The Real Housewives Clip Seen ‘Round The World! (By Now)

You know, I’m not sure I’ve ever written about The Real Housewives of Atlanta except for Kim Zolciak’s foray into pop music (seriously?) and lesbianism (seriously?), surely I have, but I’ll have to check my archives.  By now, most of my friends know, it is my favorite out of the Bravo “Real Housewives” franchise, hands down!  I never watched Orange County, which was the first, I gave up on New Jersey (I did write about it when it was good), I love both New York and Beverly Hills (Ramona Singer? please!), both DC and Miami were busts after one season (who cares?), Hotlanta is where it’s at.  Season 4 kicked off a couple of weeks ago, and all of the ladies are going through some major changes.  In brief, NeNe Leakes is now all high and mighty after her appearance on Celebrity Apprentice (didn’t she walk off the show?), Kim is pregnant with her third child and first with boyfriend Kroy Biermann (their son Kroy Jr. was born in March, they were married on November 11th), Phaedra Parks (breakout star this season!) is thinking of getting into the funeral home business, though she refused to lay in a coffin on her first business visit, Cynthia Bailey (yawn!) who married Peter at the end of last season is still modeling and is hoping to open a modeling agency in Atlanta, Kandi Burruss is still in the music business but she is branching out into the world of selling her own line of sex toys (oy vey!), and Sheree Whitfield (I hate her!) is working on building a house but she’s finding the construction slow and next week, she gets into a heated discussion with her ex-husband over child support.  
All right, last night’s episode featured Kandi’s 35th birthday party and the ladies separated into two groups.  NeNe had it out with Sheree in the first episode so they are not on speaking terms; Kim did not attend due to being very pregnant, and Phaedra had the gift of a lifetime for sex-obsessed Kandi, her stripper friend, Ridickulous.  Parks proclaimed last season that Ridickulous, though she did not name him at the time, could “give himself head” OH LORD!  NeNe’s face says it all! Well, here’s the heavily NSFW and blurred evidence:
Yes, Kandi’s mother Joyce was NOT amused and NeNe, Cynthia, and Peter bailed after this quite awkward moment.  I laughed my head off!  Thanks Bravo!

Video Deconstruction: Carnie & Wendy Wilson "Hey Santa"

As soon as the holidays get rolling, this is one of the first songs to pop into my head.  Why?  I love it! It is a mystery, but it’s one of those holiday songs you literally have to listen 24/7 to hear, because it gets lost in the shuffle of new artist holiday tunes and old yuletide standards.  No to offensive Brenda Lee, Andy Williams, Eartha Kitt, Vince Vance and the Valiants, and so on, but Carnie and Wendy are just as festive.  The track is part of the sisters’ 1993 holiday album, Hey Santa! and it’s fair to say the Wilson Phillips train was at a grinding halt, and although the Wilson sisters’ effort did not achieve chart domination, “Hey Santa” peaked at #22 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.  Well enough about song, let’s deconstruct this wacky video!
–Ah, a nice, cheap-looking snow globe!–
–Yep, Wendy gets top face, um, billing, no crows feet yet.–
–Good ol’ Carnie, always second best, but she’s beautiful.–
–Wait! Is this a new Monty Python thing?, SPLAT!–
–Carnie SMASH! I think that jackass stepped on her foot, act angry!–
–She’s thinking “I’ll get gastric bypass surgery..on the internet!, what the hell is the internet?!?”
–What’s a madcap Christmas video without a little person? Incomplete.–
–Chyna makes a guest appearance! I kid, I kid!–
–Shot #1 of Carnie adjusting her hat–
–“Seriously, I must find this internet, Hey Santa!”–
–Snowman must destroy sax-playing Santa!–
–Chyna laments her omission from the video and tries to make Carnie jealous.–
–And shot #2 of Carnie adjusting her hat, Wendy is not impressed.–
–Remember MADCAP!–
–I assume this a shot of the entire immediate Wilson clan, but what’s up with that sadistic bunny on the right?–
Oh the fun I have, Happy Holidays (I’ll hopefully be deconstructing “Marry the Night” next) and demand “Hey Santa”…(all video screen shots courtesy of youtube.com)

