Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Jack Chambers wins So You Think You Can Dance Australia

JACK Chambers hotfooted his way to being crowned Australia's first So You Think You Can Dance winner last night after shining during three months of intense competition.

The Brisbane funk/hip-hop dancer claimed victory over fellow contestant Rhys Bobridge, Kate Wormald and Demi Sorono to secure the title of Australia's favourite dancer at CarriageWorks in Redfern.

"I just want to say thank you very much. I'm so glad that dance ... has been put on the map and I have guys coming up to me in the street saying they are taking dancing lessons, which is amazing," the 19-year-old said.

He pocketed $200,000 in prize money and tuition at Hollywood's top dance studio.

As host Natalie Bassingthwaighte read out the verdict, judges Bonnie Lythgoe, Jason Coleman and Matt Lee punched their fists in the air with delight.

The energetic two-hour finale featured performances by British singer Leona Lewis and dance troupe Tap Dogs.

The final four contestants, Chambers and Bobridge along with Demi Sorono and Kate Wormald, were slowly whittled down to two over the course of the show.

Funky Sorono was the first contestant to leave, followed by Wormald, with the final two Bobridge and Chambers.

Chambers and Bobridge thrilled the audience with a jazz-jive style routine before the winner was announced.

Chambers had been the frontrunner to win but said he was so privileged just to be part of the show and thanked his fans.

"It's such a cliche but we have grown so much,'' Bobridge told the crowd.

The Channel 10 program showed the remaining top 20 contestants return to perform with numbers from the final 10 and final four as well.

Wormald, who has shown amazing technical ability over the course of the show, was praised by judge Jason Coleman, while Sorono was commended for her beautiful nature.

"Kate is and was and probably will remain the best female dancer in this competition,'' Mr Coleman said.

Earlier, Mr Coleman joined fellow judges Bonnie Lythgoe and Lee for the opening high energy number to Rihanna's Don't Stop the Music.

Mr Coleman said it had been years since he had a dance but said "it was just brilliant''.

Meanwhile, the UK's Lythgoe thanked Australians for opening their hearts and letting her into their homes.

Favourite performances from the show were given another run in front of the screaming crowd, including Henry and Vanessa's African Samba, Laura and Anthony's disco inspired 70s theme, Wormald and Hilton's foxtrot and Kassy and Graham's contemporary routine.

'The Pussycat Dolls Presents: Girlicious' Winners Selected

Four contestants; Natalie, Nichole, Tiffanie and Chrystina are made the new girl band alongwith the premiere of their music video.

Four winners of The Pussycat Dolls Presents: Girlicious have been selected, they are Natalie, Nichole, Tiffanie and Chrystina. The four girls were officially announced as the new group after contestant Charlye was eliminated by the panel of judges that includes Ron Fair, Lil' Kim, and Pussycat Dolls' creator, Robin Antin.

The Wednesday, April 23 episode that was broadcast on The CW saw an episode called "You Are Girlicious" where the top five were required to harmoniously sang as a five-piece as well as solo. Charlye who performed Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" sadly did not impress the judge enough to make her stay in the competition.

Along with the announcement of the winners, came a music video for the song "Like Me". The clip that was premiered on Yahoo! shows the girls energetically dancing and singing in a boxing ring with sexy costumes, in the trademark of Pussycat Dolls.

Girlicious will release an album this year with reports saying that it will come in June. "Like Me" the single has been available on iTunes while the video and another one called "Stupid Sh**" can be found on their official site.

"The Pussycat Dolls Presents: Girlicious" was brought up as the spin off to "The Pussycat Dolls: the Search for the Next Doll" that ran down last year. Asia Nitollano was crowned as the seventh member of the troupe but she backed out to pursue solo career.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Adam Jasinski wins 'Big Brother 9,' beats Ryan Quicksall via 6-1 vote

Adam Jasiniski was crowned Big Brother's ninth-season winner during last night's live finale broadcast of the CBS reality show.

The 29-year-old public relations manager from Del Ray Beach, FL took home Big Brother 9's $500,000 grand prize on Day 81 by a 6 to 1 jury vote.

