Pop Culture Junkette

Addicted to pop culture.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Just Venting

A few pop-culture related things on my mind lately:

1. I miss Howard Stern on the radio in the morning.

2. I can't wait for Season 3 of Nip/Tuck to arrive on DVD.

3. When it is American Idol season, my week is much happier. I recognize that's a sad reflection of my life.

4. Britney Spears is repulsive to me.

5. Ashley Parker Angel (formerly of OTown, currently of "Here and Back" on MTV) is totally endearing. He was so eager to help with chores around the house during last night's episode - it was sort of precious.

6. I need to start watching #1 Single.

7. US Weekly is my favorite of the trashy tabloid magazines. When given the choice in the supermarket line, 10 times out of 10 I choose that over In Touch, etc.

8. Thank goodness this blog is anonymous. I just felt embarassed for myself reading 1-7.

9. Reese Witherspoon was good in Walk the Line, but not that good; Philip Seymour Hoffman was that good in Capote.

10. I couldn't be less interested in this season's Apprentice.

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Amazing guess

Most of the junkettes have decided to enter a friendly pool to see who can make the best guesses regarding where teams will end up on the new Amazing Race (number nine!). There is a scoring system invloved--every week, everyone makes picks as to how they think the Racers will finish that week. For every team you have in the top three that ends up in the top three, you get a point. For every team you have between 4 and 6 that end up there, you get a point. Same for every team between 7 and 9, and then for the final two teams as well. If you are correct about the exact spot a team ends up in, you get another three points.

I will post the results tomorrow, but here are the choices (blogettes listed in alphabetical order). Looks like BJ and Tyler, Joseph and Monica and Eric and Jeremy are early favorites, while there isn't much optimism about the chances of David and Lori, Danielle and Dani or Lisa and Joni (perhaps if your first name ends in an "i" you are automatically suspect).

Diane Chambers
1. BJ and Tyler
2. Fran and Barry
3. Joseph and Monica
4. Wanda and Desiree
5. Ray and Yolanda
6. Lake and Michelle
7. Eric and Jeremy
8. Danielle and Dani
9. John and Scott
10. David and Lori
11. Lisa and Joni

Red Fraggle
1. Eric and Jeremy
2. Joseph and Monica
3. BJ and Tyler
4. John and Scott
5. Fran and Barry
6. Ray and Yolanda
7. Lake and Michelle
8. Danielle and Dani
9. David and Lori
10. Wanda and Desiree
11. Lisa and Joni

Laura Holt
1. BJ & Tyler
2. Eric & Jeremy
3. Ray & Yolanda
4. Joseph & Monica
5. Fran & Barry
6. Lisa & Joni
7. Wanda & Desiree
8. Lake & MIchelle
9. David & Lori
10. Danielle & Dani
11. John & Scott

Bailey Quarters
1. Eric and Jeremy
2. Ray and Yolanda
3. Joseph and Monica
4. Lake and Michelle
5. David and Lori
6. BJ and Tyler
7. John and Scott
8. Wanda and Desiree
9. Fran and Berry
10. Lisa and Joni
11. Danielle and Dani

Laura Ingalls Wilder
1. Joseph and Monica
2. BJ and Tyler
3. Eric and Jeremy
4. Lake and Michelle
5. Yolanda and Ray
6. Wanda and Desire
7. Fran and Barry
8. David and Lori
9. John and Sott
10. Danielle and Dani
11. Lisa and Joni


A Cool, Dry Place

Ok, I know I'm going to get slammed for this (Wilder has already called me an idiot for it off line) but somehow I got sucked into watching A Cool, Dry Place on WE this weekend. (And by "somehow" I mean that my Tivo wishlist for "Vince Vaughn" told me it was playing and I recorded it.) I'm not proud, but this is why we don't post under our own names.

I loved it. I'm not saying it's a great movie, and those of you who can't stand Joey Lauren Adams' breathy squeaky voice should definitely stay away but . . . I adore Vince Vaughn, and seeing that big gorgeous lug being all tender and sweet with the little kid playing his son . . . well, it was too much. It's pure relationship porn. Seriously. I could tell why it didn't register on my radar when it was released theatrically (assuming it was and didn't go straight to video), as it has a definite Lifetime vibe to it, but . . . if you're feeling sappy and girly sometime, and it's playing on WE. . .


Veronica Mars and Alias are coming . . .

Both of these shows have new air dates, at least according to Kristin Veitch. She says VM will be back March 15, and Alias will be back April 19. Thank heavens. Not at all shockingly for a person whose nom de blog is Laura Holt, I love the spy/detective shows and their absence has left some serious gaps in my tivo now playing list.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Now Drew . . . Get Back With Your Wife!

Well, needless to say, I was thrilled that Drew won DWTS. He was spontaneous, quirky, and loveable. And he made me love Nick and hate Jessica even more.

