You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2010.

This is what I'm looking forward to.

By Gina Carbone
gina_carbone@comcast.net

As if you could forget!

Tomorrow — almost exactly 24 hours from now — on the Monday night season finale of “The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love,” Jake Pavelka will sob at a balcony and then propose to Vienna choose between Tenley Molzahn and Vienna Girardi.

OR WILL HE?

Yes, he will.

And according to Chris Harrison, “He’s still with the woman he chose, very much in love, and they’re doing great.”

But that hasn’t stopped TV Guide readers from voting for Jake to pick Ali Fedotowsky, even though she left “The Bachelor,” tried to come back and was refused.

TV Guide has a poll up, with the following results as of Sunday evening:

Who do you think Jake should choose?

    • Vienna
    • 7%
    • Tenley
    • 33%
    • Ali
    • 46%
    • No one
    • 14%

Total votes: 9158

I would’ve gone with Tenley or no one, at this point. Jake and Ali had their shot — more than one shot, really.

******

Other things to keep in mind:

• Also during the two-hour finale, from 8 to 10 p.m. on March 1 on ABC, the cast of “Dancing with the Stars” season 10 will be announced by DWTS host Tom Bergeron and “Bachelor” winner/DWTS finalist Melissa Rycroft.

• Immediately following the “Bachelor” season finale, both Tenley and Vienna will join Jake to look back on their journey on the one-hour special, “The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love: After the Final Rose,” from 10 to 11 p.m. on Monday.

• Also during the “After the Final Rose” special, America will be introduced to the next “Bachelorette” … although I think we met her back when she waved her peacock feather at Jake when she first came out of the limo. Her name is Ali. Unless it’s Tenley. Or Gia Allemand. Or me?

• And on Monday, March 8 at 8 p.m. we can watch Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney’s wedding on ABC. They were married yesterday in a “private” ceremony at Terranea Resort, located on the coast of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

• We’re not done! On Monday, March 15, from 8 to 10 p.m., there will be a special edition of 20/20: “Inside The Bachelor — The Stories Behind the Rose.” It never flipping ends!

******

I’m preparing this photo for after Jake proposes to Vienna:

We all do.

By Gina Carbone
gina_carbone@comcast.net

The best part of Jennifer Lopez’s gig as the Feb. 27 host of “Saturday Night Live” was the brief shot of a “We Love Betty White Flag” in the SNL Digital Short “Flags of the World.”

According to this, Betty may well be getting the SNL gig her 470,000+ fans have been pushing for on Facebook:

“Betty White might be hosting ‘Saturday Night Live’ very soon! Sources told Entertainment Weekly that the show might invite the TV legend to host the show for the very first time. But White would not be hosting alone. Instead, ‘SNL’ is putting together a ‘Women of Comedy’ episode that would team Rose Nylund’s alter ego with several of her younger contemporaries. Former ‘SNL’ stars Molly Shannon, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are some of those rumored to appear on the episode. An NBC spokesperson did not confirm any casting choices.”

I want Betty solo, not sharing screen time with a bunch of other co-hosts, but I’ll take what I can get.

Back to this episode…

Jennifer Lopez no longer has an assistant to carry her orange juice.

It’s been an interesting few weeks for Jennifer Lopez, parting ways from her label and seeing her new film “The Back Up Plan” pushed back again, but she pulled it together on Saturday.

(And she got to plug both her film and her music, which was the whole point.)

Her not-exactly groundbreaking skits were geared toward her strengths — which apparently involve doing heavy accents for Telemundo and the telenovela soap “Besos Y Lagrimas.”

(Aka “Kisses and Tears.” I loved the theme music.)

Her singing? Let’s just say she sounded confident in her songs and her band, but you won’t see me heading to iTunes for anything.

The real show was the ensemble show around J.Lo — a nice cold opening poking fun at the awful but well-meaning follow up to “We Are the World” (with Lopez doing a good Rihanna impression); a suitably perverse return to ESPN Sports with my boys Jason Sudeikis and Will Forte talking about more vaginal products; a good idea for a skit with Smash Mouth haunting a child’s bedroom (but why the happy ending? that would be a true nightmare); and a fun parody of “Undercover Boss” featuring Fred Armisen as Steve Jobs and Bill Hader (the most consistent go-to guy) as Richard Branson.

