Something is afoot on "Dancing With the Stars." Is it just me, or were the judges totally playing favorites tonight?
March 2008 Archives
Piers Morgan is hired.
The former British tabloid editor was crowned the winner on NBC’s ‘‘The Celebrity Apprentice,’’ triumphing over Trace Adkins.
‘‘Arrested Development’’ star Jason Bateman is returning to Fox, this time as a director of the comedy pilot ‘‘The Inn.’’
Penn Jillette lost on ‘‘Dancing With the Stars,’’ so his comedy-and-magic partner Teller lost $5,000.
Teller had placed a bet on Jillette to conquer the sixth season of the popular ABC dance competition. The odds against Jillette were 30-1 so Teller stood to win $150,000.
Fellow "Jericho" fans certainly exploded from the woodwork yesterday when I posted a final word about the canceled CBS drama — but there's one more final, final word...
Comedy Central has handed out series pickups to David Alan Grier’s fake magazine show and a reality spoof from the producers of NBC’s ‘‘The Biggest Loser.’’
The news comes on the heels of Comedy’s 2008-09 development slate announcement, which included both projects as well as the series order for the fantasy comedy ‘‘Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire,’’ which debuts in first-quarter 2009.
Ramiele Malubay is safe.
It's down to Kristy Lee Cook and Jason Castro. Let's see...a cute as a button country music singer who performed "God Bless the U.S.A." and a guy who shares a last name with a certain former Cuban dictator.
Kristy Lee Cook is, of course, safe.
And so is Castro. He could barely join Eze and Mercado in the bottom three before Ryan told him he was safe.
Is is me, or was Naperville's Gina Glocksen (from last season) in the audience tonight?
Kimberley Locke (the third place winner from Season 2) talked about life post-Idol. She put out a couple albums, she owns a restaurant and she went on "Celebrity Fit Club"
She's sang "Fall," a single released in February. It was in the top 25 on the adult contemporary charts.
David Archuleta smiled the entire time while waiting for Ryan to tell him he was safe.
David Cook looked nervous (as of he didn't know if he was safe). We agree with you, Cook. You don't want to come off cocky this early in the competition.
Syesha Mercado is in the bottom three again.
Fox News was apparently wrong when it reported she was with child.
In other news, people liked her performance of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and she's safe this week.
Brooke White likes it both ways (performing The Police's "Every Breath You Take" with the band and without). She's safe.
Chikezie Eze was pointing to the three stools and not the sofa before Ryan Seacrest could even read his name. He was right. Eze is in the bottom three this week.
Another shamless plug for the songs on iTunes. They actually go into the studio and record the entire song instead of the one and a half minutes of it they perform on the show.
Anyone else wondering how much Apple is paying for this?
30 million votes. The highest this season.
Things I could be watching instead of the filler before we get to the votes: At the top of the list is the Oscar-winning animated short "Peter & The Wolf" on PBS.
After schilling for entries in their Idol song contest, we get to tonight's group sing Talk about theme park performances (to borrow a criticism from Simon Cowell from last night), these things always come off so cheesy in my book. "Right Back to Where We Started From" is no different.
To the caller who took issue with my comments regarding Kristy Lee Cook last night:
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -Sinclair Lewis
It should be possible to critique someone's performance of a patriotic song like "God Bless the U.S.A" without being told you are un-American for doing so. In my opinion Kristy has been the weakest performer on the show up until now. She frequently if off-pitch and the country arrangement of "Eight Days a Week" was a disaster. While her song choice of "God Bless the U.S.A." was a shrewd one, I found her performance schmaltzy.
And the greatest thing about this country: I'm entitled to my opinion.
Jake Green (Skeet Ulrich, left) and brother Eric Green (Kenneth Mitchell) weren't strong enough to hold Jericho, the town or the series, together. (CBS)
A Los Angeles Times blogger yesterday attempted to examine the various reasons why "Jericho" — the nuclear-aftermath drama CBS canceled and then brought back for a second try this spring to appease rabid fans — finally imploded and aired its series finale (for good this time, we mean it, really) last night. The writer discusses myriad business issues — the strike, the time slot, network decisions, etc. — but utterly ignores the one thing we too often overlook in these discussions, and the one thing that really matters when it comes to ratings: the story.