"I'll give to the United Autism Foundation -- $100,000 -- and help these children with an after-school program," said Adam when host Julie Chen asked what his plans were for the money.

Ryan Quicksall, a 27-year-old college student from Columbus, OH, was the runner-up and claimed $50,000.

Big Brother 9 jury members Matt McDonald, Natalie Cunial, Sharon Obermueller, Sheila Kennedy, Chelsia Hart and James Zinkand all voted for Adam, while Joshuah Welch was the only person to vote for Ryan.

"I love you guys man, so much. All of you guys," said Adam after Julie revealed all the jury votes. "Thank you so much for helping me be here."

Big Brother 9's finale broadcast began with Sheila arriving at the jury house following her eviction on Day 77.

"Adam basically did what he normally does and he..." said Sheila to the six other jury members.

"... He screwed you over," said Matt, finishing her sentence.

"Yeah," quickly agreed Sheila. "He dropped the ball on the third [round of the final Head of Household] competition. He basically gave it up so Ryan would do his dirty work."

Sheila said Adam seemed arrogant and pledged her allegiance to Ryan over Adam while the other jury members debated who they thought was the most deserving out of the Final 2.

After their discussion, the still-sequestered jurors questioned Adam and Ryan via satellite, with Matt asking each what they'd do with the $500,000.

Adam stated his desire to start an after school program for kids and added he'd also "love to start a business" before reiterating he wanted to "help children, change lives." Ryan said he would help out his mom by doing something nice for her while adding he'd also like to do something nice for himself and his girlfriend -- previously evicted houseguest Jen Diturno.

Sharon then asked why Ryan chose not to take her to the Final 3 even though they were in a secret alliance. In addition, Sharon also mentioned Ryan and Adam's post-eviction eye contact that had revealed her eviction was part of a plan they had.

Ryan described Sharon as "very loyal" and said he "did not want her out of house" and "fought for her all week" until the "last second" when Adam had a "gut feeling" about taking Sheila to the Final 3 instead.

"I was not gunning to get you out one bit," said Ryan to Sharon. "I wanted you to stay. I didn't want you out of the house."

Chelsia seemed disgusted that Ryan would use any of the prize money on Jen -- especially after she had accused him of being a "racist" when the couple had been on the chopping block against one another. Ryan reiterated his stance at the time -- that he's "not a racist at all" -- but added he also "loves Jen to death."

"I was not happy," said Ryan about the comment. "I still love the girl, and I want to be with her the rest of my life."

Chelsia called that the "wrong answer."

Joshuah then accused Adam of letting Ryan do all of his "dirty work" in the competition, but Adam disagreed and said he had a "well-balanced" game that consisted of "physical, mental, and emotional" aspects. While Adam also admitted to throwing the first round of the three-part final HoH competition, he refuted Sheila's claim that he threw the third.

"I gave my best shot and lost fairly to Ryan," assured Adam.

After Joshuah warned Adam about screaming excitedly at the jury members instead of talking to them with respect, James asked Adam why he deserved to be in the Final 3.

Adam described being saddled with Sheila -- his former "perfect-match" partner -- as a "bum deal" since Day 1. However he added he took a bad situation and did the best he could with it, competing as a "straight shooter" in the house who also minimized risks. Still, he said he "brought [Sheila] a long way in this game."

Natalie asked Adam and Ryan why they ultimately decided against keeping her around.

"You've got to respect the wishes of HoH," answered Adam, referring to Sheila, who as HoH that week was responsible for breaking a 1 to 1 eviction vote tie.

Sheila commented how she was being "thrown under the bus" by Adam's response. Ryan didn't do much better with his answer, offering more of an apology and calling it "one of the hardest decisions" he had to make.

Sheila then refuted Adam's claim that he carried her through the competition and asked Adam why he had "lied to her face" about guaranteeing her a spot in the Final 2.

"We carried each other equally through this game. I had to make certain deals and do certain things to keep me in the Final 3 -- to give you and I a better shot at getting there Sheila," Adam said before reiterating he didn't throw the third round of the final HoH competition.

