American Idol and North Korea In The Same Blog

I swear I go into every week thinking about one great thing to write about and then my non-diagnosed ADD kicks in. So, I’ll touch on a few things that have been on my mind, foreign and domestic.

Speaking of foreign…

"Um, not unless you have JAWS" (digitaltrends.com)

“Um, not unless you have JAWS” (digitaltrends.com)

Yes, North Korea’s new Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un has many aspirations of attacking someone other than South Korea, but why anyone would be concerned is beyond me. You can watch all those videos of N. Korea’s nelly-looking military, alas, don’t be frightened my babies. I think what’s more frightening is this propoganda video showing how Americans live. We apparently eat and drink a hell of a lot of snow. Do the N. Koreans really buy this nonsense? We all live in tents and abandoned buildings and it looks like we are rescued at the Disney monorail at the end. If anything, this video is a perfect plant for examining homelessness somewhere, I’m not sure all of that video was shot in the US. And although N. Korea has almost always been a dictatorship, the US will not intervene, at least not until we fear their weapons are stronger than a Nerf dart gun. Moving on…

That suit is so bad. (American Idol Facebook)

That suit is so bad. (American Idol Facebook)

I predict 2013 will be the year the American Idol ship finally sinks. Why? Well let’s begin with the sinking ratings. Idol’s target demographic (18-49) continues to abandon the reality monster every single week. Does it still come in at no. 1 every Wednesday night? You bet, but the show isn’t pummeling the competition like it used to. And for the first time, vote totals are really, really low. Despite the new SuperVote, which is where you can submit 50 votes online however you like, something or someone is still not bringing in hordes of numbers and viewers. My brief thoughts on the new judges. I like Keith Urban, but he’s very much a “yes man”. Viewers are not liking Nicki Minaj, but she is the best damn thing to happen to the show in 12 years. Okay, I still miss Mr. Cowell, but Minaj has mutated Cowell’s biting critcism, Paula’s incoherency, and Randy’s, well Randy’s nothing into real and honest critiques. And last, and certainly least, Mariah Carey has contributed nothing and they are paying her way too much to sit there and play with her hair. Well, she did contribute a fistful of glitter after (ICYMI) Candice Glover’s bad-ass cover of “Lovesong”. Golf clap for Mimi. And then, there’s this Lazaro problem. Here’s what I think is happening. Uncle Nigel (Lythgoe) is somehow manipulating the voting to where Lazaro, despite his poor-ass singing ability, yet “inspirational story” hook is keeping him around. It’s really embarrassing, yet how much behind the scenes prodding and manipulating is going on, no one really knows. And even though he has earned (?) a spot on the Idols Tour, there is no way in hell I would let him go out there every night and not only embarrass himself, but embarrass the Idol brand. I hope Kree Harrison, although she really needs to step up her performance style, wins, if not, Candice Glover for sure deserves it. But if Lazaro goes to the finale or wins? Mass viewer exodus will ensue.

Finally, I saw the new Evil Dead…eh.

 

 

 

Skyfall–The Stuff That Happened This October First Week

Sometimes my brain hurts, not my head, my brain. Most nights I can’t sleep because I have about a billion thoughts running through my head from “what am I eating tomorrow?” to “What happened to Britney Spears’ face?”, I’m serious here. This past week was a biggie for pop culture and the state of the union. Although I won’t be able to cover everything, I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on the highlights. Let’s do this!

First, this picture of former third party Presidential candidate and billionaire H. Ross Perot:

“Now see here, I’m a G-man!” (upi.com)

Okay, the photo is six years old, but I find it humorously fascinating. USA Today recently interviewed Perot and basically, he’s not impressed with President Obama or Governor Romney. Imagine that. Plus, he’s not all that confident a third party candidate can shake things up anymore. He may be old, but he has a point. Roseanne Barr, who is running as a candidate for the “Peace & Freedom” party is on the ballot in only 3 states right now and I just discovered her running mate is…Cindy Sheehan, oh dear. And I find it interesting Barr is NOT on the ballot in the state where she makes her home now, Hawaii. Hey, every little bit counts. I salute you HRP!

A Hot Mess of a Debate and Romney Wants to cut PBS (Big Bird reference required).

