Friday, February 26, 2010

Survivor Week 3- Candice, HELLO!!!

This is always the point in Survivor when it starts to drag. It's not the new and fresh beginning anymore, but they haven't gotten to the rough and tumble style of game play that we get after the merge. It's just this tribe is doing this, that tribe is doing that, blah blah blah. Sure some of these characters are better than your normal crew, but I feel like the producers get into such a flow of how they want a season to go, that they drown out how good of a cast they actually have right now. Has Tyson really gone three weeks with less than five minutes of airtime?

Most ridiculous action of note this week was performed by Candice. She spills her guts to J.T., telling him that she doesn't trust Cirie. Why she did this is again beyond me. After she is confronted about it, Candice then spends the next five minutes running around camp trying to figure out who spilled the beans. In my best Herman Edwards voice, HELLO!!! Maybe it was the dude that you just told, and who by the way you have no prior relationship or alliance with. Why in the h-e- double hockey sticks would he keep your dirty little secret?

The Heroes finally won an immunity competition and did it in dominating fashion. Of course it was purely physical because these heroes can't do anything mental to save their torches. How come some dude's ridiculous and mean behavior is awesome (Russell hiding things of importance around camp), while others makes you want to slap them (James throwing his fighting block at a fallen Randy in the mud)? This James dude just rubs me the wrong way. Am I alone on this?

Punch Face Champions

Russell (Villains)- W3 (4)= 4
Danielle (Villains)- W3 (4)= 4
Sandra (Villains)- W3 (4)= 4
JT (Heroes)- W3 (4), Im (8)= 12
Tom (Heroes)- W3 (4), Im (8)= 12
Week 3= 36 Total= 107

Kick Puncher III

Coach (Villains)- W3 (4)= 4
Courtney (Villains)- W3 (4)= 4
James (Heroes)- W3 (4), Im (8)= 12
Stephenie (Heroes)-
Cirie (Heroes)- W3 (4), Im (8)= 12
Week 3= 32 Total= 57

Redwood Original

Boston Rob (Villains)- W3 (4), Votes (-4)= 0
Parvati (Villains)- W3 (4)= 4
Colby (Heroes)- W3 (4), Im (8)= 12
Sugar (Heroes)-
Candice (Heroes)- W3 (4), Im (8)= 12
Week 3= 28 Total= 48

DJ Roomba

Tyson (Villains)- W3 (4)= 4
Randy (Villains)- Votes (-36)= -36
Jerri (Villains)- W3 (4)= 4
Rupert (Heroes)- W3 (4), Im (8)= 12
Amanda (Heroes)- W3 (4), Im (8)= 12
Week 3= -4 Total= 43

Fantasy Idol Results- A Rod Out Early

So one week of live Idol has come and gone and I have to say that I don't have a good feeling about the season ahead. That's not to say that the show has been great after one week of performances before (other than season two which was always fantastic), but this group looks pretty useless.

Maybe I was alone on Tim Urban was God Awful Island, but when he's making it through after a performance like that you know we have problems. Last night's results show was all but the same as always with Ryan slowly letting us know who is leaving us this week. Unfortunately the results were broken up by a performance by the terrible Allison Iraheta from last season. Was I the only one who fast-forwarded through the second half of this song 'cause it was so bad? I didn't get why they were promoting her return to the stage more than the current champion Kris Allen. "Oh we also have last year's winner here to perform a fantastic rendition of Let it Be."

On to the results. It's always interesting to me during these episodes when they don't give you actual Bottom Threes or Twos or whatever. Instead we just get to endure the suspense of Ryan pairing the final two contestants in a certain row and letting it be known that one of them is going home. Tonight those pairings were Janell Wheeler/Katie Stevens, Ashley Rodriguez/Didi Benami, Joe Muñoz/Tim Urban and Tyler Grady/Alex Lambert. The guys' pairings were great because most thought Urban was done and Lambert could have easily left us this week. But I don't understand the ladies' duos. Were we supposed to be worried that KS or Didi were going home? Again should've put them next to those that we might have thought were on their way out (Haley Vaughn).

And so with the first week of Fantasy Idol over, Mags is most likely crying in his soup (and then sending it to Andrew Bogut). Not only did his first round (3rd overall) pick get eliminated, but also his second round pick. Ouch. I'm wondering if any of the boys at Wall Street watched this with him or were there when he found out, because that is embarrassing. Yes Ashley Rodriguez and Joe Muñoz are gone. I don't think they should have left this early but they are gone. The bad news for Mags is that one of his final two players is Haley Vaughn.

I did lose one of mine in Tyler Grady, but I'm more than willing to sacrifice my team for the sake of the show. This dude was weird and I'm happy he's gone. Lar lost Janell Wheeler, but he will make do with two of the best dudes of the week in Casey James and Lee DeWyze.

Fantasy Scores

Andrew Garcia- Safe (1)
Paige Miles- Safe (1)
Aaron Kelly- Safe (1)
John Park- Safe (1)
Total= 4

Didi Benami- Safe (1)
Lilly Scott- Safe (1)
Lacey Brown- Safe (1)
Michael Lynch- Safe (1)
Total= 4

Katie Stevens- Safe (1)
Jermaine Sellers- Safe (1)
Katelyn Epperly- Safe (1)
Alex Lambert- Safe (1)
Total= 4

Todrick Hall- Safe (1)
Crystal Bowersox- Safe (1)
Tyler Grady- Eliminated (-2)
Michelle Delamor- Safe (1)

Casey James- Safe (1)
Janell Wheeler- Eliminated (-2)
Tim Urban- Safe (1)
Lee DeWyze- Safe (1)

Ashley Rodriguez- Eliminated (-2)
Joe Muñoz- Eliminated (-2)
Haley Vaughn- Safe (1)
Siobhan Magnus- Safe (1)
Total= -2

Thursday, February 25, 2010

American Idol- Sabotaging the Guys

If the girls night was underwhelming, last night's top 12 guys was brutally awful. I really could care less if any of eight dudes went home tonight. That brings me to the worst conspiracy idea the Idol producers have had yet. So it's pretty obvious that they want a girl to win this year, and that they want at least three girls in the top four. I'm assuming this is because the guys have been so dominant recently with Lambert, Allen, Cook and Archuleta all being in the past two finals.

Even if Simon hadn't said that it's the year of the girls we all would have seen the writing on the wall. What did they do? They booted out a number of very talented guys before America gets to do the voting so that there is no way for them to outshine the females. Most notably it was Jeremy Purifory and Thaddeus Brown, but I'm sure there were plenty of others. I knew that these two were a couple of the best before they were cut and after watching last night's group of misfits it was even more obvious that it was a good move by the producers. Who knows how many other great voices were out there that the editing cut out because they didn't want us to even know about them. Now I'm going to have to listen to Aaron Kelly and Joe Muñoz for multiple weeks? Bootleg!

As for last night's judging, I think they all took another step backwards. Hey guys just a head's up, you can't tell people it wasn't good because you didn't change anything and then tell them it wasn't good because you changed the song. You can't have it both ways. If you want to just go on feeling that's fine. A song can just not have sounded good. If you reasoning for why it was bad doesn't make sense then don't come up with one. Just say it was bad. That would have a lot more substance.

And now we get to my newest gripe with the show. I'm sick of all these people who bring guitars with them on stage for absolutely no reason other than to look like you have a guitar with you. At least Lee DeWyze and Casey James attempted to play, but the background music was so loud that it makes their little strumming moot. Michael Lynch, on the other hand, didn't even touch the strings on his guitar while on stage and that is just like slapping Jason Castro in the face. Andrew Garcia, like Castro and others from the past two seasons, used his guitar with a purpose. One out of four ain't bad I guess.

And so we get to the performances.