"I'm sorry you're not sitting next to me here, but we both -- together -- got as far as we could have gotten," continued Adam, adding he felt "obligated" to "carry" Sheila during the competition.

"Adam, you did not carry me at the end of this game," answered Sheila. "I don't want you to take all the credit."

Adam reminded Sheila that they were the final remaining "perfect-match" couple -- and made-up two-thirds of the Final 3 no less. For yet another time, Adam assured Sheila he did not throw the third round of the final HoH competition.

"I don't care what anybody believes in that jury house," he said.

In addition to the Final 2 and seven jury house members, previously eliminated Big Brother 9 houseguests Jacob Heald, Parker Somerville, Jen, Alex Coladonato, Amanda Hansen, and Allison Nichols were also at the live finale. Neil Garcia -- the first American Big Brother contestant to ever voluntarily leave the competition -- was not in attendance.

Before the jury cast their votes, Julie asked Jen how she felt about Ryan's former "perfect-match" partner Allison.

"I don't care for her," Jen answered bluntly. "She definitely thought she was a better match for my boyfriend than I was. She told him that several times after I was out of the house. She asked Ryan several times what he saw in me and how he could be with somebody like me."

"I think that Jen and Ryan have a great relationship. I really have no hard feelings towards Jen... I saw a side of Jen that I didn't care for in the house," answered Allison, who accused Jen of "trying to sabotage Ryan's reputation," which is "not exactly the acts you would do if you loved somebody."

Also during last night's broadcast, home viewers were allowed to vote via CBS' website for their favorite jury member, with the winner receiving $25,000. James had the most votes and claimed the money while Sheila finished second.

Big Brother's tenth season is scheduled to premiere Sunday, July 13 at 8PM ET/PT, with Tuesday night episodes airing at 9PM ET/PT beginning July 15 and Wednesday night episodes airing at 8PM ET/PT beginning the next night and serving as the live eviction show.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Leona Lewis Performed on American Idol

Leona Lewis made a performance for the first time on American Idol stage and for the umpteenth time in front of Simon Cowell. The winner of British reality show X Factor, that also sees Cowell as the judge, sang her #1 hit "Bleeding Love" on the result show on Wednesday, April 23.

While Lewis celebrated her performance, contestant Carly Smithson was cut off the show after receiving the lowest amount of vote on the Andrew Lloyd Webber week. On Tuesday, the Irish singer who lost her chance in the show's season 5 due to visa problem, performed "Jesus Superstar" and even got praised by the acid-tongue Cowell. She was put on the bottom two along with Syesha Mercado who managed to get into the top five along with David Archuleta, David Cook, Brooke White and Jason Castro.

Along with the result show, there was a screening of a message from the U.S. President, George Bush and First Lady Laura Bush who thanked viewers for the donations made during "Idol Gives Back" episode. The special event managed to raise $22 million dollars that will go to six charity organizations.

Contractor Stephen Paletta wins 'Oprah's Big Give'

Stephen Paletta was revealed to be Oprah's Big Give's winner during last night's finale broadcast of the ABC reality competition series.

The 43-year-old real-estate developer from Bedford, NY claimed the show's $1 million grand prize -- $500,000 to keep for himself and $500,000 to use for additional gives to others.

"I'm in shock," said Stephen after his victory. "It was such an incredible honor and privilege to be part of this show and to be chosen as the biggest giver with all of these wonderful people."

Stephen defeated Cameron Johnson, a 22-year-old entrepreneur and dot-com millionaire from Roanoke, VA, and Brandi Milloy, a 23-year-old pageant queen from Chicago, IL, to take home the Oprah's Big Give title.

"Cameron and Brandi made it so tough," said Oprah's Big Give judge Jamie Oliver after Stephen was named the winner. "We couldn't just base it on this task alone -- we had to dig back over the weeks. I know that regardless of this show, you're going to go on and do such wonderful things in the future."

Oprah's Big Give's finale began with the three finalists meeting Oprah Winfrey at Chicago's Union Station, where she explained the rules of their final mission, dubbed "The Shirt off Your Back."

