Tag Archives: american idol

Bring Her Back

The big news in the entertainment world this week has been all about American Idol — who will be the judges for next season?  Simon’s out, Ellen’s out, J.Lo’s out, but Steven Tyler is (reportedly) in the mix.  Yawn.  Well, even though I no longer watch the show, I am here to make my plea.  American Idol, please bring back… PAULA ABDUL!  

Abdul was with Idol from the very beginning, ever since its auspicious start in 2002.  She was there back when Simon Cowell was still an unknown British crank, and Ryan Seacrest was just the spiky-haired sidekick to Brian Dunkleman.  Throughout the years, Abdul established herself in Idol circles as the sweet, caring, and often-incapacitated judge.

While Abdul was often criticized by critics for not being critical enough, this criticism is ultimately flawed (kind of like this sentence).  Although Abdul’s contribution to the judging panel was limited, her presence truly transcended American Idol.  With Paula, she wasn’t just there for the music.  Instead, she was so much more.  She brought critical issues to the forefront, opened dialogue on everything from healthcare reform to prescription drugs, and spearheaded long-needed change to America.

Some examples of her most important work:

A Leading Proponent of Healthcare Reform: In 2005, Abdul landed on the cover of People Magazine, detailing her “Medical Nightmare.”  In the article, she discussed the chronic pain from an old cheerleading injury that led to some of her bizarre Idol behavior (eg. slurring her words, falling asleep, clapping as if she had flippers instead of hands).  Although she didn’t say it explicitly, Abdul was making an unmistakable call for  reform.  After all, if one of the wealthier women in the country can’t get adequate care, then how is Joe the Plumber going to survive?  Plumbing is more taxing than cheerleading, you know.  And now, five years later, we have universal healthcare. Thank you, Paula “Pelosi” Abdul.

A Feminist Beacon: Controversy arose when dismissed season 2 contestant Corey Clark claimed that he had a 3-month affair with Abdul during the show’s taping.  His book, “Sex, Lies, and Paulatics” not only stretched the homophonic properties of the English language, but also exposed a potentially sordid side of Idol.  However, (if true) the affair only revealed that Abdul used her power to lure young men to her britches.  She was simply following the timeless example of men who have done the same.  (Of course, her one transgression was that of choosing Corey Clark… bad taste, Paula).  But still, without Abdul’s message of female empowerment, we wouldn’t see a record number of women running for office in 2010. It’s a lot easier for cougars to prey on young men when they have the full backing of a political platform.  Meg Whitman’s male interns better watch out. 

paulamoneyAn Economic Bellwether: Abdul reportedly turned down a $5 million+ deal to return to Idol in August 2009. Although nothing has been reported about a potential comeback this year, last year’s offer clearly indicates that we are recovering from this recession.  If Paula Abdul is being offered $5 mil to get drunk and make nonsensical comments on TV, then we better be creating more jobs in the meantime.  And if Paula refuses to come back, then I’d be happy to mumble and drink scotch out of a sippy cup on primetime television. I’ll even cut you a discount and do it for $1 mil. 

I think I have proven my point: Paula Abdul is so much more than a singer, dancer, choreographer, and druggy cougar.  As she would say, “You’ve got a sensitive side of you… got, uh, total, uh spicy side of you… You are real.  You’ve… got… to keep going.”  And on that, I rest my case. Bring back Paula Abdul to American Idol! 

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The Six Degrees of Barack Obama Brainwashing America’s Children

As Labor Day Weekend has passed, it’s officially the end of summer.  College football season has begun, Congress will be back in session soon, and I have retired all my white clothes.  So now it’s back to politics as usual.  The Obama administration is confronting several challenges this fall, including the ever-contentious healthcare bill.  Not since Adam vs. Kris has the public been so vehemently divided.

But even though Obama is facing his worst approval rating since being in office, the administration is taking steps to push through his ambitious agenda.  On Tuesday, Obama  plans to address schoolchildren in a controversial back-to-school speech.  The “controversy” has been stoked by conservatives who fear that Obama is trying to brainwash our kids with socialist talk.  Well if that’s true, I’m definitely not letting the POTUS around my [hypothetical] kids.  I mean, who does he think he is, Big Bird?  What other brainwashing is Obama capable of?

To investigate this brainwashing claim further, I decided to look at some of the top stories from Labor Day weekend.  It appears the Obama conspiracy machine is even stronger than we thought.  We always knew that the mainstream media was in his back pocket; but now, it looks like Obama’s encroaching upon Kevin Bacon territory.