There are seven contestants I could care less about. Before we get to them, I have to mention the one that needs to go home tonight. Tim Urban may have put forth the worst performance in live American Idol history. As JJ said to me last night, I just felt so bad for him while he was up there destroying Apologize. Like Katie Stevens last night, Urban attempted a song done by one of last season's greats. The current champion killed the One Republic song less than a year ago and instead of killing it, Urban butchered it last night (such a different slang meaning for such similar words). Every time he attempted to go into the falsetto part I wanted to kill myself. I really want to know who was watching him during rehearsal and said "yeah this is a good idea." Somebody with a sick sense of humor that's who.

Now to those I could care less if they left or moved on...

Aaron Kelly- uninspiring performance with a weird country twang
Jermaine Sellers- though showed some potential he screamed through most of this
Joe Muñoz- very boring, but would've been good at a karaoke bar
Tyler Grady- sounded like a big voice but couldn't tell with that horrid song
John Park- I might have fallen asleep during this one
Michael Lynch- again the non-guitar playing did him in for me
Alex Lambert- he sounded like me trying to copy someone's voice while I sing in the car. Like me, he failed.

There were three contestants that I enjoyed but were less than impressed with. Todrick Hall's take on Kelly Clarkson's Since You Been Gone was interesting. He seems to be a fantastic performer (with his dancing background) and he showed that he definitely has some ability with his voice. I liked the sound of Lee DeWyze's voice even if it seemed to just be a homeless man's David Cook. And Casey James was very copy cat of Brian Adams in his performance and not really that powerful, but I still really enjoyed it (especially as he laughed through the first two lines because of whatever shenanigans Kara and Randy were up to).

And there was the moment that the judges were drunk, because I don't know what they were thinking with their assessment of Andrew Garcia's fantastic performance of Sugar We're Goin' Down. They didn't like it because it wasn't like what he did with Straight Up at Hollywood Week. Wait, what? He did the exact same thing! And it was fantastic! In my opinion he booked his ticket to the top four with that one performance. He changed up the song while showcasing his guitar playing and his vocals, just killing the whole thing. Unlike Simon I was absolutely not one bit disappointed with that.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

LOST- The Hugo Reyes Show

I hope everyone enjoyed last night's episode of The HRS. Yes folks it was the Hugo Reyes hour on LOST this week. Hurley definitely put forth one of the best individual performances of the year, with an array of quips and pop culture references.

Although Lardo was the one that shined through during The Lighthouse, this was a Jack episode. For some reason the sideways storyline seems to matter more to me when it has to do with Jack rather than Locke or Kate. Why? Well because the other Locke is dead and we've recently found out that Kate isn't a candidate so how much can she really matter. Every time Jack made a face during the sideways story, I was thinking about how that could translate to the other universe and how these parallel worlds could collide. And to be honest, I'm not hating Jack nearly as much recently.

It was either Sepinwall or Doc Jensen that talked last week about how the similarities in the sideways stories are so interesting, but this week I loved all of the difference we saw in Jack. Whereas Locke seemed to be in a much better situation in sideways 2004, Dr. Shephard seems to still be extremely troubled in this other universe. The most notable difference...he has a kid. So far it seems as though he has been just as much of a bad parent as Christian was. He is divorced, but we do not exactly know to who.

Back on The Island we got to follow to major arcs. Hugo and Jack's adventure to The Lighthouse and Jin being saved by Crazy Claire. Although a complete nutbar, I absolutely would take this extremist Claire over the annoying whiny Claire we knew before. I loved Jin having to backtrack from telling Crazy Claire that Kate took her baby. Luckily she is so mixed up in her own wackiness that Jin's unease while explaining to her that The Others actually had baby Aaron went unnoticed.

And we finally get to the Hugo Reyes Show. Jacob made his triumphant return to Hurley's side to explain that someone was coming to The Island and he needed Hurley's help in finding it. Of course the big man did what Jacob asked of him, even if he had to write it all down on his arm. When the Seventh Samurai finds him snooping around The Temple, Hugo simply explains that he's "a big fan of temples, history...Indiana Jones stuff." Him trailing off towards the end was what made it work so well.

After Jacob tells him that he needs Jack to go with him, Hurley breaks out his best Manny Delgado impression and pretends to tie his shoe while coercing Jack to go on the adventure with him. "Be cool man. Act natural." Of course it takes a while to get stubborn old Jack to go along with the plan, but he finally is down when he learns that Jacob told him that "he has what it takes." As we learn later in the episode, Christian Shephard always used to let Jack know that he did not have what it takes. When Jack demands to know where Jacob is, Hurley throws down yet another brilliant pop-culture reference in explaining that The Island God is dead and "turns up whenever he wants like Obi Wan Kenobi."

Once Hugo and Jack make it to the Lighthouse they discover the Wheel with the Mirrors (for some reason I find it necessary to capitalize every object on the Island). Obviously the Wheel has all of the numbers on it. Jack sees his name and turns the Wheel to it. The Mirror shows the house he lived in as a child and freaks the F out, smashing Jacob's Mirror to pieces. I didn't think it was quite a smart move at first, but then realized that Jacob is dead and he wasn't much of a fighter when he was alive anyways. So was this Wheel just a way for Jacob to spy on his candidates, or was it another way of attracting them to the Island? I guess we shall see.

So Hurley freaks out when Jacob isn't more upset that they broke the Lighthouse. Jacob, in all of his calmness, explains that the person who needed to get to the Island will find it another way. He also lets Hurley know that he really needed to get him and Jack away from the Temple because someone bad (MIB) is coming there. Since Sawyer and Jin were already out of the Temple, Jack and Hugo were the only other candidates he need to help escape. That must mean that Sayid is no longer a viable candidate because of his new darkness. I guess we can cross number 16 off the cave ceiling at this point.

Other Points

-Claire knows that The Others have her baby because first her father told him and then her friend did. Well how obvious was it that her friend, and her father for that matter, were both The MIB.

-Another great quote by Hurley, "This is old and me trekking through the jungle on our way to do something that we don't quite understand...good times."

-The sign at David Shephard's audition/recital said "Welcome All Candidates." And so Jack walked right in.

-In some of Jacob's last words of the episode we got this, "Sometimes you can just hop in the back of someone's cab and tell them what they're supposed to do. Other times you have to let 'em look out at the ocean for a while." This dude would be better a better Zen Coach than Phil Jackson. He knows just how to cater to everyone's needs.

American Idol- Mags's Cousin and MamaSox Lead the Way

For the Simon-proclaimed year of the girls, not a single chick left me that excited after the first live show. There were definitely some that were good, but there were also some that were just okay and a couple that were flat out bad last night.

Let's start with what may be my weekly Kara rant. Both Pops and I realized last night that it isn't even the ridiculous things that she says night in and night out that annoy me anymore. In fact it doesn't matter what the words are that come out of her mouth, it's how she says them. No matter what she says, I want to slap her in the face as soon as she begins to speak.

Ellen, who I enjoyed during Hollywood week's edited segments, didn't fare as well in her inaugural live show. She seemed nervous with the first couple of contestants and didn't have many great comments throughout the entire show. Her highlight was explaining that Katelyn Epperly was "interesting to me. It made me wanna pay attention to you." That's the type of armchair judging I was expecting from her. She doesn't have a musical background but she still can have reasons for why someone did well or not. Ellen just didn't do enough of that last night, but I'm sure she'll get better (unlike Kara who has gotten worse and worse every week).

Now on to the contestants that failed to wow me last night.

Let's begin with the two that I think should be going home after last night's performances. Haeley Vaughn, or Lips, was absolutely the worst one of the night. She screeched through the entire minute and a half of I Wanna Hold Your Hand. I loved the risk of changing up a Beatles tune, but that risk did not pay off in this case. Lacey Brown's Landslide was not much better. As it started I got excited because it's such a great song, but then she started singing and it was all downhill from there. When Ryan asked her why she chose that song she explained that she liked it and then talked about what the song meant. Once again people, these are not good reasons for choosing a song to perform on Idol.

