Tag Archives: American Idol

SYTYCD Results Show. Was It A Woman Thing?

Joshua knew.

When Sutton Coldfield Cat announced that Katee was not going to win, Twitch draped his arm around Joshua as they walked off the stage.

Joshua didn’t drape his arm around Twitch.

Instead, he looked back around towards Katee and, I suggest, thought: “She was the best. I know she was the best. This ain’t quite right.”

Thankfully, making Josh the winner wasn’t quite wrong either.

But the baleful tossing of fifty grand in Katee’s direction suggested the producers knew they couldn’t unskew the demographics and that Katee, had, indeed, been the best.

One must offer the hearty suspicion that a large majority of the voters might well have been of the female gender and somehow they found it easier to vote for entertaining chaps.

I can’t think of any other reason that Twitch was still standing there at the end.

Why they couldn’t vote for a girl, the best girl, the best dancers all being girls, I could not possibly say. Someone suggested to me it was a weird kind of self-hate. (This was a shrink. A female shrink.)

Someone else thought it was sheer envy at the talents of other women. Who can really say? I have a gut feeling that the majority of the voters are girls between the ages of 8 and 17. And they only think about lurve, don’t they?

The producers’ throwing fifty grand into Katee’s upturned hat perhaps also reflected a touch of self-hate on their part because having a street dancer win rather helps the show’s cred on the, um, street.

Hell, let me say it, Joshua winning was better PR for a show that is now reaching for truly global pretensions.

Still, there was so much more genuine art, talent and humanity in two hours of So You Thigh You Can Dance than in a million hours of American Idol.

These people didn’t merely want to be famous. They wanted to be famous for doing what they do very, very well. And if that doesn’t at least allow your little heart to skip a beat, then please do get a job teaching tap at Gitmo.

Talking of rushes to judgment, I could not help but watch Maria twirling in her red lampshade and think far too vividly of Marie Osmond in Dancing With The Stars.

And it was utterly impossible to look at Hell’s Teeth dancing the lugubrious fandango with a bunch of kids and not be tempted to call Child Services.

Why these people feel the need to mug so incessantly for camera time when their shrieks, slithering lilts and embarrassing tilts at humor have already been the price we have paid, in advance, for watching something that actually pleases for the right reasons, is entirely beyond my cogitations.

Yes, I made that last sentence deliberately convoluted in order to describe just how much these preeners test our patience.

So what of the future for Joshua and Katee?

Dancing behind Rhianna? Even less visibly behind Beyonce?

Ah, that $250,000 should be a lot more when you think of what The Blessed Archuleta and The Sous Chef Cook might earn.

The Pond thanks Dominic’s pics for giving us a sense of finality.



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SYTYCD July 10. The strangeness only gets stranger.

I never thought this was possible.

But So You Thigh You Can Dance is managing to reach heights that Nigel Lythgoe’s dentist can only dream of.

This week’s two shows were controversial because, to my disbelieving, bedazzled eyes, there was no controversy.

The weakest links were told goodbye and the strongest, most inspiring performers were given accolades that they actually deserved.

It made you believe in truth, justice and the immediate immolation of American Idol.

Gev and his little pixie vixen, Courtney, for example, entertained as if they were on the Titanic and had already heard that it didn’t handle icebergs too well.

Entertainment truly is about giving of yourself and concentrating your mind’s emotions on those things that uplift people with mundane existences.

You know, affix a permanent image of Kirstie Alley in your mind and then try and find a way to make her heart leap and her body, at the very least, jiggle with joy.

I defy anyone alive not to be moved to simultaneous admiration and giggles at the sight of these two leading the audience a merry dance.

Joshua and Katee, the Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan of the proceedings, took on an Indian routine that put Mike Myers and artists of even greater pretension to shame.

Their beguilingly honest and joyous performance made you want to shoot over to your Netflix queue and slide Monsoon Wedding, one of the finest movies ever made, to the very top.

Mark and Chelsie continued to defy gravity and mediocrity by confronting both in an Ultimate Dancing Brawl.

Kherington and Twitch perhaps didn’t have their finest six or seven minutes. But when asked to perform solo for their lives, they vaulted their souls onto the stage as if to say: “Still got it, you know.”