The three would work as a team and have 48 hours with no seed money to give in Oprah's hometown. While they'd be working as a team, each finalist would be judged individually when they faced the judges for the last time.

The final mission commenced and each of the finalists wanted to step up. Stephen called his friend Bob Muzikowski -- the founder of Chicago Hope Academy -- and the three finalists arrived at the preparatory school. Bob told them the school needed an athletic field, with a cost of $100,000.

"Stephen looked through his Rolodex, called an old friend and kind of forced this school upon us," said Brandi.

Stressed out, Brandi suggested helping Shriners Hospital for Children as the three began to brainstorm. She and Cameron suggested having every Miss Illinois titleholder perform, however Stephen was not impressed.

"The reality is, you've got to think a little bit bigger. This is the biggest challenge we have," said Stephen. "If worse come to worst, let's set that up as a fallback. But to tell me that's what you want to do as the biggest give, it's a little bit insulting. It's kind of like, 'Guys! We have to do better than that."

With only 40 hours left they still had no concrete ideas and continued to banter about suggestions, but time continued to pass with nothing planned.

"I am so stressed out right now. This is the Big Give finale and we have no ideas," opined Brandi. "Zero. Zilch. I just want to get out of here."

Jamie than arrived for an update and didn't like what he heard.

"To be honest, you ain't got nothing now -- nothing very interesting," Jamie told them. "[Cameron's] entrepreneurial. [Brandi's] incredible with people. [Stephen's] kind of a bit of everything. So split the group into those attributes. Don't overcomplicate. You have 36 hours. Be realistic and over deliver. Don't go for something too big and underdeliver. You'll look like bloody idiots."

They took his advice and decided to back Stephen's idea to help Chicago Hope Academy. Cameron called in some money from friends and also got in touch with Blue Man Productions, which offered to donate $100,000 to the school and a performance by Blue Man Group.

Cameron and Brandi weren't happy Stephen told the Chicago Hope Academy kids about the Blue Man Group performance because he didn't have any hand in planning it. Brandi described it as "selfish."

Prior to serving the Chicago Hope Academy kids a special luncheon, Cameron and Brandi instead traveled to Shriners Hospital for Children. Stephen secured $60,000 for the academy while Brandi convinced Anthony Reyes, a local chef, to donate a free cooking class to the kids at Shriners.

Stephen served lunch at the Chicago Hope Academy -- by himself -- before the Blue Man Group performance commenced. Once at the theater, Phil Stanton, one of the Blue Man Group founders who donated the $100,000, wanted to meet Cameron. Alas, Cameron was stuck in traffic with Brandi and said he might be late.

"This is the big reveal. This is what we're giving the Chicago Hope Academy, and you guys don't even have the decency to be there when we show up?" said Stephen after Brandi suggested he start the show without them. "Blue Man Productions is donating over $100,000 plus the show. You've got to show these people respect and show up on time. It's an embarrassment to me, and it's an embarrassment to Oprah's Big Give."

The Blue Man Group performed with Oprah's Big Give's three judges -- Jamie; NFL star Tony Gonzalez; and philanthropist Malaak Compton-Rock, who is comedian Chris Rock's wife -- all in attendance.

After the show, the donations were revealed and included $110,000 to put toward baseball fields; $50,000 to go toward music and arts programs; 15 brand new guitars; and a Baldwin upright piano.

"It's unbelievable that they put that together in 48 hours," said Bob. "We had no idea they were coming, and to help us like that is just beyond anything we dreamed of."

The finalists then went to Shriners, where Anthony gave his cooking lesson while Cameron and Stephen left to spend an extra $10,000 that Cameron raised on toys for the hospital's kids.

The three finalists then returned to Oprah's Big Give headquarters, where they were met by the seven previously eliminated contestants -- Angelo Adams; Olusegun "Sheg" Aranmolate; Rachael Hollingsworth; Eric Klein; Kim Prentiss; Marlene Snipes; and Carlana Stone.

Cameron, Brandi and Stephen also received their final remarks from the three judges.

Before the winner was revealed, actress Jennifer Aniston dropped by with a surprise -- the winner would be receiving $1 million; the other two finalists would receive $100,000 each; and the seven previously eliminated contestants would each receive $30,000.