Then we get to the hodgepodge of middling contestants that did nothing to shine more than the rest, but when all is said and done should stick around for another week. On the lower end of that spectrum we had Paige Miles, Ashley Rodriguez, Janell Wheeler and Katelyn Epperly. Of the four, Epperly was the only one that showed potential for a decent run later on in the season. The other three all picked big songs and couldn't deliver a less than boring performance.

The three okay contestants that put forth quality performances were Michelle Delamor, Didi Benami and Katie Stevens. Delamor showed the ability to use both power and tenderness in her rendition of Fallin', while Didi's underwhelming performance still had the ability to leave me wanting more. KS of the CT pulled the risky move of taking on Feelin' Good less than a year since Adam Lambert killed it. Although her performance was just about half as good as Ms. Lambert's, half as good as him is still strides better than most of these jokers.

Not sure my feelings will probably flip after next week's performances, but these are my three front-runners after last night. Lilly Scott, Siobhan Magnus and Crystal Bowersox. Lilly had the advantage of going directly after three contestants that failed to step up to the plate. Even though I had never heard Fixing A Hole before, I could tell that her rendition had to be different than the way the Beatles did it. Either way...she had a very interesting sound, and just like JJ has an interesting look. This performance felt extremely comfortable and terribly current. Very good.

Maybe it's because I imagine Nicolas Cage calling me honnay whenever I hear this song, but I thought Mags's cousin's Wicked Game was fantastic. Her ability to change from her regular voice to falsetto was great. I do not know how El Pres does it, but the man at Barstool might have done it again, only this time he picked a winner out of nowhere.

And then we have the girl that Slezak and the rest of seem to be backing at these early stages. MamaSox's vocal performance wasn't anything to write home about last night, but she absolutely showed promise for the future. Add to the mix that she played both the guitar and the harmonica extremely well, and you get quite the performer. She controlled the whole performance and kept me interested and as a bonus it seems as though she used some white strips since Hollywood Week.

Who agrees/disagrees with the Kid?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Catching Up- Dexter Season 1

From the ilk of The Sopranos and Sons of Anarchy, Dexter tries to get its audience to like its protagonist that does terrible things. Just as Tony Soprano and Jax Teller kill people from time to time due to there gang/mob tendencies, Dexter Morgan kills from time to time due to his inherent need to murder people in order to ease his pain. Although Dexter follows his foster fathers code of only killing those that have done major wrongs (murderers, rapists, etc.) it still is much easier to sympathize with the other two.

Don't get me wrong I still like Dexter, but there is always this little bit in the back of my mind saying, "don't like him too much, he is a serial killer!" Maybe it is just that he is a serial killer or maybe it's the way he cleans them up and wraps them up in cellophane before doing them in that makes it more difficult to continue to want good things for him.

Season one of this Showtime drama was very good. What made it especially good is what makes me think that the next few seasons won't be able to compare. Not only was there a fantastic mystery throughout the 12 episodes, but this first season also played as a origins story for our man Dexter. While he continued to help his sister Deb and the rest of the Miami Police Department find the Ice Truck Killer, he was also figuring out who his real family was and where he actually came from (helping both Dexter and the audience figure out why he turned out the way he is). Unless they figure out a story as interesting as Dexter's origin to coincide with season two's mystery, I expect it to not live up to the first season's glory.

Other Thoughts

-Dexter sounds a lot like Danny McCoy (Josh Duhamel) so that is definitely a positive.

-LOST's Jacob shows up midway through the season and totally ruined his mystical value on The Island drama.

-Dexter's ridiculously weird character makes the show interesting by itself. All of his different little quirks keep you guessing as to what he is all about.

-I'm not sure what characters on this show I really like. Maybe that's why I don't rate it as one of my favorites after 12 eps. I don't like Deb, Rita, Doakes or Laguerta so that's never a good sign.

-Biney definitely creeped me out from the beginning. What was Deb thinking?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Survivor Heroes vs. Villains- Week 2

Boston Rob Mariano went through a ridiculous couple of days during this week's Survivor. After once again complaining that no one in his tribe wants to do any work he decided to stop putting in the effort and join his fellow lazy friends.

Here's where things get interesting. Boston Rob started to talk about how he wasn't feeling well. No one, including myself, thought anything of it, but as he began walking through the woods he just passed out. The dude fell on his face in the woods. When Probst and the medical team got to him he had woken up but was looking terrible. He could hardly speak and looked like Joe Buddens when he tried to drink out of the water bottle.

When Rob uttered the words, "It's getting the best of me," I couldn't help but laugh out loud. It definitely felt like he was acting at that moment. He was trying to be vulnerable for the audience. If that's true I commend the dude. When he claimed that he had a moment of clarity I got worried, but then when Rob explained what that clarity was it was all for the best. The dude figured out that he passed out from being too good. He needed to get back to the villain that he was in Survivor's seasons past. What a great moment of clarity.

He followed up that great moment in the woods with one of the best challenge performances I've seen in a while. While the Heroes tribe was busy arguing with each other the Villains worked together to win the second immunity challenge in a row. Every single Hero thinks that they are something special and all needed to give their opinion on what needed to be done. On the Villains side, on the other hand, everyone took a step backseat to Boston Rob. He took the leader role and yelled at everyone what to do. It was great to see the likes of Russell, Coach and Tyson as silent worker bees for an entire competition. Villains are working competitions like clockwork right now.

Punch Face Champions

Russell (Villains)- W2 (2), Im (8)= 10
Danielle (Villains)- W2 (2), Im (8)= 10
Sandra (Villains)- W1 (2), Im (8)= 10
JT (Heroes)- W2 (2)= 2
Tom (Heroes)- W2 (2)= 2
Week 2= 34 Total= 71

DJ Roomba

Tyson (Villains)- W2 (2), Im (8)= 10
Randy (Villains)- W2 (2)= 2
Jerri (Villains)- W2 (2), Im (8)= 10
Rupert (Heroes)- W2 (2)= 2
Amanda (Heroes)- W2 (2), Votes (-12)= -10
Week 2= 14 Total= 47

Kick Puncher III

Coach (Villains)- W2 (2), Im (8)= 10
Courtney (Villains)- W2 (2)= 2
James (Heroes)- W2 (2)= 2
Stephanie (Heroes)- Votes (-24)= -24
Cirie (Heroes)- W2 (2)= 2
Week 2= -8 Total= 25

Redwood Original

Boston Rob (Villains)- W2 (2), Im (8)= 10
Parvati (Villains)- W2 (2), Im (8)= 10
Colby (Heroes)- W2 (2)= 2
Sugar (Heroes)-
Candice (Heroes)- W2 (2)= 2
Week 2= 24 Total= 20

Friday, February 19, 2010

American Idol- Draft Day

Although I am currently on a road trip and won't be able to view this week's Survivor until Sunday, I did get a chance to check out the final Hollywood Week episode of American Idol when it aired on Wednesday. While Ellen's first two weeks of action have showed promise, I won't truly get a chance to evaluate her performance as an Idol judge until the live shows begin next week. This post is about the Quiet Pool's third installment of fantasy reality tv. It is the first season of fantasy American Idol.

I gotta be honest, I wasn't expecting to get five other dudes that would be as excited about drafting American Idol's top 24 semifinalists as I was. Lar and Mags, of fantasy Survivor and Big Brother fame, were chomping at the bit to get in on the Idol action this winter. JJ, who has watched every season of Idol since the master piece that was Season Two, gladly accepted the offer to pick his favorite contestants. Rizzo and Ty are new to the singing show, well except for making fun of it on a consistent basis, and are in it for the long haul in Season Nine. So there you have it. Six contestants to pick 24 Idols.

With much less to score than its reality brothers, fantasy Idol scoring will have all to do with who makes it through, who gets cut and who gets in the bottom three. With each week that passes, the performances will matter more and more. You may think you should get major minuses for getting out first, but at that point nobody really cares about you so who cares if you get out during week one of the semi-finals.

