Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Fingers crossed for Katherine McPhee

Here's hoping that Katherine will be in the final two. I'm befuddled by the fact that Taylor and Elliot have gotten this far into the process. Elliot has the better voice of the two (minus the Woody Woodpecker vibrato) while Taylor is the better showman. Meanwhile, Katherine is the only one with the complete package. Picture me even more bewildered that the judges disliked her last song. Huh? She sounded great. She was fun and bluesy and totally in command of the song. Oh but wait--she was singing Ella. I forgot. Katherine's not allowed to sing a blues great like Ella because that implies she thinks she's as good as Ella. Photograph me sarcastic here. The judges are going all out to have a guy win the competition and Katherine will ruin their evil plot. Yeah, yeah--it's a little over the top, but hey, it's my CONSPIRACY theory. You've got to go over the top with a conspiracy theory or what's the point!?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Aras wins--Ugh.

Well, I don't know that I could have been MORE wrong about my predictions for last night's Survivor Finale. For starters, I was convinced that the final three was Cerie, Terry and Aras. Since Cerie versus Danielle was the only mystery of the final three--totally wrong. Survivor did a great job of making those of us crazy enough to slow-mo the preview think that Cerie's fire was bigger and better than Danielle's. Unfortunately for Cerie, coconut husks burn big but don't last. Note to next Survivor contestants: Make a point of actually making fire as often as possible because it may be what keeps you in the game some dark night.

I was right about the Danielle versus Aras, Danielle versus Terry voting pattern. That is, Danielle couldn't beat either man because she just hadn't done enough to gain the respect of the jury. Frankly, I'm not sure that Aras could have beaten Terry in a head to head battle, even with the Casaya loyalty because people--Aras only won ONE immunity. He also betrayed most of his team. In the final questioning/statements I was amused that Aras claimed one of the positive game moves he made had been to tell Melissa(?) that she was going home. Riiiight. You tell Melissa to her face that she's going home because she's getting her hopes up and you want to be compassionate. Three days in to the game compassion is apparently easier to deliver. Meanwhile, thirty plus days in, you don't tell Courtney that she's going, you don't tell Shane that he's going and they are both in your alliance!

My dislike of Aras was further hardened by his immature threats when Danielle didn't immediately tell him that she was talking him to the final two. His ebullience after they returned to camp was in rather stark contrast to her somber behavior. Guess that should have been a big clue to her that she had made the wrong choice. Lisa from work suggested today that Danielle must not be too smart not to have figured out that her tribe didn't actually like her. I can't argue that point.

So question to there anything more aggravating than watching the person you don't want to win, win? I still haven't recovered from Kathy being ousted after she had been promised by Vecepia that she would take her to the final. 'Course I also thought Neleh deliberately distracted Kathy during the challenge by telling her that her private parts were hanging out. Slick move, but tacky. Anyway, now I have to live with Terry being the best Survivor contestant ever, but still not winning the game. Rats.

Finally, my Survivor Finale viewing crowd thought Aras' fall on the rocks right onto a champagne glass was a stitch. Pun intended. We watched it in slow-mo twice, it was so funny. We're a vicious crowd. ;o)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Survivor Finale

I'm looking forward to tonight's Survivor Finale. I'm pretty sure based on a slow-mo review of the preview footage that CBS has aired, that Cerie, Aras, & Terry are the final three. It looked to me like Cerie's fire was much higher than Danielle's fire was in the brief clip they showed. Although CBS was very careful to avoid showing anyone but Aras and Terry competing in the climbing up portion of the challenge which seems to involve a slanted red/yellow board, they did show Cerie sliding down such a board at the end of the commercial.

I'm rooting for Terry to win. He reminds me of Fireman Tom. I'm predisposed to favor anyone with a military background being the child of a naval serviceman. Also, I generally like the underdog in Survivor just because the biggest group so often acts like a bully. Even my favorite player ever, Stephanie from last season, let being a part of the big group sway her thinking. It's simply not right to lord it over other players just because you have the numbers. Be in control of the game, sure, but do it with dignity. This season, Shane seemed to delight in telling Terry that if he didn't win immunity he was gone. Amusingly, Terry believed him and won immunity! LOL Woohoo Terry! Sending Terry to exile island again and again also offended my sense of fair-play. Finally, I see Terry and think of Top Gun. Frankly, he's hot. Thus, if I was voting I would stuff the ballot box for Terry.

I really rooted for Terry to win the relatives reward because if he hadn't, he would have gotten nada from the other players. As it was, it garnered (hopefully) some goodwill when he gave Shane and Cerie visits with their loved-ones. Aras' mini tantrum after the event about how his mom was as important to him as a wife or a husband was ridiculous. Off the subject slightly, one nice thing I will say about Aras, he did apologize for implying that Terry disdains women.

In the jury, I think Terry actually has an edge to win if he can just get into the finals. I calculate that the following players may vote for Terry for a variety of reasons: Sally, Austin, Bruce, Shane, Danielle & Courtney. The other finalist (Aras or Cerie) would get a vote from either Cerie or Aras. This voting pattern would primarily be Terry's former tribemates voting for him, Bruce voting for him because of their early experience together on the older guy's tribe and Shane, Courtney and Danielle voting for him because they were stabbed in the back by Aras and Cerie. In a second scenario it is conceivable that Aras or Cerie could get the majority vote because of tribe loyalty and personal affability.