There was a lot of repeat business going on last night. In addition to the ESPN sports guys; Kenan Thompson brought back his love guru who slides out on a malfunctioning track while trying to hook up Jennifer Lopez and Jason Sudeikis; there were at least three references to Olympic curling (you find it fascinating, Seth, we get it); and Jenny Slate returned as the custom saleswoman — last time it was doorbells, this time it was car horns. (Many ending in her trademark Whhuuuuuhhhht? or OhmyGahhhh)

Strangely enough, the Closet Organizer guy also returned. I LOVE the Closet Organizer commercial, but if they were going to bring him back I expected some new material. It looked to be the same.

Did they need filler? It did seem like they spent more time than usual showing the band play before heading to commercial, which came off as an attempt to kill time.

And I noticed at the end of the show, J.Lo chatted with her band and back-up singers but didn’t seem to hug or chat with the SNL cast.

Was there drama going on?

Ren Vokes is already my favorite to win "America's Next Top Model" cycle 14. Not only is Ren a great name, her occupation is listed simply as "Living." Nice.

By Gina Carbone
gina_carbone@comcast.net

Oh goodie! Some of my favorite shows are coming back.

But, of course, my TV BFF, “The Bachelor,” is ending.

Sad face.

But this summer we’ll get my even better BFF, “The Bachelorette,” and we’ll find out who she is (*cough*AliFedotowsky*cough*) on Monday during “The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love” season finale and “After the Final Rose” special.

Check out the following list of upcoming shows and mark your calendars now.

Then return to this fun little space later this month for thoughts on stuff like “Dancing with the Stars” and “America’s Next Top Model.”

(Note: This list was copied and pasted wholesale from AOL Television. Enjoy!)

******

Monday, March 1
‘The Bachelor’ (ABC) 14th season finale
‘Little Parents, First Baby’ (TLC) series premiere
‘Rules of Engagement’ (CBS) 4th season premiere
‘The Real Housewives 25: The Early Years’ (Bravo) special presentation
‘The Bachelor: After the Final Rose’ (ABC) special presentation
‘Let’s Talk About Pep’ (VH1) 1st season finale
‘La La Land’ (Showtime) 1st season finale

This guy again!

‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’ (NBC) series return

Tuesday, March 2
‘How the Earth Was Made’ (History) 2nd season finale
‘Last Restaurant Standing: The Winner’s Story’ (BBC America) special presentation
’20/20: Before They Were Famous’ (ABC) special presentation
‘Madman of the Sea’ (Animal Planet) series premiere
‘Parenthood’ (NBC) series premiere
‘Players’ (Spike) series premiere

Wednesday, March 3
‘Web Soup’ (G4) 2nd season premiere
‘The Oprah Winfrey Oscar Special’ (ABC) special presentation
‘High School Reunion’ (TV Land) 6th season finale
The Locator‘ (We) 4th season premiere
Nip/Tuck‘ (FX) series finale
‘Solving History with Olly Steeds’ (History) 1st season finale
‘Tyler Perry’s House of Payne’ (TBS) 6th season mid-season premiere

Thursday, March 4
‘Burn Notice’ (USA) 3rd season finale
‘Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew’ (VH1) 3rd season finale
‘The Marriage Ref’ (NBC) series premiere
‘The Real Housewives of Orange County’ (Bravo) 5th season finale
‘The Real Housewives of New York City’ (Bravo) 3rd season premiere

Friday, March 5
‘Ghost Whisperer’ (CBS) 100th episode
‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ (NBC) series premiere
‘The Soup Awards’ (E!) special presentation
’2010 Independent Spirit Awards’ (IFC) special presentation

Saturday, March 6
‘Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals’ (HBO) special presentation
‘How Do I Look?’ (Style) 6th season finale
‘America’s Most Wanted: America Fights Back’ (FOX) 1000th episode
‘What I Hate About Me’ (Style) 1st season finale
‘Danny Bhoy: Subject to Change’ (Comedy Central) special presentation
‘Mystery Files’ (ID) series premiere
‘Fashion Emergency: Fakeovers’ (Style) special presentation

Sunday, March 7
‘Barbara Walters Oscars Special’ (ABC) special presentation
‘Countdown to the Oscars 2010′ (ABC) special presentation
‘The 82nd Annual Academy Awards’ (ABC) special presentation
‘Superswarm’ (Discovery) special presentation
‘Big Love’ (HBO) 4th season finale
‘Monsters and Mysteries in Alaska’ (Discovery) special presentation

