The Husband:

I think the New York Times said it better than I ever could. (That’s why they’re the New York Times and I’m not.)


“It’s possible that American Idol viewers’ selection of Kris Allen over Adam Lambert says something about the mood and mores of the country, that viewers are too conformist to anoint a sassy, androgynous individualist. Then again, maybe not: Mr. Allen’s victory may merely reflect the voters’ conventional taste in pop music…Mr. Allen never fell out of character as the humble, earnest country boy from Arkansas.”


Oh, and besides Jordin Sparks (who is still from a Red State in the West), every single Idol winner has been from the South. It’s a hard trend to beak.

I don’t hate Kris Allen. If you’ve been following the show along with us, you know that I grew to love him. But I can’t say that I wasn’t disappointed at the outcome. But the above quote shows that there were a lot of reasons Kris won, and some are more valid than others.

A formidble set of opponents.

A formidble set of opponents.

Personally, I think it comes down to more how Adam lost than Kris won. At the beginning of the Top 12/13, I don’t think anyone thought Kris would ever beat Adam, so here are a few items of interest.

Adam became too safe of a choice:

Yes, the wildly flamboyant and sexual Adam was actually too safe of a choice, the complete opposite of what a lot of people may cry about today, that America was being homophobic. (I think that while some Kris voting may be due to this very thing, it will turn out to be a minor blip on the bigger scale.) The bigger problem, and this was way more subconscious, is that everybody assumed Adam was going to win. Simon went on Ellen and said so. Entertainment Weekly did a friggin’ cover story on him most of the way through the competition. The judges kept on praising him until it felt like the end was preordained. Everybody said the same thing. And Adam, well, he did stop surprising us right around disco week. He was consistently passionate and bombastic, a competent performer. And he was humble about it. But after a while we could already imagine the song before he sang it. Which is a great trait, but not for the attention-craving America. America wants to reward the underdog, to keep things interesting, and Adam stopped being dangerous. He stopped reaching for the “holy shit” factor.

Adam was not Danny:

Last week, we already saw that Adam had lost his considerable lead over the rest of the competition when we were told that only one million votes separated first place and second place, while the remainder was lost on a losing Danny Gokey. But where did Danny’s votes go this week? They went to the other good ol’ American boy, Kris. And that pulled Kris ahead. If we’re going by DialIdol, Kris did not beat Adam by very much, so I’m surprised that some of Danny’s votes may have actually worked their way into Adam’s number — perhaps those who liked Danny for his voice and didn’t give a shit about his story or spirituality, but at the same time were originally afraid to vote for Adam — but I’m willing to bet that the majority of them went to Kris or disappeared outright. Kris was more Danny than Adam could ever be, whatever that may mean to you.

Adam strutted too much:

Yes, I actually believe that if Adam had performed “Mad World” like he did originally, sitting down and letting the music and his spoke speak for themselves, instead of descending a staircase into way too much fake fog, he could have won. He definitely could have gotten Simon to agree that he won all three rounds on Tuesday instead of merely two, but he had to indulge in his theatricality. Which is fine. But I think it rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, just like he got into the Bottom Two for performing “Feeling Good” in roughly the same way. But this is saying that his performance tactics are bad. No, they’re not. They’re fucking great. But not everybody is like me, and, for some indiscernible reason, there will still be millions of people out there who outright hate musicals and drama. (Then why are they watching television? I’ll never understand it.)

But let’s get down to the bottom of this: Adam is a much better singer than Kris will ever be. You know this to be true. He was damn near perfect. Oh, and that scream you Adam haters consistently complain about like a broken record? That is a perfect rock wail, a glorious sound you can find in all of the best rock ‘n roll music for the last 50 years. A release of sheer force, emotion and performance. All your complaints really tell me is that you don’t listen to rock music, and you wouldn’t know a good rock singer if it kicked you in the nuts and spit whiskey and glitter in your eye.

But Kris is good, and he’ll make a good album for 19 Entertainment. As I said, “his is the face that launched a thousand glittery posters taped to a teenage girl’s walls and ceiling, right next to her dolphin art.” He has a long career ahead of him.

And not to sound like I’m justifying a loss or acting like the battered wife/husband, but Adam losing might be the best thing to happen to him. As I was fine with the competition going either way (with me, of course, leaning toward an Adam win), I considered Adam’s future, and while he is still to cut an album for 19 Entertainment, he will be free of much of the Idol machine that tends to crush people. He has a better chance of making the album that he wants to make (for one, without Kara’s crappy song), he can more easily pursue acting on stage and screen if that is what he so chooses, and he can be a music star and not have to live up to or live down the label of being an American Idol, a label that often turns a lot of people off in the actual real world. And yes, I think if they make a movie version of Wicked, they’d be insane not to cast him as Fiyero. Some have said he would overdo the role. 1.) From the clips of him understudying as Fiyero, he does it just fine, thank you. 2.) If he does overdo it, it’ll definitely help define a horribly underwritten character in an overrated musical. He could potentially save the entire second half of the story.

I think that’s about it. What other stuff can I say to wrap this up?

Had Allison been in the Top 3 instead of Danny, perhaps Adam may have had a chance to grab her votes and win in the finale had she been voted out. The number of votes that would have gone to her despite her losing would have been far greater than her Top 4 votes, which in turn got Danny out in the actual Top 3.

I think Kara is a great judge and should stick around. She is the only one besides Simon who gives actual friggin’ advice to the contestants, advice that is mostly useful, instead of just being judgmental. She knows what she’s talking about, and I don’t know how that strikes most of you out there as “annoying.”

