regarding a release of any new material, the most recent information regarding his "Whomp at the Warfield" DVD was back at the end of last year. That same posting found on his website also reported a new Cd was in the works. Both were promised to be released this year. Granted this is only March, but time marches on rapidly, and it would be nice for an update. Thing is there may not be anything to 'update' the fans on - too that post has since disappeared from the site. The only new information relating to the world of Taylor Hicks was his Regis and Kelly appearance and his celebrity basketball foray.

March 29 he is still on the roster to perform at the Greenhill School here in Dallas, Texas but no other information provided outside of the School's website. I'd think Mr. Hicks or whoever is in charge of his postings on the Myspace page would have at least a mention on the website regarding this event.

My blog has been receiving a huge number of hits lately, many inquiries regarding Jason Castro, but also a large number of fans seeking information on Mr. Hicks. The most common entry that brings them here asks the question, Where is Taylor Hicks? and the second highest inquiry I've seen ask about the release date for the DVD and the CD. Idol Blues has no more information on what is happening in the world of Taylor than any of the other Hicks blogs out there. That said, speaking of Taylor Hicks blogs, I have been seeing a decrease in the number of sites about the man. (R.I.P. TFHzone, I once loved to visit ye.) This decrease in the number of blogs and websites about Taylor Hicks could indicate a diminishing of interest or a lack of material to write about.

I will say to those seeking information on these subjects, I'd love to have something to tell you, but I am just an independent blogger with no real world ties to Taylor Hicks.

The Fanatics have issued a post regarding the lack of Taylor Hicks' Cds available in stores. Sadly, though, with a representative like Jeanni running this particular page and carrying on like Paula Abdul once her meds kick in or out, it's entertaining but makes little sense. Jeanni brings in her trademark 'legal evidence' rant, part of it includes, "Cause why? Well, let me just say I have my own idea’s…after reading court documents from the FCC / Attorney General’s office… That TPTB / SONY / Clive “snake” Davis…had paid at least 12 MILLION in fines to the FCC, well gee whiz…wonder why and for what?"

You can spot Jeanni postings anyplace on-line, the poor lass never has figured out the correct possessive formats, and it almost takes a cryptographer to try and read what point she may be attempting to make. Too, anyone who bothered to follow the Tale of Two Women Taylor Hicks' story would realize Jeanni's knowledge of legalese and her 'experts' are a big pile of - two words: Aaron Ruffcorn.

One coherent point the formerly known as "Caroline Lyders Fan Club" Fanatics brought up - the lack of radio play regarding Taylor Hicks music. Notably I've never heard Hicks played in the Dallas market on any of the radio outlets. I have heard "Do I make You Proud" while on visits to my neighborhood Walgreens. Walgreens apparently plays an assortment of American Idol tracks from a variety of contestants in their muzak line-up.

The background on the story regarding the lack of radio play for anything Taylor Hicks has issued has run something like this:
a) His music released to date has no place in the stations' music line-up.
b) His Cd has not been made available to the station for play.
c) It's not up to the radio stations, rather the record producers to make the material available for airplay.
d) His sound simply holds no commercial appeal.

All of the above reasons have absolutely no real world validity, all these excuses simply some type of formulated spin. Too, there are several songs in his post-Idol material that would make viable play in at least the soft rock stations' line-ups, Soul Thing comes immediately to my mind.

The Right Place, the song he sang on Regis and Kelly is definitely another tune that should have a place in the radio line-ups. I have always been curious why that particular track has never been released as a single. This was a song supposedly originally written for Ray Charles for heaven's sake. Think if Ray had recorded it he'd been told it wasn't a radio friendly offering? Hell no. He'd perhaps be up for a Grammy or something, critics fawning all over the piece. Taylor haters be damned, Mr. Hicks does a great job on the song whenever he performs it.

It does give me pause to wonder why the seemingly shunning by the 19E group of Taylor Hicks continues. He made such an impact on and for their show. In articles I have managed to find, rumors exist that Mr. Hicks is still being held "mum" regarding being able to comment on anything American Idol related. That is some stringent contract. (Perhaps Jeanni and her 'experts' should go to work on that aspect...wait, nevermind.)

So, to those asking "Where in the world is Taylor Hicks?", I have no answer.