The following is an example of Obama’s liberal mind control with the top stories during Labor Day Weekend: as you can see, it all comes back to him.

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(Starting at the top, going clockwise)

  • Obama Brainwashes Kids: On Monday, Obama released the text for his speech to schoolchildren, emphasizing the importance of education, and encouraging kids to stay in school.  This is ironic, given…
  • Sam Bradford Injures Shoulder: On Saturday, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner injured his shoulder after being slammed to the ground during a game versus BYU.  Bradford, who would have been the probable #1 pick in this year’s NFL draft, instead chose to stay in school.  Hmm, there goes millions of dollars — but at least he has a University of Oklahoma education!  Yet, Bradford’s injury was not the only football story of the weekend…
  • Shawn Merriman and Tila Tequila Battle it Out: On Sunday, San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawn Merriman was taken into custody following a domestic dispute with TV personality Tila Tequila.  It’s another classic case of angry football player beating his intoxicated, bisexual reality star girlfriend.  The likely aftermath is that the charges will get dropped, Merriman will go on to the Pro Bowl, and Tila Tequila will get another VH1 show out of it (my suggestion: “A Stranglehold on Love, With Tila Tequila”).  It’s not often that you get earnest headlines like the following: “Tequila denies being drunk.”  But the 4’11” Tequila was not the only undersized girl to survive a beating this weekend…
  • Melanie Oudin Shocks Russia: American tennis upstart Melanie Oudin, 17, stunned three Russian opponents on the way to her first US Open quarterfinal.  Playing three grueling three-set matches within the week, Oudin knocked off opponents who were, on average, bigger (five inches taller), stronger (fifteen pounds heavier), and older (at least five years, with Petrova and Dementieva both a full decade past Melanie’s 17 years).  The fact that all three opponents were Russian is interesting, given…
  • More Troops Requested in Afghanistan: The 1979 Soviet War in Afghanistan lasted nine years, and is frequently referred to as “Russia’s Vietnam.”  Can we avoid the same fate, or is the U.S. headed for Vietnam II?  Last week, Gen. McChrystal, who is leading American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, requested that more troops be brought in to stabilize the country.  Obama is expected to confer with advisors on the troop increase this week.  However, he will be without one of his most trusted advisors, Senator Ted Kennedy…
  • Candidates Emerging for Senator Kennedy’s Seat: A special election for Kennedy’s Senate seat has been scheduled for January 19, 2010.  Joe Kennedy (Ted’s nephew) has already said he won’t run. Vicki Kennedy (Ted’s widow) has privately denied claims as well.  So if it’s not a Kennedy, who will it be?  Rumored contenders range from Martha Coakley (Massachusetts attorney general) to Curt Schilling (of bloody sock lore).  But if Kennedy’s Senate seat falls into the hands of a (gasp!) Republican, the Dems may not get the 60 votes needed to stave off filibusters and pass healthcare reform.  Which brings us right back to…

Obama.  That’s right.  Not only is Obama turning our children into liberal monsters, but he’s monopolized the news as well.  Thus, this proves that the Obama spin machine is genius when it comes to keeping his brainwashy policies top-of-mind.  So, keep an eye on your kids now that they’re back in school.  I know that my [hypothetical] children are getting nowhere near Big Bird Obama.  Or Shawn Merriman, for that matter.

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In Memoriam: Paula Abdul, A True American Idol

Today, we bid a final farewell to Paula Abdul, 47: beloved American Idol judge, compassionate music producer, and shining example of what drugs can really do to a person.

americanidolAbdul has been with American Idol since its auspicious start in 2002, back when Simon Cowell was still an unknown British crank, and Ryan Seacrest was just the spiky-haired sidekick to Brian Dunkleman.  Throughout the years, Abdul has established herself in Idol circles as the “caring” judge: one who rarely insults, and who always offers an encouraging smile (aww, shucks).

While Abdul has often been criticized by critics for not being critical enough, this criticism is ultimately flawed (just like this sentence).  Although Abdul’s contribution to the judging panel may be limited, I truly believe that her presence has transcended American Idol.  With Paula, she’s not just there for the music.  Instead, she is so much more.  She has brought critical issues to the forefront, opened dialogue on everything from healthcare reform to prescription drugs, and spearheaded long-needed change to America.