What I'm also ecstatic about is that he can go back home and be with his wife who is about to pop out their baby at any moment. I imagine it was difficult for her to watch him dirty dance with his ever svelte partner Cheryl as her own tummy grew bigger and bigger by the day.

That's one thing about the show that always makes me uncomfortable - I mean most of the "celebrities" are married, and they are spending 8 hours a day with extremely attractive dancing partners, wearing virtually nothing while they do it. (See, e.g., Lisa Rinna's outfit during last night's finale). You're telling me that Leah Lachey doesn't watch Drew and Cheryl and think to herself: "If you straddle my husband one more time I'll kick your face in" ?

But I digress. I'm happy for the entire Lachey family.

Captain's Choice

Is it just me, or does every event on Real World/Road Rules Challenge result in a "Captain's Choice"? It the wheel weighted? Is everyone on the show too drunk to notice? Why has no challenger complained?


These are some of the latest celebrity couplings, according to my weekend tabloid reading:

1. George Clooney + Terri Hatcher. I have to say that she doesn't seem on his level. Ever since she got all bony skinny and Botoxed, I'm no longer much of a fan.

2. Mary-Kate Olsen + Katzenberg (sp?) fella. I can't help but think that he is good for her. Besides, she seems to look a little healthier these days.

3. Nick Lachey + Alyssa Milano. That's not entirely what I read, but there was a picture of them sitting next to each other at some party and a girl can dream. I love them both, so would be thrilled if they were together. Though when she was with Justin Timberlake, that was sort of weird.

4. Jessica Simpson - Adam Levine. Apparently they are over (assuming they ever began). This based in part on the fact that he gave his number to Kelly Clarkson after the Grammys. Not the most persuasive evidence, but I'll take it. I never thought they were really together in the first place.

It doesn’t hurt as much if you’re not expecting it . . .

or so said George’s potential love interest on Grey’s Anatomy. But it does hurt for this fan, who did not expect to see last week’s fling between Meredith and George, and is hurting now because of the mess that they created. Aren’t these crushes among characters supposed to linger on through the duration of the show, only to be resolved on the farewell episode? Somehow it just doesn't feel as much like a hit tv show without that cliche.


Sunday, February 26, 2006

Arctic Monkeys

I've been listening to Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, the new cd by the Arctic Monkeys. It has apparently made quite a splash in the UK, including being named the fifth best British album of all time by the New Musical Express. Could it possibly live up to the hype?

Well, of course not, but it's still a pretty great album. I guess you would call it post-punk, in the vein of Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party, but more guitar driven. Standouts include "Riot Van," "Mardy Bum," "When the Sun Goes Down," and "A Certain Romance."

Saturday, February 25, 2006


I've been watching the Olympics this afternoon, and they've been airing all of these Nike commercials in which Bode Miller talks about how there's too much emphasis on winning in sports these days.

Odd. Makes you wonder if they had a different set of ads in the can to air in the event that Bode won something.


# 1 Single

I caught a rerun of #1 Single with Lisa Loeb today while putzing about my apartment studiously avoiding all weekend housekeeping chores and I think I've found a new guilty pleasure, which kind of sucks because I really don't have time for more guilty pleasures. . . but is also awesome because who wouldn't rather watch a clever woman narrate her dating adventures than vacuum?

I think there must be some sort of great junkette post to be written along the lines of . . . you know you're not a kid when you catch an episode of the Real World and ask the TV "who acts like that?" And you really know you're an adult when you catch an episode of #1 Single and think, "I want to hang out with Illeana Douglas!" But . . . it's Saturday and I've still got to vacuum.

Team Sheryl

I thought going through a breakup while the newstands were filled with magazine cover stories about how happy you were with your fiance would have to be the low point of anyone's year. But . . . those same magazine covers are still beaming down at us even as Sheryl Crow's recovering from surgery for breast cancer. And it's not even March! Here's hoping she and Jennifer Anniston are soon drinking gallons of margaritas and toasting good riddance to their oafish exes in perfect health.

Television Delay

I just watched Wednesday's episode of American Idol, since I DVR everything and can never seem to view it when it airs. Is it wrong to post a review three days after everyone else watched? Perhaps, so I will keep it short.

Like Bailey, I have an unnatural love for Will Makar. I can't help myself. I love "I Want You Back" and although he is certainly no Michael Jackson, it is such a fun song that singing it made Will even more endearing. And Paula made her most intellegent comment ever, saying that he looks like Peter Brady. He does!

I liked Bobby Bennett! I know he is no longer with us, but I saw his whole song as totally tongue-in-cheek. Perhaps I gave him too much credit, but I would have liked to see him stick around, only because he entertained me.

I didn't think that Patrick Hall was that bad--I thought he should have been able to stay around at least a few more weeks. Oh well.

I don't have much to say about the rest of them. I don't really think any of the men are that great.

I hate David Radford's singing style, although I felt sorry for him because he is so young and looked like he was going to burst into tears.