Okay X Factor, We’re Not Stupid!: A Commentary

I only saw a little bit of this week’s show and I totally missed the results show, however, when I did the math this afternoon, the finals are almost guaranteed to be Simon vs. L.A.  And that’s exactly what the two judges/mentors/record exes–and producers– wanted.  We all know Paula Abdul’s “groups” didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of making the finals, so Lakoda Rayne had to go.  Frankly, I give Nicole Scherzinger credit, Josh Krajcik has the best chance of schooling the big guys’ stars in the competition (sorry LeRoy Bell, you were too milquetoast) and unless one of Simon’s or LA’s frontrunners stumble (We’re all looking at you ASTRO!) Krajcik is next in line to go.  It makes me wonder how accurate the voting is.  Sure, America trusts Cowell, and it’s no surprise all three of his “girls” are still in the running to win. If one of them DOESN’T win, it will certainly be a shock.  And I don’t see Marcus Canty or Chris Rene winning, so Astro, despite the attitude/headphone controversy is all LA’s got and I think he knows it.  Astro could be the next Justin Bieber, whom Reid mentored and signed. 
As far the other contestants, and I include all three of Simon’s, I don’t see a “next” somebody.  It’s safe to say Rachel Crow will go on to an acting career with or without a $5 million dollar contract, Drew? I don’t know, and Melanie Amaro is still my favorite and she could be the next I’m not sure.  I still see Amaro as very tenative, not diva-like at all.  LA has a challenge in Canty and Rene; both are good, but they are not good enough to win, so does Reid really care? No.  I hope Cowell doesn’t suffer the American Idol curse when the winner goes nowhere. Remember Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox, the 2 finalists in Cowell’s last year on Idol? DeWyze was dropped from his label and Bowersox quit to go back the “independent” way of doing things.  I bet they wish they were Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina right about now.  Josh Krajcik is about to be set up for a harsh reality, starting a career over 30 is not the best scenario.  Don’t even make me pull the Susan Boyle card!  UGH!  That’s not a career, that’s a passing fad and if she still succeeds in England, great.  It’s just very difficult for anyone, any age to break into the music business in the 21st century.  I would love to see just once, a singer or a band get signed the way all artists used to be signed, through hard work and dedication and a little creativity.  Lady Gaga is the best example of an artist who paid her dues and she is now one of the biggest pop stars in the world, maybe, of all time. Okay, I won’t go nuts, but there’s my point.  A person can be discovered and be mentored, but is it worth $5 million bucks? 
 (Kadeem Hardison should sue!/tv.com)

Review: A Very Gaga Thanksgiving

I spent Thanksgiving with my family and although I was able to commandeer the TV Wednesday night for Modern Family (TM), Top Chef, and American Horror Story (shit is getting real!), I was unable to watch A Very Gaga Thanksgiving without somewhat annoying my parents.  I was going to record all of the said shows regardless, so I caught up with Gaga tonight.  For the record, Dad is unsure of Gaga, Mom loves her,  but she wasn’t interested in watching the special.  We ended up watch a Big Bang Theory re-run, then 4 back-to-back re-runs of Big Bang on TBS.  Another fact, CBS won the ratings Thursday night, because they chose to air original episodes after The Big Bang Theory.  For a nation entranced with football and embracing their food comas, it’s a fair assessment.  
A Very Gaga Thanksgiving was shot on location at the Covent of Sacred Heart in Manhattan, where Gaga went to school.   The special begins with a jazz trumpeter introducing Gaga and Tony Bennett (who calls Gaga the modern Picasso) and they jump right into “The Lady is a Tramp”; the performances were all recorded live, very classy.  There were a lot of candles, and I’m not sure they were all real; and there were a lot of elaborate tables.  The reason I ask about the candles is the the first big number with dancers, “Born This Way”