Some examples of her most important work:

A Shout-Out to Healthcare Reform: In 2005, Abdul landed on the cover of People Magazine, detailing her “Medical Nightmare.”  In the article, she discusses the chronic pain from an old cheerleading injury that had led to some of her bizarre Idol behavior (eg. slurring her words, falling asleep, clapping as if she had flippers instead of hands).  Although she didn’t say it explicitly, Abdul was making an unmistakable call for  reform.  After all, if one of the wealthier women in the country can’t get adequate care, then how is Joe the Plumber going to survive?  Plumbing is more taxing than cheerleading, you know.

An Example of Feminism: Controversy arose when dismissed season 2 contestant Corey Clark claimed that he had a 3-month affair with Abdul during the show’s taping.  His book, “Sex, Lies, and Paulatics” not only stretched the homophonic properties of the English language, but also exposed a potentially sordid side of Idol.  However, (if true) the affair only reveals that Abdul used her power to lure young men to her britches.  She is just following the timeless example of men who have used their influence to get women.  If powerful men do it all the time, then why can’t powerful ladies get in on the fun?  Thus, Abdul’s only transgression is that of being a cougar with bad taste.  To this, we say, you go girl!  Get that nasty creep!

Serving as an Economic Bellwether: paulamoneyAbdul reportedly turned down a $5 million+ deal to return to Idol… though, of course, her rejection may just be a clever negotiating tactic to get more cash in her clunker (we’re waiting for Idol reps to tweet back).  With such a move, Abdul has clearly proved to economists that the recession will continue as long as buffoons are still being offered ridiculous amounts of money.  I mean, I’d be happy to bank $5 million for getting drunk and making nonsensical comments.  I often do it for free.  So, thank you, FOX, for subverting the principles of economics and showcasing America’s finest.  No wonder NewsCorp. lost $203M last quarter…

I think I have proven my point: Paula Abdul is so much more than a singer, dancer, choreographer, serial divorcee, and American Idol judge.  She is also a true humanitarian.  As she would say, “You’ve got a sensitive side of you… got, uh, total, uh spicy side of you… You are real.  You’ve… got… to keep going.”  Ditto, Paula.  We feel the same way.  We will miss you.

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Semi-Serious Ideas in Entertainment

singled-out1. MTV FOR OLD PEOPLE: With a rapidly aging population and a surplus of baby boomers who still want to stay hip, I propose the creation of a new TV network for the older demographic. Like its teenage counterpart MTV, FOP (“For Old People”) could feature variations on popular shows. There could be FOP versions of classic MTV hits, like Singled Out: Octogenarians, My Super Sweet One Hundred (Esther gets a new motorized scooter!), or True Life: I’m a Denture Capitalist. Some other ideas for FOP programming: Survivor: Nursing Home, Are You Smarter Than a Senile Old Coot, and The Amazing Race to Heaven.

 

madoffd2. RENAME PUNK’D: In our new recessionary era, Madoff’d is the new Punk’d. The pilot episode could feature a $65 billion bonfire, with Bernie lighting up dollar bills while Alan Greenspan roasts marshmallows over the flames. Then Kutcher’s lackeys can go around to all of Madoff’s former investors and give them their pile of ash, along with a S’more. You just got Madoff’d! This can be followed by a new Publishers Clearinghouse show, where we watch Ed McMahon as he goes into people’s houses with a big camera crew and, “Surprise!” — forecloses their homes.

sesame

3. MODERNIZE SESAME STREET: With these hard new times, let’s see the effect of unemployment on the Street. Are Bert and Ernie worried about paying bills? Does Big Bird look extra-frazzled? Is there a surplus of unemployed day laborers in the neighborhood? This is a great opportunity to get toddlers thinking about the impact of credit default swaps on their cookie jar. “A is for AIG, B is for bankruptcy, C is for collateralized debt obligations… and F is for failure.” And speaking of cookies, maybe we can also encourage the Cookie Monster to watch his waistline. Yogurt Monster might not be as fun, but he’ll probably live longer.

gladiators

4. AMERICAN GLADIATORS MEETS C-SPAN: Every few years, we deal with the same drama in House, Senate, and Presidential elections. There are counts and recounts, hanging chads and run-off votes. There are promises and lies, hacks and phonies, Joe the Plumbers and Sarah Palins. (No wonder there’s political apathy in this country.) What if there was an easier way to decide it all? Why can’t we just run all our politicians through the Eliminator? (Junior Senators and House reps can opt for the easier Aggro Crag on GUTS instead.) The real decisionmakers, though, must perform Gladiator-style. They must face ‘roided up men and manly women. They’ll joust with Justice and try to deport Helga. The Eliminator will test their physical strength and mettle, and all of it will be shown on national TV. Then after the competition, Ryan Seacrest will announce the winner: “America, you voted… The new President of the United States is… Find out after the commercial break!”