Terry's win would break the curse of "winning the car" which would be cool. Funny how the fact that Terry won a car hasn't been mentioned much. Do the majority even know he won it? Wasn't that competition held after everyone but the people in the reward went back to camp? Did the producers tell the contestants that it was a secret? Hopefully we'll learn about that in the reunion show.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

American Idol

I don't remember if I've ever posted on American Idol. If not, it is only because I'm of the opinion that you can't post on EVERYTHING that you watch and do. It turns your life into work, what with all the necessary note-taking to blog succinctly. (I'm really starting to think seriously about a laptop, just to avoid having to handwrite my notes as I watch. It's either a laptop or move the tv into the office which seems pretty lame and bizarre.) The reason that I'm breaking my silence on AI is that I'm ticked off at the show. I need to vent. (Duh. That's what a blog is for!)

I've felt all season long that AI had an agenda that included having a male win this season. After all Kellie, Fantasia, and Carrie out-number poor Ruben three to one. To that end, the most popular girl singers have been treated rather boorishly. Poor Kellie Pickler was demoralized at the end of her run. The judges almost had her trained to trash her own performance for them before she finally got booted. Now Katherine MacFee has been getting ravaged by the judges in the last three shows for performances that were good, while the guys have been sliding by with far from stellar stuff. I mean, look at the judges' reactions when she sang a Whitney Houston song. Is no one allowed to sing Whitney but Whitney? Katherine did a fine job. Was she Whitney? No. Was she horrible? No. Simon basically said that when Katherine sang the Whitney song she was arrogantly telling everyone that she was as good as Whitney. Huh? Don't the contestants have to sing a song others have sung before them? I guess Ace thinks he's as good as Michael Jackson or George Michael from that thinking since he sang their hits. Kellie Clarkson apparently thinks she's as good as Aretha Franklin--after all she sang R-E-S-P-E-C-T twice in her season.

I liked Chris Daugherty a lot to start with, but I was glad to see him go. I'm sick of this excuse-making when early favorites are kicked off, btw, that the fans aren't voting because they think their favorite has a big following so they don't need to. That's just bull. People vote if they want their singer to advance. They don't vote when they don't care or don't want them to advance. In my opinion Chris was losing support because he had become so same-same. The affected posturing with the microphone stand and the way all his songs were copy-cat versions that others had already done had drained my well of goodwill dry. Frankly, I can't understand why no one has mentioned the Woody Woodpecker vibrato in his voice, either. (Elliot's voice suffers from the same vocal complaint.) I would love Simon to explain why he can compliment Chris for "never compromising his style" during the course of the season, but criticize other singers like Kellie Pickler for always sounding the same.

I don't consider myself to be a person who sees comspiracy theories everywhere. However, I think that the producers have a stake in certain outcomes in a show like AI. If American Idol continues to be won by female contestants, perhaps they fear that men will stop showing up to compete. Katherine MacFee's continued presence in the competition despite the judges hostilty towards her, may be the audience's way of reminding the judges and producers that they don't get to decide who wins. The judges and producers preferences do have an effect on the outcome of the voting to a certain degree, but their preferences do not determine who will sell the most cds either. So when the show is done, I'll plunk my cash down for the singer(s) that I prefer. If that makes me a middle-brow, hopelessly uncool consumer. Tough.

Toyota Matrix

Because of my misfortune, I had to get a new car, naturally, to replace the totalled Mazda Protege. I chose the silver Toyota Matrix. It's a teeny tiny SUV-like car. It has a station wagon body style, but cool with it. It's a four cylinder so the gas costs aren't prohibitive. My older sister has a black Pontiac Vibe which I loved from the get-go, so that was my inspiration point. The Vibe and Matrix are twins basically. My family tends to follow trends when purchasing cars. For a few years there all my sisters had gold cars, for example. Anyway, the wonderful thing about the Matrix is that it sits pretty high up from the ground so you can slide in and out without a lot of bending and contorting. That's important when your knees are still banged up and tender from a car I'm enjoying the new car smell and I'm already planning a trip to IKEA where my increased cargo space will mean I can buy whatever I want practically, while not worrying about being able to fit it into my car.

Long Time No Blog

Well, it seems like a lifetime has passed since my last post. In fact, in re-reading my last few posts I have been struck by how distant they feel. I haven't thought about the NCAA tournament in six weeks. Apprentice has moved on and on since the Cereal Killers episode. I don't really remember writing about re-reading the Belgariad. It almost had the feeling of reading something that someone else had written.

Lest, you should doubt my committment to my blog, I did have a good reason for my long silence. I was in a car crash on March 23rd. Normally, I would have called it a "car accident" but I happened to overhear a tiny portion of a state trooper's safety lecture to a Fifth grade class at school one day and he told the kids that 'car accident' is an inaccurate term for what happens because it implies that there was nothing anyone could have done to avoid the event. Most accidents have a cause, ergo, they are not 'accidents' as such. I was rather offended by this line of reasoning since I was recovering from one such event which I do not see how I could have avoided. The other guy could have, though, so I suppose that he was right. It is true that often there are things people actively do which cause crashes. (I notice that a lot more now that I'm a bit flinch-y in the car.) Anyway--I don't want to get into all the details of my car crash other than to say my car was totalled and I was airlifted to Shock Trauma. I'm fine now, thank the Lord, but it put a crimp in my petticoat for a while.