Live Blogging Idol Rock and Roll Week. Sponsored by TIVO.

Here we are with the Final and perhaps, not entirely Fantastic, Four. And my sofa and cabernet.

Strangely, the Pond allowed itself to veer from its dedication to humor by revealing two of the actual songs to be sung tonight before, apparently, anyone else did.

Which is of no concern to us.

What concerns us deeply is that someone would say “Hungry Like The Wolf” is one of the 500 songs that made rock and roll.

If this is the case, then, truly, where was Joe Jackson’s “Is She Really Going Out With Him?”

Or even Procol Harum’s “Drunk Again.”

I happen to have rubbed shoulders with Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon at the Four Seasons in San Francisco last Saturday night. His shoulders were warm and high. His demeanor, very friendly.

And all I can say is that if he had heard David Cook’s rendition of the song, he would have reached for the nearest nut bowl and spat in it.

To describe this rendition as execrable would be to be unkind to fecal matter.

I am sorry. I was born in Birmingham. Simon Le Bon was born in Birmingham. And this performance was born in a haedes of vinegar and offal.

Truly, this was the worse performance of Mr. Cook’s long, long journey. The dawn of a long, long journey into night, perhaps.

Syesha is Proud Mary. She is singing it. And she is being it.

She performs. In the truest meaning of the word. Her voice is a little too thin to be overwhelming. But she leaves whatever she has on the stage for the roadies to sweep up, sniff, inhale and enjoy.

I know the judges must have disagreed because I see that Randy is turning menacingly towards Simon.

Ah, who cares. The judges have fewer votes than I do.

Jason Castro’s dead hair is not Bob Marley’s. His brain, however, may be as dead as Bob Marley’s.

I will try to be charitable. I will say nothing more about Jason shooting the sheriff, other than that there may be a few sheriffs in Texas this evening whose wives might be keen on shooting Jason. Or their husbands.

Jason may have deprived them of their only sex fantasies on this May evening. Or any other.

No time to dwell. Little David is here. My eyes are drawn to his feet. Whatever shoes he wears, his feet seem always to have been photoshopped onto the rest of him by someone with a clown’s sense of proportion.

However, he sings “Stand By Me” very well. He still has all the stage magnetism of a roadie’s nephew, his t-shirt reminds me of a maiden aunt’s wallpaper, but every note is beautifully chosen.

Little David wins part one. Or should I call it the Old Testament?

So back to Big David. He has his Les Paul Comfort Blanket in his mitts.

This is better than his initial nightmare. Semolina with gravel is better than his initial nightmare.

Still, this version of “Baba O’Riley” by the Who is not exactly revelatory. If it reveals anything, it reveals the vast, echoing limits of David Cook. Perhaps he is tired of covering other people’s material.

In the same way that Kentucky Derby winners get tired of covering women they only meet for a couple of minutes.

The time for that is almost here, David. Almost here.

Syesha returns. “A Change Is Gonna Come,” she sings. She may well be right. I hear Paula say “You have come, Syesha.”

What can one possibly think after that?

Randy didn’t like it. Simon did. Simon owns the show.

Syesha begins to channel Brooke. She weeps. She talks about history. There are votes in this. Please ask Mrs. Clinton.

Jason Castro has veered into cheesy. Even his intros are becoming cheesy. Which reminds me, where is my wine?

He forgets the words. He is still a student of life.

When Paula says “It is what it is”, I am concerned. When she says something about being blown away by him personally (as opposed to his singing), I wonder just how many people will choose to vote for him tonight because they feel just like Paula.

In the mood to be blown away by Jason Castro personally.

Jason looks like the cleaner who has walked on stage humming, only to discover the audience is still out there.

I lose consciousness and then, suddenly, Little David is talking romance. Have I died and gone to Missouri?

So there he is, Josh Groban’s estranged Mormon brother trying to lay a claim to adulthood by singing “Love Me Tender.”

This would be have been perfect were it a tour by the Vienna Boys’ Choir. Again, he sings each note with the precision of a pathologist.

But that is the problem. When I am watching an autopsy, there just aren’t enough good feelings coursing through me.

David Archuleta was by far the best singer in Rock and Roll Week. Doubt has cast off its shadow.

But he left me feeling as cold as the turning body of Elvis Presley.

Is this a star? Is this an Idol?

Perhaps in ten years time. Certainly not now.

While I consider the possibility of it being Cookie that gets the cutter, I realize the truth- this glass of Honig Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 is, without question, the star of the evening.

Your health. And that of your ears.

Good night.