Britney Spears' guest shot on ‘‘How I Met Your Mother’’ meant a million to CBS — in curious viewers.
Her appearance Monday was seen by 10.6 million viewers, or a million more than the audience for the comedy’s first new episode back from the strike last week. Among the 18-to-49-year-old demographic, it was the most-watched episode of the series ever.
Bob Newhart will return to television in August as the star of ‘‘Herb’s Murders,’’ a two-hour original telefilm on the Hallmark Channel.
In ‘‘Murders,’’ Chicago-native Newhart, 78, will play a Los Angeles detective who investigates a publisher’s killing along with his daughter, also a police officer.
And then there were 10. In the first-ever double-elimination round on "Dancing with the Stars," it was the statuesque Monica Seles and the Sasquatch-footed Penn Jillette who were shown the ballroom door after two weeks of competition. No surprises.
David Archuleta picked David Foster and Jeff Pescetto's cover of "You're the Voice." Ok, he's stretching things on a technicality. The song was originally released in 1987. Foster and Pescetto released a cover of it in 1990.
"You know what, it was a strange song choice for me. It proves if you can sing, you can sing whatever," Jackson said.
"I actually didn't like the performance at all," Cowell said. "I thought it was reminiscent of a theme park performances. It's one of those ghastly songs you sing when you have animated creatures dancing with you."
Despite being harshly criticized the last time he attempted a ballad, Chikezie Eze took Luther Vandross' "If Only For One Night." for a spin.
"For [Syesha], she moved it around and made it younger feeling," Jackson said, "This was very old school. It wasn't hip and cool."
"I think you sang it well," Cowell said. " Having said that, I thought the performance was cheesy. You have to show originality."
Brooke White messed up on the first note of the Police's "Every Breath You Take." Fortunately, she was accompanying herself on the piano and could just start over.
God, do I feel old. I'm remembering hearing some of these songs from when they were first played on the radio. Oy!
Ramiele Malubay is out front and center all alone on Heart's "Alone."
You really need the vocal chops to pull a Heart song off. Malubay gave an underwhelming performance.
"It wasn't the right song choice," Randy Jackson said.
"I don't think it was as bad as Randy said," Simon Cowell replied. "The truth is, Ramiele...that you're going to get through to next week based on that performance."
We'll see if the folks at TMZ were right. Here's what they posted:
Syesha - "If I Was Your Woman" by Stephanie Mills
David Cook - "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson
Carly - "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" by Bonnie Tyler
Chikeze - "If Only For One Night" by Luther Vandross
Brooke - "Every Breath You Take" by the Police
Jason - "Fragile" by Sting
Ramiele - "Alone" by Heart
Michael - "We Are The Champions" by Queen
Kristy - "God Bless The USA" by Lee Greenwood
David A. - "You're The Voice" by David Foster
Week two of "Dancing with the Stars" played out pretty much as expected, while the season continues to be one of the most boring in the show's history. You can see it on the judge's faces. You can see it on the faces of the pros. You can see it on many of the competitors' faces, too. Are a lot of the folks trying WAY to hard to look like they're having a good time?
Well, here's the long and short of it: Britney was superfluous, and a lot of people who don't normally watch "How I Met Your Mother" (myself included) got to watch what turned out to be an utterly charming lil' sitcom.
Tuesday's season finale of "Jericho" will be the show's series finale. Producers of the nuclear-war drama have been told the show is ending its run on CBS, sources said.
The ending allegedly helps give closure to viewers.
Winners were announced today in the 2007 YouTube Video Awards.
The winners were a little surprising. Expected viral stars such as Obama Girl and that hysterical "leave Britney alone!" whiner did not earn honors. Take a look at the winners here...
‘‘Friday Night Lights’’ just may score another season.
Executive producer Jason Katims said he’s ‘‘incredibly optimistic’’ about a third season for the drama, which has been in limbo since the writers strike ended.