Bucky Covington was like a very, very, very bad imitation of Bo Bice and needs to go immediately (I really liked Bo).

I HATE HATE HATE Sway. Thought the whole performance was awful and was shocked that everyone seemed to love him. Maybe I'm missing something.

Chris Daughtrey did not sound as good as Jon Bon Jovi. Whoever thought that American Idol would make me appreciate Bon Jovi's singing voice? He has a very Scott Weiland/Eddie Vedder sound, and I can see why the judges think he has a great recording voice (which I also read as "you have no charisma on stage, but you'll be great if we hide you").

Keven Covais. Oh my. When they showed the recap at the end, we just burst out laughing. He reminded me a little of Antony Federov from last season, but without the total cheese factor that made me look forward to an A Fed performance.

Gedeon McKinney was sooooooo cheesy wedding singer. The whole throwing his hands up, throwing his head back, etc., with the lyrics was just too much.

Elliot Yamin--I cannot improve upon Bailey's Amish comment. All he needs is a hat and he's good to go.

Ace Young has not been a favorite of mine throughout Hollywood, but he didn't sound bad. He is the type who should make it to the middle rounds--his voice and stage presence are fine, but nothing special. Because he is "cute" (per American Idol) he will probably make it further.

I really do not like Taylor Hicks. I hate watching him, I hate his hair, I hate his mannerisms, I hate his harmonica. His voice is okay, but I don't think it is that special. He has the Aiken factor (people like him because he looks funny) so he will probably stick around for a good while. Hopefully everyone else will get bored of him sooner rather than later.

Sooooo happy that Becky and Stevie were kicked off. I'm sure Becky will be singing "Black Velvet" or "Something to Talk About" at some karaoke bar tonight.

An apology to FOX regarding Skating with Celebrities. The episode that showed during the Olympics was actually a rerun of last week's episode. So not as stupid as I had thought.

Oops. Despite my promises at the beginning of this post, I failed to keep this short. I need to work on that.

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Friday, February 24, 2006


My top 3 weekend recommendations:
1. Me and You and Everyone We Know. It's a movie in case you were wondering. Rent it. It's fabulous.
2. Footballer$$ Wives. It's a TV show on BBC America. Very soapy, hence irresistible. It's on at the same time as Grey's Anatomy, so make sure to set your Tivo.
3. Dancing with the Stars results show. Go Drew. Need I say more?

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Grey Matter

The writers of Grey's Anatomy have a blog. Just like us!


FYI - I was listening to Ted Casablancas on E! radio this morning and his sources say that TomKat are in fact not over. The whole Life&Style story was totally false, he claims.

I, however, still believe their relationship is all but dead. I bet last week she woke up from the nightmare that has been the last seven months, totally panicked, wondering "How am I preggers with this psycho's baby? What happened to Chris Klein? Pacy? My normal life?"


Unlike my fellow junkettes, I've been pretty lackadaisical about the Olympics this year. I've tuned in once or twice, some fancy and painful-looking mogul skiing here, a few minutes of hockey there, but women's figure skating last night was the first time I'd tried to actually watch for any sustained period of time NBC's Olympic coverage and . . . HATE. Not the filler, not the sappy commentary, not the painfully boring efforts on the ice, no these weren't what had me squirming on the couch. Every time Scott Hamilton or one of the other Olympics announcers said "Torino" I wanted to reach through my TV, smack them upside the head, and say: you're an American, broadcasting to a largely American audience, just say TURIN!

Maybe I'm alone, but every time Katie Couric says Torino I'm reminded of that obnoxious girl who came back to school after a three-week summer bus tour of Europe raving about the sights of Paree and Roma. I wanted to yell at her too: "just because you now know that the Spanish pronounce Seville Seveeya, doesn't mean you have to too."

Feel free to call me a cranky bitch, but please don't jump down my throat for cultural insensitivity. I would never go to Italy (part of what's bugging me is the inconsistency, why aren't the announcers calling it Italia while they're at it?), and ask for directions at the station for the train to Turin. I'd call it Torino, because when in Italy . . . I also call Nevada Nevaaada and not Nevahda because that's the way they pronounce it out west. I'm sure there's some good reason NBC has mandated this Torino instead of Turin nonsense. Maybe it was an obligation imposed on them for being allowed to broadcast the Games in the first place (though if so it's a new one because I don't remember them calling Athens "Athena"). But I'm so grateful not everyone is doing it: the NY Times, NPR, Sports Illustrated all call it Turin, and this cranky bitch for one is thrilled that it will all be over soon and she may go the rest of her life without hearing Katie Couric say "Firenze" when talking about Florence.


Stupid people run television

I have to wonder whether the people at FOX are the biggest idiots ever. How could they put Skating with Celebrities on in the same time slot as the women's figure skating long program? Don't they think that most of their fans (the few they have) will probably be watching the Olympic skating? Ridiculous.