The Pond drinks to Brad Bechtel and his picture of a 500-year-old tree. It’s called Tony Bennett.


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22 responses to “Live Blogging Idol Rock and Roll Week. Sponsored by TIVO.

  1. sfbb

    hmmm. Well, I didn’t think DC’s DD version was bad, but there’s not a whole lot to do with that song. I think it’s the worst song choice he’s made this season, for sure. Baba O’Reilly started off great, but what can you do in 2 mins. with that song?
    I’m sure he is tired….exhausted….with having to cover songs, and coming up with new ways to impress the hyper-critical public. He has wonderful music of his own just waiting f0r a very faithful fan base, and at this point, that’s all that matters.
    I hate this show and I’ve only watched it this season because of David Cook. He’ll be fine. We just need to let him be human.

  2. thespine11

    You are right, sfbb.

    His own music is all that matters.

    But think about this. Does he have more chance of releasing his own music quickly if he DOESN’T win this little competition?

    Because if he does win, the Mr. Cowell and his merry crew might just be wanting him to do a few commercial cover versions..

    So perhaps these terrible song choices were deliberate…

  3. Judy C

    Well, enuf of that sillliness. I’m done with AI. The only reason I watched it in the first place has now been sent home to Texas. And I can hardly follow him around with a video cam without the risk of being served with yet another restraining order by his watchful parents. Nice while it lasted, tho.

    What? Surely you don’t think anyone actually watches AI for the music do ya? I mean, Andrew Lloyd Weber week effectively put an end to the possibility of hearing any relevant music. Castro was the only one who was the least bit interesting or original, and (sob) now he’s gone. Farewell my lovely, sweet, Latin prince. Adios mi ….. er, what’s hottie in Spanish?

  4. thespine11


    You need the word ‘carino’, I think.

    I feel your pain. Really I do.

    But Jolly Jason will be closer to you physically very soon.

    His fragrance will waft over your garden fence and slide up your nostrils.

    So what will we watch together next?

  5. Judy C

    Carino? Are you sure? That’s a Toyota isn’t it? Ok, ok, Adios mi carino. (Did I just say “good bye my little meatloaf”?)

    Jason did seem to heave a hearty sigh of relief when he got the news – even Ryan commented “you’re sorta glad to be going, right?” or something to that effect. Oh, Pond, you simply must hie yourself over to and see what he’s done with a pic of Jason just for us pervs. Every female and gay guy in North America are licking their monitor screen even as we speak.

    Well, let’s see, what CAN we watch now?The Riches is done for the season, or it would be perfect, you know, English actors doing Southern accents – the critical possibilities are endless.

    Dexter is my fav and amazing, but in re-runs till the HBO season starts. And The Tudors is beginning to make me wonder just what history book they wrote the script from. Poor Thomas More – his halo is probably spinning around his head. 500 years and the Church of England is still picking on the Catholic Church. And they even have to stand in line to do it!

    So you think you can dance (hereafter called SYT) could work too. Nigel “The Anti-Christ” Lythgoe, with his wolfish teeth, is on the panel along with several outrageous old dancing queens. I could make fun of them a lot. And the dancers are pretty spectacular. Hmmmm, what else?

    Bones has a hot guy AND a hot girl, one for each of us – and last week I saw a review that said “Bones is the cheekiest forensics show on TV” – was that you? “Cheeky” sounds Birminghamish to me, (or is it Birmingpudlian?) See, I’m being cheeky.

  6. Erika

    Your little corner of the internet is a place where I now start my day. I have laughed so hard at your article this morning, especially the part of David Archuleta’s shoes being photoshopped in…too, too funny. I do disagree with you about David though. His voice really touches my soul and for me, he is a breath of fresh air. His sweetness is genuine and I think he will be around for decades to come. I am a huge fan of David Archuleta but go into denial when I’m amused by slightly weird hair do’s, uncomfortable moments in the Ford commercials, until I read your articles and then I explode with laughter. Thanks for the intellectual and brilliant humor!

  7. thespine11


    You are more than kind. I have no idea where you are when you plunge into the Pond.

    I can only hope that your laughter puts your fellow office workers off their mundane tasks or sends your family into fits of jealousy. Or both.

    As you perhaps know, I stumbled into AI by accident and now I have the unenviable task of having to find something else to write about in a couple of weeks.

    What will you do to come down from your Little David High (Which will be the school named after him in Utah)?

    I believe that you will discover, in years to come, that Little David isn’t quite as genuine as you might imagine. Nor sweet. Remember, Britney was once sweet. So was Hillary. Well, maybe not the latter.