This is without much hindsight, but I think the finale was definitely one of the best they’ve ever had. And yes, they have done awards in the past. If you thought this was new, either you haven’t watched the show for too long, or you’re an idiot. But I will leave most of the finale talk to my wife. But I do have something to say to the Black Eyed Peas. If you guys really have that “future sound” and are “so 3008,” then why does your #1 hit single sound like techno music from 15 years ago?

I am, above all else, extremely grateful that the top two contestants were exciting, interesting, evocative and [mostly] original. It’s tough to get that on Idol, so despite my misgivings with the results, glad that this show can still surprise me. This was one of the best top 12/13s in the show’s history, with far more talented individuals holding on and only a few non-talented ones eking by. It’s nice to be able to pick on a singer for subtleties instead of just simply declaring that they’re bad, and sparking discussion, even on a show as cookie-cutter as this, is never bad.

And now, it’s time for So You Think You Can Dance, which is, in a lot of ways, a better overall show than American Idol. But if FOX’s decision to also create a fall version of the show right after this summer season ends up overplaying and killing the entire program, I’m going to be pissed.

The Wife:

I’m going to summarize my feelings about Adam Lambert’s strange un-victory per a text message I sent to my friend Magen last night after she had long since gone to bed over in DC:


“Fsdfhsdfgsdfshvgyugsdufh! I die. That outfit was bananas! I was clearly not mature enough to handle that fantasy duet between Adam and KISS because all I did was squee and figdet and wonder where the hell those epaulettes and those fucking boots came from. This was a great finale. KISS. Queen. Allison and Cyndi lauper. Amazing. Even though Adam didn’t win, I cannot wait to buy tickets on his first tour. He is now free to make the gayest, rockingest record ever, and no one will stop him. Glambert saved. Stevecrest out.”


As my husband mentioned above, I think Adam is better off without the Idol win, although I’d have liked him to have it because, well, I love him. He and Kris will both sell records and will both have long careers, and I can have no ill-will toward someone like Kris who is so humble that he conceded to America that he thought his competitor deserved the win more than he did. Both men are winners in my book, really. So now, let me talk about how thoroughly pleased I was with the finale, despite an outcome that didn’t actually go my way.

Idol Awards

First of all, I came late into the Idol game, having only watched since season 6, so the Idol awards were odd to me, but I actually found them pretty enjoyable over all. I never thought I’d be so happy to see Norman Gentle aka Nick Mitchell, and while I hated the idea of him being on Idol, he is funny. And weird. And I’d definitely see his cabaret show, so I’m glad to be reminded of why he’s likeable. I was not happy to see Bikini Girl, especially because she’s so tan now that she looks like she’s been living in South Florida since she was 22 and is now 60. Someone needs to give her the message that pale is the new tan . . . and someone kind of did, actually. Kara. Although I’m bothered by Kara’s pop culture solipcisms, I like her as a judge, and now I like her even more as a singer. Bikini Girl cannot sing at all by comparison and I now know that Kara also looks better in a bikini than bikini girl. She has some damn hard abs, that Kara DioGuardi. I would not be surprised if Bikini Girl has either tried to kill herself or developed an eating disorder after being upstaged by a woman in her 30s who sings better and has a nicer body than she does. As for Tatiana Del Toro . . . I do not know if that was real or not and I don’t care because watching security guards chase that crazy bitch around the stage was funny as hell!

I mean, really, Bikini Girl got nothing on this.

I mean, really, Bikini Girl got nothing on this.

Fantasy Duets!

