Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dried Persimmons



The Hachiya persimmons are very good to eat, or to use in cookies, but only when they are very ripe. When they are not ripe, the astringency can be overpowering. For the last couple years I have been drying the Hachiyas. Drying them takes away all the astringency and brings out all the sugar in the flavor.





I start with persimmons that people give me or that I get at the local farmers market.

I purchased a 4-tier electric dehydrator that holds about 5 to 8 sliced persimmons, depending on their size. I found my dehydrator at a thrift store for $10 and bought it because it looked like it had never been used.



Wash your persimmons and slice them (skin and all) into about ¼ inch rounds. Thinner is fine if you like, but thicker may not better.


I place the slices on each tier, filling all available space with whole, half and quarter slices of persimmon.

Hint: One thing I like to do is after about 4 hours of drying, I take 5 minutes and turn each slice over. This seems to prevent the slices from sticking to my dryer.

Dry for a total of 10 to 15 hours, depending on the temperature and thickness of your slices.


At right is a picture of the finished, dried Hachiya persimmons.

I give them away in decorative jars. Or, they sure do make a nice plateful in the middle of a holiday party. I store them in ziplock bags and take them to work to share.

People will be amazed at the sweet, persimmony flavor, and you will too.

Jerry Grinstead

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Find your marbles - 12 Step Program

Step Six

Talk with one stranger or aquaintance each week.
You'll find friends and acquaintances in their yards, on a bench downtown or in the park, seated next to you on a plane, or even in the grocery line. Practice your patience and civility and remember to smile. Civility is becoming a lost social grace. When I was waiting for the tour to begin at the August Schell Brewery in New Ulm Minnesota, I sat with and talked with several elderly ladies and gentlemen who were from that area. I enjoyed asking them about living in Minnesota all their lives and hearing about how much they loved it. I could not imagine living anywhere but California, and they could not imagine living anywhere but Minnesota. We really are all the same ... just different!

Friends and acquaintances
Acquaintances I’ve met on planes are not
Unlike shadows of clouds that pass under me.
There but for a moment; then forgot.
But all the same in their odd familiarity.

Friends at home and friends away are not
Unlike songs I sing to me.
Here for eternity; never forgot.
And all different in their joyful peculiarity.

A poem written on a plane over Kansas
by Jerry Grinstead
http://www.MarbleFree.com/

Thursday, July 1, 2010

S'more-tini anyone?

Our esteemed Professor of Mallow Lore and Undersecretary to the President at the National Marshmallow Roasters Institute, Nancy Karasevich, has perfected her latest adult beverage ... the S'more-tini. We'll be ordering this at our favorite Malibu California hangout after a hard day roasting on the beach. Join us at the Sunset Restaurant & Beach Bar.

Wipe the rim of a chilled martini glass with a lemon slice. Gently place the rim of the glass down into a bed of finely crushed graham crackers. Remove from crushed graham crackers and set aside.

Shake 1 1/2 oz Effen Vodka in ice.
Pour gently into the martini glass, being carefull not to disturb the graham cracker crumbs on the edge.

Garnish with two mini-marshmallows above one Trader Joe's, or other fine French Chocolate Truffle on a martini skewer.

Enjoy ... and have S'more!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I love marshmallows (sung to Joan Jett’s ‘I love rock and roll’)


(Mr. Mallow and the Roasters New Virtual hit single)

I saw her roastin’ there by the camp latrine
I knew she must a been about seventeen
The heat was goin' strong, she was
Roastin' and singin’ a song
An' I could tell it wouldn't be long
Till she was with me, yeah me
And I could tell it wouldn't be long
Till she was with me, yeah me, singin'

I love marshmallows
So put another s’more on the campfire, baby
I love marshmallows
So grab another mallow and roast with me

Ow!

She smiled so I got up and asked for her name
That don't matter, she said,
We’ll just roast the same
Said can I take you home where we can roast alone
An' next we were roastin' on
She was with me, yeah me
Next we were roastin' on
Se was with me, yeah me, singin'

I love marshmallows
So put another s’more on the campfire, baby
I love marshmallows
So grab another mallow and roast with me

Ow!

Said can I take you home where we can roast alone
Next we were roastin' on
She was with me, yeah me,
An we'll be roastin' on
An' singin' that same old song
Yeah with me, singin'

I love marshmallows
So put another s’more on the campfire, baby
I love marshmallows
So grab another mallow and roast with me

I love marshmallows
So put another s’more on the campfire, baby
I love marshmallows
So grab another mallow and roast with me

I love marshmallows
So put another s’more on the campfire, baby
I love marshmallows
So grab another mallow and roast with me

I love marshmallows
So put another s’more on the campfire, baby
I love marshmallows
So grab another mallow and roast with me

I love marshmallows
So put another s’more on the campfire, baby
I love marshmallows
So grab another mallow and roast with me

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Flaming Mallows?

Now that Lee DeWyze has been voted American Idol, 2010, we can all get back to the business at hand. For several Northern California National Marshmallow Roasters Institute (NMRI) members, that means rehearsals, voice lessons, and getting ready for our next gig. Yes, I'm talking about the NMRI's house band. One little problem, though. We don't have an official name for the band. We need your help to name the band. Some suggestions from other roasters and our fans include:

Mr. Mallow and the Roasters (MMR)
The Charred Mallows
The Flaming Mallows
MarshMellow
Firepit
The S'mores

So what do you think? Let us know so we can unveil our true band persona at the next gig.

Our practice session last night found us working on our standard cover songs and discussing five new tunes. (Note to self: If Mr. Mallow is going to sing a Queen tune, he's going to have to put down the guitar and focus on the vocals. You try singing like Freddie Mercury. What talent he had!) Everything from Van Morrison, CCR, Rolling Stones, and the Monkees, to Stray Cats, Green Day and classics by Fleetwood Mac, Mellencamp and the Beatles are on the table. Yes, even Tommy and the Two Tones. We'll be stepping it up a notch in the next few weeks with crisp vocals and harmonies, clean guitar licks with the bass and drums keeping us all right on time.

We do have original songs, but not quite ready for roasting. We'll put them on our CD.

Comments? Feel free to forward this blog address to fellow roasters!
http://MisterMallow.blogspot.com

Jerry Grinstead
President, National Marshmallow Roasters Institute

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Top 2 - And the winner is ... 25 May 2010

Going into the competition tonight I believed Lee DeWyze was the most improved and deserved to be in the top 2. I still believe that. I also felt that he would nail all three of his songs and be hands-down the better singer/performer tonight. He did a great job, and better than the 8 (who were voted off in previous weeks) could have done.
But...
Crystal Bowersox proved decidedly that she is the better singer, had the better songs and wanted it more than Lee. She nailed all three of her songs. Her voice and style remained true to who she was, is and will be as a singer. When one of her songs comes on the radio, you'll know right away it is Crystal. She is ready, musically and vocally, for a recording contract and tour.
And...
The only thing I wish we had seen tonight, besides Lee stepping it up a notch, was another duet with Lee and Crystal. Maybe tomorrow? They sing well together and I think that should be part of the show tomorrow.
So...
Whoever wins deserves the title of American Idol. I do think that Crystal won the competition. I used the scorecard I developed to rate each singer as they sang each song, and Crystal had one more point than Lee for each song. Crystal's total points: 47 ... Lee's total points: 44
I think Crystal Bowersox should be the next American Idol, but those finicky voters will probably vote for Lee DeWyze. He was the underdog tonight, and Americans like to vote for the underdog, don't they?