    Yes, tell us of your plans for AI withdrawal.

  8. thespine11


    You are in pain. Do what all Texas housewives do.

    Take two vicodin. And wash them down with copious amounts of Jack Daniels.

    I am told it always does the trick.

    You’ve named a bunch of shows I kind of know about but have never watched.

    I don’t actually watch all that much, other than peculiar little things like Boston Legal and the Deadliest Catch. Oh, and Gene Simmonds Family Jewels, of course.

    I do have friends who are very committed to So You Think You Can Dance. One even went to see their tour.

    But, yes, Nigel Lythgoe.


    Ah, no. Not I who used the word ‘cheeky.’

    And the word you are looking for is Brummie.

    Said with vowels longer than your intestines.

    You still have those, don’t you?

  9. Erika

    Dear The SpineII,

    As a 50 year old Brit living in North Carolina, post-American Idol I will resume activities pre-AI. Gardening, reading, sorts of things more age appropriate. I’m a bit of a closet American Idol watcher and a rare TV viewer…just happened to turn the TV on a few months ago during the audition period. Admit to being hooked on David Archuleta after hearing him sing “Heaven” and found myself tuning in week after week. Also admit to being hooked on Simon’s brutal honesty and find his massive ego quite entertaining. Now that I have found your hilarious stage here, I will be reading all your articles here daily. Are you single, 50ish and live in North Carolina? I think I can wear a label saying I’m your biggest fan! Thanks so much for the laughs!

  10. Judy C

    Leave my intestines out of this! You are being openly propositioned by a fellow Brit, don’t just sit there jawing about intestines, jump in.

    I concur, Pond, you are sooooo clever.

    Meanwhile I’m up and having Jack Daniels with my eggs, Vicodin not so much, as I read all about Jason’s departure. Did you see him mouth “DON’T VOTE” Tuesday night? Totally missed that. The folks at were kind enuf to tape it for me.

    Well, you’re no fun. I’ll just watch TV by myself then, and chat with my buds about it all. Meanwhile enjoy the next 3 Idol episodes which will give you, in order: the elimination of Shyesa, then David C and then, TA DA, David A, the choice of America? No, the choice of American Idol judges. And you may yet be in for another melt down when little DA is announced the winner – always fun to watch. Setting my Tivo now for the last 5 minutes of the last AI show.

  11. thespine11


    Happy for you to wear the label.

    Regret I am not 50ish. When I get there, I have asked friends to put me down.

    And have never been to North Carolina. Though I did once meet an extraordinary waitress with very large hands in Seattle who was about to leave and open a restaurant in Asheville.

    I wonder if she succeeded.

  12. thespine11

    Oh, Judy,

    I do admire Jason’s very charming honesty. (As I do yours, save for you licking up to Rickey by saying he was funnier than me. How can such downscale tat be as funny as me? Shameful.)

    Yes, I saw the Don’t Vote thing. Very good of him, I thought.

    Aren’t there only 2 Idol episodes left, not three?

    Just as there are only two swigs left in your bottle, not three.

  13. Erika

    Well!!! I WAS a big fan until you said that 50 year olds should be “put down”. And, women are like fine wine…

    You are already forgiven. Must dash off…have to rinse my dentures and oil the wheelchair.

  14. thespine11

    No, you misunderstand.

    I said that I should be put down.

    I will not age like fine wine.

    I will age like fine whine.

    How often does your wheelchair need an oil change.

    Every 3000 miles?

  15. Judy C

    Quit whining or we will put you down today. (or send you to Surrey)You know perfectly well that Rickey doesn’t come close to you in humor or style. (all better?) Besides that was way back when I had only read one or two installments from the Pond – we hardly knew ye! Now, may we proceed?? Sheesh! What a big baby!

    Oh yeah, guess there are only two AI shows left – hardly worth the boycott is it? I was thinking three cuz I was hoping that Paula would get voted off too.

    BTW I just heard that Little David High (heh heh)in Utah will be beginning special ed classes next semester for rubbery lipped kids with large hands and feet, who also have really long arms and who are forced by their fathers to do bad imitations of Dean Martin on live TV. It’s a comprehensive rehab program which will last for 3 months during which time each child will be voted off as they overcome these handicaps. It is funded by FOX TV.

    I feel your concern, but not to worry that I’m running low on alcohol, switched to wine at 5.

  16. thespine11

    Wine at 5 in a Texas mansion.

    What a splendidly decadent concept.

    You do have a very nice life.

    I wonder how many other AI aficionados can say that.

    Especially the fans of Little David High’s most famous students.