The dance numbers looked a little silly for the setting, but it’s totally Gaga.  And I question whether or not her guests were eating; I don’t think I could eat with all that fabulousness going on around me.  Next, Gaga joins some elementary students/girls from Sacred Heart and they create Thanksgiving decorations.  Gaga goes on to ask the girls what their favorite Thanksgiving dishes are, and when she reveals her piece, she says it’s a lot like a Jackson Pollock piece and the girls, to her surprise, all know who Pollock is.  We then go back to Gaga’s piano aka long dining table for a renditions of “You and I” and “Edge of Glory”, again how could they eat even if they wanted to???  Gaga would tend to break mid-song and tell an anecdote; by the way, in “You and I” the word “Nebraska” was replaced with “America”, and in “Edge of Glory” Gaga told a story about her grandfather (who the song was written about) about how he used to make Italian cookies.  
Finally, we get to the cooking segment and it was probably the most laughable part of the entire special.  Gaga is joined by chef Art Smith, who decides fried turkey with waffles infused with ham and bacon are an appropriate homage to Gaga’s Italian heritage.   Watching Gaga’s guests was hilarious; it’s like they were interested, but not sure.  And Gaga is dressed as Holly Golightly goes to cooking school (“let me remove my Valentino couture”), I was rolling!  Next Gaga launches into a jazz set with “White Christmas” where she adds a verse since the song only has one, and a number she used to sing in jazz clubs, “Orange Colored Sky”, both are good.  Then, a solo Gaga appears back at her lengthy piano to perform “Hair” (I’m not a fan of the song) and to talk about being bullied in school, she goes on to add a wig.  She also talks about how she was/still is insecure about her forehead, honey join the club!  That’s one thing I love about Gaga, she’s just as insecure now as she was in the beginning; it’s a quality that keeps her in sync with her fans.  “Bad Romance” was next, I can’t find a video, but at one point, Gaga shoves a mouthful of ???? in and she continues to sing.  Oh, she also sits down for a brief interview with new ABC talk show maven (starting next year) Katie Couric.  Nothing new, except Tony Bennett did a nude sketch of Gaga that will appear in the January issue of Vanity Fair that will be accompanied by photos from Annie Leibovitz.  
The crowning jewel or tease from the special is another look at the yet to be released video for “Marry the Night” which Gaga also performs a little bit of it on the special.  I can’t wait for the video, the deconstruction will be long, but it will be good.

Patti LaBelle May Need A New Attitude

Patti LaBelle is a diva, and apparently her diva behavior has brought on an unusual lawsuit.  Yes, throwing water on a toddler is the new throwing a cell phone.  I have a lot of respect Ms. LaBelle; she’s one of the greatest singers of all time, she can cook like no one’s business, and she seems nice.  One of the reports about the incident indicates the child LaBelle terrorized got so scared, the little girl vomited.  Wow!  Maybe the toddler saw LaBelle’s girls, per the photo above, and that’s what really scared her.  
I mean does LaBelle have children herself?  Yes she does.  And yes, it’s been years and years since they were toddlers, but come on.  Divas don’t care what’s going on around them, they just want to be noticed and I would say Ms. LaBelle is one of those.  Now if this young toddler really wanted to be scared:
Just show her what LaBelle used to look like!  And just for good measure, I found this:
There you go.

(Photos courtesy of whyy.org, kalamu.com, and musicstack.com)