I spent the entire day yesterday looking forward to the women's figure skating long program, avoiding all word of the outcome. I got home and after specifically telling my boyfriend I didn't want to know anything about the event, he said that he didn't know the results either, just that "Sasha Cohen was injured during her practice."

How is this not telling me about the event? He claims that what he told me was something that happened before the event, and was information that the reporters would surely share as soon as I turned on the television. I told him that knowing anything I hadn't known the second I walked through the door was more than I wanted. He did not see my point. Clearly, I am correct here.

So, a little suspense was gone, as I assumed if Cohen was hurt she probably didn't do much better than a bronze medal. Obviously, I was wrong. The entire long program was so very dull. The Japanese skater who won the gold had such a large margin of victory, and yet her skate was not at all exciting. Sasha's skate was more interesting than most of the others, but everyone seemed to lack energy and passion. Even the medals ceremony was unexciting--just a few tears from Irina Slutskaya and that was it. And Sasha reportedly said that she felt lucky to get a silver (or any medal at all). Shouldn't she have been jumping up and down when she realized she was an Olympic silver medalist? I could understand if she were Michelle Kwan of four years ago (or even eight years ago), totally dominant in the sport, considered the heavy, heavy favorite to win the gold. But she wasn't. Sasha went into the Olympics as a medal favorite, but she has not won a world championship and there were a number of other skaters, particularly Slutskaya, that many thought could beat Sasha for the gold. So getting the silver should have been a result she was happy with at any point. The fact that she managed to get it after falling on her butt twice? She should have been elated!

The figure skating commentators are also quite dim. After the skate someone showed the difference in scoring between Sasha and Irina's programs, and claimed that the difference between the silver and bronze came down to spins, footwork and artistry. And then she said that while they both messed up the jumps, Cohen overcame her falls while Slutskaya let them affect the rest of her program. This might have been good analysis had Slutskaya fallen near the beginning of her program. But she didn't! She fell when it was almost over!

I bet Michelle Kwan was smashing things throughout her living room while she watched. I didn't think she had any chance of winning under the new scoring system, but after yesterday's skate, I think she might have been able to pull it off.

On an unrelated note, I hate filler. Dancing with the Stars had a two-hour episode last night. The first dance of the competition did not start until one hour and three minutes into the episode. I don't know how I would get anything done without my DVR.

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The Morning After

1. American Idol - Well, I guess the voters got it right, at least with respect to 3 out of the 4 Idol hopefuls that got booted last night. But Patrick Hall? I think he is really talented, as his repeat performance of "Come To My Window" showed last night. As for Bobbie Bennett, so so happy to see you go. Becky O' was out of her league vocally, so also happy to see her depart. Sad for Stevie for some unexplainable reason, but it was no doubt the right decision.

2. As for the Olympics, I stayed up but thought it was a snoozefest.

3. Dancing with the Stars . . . all I can say is that, to borrow a term from Bailey Quarters, Drew Lachey is my reality TV boyfriend! Love love love him! And his final dance was incredible. And his very very pregnant wife seems like such a nice person (compare: Jessica Simpson) and Nick is like the most supportive brother ever. I think he is a shoe-in to win.

4. I don't watch Survivor. Maybe Holt will have something to say about that.

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Noted without comment.

While not, strictly speaking, pop-culture-related, this is extremely disturbing, and also a good opportunity for me to practice my linking skillz.

American Idol, the men

Maybe I'm delusional, but I thought the men were so much better than the women. I can't really rank them because I have mixed feelings about almost all of them. So, here are my thoughts, in order of the performances:

1. Patrick Hall -- I missed him because I went to my spinning class and stupidly forgot to set my TiVo.

2. David Radford -- Ack. Horrible. I'd like to hear him actually sing in a normal voice for once, instead of doing his Dean Martin schtick. On the other hand, he is cute and sort of charming. I honestly felt a little bit sorry for him. To be 17 and in a position where millions of people are going to judge you? That's a very vulnerable position.

3. Bucky Covington -- Why is this person on my TV? Seriously, I didn't see anything in the auditions or last night that justified his presence.

4. Will Makar -- It is sort of unseemly how much I love him, but Simon was right: this performance was average.

5. Sway -- This is where the potentially delusional part comes in. This performance took a lot of guts, but I think he pulled it off. Of course, I love 70s soul music.

6. Chris Daughtrey -- This was a good performance and he's clearly a talented rock singer, but I just don't think a rock singer can be the American Idol. I think there's always been tension in rock music between authenticity -- having something to say -- and just wanting to have fun. But the earnest striving of American Idol does not fit anywhere on that spectrum.

7. Kevin Covais -- This just made me sad, like seeing a puppy in danger. He seems like a really sweet, nice kid. But that was not good, and I felt nervous for him and his parents.

8. Gedeon McKinney -- He sang "Shout," and did great. But it seemed too easy, like the back-up singers did most of the work.

9. Elliot Yamin -- Good performance. He is not an attractive man -- he looks sort of Amish.

10. Bobby Bennett -- Are we in the Catskills? No more fat jokes, please. And no more bad, bad renditions of Barry Manilow songs.