The Disney Channel has greenlighted a reality series centering on the pop-rock band the Jonas Brothers.
The series, which is shooting under the working title ‘‘Jonas Brothers: Living the Dream,’’ will follow the on- and off-stage lives of the platinum-selling trio — Kevin, Joe and Nick — on their current Look Me in the Eyes tour.
Carly Smithson and Kristy Lee Cook join the previously announced eight other contestants on a national tour later this summer.
In the bottom three:
Kristy Lee Cook
Dolly Parton, Mariah Carey, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Neil Diamond.
Tracy seemed to wise up and realize that Ozzie.
"This is the stupidest thing I've done in my entire life," Sleckman said in a moment of depression and homesickness. of her decision to actually go on "Survivor." I'm betting she cracks within the next couple of weeks.
The reward challenge involved two large, traditional Micronesia money stones. Four will be blindfolded and the other tribe members will use verbal clues to direct them around an obstacle course. Money stones also break tiles which will reveal smaller money stones that will be used to solve another puzzle.
They were playing for a spa treatment. At one point, James had to tell Kathleen to shut up because he couldn't hear the directions.
Malakai won the reward. Tracy and Jason were sent to Exile Island.
Robin Williams will guest star on ‘‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,’’ but don’t expect him to bring laughs to the NBC crime drama.
Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s call girl scandal has prompted ABC News to give the go-ahead to a two-hour prime-time special on prostitution that includes Diane Sawyer’s visit to a legal brothel in Nevada.
The ‘‘20/20’’ special, which airs 8 p.m. Friday, has been in the works for two years. It was expected to be on sometime in May or June, but ABC moved it up because Spitzer’s resignation last week put the topic in the headlines, said David Sloan, executive producer of ABC’s newsmagazines.
‘‘It has taken a lot of time and I think it’s going to be very provocative,’’ Sloan said.
ABC is going abroad for its next reality series. The network has ordered a new unscripted show from the producer of ‘‘Hell’s Kitchen’’ in which Americans go to a foreign country to compete in challenges.
The project has been circulating the creative community under the title ‘‘Big in Japan.’’
The ladies of the "Dancing with the Stars" season six premiere sent a clear message out to the gents who danced Monday night: "Eat our dance floor dust!"
Afterall, the roster of lady celebs includes an Oscar winner, Tony Winner, Grand Slam Champ, Olympic gold medalist, poker champ, and Priscilla Presley.
Carly Smithson tries to fly with "Blackbird." I hate the arrangement. It's such a simple song. Embellishing it, ruins it in my opinion.
"Another great performance," Jackson says of his former MCA Records colleague.
"It was indulgent. I didn't like the song at all," Cowell said.
Jason Castro picked "Michelle." It's heartfelt and Castro will no doubt be giving Archuleta a run for his money in garnering votes from young girls.
Jackson thought it was a good choice, but it was subdued.
"This was a very weird show," Cowell said. "I'm not certain we should have done the Beatles a second week."
"American Idol" + mosh pit = jump the shark. How uncool.
The color is out of David Cook's hair. He used an electric vocorder to augment his voice during a bridge of "Day Tripper."
"I don't think that was as good as you thought it was," Cowell said. "You've lost your element of surprise."
Brooke White picked up the pace with "Here Comes the Sun." It's pretty, she just can't shake that whole "Carly Simon" thing.
"That performance was awkward for me," Jackson said. "You were never really connected to that song."
"You can't help but smile when you watch you perform," Paula Abdul said.
"It was wet, forgettable," Cowell said, sounding more like Abdul in his critique. Just exactly how is a performance wet?
The on-air iPhone plug was just shameless. Just shameless. I think I threw up a little. Yep. I threw up a little.
Michael Johns picked one of his favorite Beatles' songs, "A Day In the Life." His voiced cracked on one of the high notes.
"It wasn't one of your best performances. I still don't think you chose the right song," Jackson said.
"The long and short of it: it was mess," Cowell said.
It's the second week of "American Idol" to feature Beatles music.