When it gets down to the top four or five contestants and you forget the lyrics a la Jason Castro, you deserve to get majorly penalized for letting down your fans in that moment. So as your points for getting through each week will increase as the Idols get fewer and fewer, the negative points for getting ousted by America or earning a spot in the bottom three will also gain steam as we chug along on this karaoke adventure.

And now we get to the draft itself. As Erik Karabell and the boys at ESPN do when analyzing their expert fantasy football or baseball drafts, I will give some analysis on my pick each round and any other thoughts on the picks of my competitors.

Round 1
1. Tyson- Andrew Garcia
2. Me- Todrick Hall
3. Mags- Ashley Rodriguez
4. Lar- Casey James
5. JJ- Didi Benami
6. Rizzo- Katie Stevens

My Pick: After Andrew Garcia was taken off the board I went with Todrick Hall because 1) he seems really sweet and I'm gonna enjoy rooting for him, and 2) his version of 'I'm Yours' during Hollywood Week was better than any other I've heard (including Mraz's).

Other Picks: I feel Didi Benami and Katie Stevens were both solid picks based on the fact that it seems it is a year of the females. For all the love Ashley Rodriguez seems to be getting on Wall Street, she received hardly any screen time during Hollywood Week which isin't always a good sign (although it didn't seem to hurt Kris Allen at all).

Round 2
7. Rizzo- Jermaine Sellers
8. JJ- Lilly Scott
9. Lar- Janell Wheeler
10. Mags- Joe Munoz
11. Me- Crystal Bowersox
12. Tyson- Paige Miles

My Pick: I was pumped that MamaSox fell to me at 11. EW's Michael Slezak is already driving the Bowersox bandwagon and his backing seemed to do well for Allison Iraheta a year ago. This girl has much more talent than Iraheta could have dreamed of and many others are calling her a favorite at these early stages.

Other Picks: I again like the front-running girl picks of JJ and Larry in this round. Lilly Scott and Janell Wheeler have both been given a ton of screen time early on and have shown that they have the chops to be top ten competitors. Joe Munoz and Paige Miles, on the other hand, haven't had more than a few seconds of time in front of the camera. At least Rodriguez got some play early on. These two haven't been seen until they made it through.

Round 3
13. Tyson- Aaron Kelly
14. Me- Tyler Grady
15. Mags- Haley Vaughn
16. Lar- Tim Urban
17. JJ- Lacey Brown
18. Rizzo- Katelyn Epperly

My Pick: I couldn't remember much about Tyler Grady's singing abilities when draft day came (I missed the first 10 minutes of Wednesday's ep), but I remembered he had a very outgoing personality and I felt his quirkyness could win over many viewers. His weirdness could also pull the plug on him early.

Other Picks: Hard to find anything wrong with picks this late in the game. if there was one pick other than my own that I liked the best this round, it was Rizzo's Epperly at 18. Like her more than any of the others picked before her here.

Round 4
19. Rizzo- Alex Lambert
20. JJ- Michael Lynche
21. Lar- Lee DeWyze
22. Mags- Siobhan Magnus
23. Me- Michelle Delamor
24. Tyson- John Park

My Pick: With only two contestants left, I had a choice between a dude (Park) that I thought had potential to do well and a chick that I hadn't seen at all yet in the competition. My only reason for picking Delamor was that I did not want three dudes and only one girl on my squad.

Other Picks: It took until pick 22, but Mags finally buckled down and selected his cousin. Nothing else of much note other than there really isn't any chance of Alex Lambert doing well is there? Not with that last name.

After a great draft let's get ready for another great season of Idol.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

LOST- Crunching The Numbers

If you aren't filled with extreme excitement after watching that episode of LOST, then you might want to check your pulse because you are probably not alive. If last week's What Kate Does was a bit of a setback, last night's The Substitute brought everything back around. Is that because The Island story dealt mostly with Sawyer and the MIB? Probably.

Let's cut right to the chase. The MIB and Sawyer climb down the side of a mountain to get to the inside of a wall-cave. Here is where the magic happens. We finally get to The Numbers! And what is it? Oh just something me and Larry predicted a couple weeks ago in The Poolcast. Each person on The List has been assigned a number by Jacob.

What numbers?
8- Reyes
15- Ford
16- Jarrah
23- Shephard
42- Kwon

First reaction is that 42 has to be Jin because it seems Jacob is very sexist. How do I know this? Because Kate was not given a number. Anyone have a reason why she would be a candidate? Well because Jacob thinks females are terrible and incapable of protecting The Island. So that's what these six people are...candidates to take over Jacob's position as Island Protector. That is why Locke was allowed access to Jacob's four-toed statue, because he was one of the candidates.

So obviously Locke was the best candidate because of his obvious love for The Island, but sadly he is dead. Unless parallel world Locke crosses over and becomes the new protector. Is anyone going to take over for Jacob? And if so, who will it be?

If MIB wants to leave The Island so badly, what is stopping him now? Jacob is dead, how come he can't just get out of there (if Jacob was the thing stopping him before this). Or maybe when he says he wants to escape it's not from The Island, but from the hold it or Jacob has over him. My theory is that it has something to do with that little kid in the jungle. The one that told MIB that "you know the rules, you can't kill him."

What I don't get is why after he heard that, the MIB screamed out, "Don't tell me what I can't do!" He's not Locke, he just looks like him. Is he now becoming like John Locke the more he takes on his shape? And how come that chick said that he is now stuck looking like Locke. Is that also because Jacob is dead? What else has changed to make it so that he can't change his form into another person? We do know that he can still change into Smokey. So there's that.

This was definitely just a whole bunch of rambling, but that's what LOST will do to you sometimes. Looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Other Thoughts

-Nice reappearance by Gemma Teller Morrow as parallel Locke's girlfriend. After two weeks of sideways stories I can say that they are absolutely taking away from The Island stories. They better pay off in the end with a huge cross between storylines, or they will be all for not.

-Before MIB gets Sawyer, he is "recruiting" Richard. What was his plan with him? We do know that he would have never kept Richard in the dark like Jacob did all this time.

-Sawyer, "Of Mice and Men...know that one?" MIB, "Nope...little past my time." Love that.

-The MIB's monologue about how he was once a man like Sawyer, capable of feeling emotions, was fantastic.

-Ben Linus's eulogy was also great. "He was a better man than I'll ever be and I'm sorry I murdered him." Classic.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Quiet Poolcast: Episode 3- Son of a Panther

So T-time finally finished catching up on the first two seasons of Sons of Anarchy. He joined me for the third episode of The Quiet Poolcast yesterday. T-time, who correctly guessed HRG's first name after the first few episodes of Heroes, is back in all of his analytical glory as we discuss the ins and outs of the first two seasons of my second favorite drama on television right now, Sons of Anarchy. We also start to conjecture what's going to happen in season three, premiering next fall.

Just as The B.S. Report brings in Adam Corolla to come up with new movie ideas, T-time has stepped up to the plate and come up with a new series idea. It's a double spin-off for Sons of Anarchy and Friday Night Lights. Here's my one sentence pitch...Tim Riggins starts the West Texas chapter of Sons of Anarchy after getting a hold of John Teller's SAMCRO manuscript while in prison. Who's picking it up?

Check out Episode 3 of The Quiet Poolcast here.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

NBA Saturday Night- In a Dunk Funk

After Vinsanity left us all speechless at the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Contest with his array of gravity defying jams, the event went into a complete lull for the next half of a decade. Honestly, does anyone remember what Desmond Mason, Fred Jones or Josh Smith did to win this thing? The terribleness of the event culminated in 2006 when Nate Robinson was awarded with his first title because he's shorter than me. The fact that it took him 17 tries to finish his final dunk should have gotten him fives across the board, but instead he won and I continued to hate the contest.