Axl Rose Speaks…But It’s Not Much To Go On

(NOTE: I may try to branch out a little more with my posts, and introduce my readers to other topics I care about, one of those being rock music; interestingly, when I opened my Blogger account, that’s all I wrote about at first, then one day I just stopped, but I’m glad to bring back a little nostalgia, even if it’s for one or two posts here and there.)
At the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards, Jimmy Fallon introduced “Guns N F-ing Roses!” to a very enthusiastic crowd and there they were, well, two of them were, Axl Rose and 90s era keyboard player Dizzy Reed.  The only other new member I had heard about was Buckethead, and he was there too.  Let’s re-visit this awkward moment:
>
After that weird-ass disaster, I think it was Kurt Loder who started peppering Axl backstage with questions, and the main one was “When is Chinese Democracy coming out?”  Axl danced around it of course, what was up with those cornrows???  GN’R’s follow-up of completely new material since 1991’s double album, Use Your Illusion 1 & 2, would not be released for another six years.  Chinese Democracy finally saw the light in November of 2008, although several songs had leaked in the previous two or three years prior because I was still working at a rock station when we played “I.R.S.” I though it was bold Axl snuck in “Madagascar” in between “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Paradise City” at the VMAs.  We’ve all read what the band we used to know as Guns N’ Roses has become: a mish-mosh of rock musicians and the only one who stood strong was the mysterious front man Rose who had annoyed his former bandmates with trying to take one of history’s greatest “in your face” rock bands and turning it into something like Queen.  It’s crazy, but Rose wanted it. 
Fast-foward through countless South American tours to the fall of 2011 when it was announced Guns N’ Roses would embark on their first US tour in five years and it is as ambitious as it questionable.  They’ve only completed a few dates, but the important fact is, they have completed all the dates so far.  When I heard of this tour and yes, there will be a show in Nashville on December 4th, I totally shook my head and I doubted every bit of it.  Then on Friday, an interview with Axl, conducted by the hosts at VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show aired.  I was unable to see it in real time, wait, we went over this already.  Luckily, the YouTube Gods smiled on me today and I was able to see it!  And? I’m a little disappointed.
Mainly because I was hoping Axl would be a little more open about why his original band had to break up.  Eddie Trunk pointed out Guns N’ Roses is now eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; will they be inducted with old members, new members, or what?  Axl sort of evaded it, but then I found out he has in fact had successful reunions, on-stage, with both Duff McKagan and his old songwriting buddy, Izzy Stradlin.  I knew Stradlin bailed when things with Guns got really artsy, for example, “Estranged”.  Sure, he co-wrote a lot of the Use Your Illusion material, but Rose’s ego chased him away.  I was glad to hear all those guys are trying to mend fences.  As for Slash, the hosts did not directly ask Rose about what their current relationship, if any, is like, and I’m sure Rose decided pre-interview he wasn’t going to talk about Slash and that’s fine.  Axl went into why he’s so late for shows; according to him, it’s been a lifelong problem.  Although he didn’t say it out right, Rose strives for perfection for the fans which now include kids who weren’t even born when Guns started their rock revolution almost 25 years ago.  As for Rose’s voice, I was shocked to hear it was just as good as it was 20 years ago; there is a performance clip of “Live and Let Die” from the Miami show the band played prior to Axl’s sit down with Trunk, Don Jamieson, and Jim Florentine.  I think Rose learned some valuable lessons from that awkward VMA appearance; he’s not running around the stage as much like he used to and he’s just singing; that’s all he needs to do.  Botox, cardio, and vocal exercises have been kind to W. Axl Rose.
(a rare look into the eyes -gnrdaily.com)

Faith Hill Returns To The CMAs With Serial Killer Hair

(people.com/wireimage)
For the first time in a couple of years, due to work, I missed most of the CMA Awards and I’m not happy about it.  However, I was able to catch the last 30 minutes and the last 30 minutes provided something scarier than American Horror Story (which was also on last night, still loving it!), Faith Hill’s hair!  Okay, Hill made her first appearance on the CMAs since 2006; she is trying to mount a comeback with a new single, “Come Home”, and she is expected to release a new album in early 2012.  I have to say I’m not impressed with the song, which I was told by a friend was originally recorded by One Republic with Sara Bareilles; I haven’t heard it but I will find it today.  Performing on the CMAs is always a challenge; I’ve noticed the sound/mics are not always the best, but Hill can’t blame the sound, she sounded rough.  And to top off her rough performance was that hair, does it look similar to this?
(wearysloth.com)
Charlize Theron’s Oscar-winning performance as serial killer Aileen Wurnos is the first picture that popped in my head when I got a good look at Faith’s hair.  Oh Lord.  By no means do I think Hill is ugly or do I think she’s a bad performer, but her styling on stage was a bit tragic. I mean the sheer shirt, really?  It reminded me of 90s Reba wear.  Of course, when I saw Hill’s red carpet look, I was a bit stunned:
 (people.com/wireimage)
Although she missed her mark (see the duct tape X?), she looked a 100% better here.  No, the hair didn’t change, but the dress was nice, very glamorous.  I just worry Hill won’t be able to make the kind of comeback we all want to see.  My fear is she’s already peaked; her peak was a little over 10 years ago when “Breathe” became a huge crossover single and the album of the same name sold nearly 10 million copies.  She hasn’t won a CMA Award herself since 2000, when she took home her only “Female Vocalist of the Year” award.  I guess I’m little cynical because I love the Faith before Breathe, when she was still blurring the lines of country and pop.  The pressure will be on for Hill to try and acheive that crossover status a la last night’s “Entertainer of the Year” winner Taylor Swift.  At 44, can she do it?  “Come Home” was released to radio yesterday; see what you think.