Comments?
Jerry

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Casey is out of the competition - 5/19/2010

There really were no surprises tonight. Casey clearly was the one who was destined to go tonight. He'll do great and I look forward to watching how everything turns out for him.

But imagine how the audience, both there and at home, would have reacted had Ryan Seacrest said Casey was the first one to be coming back next week instead of Lee. Leaving Lee and Crystal standing there knowing one would have left tonight. That's what I was hoping for, just to see the audience reaction. I knew it would not happen, but it was nice to imagine.

I do enjoy watching the crowds come out for the hometown visits. That really is a special day for these contestants. I liked when Casey went back to the hospital and when Lee went back to the paint store.

Next week should be worth watching. Will there be a duet? Will Lee zoom past Crystal? I think we've seen Crystal's peak and Lee will only keep getting better. They are pretty even now, but I believe Lee is going to win it. I think he'll be the better Idol. Seems to me the odds favor the guitar-playing, white male singer. A la David Cook and Chris Allen. Do we see a pattern here? Maybe it is more an indication of the idol audience than of the winner's talent.

Good Luck to Crystal and Lee!

Comments?
Jerry

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Top 3 Idol Guys & Girl - 5/18/2010 My Results

Tonight was the easiest to judge for who won, who came in second and who goes home tomorrow night.

Casey started the season with the looks, excellent guitar playing, a decent voice and so-so song choices. He was on a plateau high above most of the other contestants and got to the top 3 on that plateau. But he has not risen from that plateau.

Crystal began with the rough looks, decent guitar playing, unique and powerful vocals and excellent song choices. She has always sung her songs to entertain us and show her style. She rose steadily to the top 3 at a comfortable pace, not deviating from her own style regardless of what the judges or voters said. She is where she needs to be to record an album this summer.

Lee started the season down with all the singers who fell by the wayside. But he listened to the criticism, got over his shyness for the most part, quit mumbling, and has zoomed from down in the dregs of contestants to become the idol contestant to beat. His song choices tonight were so much better than the other contestants' choices. I started off the season not liking Lee. But I am impressed now, so much so that I think he will win it all next week.

It's like the stars aligned tonight, and for the best for all three contestants.

Casey can already front a band as the lead singer and lead guitarist. He's ready to move on the recording studio and the tours. He'll be smiling all the way to the bank as the #3 contestant who goes home tomorrow.

Crystal will be the better for not winning it all. She, like Casey, has it made already in the recording studio and on tour. It will be easier for her if she does not have to put up with all the crap Idol throws in the mix for the winner. She'll be happy to let Lee win it all.

Lee will win it all, if tonight is any indication. And he will be the better for it. All the hooplah that goes along with winning will only make him a better artist. He is now believing that people like what he does and how he sings. His confidence will grow and he'll be the perfect American Idol this season.

Bye Bye Casey, tomorrow night, and thanks.

I think next week will be a no-brainer (Lee wins). But it will be fun to watch and listen to. Lee and Crystal have fun entertaining us next week. And if we're lucky, another duet. How about "Leather and Lace"?

Comments?
Jerry

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Michael Lynche leaves the competition - 5/12/2010

We saw it coming. Michael was the one who was saved. He has been in the bottom two before. And he really was not on par with Crystal, Lee, or Casey. Michael will do fine. We'll see him back as a guest entertainer on another season of Idol (if there is another season of Idol).

Now we get down to feeling bad to see someone leave. The top three really are the best singers this season. I'm not sure they compare well with some of the past seasons, though. Who can forget Taylor Hicks, the winner from season 5? Or old what's-his-name who won it last year?

Yes, I'll be eagerly watching the song choices, singing ability, and presentation next week. If they all sing up to their abilities and get back to their strengths, then it could be ... no ... I predict it will be the best show of the season.

Speaking of predictions, I think we're in for the start of a great bull market. Investors are just itching to put their money in the market. Europe is no place to invest. Asia is even worse. Government securities and bonds aren't paying anything. Get ready for a good ride up to 15,000 on the Dow, beginning in early June and continuing through the summer with a correction down to about 13,000 Then zooming once again next year up to 17,000-18,000 by October 2011. I'll go back to safety when the correction begins at 18,225. Remember. The market always goes up too high and falls to low. And most importantly - Buy low, Sell hi! I just see the stars aligning, and I'm all in. (Just my opinion, of course here on May 12, 2010).

Comments?
Jerry

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Top 4 Idol Guys & Girl - 5/11/2010 My Results

I enjoyed the duets tonight, but for the most part, could they not have found better songs from all the movies they had to choose from? Tonight, they kept the show moving right along. That was nice for those of you who can't pause or speed through commercials. Tomorrow night will be agonizing as they drag it out to find out who leaves. My rankings and ratings are below.

Lee DeWyze: Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose” (3rd place tonight with only 10 points)
I guess he is not going to dress up for us. He looked like he just jumped out of the bed of his pickup truck after a hard day of lumberjacking. I did not like his song choice. I did like his voice. Maybe if I new the song better, it would have been better.

Michael Lynche: Michael Jackson’s “Will You Be There” (4th place, 9 points)
Michael sings Michael. Ellen called it predictable. I've been saying cliche all along to his style and song choice. Wrong song choice. I believe he and Lee both could have picked some song from a movie that everyone would recognize and love. They did not and are both in the bottom 2 this week (in my opinion, of course).

Crystal Bowersox & Lee DeWyze: Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová’s “Falling Slowly”
I agree with the judges. The duets sounded much better than any of the solos. I'd like to hear Crystal and Lee sing another one. Their voices complement each other's well. I vote for more duets!

Casey James: Simon and Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” (2nd place, 11 points)
I like this song, but that's a problem. It is too well known. Everyone has heard it and I think Casey can give us so much more. I'd like to see him sing and play that song with a classical guitar, like when he sang his duet. I knew he played the mandolin, but I don't think it is a good choice of instrument for a solo artist.

Crystal Bowersox: Kenny Loggins’ “I’m Alright” (1st place tonight, 15 points)
This could have been her theme song. I like when she comes out with another musician on stage with her. She and the drummer sounded good together. This song from Caddyshack made be smile. Such a good movie. This was not my favorite performance of hers, but the guys tonight were so close to each other (9, 10, 11 points) and she was so far ahead of them (15 points). I hate to say it, but I think she could sleepwalk her way to the American Idol win this year.

Michael Lynche & Casey James: Bryan Adams’ “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman”
Wow. Casey plays a great guitar. He'll only get better as his voice gets better. It's good now (and good enough for 2nd place tonight). There was one harmony tonight that was way off. I think it was Michael oversinging the note. But all in all, this duet and the other duet were great compared to the solo song choices.

Prediction: I'll be watching tomorrow night to see who leaves. I think it will likely be Michael Lynche. His dream to be in the top three will end tomorrow.

Yours in idolatry,
Jerry

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Lady GagGag mad at American Idol

So Lady GagGag is mad because American Idol cut short her performance? Earth to Lady GagGag. The 19 million people who watched the show are mad that American Idol didn't cut the entire crapfest you put on. The black veil was a nice touch. Mourning the loss of talented guests on American Idol.

We've figured out Lady GagGag's whole gig. The more distractions, smoke, visual effects, and writhing half-naked dancers she puts in her act, the less we notice she has no talent. Lady GagGag is like Goldman Sachs. Put up fictitious crap, call it talent or investments, and laugh all the way to the bank with some poor sucker's money.

Is it any wonder American Idol has its lowest ratings since 2002?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lady GagGag and Harry Connick Jr. help ruin Idol

Thankfully, I recorded the idol results show and can speed through the idiocy of Lady GagGag. That's entertainment? I hope she makes millions of everybody else's money, but she better not rely on me to go see her or download her "hits" from iTunes.