Amanda Overmyer had the dreaded first slot. She picked "Back in the U.S.S.R." The crowd seemed really into her and she has definitely found her groove.
"it was the perfect song choice for you. It was a ittle pitchy in the beginning. It was cool at the end. I gotta give you a 7 out of 10," Randy Jackson said.
"It was what it was. It was predictable. You are in danger of actually becoming a bit boring," Simon Cowell said.
"Ballads are boring," she said in response to a suggestion that she try a ballad one week.
In this image released by CBS, Josh Radnor (left), speaks to Britney Spears, who portrays receptionist Abby, in a scene from "How I Met Your Mother." Also guest-starring in this episode, which airs Monday on CBS, is Sarah Chalke, at right. (Monty Brinton/AP/CBS)
The first words we hear pop starlet Britney Spears say in her upcoming episode of the sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" are: "Can we have sex and then go shopping?"
CBS has let slip a few seconds of footage as a teaser, after the jump...
Let it not be said the season six of "Dancing with the Stars" did not get off to a great start. In fact, the opening number featuring all of this season's professional dancers was one of the most visually striking and exciting segments in the show's history.
From there, it was pretty much downhill, save for a precious few moments of real excitement. With a roster of 12 celebrities that's as disparate as can be, this season showed little wow factor Monday night as the guys strutted their stuff on the boards.
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — So Michael is on the boat, but what’s he been up to all this time?
‘‘I wish I could tell you,’’ actor Harold Perrineau said in an interview.
It’s the question that’s nagged ‘‘Lost’’ viewers since the tormented single father castaway played by Perrineau sailed away with his son from the ABC drama at the end of the second season — and didn’t return at any point during the third.
Chet throws himself under the bus because of a foot infection and asks the tribe to vote him off tonight.
Erik and Tracy want Chet to stay on to blindside Ozzie and possibly get him voted off.
Wow...pretty interesting tribal council this week.
Chet is voted out. Ok, so the ending wasn't so interesting.
Both tribes will use stepping poles from one platform to another. All must swim out to top of tower with both feet above top deck wins immunity.
Yeah, it doesn't make sense to me, either.
Airai just uses one pole, but Pavati fell and had to return to the start. Even having to go back, they succeeded and won immunity.
We'll see if Tracy's plan comes to fruition as Malakai is headed to tribal council.
Give a man and fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and...you know the rest.
Favorites on the Malakai Tribe are crabbing about the fans. Ami is jumping to the Fan faction. They want to get ride of Cirie Fields. We'll see if it pans out.
Ozzie wants Jason Siska of Fox River Grove to find the fake idol. Chet assumes (correctly) that Ozzie has the immunity idol already.
Jason finds the fake idol and thinks its the real deal. Wow. Another fan who doesn't apparently know how the game has been played in the past. Did these "fans" even watch the show before?
Erik Reichenbach, reacting to last week's surprise vote that ejected Phoenix firefighter Joel Anderson, just now realizes that people lie on "Survivor." Wow. And he's a fan of the show? Wow.
Tracy Hughes-Wolf reached out to Erik to try and get him on Chet and her side. Looks like Ami might be the Favorite turn-coat Tracy and crew need for a majority of the Malakai tribe.
Yeah! It's the first silly challenge. Both tribes will swim out and collect planks, sticks, etc. Then, collect materials, get them back to mat, then use to form a blockade in tunnel. Then, tribes must race back to tear down the blockade built by rival and get all your tribe through your tunnel.
Playing for two native Micronesians who will tell you how to live on the seemingly uninhabitable island.
Malakai was first back. Airai was right behind them, though. Airai had trouble at first, but won the reward.
Chet is sent to exile island.
James Clement's leg seems to be really bugging him. Looks like TV Guide was right. The staff doctor tells him he needs to leave the game and seek hospital treatment. Kathleen seems genuinely upset.
Or for that matter, Glen Ellyn's Kathleen Sleckman?
TV Guide broke the news that James Clement (Formerly of "Survivor: China") will be sent home on tonight's episode because of that nasty cut he got last week.
Someone else will be voted off, too.