The Diva Known As Axl Rose Will Speak

Yes, the reclusive Guns N’ Roses front man/dictator W. Axl Rose will finally speak out about all the crap he’s directly responsible for this Friday night on the season premiere of VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show.  The interview was conducted after GNR’s show in Miami on October 29th, so just about two weeks ago.  And it was conducted at 5:30 in the morning.  Only Axl folks.  Two preview clips have been posted at vh1.com (THERE SEEMS TO BE SOME TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES WITH THE CLIPS, you should be able to see one clip at the fore mentioned link) and they are both confusing, yet insightful.  For one thing, hosts Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson, and Jim Florentine seem very passive and they constantly nod their heads as Axl speaks.  I’m sorry, but if I was the host, I would be a little more aggressive, even if Axl ended up throwing a temper tantrum and walking out on the interview.  The man has been throwing a temper tantrum for 20 years and I would really like to know why?

Yeah, Axl is a funny guy. What the hell man?  And you’ll notice Axl has kept his face looking the same, go easy on the Botox pal!  Yes, Keith Richards is a miracle of modern science, but he is old and you can tell he is old.  Axl will turn 50 next year.  Guns N’ Roses have started a US tour, although if you go to the band’s website, none of the US dates are listed.  I’ve even heard Nashville is on the slate; I’m skeptical.  I’m not able to post the other preview clip (player error on vh1 site) but Axl goes into the reasons why he’s so late for shows, and it should be mentioned GNR was late for the Miami date before the interview and didn’t hit the stage until 3 am.  It’s as if Axl wants the perfect show every time and I don’t understand why he thinks this way.  It’s the same reason he uses Botox I guess.  The That Metal Show interview with Axl and his random band member will air Friday night at 10pm (Central) on VH1 Classic…I’m bummed because I don’t have VH1 Classic; I’ll have to get my sister to DVR it or I’ll hopefully be able to catch it online.  I can’t wait to see this.

Will The Real Stacy Francis Please Stand Up?

This is how we, the unassuming public, were introduced to Stacy Francis on The X-Factor.  Francis claimed to be a 42-year-old single mom who had never been given a chance.  Not so fast whoever you are!  What the streaming tears and the runnning mascara covered up was a singer with quite a diverse and a substantial resume’ in the music business prior to stepping on that stage to land a spot in X-Factor Boot Camp, then land an invitation to be part of the “over 30s” category, and now, she has landed in the finals which officially start tomorrow night. 
Okay, is Stacy Francis the first person to enter a competition and not be honest about her past? No, but it seems everyday lately, a new story surfaces about Francis’ real career path.  I see a bit of a double-standard in Francis’ situation.  Both Javier Colon, who won the first season of The Voice and fellow finalist Dia Frampton both had had record deals prior to the competition, yet the press is continuously crucifying Francis for her past gigs.  Is it because Simon Cowell is involved?  Is it because there is so much at stake? As you are aware, the winner of The X-Factor will receive a $5 million recording contract.  And surely, Francis has never been paid that much money in her professional career, but still, for someone else, like Melanie Amaro for example, this may or may not be her chance of a lifetime. 
So, here is a list of Stacy Francis’ gigs:  she was a member of 90’s R&B girl group, Ex-Girlfriend (I don’t remember them), Francis has done both Broadway and West End musicals (both Footloose and Dreamgirls have been confirmed), the weird one: she was asked to perform at Tom Cruise’s birthday party in 2004, and the fresh rumors allude to Francis may or may not have performed with Whitney Houston, Madonna, Chaka Khan (probably true), and Madonna. 
I’m not sure how upset we should be about this.  I’m a little deceived, but in reality, now that all of this has come out, and since there are more talented folks in the competition, Francis probably won’t win.  The pressure on her to come clean is increasing everyday, it will be interesting to see what factoids will be revealed next.  She probably has a SAG card, so hell, what else can fall out of her closet?  Just stay online and you’ll find something.