11. Ace Young -- I am probably going to hell, but as cheesy and boy-bandy he is, he is the only man with any real sex appeal (except Will Makar, but that is wrong). The attempt at a seductive stare struck me as very deer-in-the-headlights, though.

12. Taylor Hicks -- I am a little sick of his Joe Cocker mannerisms, so I listened with my eyes closed. I thought he was excellent.

Bobby Bennett has to go. And one of David Radford, Bucky Covington, and Kevin Covais.

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Gary Bettman Has a Hangover

Or at least, I imagine Gary Bettman has had a hangover. Team USA and Team Canada both being eliminated from the men's ice hockey tournament in the Olympics yesterday (and not being in medal contention) probably does not make the NHL commissioner very happy. I'm sure he could have lived with Team Canada not advancing--after all, the Canadians will continue to watch NHL hockey regardless. But losing Team USA means that any chance to get new fans to watch NHL hockey (or reclaim old ones) is gone.

Of course, NBC certainly has not been promoting the hockey games in this Olympics. It is great that they show them live, but since most people aren't home at 11 a.m. on a weekday, they probably don't have much viewership. It would have been ideal if they could have rerun those games in a primetime slot on CNBC, MSNBC, or one of their other stations.

For those who haven't watched, try to catch a game or two in the next week. Olympic ice hockey is amazing--the ice is bigger than in the NHL, so the game is very fast. And you have the very best players in the world in one place. The player to watch is Alex Ovechkin, Team Russia's number 8, a 20 year old who plays center for the Washington Capitals. In my 25 or so years of watching hockey, he is the most exciting player I have seen. He's very fast, and his puck-handling is phenomenal.

The Winter Olympics its definitely my favorite television event, just edging out its more popular summer counterpart. Between figure skating (the costumes! the drama (did anyone see the Italian ice dancers?)!), hockey, skiing, speed skating and my new favorite event, the snowboard cross, it is all excitement, all the time.


The Perfect Storm

Apparently, tonight is the perfect storm of television. (According to Good Morning America, that is. They promise that if you don't tune in tonight, you will be mum at the water cooler tomorrow morning. Take that!) Anyway, there is Survivor, Women's Figure Skating, American Idol, and the Dancing with the Stars Finale. I'll probably tivo Idol and Dancing with the Stars, and try to watch the figure skating live. Survivor didn't hook me in the first episode, so it's no longer part of my lineup. Go Drew! Go Team Lachey!


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

American Idol, 12 women

I fear posting this, since the same topic is addressed in the post directly preceding mine. I'll take my chances.

I always DVR American Idol--I would disagree with the post below that American Idol is the best hour on television. Perhaps it is the best half hour--there is just so much filler in this show. I DVRed the two-hour 12 women episode last night. I just watched it tonight, fast-forwarding past commercials, Ryan talking, contestants' life histories (including, I am sure, a bit on how wholesome and sweet Kellie "Everyone but My Grandpa Has Abandoned Me Or Ended Up In Jail" Pickler is) in about 54 minutes.

There is a clear, clear standout in this crowd--Paris Bennett. She has been the most talented since the Hollywood episode, and she has really avoided the typecast trap--she sings Billie Holliday, the Dixie Chicks and Gladys Knight and the Pips, and she sings it all well. She is just cute, cute, cute, and she can really sing. Midnight Train to Georgia, one of my all-time favorite songs, didn't really showcase just how good her voice is. She is my pick to win the whole thing.

2. Lisa Tucker. I didn't love the song she sang, but she really showed that she has potential to belt and nice range.

3. Mandisa. She was too screechy at times, and Paula was so wrong that her rendition of a Heart tune rivaled Carrie Underwood's "Alone" last year (I wasn't really a Carrie fan, but her cover was amazing and she should have totally sung it instead of that crappy "Independence Day" song she used in the final). However, she showed she had good potential, and I liked how comfortable she is on the stage (I liked this with Paris as well--I hate when the singers are unable to move around when they sing). I also liked her outfit and that she was able to look good and stylish but didn't wear something completely inappropriate for her body type, as portlier American Idol female contestants are wont to do.

4. Katharine McPhee. She looks just like Claire Danes, I actually find it kind of creepy. I also hate the way she moves on the stage. She is very awkward, there seems to be some strange bobbing/bouncing/lateral movement all going on that just doesn't work. I didn't like the beginning of the song at all, but she did pick it up and redeem herself at the end. I understand the Katie Holmes comparison that was brought up by Manley's wife, below. I don't think that they really look alike, but Katharine wears clothes that look exactly like Katie's "pregnancy" clothing (okay, I actually think Katie is preggers, but I know there are doubters, so the quotes are for them). I actually thought that she was pregnant while she was singing, the shirt was so unflattering. She is probably the best white girl out there.