Which leaves the bottom three and a half.

Really, can anyone argue with the fact that Comfort was uncomfortable and Thayne was, at best, cornered into submission? Perhaps he didn’t have the benefit of the best partners, but the smiling really did overwhelm any character he was asked to play.

Imagine Marlon Brando smiling during the Godfather.

I fear Thayne Brando would have done.

What of Jessica?

Tia, Maria and Teethy have undermined her confidence by continuing to tell her she’s not as good as Will.

Yet they have failed to highlight Will’s Achilles Ballet Slipper.

He so wants to be so perfect that he sometimes forgets how to be real.

Real people like us still prefer to watch Mark or Pixie Vixen because they bring new character to the floor and sweep it past our skepticism.

Will is in danger of letting his perfect lines dominate his ability to move. In the emotional sense.

Jessica’s problem is not so much that she struggles occasionally. It is that the struggle is written in bold capitals on her face.

Personally, I am struggling with the fact that this exhaustingly honest show is becoming like a burglar who, instead of creeping into your house in the middle of the night, knocks politely on your door and asks if he can pilfer your plasma.

Next week, it will be the Top Ten. I suppose I will be forced to take sides, to favor one performer over another.

Perhaps this will be not so bad, as, despite Maria’s shrieks, Hell’s Teeth’s beak and Tia’s slightly dazed vocal delivery every week, So You Thigh You Can Dance seems to favor the right result over the cheap trick.

It can’t possibly last, can it?

The Pond thanks antmoose for his extraordinary portrait of honesty.


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SYTYCD July 3. America loses its sight.

I watched the performances and then the results one after the other.

So You Thigh You Can Dance had its first truly difficult moment.

A case of shoulder prejudice.

That nice, tall, blonde girl should never have been in the bottom three.

She had a face like Uma Thurman and was significantly better proportioned.

(I once stood next to Uma in the bar at the Baltazar and her torso was as long as the Mississippi. While her legs were shorter than a coke-addict’s attention span.)

Kourtni Lind was, I think, her name.

And she was rather broad across the clavicles.

Apparently America was not fond of this.

Hell’s Teeth was clearly not happy, as he would have preferred to deport the rather dull Comfort, whose solo resembled a Thursday Tourette’s Night in an Indiana bar.

Yet he was overruled by Napoleon and Josephine, expressing solidarity with a fellow hop-hipper.

Maria sided with them.

May I say, as an insanely late arrival to these mesmerizing proceedings, that I am finding Maria’s voice slightly less soothing than a power drill being slipped into my right nostril.

Her high-pitched, maximum-decibeled screech would not only break the panes of Notre Dame Cathedral.

It is also powerful enough to sever the heads of small animals.

I am sure that Toyota could design a car powered by this polluting energy source.

However, I am dwelling in the wrong wigwam by even mentioning things negative.

The dancers again provided more inspiration in this one week than all of the American Idol contestants in the last seven years.

There was that Chelsie (why must they all spell their names like, well, masseuses?) girl, a ballroom dancer allegedly, inspiring the most exalted emotions while performing a routine entirely removed from her own metier.

To think that Sanjaya Malakar, as metierless as any supposed artist on the Idol show, managed to take Stevie Wonder and create an algae pudding out of his music.

He still made the Top Ten.

His equivalent in So You Thigh You Can Dance would be scratched from the auditions like a wayward zit on the bottom of a supermodel.

If you consider that Comfort and Thane, the least inspiring of the remaining dancers, still have more talent than any Idoler other than Jennifer Hudson, then you might ask yourself why you have allowed yourself to watch the Idol Torment in such numbers.

Rubbernecking, perhaps.

But rubbernecking is not theater.

Twitch, Mark, Courtney Shortney, Gev, Kherington, Will, Katee and Joshua all managed, in one show, to do something that lifted both the spirits and, albeit temporarily, the quality of something that masquerades as art on the flat screen.

I remain fascinated by how these temporary marriages the producers have created will develop.

How is it that dancers can instinctively give to each other, often making each other better in the process, while singers in the supposedly equivalent show contrive to surround each other with nothing more than the sad niff of mediocrity?

