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February 2008 Archives

The Honolulu Advertiser newspaper is reporting that production on "Lost" is heating up again in the Hawaiian islands.

The cast is reportedly due back on March 10, which is just 10 days before the last completed episode will air.

"Lost" was a casualty of the writers strike, returning this spring to ABC with only eight of its planned 16 episodes to complete the current season. An ABC spokesperson has said the network plans to complete only five more episodes to air this spring, beginning April 24.

Ruben's back — to sing the buh-bye song on 'Idol'

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‘‘American Idol’’ season-two winner Ruben Studdard will perform the ‘‘farewell song’’ used to send off the losing contestants when they depart the show’s top 12.

This year, the song will be a cover of Kenny Loggins’ ‘‘Celebrate Me Home’’ in a new version produced by Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam. ‘‘It’s very soulful, very heartfelt,’’ Lewis says. ‘‘Ruben is singing his pants off.’’

'Quarterlife' tanked, so NBC dumps it on Bravo

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Two days after its premiere on NBC, the Internet-to-broadcast series ‘‘quarterlife’’ is moving to Bravo, sources say.

The series will complete its run on NBC Universal’s cable network, adding another stop on the show’s remarkable tour of media distribution outlets: from MySpace, to an MTV preview, to NBC’s broadcast network, to Bravo.

Five one-hour episodes remain in the original network order. The episodes are based on 38 eight-minute shorts that first ran online.

On Tuesday, the NBC premiere of ‘‘quarterlife’’ marked the network’s worst time-period performance in the 10 p.m. hour in at least 17 years, averaging a 1.3 rating/4 share among adults 18 to 49 and 3.1 million viewers.

The Results show

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31 million votes cast, but before we got the results, the performers have to butcher a medley and bust some "Brady Bunch" moves.

Michael Lee, Chikezie Eze, Jason Castro, and Danny Noriega are safe. Jason Yeager is going home.

Total shock. Down to Alexandrea Lushington and Amanda L. Overmyer. Overmyer is safe.

Alaina Whitaker was also booted. So much for being Simon Cowell's pick for the underdog.

Robbie Carrico was also booted.

You guys are secretly voting for the people I think are going home, aren't you?

Why stay up? Late-night comedy now online 24/7

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You don’t have to stay up past midnight to enjoy your late-night shows.

Material from David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel and Conan O’Brien is increasingly turning into viral video on the Web. Long secluded in the wee hours of the night, these funnymen are now, with the help of a click or two, finding laughs in the waking hours.

They’re often a hit, too, and none more so than Kimmel has been recently.

Ladies night on "Idol"

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Those viewers ready to turn the show off and crown front-runner David Archuleta the winner may want to think back to last season. Melinda Doolittle was the one to beat and she ended up in third place. On to tonight's show:

Carly Smithson is first with Heart's "Crazy on You." We weren't crazy about it and it lacked heart.

"Beginning was a little rough for me," Jackson said. Cowell thought it was much better than last week, but still thinks she hasn't found the right song yet. "You haven't chosen that one song that will absolutely get you that moment."

Syesha Mercado was all R&B on Billy Paul's "Me and Mrs. Jones" (changing the gender of Jones, natch). Randy hated the song choice. He wants her to belt 100 percent of the time. Abdul like the interpretation. "I thought it was a bit indulgent," Cowell said.

Brooke White played guitar for half of Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" (stopping for someone reason on the second verse). "It was a great song choice for you," Jackson said.

"Brooke, I absolutely loved it. It was the absolutely perfect song for you. Felt like the artist genuinely picked the song and it didn't sound old-fashion," Cowell said.

Eze as a Sunday Morning

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Cowell's remarks to "Extra" may have been premature. Chikezie Eze picked "I Believe to My Soul" (written by Ray Charles and made famous by Donny Hathaway) and knocked it out of the park. "You looked better, sounded better," Cowell said. "It was a clever choice in song."

David Cook picked Free's "All Right Now" and his performance was just all right. Cowell felt Cook was "solid, believable," but lacked charisma.

Archuleta sings us out with John Lennon's “Imagine.”

Paula comments were creepy: "I want to squeeze your head off and dangle you from my rearview mirror."

Cowell said the song choice was "risky, but it worked," adding "right now, you're the one to beat."

What'd you guys think?

Is Danny Noriega the worst?

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Vote for the's poster boy this season, Danny Noriega, took on The Carpenter's "Superstar." He did a decent job. Cowell thought it was better than last week, but not fantastic. Jackson thought he was over-concentrating.

David Hernandez left no stone unturned with Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong's "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone." Hernandez added a bit more flourish than I'd like, but the judges liked it. "This was the David Hernandez we fell in love with, " Jackson said. Cowell felt it was the best vocal of the night up until this point.