29 million votes (two million than last week)
Carley Smithson, Michael Johns, and Jason Castro are all safe. Syesha Mercado is in the bottom three
Chikezie Eze, Amanda Overmyer, David Cook also take seats. Kristy Lee Cook asked for her microphone before Ryan Seacrest could even read the results.
David Archuleta, Brooke White and Ramiele Malubay sing on.
David Hernandez's fate is unknown. He sang his swan song and shockingly was sent home.
A 15th season of ‘‘ER’’ is within reach, sources said.
The NBC medical drama has been casting two recurring characters. ‘‘The Sopranos’’ alumna Aida Turturro has been tapped for one of the roles, a car accident victim; Australian David Lyons is in talks for the other part, a handsome new doctor who lacks conscience, sources said.
Patrick Lane: Which David did you hope to see perform that? Just curious.
Archuleta was a mess this week. I would have loved to see Cook do "Live and Let Die," but it's not a Beatles song (McCartney performed it with Wings).
Brooke White played piano on the Beatles' last single released, "Let It Be." It's a bit boring, but the judged dug it.
"It was one of the best performances of the night," Cowell said.
David Hernandez apparently put himself through college working...in a pizza parlor. He performed "I Saw Her Standing There." Jackson thought Hernandez put too much vocal flourish in it. Cowell was even more blunt.
"That was corny version bordering on desperate," Cowell said. "It just wasn't very cool."
Syesha Mercado is first up. Her new look is so Janet Jackson circa "Rhythm Nation." She picks "Got to Get You into My Life," a song the Fab Four recorded in 1966, but didn't release as a single until until 1976. It's filled with horns and a lot of brass from Mercado.
" It was a nice arrangement. It started a little rough, but by the middle you got into it," Randy Jackson said.
Chikezie Eze tackled "She's a Woman." It was a song he hoped to "put my own funk on it." The arrangement began very jug band-ish before Eze began to channel the late James Brown and actually rocked out.
"I was thoroughly entertained. Who knew?" Jackson said. "I'm really surprised I actually agree with these two," and exasperated Simon Cowell said. "I thought you were terrific."
Host Ryan Seacrest said the "Idol" producers have waited seven seasons for this to happen, and tonight's the night: "Idol" contestants have the chance to sing from the Lennon-McCartney songbook.
But what songs should they tackle?
And which classic would pair up best with which wanna-be?
We await your input in the comments below.
David Archuleta already cooed his way through "Imagine" by John Lennon — a taste of what's to come...
The impact of the writers strike still hurts, as plans roll out for more ridiculous reality shows. A whole bunch was announced today.
The first thing that hits you while walking across the set of "Wheel of Fortune": the wheel is so small!
The old adage that the camera adds 10 pounds is true for inanimate objects, as well. I thought it would be 25 feet wide. But I could probably lie across it, feet and head on the pegs. I restrained myself from testing that theory, however.
But I got to see many such "Wheel" wonders during tapings of the hugely popular game show Friday evening at Navy Pier.
After last night's season-four finale of "Project Runway," Steven Rosengard — our Chicago guy, who was "out" midway through this season — emailed today about the results, the aftermath and what he's been up to here in Chicago since saying "auf wiedersehen!"
A Juliet-centric episode of "Lost" tonight at least made clear some battle lines in what seems to be the upcoming conflict.
Last season's runner-up Blake Lewis started off. He was never the strongest of singers on the show, but his personality and style come through on the song (wish I could say the same about "Idol" winner Jordin Sparks; she was molded into a Brittney clone on her debut release).
36 million votes. David Cook was the first to secure a spot. David Archuleta got slot two. Jason Castro was also safe.
Brooke White was the first female into the top 12. Syesha Mercado was also safe.
Kady Malloy was the first to be ejected tonight. She was off key in her swan song reprise of "Who Wants to Live Forever."
David Hernandez and Michael Johns are both in the top 12 as well. Luke Menard is a goner.
So with more attention being paid to "American Idol" contestants' private lives — both on the show in the form of personal questions and off the air in blogs and videos — there's a good chance someone might be outed as gay during competition. We've got black and female presidential candidates, but is America ready to vote for its first gay "Idol"?