5. Ayla Brown. I thought she did a nice version of a Christina song. Nothing special, but it seemed like she might have more potential and could sing well in the future. I actually didn't have much preference between her and Katharine McPhee. Ayla's big problem was that she didn't really stand out.

6. Brenna Gethers. My votes for 6, 7 and 8 could really have interchanged to a certain extent. I put Brenna on the top of these three because I think she is a little different, whereas the other two are a little more boring and will fade into the background. She should have picked a better song. It actually always surprises me how many poor song choices there are on American Idol, season after season.

7. Melissa McGhee. She really has a disadvantage in that she hasn't been showcased on the show at all. Nary a song, nary a snippet before this episode. It doesn't surprise me that if anyone were to fall off of the producers' radar, it would be her. She is kind of forgettable (I had to look at the recap to remember her!).

8. Kinnik Sky. How many times must we hear "Get Here" on this show? It's nauseating. Every time I hear it, I think of Justin Guarini singing it near the end of season one. That's not a good thing. I thought Simon's point was a good one--Kinnik is 28 years old and hasn't made it, and she didn't pull a LaToya, get up there and blow us away. She'll hang around for a little while, but not for long.

9. Kellie Pickler. Hated her song. Hated her stage presence (a lot of squatting, pointing and looking...I'm not sure what. Angry? Intense? Aggressive?). Hated her high notes. I think she can sing, but she doesn't have much range. Blech. I'm sure her story will get her further than she deserves to go.

10. Heather Cox. Basically the only thing good anyone said of her was that she looked good. Not going to get her far. TOTALLY forgettable. In fact, I saw her ten minutes ago and I can't really remember what she sang. But I know it wasn't good.

11. Stevie Scott. Or Stephanie, as she was called until she made it to the top 24. I guess she thought that Stevie was more marketable. I don't think it is going to get her anywhere. She was awful. She sang right after Paris, and so her short recap clip came right after Paris'. I laughed when she followed Paris, the difference was so ridiculous. She didn't sing with any passion or power, she didn't hit her notes, she was off-key, it was just horrid. But not quite as horrid as...

12. Becky O'Donohue. She actually made me angry, her version of "Because the Night" was so terrible. Choosing a 10,000 Maniacs song is a very risky choice because Natalie Merchant has such a unique, wonderful voice. But her problems went so beyond that. She ruined an amazing song, she screamed/fake-rocked throughout, she got that "pseudo tough girl don't I look angry" snarl on her face and it was simply horrendous. I hated every single thing about it. I cannot say enough bad things about her performance, so I will stop trying.

Hopefully I will get to watch American Idol's men's top 12 tomorrow, but it might have to wait for the weekend.

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"I love my job. This is the best show in America."

That's what Paula Abdul said during last night's concluding moments of the first night of Idol competition. And I agree. Idol is the best - yes best! - hour on TV right now. OK, I guess 24, Grey's Anatomy, Project Runway, and occasionally Oprah are pretty close in my rankings. But there's something about Idol that makes me giddy to get home and play my Tivo. (By the way, Paula also told one of the contestants that she lit a fire in her heart (or something like that). That made me uncomfortable for all involved.)

Anyway, here's my assessment of last night's performance. There's some amazing talent mixed in, but there's always those few that I can't understand for the life of me how they made it this far. I'll rank them in order of my current favorites.

1. Katherine McPhee - I think she's just incredible. (Side note: Does anyone else think she has an uncanny resemblance to Katie Holmes?)

2. Paris Bennett and Lisa Tucker - these two are tied for second. I think they both will make it deep into the competition - they are naturals. I've heard some say Lisa is robotic, I totally disagree. As for Paris, my only hesitation is that she sounds too much like Fantasia (and perhaps not as good).

3. Mandisa - I really like her (again, minus the Jesus comment from Hollywood) and she clearly can sing. I didn't love last night's performance, though. But she's still in my top four and she has the potential to be awesome.

4. Kinnik Sky - I have no idea why the judge's panned her performance of Oleta Adam's "Get Here." I thought it was one of the better performances, and thought the judges were going to exclaim: "You're this year's best kept secret! This year's Latoya London!" Um, instead they said: "You sucked." I was shocked, so I'm keeping her in my top 5. Boo judges.

5. Kellie Pickler - I'm a sucker for the sob story, but enough producers enough! Anyway, I think she actually has a good voice. And I just like her better than the others.

6. Ayla Brown/Melissa McGhee - They too are tied right now for me. They both were pretty good, but kinda forgettable. Besides, sure, Ayla showed some emotion, but even that seemed contrived. Melissa was good, but the beauty pageant thing threw me off. (Side note: did anyone think that she almost had a major wardrobe malfunction during the clip they showed from Hollywood Week; that was scary, and even scarier the fact that her you-know-whats didn't seem to move, leading me to wonder . . .)