Jason Yeager abandoned the cabaret theatrics from last week and put in a decent peformance of The Doobie Brothers “Long Train Runnin’.” Cowell felt he looked like he was a drunk at a party.

Former Chicagoan Luke Menard

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Jason Castro came across as shy and genuine in the pre-performance interview. I liked his acoustic-tinged version of The Bee Gees' "I Just Want to Be Your Everything" better than the judges did. "[The vocals were] just ok without the guitar," Jackson said. Cowell found it too schmaltzy.

Luke Menard mystifies me. Second week of the competition and he picked "Killer Queen" by Queen as his choice. It's a difficult song to sing and not one that will exactly endear him to the typical "American Idol" voter. Cowell thinks it was a mistake. Abdul and Jackson both liked it.

Faux rocker Robbie Carrico lost the bandanna this week and makes a good song choice in Foreigner's "Hot Blooded." Randy didn't think it had enough "umph" and Abdul thought he played it too safe.

Week two on "American Idol"

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Going into tonight's show, I'm thinking about comments "Idol" judge Simon Cowell said to "Extra."

Cowell think's David Archuleta is the one to beat and Chikezie Eze doesn't stand a chance "unless the other 18 resign."

Ouch. Let us know your thoughts.

Onto the show after the bump.

Hey, Hey, Hey, Goodbye

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Amy Davis gone.

And it's between Joanne Borgella and Amanda L. Overmyer? Wow.

Borgella sang "A Little Prayer For You" and there's no prayer.

Colton Berry sang “Suspicious Minds,” but America was skeptical and voted him off.

Not very accurate in predicting who was going home.

The results are in

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Garrett Haley is unceremoniously let go.

We're a bit surprised here. Your thoughts?

Easin' on down Tobacco Road

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Syesha Mercado sang the hell out of John D. Loudermilk's "Tobacco Road."

"You're one of the most talented girls in this competition," Cowell said. "I thought it was terrific."

The coveted last spot went to Carly Smithson. Smithson came clean on this being her second chance (she was previously signed and dropped from a record label).

She selected Johnny Mandel and Paul Francis Webster's "The Shadow of Your Smile. "

“Best vocal of the best 24 right here,” Jackson said.

“I didn’t get it. I didn’t think it was fantastic," Cowell said.

What'd you think?

Girls rule

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Alexandrea Lushington put a little of her own blood, sweat and tears into Blood Sweat and Tears' "Spinning Wheel."

“You blew the doors off that,” Jackson said. Abdul said it was very relevant and you could play it on the radio today. Cowell didn't get it.

Kady Malloy performed a not-so-groovy version of Toni Wine and Carole Bayer Sager’s “A Groovy Kind of Love.”

“That was like ‘Night of the Living Dead’,” Cowell said.

Where the boys aren't and the nanny...

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Trade show model Amy Davis with "Where the Boys Are."

Apparently, the boys are all tone-deaf where ever where is.

"When you scoop up to the note, you gotta hit that note dead on," Jackson said.

Brooke White, the singing nanny not named 'Mary Poppins," gave a soulful version of The Turtles "So Happy Together."

“You chose the right song. It was very you,” Cowell said. “I’m struggling with it. I presume you’re going to be nice throughout this competition?”

Rock on Overmyer

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Our early favorite, Amanda L. Overmyer was up next with Big Joe Williams' "Baby Please Don't Go." She absolutely rocked it out.

Cowell thought when she was scatting that she forgot the words, but still praised her.

"I really like you. I genuinely think you're authentic."

Loving the song more today than yesterday....

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16 year-old Alaina Whitaker warbled her way though Spiral Starecase's "More Today Than Yesterday" and did a much better job with it than Chikezie Eze did last night.

"You are sailing through to the next round after that [performance]," Cowell said.

Nothing Cooking in this "Idol" kitchen

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Kristy Lee Cook is the first up. She sold a horse to try out for "American Idol." She seems to need rescuing from her rather generic version of Aretha Franklin's "Rescue Me."

Randy Jackson said it was not her best performance. Paula Abdul said despite the bronchitis and flu Cook shouldn't "let it get in the way of your shine or what you emote" (whatever that means). Simon Cowell put it bluntly: "Bronchitis, flu, whatever. It was the wrong choice of song for you."

Plus size-model Joanne Borgella was next with Burt Bacharach's "I Say a Little Prayer For You." She seemed

Girls Night Out at "American Idol"

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Last night's episode of "American Idol" seemed to feature a lot of filler in the form of banter between the judges. Hopefully, tonight will be different as the ladies take the stage.

Ryan Seacrest just explained that flu season has hit the "Idol" contestants. I think this might have been an attempt to explain Carly Smithson's absence last night (she was missing from the crowd of 11 female singers watching their male counterparts perform).