“You son of a bitch, a Muppet?” (za.news.yahoo.com)

Ah, the Presidential Debates. The four, now three chances the country has left to decide who would be better at doing the President thing. Frankly, Wednesday night’s debate, to me, came off as a hot mess. God bless Jim Lehrer, he tried to set the time limits, he tried to get in a word edgewise, bless him. Romney came off as if he had chugged a case of 5 Hour Energy and Obama, sans teleprompter, was like “seriously bitch?” The President wasn’t at his strongest and the Governor pounced and he pounced hard. And Romney, who stated he would cut PBS, did it by evoking the name of one of the network’s most popular character’s, Big Bird, oh bitch, you made a big boo-boo there! When did educational television become so taboo? At least you have to give Romney credit, he outright said he would do it, that’s rare honesty. Next up, the VP debate in Danville, KY. No, I won’t be going. Security will be mega-tight. And pep up Barack!

The Maybe Made-Up Nicki Minaj/Mariah Carey American Idol feud.

This show needs all the help it can get, even if it’s at the expense of a false claim of violence. So, you may or may not have seen the video of Minaj losing it over Carey’s diva-tude. Oh, what the hell, let’s watch it again, courtesy of TMZ.

Even if this is all a publicity stunt as Minaj claims, it’s not good for viewers, who for some odd reason, still love the show. And then Mariah Carey told Barbara Walters that Minaj threatened to shoot her. Is Uncle Nigel really this desperate? I say yes. Of course the producers gloss over all of this by saying that this panel is the most “dynamic and passionate they’ve ever had.” Right. One of my friends said we may not see Minaj by the time the show airs in January. I say that’s a fair statement, or at least the producers will threaten to fire her and there’s go the publicity machine again. I’m over it.

The Lone Ranger trailer debuts to a less than stellar reception.

Bruckheimer, Gore Verbinski, Johnny Depp! How can this go wrong? And to be fair, this is the first trailer. But the first trailer is key. It’s too bad most of this one has way too much production logo nonsense. Eh, here it is.

The First Look At Courtney Stodden and Doug Hutchison on VH1’s Couples Therapy.

Unfortunately, I have to link to this clip, and I have no words. Click here!

Adele’s Bond Theme “Skyfall” Debuts…and it’s awesome!

Since the British mega-songstress is getting read for the birth of her first child, this may be the last new music we hear from her for a while and it’s really good. She’s left us in a good place. Enjoy.

The movie will hit theaters on November 9th.

Oh and the St. Louis Cardinals, dodging bottles and other drink receptacles, survived their Wild Card playoff against the Atlanta Braves and will now enter the Division series to face the team my brother-in-law roots for now, the Washington Nationals. So annoying. Red October is here!

 

 

Doomsday Comes Early Or ‘Idol’ Keeps Randy Jackson AS A JUDGE?!?

Apocalypse Yesterday! (Flickr/tanyagelman)

You know, for a few weeks there, I thought the American Idol producers had finally come to their senses. They were going to shift Randy Jackson from the judges’ table to a mentoring role on the show next season in order to make room for an all-star judging panel, headed by his old buddy Mariah Carey. Unfortunately, some dreams just don’t come true.

Both TMZ and TVLine broke the news today that Jackson has indeed been thrown a lifeline and he will remain at the judges’ table for another season; 12 seasons, 10, soon-to-be 11 years, I smack my head. And you know why I bet Jackson is staying as a judge?

“I give my all, to this mediocre dawg.” (Flickr/Music Star22)

I also believe all that talk about a “fourth judge” a la Kara DioGuardi, then Ellen DeGeneres, has now been reserved for Jackson, who will join Carey, and two judges, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban, who have both still been unable to sign the dotted line. No matter the outcome on just who will be joining the old married couple, American Idol is finished! Yes, like the Mayan calendar that ends on December 21st, I predict the upcoming season of ‘Idol’ will be its last. At some point, Fox has to acknowledge they have other better shows to focus on and to promote, not so fast GLEE! I’ll have to reserve my comments for another post, but I think GLEE has to step it up or they are in danger. I’ll just say this, I know the network is trying to keep its audience after The X-Factor USA by putting the dramedy on Thursdays, but I thinks it’s a cop out and we’ll never see if GLEE can compete with season 3 of The Voice. A friend pointed out to me last night, this is the second run of The Voice this year, which is smart. ‘Idol’ always launches in late January/early February, it ends in May, and it’s another eight months until the next season.

The wild card in all of this is The X-Factor USA which finally premieres its second season, with Britney and Demi Lovato in tow, this week. Simon Cowell  expressed upset after NBC revealed last week an extra installment of The Voice would go head-to-head with the premiere of The X-Factor USA this Wednesday. I’m not sure, but it may just be for this week or for the duration of the Blind Audition rounds. It’s going to be a dogfight for sure, on-screen and off.