The world is not a fair place.

If it were, America’s iPods would be full of Joshua, Will and Kherington, rather than the beige bilge provided by the Whites and Archuletas that fog our ears and just very slightly disturb our digestive systems.

The Pond thanks kalandrakas for reminding us of the power of harmony.


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Why others should follow Clay Aiken’s example.

I am touched and moved to hear the merest rumor that Clay Aiken has asserted his manhood and given his fifty-year-old best friend and producer, Jaymes Foster (Jaymes is a she) the benefit of his reproductive Farfisa.

Who could question that Mr. Aiken will make a caring and thoughtful father?

It is very difficult for women of a certain age- say, 24- to find an appropriate partner for the purpose of nurturing new people.

So I thought I might make a few suggestions to women who are perhaps concerned that they will never be reproductively fortunate.

Jennifer Aniston strikes me as someone who is bursting to commence family life. Unfortunately, she seems not to have befriended those with whom this might be possible.

I can think of no more glamorous couple, and certainly no more talented, than Ms. Aniston and George Michael.

I will avoid any direct reference to the word “Wham’, while insisting that “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” might take on an everyday role in the life of the Michael-Aniston household.

It would become a song that symbolized the male’s willingness to feed the baby in the smallest hours of the morning.

While “Club Tropicana” might just signal to everyone the place where conception was achieved.

Jessica Simpson is another who, one feels, deep inside is ready to commit herself to the mother of all families.

Perhaps, then, she might avail herself of the biochemistry of America’s great survivor, Richard Hatch.

Hatch has proved himself to be very much a man’s man. And I can think of no greater specimen to be paired with the somewhat delicate and easily-rebuffed Ms. Simpson.

Why settle for the likes of Nick Lachey or John Mayer when you can give birth with a man who enjoys eating worms and being naked?

Of course, there are a couple of small logistical hurdles to be maneuvered. Mr. Hatch is currently in jail, having failed to pay his taxes.

But he is due to be released in October 2009, so a little forward planning would ensure a smooth transition from the purgatory of incarceration to the heaven that is the Simpson Clan.

What of Katie Couric, who surely has so much mothering left in her? Might we succeed in pairing her up with Boy George?

Her immense articulate talents would surely meld harmoniously with Boy George’s more flamboyant hair and makeup to produce, perhaps, one of the great televisual stars of the future.

If she thought Boy George too controversial, then surely another excellent match would be Elton John.

We have, frankly, been deprived of the ability to enjoy any offspring from one of the world’s great troubadours, so perhaps a hearty arrangement with Ms. Couric might truly create a multi-dimensional (if a little stocky) talent for the ages.

And what can we do for Joan Rivers?

Nothing, I’m afraid. Nothing at all. Unless Senator Larry Craig feels he can help.

The Pond thanks Ayala Moriel for bottling up her feelings.


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David Cook And David Archuleta. The Final Fan Verdict.

It is Tuesday. A day that used to be defined, and, some might say, infested by that curious rubberneckfest called American Idol.

So I thought I’d write the final and definitive sociological analysis of this curious show.

All the talk, hitherto, has been of whether Big David or Little David should win. Of whether Little David’s Little Daddy was devil-may-care or just plain diabolical.

But now I ask you all, you who chose to join fan forums like actors’ unions and post your enthusiasms like Christmas cards, you who believed a vote for Cook was a vote for the terrorists, to look in the mirror and examine yourselves.

Over the weeks, I have monitored the opinions of the allegedly normal human beings who chose to express themselves, one way or another, on this important social subject.

Here are the results.

What was curious was just how many of David Archuleta’s fans turned to the bile of a thousand abandoned spouses when noting just the merest trace of criticism of the curiously child-like warbler.

When one is Principal of the Pond Dwellers, one is free to approve people’s comments or place them into the corner of one’s desktop marked ‘Piddle.’

Though the Pond did not endorse either singer (although we were pressured by certain nefarious factions), though we were sometimes critical of both these imperfectly-formed performers, not one David Cook fan wrote with anything other than polite, enthusiastic disagreement.