Stephen was then revealed to be the winner.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Leona Lewis' Spirit Album Tops US Chart

Leona’s debut album Spirit has gone straight in at the top of the American album charts! Not only is she first British female to achieve such an amazing feat, but she is the first British artist in history to debut at number one!

Selling a massive 204,841 copies in one week, Sprit outsold the number two (Troubadour by Straight George) and three (Sunset Man by Otto James) albums by an impressive 88,256.

This phenomenal result comes just two weeks after her first single ‘Bleeding Love’ went in at number one, making her the first British female vocalist to take the number one single spot in an almighty 21 years.

Having dropped a few places last week, ‘Bleeding Love’ returned to the number one spot this week which means that Leona has done the unthinkable and bagged a double whammy of chart topping success in the States; a notoriously hard market to crack.

Simon Cowell has commented, ‘What Leona has achieved is simply incredible. This is the hardest market to crack and for her debut album to go in at number 1 is unbelievable.’

Other record-breaking news:

· Leona Lewis’ triumph marks the first time in music history that any album by a British female artist has entered at Number One on the Billboard Top 200.

· Spirit (J Records/SyCo Music) marks the first time ever that any British artist, male or female, has entered the US chart at Number One with a debut album.

· Spirit is the biggest-selling debut for a first album by a female artist since Carrie Underwood’s Some Hearts in 2005—and it scored the biggest digital album sales week ever for a new artist, male or female.

Related Stores:
Leona Tops the US Single Chart
Leona Winning the X-Factor

Saturday, April 12, 2008

American Idol: Idol Gives Back 2008

Well, this is what you've all been waiting for, right? What's that? Finale? Yeah, I guess that'll be cool, too. But if you've listened to Ryan all season then you know TONIGHT is really what it's all about! If you're looking to find out who got eliminated by vote last night you're going to have to wait until tomorrow. But if you're looking for two-and-a-half hours of entertainment chock full of celebrities and song and charity, then you're looking for "Idol Gives Back."

Last year's inaugural edition was very good, and Kristin's report of the Idol Gives Back taping from this past Sunday was also very positive. We don't have any pesky (non) eliminations to deal with like last year, so just kick back, donate and enjoy. And, if you want, join us online and chat about it in real-time with other giving Idol fans.

"If AIDS got half ... half of the attention the media gives to celebrity dramas, this issue would be well on its way to being solved. So I want to ask you, shall we be the generation that says no more injustice to the poor. Shall we commit to eradicating AIDS, extreme poverty and more. Or shall we continue to allow ourselves no voice in the world our children will inherit." --Alicia Keys

Tonight's show was a hybrid of new material interspersed with the recorded segments from this past Sunday. But in true Idol tradition, they pretended that all were happening at the same time. They set up the Top 12 on stage with laptops to take live calls from donors during the show; a nice touch. Even Ryan bantered with a few of the callers live throughout the show.

One of the things I learned from the night is that there are just so many different places in the world in need for so many different reasons. How can there still be so many problems in a world were there are people with billions of dollars, nations with health care for everyone and all the medical technology we've uncovered? If the peoples of the world would just stop and care enough about everyone we share a planet with, couldn't we make so many of these things go away?

Even if Idol Gives Back doesn't raise the level of money they're shooting for, $100 million, at least they're doing a tremendous thing in raising awareness for the various causes spotlighted. The weird thing for me now is that by removing the Results portion of the show, like they had last year, it no longer feels like an episode of American Idol at all. Now it truly is just a charity special, so it became sort of an odd fit for the series. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great thing for a show of this magnitude to do, it's just a weird thing now to air a special completely unrelated episode between the performance of the Top 8 and the elimination of one of them. But maybe that's just me.

There was a ton going on in the show, starting off with that great So You Think You Can Dance piece with the Top 8 singing Rhianna's "Please Don't Stop the Music." And if I'm not mistaken, that was SYTYCD contestant Hok's entire dance crew there toward the end.


