After the exciting start to the competition, this week the remaining 20 finalists will perform and this evening we once again got a chance to take a second look at the male competitors. The excitement and heat that this juggernaut generates never stops. The controversy over the NJ Slut continues unbated with doctored photos showing this Catholic University student performing the most unholy acts circulated on the Internet. Although she did pose in a dirty way that is not befitting this competition, it appears that the steamier shots are fraudulent. Regardless, I don't think America is going to tolerate anymore of this.
Despite the controversy, this weekend, our 25 year-old diva from the South Side of Chicago won an Oscar, which further cements the cultural resonance of this show. A shout out for Jennifer Hudson. This girl was dispensed with by America in Season 3 as the 7th runner-up and now she has catapulted to the top of the Hollywood heap with her stand-out performance in Dreamgirls. Despite all the success, in the afterglow of this momentous event, she remained humbled by this experience, which is more than I can say for the Twinkie-obsessed partisan who still thinks he was elected President of United States. Of course, it would not be Hollywood if they were not lavishing praise and an Oscar for some loudmouth moron whose plantation in Tennessee uses 20 times more electricity in a month than the average American uses in a year according to the Tennessee Center for Policy Research.
Some are suggesting that he run for President again. Al Gore's chance of being a realistic candidate for President are about as credible as the unsubstantiated claims he makes about global warming in his latest science fiction thriller. He was Vice President for a corrupt opportunist and never uttered a peep during that time about global warming. In that position, he could have had an actual impact. Now in his ranting tours across the country, he talks about "moral issues." Was it moral to stand in the Rose Garden and defend a person who was ultimately disbarred and impeached? Was it moral to corrupt our campaign finance system? Was it moral to try to subvert our electoral process through a highly partisan Florida Supreme Court? When Richard Nixon had a more viable claim of a stolen election in 1960, he didn't challenge the results for the good of the country. Gore, on the other hand, behaved with less dignity than Nixon. This certainly does not qualify him for anything other than disgrace, let alone an Oscar.
This turn almost tainted the Oscars for me, but when the often overlooked Scorsese finally won the Oscar that has eluded him for decades, I felt proud that one of my Italian-American brothers was able to overcome the bigotry and hatred that our people have been subjected to in this country. Hollywood can applaud itself for giving mulattoes like Halle Berry an award, but when it becomes to EYE-Talians, they do so with a grimace. Idol, on the other hand, has embraced the artistry of this oppressed minority. Last season, we had Andrea Boccelli and this season both Tony Bennett and Gwen Stefani have been invited on the show. Idol provides an opportunity for all who dare to dream, reach for the constellations and grab for that star that overlooks the planet of hope.
When the boys sang tonight, each had a chance to dedicate a song to those who inspired them and it added another emotional moment to this show, which had already been heightened with Mr. Jeff Foxworthy in the audience. A shout out to Jeff. The songs choices were better and there were some noteworthy performances. I thoroughly enjoyed both Chris Richardson and Blake Lewis. Blake performed Jamiroquai's Virtual Insanity and nicely interspersed his beat boxing without overdoing it. He has personalty and style, which America will appreciate. However, with all the tattoos, I wonder if he is a little too East Village. Chris Richardson was much stronger this week and his song, The Geek in the Pink, was dedicated to his grandma. For once, I found myself agreeing with all the judges. That was a standout performance, even though I had no idea where that song came from.
The biggest disappointment to me was Brandon Rogers who chose a Cindi Lauper classic, Time After Time, and absolutely destroyed it. As a 29 year old background singer, he has been given enough time to get his act together and it isn't working. I also could not agree more with Simon: "All this feeling stuff doesn't work." The only feeling I got was nausea listening to that rubbish. Hadji was probably the worst performance of the night, but I expect that America might give him one more chance. Trying to emulate Michael Jackson while dressing like a rat packer just doesn't mix for a 17-yearl old. His rendition of Stepping Out was not just weird, but creepy. I had high hopes for him in this competition, but I'm losing patience. He also smart mouthed Simon, which is unacceptable.
Chris Sligh, on the other hand, acted with the dignity that we expect out of a hopeful and dropped the disrespectful slapstick routine and dedicated the song to his lovely and cute wife, Sarah. I guess there is some truth to concept that women care more about personality, than looks. Sarah seemed supportive unlike the feminist shrews and I think that helped Chris with his strong performance of Trouble. It wasn't perfect, but this guy shows a lot of potential.
Another moving moment for me was Sundance gushing about his son, Levi. By the way, where do these people come up with these names? The Hobbit choked up before America and put some soul into Mustang Sally. I agreed with Simon that he could probably do better, but his improvement was dramatic and I think he could almost get ugly at some point. His son also looked lovely with the goatee superimposed on his photograph. Note to Ryan Seacrest - you are barely tolerable, let alone funny.
The emotional crescendo that this show offers should have been piqued by Phil Stacey, who dedicated his performance of Missing You to the troops, but it fell flat with me. The judges overrated that performance and I simply did not understand the positive feedback. Perhaps they were intimidated since Phil looks like a castrated Freddie Krueger, but his performance was more like a forgettable dream than a Nightmare on Elm Street. Being that the judges were so soft on Phil, I was somewhat stunned when they totally panned Jared Cotter's rendition of Let's Get it On, which he strangely dedicated to his parents. America is not going to accept a ménage à trois like that. But overall, I didn't think he was bad. He's no Marvin Gaye, but I enjoyed the performance.
A.J. Tabaldo has strong vocals but he disturbs me greatly. When he first came on stage, I thought he was going to perform a strip tease. He really needs to leave those kind of antic to the NJ slut, I think he will stick around another week, even though he has the charisma of an enema. Nick Pedro's rendition of Fever was professional, but he as well lacks any kind of stage presence and his girlfriend seemed just as bland. If Hadji does not get the boot, Nick is a pretty good candidate as well.
This was a much improved show and I'm beginning to see that the girls might have a challenge from some of these guys. Wednesday night should prove to be an exciting event, but no where as magical as Thursday's results show, where America's Minx, the Pickle, will perform I Wonder. What a special treat!
Maniac - - out