More from the boys on "American Idol"

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Garrett Haley re-christened Neil Sedaka’s “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” as a power ballad. Randy Jackson called it boring.

Jason Castro played guitar on Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Daydream,” but hit a few rank notes. Cowell thought it was in the top two performances of the night.

Michael Johns had the last slot of the night. He sang The Doors' "Light My Fire" without setting things ablaze. Cowell called it consistent.

Top of the night: Archuleta.

Bottom two in my book: Yeager and Eze

The gals have their shot 7-tomorrow night.

The two men and two women with the least amount of votes will be sent home with their dreams dashed on Thursday’s results show.

Let's hear it for the boys (or not)

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"American Idol" finally got down to business as the 12 male contestants performed Tuesday night.

The theme is music from the 1960s. First up was David Hernandez. . He gave a gospel-fueled version of Wilson Pickett’s “In the Midnight Hour.” Cowell said it was better than he expected, but Hernandez needed to loosen up.

Chikezie Eze sang Spiral Staircase’s “More Today Than Yesterday” in full Barry White mode. Cowell hated the suit, the wink and the old-fashioned performance.

While David Cook rocked out to "So Happy Together," the same could not be said for Jason Yeager.

Final two slots

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Colton Berry and Kyle Ensley up for the last of the guys' slots.

Colton is passed through. Simon compliments Kyle. Paula wants to give both a hug.

Joanne Borgella and Cardin McKinney final two gals. Joanne is sent through.

Look for the complete list and my top picks in the Sun-Times tomorrow.

At the half-way point

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Filling up fast:

Garrett Haley
Kady Malloy
Chikezie Eze
Amy Davis
Alaina Whitaker
Jason Yeager
Asia'h Epperson
David Hernandez

Josiah thinks he's going through, but he is sent packing.

More cuts

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Michael Johns is also through.

Syesha Mercado has great camera presence. Paula makes a bad joke about 'yes' being in the middle of her name.

Robbie Carrico also passed through.

More slots taken

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Kristy Lee Cook takes spot number three. Nine girls left.

Brooke White is wearing a really unflattering dress. She cried. They missed with her head and passed her through. Eight girls left.

Danny Noriega take the third spot.

Jason Castro also in. Missed one. Think it was Asia'h Epperson.

Ramiele Malubay marks the half-way point.

And we're back

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David Cook is the first guy to secure a slot. Amanda L. Overmyer is also passed through

Why is Paula playing with people's heads this season?

David Archuleta makes it through. Big surprise. I expect to see him in the top five.

Towards the 24

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Shameless plug for "Jumper" starts things off on a cheesy note.

Carley Smithson is the first to win a place. Paula played some head games with her first, though.

"You tortured that poor girl," Simon says. Again, agreeing with Simon this season.

At the promo bump: Paula tells David Archuleta "We don't like saying no to people." Right. Like they're not saying 'yes' to him.

What do you guys think so far?

NBC shows returning: 'Earl,' 'Office,' more

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NBC also said its prime-time schedule will begin returning to life with new episodes of “My Name Is Earl” starting April 3. “The Office,” “Scrubs” and “ER” will be back April 10. And then come the “Law & Orders”: “SVU” on April 15 and the original on April 23.

The network also said freshman dramas “Chuck” and “Life” have been renewed for next season.

CBS shows ('CSI,' sitcoms) announce return dates

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CBS has set return dates for 14 prime-time series, including ‘‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,’’ ‘‘How I Met Your Mother’’ and ‘‘Two and a Half Men.’’

'SNL' back Feb. 23 ... with Tina Fey!

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NBC’s ‘‘Saturday Night Live,’’ the only late-night show completely shelved by the writers’ strike, is planning a Feb. 23 return if the writers ratify a contract agreement and head back to work.

No guests have been announced for the return, but today some hosts were announced: Tina Fey on Feb. 23 and Ellen Page on March 1.

Bernie and the rest of the Black Team pull off an upset

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They squeaked by with one more pound than the blue team.

That wasn't the most shocking thing. Trent's former team mate Roger cast the deciding vote to send his friend home. Ouch.

Talent shines through

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David Archuleta sings "Heaven" by Bryan Adams. Three yes votes. I'm guessing his fans are going to call themselves "Arch Angels," because this kids is top 10 material.

Simon apologized for walking out on Kyle. Kyle redeems himself and is passed onto the final round of cuts.

Syesha, who had been suffering with a throat ailment, comes back like a gale wind with "Chain of Fools."

Michael Johns sings "Bohemian Rhapsody. Three yes votes

Hollywood says 'no' to the Windy City.

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Angela Martin sings "Lovely Day" and dedicates it to her daughter. She's cut. Chicago is out of "Idol" this season.

99 other singers were also rejected.

D-Day in Hollywood

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48 were passed onto the final round.