The show was filled with celebrity appearances, some introducing video segments and live performances, while still others got more actively involved in the various charities and causes promoted throughout the night. California first lady Maria Shriver opened the show surrounded by more than a hundred volunteers at various organizations in California. Shriver was there to encourage you to find a way to volunteer in your community

Ben Stiller introduced a Jennifer Connolly dramatization where she served water from a lake to kids. 1.1 billion people don't have access to clean drinking water was the message. It was a nice piece and effectively sold its message, but as it was the only dramatization of its kind, it was a little weird comparatively on the night

Paula Abdul & Randy Jackson came out to talk about childhood obesity in America. They went to Goshen School, less than 200 miles from the Idol stage, but in a community mired in poverty. The per capita income is less than $9,000 per year. The community has no resources to make safe places for kids to play, and due to gang violence and fear, most just stay at home. Save the Children runs a promotion where kids can come, get homework help and most importantly be kids.

Jimmy Kimmel came on to introduce Simon Cowell's video segment, and did so in the fashion of a celebrity roast. There are over 50 million people without necessary health insurance, 15 million of which are children. He hooked up with the Children's Health Fund, a van of roving health care that brings needed assistance to families without insurance. We meet a family where the mother has lupus, the daughter has rheumatoid arthritis and the son is just recently out of a wheelchair. This poor family has lost their home already due to medical costs. Honestly, this is an area of this country that I am unable to fathom, how we disenfranchise so many people in a first world nation that thinks itself the leader of the free world from affordable health care.

Miley Cyrus and her dad Billy Ray Cyrus went back to Clay County in Kentucky, where Billy Ray hails from. Fifty percent of the children in this region live below the poverty line. The Cyrus' met a family living in horrific living conditions. There is a Save the Children after-school program there that is helping kids learn at appropriate levels. The program even delivers books to families that could never afford them.

Eli & Peyton Manning came on to talk about how the communities of their hometown New Orleans and the surrounding region are still struggling with the aftermath of Hurrican Katrina three years later. We learned about the very real horrors that the children of the area were subjected to. The Mannings went to a community center to talk and play with some of the kids in the area.

Reese Witherspoon came on to spotlight The Children's Defense Fund, which focuses on education for children. Reese went to an impoverished region of New Orleans where she met a single mom raising her thirteen-year old daughter. She told a story about a four-year old who shot himself. Could that possibly be suicide? Surely it was an accident. How could a four-year old want to die so badly? Freedom School is an after-school program that's available there and keeps the daughter out of trouble and helps her become a better person. It's one thing to see suffering in Africa, and yes it's horrible, but when you hear the statistics of how many children are suffering right now here in America it just breaks your heart.

David Spade introduced Brad Pitt's efforts in New Orleans to find homes for familes who lost theirs. 275,000 homes were lost in Katrina. Over 200,000 people remain displaced from their homes even now. Even former President Bill Clinton helped Make It Right, an organization that helps build affordable homes for the people. I'm not sure why he got a standing ovation when he hit the stage. I liked when his mic fell and the woman who came out said "I just needed a reason to touch him," while fixing it. Ad lib humor better than Ryan usually manages.

Brad Pitt introduced Daughtry's trip to Uganda, Africa. This journey was presented in the form of a music video for Daughtry's single, "What About Now?" filmed in Africa. He performed it for a huge crowd of kids and invited them to sing the chorus with him. He went in affiliation with One.org, a unity of charities to enhance the good they can do. Ryan told us Bono would tell us more about that tomorrow night.

Bono traveled to Africa to meet children and people ravaged by AIDS. We met Sophia, a 14-year old girl suffering with AIDS, and our funds keep her in the medicines she needs. I couldn't help but wonder if Sophia could understand him when he talked to her, but nevertheless it is inspiring. Esophea (sp?) volunteers her time and efforts to help so many in her community after losing three of her own children to HIV. Keep a Child Alive is a global organization that deals with AIDS in Africa. Later, Dane Cook introduced a portion of Alica Keys' African journey with this group, the entire video of which is available for download at AmericanIdol.com.