It was in 2007 when the competition was revitalized as Dwight Howard made his first appearance and Gerald Green took home the crown. Howard may try to be funnier than he is at times, but his ability to use creativity at this event is never frowned upon by me. From his putting a sticker at the top of the backboard while throwing it down to Green dawning Dee Brown's jersey while covering his face on a dunk, it was all gold. Green won the title with a windmill while jumping over a table. Yes my friends, we were back.

The next season was when Dwight and the Dunk Contest came into its own. He started off by throwing one off the back of the backboard, catching it behind the glass and throwing down a windmill with the left hand. Something so athletic we had not seen since his current teammate VC back in Y2K. Defending champion Green fought back with his most creative attempt to date as he blew out the candle on a cupcake that sat on top of the rim, while stuffing one home. Green, I might add, had plenty of other dunks in 2008 that would have gone for 50 against this year's challengers. But it was Dwight taking the whole thing to another level as he put on the Superman shirt and cape and dunked it (honestly it didn't matter what dunk he did at that point). When he alley-ooped it to himself, tapped it off the backboard with his left and dunked it with his right, he capped off a night of pure entertainment that we had not scene at NBA All-Star weekend since Vince's craziness back in 2000.

Last year, although in no way could have matched 2008, was quite another fantastic night as Dwight and Nate Robinson had plenty of gimmicks up their sleeves (even though they left the incredible dunks at home). Between Dwight getting changed into his cape in a phone booth and bringing in an 11 foot hoop, to Nate changing into his green uniform as he became Kripto-Nate it was again a great contest with plenty to get excited about.

That brings us to last night's debacle of an event. I don't even know where to start with what we were given by these idiots. Reggie Miller was actually telling the truth when he kept saying that these were the dunks that the dudes sitting around the Calabasas YMCA would throw down. It was so boring that it actually became interesting. How bad were they going to be? Were they really not going to use any props or gimmicks? Did no one think of a new dunk this year? The longer it went on, the funnier it got that this was actually the NBA Slam Dunk Contest. The announcers really shined during this moment as they grabbed on to the sentiment of every single person watching and made fun of how bad the dunkers were doing. So Nate Robinson wins his third title when one of his two final dunks was a regular two handed jam?!? You guys are joking right?!?

Unless they want this thing to turn back into what it was in the early 2000s they need to find guys like Dwight that are going to keep it interesting. I'm not saying Dwight has to keep coming back. He's done it three times and gave us more than we could have asked for. But come on fellas. I know the creative dudes are out there. Just come out next year and give us another show. If I don't deserve that than all is wrong in the world. After all, I do watch the NBA All-Star weekend and the NBA Playoffs, but no regular season games. I am a devoted fan.

Other Thoughts On NBA Saturday

-The best of Saturday's festivities was definitely the announcing crew- Kenny, Chuck and Reggie were absolutely on their game.

-Three-point Shootout is easily the most bland aspect of the day (probably because I know I coulda beat half of those dudes back in my prime).

-Shooting Stars competition is sufficient because you always like to see dudes hit half-court shots.

-Then we get to HORSE. An event that could be fantastic, but in these last two years has been terrible. The major problem is in picking your contestants. If Kevin Durant and Rajon Rondo aren't two of the least personable dudes in the NBA I would be shocked. Rondo seems to have as much personality as a door knob. Chris Webber is screaming out Rondoooooooooo for 30 seconds and you don't crack a smile, or even a death stare? Are you a robot?

Okay so you aren't going to get good talking, charismatic guys, then stop talking and let them take more shots. Stop showing replays and analyzing their next moves. Just heave up the crazy shots. That leads us to our next problem. None of these dudes do fancy shots on the regular? You are professional basketball players. You're in the gym all the time. I've seen dudes do crazy shots on youtube all the time. Figure it out.

I honestly had much more fun watching my boss play against CCSU's Ken Horton in a game of HORSE Saturday morning than I did watching these three jokers. Not only did the Durantula not have any crazy shots, but he embraced the fact. He said his plan was to win with regular shots. No one wants to see that KD!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Survivor Heroes vs. Villains- Week 1

After the season premier of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains I have one immediate thought on the game play of these supposed All-Stars and plenty of immediate thoughts on the players themselves. Let's just start with this...

"Sometimes you gotta go retrieve dragon eggs," Coach Wade, the Dragon Slayer.

It was quite an exciting moment watching all of the past players come to Samoa via the choppers. I, being someone who has only seen the past three season, can't imagine what it must be like for someone who's been watching for the past ten years. As for the contestants themselves; many of them are looking around, amazed to be in the same company as so many Survivor Greats.

Immediate Game Play Thoughts

Right from the announcement of this All-Stars season, I was looking forward to watching a game get played by plenty of people that want to actually play. Last season it was fun watching Russell toy with everyone on the entire island of Samoa, but I also think it would be fantastic to see a multitude of people playing just as hard. That is exactly what I thought we were getting as this two hour episode progressed.

Maybe it was only the first day, but I was completely wrong. After the Villains won the immunity challenge, the Heroes had to make their first decision on who to send home. The obvious first choice that everyone came up with was Sugar. She's terrible at challenges, doesn't do anything at camp and is ridiculously annoying. Then one by one (or so the producers wanted us to think) different members of the Heroes tribe came up with alternative choices for who should get sent home first. Whether it was splitting up a Tom/Stephanie alliance, getting rid of Amanda because she's made it to the final two twice before, or stepping on Cirie's mind games early, almost everyone came up with a better idea than voting out Sugar.

What happened at Tribal Council? Of course the editing was a misdirection, as Sugar got every vote but her own. Is not one of these so-called All-Stars brave enough to make a move early in the game. Sure Sugar's not going to help in the challenges, but some of these other girls (I include Rupert in that) might not either. Why not get rid of someone that could vie for something meaningful down the road? I expect this from a bunch of novices, but I really didn't see it coming with these guys. Disappointing.

Immediate Player Thoughts

Boston Rob and Parvati- These are two players from older seasons that I had never seen before, but had heard great things about them and picked both of them for my fantasy squad. After two hours I am thoroughly impressed with the both of them. Boston Rob just seems like a guy that gets things done. He only showed a glimpse of his game playing skills, but I liked the move. When Probst inquired about how camp was for the villains, he portrayed it to be much worse than it actually was, failing to mention that they made fire without a flint. Speaking of...Boston Rob made fire by rubbing two sticks together! I've never seen it happen before so that is automatic stud status.

Parvati seems really awesome so far. Her conversation with Russell this week was fantastic. The self-proclaimed 'best Survivor player of all time' did his usual thing, going up to a number of people right at the beginning and telling them he wants to go to the end with them. After it seemed to go over well with Danielle, he went right to Parvati. Although a couple of people from last season, Betsy? in particular, realized he was full of it, none of them embraced it the way Parvati did last night. She knew he was lying to her, and that he was doing the same thing to plenty of people around camp, but it didn't stop her from enjoying it.

"I definitely feel like with Russell, I'm making a deal with the Devil, but I want the Devil on my side," Parvati.

Rupert- At the beginning of the episode Probst mentioned that this dude was one of the most liked contestants in Survivor history...pause...Is he kidding? I hate this guy more than anything. I didn't think he could get any worse than his two minute intro video, but I believe he did last night. Referring back to Boston Rob making fire with no flint, this dude couldn't even do it with a flint. Terrible.

Coach and Russell- These are the two guys that I look at with the fondest of memories in recent Survivor history. After last night's two hours, they are in two completely different boats for me. Russell's schtick has worn off for me. Maybe it was just last night, but it seemed as though he was saying the exact same things as he did the first time. Ohhh I'm the best player ever. I'm gonna manipulate all these people. Is that all you got? 'Cause if so, I'm a little over it.

Coach, on the other hand, did not disappoint. His schtick may be the same, but he at least comes up with new things to say. What comes out of his mouth might always have to do with being a Dragon Slayer, but that in turn leads to new quotes such as the one used above, "Sometimes you gotta go retrieve dragon eggs." The other underrated aspect that Coach brings to the table, is that he brings out the best in Jeff Probey Probst. Probst loves to make fun of Coach to his face, and everyone, including Coach, loves it. He embraces it. They combined for the best line of the night when the Villains were on a boat in the water Probst exclaimed, "Coach leading the villains, using all of that life experience in a kayak."