On the other hand, certain fans of David Archuleta, all, it seemed who had aged rather longer and less well than the object of their infection, chose to access the parts of their mind labeled “death to the infidel.’

There were those who suggested I access both talent and education. There were those who wanted to forbid me access to the expression of my opinions. There were those who called me an f-ing, c-ing, b-ing- oh, please choose your own letter of the alphabet and turn it into a verb.

Why might this be?

What did Little David represent? There was the somewhat nice lady who said that, in twenty years, she had only listened to talk radio and classical music. Until she saw and heard Little David.

Which made me wonder how it was, if she only listened to talk radio and classical music, that she enjoyed the salvation emitted from Little David’s tonsils at all?

There was the commenter who said: “a lot of us are sick of the drugged-up losers, gang-bangers and sluts.”

I am not sure whom she was referring to. The Jonas Brothers, perhaps.

Yet David Archuleta clearly represented a return to something that had been painfully lost by so many of his fans. I don’t know whether it was hope, virginity, or some kind of control over all around them.

In any case, for sixty minutes a week and a 99-cent download, these people believed that someone was finally representing their own values.

There will be those who cannot wait until the day when Little David is treated for nervous exhaustion or knocks up Miley Cyrus out of wedlock.

But it is worth wondering how miserable must so many people’s lives be for them to lose all proportional emotion over a sweet, mechanical singer straight out of a high school end-of-year’s musical.

It is as if Oprah has ceased to inspire the appropriate solidarity. It is as if people have tired of Maury Povich’s ability to make them feel better by showing them individuals whose lives are more debased than one’s imagination could even contemplate.

Meanwhile, David Cook’s fans just want to have a few beers, some guilt-free illicit sex, to hear old slow songs sped up and gruffed and to forget that someone in authority made them feel like a worm today.

They don’t expect him to change the world. They don’t even expect him to date Kimberley Caldwell for very long. They just want something to stick in their iPod and wobble their fat to in a battle they know ends like every opera ever written.

I cannot end without wondering what went into some people’s minds as they trawled the web, searching for things American Idol.

I know that visitors to the Pond googled such literary phrases as “David Archuleta’s Dad talks about him being gay”, “what kind of cellphone does David Archuleta have?”, “how much money David Archuleta” and the quite inconceivable¬† “David Cook cock.”

This last gem was googled not once, but several times. And I would like to underline that the Pond never broaches such debased topics.

What has happened to these people? What microbes have infected their world?

And what can we possibly expect to see next year?

More of the same, quite probably.

Though I know there are those, those whose sneakers glory in dirt, who would welcome a final between a defrocked nun balladeer and a jihadist country singer.

I would, quite naturally, not be one of them.

The Pond thanks ingorr for this symbol of a David Archuleta fan.


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Exclusive. Jason Castro Speaks After The American Idol Finale.

His hair looking refreshingly sheenful, his smile as dazzling as a card trick to a four-year-old, Jason Castro expounded at some length (for him) about the American Idol Finale that the whole nation just enjoyed:

“It was cool. The outfits were cool. I hung around with my buds. Yeah, it was great.”

Then he paused, stared hard into the Pond’s ripples and said: “Who am I trying to kid, man? I have got so good at saying nothing that I’ve forgotten what it actually felt like to say something. Anything. See, you go on a show like this and you really don’t know just how much it’s going to affect you.

It’s like the first time you sniff a girl’s neck, you know. Or, you know, some other parts. I mean, you think it’s going to be nothing. And then, WHOA! You’re not the same again. I hope I’ll be the same again. Some time.

I like grits more than I like Andrew Lloyd Webber. It was like being talked to by the Queen of England. Which, for all I know, he is. I thought it was Elton John, but these things change, don’t they? Does she have a colostomy bag, by the way? Or was that her Mom?

I mean, Lloyd Webber talked to me like I was a worm. Do people talk to worms? No, they just tread on them. And all he wanted to do was tread on me. Like a worm. He talked to me like I was a rock. From a box.

And I really wanted Cookie to win. Because Archie, well, you know. That hat his Dad wears. That is not cool. You should not wear that kind of hat. Not even Dr. Seuss wore that kind of hat. And he was a doctor.