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Best All-Around: Damages (10 pm, Wednesdays, FX)

Now that awards season is upon us, it’s time to reflect on the past fall’s TV lineup and welcome the spring slate of shows (new and returning) that will ease our winter hibernation. While American Idol will likely win its 8th “Most Popular” title in a row, here are some television superlatives, high school-style, for your viewing pleasure:

MOST POPULAR: American Idol (8 pm, Tuesdays, FOX) The crazier Paula Abdul gets, the better ratings the show receives… That’s a good combination for FOX, since that woman is straight up insane, and Simon’s getting a bit boring.

tim-rigginsBEST LOOKING: It’s a toss-up between Simon Baker on The Mentalist (9 pm, Tuesdays, CBS) and Taylor Kitsch as Tim Riggins of Friday Night Lights (9 pm, Fridays, NBC). Given that Riggs is actually in high school, perhaps he deserves this award. On the other side, I’ll let the guys decide who they prefer on Gossip Girl (8 pm, Mondays, CW): Blair or Serena?

MOST CRAZY (IN A GOOD WAY): Tracy Jordan and Jenna Maroney on 30 Rock (9:30 pm, Thursdays, NBC)… This is why 30 Rock won 5 Golden Globes.

MOST CRAZY (IN A BAD WAY): Mrs. B as a crazy mom on the reality show, Momma’s Boys, which had its season finale on Monday night. Her poor son Jojo (who, by the way, was looking for love at the ripe old age of 21) tried to win over girls after his mother’s racist speech, declaring all but white Catholics suitable for her darling son. Jojo may need to try the priesthood now that this show has aired.

Layout 1BIGGEST TRAIN WRECK: I will nominate the entire cast of Grey’s Anatomy (9 pm, Thursdays, ABC) for this award. Let’s see, George has slept with 3 of the female leads, Meredith has had two ridiculous near death experiences (hand in bomb, ferryboat accident), and now Izzie is sleeping with the ghost of her dead ex-fiance (whom she accidentally killed). I used to watch this show religiously… these days, it’s lucky to get DVRed.

SAD FOR HUMANITY: There are a whole host of shows that fall into this category–Tool Academy on VH1, Rock of Love 2 on MTV, Nip/Tuck on FX (how fast it’s fallen)–but the runaway winner is MTV’s A Double Shot at Love, with the Ikki Twins. I think it’s pretty easy to justify how this show is sad for humanity; if you Google “double shot at love,” the first link leads to this proclamation: “OMG! i love a double shot at love even know im 10 years old i stull love you guys you guys are buteyful.” Future of America…

KILL IT NOW: We like watching fictional rich girls live out melodramas on the Upper East Side, but we don’t like watching melodramatic rich girls live out fictional storylines in The City (10 pm, Mondays, MTV). Spare us the misery of watching Whitney attempt to be interesting. I’d almost rather watch Bromance on repeat than sit through another episode of The City… well, almost. In both scenarios, death would be a welcome alternative.

damagesBEST ALL-AROUND: Speaking of death, I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of Glenn Close as Patty Hewes on Damages (10 pm, Wednesdays, FX). Why is it that Glenn Close always plays crazy so well? With the best cast, the best plotlines, and the best stony looks on television (thanks, Rose Byrnes), Damages is my new favorite show (FNL is a close #2). And you know it’s got to be good when you need to keep a light on while watching.

WHAT I’LL BE WATCHING THIS SPRING: (suggestions, comments, insults, and digs always appreciated)

Monday:

8 PM: Gossip Girl (CW)

9:30 PM: Samantha Who (ABC)

Tuesday:

8 PM: The Biggest Loser (NBC)

Wednesday:

9 PM: Lost (ABC)

10 PM: Damages (FX) / Top Chef (Bravo)

Thursday:

9 PM: The Office (NBC) / 30 Rock (NBC) / Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)

Friday:

9 PM: Friday Night Lights (NBC)

And on occasion: Bones (8 pm, Thursdays, FOX), Without a Trace (10 pm, Tuesdays, CBS…and the only CBS show I’m watching), House Hunters and Property Virgins (HGTV), Iron Chef America (Food Network)