Punch Face Champions

Russell (Villains)- W1 (1), Im (8)= 9
Danielle (Villains)- W1 (1), Im (8)= 9
Sandra (Villains)- W1 (1), Im (8)= 9
JT (Heroes)- W1 (1), Reward (4)= 5
Tom (Heroes)- W1 (1), Reward (4)=5
Week 1= 37 Total= 37

DJ Roomba

Tyson (Villains)- W1 (1), Im (8)= 9
Randy (Villains)- W1 (1), Im (8)= 9
Jerri (Villains)- W1 (1), Im (8)= 9
Rupert (Heroes)- W1 (1), Reward (4)= 5
Amanda (Heroes)- W1 (1), Reward (4), Votes (-4)= 1
Week 1= 33 Total= 33

Kick Puncher III

Coach (Villains)- W1 (1), Im (8)= 9
Courtney (Villains)- W1 (1), Im (8)= 9
James (Heroes)- W1 (1), Reward (4)= 5
Stephanie (Heroes)- W1 (1), Reward (4)= 5
Cirie (Heroes)- W1 (1), Reward (4)= 5
Week 1= 33 Total= 33

Redwood Original

Boston Rob (Villains)- W1 (1), Im (8)= 9
Parvati (Villains)- W1 (1), Im (8)= 9
Colby (Heroes)- W1 (1), Reward (4)= 5
Sugar (Heroes)- Reward (4), Votes (-36)= -32
Candice (Heroes)- W1 (1), Reward (4)= 5
Week 1= -4 Total= -4

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Quiet Poolcast: Episode 2- Chuck, Chuck, Loose

This past Monday's episode of Chuck was the last one before it takes a break for the Olympics. Apparently there was a big uproar over what went down in Chuck vs. the Mask. I wasn't at all upset about the fact that Chuck made a move to get with new Nerd Herder Hannah and Sarah showed some interest in Captain Shawsy. In fact I liked it a lot. Last Friday, while recording the second episode of The Quiet Poolcast, Lar and I came to the conclusion that this situation was going to happen soon and we were loving it. Hannah is awesome and Chuck will be able to have an actual relationship for a while. Don't get me wrong, I'm as much of a fan of Chuck and Sarah as a couple as anyone, but you can't have them playing cat and mouse throughout the entire series. If Schwartz and Fedak get to end this thing when they want to, doesn't it make sense that the whole thing ends with Suck (that's Sarah and Chuck) finally settling down together for a happy normal life together? I think so anyway, and you can't get there by having them not pursue others in the meantime.

So in the second episode of The Quiet Poolcast Lar and I begin by talking about this season of Chuck so far, I rant a little bit about WWF/WWE because of Stone Cold Steve Austin's appearance in Chuck and then get into a long convo about 24 past and present. This week's episode didn't counter any of the negatives that we talked about regarding the start to this season. Somebody tell Cole Ortiz to step his game up pretty quickly or I'm gonna lose it!

Check out Episode 2 of The Quiet Poolcast here.

LOST- Claire's Return

It seems that when our good friends Lindelof and Cuse said that this final season of Lost would resemble the first season, they weren't joking around. When we started with the Oceanic 815ers, the story telling would switch back and forth between the chaos that was occurring on The Island* and the back story of a certain character by way of a flash back. As we begin to conclude the greatness that has been this series, the story telling is of a similar fashion. Only now it seems they will switch back and forth between the chaos that is occurring on The Island and a quasi-back story of a certain character by way of the parallel universe.

*EW's Doc Jensen asked his Twitter followers if it was supposed to be The Island, the island or the Island and The Island won the vote.

Last night that certain character was Kate. And in her parallel reality where Oceanic 815 does not crash found her fleeing for freedom by way of a cab driven by the Puppet Master. The only part of this story that had any significance was the fact that Claire was involved throughout. She was in the cab that Kate commandeered, and Ms. Austen eventually made her way back to the pregnant Aussie in order to return her stolen bag of baby stuff. The problem was that Claire began her labor and needed Kate to help her get through it. Of course Kate, being the extremely nice murderer that she is, helped Claire get through her tough time in the hospital. The connection between these two is important because back in the parallel universe that we know and love, Kate took care of Claire's baby Aaron after leaving The Island as part of the Oceanic Six. Whatever the case may be, all this parallel story did was take away from the intrigue that was the story on The Island.

Of course I am upset that we did not get to see what was going on with the Man In Black, Linus and Richard, but the people on the list made for some good stuff at The Temple. The most interesting aspect of this whole episode was the dynamic between Dogen (Asian Temple Leader), Lennon, Jack and Sayid. Jack, like a sane person, wants to find answers for why Sayid is alive and why The Temple people have them captive. Obviously Dogen is all about secrets and won't say a word (of English anyway).

Dogen and Lennon explain that they need to take Sayid for a moment, now that he is once again alive. In their back room, Dogen just tortures him for a bit* and then sends him on his merry way. Lennon explains to Sayid that they were testing him and he passed. He then admits to Dogen that he just lied to Sayid about passing. So he failed the test? Why because he could feel the pain of the hot poker? So after failing this so called test, their next move is to kill him by way of poison? Interesting. What is the reasoning for all this? They go through all the effort of saving his life in the Magic Water, and then they go ahead and want to mirk him with poison?

*My first thought was that they were going to do to everyone on the list the bad things that they have done to others. So after they finished torturing Sayid, they would murder Kate, con Sawyer out of money, operate on Jack's back, marry Jin and then be a jerk to him, and then win the lottery with unlucky numbers which causes bad things to happen to only Hurley.

Instead of giving Sayid the poison like Dogen wants him to, Jack needs to find out what it is first. His attempt to swallow the pill has Dogen immediately giving him the heimlich in order to save him from the poison Jack is about to intake. Why is Jack so important to keep alive, but Sayid needs to be dead? Aren't they both on the list?

The Temple story finishes with Dogen explaining to Jack that Sayid has been claimed, which led to this fantastic moment from the wise man, "There's a darkness growing in him and once it reaches his heart, everything your friend once was will be gone." Jack of course asks the question of how does this dude know this. Dogen's response, "It happened to your sister (Claire)."

Cue Claire at the end of the episode sniping two of The Others beating up Jin. How hard was she, looking like a little Rousseau-esque. Although the title of the episode was What Kate Does, it seems this episode was almost more about Claire with her role in Kate's parallel story, and the fact that we see her on The Island for the first time in forever.

Other Thoughts

-Two mentions of people being on the list in this episode. When Sawyer is trying to leave The Temple, Dogen simply states, "You have to stay." Again, for some reason all of the people on this list have to be at The Temple. Then we had the two dude that were trying to keep track of Kate and Jin. One of them claimed "He's one of them," about Jin. Again this has to be about him being on what we think is Jacob's List. What all of them are need for is yet to be figured out.

-Could Sawyer get any better? This dude is so ridiculously hard as he makes his way out of The Temple with his gun pointed at all of The Others. He then gets back to Dharmaville where he finds the ring that he was going to use to propose to Juliet and starts to shed some. Then he up and chucks the ring into the the water. Stud.

-Sawyer explains why Sayid gets to come back from the dead. "He's an Iraqi torturer who shoots kids. He definitely deserves another go around."

-Miles jokes about what the audience was thinking the entire first episode of the season. "As you can see, Hugo has assumed the leadership that's pretty great."

Anyone have any new theories?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Poolies Watch- New Sports Awards

Today we unveil two new categories for the Quiet Pool Television Awards. The second annual Poolies will be granted with the Award for the Best Sports Talk Show and the Award for the Best Sports Talk Personality.