7. Becky O'Donohue - She was pretty bad.

8. Heather Cox - She too was pretty bad, but I just like Becky a bit better I think.

9. Stevie Scott - Really bad. But she is somewhat endearing in some I-can't-explain-it way. Rufus my dog was snoring during her performance. Take that for what it's worth.

10. Brenna Gethers - HATE.

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Exceptionally annoying

Like everyone, I am enjoying the catfighting among our men's speedskaters. But I think that NBC really back the wrong horse, er cat, in this fight.

I first saw Chad Hedrick on the Today Show a few weeks before the Olympics. They explained, with no apparent irony, that his nickname is "The Exception." Shouldn't that have been the first clue that this guy was an arrogant jerk? I mean, what normal person would allow himself to be marketed this way?

Clue number two came after he got his first gold medal. One of the NBC anchors relayed an anecdote about how his parents saw Laura Bush in the stands and told her that they were Bush people and she responded that they were Chad Hedrick people. This is not a political blog, but let me just say that this story did not endear him to me.

Then came his pouting about Shani Davis pulling out of the team pursuit, thereby denying him his chance to win five golds (that, and the fact that he lost to Davis in two subsequent races). Clearly, there is a long history here, but the obvious racial overtones of a white southerner accusing the only black athlete on the team of being selfish and unpatriotic are a bit uncomfortable.

It's hard to see how NBC hero-anointing machinery went so wrong, especially when they picked Hedrick over the adorable Joey Cheek, who has no annoying nickname, and donated all of his winnings to poor African children. I'm not ready to declare Joey Cheeck my Olympic boyfriend, but I'll take him over Chad Hedrick and his creepily perfect teeth any day.


Heidi in an unflattering light? Say it ain't so!

I just read the NY Times review for Project Jay, and it sounds like our beloved Heidi Klum comes across as a little cold in the special, airing tonight.

Can it really be true? I know she's a bit snarky sometimes (hence the beloved status), and as a supermodel, sure, one's got to expect she's going to be a bit self-centered, but . . . reneging on a dress she'd ordered from the first-season winner of her own TV show? That just sounds like a poor publicity choice, and publicity's something I think Heidi's exceptionally good at. Of course, however Heidi appears on Project Jay, it sounds like great TV and I can't wait.


Sunday, February 19, 2006

You Know Its Hard Out There

For a pimp . . . Saw Hustle & Flow for the first time last night. Can't get that damn song out of my head. But excellent movie. I now see why everyone is talking about Terrence Howard. He gave an intense performance, definitely deserves his Oscar nomination.

Speaking of the Oscars, I also saw The Constant Gardener this weekend. Rachel Weisz was good, sure, but I'm surprised she's been winning all the awards for supporting actress. Those in the know say she's a lock for the Oscar. Whatever. I'll be rooting for Amy Adams. Loved that Junebug movie.

Good night.



What? George? Um, not so much. That just doesn't sit well with me - George and Meredith having sex. It should be Meredith and McDreamy (or McSteamy. I mean . . .). At least the previews for next week suggest it was a one-time thing (for Meredith, at least).

Looks like Addison will soon be gone. I'll be sad to see her go, though. Watching her watch Derek be in love with Meredith . . .

I don't have much more to say about this episode. Love Burke and Christina, well, love Burke and love that he loves her in spite of her. Alex and Izzie, cute, but don't hold my attention. (Previews for next week show that cute guy Izzie treated a few episodes ago. Now that should be more interesting.)

After the Code Black, this episode simply dragged and there just ain't much more to say about it.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Poor NBC

I can't say I'm surprised (nor is anyone really) at the pop culture juggenaut that is American Idol kicking poor NBC right where it hurts: Olympics ratings. But as much as I loathe NBC for foisting Katie Couric on a pre-coffee nation, I do feel a little of their pain. I mean, American Idol, if you think about it, really owes a lot to the tried and true Olympics formula. It's taken much that's awesome about the Olympics coverage - sappy personal interest stories, young 'uns competing their hearts out to make it to the top, color commentary by has-beens in the same field - added a touch more mean-spiritedness (though on a good day I think Bob Costas could wipe the floor with Simon Cowell), and deleted some of the spandex and replaced it with denim. Now NBC, already down, is seeing its own winning format used to trounce it in the ratings game. Poor NBC. As you might have noticed, Pop culture Junkette has a bit of a weakness for the underdog, but even I find it surprising that I feel sorry for NBC, formerly the biggest ratings bully on the block. But really . . . hasn't it suffered enough? Hasn't this goliath already been brought to its knees by being left by all the Friends and getting stuck with Joey? Does it really need to be further humbled by a nation choosing AI over women's figure skating? Can the mighty really fall any farther?


Friday, February 17, 2006

Team Lachey

I'm totally on Team Lachey, by the way. (Isn't it so cute how he supports Drew each week on Dancing With The Stars?) And now word is that Jessica was cheating-yes cheating!-on her loveable husband. It's the type of sure-to-be-somewhat-true scandal that US Weekly loves to report about.