Much speculation has been the result of this seemingly impromptu online video by contestant Danny Noriega, in which — after belting a melismatic verse and chorus of Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools" — he freestyle raps a little song ...
A&E Network said its drama pilot "The Beast" — part of which was filmed in Chicago late last year — still is under consideration for a series pickup following the news that star Patrick Swayze is being treated for pancreatic cancer.
Contrary to what the broadcast shows us, the top five finalists of this season's "Project Runway" had at least some kind of showing during Fashion Week. Here's a montage by Elle magazine showing the main pieces of all the collections, including the three we saw in the finale last night — but also several pieces by Sweet P (eh, not bad) and Chris March (look at those red pieces, simple and dramatic ... he could've given Christian more competition than Rami).
"I get marriage proposals every day," Siriano said at the "Project Runway" finale party. "And I get touched, like people want to pick me up and hug me and hold me because they think I can fit in a purse. Actually, I can fit in a purse."
Of course, weeks ago we saw Jack carrying Christian like a purse, so ...
Last night's "Project Runway" winner, Christian Siriano, is already lining up celebrity clients. Posh Spice, the guest judge in last night's Fashion Week, gushed over his work and said she'd wear anything he made. Now former "Runway" guest judge Sarah Jessica Parker is admitting her "Runway" lust for Mr. Fierce.
After several painful moments of watching his eyes water and his lips quiver — he's not "fierce" under pressure — it's Christian!
And Posh Spice wants to wear "anything" he creates.
Sorry, Rami's collection in the "Project Runway" season finale just put us to sleep. Nina Garcia and Michael Kors are whispering worriedly. I can tell you what they're saying: "Crap, we should've let Chris advance to Fashion Week. This is the most boring bunch of fuddy-duddy laundry we've ever seen!"
They're right. Wow, what an astonishingly dull collection. The audience had no expression. No one clapped. The models looked appropriately weary. We can hear Chris cackling now.
Asia'h Epperson is first up and violates the "no diva" rule with Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody."
"I recorded that great song with the great Whitney Houston," Randy Jackson said. "It was a tall order...but you showed you deserve to be here."
"I'm not so enthusiastic. At best, it was second-rate Whitney," Simon Cowell said.
Kady Malloy, in the bottom three last week, tempted fate with a Queen's "Who Wants to Live Forever."
"You have a massive lack of personality," Cowell said. "It's like 'The Stepford Wives.'"
"Idol" has been pretty good at defusing any scandals the minute they pop up. They had Carley Smithson talk about her previous record deal. David Archuleta mentioned his "Star Search" title and previously performing in front of first season "Idol" contestants including Kelly Clarkson.
Think they'll be talking about David Hernandez's previous gig as a stripper allegedly not afraid of going "the full Monty"?
Luke Menard's falsetto actually sounded pretty good on the Wham!" hit Waking Me Up and Go-Go."
Randy Jackson thought it was a little bit corny. Paula Abdul was surprised about the song choice. Simon Cowell thought it was weak and a bit girlie. "You're not going to make it into the final 12," Cowell predicted
The scandals are already piling up for this season's contestants on "American Idol." It now appears David Hernandez was a stripper for "mostly male" clientele in Phoenix before he quit to pursue the televised singing competition. That's after two other contestants may have some nude photos somewhere out there ...
A while back we wrote about the campaign by "Jericho" fans to save the series from cancellation — they sent thousands of nuts to CBS execs (related to a line in the season finale). Now fans of the soap opera "As the World Turns" are gearing up to send kisses to CBS execs. Hershey's kisses, that is. Fill in your own Reeses joke here ...
The second ‘‘American Idol’’ charity event is set for April 9, with a lineup that includes Bono, Brad Pitt, Miley Cyrus, Fergie, Chris Daughtry and Carrie Underwood.
Misha Davenport digs the immortality (well, it premieres this week, so we'll see what life it's got in it...) of Fox's new drama "New Amsterdam" in his review today.