I have yet to come up with a name for the Best Sports Talk Show Award because I can't think of any shows of this type that are retired. There will be five shows nominated and it will be these five. I'm pretty sure these are the only good sports talk shows out there, although a recent list I saw ranked The Sports Reporters as the best ESPN program of all time. You kidding me?

Best Sports Talk Show

Around the Horn
First and Ten
Mike and Mike in the Morning
Pardon the Interruption
Sports Nation

Here's where it gets tricky. I'm thinking of naming the Best Sports Talk Personality Award after Craig Kilborn. He was never on a sports talk show, but he did host SportsCenter and then went on to host his own late night talk show, so I think it's good enough. He was my favorite SportsCenter host back in the day and one of my favorites of all time.

Stat Boy is easily the front runner to get my first place vote. Just as Seinfeld says "George is like a school girl around him," speaking of Dan Cortese's guest spot as Tony, I feel the same watching Tony Reali beat up the contestants on Around the Horn. Just like Costanza's dream friend, Stat Boy is "such a cool guy."

At the Top
Mike Greenberg- Mike and Mike
Tony Kornheiser- PTI
Tony Reali- ATH and PTI

In for Now
Jay Mariotti- ATH
Mark Schlereth- Mike and Mike
Michelle Beadle- Sports Nation
Mike Golic- Mike and Mike
Scott Van Pelt- SVP Show
Skip Bayless- 1st and 10
Woody Paige- ATH

Outside Looking In
Bill Plaschke- ATH
Colin Cowherd- Sports Nation
Erik Kuselias- Mike and Mike
J.A. Adande- ATH
Jim Rome- JR is Burning
Michael Wilbon- PTI
Tim Cowlishaw- ATH

Who does everyone else like? Anyone I'm missing? Any suggestions for a name of the first one?

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Quiet Poolcast: Episode 1- Larry Gets LOST

This past Friday I went on a grueling hour and a half road trip to my alma mater for alumni basketball weekend. After picking up the incomparable Larry, we embarked to the city of Poughkeepsie, NY in the friendly confines of my Nissan Rogue. As a fellow tv lover, Larry and I passed the time by discussing the latest of our viewing pleasures. Although it was awkward of me to ask, we eventually figured it would be sweet to record the conversation for future reference and thus the Quiet Poolcast was born. In today's first episode of the Poolcast Larry and I discuss the season six premier of LOST. The parallel worlds, Jacob vs. the Man In Black, The Numbers, and a common hatred of Jack all come into play during this 20 minute conversation.

Check out the Quiet Poolcast here.

Follow me on Twitter @quietpool. Follow Larry @larrington_bevy.

Super Ads- Google and a LOST Parody

Sure if my Colts had won last night I probably would be writing about the game instead of the commercials, but I'm too upset to even think about football right now. For the first time since I started working a year and a half ago, I failed to listen to sports radio on my win in to the office, because I did not want to hear anything that Boomer, Carton, Mike or Mike had to say about the game, the Colts, or Peyton. It is a very sad day at the Pool.

Anyway...on the commercial side of things, there were a few highlights. It's seems to be the fad nowadays to talk about the Super Bowl commercials as if they were at one point fantastic and are now garbage. I don't have that vivid of memories of the ads from long ago, but I feel like most regard the past higher than it deserves. It was never the case that all of the ads at the Super Bowl were fantastic. There were some doozies in the past and there were some clunkers. You obviously don't remember the awful commercials. What makes the Super Bowl commercials such a big deal is that they're all new. You know that you're going to see ads that no one has seen before, and that is exciting. Some will be decent, some will be bad, and maybe one or two will be memorable years from now, but I don't think the Super Bowl commercials are any worse today than they were years ago.

Top Five of the Night

5. Casual Friday
This ad features a lot of people working in their underwear. It makes the list only for the co-worker's line at the 25 second mark, "Nice pants, Terry."

4. McDonald's: LeBron & Dwight Play HORSE
Okay, so it aired just before the Super Bowl, but I'm counting it anyway. As a Magic fan, I continue to be sad at how hard Dwight Howard tries to be funny (and inevitably fails). This makes it for the Jordan/Bird nostalgia factor. Bird's cameo at the end obviously made me hate him just a little bit less.

3. Hyundai: Ten Years
Like most of the country (I assume), I have begun to hate Brett Favre over the past four or five years. Here's the thing though, I think he's been doing the right thing recently in embracing his idiocy. The fact that he has begun to make fun of himself for retiring/unretiring/wavering so many times in commercials has gotten me to like him only a little bit more. This ad, where he claims that he is older than most of the coaches, owners and fans, is good.

2. Google: Search On
Maybe it's because I love Google, or maybe it's because I currently have a strong affinity towards France, but I thought this ad was simple yet fantastic. Google seems to just do most things better than everyone else. I felt as if I was taking this journey with this fella ad the soft piano played in the background.

1.Bud Light: Stranded
Okay, okay. I love LOST. And this was basically a LOST parody. Having said that, this Bud Light ad was good regardless of your television drama preference. These people are in dire straights, and instead of wanting to get off of this deserted island, they'd rather party with some cold brews. Best line was easily the captain at the 20 second mark, "Here we go."

Thursday, February 4, 2010

American Idol- Judging the Judges

Now that the terribleness that was this year's American Idol auditions are over, we can get down to brass tacks* here and talk about what has gone down so far. To be fair, I don't really pay that much attention during these eps, but it seems as though the quality is way down this season. No one has stood out at all so far. Having said that, last year's winner was never shown in the audition episodes, so they have that going for them. Other than the Pants on the Ground guy, I'm not gonna remember a single audition from this season. Speaking of the latest Idol craze, Jimmy Fallon's version he did on his show was just fantastic.

*I recently heard this phrase for the first time in a while and realized it is fantastic, but I had no idea where it came from. After doing a bit of research on wiki, it seems nobody really knows.

The only part of the auditions that is really worth talking about is obviously the judges. Sadly Paula is gone and while the producers took their time finding her replacement, we got guest judges for each of these audition sites.

  • Victoria Beckham- blah
  • Mary J. Blige- blah
  • Shania Twain- annoying
  • Kristin Chenowith- insightful
  • Avril Lavigne- cute
  • Katy Perry- FANTASTIC
  • Neil Patrick Harris- annoying
  • Joe Jonas- blah

Going into this season of American Idol, there was only one out of the eight guest judges that I had any pre-conceived opinion on, Joe Jonas. He's fantastic on JONAS and in Camp Rock, but here he was either to scared to say anything or the producers just cut everything but "yea" out of the episodes.

Posh, Mary J., Avril and Joey didn't bring anything to the table as judges. Kristin Chenowith seemed to know what she was talking about and made an effort to give some pointers, but was still boring in her approach. Then we get to my two least favorites of the guest judging era. Shania Twain and Neil Patrick Harris, although most people loved them, were incredibly annoying. Neil was just trying to take over the whole panel and it just didn't work for me. Shania, meanwhile, seemed to almost be a reincarnation of Mary Murphy from So You Think You Can Dance. Off the wall and having no idea what she was talking about. Kinda like Paula on speed, except unlike Ms. Abdul, the things she said weren't ridiculous enough to be funny.

And then we have the one guest judge who could and should take a permanent seat behind the table. She was funny, she was honest, she was mean when she needed to be, and by golly she got into plenty of fights with the devil they call Kara DioGuardi. Whether it was Katy explaining to Kara that you shouldn't let a contestant through just because you feel bad for them, or Mr. Russell Brand threatening to throw her coke in Kara's face if she continued to sing "I kissed a girl", she was incredible throughout the episode.

She continued to shine, while Kara continued to fall deeper and deeper into her place as one of the worst people on television. After one person auditioned for the judges Kara noted that this guy had just enough 'talent' and just enough of a 'story' to go far in this thing. Katy responded with "This is a Lifetime movie." Although the producers and many of the fans seem to think that the people that go far in this thing should be those that come far hardships and have fantastic stories, Katy, Simon and I know that people should do well because they are good singers and they have the personality to connect with America. That is it. The more Kara tries to come up with new things to say this season, the more she is going be unbearable. I didn't think she could get any worse than what she did to our television screens last year, but it seems she might be up to the task.