See, there I go again. Trying to say nothing. Because the media want something. And I don’t want the media to have my something. And other than my something, I got nothing, So they get nothing. Does that make me nothing? Or something? Or something else?

You see, American Idol turns some people into philosophers. I mean, what were we supposed to get from this Final? Sorry, FIN-AH-LE? Cookie got to sing with ZZTop, Archie got to sing with One Republic. Syesha got to sing with Seal. And I got to sing with a stool.

What are they trying to tell the world? And what are they trying to tell me? That I’m not worth singing with someone famous? That I’m only cool for stool?

See, life is short and the world is rough and if you wanna boogie, boy, you gotta get tough. Hell, that wheatgrass was strong. No, wait. I want you to understand this. The producers wanted someone cool to win. See, American Idol had become so not cool.

So really it was between me and Cookie. Because we were the only two cool ones, right? Because Archie and cool, well, that’s like spaghetti and lightbulbs, you know? Ever eaten that? Not cool.

Well, if I’m really honest, I’m cooler than Cookie. You know, he could lose a few pounds. And the nose is a bit crooked. But he sings better than me. I know that.

And did you see Fantasia yesterday, driving herself home in a little blue Toyota, while Carrie Underwood got a limo?

I don’t ever want to be in a position where I’m missing my limo. I’m never gonna want a limo. That way I won’t miss mine.

I’m going on this Tour now. Singing the same songs every night. Boston. Kansas. Why did they name so many cities after bands?

Anyways, I’ve had enough of talking. Time to sing. Time to write songs. Cool songs.

I just saw some posters they were preparing for the Miami gig.

They said: “Castro invades Florida.” Cool or what?

I’m going to the party now. It’ll be cool. I’ll be cool. You gotta stay in cool, kids. OK?”

And with that he was dashing for the exit, determined not to be idolized, determined to have nothing left to say and knowing that he had kept his cool, when, all around him, everyone had lost theirs.

The Pond thanks Circo De Invierno for fulfilling her vow of silence.


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American Idol May 20 LiveBlog. Sponsored By TIVO, The Spanish Wine Industry And The National Adoption Agency.

I once had an ingrowing toenail removed.

It took many weeks to schedule the operation.

I knew relief was coming. But I had to get through some anguish to enjoy it.

So here we are in the Surgery Theater. The Final of American Idol, America’s ingrowing toenail.

Fortunately, the sun is shining here in the West and I have a rather lovely Albarino to act as my own personal sound engineer, ready to muffle any noises that stray from the acceptable.

The show has begun. Oh, dear God, no. I see Old Rumble Fish who introduces all those fixed boxing matches.

Perhaps this is subtle commentary from the producers. In so far as subtlety ever attempts to cross the freeways of their minds. (The Idol Producer’s Mental Freeway is a place where subtlety can get run over and no one calls the paramedics.)

This American Idol title is, according to Mr. Seacrest, “only reserved for superstars.” Taylor Hicks And Ruben Studdard just sat up on their sofas, removed their lips from their Coors Lights and smiled.

No one saw it.

David Archuleta is baring his fists. Less Mike Tyson, more My Daddy’s A Bigger Moron Than Your Daddy.

First, the choices of Clive Davis. He has perhaps fewer hairs left on his head than years left to live. They are all beautifully dyed.

David Cook is first. A terribly imaginative selection. U2. Yes, this is why Mr. Davis is revered in the industry.

Oh, my God, I’ve just seen a Phantom. No, not Mr. Davis. Lord Lloyd Webber. Now we know he’s done a deal with the producers. But for what? Oh, yes, one of those theater reality shows. Or perhaps he will be appearing in a new version of Fox’s “The Swan.”

Big David sings. His hair is pointing in many, schizophrenic directions.

Now I understand. He still hasn’t found what he’s looking for. I reach for my wine. Its surface is as flat as Phuket water. Which must mean I am not tapping my feet.

It must also mean that Bono is suddenly concerned that donations to Africa will go down. Why couldn’t Cookie appreciate that his karacroaky might cost lives?