Bono's second report of the night was about the children and people of Africa striving to remember those they've lost to AIDS. It also served as an introduction to Annie Lennox's journeys in Africa where she too finds so many people who've lost everyone they've known and loved to AIDS. She found a group of brothers, all children 15 and under. The eldest now is the caretaker for the family. Annie took them to be tested and all were negative. And these losses could be preventable as most who die from AIDS do so from lack of diagnosis and available treatment. After the video, she came on stage to perform and play piano.

Sarah Silverman did what she does and you either like her or you don't before getting into her bit on malaria and introducing Forest Whitaker's video. He went with his wife to a community ravaged by this disease. Malaria takes more lives in Africa than anything else. They met Maria who suffered from a severe case of malaria. A thing as simple as a ten dollar mosquito net could have prevented this illness. So many families don't even have access to the facilities that saved Maria's life.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown followed up on Forest's bit by announcing that the UK will pay for 20 million more malaria nets for Africa and will urge other world leaders to do the same. That's $200 million donated by the UK to this worthy cause. Now we've got a lot more people in the US than they do in the UK, so if we can't match that donation we're going to look pretty damned cheap, people.

Robin Williams was introduced as the winner of the latest Russian Idol. I'm sorry but this was a pretty stupid bit for me. Robin was pitchy in places and it went on forever and ever. After bantering with Ryan a bit he stood in front of Randy, Paula and Simon to "audition" for them. He sang a horrible "My Way" Russian mess and then got "critiqued" by the panel. Why did this get an entire segment?

There were tons of other celebrity recordings interspersed throughout the show by Jimmy Johnson, George Lopez (who gave his promotion in Spanish--a very cool move), Kylie Minogue (who did hers in the Queen's English so that British people could understand the message, too), Kobe Bryant, Triple H, Mary Murphy (who said she would scream as she does on So You Think You Can Danceuntil someone donated), Nigel Lythgoe (who begged us to give so Mary would stop screaming), The Jonas Brothers, Julianne Moore (who should have taken the time to learn her lines, or at least gotten her teleprompters closer to the camera), John Cena, Adam Sandler (whose bulldog donated), David and Victoria Beckham, Kiefer Sutherland, Celine Dion, Whoopi Goldberg, Ellen DeGeneres (though I would have much rather had her do the co-hosting she was supposed to), Keith Urban, Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale, Rob Schneider and Tyra Banks


Snoop Dogg w/ Charlie Wilson and the Youth Football League of LA - "Can't Say Goodbye"
You gotta give props to Snoop for having his logo and name crested onto his mic. I don't think I've ever seen a mic with bling before, so mad props to one of the original "dawgs" of modern rap.

Teri Hatcher w/ "Band from TV" - "Before He Cheats"
This was introduced in a cheesy clip of Carrie Underwood getting plumbing help in her dressing room by James Denton from Desperate Housewives. That was enough to get Teri Hatcher jealous. "If you're going to steal my man, I'm going to steal your song." I liked the "Band from TV" schtick as I recognized James Denton behind her on guitar, Jesse Spencer (Chase from House) on violin and, Greg Grunberg (Parkman from Heroes) on drums. Teri, however, was not good on vocals. t the end, Carrie herself came onto the stage to give the charity numbers.

Miley Cyrus - "Good and Broken"
Billy Crystal came on to introduce and make a dream come true for a talented newcomer who dreamed of singing on the Idol stage, and then mispronounced Miley Cyrus' name. They had a cute enough dialogue back-and-forth where Crystal tried to offer her career advice and she showed him up with her recent success. The only connection they had was that he was the voice of Mike on Monsters, Inc. When she corrected him on pronouncing her name, he got star-struck realizing who she was. She sang well enough, but there's something funny about seeing her throw her hair and body around like a rock star up there. Admittedly, I've never paid a few thousand dollars to go to one of her actual concerts, so maybe she does this there and it's amazing. I wonder if Hannah Montana was jealous that Miley was invited to be on the show and she wasn't.