Groups of 10 are brought up to sing a cappella.

Chicago's Pia Easley is in the first group of 10. We don't hear her sing. She's sent home. So much for being one of Entertainment Weekly's picks to make it through.

Condolences to Bryan Adams

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David Cook is the second "Idol" wannabe to butcher "Everything I do." Simon wasn't crazy about it, but the other two were.

Robbie Carrico and a slew of other contestants also pick it.

Simon walks out on Kyle Ensley. Wow, I find myself agreeing with Simon more this season.

Day two in Hollywood

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80 people up. Still no sign of Chicago contestants Pia Easley or Angela Martin.

Simon tells Josiah Leming his is the one audition he will remember.

Danny Noriega. Ramiele Malubay, Carley Smithson, Michael Johnson also get passed onto Thursday.

Amanda Overmyer

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Despite a couple of cracked ribs from a car accident the week before Hollywood Week.

Randy says she could be big again. Paula adores her. Simon is glad she is here, but cautions her to learn some light and shade. Three yes votes.

Cracking under the pressure: Buck Smith forgets the words. As does Cardin McKinley, Natashia Blach.

Ghaleb Emachah butchers a Bryan Adams song. Simon says "it was incredibly corny." Three no votes.

Maybe this whole instrument thing isn't such a good idea

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A parade of "Idol" wanabees attempt to play instruments. I'm guessing instruments won't be back next season.

David Hernandez sticks to just singing. Wise move. He passes through to day three with a soulful rendition of "Love the One You're With."


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Contestants will have a second chance to perform in front of the judges.

Brooke gets a free ride to third day of Hollywood week.

Lorena Pinot, Amy Flynn and Leo Marlowe don't impress the judges and will have one more chance to impress them and prove they deserve to be there.

What do you guys think of the new format of Hollywood week?

Hurrah for Hollywood?

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With 160 contestants competing at the start of "American Idol" Hollywood week tonight, we can only hope that Paula, Randy and Simon will show a little love for the lone two Chicago contestants to make the trek: Pia Easley and Angela Martin.

Best of luck Pia and Angela!

Calling All Chicago "Biggest Losers"

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Doing double duty watching both "American Idol" and "Biggest Loser" tonight.

Wanted to post this for you "Biggest Loser" fans in case it doesn't make it into the paper tomorrow:

NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” will be hosting an open casting call 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Feb. 16 at Chicago Home Fitness (1555 N. Halsted). Producers are again looking for teams of two.

Was the writers strike worth it? Tell us!

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At long last, the writers strike could be over this week. We've heard from readers who bucked up and stood with the writers during their strike — holding out for a share of digital and new media royalties — and readers who quickly soured on the glut of reality TV and scolded the writers for holding the industry hostage.

We writers here at a unionized newspaper, well, most of us are happy the country was reminded that writers have value and that life suffers a little without their stories.

But how do you feel? Did the strike accomplish anything? Was it worth it? What are you most excited to see return to the small screen?

Write to us or comment below and sound off!

Why's Simon being so nice this year?

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No one ever accused Simon Cowell of being compassionate — until this year.

Three weeks into the new season, the resident ‘‘American Idol’’ grinch has been sugarcoating critiques of mediocre and helplessly tone-deaf wannabes.

‘‘He’s nice for three weeks, and then suddenly he’ll flip and he’ll turn out being [a] bloody horror again,’’ said ‘‘Idol’’ executive producer Ken Warwick. ‘‘Wait until we get into this next batch, you know, the top 12.’’

'Lost' expands from the Others to the Other Others

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Is the show captivating because it's so mysterious? Or is it getting too mysterious for its own good?

I don't know about you, but I groaned in the second season of "Lost" when we started getting backstories of a whole new group of people, the Others. Like we needed more to keep track of. Tonight, the "rescuers" finally landed on the island — and we got a couple of their flashback backstories before we even met them in the present. So now we have the original plane crash survivors, the Others, and the Other Others. And, like the naked city, they're full of a million stories. And my brain hurts. I've stopped even trying to crack the code of this madness. Just sit back, watch the puzzle pieces fly around, try to see the beauty in it, like the whirling trash in "American Beauty."

Crying no tears for 'Project Runway' departure

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At one point in last night's "Project Runway," guru Tim Gunn said, "We have to let our divas go." He was referring to the ladies of WWE, for which the designers had the unenviable task of creating Spandex wrestling costumes, but he could have easily been saying it about the season-long process of winnowing the ninnies. And last night — whew! — we finally got rid of the last piece of deadwood.

Five reasons I love the writers strike

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Well, aside from the obvious — the books I'm reading, the conversations I'm having with my spouse, the meals we're actually eating at the table — this drought of new material on the tube has led me to some watering holes I wouldn't otherwise have found. ...

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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