Thursday, February 16, 2006

Comfort Food?

So . . . Lost. Huh. I know this is a little late, but the magic of Tivo and all that. What happened to Sayid the reluctant torturer? Was Shannon's death really enough to get him to go all psycho on the unfortunate "Other" that Rousseau captured? I guess, in times of stress, we all turn to the things we find comforting. Sayid enjoys a nice torture session . . . last episode Sawyer distracted himself with a fun con . . . it all makes Hurley and the giant tub of ranch dressing he's been hoarding seem so innocent.

I have to say that I did appreciate Sayid's little reminder that it wasn't all that long ago that the Others strung Charley up like a pheasant.
I'd certainly forgotten that.

Safe Doesn't Cut It

Apparently not on Project Runway anyway. For weeks I'd been thinking that Kara was dead weight, and then last night I felt so sorry to see her go. The dress she was wearing at the final challenge was adorable. Why couldn't she have designed something that interesting during the competition? It seems like she just got caught up in a feeling that to be a "designer" she had to fit in with what Daniel and Chloe do (simple, elegant) and lost what made her interesting: her funky, casual, sensibility. Adding a racer black to a black silk charmeuse evening dress . . . not quite enough to make her unique. And since when does every evening gown have to be silk charmeuse?? My god. Just picking a different fabric would have let her stand apart.

And am I alone in thinking that Santino actually thought he won the challenge instead of just scraping by? I thought his dress was interesting, and the pailettes, if used more judiciously were a really nice touch (i.e leave the beautiful skirt alone Santino!). Not a single other designer used any embellishment on a dress that was supposed to represent their collections, and that just shocked me.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Junkette's Good

I guess I'm good (or the editing on the show make it really obvious), but in any case, the nine I predicted to make it to the final 24 on Idol actually made it. My immediate reactions: I really don't like that girl with the attitude - her comments "let's make good TV" and "let's make $$$" put her over the edge on my annoying scale. Everyone else seems pretty likeable, particularly my three fave ladies so far - Katherine, Paris, and Mandisa. Though whatever Mandisa said about Jesus lost her a few points. I also like the skinny one with the long brown hair who loves opera, forgetting her name at the moment. I'm not so into the basketball player Ayla (sp?). As for the boys, I think Taylor is quirky (harmonica = cute), Ace is overrated (but hot indeed), and Chris D. good but no great shakes. Sway could turn out to be a star. . . well, I take that back. Have no idea why they picked the dorky kid with the glasses. I miss Bo already.

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Just Wondering

Has anyone who doesn't know me read this blog?

Can't Wait

American Idol final 24. Project Runway final 3. (And I'm sure something cool on Lost, but this Junkette doesn't watch; other junkettes do. Yes, there is more than one junkette). Before I turn on my Tivo to watch, here are my predictions: 1) OK, I can't predict all 24, but here are some of my picks: Paris, Katherine McPhee, grey-haird guy, Chris Dougherty (sp?), youngish kid who looks like a cross between Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) and Fred Savage, Mandisa, pretty twin with dark hair and eyebrows, Kelly Pickler, basketball player. 2) Kara, Chloe, Daniel V. ( I just hate Santino. And hated last week's jumpsuit). I'll check back tonight with my post-game.


I Still Believe It

Tom and Katie's publisict insists the Life&Style story about their break-up is 100% false. I still believe the magazine, for the record.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


American Idol always presents some great post-game opportunities. First of all, what was up with the zit cream that one of the Brittenum brothers was wearing throughout the first half? It's painful that the brothers keep making it through when we who follow the Drudge Report know their fate. As for the other contestants, I do love that Paris (though last night's wasn't her greatest performance) and I'm quickly falling for Mandisa, and I have high hopes for Katherine McPhee (what a sweet face). And that grey-haired dude, Taylor. Oooh - what was up with that movie about the cowboys? Random. And quick question that only die-hard reality TV fanatics will know - the girl who ended up switching teams, I think her name was Tyra (?), and who made it through the first set of cuts in the show but was in the losing room at the end of the show -- anyway, wasn't she in this season's Making the Band on MTV?! Speaking of which, anyone know what ever happened to this year's band - Aubrey, Aundrea, etc.? Haven't heard a peep about them since Diddy picked them.

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OK, That Worked

I'm fascinated by the fact that creating a blog is that easy and that my first entry actually posted. Yay! OK, I've been thinking about creating a pop-culture obsessed blog for sometime, as I always want to vent after watching a night's worth of TV and reading a day's worth of other people's blogs. (And it beats billing hours.) Anyway, are TomKat really over? I personally believe everything I read in Life&Style, US Weekly, etc., so I have no doubt it's true.

Will This Work?

Ah. My first attempt at blogging. This is sorta embarassing that I want to start a blog to have the chance to talk about things like Alton and Jodie's romance on Real World/Road Rules Challenge and Dr. McDreamy's dreaminess on Grey's Anatomy.