Monday, March 8
‘The Bachelor: Jason and Molly’s Wedding’ (ABC) special presentation
‘Scott Hamilton: Return to the Ice’ (Biography) special presentation
‘Gossip Girl’ (The CW) 3rd season mid-season premiere
‘Make It or Break It’ (ABC Family) 1st season finale
‘Trauma’ (NBC) 1st season mid-season premiere
‘The Buried Life’ (MTV) 1st season finale
‘Fantasia For Real’ (VH1) 1st season finale
‘My Life As Liz’ (MTV) 1st season finale
‘Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union’ (Showtime) 3rd season finale

Tuesday, March 9
‘Wild Recon’ (Animal Planet) 1st season finale
‘The Bad Girls Club’ (Oxygen) 4th season finale
‘Chopped’ (Food) 3rd season finale
‘Food Wars’ (Travel) series premiere
‘The Miss Turkey Trot and Miss Drumsticks Pageants’ (TLC) special presentation
‘White Collar’ (USA) 1st season finale

Wednesday, March 10
‘America’s Next Top Model’ (The CW) 14th season premiere
‘The Real Housewives of Orange County: Reunion Special, Part 1′ (Bravo) special presentation
‘High Society’ (The CW) series premiere
‘First Love, Second Chance’ (TV Land) series premiere
‘Psych’ (USA) 4th season finale
‘Billy the Exterminator’ (A&E) 2nd season premiere

Thursday, March 11
‘The Real Housewives of Orange County: Reunion Special, Part 2′ (Bravo) special presentation
‘Celebrity Rehab Presents: Sober House’ (VH1) 2nd season premiere
‘True Crime with Aphrodite Jones’ (ID) series premiere

Friday, March 12
‘Supernanny’ (ABC) 100th episode, 6th season finale
‘Numb3rs’ (CBS) 6th season finale

Saturday, March 13
‘True Blue: Ten Years of Blue Collar Comedy’ (CMT) special presentation
‘Blue Collar Comedy: Ten Years of Funny’ (CMT) special presentation
‘Dinoshark’ (Syfy) special presentation
‘The Guard’ (Ion) series premiere
‘The Outdoor Room with Jamie Durie’ (HGTV) 1st season finale

Sunday, March 14
‘Minute to Win It’ (NBC) series premiere
‘Killer Aliens’ (Animal Planet) special presentation
‘Cutting Edge 4: Fire & Ice’ (ABC Family) special presentation
‘The Apprentice’ (NBC) 9th season premiere
‘The Pacific’ (HBO) mini-series premiere
‘The Man With Half a Body’ (TLC) special presentation
‘Ultimate Recipe Showdown’ (Food) 3rd season premiere
‘Sons of Tucson’ (FOX) series premiere
‘America’s Worst Driver’ (Travel) series premiere
‘The Antonio Treatment’ (HGTV) series premiere
‘Fatal Attractions’ (Animal Planet) series premiere
‘Kendra’ (E!) 2nd season premiere
‘Hoarding: Buried Alive’ (TLC) special presentation
‘Tough as Nails’ (HGTV) series premiere

Monday, March 15
’20/20: Inside the Bachelor: The Stories Behind the Rose’ (ABC) special presentation
‘Top Gear’ (BBC America) 13th season finale
‘Home Rules’ (HGTV) series premiere
‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager: Special’ (ABC Family) special presentation
‘NFL Full Contact’ (TruTV) 1st season finale
‘The Price of Beauty’ (VH1) series premiere
‘Secret Diary of a Call Girl’ (Showtime) 3rd season finale
‘Transform Me’ (VH1) series premiere

Tuesday, March 16
‘Samurai’ (History) special presentation
‘Snake Man’ (Animal Planet) special presentation
‘The Bad Girls Club: Reunion, Part 1′ (Oxygen) special presentation
‘Justified’ (FX) series premiere
‘Love Games: Bad Girls Need Love Too’ (Oxygen) series premiere
‘Marriage Under Construction’ (HGTV) series premiere

Wednesday, March 17
‘Scrubs’ (ABC) 9th season finale
‘Gary Unmarried’ (CBS) 2nd season finale
‘Addicted’ (TLC) series premiere
‘Destination Truth’ (Syfy) 4th season premiere
‘The Real World’ (MTV) 23rd season finale
‘South Park’ (Comedy Central) 14th season premiere
‘Ugly Americans’ (Comedy Central) series premiere

Thursday, March 18
‘NCAA Basketball Championship: First Round’ (CBS) special presentation
‘FlashForward’ (ABC) 1st season mid-season premiere
‘Afghan Star’ (HBO) special presentation
‘Archer’ (FX) 1st season finale
‘Star Struck: Setara Act II’ (HBO) special presentation