And Harry Connick Jr. is trying to add another title to his name. He is a singer, songwriter, actor, and now he wants to be a comedian. He ain't funny. If I were a contestant and was asked what I thought of our mentor, I would say, "His jokes were not funny, they were mean. We could have done much better with someone else to mentor us, and that's my opinion, and he's a jerk." If they did not like what I said, then vote me off.

I'll tell you what else I'm not going to do. Run out and buy a Ford Fiesta. I can't believe American Idol makes the contestants whores for Ford. And they don't even get paid for making Ford money. Amazing that this show has lasted so long.

I don't care who goes home tonight. I'll find out in just a few minutes when I un-Pause my DVR recording of the show.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Top 5 Idol Guys & Girl - 5/4/2010 My Results

Frank Sinatra songs tonight made our choice easy as to who should go home and who should stay. Casey was like a lost puppy off his leash. He was all over the place and once in awhile he found the right note. Take away his guitar and his comfort zone is completely gone. And Crystal was almost as uncomfortable. She just seems a bit too hardened or wise to the world to get many votes this week. I think she'll come back strong and eventually win it, if they let her sing songs in her own style. No more country. No more crooners. Just let them sing songs of their own choosing and let the chips fall.

#5 - Casey James - Blue Sky
Worst song choice of the night. What was he thinking. His voice was shot. He was all over the place. This is the first week I thought he deserved the bottom slot. I don't think he'll be back after this debacle. Too bad, because I do think he'd do much better with his guitar and own song choices than Aaron.

#4 - Aaron Kelly - Fly me to the moon
It really doesn't matter what genre Aaron sings. Love songs, standards, Classic Rock... They are all too much song for him. Really, he is just not enough man for them. Because he is a boy. And in Euchre, the first rule when taking a trick is 'Never send a boy!' He'll be around for another week, only because of Casey's bad performance. There is a slight chance he could be the one leaving, and I would rather see him go than Casey.

#3 - Crystal Bowersox - Summer Wind
This is the lowest I've ranked Crystal. She needs to get back to her guitar and show us her best. I think she'll do that beginning next week. Tonight, she was in the top three, not the bottom three. Aaron and Casey were in the bottom two by themselves. Out of the others' league tonight. I predict Crystal will come back with a vengeance.

#2 - Mike Lynche - The way you look tonight
Sinatra songs are his forte. He could have chosen almost any one of them and done them justice. He seems comfortable on stage and in this genre. I would call him cliche, but how could he not be when he sings Sinatra.

#1 - Lee DeWyze - That's Life
I'm liking Lee more and more each week. This week, I had to rank him number 1. If he gets his confidence going just a bit more (don't be so polite and nice) he'll give Crystal a run to the final two. He performs better than he talks or stands there. Needs to smile confidently more instead of getting that paint-stirrers look in his eyes as the judges are commenting. Good job Lee.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Another close call for Casey James - April 29th

Could he be gone next week? That is the question on all marshmallow roasters today. Yes, Casey James was again in the bottom two last night on the Idol results show. Thankfully, they got rid of our special needs contestant and we won't have to listen to the screeching any longer.

It doesn't seem to bother Casey that he may be leaving soon. If I had his talent, it would not bother me either. He just seems to roll with the flow and put up with whatever inane vampire video or Ford commercial they throw his way. Good for him. I would like to see a duet with him and the next American Idol, Crystal Bowersox.

Speaking of duets, Lady Antebellum, singing "Need You Now", was very good. I enjoyed the harmonies of the man and woman. Reminds me of the upcoming duet, "Gone Gone Gone", this Saturday night!

Shakira's "Gypsy" was interesting. I could have done without the duet with Rascal Flatts' LeVox.

Compared to previous guest performances, these were a breath ...

Next week - Sinatra. And, I think they all have to sing two songs, so we may be back to another two hours on Tuesday. Getting down to the end. I think Aaron may be most in trouble. A 17-year old trying to sing Sinatra? Not pretty.

Comments?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Top 6 Idol Guys & Girls - 4/27/2010 My Results

Tickets go on sale for the Idol Tour the weekend of May 14th. I don't think I'll be standing in line to buy them. I figured out why the judges' comments were all so positive tonight. It's really very simple. They are not trying to save any one contestant ... They are trying to save the show. We viewers know how lacking in talent Aaron and Siobhan are. And Big Mike and Lee are way too cliche. Every song out of them sounds the same. Crystal and Casey sing and entertain the best, but are they as good as last year's final two or the year before?

I can't believe how bad a couple of them were tonight, and the judges loved them. But, I'll bet the ratings are in the toilet after this one. Anyway, here are my ratings of the top 6 from Best to Worst.

#1 - Casey James - Don't
He takes 1st place tonight. He sang well, did not use too much guitar, and sang the song like he meant it. First time I've put him in the number one slot I believe. He, like Crystal has what Aaron has not. Experience in front of an audience, maturity, real life lessons learned.

#2 - Crystal Bowersox - No one needs to know right now
Not my favorite performance by Crystal, but she had to sing country. The judges were the least impressed with her performance, but she did, as usual, own the stage. The band could have been her own band. She looks so comfortable up there and in control. She'll do even worse on Disco night. (There isn't really a disco night, is there??? Songs of the BeeGees?? I HOPE NOT!)

#3 - Lee DeWyze - Still the one
Lee sang the only Shania song tonight that I recognized. You can tell I'm into country music! But, his voice is good and predictable. Predictable to the point of boring. Lee needs to go a little more sullen and darker, and maybe go grunge, because he sure as heck isn't going to wow a crowd. He is like a cross between Danny Gokey and old what's-his-name who won idol last year. A boring balladeer. He's still better than the rest below.

#4 - Michael Lynche - It only hurts
How sappy can a guy be. Predictable to the point of cliche. I don't like his fake entertainment. He is only #4 because #5 & 6 are taken below. I don't think there is any song or genre he could sing that wouldn't be sappy sweet and patronizing to all the viewers. But, it seems to be working.

#5 - Aaron Kelly - You got a way
Is it just me, or is his voice not really as strong as the judges think? He'd be great at the high school spring concert, but Really!? Does anyone take him serious? He always is boring, tries too hard, chooses songs way over his ability, and just does not pull off the look of a singer to me. The judges are really trying their best to save him, but he may be going away tomorrow night.

#6 - Siobhan Magnus - Any man of mine
Over the top on the running around the stage. Over the top on the last notes (Give us a break). I really can't stand her. Randy approached telling her the truth when he said she started out pitchy. Terribly flat is more like it. She was struggling to find the notes, but not quite getting there. She and Aaron are really not Idol-worthy. She is one who would benefit from some serious singing lessons. She does have a good voice 20% of the time. But the tats and nose ring are a turn-off.

I predict this is the last season of American Idol. If Aaron or Siobhan win this year, then nothing will save the show. If Crystal and Casey are the last two standing (as they should be), I may give the show one more year.

Ellen couldn't use her choo choo Twain puns enough tonight, and she provides no real value. Kara won't shut up, even when Simon is giving his opinion. Randy just ignores the other judges, dog, and tries to keep all the contestants real at this point.

Bye bye Aaron, I think.

Comments?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Close call for Casey on Idol tonight

Thanks Jake and T for the comments. I think you both should be idol judges.

(Note to T ... I've been practicing Gone, Gone, Gone and am ready to harmonize with you at the party.)

- - - - - - - AH.. - - - AH..
- - - - - by - - - AH.. - - - AH..
- - - Ba - - - - - - - - - - - - - - AH.
- OH

I predict Casey James will come back with a roar next week. No more Mr. Nice Guy. It's time to show them how to do it. He's been slacking off because he can, and now it's almost caught up to him.

I think Aaron or Siobhan should have been the ones to go instead of Tim. Tim learned from his mistakes, but it was not enough to save him. He's one of the happiest losers I've ever seen. He knows he has a future singing and playing, and a gig all summer long with the Idol Tour. (They make more than $150,000 each for the tour, plus all the exposure and a record deal if they want it.) He'll do fine.

As for the show, thankfully, I can pause and come back after a while, and speed through most of it. I did not like M J Blige's Stairway to Heaven. I liked Elton's "Your Song", but dang he is looking old.

Jerry

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Top 7 Idol Guys & Girls - 4/20/2010 My Results

It's like watching two different shows in one. Crystal Bowersox comes out and entertains us at the end of the show. The other six contestants are competing for runner up. Crystal may not be the best ever on the show, but there's no one there tonight who performs like her.

So here're my rankings and ratings beginning with the best and going down to the worst.

#1 - Crystal Bowersox - 15 points - People get ready
No guitar tonight. She began the song acapella and could have sung the song all the way through without any instruments backing her up. Perfectly on key. But that would have blown the judges away even more. She sang that song like it really meant something to her. But that's how she sings every song. They better have her go last every week so people will stick around to watch the whole show.

#2 - Lee DeWyze - 13 points - The Boxer
Lee is putting a bit more emotion into his songs and he has a decent, if not original, voice. He beat out Casey slightly this week, but we'll see if he can keep up the good work. I think Casey has the better musical work ethic. I don't think Lee will be able to maintain. We'll see. But a good performance this week.

#3 - Casey James - 12 points - Don't Stop
Casey is comfortable. Casey is talented. Casey is good enough to win idol runner up this year. He is not as pure of an entertainer as Crystal, but is mature enough and confident enough to beat the other 5. I like Casey and I think he knows he's hit the jackpot this year. Can we blame him if he plays it safe? But too safe, and Lee will win runner up this year.

#4 - Michael Lynche - 11 points - Hero
I'd really like to see Michael Lynche sing a song that is not so sappy sweet and cliche one of these weeks. But, I don't think he really has the voice or stage-presence to pull off anything but his patronizing love song drivel. Points-wise, Michael is #4, but if he goes on Wednesday night, nobody will care. Ditto that for the rest of them below.

#5 - Tim Urban - 10 points - Better Days
Every time Tim smiles, he reminds me of a used car salesman, or of a second-grader who was just told to "say Cheese" for his class picture. If he was not such a Mr. Clean, he might pull off one of these songs. His song choice is pretty good for his age and style, unlike Siobhan's and Aaron's choices. I'll blast them in a minute below. Tim may just stick around another week, but only because Aaron and Siobhan are still here.

#6 - Aaron Kelly - 9 points - I believe I can fly
I'd like to see Aaron's CD collection or iTunes library. Is there any contemporary song in there? He picks the biggest songs that he can't hope to sing. His voice is getting weaker, or maybe it just seems that way when he attempts to belt out one the classics he chooses. He reminds me of an eighty-year-old man in a seventeen-year-old's body. Disheveled and unkempt. If he'd pull his jeans up over his belly button, he'd be my Grandpa Bob! I'll bet he sat alone in the lunch room in high school last year at the nerd table. He just does not get it. He's not the soloist in the High School spring concert, but that's where his mind and talent are. And he never will get it. Bye bye maybe.

#7 - Siobhan Magnus - 8 points - When you believe
I'm sure she hit some of those notes on key tonight, but I didn't hear it. Just flat and pitchy all the way through. The only thing I could think about was the salad she was wearing on her dress. I was getting hungry. I think she hopes her outfits will distract us from her singing. If we're lucky, they do distract us. She took on a lot more song than she could handle (and she can't handle much). The worst part, though, has to be when they let her talk about her song choice. I just want to slap her when she talks. "SPIT IT OUT!" I guess I shouldn't criticize the special needs contestant too much. If we're lucky, she'll be gone tomorrow. If not, we'll still be lucky because Aaron, or Tim, or Michael will be gone.

Comments?
Jerry

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Idol contestants - Puppets on strings?

So Crystal Bowersox almost quit idol? I had a feeling that might be the case. Look at all the things they make the contestants do. The worst thing has to be making the ford commercial that I fast-forward through each week. And then having to come out and sing that group song like they're in some type of high school swing choir. Lastly, pretending to be happy for the others or sad when they have to leave.

You can see it in their eyes each week. They're all trying to remember to look happy, trying to remember to say the right things, trying to remember the words to their songs, and wondering if it's all worth it. Crystal, one of the few real entertainers up there, knows she doesn't really have to jump through all the hoops and dance on the strings for the producers. I will be surprised if she sticks around. But if she does, she'll likely be the next American Idol.

Tim with his cheesy, fake smile. Big Mike with his condescending, patronization of the audience. Lee with his deer-in-the-headlights, nothing going on up there, expressions, and my least favorite, one-too-many-tats, special needs Siobhan. They all are putting on an act that we all see through. Don't get me started on Aaron. Did he comb his hair with a pillow last week and does he shop for clothes at Goodwill?

Casey has the stage presence and maturity to handle all the BS they throw his way. He also has the talent to make it big as the 1st runner up or even Idol if Crystal decides to chuck it all, move back home and raise her kid in small town Ohio. (Which isn't too bad of a place to be raised, speaking from experience.)

Bottom line prediction: Crystal will suck it up, stick it out, and win. Ryan Seacrest will tone down his stupid antics and off-color comments, Ellen and Kara will love everybody, Simon will keep it real with the easiest job in the whole world, and nobody will be watching next year.

It was good while it lasted.

Comments?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Top 9 Idol Guys & Girls - 4/13/2010 My Results

Elvis Night! This will be short and sweet since we're evaluating the same old nine contestants. But it will be easy after last night's performances. A couple stood out as being ready to leave, a few stood out as ready to move into the top 4, and most have improved.

I think the reason there was improvement this week was Adam Lambert. His critique and suggestions were right on and made the performances much better than they would have been.

Here goes from Best to Worst, based on my rating sheet.

#1 Crystal Bowersox - Saved
Crystal never disappoints us. I figured out what it is about her that sets her apart from all the others. The other contestants are up there competing to win the American Idol, 2010. Crystal is up there entertaining us. She is not competing. And because of that, she will win this competition.

#2 Tim Urban - I can't help falling in love with you
Tim scored this week. He vastly improved is act. Most of it is an act, but when he calms down, sings a serious song and shows us he can play the guitar, he is rewarded with a high rating. Good job Time - finally!

#3 Lee DeWyze - A little less conversation
A great song choice for his voice. I think he should have gone electric with this song. That would have improved the performance just a bit, but he sang it well and seemed to connect more with the audience.

#4 Casey James - Lawdy Miss Clawdy
I had not heard this song, but it was perfect for his voice and style. I expect Casey will move back to #2 in the competition because of his consistency, while Lee and Tim will likely not be able to sustain what they showed us last night.

#5 Katie Stevens - Baby what do you want me to do?
Katie sang the song much better than songs in the past. Not too pitchy and she looked much more comfortable up there. She is maturing too. No more prom dresses. A fairly good performance

#6 Aaron Kelly - Blue suede shoes
As usual, too much song for this kid. He is trying to be more that he can be. He is and example of someone who needs just a few more years to be taken seriously. He'll be leaving us soon. And, he and the next 3 are in trouble tonight.

#7 Michael Lynche - In the ghetto
How many times can you say cliche? He was boring, patronizing to the audience as usual, annoying, and not singing as well as in the past. He was almost let go last week, and may be gone again. Luckily, for him, Siobhan and Andrew ruined their chances more.

#8 Siobhan Magnus - Suspicious minds
How to put an audience to sleep in less than 3 minutes. The only thing she does worse than sing is talk. She must be from that part of the country that talks slower than the rest of us here on earth. As I said in a previous post, Ellen called her special. I call her special needs.

#9 Andrew Garcia - Houndog
Where did they get this guy. Amazing that he ever got into this competition. His new book is out "How to ruin a song - for dummies". That was worse than bad. No advice for Andrew other than Don't quit your day job.

Bye-bye Andrew and Siobhan. That's my prediction. If Michael or Aaron go instead, I can't complain.

Yours in idolatry
Jerry

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Top 9 Idol Guys & Girls - 4/6/2010 My Results

Some did better than expected last night. Some did worse. A couple remain the same on top. Here's the way I ranked and rated them, from worst to best, with some observations, of course.

#9 (7 points) - Andrew Garcia
Can't buy me love. It was a bit too corny and poppy as sung by Andrew. I'm liking his voice less and less each week. Maybe it's the song choice, but with his edgy look, his songs need a bit more edginess. As it is, all we get is pudginess. I don't get the sense that we are seeing the real Andrew Garcia (And maybe we don't want to.)
#8 (8 points) - Aaron Kelly
Long and winding road. Didn't you just love the shot of him singing as seen through the arms waving? He does not know what he is doing. That was way to much song for his age. His voice seemed not as strong this week. It was like watching a high school musical. I think people will be surprised to see him in the bottom three this week.
#7 (9 points) - Siobhan Magnus
Across the Universe - She may have just saved herself from going home by not screeching a high note. She sang fairly well but it was BORING. Her dress and outfit reminded me of the girls in beer halls in Munich at the Oktoberfest (what I can actually remember of them). All she needed was arms full of beer mugs or pretzels. And I loved the 1960's hairdo. She really needs to lose the safety glasses, the nose ring, and speak a little faster. Ellen said she was special. I say special needs.
#6 (10 points) - Tim Urban
All my loving. Much improved because he got back behind the guitar, did a fun, young song, and looked like a young Beatle. I would like to have seen him wear a black suit with tight pants, white shirt and thin black tie whilst singing that song. He may be gone soon, but not this week.
#5 (11 points) - Michael Lynche
Eleanor Rigby. Not his best effort. Wrong song choice. I really don't see the appeal for this guy. He's just lucky to have those in the list above in this competition. I could not believe how long the judges talked after his performance. They finally shut up and went to commercial break. Michael's performance was forgettable.
#4 (13 points) - Lee DeWyze
Hey Jude. He could have slept his way through this song. Who has not covered this song. He did not challenge himself, knowing full well he won't be leaving soon. The bagpipes almost knocked him down to #5 or #6. That was an unnecessary distraction and was an insult to the song. I like his voice, but not his bland personality. If he'd ever quit fretting over his performance, he might move to #2 some week.
#3 (14 points) - Katie Stevens
Let it be. Katie was the surprise of the night. I thought for sure she'd be in the bottom three again, based on her past performance. But she ditched the prom dress, stood at the mike and performed a heartfelt rendition of the song. Still a little pitchy, but not enough to hurt her. I, as did Simon, heard a little country twang in there. It suits her. Good job this week. I'll be surprised if she is in the bottom 3.
#2 (16 points) - Crystal Bowersox
Come together. I like her voice. I like her guitar playing. And I like her performance in front of an audience. She's still the most comfortable out there. The didgeridoo was a bit distracting, but not as much as the clown playing the bagpipes. And I think her cold affected her singing a little bit. Hence, I knocked her down to #2 for the night. I still expect her to win with her consistency. How about a duet with Casey James?
#1 (18 points) - Casey James
Jealous Guy. He sang this song better than John. I liked it, but I liked his acoustic guitar playing better. Do you know how hard it is to play a guitar (well) and sing? He did it all well last night. I'd listen to that song by him on my Ipod. First time at number one. I think he and Crystal are so far ahead of the others that they will be the final two at the end of the season.

Results show is up in a couple hours. Let's see if I called it correctly.

Roast in peace
Jerry Grinstead

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Top 10 Idol Guys & Girls - 3/30/2010 My Results

Tuesday night's top 10 started of a little bit rough, but it did get better as the competition wore on. I'm of the opinion that the producers know who has talent and who doesn't. That's not surprising, nor is it rocket science. The judges are being kind to the ones who can't sing and the producers put the best last to keep us all from going to bed.

Here we go from worst to best this time, with comments along the way.

#10 - Siobhan Magnus - 8 points
Simon said it best when he said he was getting bored of the high note. We at home all know it's coming and it really does distract from her performance. However, her singing is so bad that any distractions are a blessing when she is on stage. She is eliminated tonight (we can only hope)
#9 - Tim Urban - 9 points
I really think he is clueless. Maybe he's just led a sheltered life and doesn't know that corny sucks. He's having fun at our expense. If Siobhan does not leave tonight, our only consolation is that Tim will be gone. Seeing how many times he has been in the bottom two this year, that may be likely. I really give him and Siobhan equal chances at leaving.
#8 - Didi Benami - 10 points
Makes my toes curl every time she opens her mouth, whether to talk or sing. If I could, I would eliminate her tonight, but the bottom two in this list are more likely. Didi did not talk as much last night as in past episodes. Someone talked to her about her loud voice. Reminds me of Jacob Silj, played by Will Farrell on Saturday Night Live, a man who suffers from "Voice Immodulation Syndrome". He can't control the loudness of his voice.
#7 - Katie Stevens- 11 points
Big voice but she sings way over her head and ability. Chain of Fools? Right. 17 and she chooses that. She has yet to sing a song that shows us she knows what it means to be young and talented. 17 year-olds should not be permitted to try out.
#6 - Aaron Kelly - 12 points
He's in a tie with Katie for the biggest voice from a high school student. He sings to seriously. He and Katie need to have a little fun with a contemporary performance. Everything I said about Katie above applies to Aaron.
#5 - Andrew Garcia - 13 points
I like his voice and song choice. I just don't like his presentation and he is low on the likeability scale. With the tat on the neck, he is someone most people would cross the street to avoid. Do you think he regrets that tat?
#4 - Lee DeWyze - 14 points
Finally, we're getting to the possible American Idols this season. Good song choice, good voice, decent presentation and likeability. He did improve this week, and may be a sleeper like the winner last year, old what's his name. Not Adam Lambert ... the other guy.
#3 - Michael Lynche - 15 points
Gotta give him my #3 position. He sang well and chose a perfect song (if not just a might bit cliche, as usual). I don't think he'll be the idol, but people like his sappy, sweet, shtick and song choices. Point to the sky and remember to say hi to mama and baby back home.
#2 - Casey James - 16 points
I think he is the most talented musician, as I've said before. He needs to work a bit on his presentation (quit smiling all the time through the song). But his song choice, singing and likeability just may carry him to the American Idol.
#1 - Crystal Bowersox - 17 points
I may be biased, but I think she is maybe the only one I'd like to see perform in person. She knows her strong points and sticks to them for the most part. Last night at the piano and gussied-up and all, distracted from her performance, but she exudes confidence in her voice and song choice. If the fickle voters (some of whom actually vote for the bottom 4) would vote honestly, I think she's win in a landslide. Maybe she'll sing Landslide for us this season.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Top 11 Idol Guys & Girls - 3/23/2010 My Results

Well, they did it again. They amazed us with their singing abilities (or lack thereof). How many did you see who picked a song so far above their singing ability? I knew before several of them sang that it was not going to be pretty. Examples: Tim Urban singing Queen. Freddie Mercury is turning in his grave. You have to be insane to sing a Queen song, unless you are Adam Lambert. Aaron Kelly singing Aerosmith. Embarrassing to watch a 17 year-old try to sing a Steven Tyler song. He is in way over his head. Siobhan and Paige sang too much song (if you can call what Paige was doing singing). The judges let her have it, deservedly. Randy was being kind when he said it was terrible and Ellen said something positive to Paige, "Well, you didn't fall down!" ROFLMAO!

OK, on to the karaoke and Cliche performances. Andrew Garcia was karaoke. He has to bring something edgy to his next performance or he'll leave soon. Thankfully there are others who suck more than he did. If you look up Cliche in the online dictionary, you'll find a video of Michael Lynche singing 'When a man loves a woman'. He is so sappy sweet and boring. They only thing that will save him is he does sing fairly well. Cliche performance and patronizing to the audience.

Katie is too young, Didi's voice sounds like chalk screeching on a blackboard (and it is worse when she talks - makes me cringe).

Lee DeWyze is just ... boring. Sings OK. Looks OK. Will stick around. There's a name for snowboarders who wear their sock hats all the time. 'Sock heads'. He is a sock head and should lose the hat. At least he hasn't sung with it on.

Now for the top two (as usual). Casey James, I agree is the best musician, with Crystal the 2nd best musician. Casey, though, said he was going to use more of the stage, but then hid behind his guitar and microphone singing a totally safe song. He is my choice for #2 last night, but only because 9 others sucked, were boring, sang too much song, or were too cliche. Casey may win this whole thing, if, as I suspect, Crystal walks out on the show to get her recording career started. Why be a puppet for 8 to 10 more weeks and have to travel with this lot all summer, when she can leave and be successful now? I might be wrong, but I don't see her enjoying herself up there. The judges said maybe it's because she's shy. No. I think she's embarrassed.

Here are my top 11 rated and ranked from best to worst this time.

#1 Crystal Bowersox (aka Janice) - 17 points
#2 Casey James - 15 points
#3 Katie Stevens - 14 points
#4 Michael Lynche - 13 points
#5 Siobhan Magnus - 12 points
#6 Lee DeWyze - 11 points
#7 Aaron Kelly - 10 points
#8 Andrew Garcia - 9 points
#9 Didi Benami - 9 points
#10 Tim Urban - 8 points
#11 Paige Miles - 6 points

Bye Bye Paige

Comments?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Top 12 Idol Guys & Girls - 3/16/2010 My Results

Ouch! Tim Urban ruined that Stones song by singing it Reggae. And when 17 year old Katie Stevens came out wearing her 8th grade prom dress to sing a Jagger song, I knew we were in for a long night. We can only hope that Siobhan is gone tonight so that we will not have to hear her screech/scream again. Give us a break! I still do not understand the judges' conflicting comments. They said Casey James needs to do more than just sing well, look good, play a great guitar ... he needs to use the stage. Then the other guitar players (Lee, Andrew, Tim, Crystal) stand at the microphone, just like Casey, playing (not as well) and singing their songs. I guess that was the only thing they could think to criticize Casey on. I do think Crystal will win if she acts a little more like she cares to be there. Maybe she doesn't really care to play all the stupid games they have to play. She knows she could leave and get a recording contract tomorrow. Anyway, here are my ratings and rankings from best to worst:

#1 Crystal Bowersox 16 points
#2 Casey James 15 points
#3 Michael Lynche 13 points
#4 Aaron Kelly 12 points
#5 Tim Urban 12 points
#6 Lee DeWyze 11 points
#7 Andrew Garcia 10 points
#8 Katie Stevens 10 points
#9 Siobhan Magnus 9 points
#10 Lacey Brown 8 points
#11 Didi Benami 8 points
#12 Paige Miles 6 points

I really don't care who leaves from #3 to #12. I don't think their appeal or talent compares to Casey's and Crystal's, who probably don't really care if they were to leave. They've got the exposure and can capitalize on it now if given the chance by being voted off. That's the conundrum. Too good to leave, but better off not having to waste time singing and dancing for Idol. My prediction to leave: Didi and Tim.
Comments?

Jerry

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Top 8 Idol Guys - 3/10/2010 My Results

The worst part of the show tonight was watching the judges' antics. Ellen and Kara need to back off their meds just a tad. Kara was molesting Simon most of the night and ended up blubbering over Michael's song. Ellen Booed Randy louder than the audience at one point and ran on stage to hug Tim. Somebody restrain her! Idiots

Here are my ratings and rankings for the guys' performances tonight. (I was not as impressed with some as much as the judges) Best to worst:

Michael Lynche - 16
Casey James - 16
Andrew Garcia - 15
Lee DeWyze - 14
Alex Lambert - 14
Toddrick Hall - 13
Tim Urban - 12
Aaron Kelly - 11

The top 5 there could fight it out for the number one guy depending on their song choices in the next month. Toddrick and Tim just do not have enough of everything to move forward (singing ability, song choices, presentation, likeability). Aaron has the same problem as Katie Stevens has with the girls. They are too too young and sing songs way over their maturity level. It does not work. I'll say it again. They should not let anyone under 18 into the Idol competition. I agreed with Kara in that Aaron can't relate to the song he sang. He's not old enough. Simon disagreed just to disagree.

Bye bye Tim and Aaron. (Though the teeny bopper crowd may save Aaron, and Toddrick could be leaving us tomorrow night.)

Yours in idolatry,

Jerry

Top 8 Idol Girls - 3/9/2010 My Results

It happened again. We had to slog through several amateurs before we got to the professional. Can you believe how much better Crystal Bowersox is than all the other girls AND guys combined? At any rate ... here are my ratings and rankings using the ranking sheet available at the National Marshmallow Roasters Institute. Best to worst:

Crystal Bowersox - 17
Siobhan Magnus - 13
Katie Stevens - 11
Didi Benami - 11
Lacey Brown - 11
Katelyn Epperly - 10
Lilly Scott - 8
Paige Miles - 7

After the judges fawned over Crystal and raved about her on and on, Lilly Scott had to go on. The judges said basically, "good job", "yea, ditto", "I like you", "me too". I guess they were running out of time and had to end the show so Lilly got the short end of the stick. (What is the short end of a stick?) Anyway, I digress ... Is anyone as impressed with Lilly as much as the judges seem to be? One of my least favorites. Her voice is not that good. Her hair at least covers up some of her face. I just don't see what it is they think she has.

Prediction:

Bye bye Lilly and Paige.

Yours in idolatry,

Jerry

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Top 10 Idol Girls - 3/3/2010 My Results

Last night we saw the top ten girls take the AI stage. Crystal Bowersox led off with the best performance of the night. I agreed with the judges that she was far better than most. I was glad I had recorded the show when I began watching it an hour into the show. I simply started my DVR at the beginning of the show and was able to skip through the commercials and crayons.

The problem I have is, if Crystal Bowersox is the best, then we are in trouble with the girls this year. I don’t think she will be voted through to the end. She’s a bit rough around the edges and the American voters are hard to gauge.

My vote for the bottom 2 girls is Haeley Vaughn and Lacey Brown. Haeley is too bubbly and smiley and I think she believes that will get her through. But Kara was right. She needs to mature a bit more. I personally believe they should not allow anyone under 18 into the competition. They have an upper age limit and they should have a lower one. Lacey is stylin’ too much and not singing well enough. She’s a bimbo underneath it all.

Here’s how I ranked them from best to worst, and the points I assigned.

Crystal Bowersox – 17
Michelle Delanor – 15
Paige Miles – 15
Katie Stevens – 14
Katelyn Epperly – 13
Siobhan Magnus – 13
Lilly Scott – 12
Didi Benami – 11
Lacey Brown – 11
Haeley Vaughn – 10

My least favorite is Lilly Scott, even though my numbers did not put her at the bottom of the list. And they should ban anyone from singing an Aretha song. “Think” was way too much for Siobhan. That high note was not as good as the judges let on.

I think the judges are just trying to make us believe there is talent on stage when, for the most part, there is not. Do you care who goes home tonight?

Comments?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Top 10 Idol Guys - 3/2/2010 My Results

A reminder that blank ranking sheets are available at http://www.nmrinstitute.com/idol.htm.
Last night the top 10 guys sang. I saw a big improvement over last week for the most part. I don't think any of them were worse, and most of them were better. I used my chart to determine who I think should go this Thursday (I'll use the girls' chart tonight).

My order from best to worst, and their point totals is as follows:

Alex Lambert - 16
Casey James - 16
Michael Lynche - 14
Andrew Garcia - 14
Tim Urban - 13
Aaron Kelly - 12
John Park - 12
Lee DeWyze - 12 (Judges' favorite)
Toddrick Hall - 11
Jermaine Sellers – 9

As you can see, I think Alex Lambert is the best one up there. He has a unique voice and he doesn’t even know how good he is. Casey is way up there because of his appeal, his musicianship and his song choice. The jury is still out on whether he can back that all up with his voice.

Michael Lynche and Andrew Garcia could challenge my top runners if they keep doing what they’re doing and keep improving.

Tim, Aaron, Lee, and John need to step it up a notch. Lee may be the judges’ choice, but I think we’ve heard his best voice and his appeal is not strong. He sounds like a couple past contestants. Been there, done that.

Toddrick and Jermaine need to go. They don’t sing that well and they don’t take criticism well, or learn from it.

Comments?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Idol Eliminations - 2/25/2010

The hardest part about ranking the contestants the last couple nights was not who were the best singers, but rather, who were the worst. So many to eliminate and so few to say goodbye to!

We could have put all the names in a hat and picked two girls and two guys to eliminate, and there would not have been any uproar. I believe this season may be the weakest yet. But, then again, we say that every year when the top 24 are on. Maybe we'll be surprised. The kid who was saved tonight (Alex) impressed me with his voice. I predict he is going to suck it up, act like he knows what he's doing, and surprise us. I do like his voice. If he just has a little bit of the attitude that Tyler had, he could be the next idol. Tyler was stuck in the 70's ... and I even remember a couple of those years through a smokey, hazy fog. Class of '75 rocks! Joe sang pretty well, but I could barely understand his words. Maybe he should have mixed in a little spanish language song. There's certainly a large hispanic population out there watching and voting.

The girls are harder to choose to eliminate than the guys. My bottom two were saved. But not for long, I predict. Janelle and Ashley had the looks, so in that regard, I'm sorry to see them go so soon.

I believe we are going to see another male American Idol this year. And here is one of my predictions for the top 5. Yes, your's too I suppose. Casey James. He sings too good and plays the guitar too good. He'll get a lot of votes for his looks, too.

Comments?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I've put my charts of my rankings on my web site at: The National Marshmallow Roasters Institute's Idol page.

When they panned the camera down between the two rows of 12 guys and 12 girls, I thought, Wow ... are we in for a long season. Don't reserve your tickets to the Idol tour yet. It is hoped that we'll be able to get down to a semblance of talented top 10. Eliminating the bad ones won't be the problem. Finding the good ones will. I have a feeling that we'll see three or four who can sing (much like last year).

I've watched all the girls, and see 3 or 4 so far who stand out. I am using my scoring chart and finished up watching all of them on Wednesday. (I have the show recorded). Tonight I'll use my guys scoring chart to find the bottom two guys. You do the same, and we'll compare notes here.

My only question is, "Please ... Can we eliminate more than just two girls and guys this week?!?" NO. They will drag this out for three weeks. Ouch!

Comments?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Idol Review - 2/10/2010

Nancy was right when I told her I did not watch the group sing-off last night. I recorded it to watch today. She said I had not missed anything. It's just not the real thing until they get down to the top 24 and head into the top 10.

My advice to all of you for next week's Idol shows? Skip them and watch the Olympics. And we have a top notch curling team this year! http://www.usacurl.org. And wouldn't you rather watch ice melt, than watch Simon pretend to be disinterested while he makes $40 Million?

I still have not seen a singer who rocks my world and rolls like a steamroller. I expect they have not put the best singers on TV yet. Why waste them on us now when they can shine in the top 10? And there are plenty of sob stories to tell and plenty of drama queens to exploit.

Will Lindsey Vonn ski or will her injury keep her out? I think it's all a ploy to mess with the heads of all the other skiers. And the network loves controversy and overcoming hardship. If there's no hardship or sob story, then make one up, I say!

Comments?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Idol Review - 2/9/2010

I hope you enjoyed the first and second days in Hollywood. Let the Ellen-fest begin! It's the count-down to the top 12 girls and top 12 guys. It really does start to get better now. Not good ... just better than the gawdawful past few weeks. Sorry. I just could not stomach those shows. At least tonight, they spared us the really bad auditions.

Did you see Ellen's sexy carpenter boots? I have to get Sue a pair of those! I must say, as much as I don't care for Ellen, she did not annoy me too much. Maybe because she was not being comedic (if that's what you call her act). I think she'll get a little more relaxed in her role as the season goes on and she may be a good addition after all.

What especially makes watching this bearable is watching it a half hour after it has started recording on the DVR, so I can speed through the commercials. This is the first show this season I have not had to speed through the performances, or run screaming from the room yelling, "I'll never watch this $@^#&!# show again!" Yes, you know the feeling.

I was impressed with several of the performances. Mostly the ones who played guitar and sang. A couple did it very well and if they make it through the group competition tomorrow, they may get to the top 24. I have not seen this year's American Idol yet. Have you? Did you see talent that will make it to the top 10 and to the tour? Too early to say just yet, maybe.

I think they just may be setting us up for a great fall (Humpty-Dumpty-style) tomorrow night. They spared us the drama queens and the worst of the lot tonight. But, do you remember the group in-fighting and backstabbing last year? We may be cringing at the drama and hype tomorrow night. Just keep repeating, "It will get better. It will get better."

If you watched, give us your comments! And if you didn't watch, Get with the Program! We have a date to watch the top 10 on tour next summer!

Yours in idolatry,
Mr. Mallow

Sunday, February 7, 2010

There's a sucker ...

P.T. Barnum said, "There's a sucker born every minute." And Tiger Woods is proving this statement to be true once again. RadarOnline claims "the couple (Tiger and Elin) is planning on spending some time alone as they attempt to repair their marriage." Quality time, no doubt.

Who is the sucker here? Elin 'Stand-by-your-man' Woods? Tiger's sponsors? Sports fans? Maybe all of the above? Who will be the first to say that Tiger is so full of S--t that his eyes are brown? Ok. I will do the honor. And I'll say Elin doesn't give a rat's hairy ass about repairing their marriage. It's all about being Mrs. Tiger Woods and the jingle-jangle and bingle-bangle that goes along with that job.