  • I love that Allison Iraheta got to sing one of my favorite songs ever, “Time After Time,” with Cyndi Lauper. I also love that Cyndi plays the dulcimer. She just gets more amazing every damn day.
  • Kris Allen and Keith Urban are very similar in that they both have scruffy facial hair, play guitar, have a country twang and have blonde wives. I liked this duet because it proved that Kris Allen can easily transition into a country-rock artist if he ever wanted to.
  • Kris + Adam + Surviving Members of Queen = truly spectacular way to end the show. This is the point where I kind of stopped caring which one of them won because I saw that they had such an amazing camraderie while singing “We Are the Champions.” It was clear to me that these guys were having the fucking time of their lives, and that’s exactly what I want to see on Idol. Plus, I enjoyed watching Adam touch the guitarist several times during the performance, as though he couldn’t believe he was singing with fucking Queen. That’s probably what I would have done if I were singing with Cyndi Lauper.
  • But, of course, there was no greater fantasy duet (although, really, not a duet) than Adam Lambert in his King Henry VIII-from-Space outfit with the blinged out epaulettes and the giant gold platform boots he clearly borrowed from Gene Simmons’ closet singing with KISS. Magen was right; I straight up died. I mean, this performance was just the cat’s fucking pajamas for me. I had to cover half my face with a blanket because I was so excited that it was incredibly difficult to not ruin the whole performance with squeals of joy. I don’t even like KISS all that much, but Adam singing with KISS I FUCKING ADORED. I mean, this was a perfect moment for him and he performed the hell out of it, as he does with everything. If I had to pick a favorite moment from this performance, though, it would be when he delicately raised his eyebrow in innuendo when he sang the line “Me and the boys will be playing all night.” Oh, I know, honey. And I wouldn’t have you any other way.
Other performances:
  • At first, I hated the fact that the whole American Idol gang was going to sing Pink’s “So What?” as I adore Pink and never want to hear her stuff sung by anyone else, but I think this was one group number that worked really well. It had a ton of energy and everyone seemed to be having a lot of fun.
  • I do not dislike Megan Joy, but she was kind of very not good in her duet with Michael Sarver over Steve Martin’s banjo music. Moreover, while I’m sure Steve was happy to be there, I don’t think he was happy to hear “Pretty Flowers” sung the way those two completely oversang it. My fantasy duet for that song? Dolly Parton and Anoop Desai.
  • Speaking of Anoop, I loved that he and Alexis Grace got to do Jason Mraz right by singing the intro solos to “I’m Yours.” That said, this group performance of the song with Mraz was way better than when one third of the Top 36 tried to sing it back when there was a Top 36.
  • Lil Rounds and Queen Latifah? Strangely disappointing. Although I should note that during this number, I sang a bit of “When You’re Good to Mama” from Chicago to my cat. And I changed the words to be about my cat. That’s how uninteresting this number was.
  • The minute Fergie came on, I screamed, “SING ‘BE ITALIAN’!” because she’s playing Sereghina the Whore in Rob Marshall’s adaptation of Nine and I all kinds of love her super minor-keyed version of a song that, in the stage show, is very bright and somehow not about molestation at all. Here’s the Nine trailer, so you can hear it and be just as excited as I am:
  • But once the Black Eyed Peas came on, I became very frightened of their strange cybertronic zebra dancers. Why were they putting their feet in will.i.am’s crotch? Not okay! (I bet that was choreographed by Shane Sparks, though.)
Fashion notes!
  • I’ve already talked about Adam’s KISS outfit, but in case you didn’t catch it, I fucking loved it. I die. I channel Rachel Zoe and I die.
  • Alexis Grace got to wear two pairs of very sexy over-the-knee boots. She is one hot mama.
  • Another hot mama? Adam Lambert’s mom, who gets a million extra cuteness points for wearing armwarmers!
  • I was very embarassed for Megan Joy’s pink hot shorts during “Glamorous.”
  • Oh, Lil Rounds. No one knows how to dress you. That top with the strange leaf-like skirt just accentuated your huge booty, and not in a good way. I do not understand why everyone is just a step away from making you into Josephine Baker, as you’ll never, ever be as good of a performer as she was.
  • Allison looked amazing tonight. Staight up.
  • I like that Anoop went for a seersucker jacket as if to say, “I’m from the South and you will all deal with my desire to drink sweet tea from a mason jar, bitches! Get me a fucking mint julep!”
  • Janice Dickinson was totally trashed throughout this whole show, or at least she looked that way.
  • I want my legs to be as shiny and toned as Fergie’s.
  • Matt Giraud looked his best during his Santana number. I think Abuelito shirts are really a good look for him, and they work with his obsession with cubano fedoras.
  • It was very bold of Rod Stewart to pair the Coach leather that is his skin with that faux Burbury jacket.
All of that stuff ads up to a wonderful two hours of television. I’ve been saying it all season, but I’ll reiterate: I can’t wait to see Adam Lambert on Broadway someday. If Constantine Maroulis can get nominated for a Tony for Rock of Ages (and let me say that I saw him in Rent pre-Idol, and while I thought he was the most Roger-looking Roger I’ve ever seen, he certainly wasn’t the best), surely Adam Lambert will one day win one. I will see him in anything. I will follow his ass around the country like my mother-in-law does with Clay Aiken because while he may not be the American Idol, he is my American Idol.


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The Wife:

Parks & Recreation 1.6 “Rock Show”

All I can say is that I hope Ann and Andy never break up because Chris Pratt is the best part about this show. I completely understand Ann’s anger upon finding out that Andy had lied to her about when his casts could be removed just to get another two weeks of complete servitude out of her, but I also get how nice it is to be taken care of the way Ann had taken care of Andy. Let me give you a list of how funny Chris Pratt’s Andy is:

  • His songs about things that are physically near him: “Sandwich! Are you turkey or ham?” (To which Ann responds, “Ham.”)
  • The sundry items that fell into one of his casts, including some gummi bears and Ann’s iPod.
  • His long list of band names which appear to change frequently: Scare Crow Boat, Mouse Rat, Fourskin, Threeskin, Teddy Bear Suicide . . . many other suicidal inanimate objects included there.
  • The Pit song.
  • His genius plot to get back in Ann’s good graces, which I infer entirely from the look on his face when he sees the pit outside his door after she kicks him out: fall into the pit again and get hurt.
  • His reaction to Mark falling drunkenly into the pit, which is basically just an excuse to get back in Ann’s house and watch TV while Mark suffers.


Until she finds out that he lied to her, Ann spends her time flyering for Scare Crow Boat’s first concert on Andy’s newly healed legs, which she still attends that night because everyone else on Leslie’s subcommittee has agreed to go . . .except for Leslie, who attends what she thinks is a business meeting but turns out to be a date with a 62-year-old man, set up for her by her mother. Mark spends the evening at the rock show realizing that he has somehow become the third wheel to everyone in the Parks department: Ron Swanson attends with his new girlfriend, his ex-wife’s sister, who hates his ex as much as he does; Tom Haverford attends with his wife, a hot doctor who, he reminds Mark, makes, like, a ton of money; and even Intern April shows up with a gay guy she makes out with sometimes when she’s drunk. Mark tries to get Ann to see the light about being with Andy, but she rejects him outright, knowing that he’s not any better at relationships than Andy is.

Pleasedonteverbreakup!

Pleasedon'teverbreakup!

Leslie and her date show up right as Mouse Rat (formerly Scare Crow Boat) finishes its set, but Leslie’s date is too old and he falls asleep, so she spends the rest of the night drinking with Mark until last call. After which, they go to the pit and have, actually, a really sweet conversation about Leslie’s hopes to turn the pit into a park in which Mark proves to her its already a park. (“Ring Around the Diaper” and “Duck, Duck, Glass” are two games he imagines children playing there.) And then he falls in.

I’m still not 100% sure about Parks & Rec, but I think it’s starting to settle into its own groove, and I was very surprised at the sweetness and realness of this episode. Often, Leslie’s idealism and naïveté make her incredibly unrelatable, almost like she’s actually mentally insane instead of a misguided go-getter. But here, especially in her scene at the pit with Mark, she seemed the most real to me that she’s been all season, and I’d like to see more of that Leslie.

[Husband Note: I very much like the show and am 95% certain it can find a great groove next season. In addition, it might be my favorite new opening theme music of the year, but I can’t really explain why.]

30 Rock 3.22 “Kidney Now!”

Jack prepares to give his father a kidney, until Dr. Spaceman reveals that they’re not a match at all, leaving Jack to resort to the very thing the liberal media is best at: putting together fundraising telethons and gala concert events to solicit money for causes. So he pulls out all of his favors with various celebrities to get them to record a “We Are the World”-esque diddy coercing the entire nation to donate just one kidney (just one!) to Milton Green, because he really needs it. I think the plea for a kidney was best summarized by Maroon 5’s Adam Levine: “And while you don’t have two beards, you do have two kidneys. Let’s put it this way, if you had two dollars, you’d give me one, right?”

I think Cyndi Lauper might need a new liver soon . . .

I think Cyndi Lauper might need a new liver soon . . .

And how did Jack acquire some of these celebrities? It was easy to get Clay Aiken, because his cousin Kenneth promised he’d do it. Mary J. Blige owed Jack a favor because he got her out of a 20-year concert contract at Seaworld. And as for Elvis Costello? It is best that no one ever finds out that he’s actually an international art thief. Sheryl Crow ended up being the only one to get paid for it. Cyndi Lauper did it for the free booze. (I think that’s also why she was in The Threepenny Opera and on Gossip Girl.) I have no idea why Adam Levine was there, but he got the funniest lines in the whole show. In addition to his kidney appeal above, there was also him pretending he wasn’t a celebrity in front of Jenna (whom Jack didn’t want in the concert) by acting like he was from Europe (“Pleased to meet!”) and his intense desire to harm Elvis Costello in some manner: “When he isn’t looking, I’m going to punch Elvis in the back of the head.” Oh, Adam Levine. I love you. So much.

Clearly, Jack’s insanely overkill kidney drive was the crux of the episode, but there were also two other silly plots. Liz gets dragged onto the Vontella show with Jenna to promote the Dealbreaker sketch by doling out relationship advice (although, Jenna’s usual appearances on that show involve intense catfights with women pretending to be her half-sister). While Jenna is unable to answer any of the questions the audience poses to her, Liz becomes surprisingly adept at dishing out bon mots about fruit blindness (when you’re fiancé is gay and you don’t know it) and other such dealbreakers. My favorite: “Only one snake in the bed. Dealbreaker.” Eventually, because her appearance on Vontella was so popular, the women of 30 Rock start asking her for advice. Angie wants to know what to do when she finds out that Tracy rents a hotel room twice a week for two hours. Likewise, Pete’s wife wonders why Pete doesn’t want to attend their family vacation. Tripping on the power of fake advice, Liz tells both women to “S that D: shut it down,” incurring the wrath of both of her coworkers. You see, Tracy only rents a hotel room so he can shit in peace. (Angie should instead be worried that he only poops twice a week.) And Pete doesn’t want to go on his family vacation because they’re going to work on a farm, and he’s the only one with hands dexterous enough to steer the bull during mating season. But Liz refuses to stop, especially with a book deal in the works and Jack encourages her: Liz is finally getting hers.

As for Tracy, he’s invited to speak at his old high school’s commencement. He refuses because he vowed never to go back there after he left school for crying over being forced to dissect a frog in science class. He also vowed never to cry again, a fact he admits to over a montage of all the times we’ve seen Tracy cry about something. Kenneth convinces him that he should go, though, to prove to himself that he isn’t that kid anymore. When he does give his speech, he is awarded with an honorary high school diploma, which he cries about. Tracy’s plot was the weakest in this whole episode, but because Jack and Liz’s stories were so funny, this all adds up to be a pretty good, silly and weird season finale.

Other funny:

  • “Science was my most favorite subject – especially the Old Testament.” – Kenneth
  • “My Mary J. Blige Foundation is celebrating its 10th year of searching for the Loch Ness Monster.” – Mary J. Blige
  • “We called him Mean Steve. But his real name was Steve Killer.” – Tracy
  • Jack and Milton playing catch.
  • Liz and Sheryl Crow played Kidneys in the 5th grade school play. And Sheryl does not like Liz at all.

[Husband Note: In case you didn’t catch all the celebrities, a commenter on AV Club listed (I think) everybody else. That would include The Beastie Boys, Michael McDonald, Rhett Miller, Robert Randolph, Sarah Bareilles, Norah Jones, Moby, Wyclef, Talib Kweli and Rachael Yamagata.]

The Husband:

Well, that was a bizarre week. Both overwhelming and underwhelming at the same time — as Ten Things I Hate About You pointed out, you can’t merely be just “whelmed,” except in Europe — the week taught me, more than anything, that this is a strange show, and America is a fickle bitch.

Predictions I was wrong about:

Jorge + America = Success

Despite his protests in song, the sun did, in fact, go down on Jorge and he had to say goodbye.

Despite his protests in song, the sun did, in fact, go down on Jorge and he had to say goodbye.

I was really pulling for this guy to go far, where certain portions of the country would learn to better accept things they don’t always understand, things such as minorities, other languages and passion in performance. Hell, I actually liked Jorge’s performance quite a bit, and definitely rank it in the top 5 of the week. But he didn’t inspire anybody, and that was the problem. My plan to turn this season of American Idol into a Kumbaya circle of understanding and world harmony has fallen apart. Blimey. The first out of this week’s two contestants to go to the land of Vanessa Olivarez and David Hernandez.

A Danny Gokey Backlash

Now, there’s plenty of time for Mr. Gokey to become the enemy of America with his over-reliance on personality instead of just doing some good performing, but I didn’t necessarily expect that, according to DialIdol.com, he’d be the top vote-earner of the night. I’m not jumping on the “I hate Danny Gokey” bandwagon, though. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Boy’s got some major chops. But do I feel his heart and soul with every note? With his story, I probably should, but I don’t. I need to get that he’s here in the competition to win based on him and not his story. But so far, I’m not throwing any votes his way.

America Will Hate Kris Allen And Realize Their Mistake

Look how cold he is without a jacket!

Look how cold he is without a jacket!

I don’t know why Kris Allen got into the Top 13, and I don’t know why people liked his performance of “Remember The Time” this week. People say he’s Jason Mraz-esque. No. Jason Mraz is brilliant. Kris is a cute guy who undersings everything and somehow convinced the country that his guitar bumbling was actually something to vote for and praise. Show me a star, goddamn it, because I’m not seeing it.

Anoop Desei Will Rock You All This Week

Man, his “Beat It” was fucking weird, wasn’t it? I think it got into his head that his Wild Card performance of “My Prerogative” was what got him pushed into the Top 13, and kept with the same fake badassery. No, sir. You got through from your earlier performances, soulful and unexpected. I like unexpected. But not this unexpected.

(A similar mistake happened in s3, when Jon Peter Lewis got into the Top 12 with his Wild Card performance of “A Little Less Conversation,” only to be voted off weeks later doing another Elvis song, “Jailhouse Rock.”)

America Will Hate Megan Joy [Corkrey] And Her Mere Existence

Wow, not even getting saddled with “Rockin’ Robin” could do this girl in. Has she gained some fan base that is currently completely quiet on the Internet? Did everybody come to the same realization that, with about 85% certainty, Megan probably did a coin toss with somebody else for another MJ song — “P.Y.T.” or more likely a more bluesy version of “I’ll Be There.”

Jasmine Would Suck

Actually, Jasmine did better than I expected with “I’ll Be There” — definitely one of the most gorgeous songs from an entirely pre-packaged kid group — but she suffered from Lisa Tucker disease (i.e. too young to perform like a professional) and was the other contestant of the two this week to be eliminated. Or, to be more esoteric, she was the Leah LaBelle Wild Card fail of season 8.

(Clearly, based on all my trivia, s3 was a very important season for me in becoming an Idol maniac.)

Extra Note: Oh, and I actually really love the new Judges Veto twist, but will probably have far better things to say about it when it is used or at least when there’s more dramatic tension on the show.

The Wife:

Because I write the modeling blogs around these parts, my contribution to American Idol is to critique/make fun of how these artists “package” themselves, to borrow Kara DioGuardi’s favorite phrase. So to the Idol glam squad I pose this question: What the fuck, ya’ll?


Can someone please hire him to be in the next Twilight movie? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaase?Can someone please hire him to be in the next Twilight movie? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaase?

They spent all their money buying Matt Giraud and Vampire Lamb Bear those fabulous leather jackets and kind of let the girls all destroy themselves. In fact, every dude but Kris Allen had the benefit of a cool jacket, although I know some are tired of the military-inspired outwear donned by Scott and Anoop this week. I maintain my long-stated position that a well-tailored jacket completes an outfit, so for Kris Allen to be the only jacketless guy only cemented my thoughts that he shouldn’t be here. I, too, am in the internet minority in hating his guitar rendition of “Remember the Time,” a song I admittedly do not know at all but hated on a folk guitar. Had he come out in a jacket and with an electric guitar, things might have been different. He is pretty adorable, I’ll give him that. But I have to believe in the power of the jacket to lock in a look. And from the jackets chosen, I know that Michael Sarver wants to be a cool but sensitive tough guy, Matt Giraud wants to be a soulful, blusey rocker (brushed leather, oooooh) and Vampire Lamb Bear wants to be Freddie Mercury. I mean, seriously, he had on steel blue leather with a mandarin collar. Where did the glam squad find that? That thing was the best piece in the whole show tonight.

And then there are the girls, two of whom worked in their style and while the other two came across as complete disasters. It’s evident to me that Alison Iraheta told the glam squad to go fuck themselves, because she came out looking like any kid who likes to go smoke cigarettes by the dumpsters at their high school: skinny jeans, ill-placed belt, lots of greys and blacks. I wouldn’t say this was a killer outfit, as I have a general disdain for anything that comes from Urban Outfitters, but at least it made sense with who she is. I want more Cyndi Lauper-esque stuff out of her, though. More like what she wore for her Top 36 performance.

I'm going to write to EW Style Hunter to find me this crazy-ass dress.

I'm going to write to EW Style Hunter to find me this crazy-ass dress.

The red dress with the macrame straps on Megan Joy was definitely her best outfit yet. She definitely stepped on the red hot mama train with this little number, which was cute, but also too quirky for most people to like. That dress is exactly like the person who wore it and its a perfect statement about who she is as an artist. Over at Best Week Ever, Michelle Collins wrote that she should be the lead singer of a band called “Quirky Quirk Quirk and the Twees.” I agree, and I totally want her to front some kind of swingin’ indie rockabilly band, and possibily have a threesome with Zooey Deschanel and Ben Gibbard, for there can be no more twee a marriage than their marriage will be, unless they have regular sex with Megan Joy Corkrey. Also, I would totally wear that red dress. Just sayin’.

And then there was that strange pink creation that found its way on to poor Jasmine Murray. I can’t even adequately explain why I hate it. I just do. It did absolutely nothing for her, except maybe make her look like she was an extra on Swingtown. And even then, Lana Parilla wouldn’t go anywhere near that dress. Bringing up the rear, literally, was Lil Rounds, who doesn’t understand that when you’ve got a booty like that you cannot put it in tapered white pants! Why did the glam squad let her get away with this? Those pants were doing her no favors, nor was that top, which might have worked if someone had decided to cut off the ruffle sleeve. If Jasmine Murray was on her way to a 70s-themed party, then Lil Rounds was on her way to a high school dance in a John Hughes movie. I fail to understand how people who are paid to make other people look good let these disasters happen. Not to mention that neither of these outfits complemented the song choice or said anything about these ladies as artists.

Why, God, why????????

Why, God, why????????

The glam squad most succeeded with Alexis Grace, whose stirring performance of “Dirty Diana” is still earworming its way into my brain as I write this. Her black exposed-zipper onesie didn’t say much to me about who Alexis is, but it further proved to me that she’s the only person on this show who understands costuming herself for a performance. She sang her Aretha song weeks ago in a slip and trashy heels, like a hooker who’d been kicked to the curb, which fit the character of the song. When she had to do that Jason Mraz group number, she actually dressed up like a lady version of Mraz. And this week, given a song about a very naughty lady who works in the sex industry, she dressed like a dancer in a production of Cabaret. The girl is a performer. She gets it.

The Wife:

It’s the eve of Blair’s 18th Birthday Soiree at Chez Waldorf and she needs everything to be perfect, including her mother’s new boyfriend. Unfortunately for Blair, her mom’s new prince turns out, inconceivably, to be Wallace Shawn, a man of short stature who comes complete with a catch phrase and is altogether rather less than Blair had desired for her mother.


“I was expecting Cary Grant and I got Danny DeVito!”

Blair tries her best to keep her clam about this scenario, hoping to come of age with dignity and class like her idol, Grace Kelly, but when Cyrus starts to question the exorbitant cost for Blair’s party, she has to try incredibly hard to keep her cool, chanting:


“I am Grace Kelly. Grace Kelly is me.”


Eventually, the thought of being with a short little man who once played Vizzini is too much for Blair to bear, and she sets up a lunch date to pump him for weaknesses to exploit, in typical Blair fashion. On her date with Cyrus, she learns that when he was in Vietnam, he cheated on his wife with a Vietnamese girl he truly loved, Kim-Li. He planned to bring Kim-Li back home to America, but had to divorce his wife first. Just as he filed the papers, he learned that the love of his life, Km-Li, was killed in a raid on her village. While Blair at first seems to respond positively to this story, she later tells her mother that Cyrus is, in fact, just like her father (for being a cheater) and is thus not the kind of man Eleanor thinks he is. Eleanor doesn’t quite know what to do with the news, but chooses to confront Cyrus about it at Blair’s birthday party. When he admits to cheating, she throws him out of the party.

Cyndi Lauper! Youre from Brooklyn! GET OUT!

Cyndi Lauper! You're from Queens! GET OUT!

And then Cyndi Lauper shows up to play Blair’s party and informs Blair that Cyrus had bought out all of the tickets at her upcoming Joe’s Pub gig (that Blair and her mother had wanted to attend) so she could play Blair’s party instead. Blair, seeing that Cyrus had done something nice for her/played her just as she was playing him, runs out to tell Cyrus that she respects his game and that she would be delighted to continue having wars with him for as long as her mother wanted to have him in her life. I see there being many more Cyrus-Blair wars in the future, considering how displeased Blair is to hear the news that her mother has asked Cyrus to move in to Chez Waldorf with them.

Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, the Humphrey kids are both being severe disappointments to Daddy Rufus. I’ll start with Dan. Noah Shapiro loved the Charlie Trout story so much that he agrees to write Dan a letter of recommendation for Yale. When Dan goes to meet with him, Shapiro introduces him to an editor at New York Magazine who liked the Charlie Trout piece so much that he wants to offer Dan the chance to write an expose on Bart Bass. Knowing Chuck Bass, evidently, is enough to get you an offer to write a journalistic expose even though you have no journalistic experience whatsoever. I used to work in publishing, and I find it extremely odd that a high-powered magazine editor would take a chance on giving a cub fiction writer what could be the expose of the century. (At least, that’s how he’s painting it.) First of all, just because someone writes good fiction, doesn’t mean they’ll be a good reporter. It’s a different sensibility and a different manner of storytelling. There are indeed people who can write both ways, but I doubt Dan Humphrey, at 17, has the skills to make that transition. I don’t know why the editor wouldn’t simply, I don’t know, pay his best investigative reporter on staff to do the piece. It would probably be a lot better. But anyway, we need Dan to do it so that we can have conflict, so he agrees, despite his father’s protestations.

Dan goes to meet with Bart Bass to see if he can shadow the man a few days a week, pretending to be interested in construction. This makes Chuck Bass extremely unhappy, as Bart begins to show more interest in young Humphrey than he ever has in his own son. Chuck had previously gifted Bart with season tickets and a private box to enjoy his favorite hockey team, and is infuriated to find out that Bart has chosen to take Dan to the game instead of his own son, who bought the tickets specifically to spend time with his father and get to know him better through reliving his childhood passion of hockey. Chuck then starts a little investigation of his own to parallel Dan’s and find out just what young Humphrey’s angle is. Dan discovers that Bart’s real estate empire is based on an insurance scam he ran back in ’87 when he committed arson on one of his own buildings in order to collect the fire insurance. Just as Dan gets this juicy tidbit, Chuck uncovers from a contact at New York Magazine that Dan is indeed trying to get close to his father to write an expose. When Dan asks Bart about the fire, he admits that someone died inside the building and Chuck races in to stop his father from saying to much to a reporter. Bart Bass offers Dan hush money to kill the story, but Dan refuses to accept the bribe. As he storms out of the Bass Der Woodsen apartment, Chuck begs him not to write the story, knowing full well that it will not only destroy Bass Industries, but also Chuck, Lily, Eric and Dan’s former paramour Serena, echoing the warning Daddy Rufus had set out earlier.

Dan decides not to write the story, but sees a chance to help Chuck Bass reconnect with his father, and so sends Bart Bass a copy of the Charlie Trout story as an apology. (I notice that all of Dan’s stories simply have dates as titles. That’s gonna get old real fast.) The story moves Bart to recognize the distance between himself and his son and he apologizes to Chuck for this transgression. He also tells his son that he never blamed him for his mother’s death, and offers to take him up on those Rangers season tickets after all. I’m so pleased that Dan has chosen to use his art for good, and I’m sure Daddy Rufus is proud of him too. Chuck and Bart needed a catalyst to mend their damaged relationship, and Dan Humphrey is that catalyst. (By the way, that framed photo of Chuck’s mom looks just like Ed Westwick. I wonder if it is actually the actor’s mother.)

As for Little J, she apparently dragged her magical suitcase all the way to (I assume) the Lower East Side to live with Agnes. Agnes’ mother is involved enough with her wild child daughter’s life to phone up Rufus and inform him that she’s gone through the exact same things with Agnes but that the girls will take care of each other. The two girls head around town to meet with various business managers in order to get “their line” off the ground. Unfortunately, Jenny and Agnes don’t seem to meet eye to eye on anything at these meetings, with Jenny representing someone who has really through about the name and image of her brand and has a clear picture of what she wants to make and who she wants to sell it to, and Agnes attempting to jump in on her glory and claim Jenny’s ideas as her own. Later, Jenny starts to realize that Agnes’ unorganized lifestyle (filled with weekday hangovers) is costing her time and potential money, so she takes responsibility into her own hands and meets with a business manager behind Agnes’ back, who says he’d love to work with her alone and admits that Agnes was the problem with Jenny getting representation all along.

When Agnes gets Jenny’s contract call by mistake, all hell breaks loose. When Jenny returns to the apartment, Agnes is ready to declare war, hurrying across the street with Jenny’s dresses in hand, which she promptly shoves into a trashcan and lights on fire, despite Jenny’s protestations. Frankly, Jenny, that’s a point where you have to make a call. If a psycho bitch has your entire life’s work in her hands and is dousing it with lighter fluid and holding up a lit matchbook, you have to make a choice: do you grab the matchbook out of her hand and suffer a burn on your palm as you put out the flame, or do you cry about it and let your entire collection go up in flames? I would have chosen the burn, but Jenny instead chose the couture bonfire. Bad call, Little J. Frankly, instead of crying about it and screaming at Agnes, the best move would have probably been to punch Agnes right in the moneymaker. Hurt her as much as she hurt you, J.

So despite watching her entire collection go up in smoke, J returns home to Daddy Rufus with the parental consent forms she needs to start her business. When Rufus refuses to sign it, Jenny runs away again and meets with her business manager, who tells her that the only other way to get in business with him if her parents won’t give consent is to take them to court and sue to become emancipated. Please don’t do it, Little J! Then you’ll really be Little Jenny Orphan and you can’t be because that name belongs to someone else and I invented it! I hope Daddy Rufus will take his son’s advice and get J back by signing the papers, because it would really suck to lose our miniature fashionista.

Never go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line!

Never go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line!

Nate and Vanessa were not in this episode at all, so our final plot belongs to Serena, and I left it for last because it is my least favorite. She’s still seeing Aaron Rose the Artist who sends her all over the city via GPS to see his favorite places, unfortunately, she takes this to mean that they are exclusive, when he believes in strictly the opposite. Per Blair’s quips:

“Sure, he starts out in his blue period and it’s all great, but it’s only a matter of time until he’s all into Cubism and it’s some other girl’s eye coming out of her forehead.”

Serena gets jealous of Aaron’s other girlfriends and breaks up with him, even though he’s Cyrus’ son, which would have been a cool story thread to follow.

“You believe in long hair, peasant skirts and sandals. But you in an open relationship? I don’t think so.” – Blair

If it weren’t for Blair’s quips about this plot, I would have been totally bored because Serena without the other characters to interact with is the worst kind of ennui for me.

The Husband:

This was a great episode. Like, season 1 pre-WGA strike good. It’s fascinating, especially, that in this particular episode Little J was far more heartless than Blair. Just like last season when she usurped Blair’s position as the Queen Bee of Constance-St. Jude’s, she’s a fascinating character when she decides to ignore her soul, only to regain it right before she loses it altogether, forever. (Like Blair’s friends, who are daywalking vampires as far as I’m concerned, especially mini-Blair Hazel.) But going all Jena Malone and emancipating herself from her parents, that’s not going to get her anywhere as a designer, as by the time the case gets to court and she wins (which she won’t), her guerrilla fashion show will have become irrelevant and her clothing will no longer be cutting edge. Seriously, haven’t you seen that Drew Barrymore movie Irreconcilable Differences?

And seeing Blair go through a complete 180 within mere minutes is always very fun, as this manic-depressive rich girl – one afraid of being mistaken as “upper-middle class” – finally meets her match in stubby little Wallace Shawn. For once, it’s going to be a happy back-and-forth war, something this show has yet to do. Sure, earlier wars on the show were happy and fun for us as viewers, but, of course, the characters involved in said wars ended up anywhere but in happy places. (I like to imagine that Georgina is floating somewhere in space, trapped in the Phantom Zone.)

It’s strange, though, that Gossip Girl and Privileged, in the last week, have both dealt with secrets uncovered via budding writers trying their hand at journalism/biography, secrets of the rich and famous doing very naughty things, and then having the secret-keeping rich person offer massive amounts of money to the writer. Yeah, on Privileged it was that Laurel Limoges got pregnant with her daughter while her husband was still in Vietnam, which isn’t nearly as bad as committing arson, but both are career-destroying secrets, secrets now known by ambitious but confuzzled young persons. Is this going to be a running thing on The CW? At least on Smallville whenever Chloe would discover some terrible secret about Lex or Lionel, they would threaten to kill her, and then everything would just kind of go away by episode’s end.

Fuck, is this going to happen on Everybody Hates Chris, too? Is he going to find out something about his boss at the grocery store? I mean, he and his siblings have plenty on Mr. Omar, but I don’t think that widow-stalking Lothario gives a fuck what they have.

The Wife:

Oh, Jenny Humphrey, fashion superstar and miniature trainwreck in the making. This week, Little J got an edgy new haircut and learned how to use black eyeliner, all to reflect her diligence at being a fashionista. You know, being homeschooled and working full-time for Eleanor Waldorf. At Waldorf Designs, J meets a young model named Agnes who convinces her that she has more talent than Eleanor could ever hope to have again. J finds that this evidence is corroborated by the fact that Eleanor won’t let her sit in on meetings with the buyers, and even more by the fact that Eleanor demands that little J remake her plaid harajuku dress in Waldorf fabrics so that Eleanor can pass it off as her own. When J and Agnes spent a night partying and Jenny produces an inferior version of the dress, Eleanor chastises her for putting parties before work and Jenny calls Eleanor out on her abuses of the young fashionista’s talents and quits, but not before stealing back both of her designs.

Harumph!

Harumph!

After J announces to Nate that she’s quitting Eleanor’s to start her own line (because if Kira Pastinina can do it, so can little Jenny Humprey!), Nate begins to worry about the suddenly reckless lifestyle Little J is leading and he tails her to Agnes’s boyfriend’s apartment where he finds the two girls dancing in their underwear. Nate is boring as hell, but he’s totally right about this one. It seemed a little out of character of J to go this far off the deep end, or at least begin her descent so spectacularly. But then again, the first season informs us that she’s a consummate follower of whatever is deemed cool at the moment, so perhaps the idea of adhering to whatever a cool model says is not entirely unfounded. It’s just that when she was with Blair and Co. they were mean, but they weren’t self-destructive. (Destroying other people is much more fun.) Oh yeah, Nate and Jenny hook up after he rescues her. Because that is what Nate does: dates every chick in the Gossip Girl universe.

I spent most of the Little J plot yelling at her for being stupid, as I was much more interested in the Chuck and Blair cat-and-mouse game. I love their witty exchange of bon mots:

Chuck: I’d love to give you a ride.
Blair: I’m sure you would.

And when Blair tries to cop a feel on Chuck at a bar by spilling her drink on his crotch:

“I’m bored. You ruined my pants.”

Dan made an attempt to help Blair, per Serena’s request, to get back in Chuck’s good graces. Dan suggests that Blair make herself completely unavoidable so that Chuck can’t help but want her. This strategy works, until Dan gets word that Chuck and Blair used Vanessa as a pawn in their Cruel Intentions game last week, so Dan decides not to help Blair anymore, humiliating her and costing her Chuck’s heart. Serena lays into Dan about this, and Dan tries to ameliorate the situation by telling Chuck that Blair really does love him. Chuck then goes to Blair’s house where he forces her to realize that the two of them simply can’t be happy together because the reason they love each other is the fact they love to torture each other.

It should be fairly obvious to you all by now that I am a major Chuck and Blair ‘shipper, so I would love nothing more to see them hook up again. In fact, I still don’t see why they can’t just have hate sex outside of a real relationship and just keep up their typical mutual hatred of one another in public. Seems like it wouldn’t be terribly out of the ordinary for them . . .

The Husband:

I was certainly happy to see The O.C.’s Willa Holland’s triumphant return to the Josh Schwartz Universe as Agnes, the skanky, conniving model who has nothing but bad intentions for Little J. I was always amused by her presence on The O.C. during its final season, as I was also tickled that her character, Kaitlin Cooper, left for boarding school in season one and came back as a completely different actress. (Where is that first actress now? Why, she’s the lead of ABC Family’s awesome The Secret Life of the American Teenager.)

Let me help you ruin your future!

Let me help you ruin your future!

I will agree that the Little J story, while interesting, was a little too much too soon for our little fashionista, but I’m glad they’re dealing with the repercussions of dropping out of Constance only a few episodes after it was made final. To me, that means that they have a buttload of stories to deal with for the rest of the season, and GG always works best for me when it always has something in the on-deck circle.

In the storyline that my wife did not mention (because it was kind of weird and we’re also pressed for time today), Serena visits the Humphrey-owned Bedford Art Gallery only to catch the eye of a young up-and-coming artist Aaron Rose, much to the dismay of Dan, who is sidetracked on his own to aid Blair in getting Chuck back into her bed and into her body. (…ewww…sorry for that.) He finally relents and lets Serena know that it’s totally cool if she wants to date again (despite the fact that, hey, he has no right to complain since he tried to start up something with that Amanda chick only a few episodes ago), just as she realizes, thanks to a riddle Aaron proposes to her, that they actually knew each other years earlier when they were at camp as children. Just as she is about to ask him out, though, she spies him hopping onto a motorcycle with an entirely different hot, young chick. Poor Serena.

Coming up on GG? Cyndi Lauper! Put that in your “Time After Time” decorated pipe and smoke it, cuz you’re gonna see some muthafuckin’ true colors up in this beeyotch.

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