Fergie w/ John Legend - "Finally"
Heart w/ Fergie - "Barracuda"
Fergie hit us with an Idolpower note during her performance. Maybe the stage brings those out of singers. Her performance served as an introduction to Heart who performed "Barracuda." Ann Wilson may be heavier than we've ever seen her, but she still sounds absolutely amazing. Fergie came back out and sang with Ann on the track, and gave every bit as much as Ann on the song. How many times have we heard Idol wannabes butcher Heart, and here's Fergie almost perfectly nailing the required vocal intensity and prowess of the song. Fergie wore the tight leather pants that the Wilsons don't wear anymore (thank goodness) and even did two one-handed forward cartwheel.

Annie Lennox - "Many Rivers to Cross"
What can you say? Annie is a legend and is just as amazing a vocalist and performer now as she's ever been in her amazing career.

Carrie Underwood - "Praying for Time"
It's a shame that Carrie couldn't get her dress from the dry cleaners in time. If only she could have she wouldn't have had to wrap the drapes from her dressing room around herself. Carrie again proves why she was versatile enough to win American Idol. Even though she's a country singer, just as she was able to nail Heart on her season, she effortlessly takes on George Michael, himself an amazing vocalist. Can I say that I liked Carrie more with a bit of meat on her bones. Celebrities are too skinny! And why couldn't she get up, did she forget to take out the curtain rods?

Gloria Estafan w/ Sheila E. - "Get On Your Feet"
I'm not sure how she did it, maybe she drinks Dick Clark's blood, but Gloria Estafan is virtually ageless. She hasn't lost a bit of her voice either, and her performance featured another welcome return of those SYTYCD dancers.

American Idol 2008 Top 8 - "Seasons of Love"
This was one of the better group performances of the season for the Idol contestants, and I think it has more to do with the lack of awful choreagraphy than anything else. Wow, they're so much better to listen to when they're not being forced to do bad "boy band" routines across the stage. Take notes, Idol folks.

Miley Cyrus - "See You Again"
Miley came out again with a high-octane performance. I'll give the girl credit that she knows how to put on an entertaining show at fifteen years old. But is she a rock star? Certainly fans seem to react to her like she is, so maybe I'm just too old for her. I did like the dancers in boxes background thing she did. But why did Miley get two performances and a video segment? Is FOX courting her for a show on their network?

Mariah Carey - "Fly Like a Bird"
With our own Randy Jackson on bass behind her, word has it that Mariah is next week's celebrity mentor. Mariah is just amazing, and that didn't change tonight as she closed out the show. If they're going to do Mariah's songs, then this could be the most challenging week ever in Idol coming up.

Top 8 - "Shout to the Lord"
To wrap up the show, the Top 8 put on their purest white garb for this number, though why Syesha translated that to mean white shorts I'm not sure. I'm also not sure why the SYTYCD kids were back with the choir. They're not singers. It was overall a nice performance and a nice show, though again it no longer fits quite right as just another episode in the middle of the season. Maybe it should be a special after the finale. They could air it that next Saturday or Sunday, like a Pro Bowl and bring back all of the Top 24.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Holly Kiser Wins Make Me a Supermodel Season 1

It’s 3 guys against one girl in the finale of the reality series “Make Me A Supermodel” and guess what? Girl power rules as 21 year old Holly Kiser bested all the contestants to become the next supermodel.
Holly grew up on top of a mountain in the heart of Appalachia in a very strict and traditional family. She has overcome many hurdles in her life, including suffering third degree burns on her face after graduating high school, but she credits her ability to overcome these struggles to her faith. She now lives with her fianc� in Miami and is struggling to jump-start her modeling career. She describes herself as sassy, outspoken and quick witted. In her spare time, she enjoys running and spending time at church.

Holly wins the photoshoot and catwalk challenges in 3 episodes and she’s been in the bottom 3 only once. Ronnie and Ben, or “Bronnie” as what their fans call them, have been in the bottom 3 for a number of times but because the televiewers enjoy the “relationship” that they share during the competition, they made it to the final 4. Ben is a prison guard, married, while Ronnie is a gay man. Joining Ben, Ronnie and Holly in the final 4 was Perry, the one who was perceived by the judges as “cocky” but was able to redeem himself in the end.

See Holly's photo gallery here: