American Idol News. Battle Over Song Choices for Neil Diamond Week.

At last the Famous Five can leave behind the influences of the past.

Dolly Parton. Mariah Carey. The strangely-trousered Lord Lloyd Webber.

Because this week they get to choose from the enormous lexicon of love of Neil Diamond.

You feel that Mr. Diamond also represents the past?

May you perish in a vat of vinegared beer.

They still sing “Sweet Caroline” at the end of every Boston Red Sox game.

And Mr. Diamond has a new album coming out. Any day now, in fact. Surely you have got used to all these new albums being released by the so-called mentors.

Can he possibly outsell David Cook’s “Analog Heart”?

Well, he has had Rick Rubin, a man as large as Tibet, producing his onrushing oeuvre.

Mr. Rubin has brought us the Beastie Boys. He even worked with the Dixie Chicks. How can he not propel Mr. Diamond back to his former glory?

Of course, some might feel that this is a glory last spotted somewhere around 1979 when he promised to be “Forever in Blue Jeans.”

I’m not sure any of us still in possession of our own teeth and faculties would choose to be the particular pieces of denim that Mr. Diamond chooses to cover his loins these days.

But it is worth considering that “Sweet Caroline”, for example, was released in 1969.

A year in which long hair and drugs besmirched the world like a plague of hedonistic locusts.

Perhaps it is not altogether surprising, then, that “Sweet Caroline” is, at the moment of penning this in the steamy vicinity of the Idol Theater, the choice of Jason Castro.

Jason will, quite naturally, slow the song down a little so that we can get some much-needed rest. He will also attempt to learn all the thirteen notes that go to comprise this epic psalm to, um, a girl called Caroline.

No one can guarantee that he will manage to remember all of those notes.

What can be guaranteed is that he will talk and dork his way through the evening like a web design student in a Marseille bordello.

The National Nervous Breakdown Society has this week been forced to issue an impassioned press release disowning Brooke White.

The Society feels that she is giving genuinely stressed people a rap not worthy of Kevin Federline.

Her constant weeping, wailing, proto-emoting, sobbing and prostrating herself on the nearest available furniture serves only to remind viewers of the fact that silent movies are running on the FX Channel at two in the morning.

Neil Diamond might have been at the height of his powers at the same time as Carole King, but he didn’t leave behind too much for Brooke to marinate at her piano.

Initially, she bit into the leg of another contestant in an attempt to make “I Am, I Said” her song.

However, when a disheveled, dirty-sneakered, saggy-eyed Idolchik explained that the second line of the chorus is “I Am, I Cried,” Brooke dissolved into floods of saline and had to be sedated on a chaise-longue for three hours while she sniffled stories about her favorite fluffy toys from her childhood.

On returning to whatever passes for her consciousness, Brooke was encouraged to select “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”.

Perhaps many of you would consider this a song that was made famous by some righteous siblings.

But, wait. It was beaten to a pulp by Mr. Diamond and his bosom buddy, Dolly Parton, in 1993.

Syesha Mercado was quite right to feel offended that, despite having given everything and then some more that was possibly borrowed from another artist for the night, she was still condemned to sit on the plank of elimination.

Fortunately, she has found a Neil Diamond song that she can coat with a little Broadway pathos. (Given that Broadway seems to be the direction the judges are likely to send her. Taking their usual 70% along the way.)

The song is “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers”, a tale of lovers who know that they have grown apart.

The strange thing about this composition is that Mr. Diamond and Ms. Streisand recorded it separately for their own albums before they ever recorded it together.

Even stranger is that Ice T and Tupac gave it new life on “Saturday Night Live”.

And what of the only twopack that matter?

The Archangel Archuleta wanted “I Am…I Said” even more than he wanted the little blonde fourteen-year-old in the audience to never again wave the sign that read “Lick These Lips, David.”

After all, he has the liptick under control.

There were those on and around the set who were desperate for him to choose the 1968 composition “Two-Bit Manchild.”

Others were secretly wishing he would choose “I Thank the Lord for The Nighttime.”

But, as usual, insanity has prevailed.

David understands that the average age of his voters is six and a half. Whether you look at it mentally or passportly.

So he is intending to lure them into a predictably overwrought version of the religiously-overtoned “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”, which Mr. Diamond purloined from the British group, The Hollies.

Of course, there remain those who believe that this is merely a ploy on David’s part as he really intends to release this song with the slightly developed title “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Father.”

David Cook has tried to maintain his karma this week by ordering a tattoo identical to that which weighed down Carly Smithson’s right arm and chances.

David knows that Carly was a good one at heart and he feels the tattoo will keep him grounded just as others try to propel him towards one of Direct TV’s satellites.

For his Diamond song, David has selected, at least right now, “Beautiful Noise.”

He feels that, in some small artistic sense, and he is very keen on maintaining his artistic integrity, this song epitomizes the effect he wants his singing to have.

Of course, he will rock the baby just a little bit, just enough to make the casual listener believe that time hasn’t stood still and that the strange man in the glasses on CNN is not Barry Goldwater.

I can reveal that Mr. Diamond has already given David some important advice about his hair.

The Pond thanks Carla216 for illustrating the joys of the youthful voting public.



Filed under Uncategorized

21 responses to “American Idol News. Battle Over Song Choices for Neil Diamond Week.

  1. As far as we’re concerned , next week on AI the contestants will have to sing 2 (two) songs EACH from the Neil Diamond catalog.
    Well, you mentioned just 5 – what about the other ones? I’d LOVE to see Jason doing “Play me” – is there any chance??

  2. thespine11

    Hello, Leila,

    You’re new here, aren’t you?

    Well, welcome.

    Yes, you are absolutely right. Two Neil Diamond songs each.

    I’m afraid I could only muster sufficient allegorical charm to define one song.

    You will have to wait a little longer to see if you will be played by Jason.

    However, once I have bribed my imagination with a little wine and pondered the meaning of existence (in so far as it is relevant to LA) I will offer the other half of the oncoming alien missile that is Tuesday evening.

    I would, however, suggest that you wander a little around the rest of this site, just to soak in a little of the, um, rather idiosyncratic atmosphere.

  3. The song really isn’t what gets me, it’s more the candidates. I wish they would not argue about things that don’t really have consequences like this.

  4. thespine11

    Yes, Music Quiz,

    You are unquestionably right.

    Or at least you will be when I discover what on earth you are talking about.

    Which, I hope, will be soon.

    Thank you for participating in this journey.

  5. Lauren

    wait… are these the ACTUAL song choices or are these what you THINK they will sing? either way, i love david cook and i hope he does ‘beautiful noise’ well. i’ve never heard the song before. hate to admit that, but its true.<3

  6. Lauren

    wait… DC is getting a tattoo??!? another one? thats really sweet of him 2 get one for carly but… are you 100% positive he’s getting it done??????? please answer as soon as possible. thanks

  7. thespine11

    Ah, Lauren.

    Welcome to the murky but fragrant waters of the Pond.

    This is a place unlike any you might have been before.

    How can I answer all of your highly excitable questions?

    May I suggest that you look at the rest of this site and rejoice in the fact that entertainment is such a huge part of our culture.

    The Pond rejoices in that fact every day.

    We attempt to celebrate it too.

    In our own slightly idiosyncratic way.

  8. Erika

    Hello…am compelled to write and tell you that your articles/blogs (I’m 51 so “blog” is a bit of an unfamiliar word to me) have me laughing out loud. Wondering if you are a fellow Brit? Love your writing and sense of humor!

  9. thespine11


    It is always gratifying to meet one of the compelled.

    Thank you so much for writing and for your flattery.

    As to being British, well, ‘sort of, but not really’ would be the accurate answer.

    I have lived there, but have no British blood.

    In fact, according to one British dentist, I am definitely Algerian. Although I am not aware that I am.

    I am so glad that you appreciate that the aim of this site is to entertain. Any information here is, without question, oblique.

    There exist those who take me literally.

    And what would the world be like if we all took each other literally?

    Please don’t feel bad about using the word ‘blog.’ I can remember British people not being shy about saying they were going to the bog. And that meant the toilet….

  10. dashing4


    I am having a hard time deciding if you are for real…hmmm, how could you know the song choices so early, Mr.? Are you pulling my leg? I hope so. I don’t like the way you dog my boy, Jason. No I sure don’t. Its okay, you can be nice for once..try it, it feels good in the end.

    Seriously, please don’t tell me JC is first and singing “Sweet Caroline”!
    Would you tell me the truth? Based on your previous weeks, you were WRONG, so I am hoping this is a j-o-k-e.


  11. thespine11

    Hello, dashing4ever,

    Thank you for making contact with the sane world.

    I hate the thought of you having a hard time. It hurts me to think you may be experiencing anguish.

    As I am sure you have a very difficult Monday ahead of you.

    I like the way you call me ‘Mr.’ That is very polite and very rhythmic.

    Do you have feeling in your leg? Can you feel anyone pulling it? No? Well, there you are.

    Oh, please don’t say I was wrong about song choices.

    I think you will find that I was right about the person to be eliminated every time.

    The song choices are more of a metaphor for the whole competition.

    I mean, do you really care who wins?

    Here’s what I care about- whether you laughed at least once as you floated through the Pond.

    As for Jason, please forgive me. But he is beginning to embarrass himself. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.

    Sometimes embarrassment can be cathartic.

    I hate the thought that you think I am not nice.

    It’s just that Jason has no other value than to be pretty. Yes, little girls would like to snog him (are you a little girl, by any chance?), but do you really think anyone will be downloading Jason Castro music in a year’s time?

    Please believe me, I am nice. The people at my local Starbucks think I am very nice indeed.

    In fact, they welcomed me this morning as if it was the second coming of Norm on “Cheers.”

    They hadn’t seen me for four days, you see.

    I am somewhat slimmer than Norm, though.

  12. dashing4

    Hello Again,

    I have had a wonderful Monday so far, so you are wrong again on your predictions..Oh well, it happens to the best of us.

    I did laugh several times at your blog. However, I do not laugh when it comes to people making fun of Jason. Sorry to dash your dreams of me being a little girl..oh no, my friend, I haven’t been a teen in 20 or so years. Did you think that I was because I like Jason. Oh yes, that again…blah, blah, blah, this argument is getting so old and stale.

    I have a feeling people who bash Jason are just a little bit jealous. It sure is easier hiding behind a computer screen making fun of others than being the one laughed at isn’t it? But I won’t be too hard on you, because for some unknown reason I like your blog and your sense of humor most of the time.

    One more disagreement though…Jason isn’t embarrassing himself..(okay the cat comment wasn’t such a good one, but…)that would be the shameless media, the judges and producers of AI who push their agenda at all costs to brainwash the public. They who sell the Davids to us week after week…they are the ones embarrassing themselves. They just seem so, so desperate to convince us to vote for a David/David finale.

    Jason is who he is and has class. He smiles through adversity and while being knocked in front of millions of people. And, yes, I do believe people will be downloading his songs in a year. You don’t have to, but why do you care?

    Okay! enough of this, I must get something purposeful done and make a trip to Starbucks myself.

    I did see a quote on the end of someone’s email the other day that I really liked. I will share it with you. I can’t remember who said it, I think a monk from the Dark Ages or something, but its one to live by..

    “Be kind to everyone, for everyone is waging their own battle”

    Happy Blogging!

  13. sue

    thanks for the song updates which will end up be incorrect predictions anyway.One thing you need to get very clear through your little head, David Archuleta does not attract only 6 year olds. Sounds like you are jealous and angry at your own lack of accomplishments during that age. I am a woman in my 30’s who happen to work and know many people in my age group that absolutely not only love his voice, appreciate his talent, but consider him to be our new american role model. The bashing of this young man’s character and needless to say to his father (whom you obviously know nothing about) is childish and a mere content of stupid nonsense, showing only your lack of talent and information. I am sure whatever David Archuleta chooses to sing or any of the others, will be great. After all they made it to the top 5 already. What are your recent accomplishments?