They’ve got potential: Some new shows with promise… Kings (8 pm, Sundays, NBC), Lie to Me (9 pm, Wednesdays, FOX)

 

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A Reality Show That Inspires a Bigger and Better Reality

Throughout the fall, I’ve developed a steady workout routine. Every Tuesday, I rush home to watch my favorite reality show, The Biggest Loser. From my spot on the couch, I watch while quasi-attractive fat people work their way to becoming very attractive thin people. I cringe during the last chance workouts. I recoil from the trainers’ sharp tongue-lashings. I shudder at the suspense of the weigh-ins, complete with untimely cuts to commercial. The show has its soft side, with corny lines, tearjerker moments, and just the right amount of family drama. It has its hard side, with a lot of grunting, groaning, and heavy metal weights. The not-so-subtle product placement has enlightened me to the wonders of Extra gum and Jennie-O turkey. Then, of course, there is the sex appeal. (Although during this season of Biggest Loser: Families, it seems wrong to make eyes at the husbands and fathers, no matter how muscular they’ve become.)

biggestloser1

Rawr...

While watching the Biggest Loser contestants hit the treadmill, lift weights, and eat lettuce wraps, you would think that this would encourage similar behavior from the viewer. At times I am compelled to do leg lifts or crunches, but more often I find myself fighting the urge to make cookies. Or cupcakes. Or sizzling chicken fajitas. And thus I usually end up exercising my gastrointestinal muscles, going at my food with an intensity that rivals Paula Dean digging into a country-fried steak. During last night’s show, I ate two fajitas, three cookies, half a bag of grapes, and a yogurt. I was thinking about heating up some meatballs and opening up a cantaloupe, but there just wasn’t enough time in between commercials.

Some might think it’s weird that The Biggest Loser has inspired my sedentary, food-filled Tuesday nights. But American Idol often compels me to belt out a little Mariah. So You Think You Can Dance encourages me to try some Irish tap dancing. Top Chef makes me want to explore non-microwave cooking possibilities. So why wouldn’t The Biggest Loser inspire me to get really fat just so I can get skinny again?

It makes sense to me. Fingers crossed that I’ll make it for The Biggest Loser: Rabid Fans in 2025.

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Democratic Elections in the United States of Florida

Apparently democratic nations are entitled to a system of “one man, one vote.” Unfortunately, that doesn’t apply to the United States, or else Al Gore would have become President in 2000, and either we’d a) all be driving hybrid cards and the world would be at peace, or b) we’d all be dead and the animals will have taken over our planet, a la the zombies in I am Legend. In actuality, “one man, one vote” really comes down to “one man in Florida, one vote that actually counts,” and “one man in MA/CA/NY/TX/KY/TN, go out for Tuesday night’s all-you-can-eat pasta at Uno’s instead, because your state’s already decided… so your opinion just doesn’t matter.”

Now, of course, someone will argue that if everyone in these states believed this were true, then there might come the election day when no one would vote, Uno’s would be filled to the brim, and Ralph Nader would be elected president. Thankfully it seems that only cynics and cost/benefit economists would actually boycott voting in a silent protest against the system on election day. The rest of the country proudly does its civic duty so that the world doesn’t capitulate into a zombie-like state with an incompetent man as its leader… (insert Bush joke here). Still, I am sure that there are many people who would have voted but didn’t, because they knew their voice would not be heard… unless they moved to Boca Raton.

Apparently there were reasons for the electoral college back in the day of T-Jeff and G-Dubs (the original). And there is historical precedent as to why Iowa, of all states, is first in the all-important primary season (surprisingly, it’s not because of its astounding diversity). But how is our system democratic today, when only a few decide for us all? It sometimes seems like Iowa and New Hampshire give us our choices, and Florida and Ohio pick our President. Is it so hard to hold a two-hour event where our candidates make speeches, perhaps sing, and then Americans just call in to vote? Ryan Seacrest could host. That’ll show those guys in Iraq what real democracy is all about.

But in all seriousness, I’d like to see a change in the system that has produced us Mr. George W. Bush…twice.  Why not have an election-year lottery to determine the order of voting in primaries? It could be a family event, like watching the NBA draft lottery or the Powerball numbers. And why not get rid of the electoral college in favor of a truly democratic vote? I know that would drag me away from the pasta bowls to actually do my civic duty.

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