With the Hollywood round starting on February 9th, we welcome Ellen DeGeneres as the new full-time judge, as she sits in Paula's vacant seat next to Simon. I have both high hopes and high expectations for Ellen going into the ninth season of Idol. She is nothing like Paula, so I think she will bring a bit of new life to the show. Unlike the other three judges sitting behind the table, Ellen has the ability to come up with interesting and new things to say all the time. She does it all the time, for a living. Yeah I know Simon is usually awesome and says really mean things to the contestants, but sometimes the things he says get repetitive. His repetition will always be miles better than the garbage that flows out of the mouths of Kara and Randy, but it can still sometimes become boring. I feel Ellen has the chance to be insightful and creative up there. Let's just hope she knows anything about music.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Lost- Flashing Sideways

What did I bring to the table for last night's final season premier of Lost? I heck of a lot of expectations. Was I in any way disappointed in the beginning of the end of my favorite television show? Not at all. In this two hour premier Lindelof and Cuse gave us some answers, some more questions, plenty of dramatic moments and a whole bunch of excitement.

During the first three seasons of Lost, flashbacks were used to allow the audience to learn more about who each and every one of these characters were and what they were all about. In the season three finale flash-forwards are installed to 1) excite the viewers immensely with something shiny and new and 2) give us another side of the stories to all of these characters.

In tonight's season six premier we joyously welcome what we are calling the first flash-sideways. The episode begins with Jack on Oceanic Flight 815 just as he was during the pilot of the series.* He's getting plastered and telling good old Rose not to worry about the turbulence (re-watching the pilot a couple weeks ago did enhance my viewing pleasure of this episode). Then the moment when the plane is supposed to be ripped in half doesn't happen.

*Although not entirely the same, because none of the characters have the same haircuts that they did back in 2004. Especially Charlie, who sported the long floppy hair back in season one and now has virtually a buzz cut when the cops take him away for eating his bag of heroin.

I have yet to read/hear anyone else's thoughts on the flash-sides but I figure it can be one of two things. Either this is a flash of what could've/would've been if the bomb had in fact wiped the slate clean, or it is a flash of a parallel universe in which the bomb did in fact work (This gathered from the fact that Juliet tells Sawyer "It worked" through Myles, while dead and buried underground).

Meanwhile, there was plenty going on back on the island. I'm not even going to try an get into everything that happened with the main crew. But quickly, we see that the hydrogen bomb went off in 1977 and the group traveled through time back to 2007? So the bomb didn't kill any of the people around it (even Juliet who was lying right next to it) but instead sent them through time and kept them exactly the way they were right when the bomb went off. Juliet and Sayid, who were about to die at that moment, are still alive when we get to '07. I guess we'll just go with it.

The most intriguing part of the premier, and I'm assuming the entirety of the final season, is the whole Jacob/Man In Black plot (Although I love the name Nemesis, it seems everyone is calling him the Main In Black). We already knew that Fake John Locke was the Man In Black and was also the Smoke Monster, but that didn't deter the fact that when Locke turned into the Smoke Monster, wreaked havoc on the French troupe, and then quickly turned back into Lock was absolutely fantastic! To not only get a grasp on what this Smoke is, but to see it in action, with a thought process, is awesome. As the Man In Black as Fake Locke explains to Benjamin Linus, "I'm not a what Ben, I'm a who," I almost got chills.

Before the Man In Black destroyed the French Troupe, he wanted to speak with my man Richard Alpert. After he was finished with the Frenchies, he came out and got to speak to Richard.

Man In Black- "Hello Richard. It's good to see you out of those chains."
Richard- "You?"
Man In Black- "Me...I'm very disappointed. In all of you."

1) Great television. 2) So Richard was captured by Man In Black? A prisoner of sorts? Am I reading that interaction right?

As we get back to the main group, and the mission to save Juliet fails, it is now time to try and save Sayid. Now that Jacob has been killed by Ben at the end of the last episode, the Man In White can speak to Hurley as a ghost. Because of Hurley's special power, he learns that he must take Sayid to the Temple in order to save him. Once the crew gets there, what?!? This place has been there the entire time?!? I gigantic temple like this? Interesting. So the people there, presumably working for Jacob, attempt to save Sayid by drowning him in some sacred water. At first it doesn't seem to work and Jack, Kate, Hurley, etc. seem to lose faith in everything, but the episode ends with Sayid waking from his death.

And finally we get to see everyone in their parallel universe getting off the plane at LAX. The whole atmosphere just seems really sad. Not only that these people are living troubled or sad lives, but because these parallel Jacks, Sawyers and Lockes will never get to experience all the hardships and triumphs that occurred on the island.

Other Thoughts

  • I was wondering how Desmond's story would change if the bomb never went off and our answer is that he ends up on the same Oceanic Flight as the rest of these losers. Interesting.
  • In what may be an alternate universe because of the bomb, the island is underwater?
  • I loved the dynamic of Ben thinking he was talking to Locke when we knew he was talking to the Man In Black the whole time. I just wish that little bit of dramatic irony could've lasted a bit longer.
  • The hippie with glasses in the Temple is Keanu Reeves gambling buddy in Hard Ball.
  • The Man In Black spoke about Locke with such respect. Speaking about how Locke was the only one who realized that crashing on this island was a good thing. How Locke was the only one who could see that they all left their pitiful lives behind them when the landed here. My beef? Didn't Sawyer realize the same thing and decide to jump off the rescue chopper?
  • Sawyer- "We got caught by The Others again."

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Poolies Watch- 'Crazy' James Zinkand Award

The 'Crazy' James Zinkand Award is given each year to the contestant you most love to hate on a reality competition series. Last year's group of nominees were quite terrible, but this year seems to be overflowing with awfulness and we're only halfway through the reality tv season. With plenty of awful Idol contestants and new seasons of Survivor and Amazing Race on the way, there will definitely be plenty of room for reality contestants that I want to punch in the face.

Of the six contestants that I have topping the list at this point, two I kinda fell bad about. Lisa Leslie is a famous celebrity. She didn't go on The Superstars because she wanted to get famous and show off in front of America. The producers asked her to be on this show because she was a professional basketball player. When she accepted, how was she supposed to know that she was one of the worst human beings on the planet? Do you think she knew that she would be the most annoying person on the series? No, but she was and I kinda felt bad about it.

Gramma Lee is really old. So old that she might have passed away since the airing of America's Got Talent finished in September. That didn't stop me from wanting to slap her across the face every time she got up to do her ridiculously awful stand-up routine. What made everything that much worse, which is always the case on these televised talent shows, is that the judges and America liked her! Every time she got praised from Piers and the Hoff, or she made it through another round, I would absolutely lose it!

And then we come to the awfulness that was the group of idiots that were on Big Brother this summer. Big Bro always seems to get a group of contestants that rub me the wrong way. It's never one or two. It always seems to be a bunch. Last season it was old man Jerry, April and Michelle; this time it all begins with the terrible Natalie, then moves down to the wicked Chima, and Ronnie, and finally Lydia, who is in danger of not making the list because there were so many terrible people on tv this summer and fall.

Topping the List
Chima Simone- Big Brother
Gramma Lee- America's Got Talent
Lisa Leslie- The Superstars
Natalie Martinez- Big Brother
Ronnie Talbott- Big Brother
Shambo Waters- Survivor Samoa

In For Now
Brandi Chastain- The Superstars
Kevin Skinner- America's Got Talent
Lydia Tavera- Big Brother
Sam and Dan- The Amazing Race

Not Gonna Make It
Maria and Tiffany- The Amazing Race
Cheyne- The Amazing Race
Maxx Factor- The Sing Off
Dave Ball- Survivor Samoa