  14. thespine11

    Hello again, Dashing4ever,

    You have made my day by admitting that you did actually laugh.

    It is interesting that you say I am hard on Jason, as Sue, below you, is appalled at my views on Little David. And they don’t seem to have upset you at all.

    You’re both in the same age group too…

    Sue seems to believe I have no talent and a little head.

    And she seems to think I have accomplished nothing in life. I’m not sure how she knows this.

    Gosh, what if she’s wrong? Will she repent? Will she go to confession? Will she send me a David Archuleta album to say ‘sorry’?

    Anyway, I totally agree that everyone is waging their own battle and I do not think that I am mean.

    A little dry, on occasion. But not mean. It is all said with a smile.

    Apparently, there have been several important Idol forums that have declared I might actually be quite funny.

    But funny is a terribly subjective thing. As Sue will, no doubt, explain to you.

    You see, the thing is that I happen to think that Jason isn’t much of a singer. I’m not even sure he wants to be. I can see him presenting TV shows.

    If he larks around, and he does, then hopefully I am allowed to lark around a little too.

    It’s my way of waging my battle.

    And, fortunately, no one has to watch me do it if they don’t want to.

    This blog actually began as a way not to have to write twenty separate emails to my friends.

    I hope you get something purposeful done today, Dashing. And I hope you do too, Sue.

    Perhaps you will be back, Dashing. Perhaps you won’t, Sue. It was lovely to meet you both, either way.

    Please excuse me, I now have to go see my shrink to talk about my lack of talent and my little head.

  15. sue

    You are finally admitting it that you have very little talent (I know this because you choose to not just write about facts, but trashing the contestants talents) yes we are all entitled to our opinion. But attacking and writing nothing but trash and publishing this, weekly on young contestants talents, is lack of talent on your part and needless to say mean spirited. Yes you are correct you should go back to finding a talent for yourself…sorry that is only my opinion.

  16. thespine11

    Oh, Sue,

    You besmirch me. Can’t you find anything nice to say about me?

    I don’t write facts? Hmm, are you sure about that?

    You mean Little David didn’t really win a lot of money on a talent show when he was 11? Did I make that up?

    It’s also a fact that I think he’s not very good.

    I am sad that you think I write nothing but trash.

    I guess some other people seem to disagree with you.

    Now, how are we going to solve Health Care?

  17. Ariadne

    Abso. blooming. lutely. PRICELESS! Your blog is a breath of fresh air, your humour incisive, and the graceful yet hilarious way you skewer the frothin’ dunderheads that tie their knickers in a twist over your posts and opinions…my gales of laughter woke up my cat and probably my spouse. As much as I enjoy AI (which used to, in my farming days, stand for quite something different), the hysteria of some fans is getting a bit much. So while I WILL root for David Cook to win–though he’ll win regardless of whether he takes this competition–I’ll also return faithfully to drink from the well of your wisdom. Or rather, from the pond.

  18. thespine11

    Hello, Ariadne.

    Thank you very much for being so abso, blooming, lutely kind.

    I know not everyone’s going to get the joke and I am always grateful when anyone does.

    It’s a long time since someone called me graceful.

    At least two or three nights.

    Oh, no. That was grateful.

    It does strike me as a little peculiar when thirty-somethings, of both sexes naturally, fall in love with David Archuleta. Unnaturally, I fear.

    Personally, I have sort of hijacked myself into writing so much about Artifical Singing Insemination, but it really has its cultural, if not always cultured, amusements.

    I hope your cat and your husband got back to sleep and that you will return here and laugh again.

  19. Shereeda

    David Cook completely stole the night… not only as being the best in both performances but serioussly outdid “all i need is you” AAAAMMMMAAAZZZIING

  20. thespine11


    Thank you. I am glad you didn’t think Brooke stole the night or I would have been forced to recommend a medical professional.

    I hope your day remains amazing.

    Thank you for writing.

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