The only ones who win are Tiger's new girlfriends. They all will enjoy the golfer's attention. They and Tiger's entourage will just be paid much more to keep quiet so his sponsors and the other suckers out here will believe anything that this fine, upstanding American Icon tells them.

Tiger learned well at the P.T. Barnum School of Marketing.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

American Idol - January 13, 2010

What a nightmare. Except for the new hit single "Pants on the ground". I am not going to be able to watch these audition shows. 90% of the time it's like watching someone vomit. So, when we get down to the top 24, I'll continue with these American Idol blog entries. Until then, I'll just write about, oh...anything else in the world. I found out that they do not have even elementary school education in Tennessee after watching the blond "country singer" who gets to ride on an air-o-plane now. Her momma did have a nice trailer, though. She makes Kelly Pickler look like a Rhodes Scholar. (Question 1: Who is Kelly Pickler?)

I just figured out why they pay the idol judges so much money. Because nobody else could stomach what they have to do. Mary J Blige must really be hurting financially to have to take this gig. She could not help but laugh at the idiots parading before her. She looked at the other judges as if to say, "Y'all really do this for a whole season? I'd rather go clean toilets for a living! Tell me I don't have to come back next week, or else shoot me now!" (Question 2: How much does Simon get paid, per year, for doing American Idol?)

It must have been in Ellen DeGeneres's contract that she does not have to sit through all the crappy auditions. She is smarter than I gave her credit for. And did I mention she is a thespian? I enjoyed her acting in her sit-com years ago. (Question 3: What was the name of Ellen's sit-com?)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

American Idol - January 12, 2010

Posh Spice (Victoria Beckham) looked out of place at the judges' table tonight. As is so often said of the contestants, Posh is forgettable. It is hoped she will not be back tomorrow night. I totally expected to see Ellen DeGeneres, but alas, we'll probably have to wait a few weeks before her grand entrance. I hear there are up to eight guest judges. Heavens to Mergatroid!

I thank my lucky stars that we have a digital video recorder and can speed through the commercials. But more importantly, we can speed through the so-called "singers" who should not be there. I do believe tonight there were fewer annoying people, and more who could actually sing decently enough to go to Hollywood. One of the female contestants stood out from all the rest. If you watched, I think you know the one. The judges were kind to several who will not make it through the next round. And the judges restrained themselves from throwing at least one obnoxious contestant out the window into the water below.

Do you realize that we will not be down to the top 24 until February 17th? And the voting people off will not start until February 23rd? When the voting people off begins, I will try and have forms for us to rate the performances. You can see if your good judgment matches that of the rest of America.

Now, for crying out loud, give us your comments on tonight's performances and judges! Are we champing at the bit to see Ellen's debut? Will she pass muster? Or will she flop? I expect good things from her. She will surprise us. Did you know she is a thespian? I just heard that on the radio. Yes, I guess she acted in her own sit-com years ago, but I won't hold that against her.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Thank you, Tiger

In a letter-to-the-editor in the December 5th Sacramento Bee newspaper, one writer complained that the “once-prestigious Sacramento Bee turned itself into a tabloid.” Another letter writer felt that “With all of the crap going on in this world today…” the Tiger Woods story should not be front-page news.

To the contrary, the Tiger Woods story is a perfect front-page story that is representative of much that has gone wrong in America over the last decade. Whether we are talking about large banks, insurance companies, philandering senators, representatives and governors, fast-talking mortgage brokers, or just one billionaire golfer, it is clear that, in today’s America, image is more important than substance; fast talk is more important than a steady walk. Our backroom deals and bedroom liaisons of selfishness are, more often than not, hidden by our commercialized façade of public benevolence. What are damaged (irreparably?) are our contracts, vows and commitments to customers, spouses, constituents and fans.

Tiger Woods is the poster child for the two faces of American business, sports, and social fabric today. And we have all the crap going on in the world today to show for this two-faced dichotomy. Health care reform will destroy America, or, lack of health care reform will destroy America. Pick your side and never come together to solve real health care problems. Banks and insurance companies are too big to fail, or, banks and insurance companies should be allowed to fail. Pick your side and never come together to solve our country’s real financial, employment and housing problems. Republicans are the problem, or, Democrats are the problem. Pick your side and never come together to fix all our common problems in America today. Tiger Woods’s public face and his private actions finally caught up with him, just as has happened to so many of our politicians, corporations and financial institutions over the last decade.

We, the few who value (or at least profess to value) the quality and congruity of our business, social and family relationships, must be naive to think we could ever be in the majority when it comes to shaping the future of America. Regardless of my social standing, your position in the corporate world, her education level, his religion or our political views, can we ever come together for the betterment of our communities, health care, businesses, jobs, infrastructure, and America’s future? I doubt it.

Thank you, Tiger, for so clearly showing us what America has (or has not) become.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What little things annoy you?

While we wait with bated breath for American Idol to begin a new season, perhaps I can share and solicit some common annoyances. They may simply be pet peeves of mine or yours. Here are three of mine.

Letters to the editor that use the words 'me thinks' in them. I stop reading when I stumble over those words. Does anybody (who is under the age of 95) really use those words other than to try and sound...I don't know what the word is...haughty or condescending?

Another pet peeve of mine is talking heads, professors, car salesmen, or anyone really, who wears a bow tie. Can you really take anything someone says seriously who wears a bow tie? Me thinks not! Maybe George Will said something profound on Meet the Press, but I'll never know, because his bow tie was distracting me from hearing his profundity.

I don't know why this annoys me, but I notice it does. People who stand in the kitchen to eat breakfast or lunch when there is a perfectly good dining table and chairs, or kitchen counter with bar stools to sit at. It makes me feel like we're in a hurry to get somewhere and we really need to wolf down this bowl of oatmeal or sandwich so we can get to doing whatever it is we need so desperately to do.

Go ahead. Send in your pet peeve annoyances. Limit your peeves to three annoyances. I could go on and on.

Friday, January 1, 2010

American Idol 2010 - Two night premiere, Tuesday January 12th

Are we ready for the January 12th two-night premiere of American Idol 2010? Last year’s ‘Idol Thoughts’ that I sent to many of you in email was a success. Many of you suggested I do a blog. I think you all had a great idea. Now you can comment right here by clicking on the word 'comments' at the end of this blog.

I find the best way for me to post my comments, whether in emails or in this blog, is to write them up in Word or Notepad first, and then copy & paste them here. I find it helpful to use spell check in Word and proofread my posts in Word. You may want to write up your comments in Word or Notepad before posting them, as well.

You certainly don’t have to do that, so if you want, you can just click on 'comments' below, and write in the comment box and submit. You'll likely submit your comments anonymously, so remember to include your name in them so we know who's comments they are. There are no points off for spelling or grammar errors – it’s just your Idol Thoughts that count!

There is a lot of information about the show at http://www.americanidol.com.

The biggest change this year, in my opinion, is that Paula will not be judging and Ellen DeGeneres has replaced her. I’m looking forward to seeing how Ellen does this year. I still believe that four judges are too many. Three judges seemed to work just fine for many years, and they should have gone back to just three.

As for ranking the contestants, like I did each week before the elimination, I’ll begin ranking the contestants and commenting on individual performances when we get down to the top 12 to 24 contestants. The first few weeks' shows seem to be both annoying and entertaining at the same time. The shows do get better as the truly talented move on.

How will they top last year’s show? Will there be another contestant as entertaining and versatile as Adam Lambert? Will we want to go to next summer’s Idol Tour concert as much as we did last summer’s? My prediction: Start saving your money to purchase tickets so we can all go see the top 10 perform on tour. I think we will have a great time again!