And I know I’ve said this before, I hope ‘Idol’ keeps Jimmy Iovine, who would make a great fourth judge, oh well…

As Expected, Steven Tyler And Jennifer Lopez Exit Idol, Randy Jackson M.I.A.

(cmtradiolive.com)

I’ll be honest, I never thought Steven Tyler or Jennifer Lopez were the best American Idol judges. Away from the show, both are talented entertainers who know when to leave. So is Idol really a sinking ship? Not necessarily, but whomever takes those judging seats will have to exceed expectations big time. The Adam Lambert story has quieted down since early this week, but I would say he’s definitely in the running for a seat whether it’s taking Randy’s place or one of the big name seats.

So, what about the Yo Dawg? His camp, if he has one, has stayed quiet on season 12 contract negotiations. I read somewhere this week that Jackson could possibly stay on the show as a mentor. Excuse me? I’m sorry but why would a someone who is not know for singing be a mentor in a SINGING competition? Come on Idol, grow a pair! Do you really want to sign another multimillion dollar paycheck over to Randy Jackson? I’m not saying that all that money has been wasted, but enough is enough.

The current names being thrown around for judges include, Mariah Carey, who missed out on a mentoring role in season one of The X-Factor USA, Mary J. Blige (eh, maybe), and Celine Dion, I like that one. Perez Hilton is once again campaigning (not sure if he’s completely serious) for a judge’s seat. Perez would be good, but I don’t think he’s a familiar enough name to certain audience age groups, aka, the older ones. I think the idea of throwing a younger artist into the mix as a judge is really the direction the producers need to go. Katy Perry would be great, but she’s extremely busy. Now if you’re telling me the producers are “considering” Miley Cyrus, back that thing up! Not a good idea. The other younger names rumored to be on the list, Nicki Minaj (wild card!) and Fergie, yes, Will.I.Am, NO!

At this point, I would like to see: Adam, maybe Jimmy Iovine, and I’m undecided on who the female judge should be. Oh wait! Shania Twain was great when she guest judged some auditions and she mentored one week, two years ago (???) However, Twain’s name has not come up so far, or I should say, yet. It wouldn’t be a complete curve ball, but it would change the game for sure.

I just pray Nigel Lythgoe’s contract is NOT renewed! Stay tuned…

A Possible Hefty “Price Tag” For Jessie J Or “Domino” Might Be A Rip Off

Okay, this is what I was going to write about originally yesterday. By the way, concerning yesterday’s post on famous people/athletes coming out of the closet, it was not my intention to diminish the process of coming out, meaning when anyone, famous or not, comes out. Shock value can be good or bad, in this case, it was definitely exciting to watch the day unfold. I have to remember to write with a lot more clarity, so if I offended or confused anyone, I apologize. Now..

I had seen the headline about Jessie J being hit with a copyright lawsuit over “Domino”, but I hadn’t read the whole story. Then over the weekend, a couple of friends brought it to my attention. Have you ever heard the song “Bright Red Chords” by California pop rock band Loomis & the Lusts? I didn’t think so, but you might recognize the melody in the song’s verses.

And for the comparison.

I believe Will Loomis has a case. On the band’s website, the main headline links to the copyright lawsuit story. So, what happens next? Jesse J’s camp has yet to comment, the writers credited for “Domino” include the artist herself, uber-pop producer Dr. Luke, Claude Kelly, who co-wrote “Price Tag” as well as hits for Kelly Clarkson, Britney Spears, Adam Lambert, Toni Braxton, the list goes on: Martin Sandberg, and Henry Walter. In fact, Jessie J, Luke, and Kelly wrote Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A” Just a random factoid.

Of course, this isn’t the first time a big name star has tried to capitalize on a previously written melody. There are dozens of cases; Mariah Carey has been twice, one for “Hero” and one for “Make it Happen”. One I just read about, involves Men at Work’s biggest hit, “Down Under”. The band lost a suit in 2010 after not crediting the flute line at the beginning, which is based on the Australian nursery rhyme, “Kookaburra”. Like to hear it? Here it goes…

Men at Work (RIP Greg Ham, the dude playing the flute)

One more example that I think of as soon as I hear “copyright infringement” In 1997, the Rolling Stones released “Anybody Seen My Baby?” and the chorus melody is an exact copy of the chorus melody in k.d. lang’s biggest hit, “Constant Craving”. Fortunately, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were wise to credit lang and her co-writer Ben Mink on the track. And for the hell of it, let’s compare! You’re just listening for the choruses.

Now, the Stones (Just who is that with the shaved head? She’s hot! I will envy Brad Pitt for the rest of my life.)

We’ll see how the Jessie J. situation develops….