And now little David, singing an Elton John song that has enjoyed many parodies.

I remember George Michael, who is also gay, performing this lovely little song.

Little David is no George Michael. He is more of a George Foreman. Sell, sell, sell. You would happily buy a grill from David Archuleta.

However, he is better than Cookie. The tears well in his eyes. Randy Jackson does all he can to place his tongue in all the places that might help in his getting the job of producing Little David’s debut album.

Then Little David hears Simon Cowell’s hosanna. He does all that “Oh, my Gosh” nonsense. The Church does not allow him to say “Oh, My God.”

Which confuses me, as the little boy declared the other day on some obscure Fox station that his quest to make millions out of American Idol was, in fact, a mission.

Was he telling us that his Daddy is overdrawn at the bank? Was he telling us that the Lord helps those who help themselves to lots of cash? Or was he telling that, as he is at best an average singer, he understands that his future lies in teleevangelism?

And no teleevangelist has yet landed a show on Prime Time.

Round Two. Songs from some competition organized by the fans. Or Lord Lloyd Webber. Or Lord of the Flies.

Who can tell?

Big David sings. Forgive me, but this is a country song that he is trying to rock up, like a desperately ageing lothario at the bar slipping a reluctant girl a Mickey Finn.

The girl will not sleep with him. Even when she is drugged past her merkin and codpiece.

I am having to help my emotions take evasive action too. The Albarino is coarsing through my veins like a blonde barmaid performing CPR.

This song, apparently entitled “Dream Big”, will be about as large a hit as Joe Francis is with Abstinents Anonymous.

Little David sings something equally forgettable. I think it is “One Moment In Time” sung backwards and sped up.

There isn’t even a gospel choir to help him generate feeling. Relief, sympathy, biliousness, anything.

Randy Jackson tells him he can sing the phone book. Where, under J, you can find “desperately ordinary record producer.”

I am beginning to feel extremely disturbed by Little David’s pained face every time he hears a compliment.

He looks like a child that, finally, will be able to avoid one of Daddy’s little favors.

This is becoming a lurid and desperate spectacle, a final so devoid of even manufactured joy that I suddenly become nostalgic for a Hillary Clinton speech.

Or an enema.

But not Blake Lewis.

And now for their own personal choices. Mine would be to end it all now.

It is not to be. David Cook is singing a little Collective Soul. He is baring his own soul by wearing a red tie. Ah, David Cook is a Republican. His hair has perceptibly veered away from his head. And towards the exit.

Lordy, I think those are red cowboy boots.

The songs ends. It was far too subtle for the crude emotions of the voters.

Big David cries. What? Does he actually want to win? Paula tells him he is standing in his truth. It appears to be a puddle of mediocrity.

But perhaps Paula is right. Perhaps David Cook has decided not to pander to the aforementioned crude emotions. He knows winning doesn’t matter. When he comes first or second, money will arrive in buckets smelling of manure straight from the farm.

Talking of Utah, Little David reprises his version of “Imagine.” A version that makes John Lennon rise from his grave, call Mark David Chapman and ask him to shoot him dead all over again. But this time to pop him square in the head like a discarded thoroughbred in an abattoir.

David Archuleta has displayed all the originality of a lifelong stutterer.

The story goes that Edward VIII of England abdicated from the throne to be with his American Idol, a Monterey woman called Mrs. Wallis Simpson, because she was the only lady with whom he could enjoy sexual abandon. (He had certain physical infelicities, apparently.)

Tonight, David Cook abdicated in favor of enjoying some vague vestige of credibility.

Like Al Gore refusing to endorse a Presidential candidate. Or Oprah refusing to read another James Frey autobiography.

While David Archuleta will look mournfully into his Daddy’s eyes and sniffle: “Did I do enough? Please, tell me. Did I do enough?”

What once was an amusing celebration has turned into Six Feet Under.

But it is over. I am free. I take one last sip of the Albarino before walking out onto my deck and breathing very deeply.

The Coronation of the latest American Emotional Misfit will be tomorrow.

I will miss R2David2 donning the the crown.

It will hurt.

The Pond thanks basykes for the emotive picture of the average Idol voter.


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