  17. Judy C

    2001 Llano Merlot in fact. And b4 U turn up your nose at a Texas wine, try it. Our pals from San Diego who are total wine snobs absolutely LOVE it. Go ahead, dare ya to try it. You can get it at Sam’s Club, do they have those there? Then give me your report. I sense a common interest.

    You really must watch AI Extra, Pond. The exit interviews with Jason are so endearing and so revealing, you might even change your tune. Not about his singing talent but about the man himself.
    Watch and listen to his gentle rebuke when the interviewer tries to put a sleazy spin on the “bathrobe” story. Also, Jason loves his Mother, and will even quote lessons about courtesy he leared from her. I LOVE that!

    I used to just think Jason “Greek god” Castro was hot, now I think he’s also a great kid that any parent would be proud of.

    Ok, I have officially bored myself, so I’m going to bed.

  18. thespine11


    I am not concerned about the Llano. Even though I have never tried Texas wine, I am very open to trying anything.

    It’s the Merlot part that bothers me a little. As, once you’ve tried other reds, Merlot doesn’t seem to taste of very much.

    Especially after half a bottle of Jack Daniels.

    I don’t know whether we have Sam’s Club here. But I know what it is…

    Ah, AI Extra. Now what channel would that be on, pray?

    I trust you will awaken with your Jason Castro passion suitably under control.

  19. Judy C

    Never a big fan of keeping things under control, but yep I’m over AI.

    Fox Reality ( ch.250 on Direct TV) is where you can find all things Idol that are missed by Idol Tonight, Idol Recap, Idol Extra, Idols: Where Are They Now?, Idol Worship, Idle Hands, Idling Engines, Eric Idle, etc.

    I love Sam’s. You really should shop for wine there, excellent variety and price. OMG! See how low I’ve sunk? Am I actually chatting about grocery wholesalers? Sorry, I’ll stop at once.

    I know, I’ll diss Hillary instead, it’s so easy and fun. Following are my thoughts re Hills, in a nutshell: huge toothy grin that never quite reaches her beady eyes, dreadful style, given to outright lying when questioned too closely, thick ankles, and then there’s that bloated, pasty Albatross, Bill, hanging around her scrawny neck. Not to mention her “different policy for every day” platform. I’d sooner vote for Jason Castro for president. (I know, why don’t I tell you what I really think?)

    OK, gotta go, here’s a big basket of Tulips arriving for Mother’s Day. Awwwwww. I totally deserve
    them. Pond, is Mum still around? If so, go ahead and send her some flowers even tho there’s probably a different day celebrating Mothers in UK. She’ll love it (but may think you want to borrow money).

  20. thespine11

    Ah, now I once saw Eric Idle sing Nanky Poo in the Mikado at the English National Opera.

    Not many people can say that.

    Don’t know the nearest Sam’s Club, but Cost Plus do some reasonably cheap good wines here.

    I do hope your children treat you well this Mother’s Day.

    But I am sorry they keep trying to borrow money from you. Did you not educate them well?

    You are, as usual, piercingly accurate on the Hillary front. And back.

    I wonder what she will get for Mother’s Day.

  21. Judy C

    So how was my fav Circus performer, Eric? Somehow Eric and opera don’t normally go hand in hand.

    Can’t think what Hillary will get for M-Day, not what she deserves, unfortunately. Maybe we could get Paula to send her a Mother’s Day card with a note inside saying she’s glad Hills quit the race cuz she’s not connecting with the public, leaving us all empty inside, and is a little bitchy too. (Psst! Paula, I think you meant to say PITCHY.) Maybe Hills willl actually think she has already resigned and just go home. Hey, worked on Jason.

    Thanks for the kind wishes, Pond.

    Kiddies don’t need coin as yet and are showing signs of being brilliant, and capable of earning a degree and a living, eventually. And Daddy will make sure I’m feted on M-Day as usual.

    Now I’m signing off for a few days to enjoy the social whirl, but don’t cry for me Pond (that ugly little hobbit, Andrew L.Webber keeps popping up everywhere!) cuz you know I cannot resist your witty repartee and snappy patter for long. Gotta go, the mechanical bull and Margarita machine have arrived – now THAT’S a social whirl.

  22. thespine11

    The mechanical bill, er, I mean bull, and the margarita machine.

    Why, I can just imagine it.

    I am sure you’ll be wearing tight jeans (with absolutely no room for a gun) and a large cowboy hat.

    Brilliant children in Texas, eh?

    There is hope for the planet’s future.

    I am warmed. Globally.

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