Friday, March 19
‘NCAA Basketball Championship: First Round’ (CBS) special presentation
‘Thin Ice, Part 1′ (ABC) special presentation
‘Shameless’ (Sundance) 5th season finale

Saturday, March 20
‘NCAA Basketball Championship: Second Round Quadruple Header’ (CBS) special presentation
‘Seducing Cindy’ (Fox Reality) 1st season finale
‘Survivors’ (BBC America) 1st season finale
‘Solitary’ (Fox Reality) 4th season finale

Sunday, March 21
‘The Life of Mammals’ (BBC America) special presentation
‘Thin Ice, Part 2′ (ABC) special presentation
‘Frank the Entertainer … in a Basement Affair’ (VH1) 1st season finale
‘Life’ (Discovery) series premiere
‘Gene Simmons Family Jewels’ (A&E) 5th season premiere
‘Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane’ (Style) 3rd season premiere
‘Breaking Bad’ (AMC) 3rd season premiere
‘Atlas 4D’ (Discovery) special presentation
‘Kirstie Alley’s Big Life’ (A&E) series premiere

Monday, March 22
‘Dancing with the Stars’ (ABC) 10th season premiere
‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager’ (ABC Family) 2nd season finale
‘Top Gear’ (BBC America) 14th season premiere
‘Ultimate Cake Off’ (TLC) 2nd season finale
‘Nurse Jackie’ (Showtime) 2nd season premiere
‘Be Good Johnny Weir’ (Sundance) 1st season finale
‘The United States of Tara’ (Showtime) 2nd season premiere

Tuesday, March 23
‘The Bad Girls Club: Reunion, Part 2′ (Oxygen) special presentation
‘The Forgotten’ (ABC) 1st season finale

Wednesday, March 24
‘Mythbusters’ (Discovery) 8th season premiere
‘Fly Girls’ (The CW) series premiere
‘The Real World: The S&@! They Should’ve Shown’ (MTV) special presentation

Thursday, March 25
‘NCAA Basketball Championship: Regional Semifinal Double Header’ (CBS) special presentation
‘The Tiger Next Door’ (Animal Planet) special presentation

Friday, March 26
‘NCAA Basketball Championship: Regional Semifinal Double Header’ (CBS) special presentation
‘Wife Swap’ (ABC) 6th season premiere
‘Caprica’ (Syfy) 1st season mid-season finale
‘Chandon Pictures’ (Sundance) series premiere
‘Famous Crime Scene’ (VH1) 1st season finale
‘Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution’ (ABC) series premiere
‘The Best Thing I Ever Ate’ (Food) 2nd season finale
‘Top Yam: The Louisiana Yambilee Queen Pageant’ (TLC) special presentation

Saturday, March 27
‘NCAA Basketball Championship: Regional Final Double Header’ (CBS) special presentation
‘Survivors’ (BBC America) 2nd season premiere
’2010 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony’ (USA) special presentation

Sunday, March 28
‘The Emeril Lagasse Show’ (Ion) series premiere
‘Fatal Attractions’ (Animal Planet) 1st season finale

Monday, March 29
’10 Things I Hate About You’ (ABC Family) 2nd season premiere
‘Saving Grace’ (TNT) 4th season premiere
‘Greek’ (ABC Family) 3rd season finale
‘Kell on Earth’ (Bravo) 1st season finale

Tuesday, March 30
‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent’ (USA) 9th season premiere
‘V’ (ABC) 1st season mid-season premiere

Wednesday, March 31
‘The Inbetweeners’ (BBC America) 2nd season finale
‘In Plain Sight’ (USA) 3rd season premiere
‘The Real World: Reunion Special’ (MTV) special presentation
‘The Ultimate Fighter’ (Spike) 11th season premiere

Tyler Grady — aka Disco Stu, aka Jim Morrison, aka Gone

By Gina Carbone
gina_carbone@comcast.net

So not only is season nine of “American Idol” weak on talent, the voters are weak on talent judgment.

Earlier tonight, we whittled the top 24 down to the top 20 — 10 guys and 10 girls.

Tim Urban, who replaced Chris Golightly and should’ve been a lock to leave Wednesday night after his painful “Apologize” (it would’ve been accepted with a goodbye handshake), is still around.

Ashley Rodriguez

So are Lacey Brown and Haeley Vaughn, despite Tuesday night performances that were both called “terrible.”

Janell Wheeler

The two girls that “Idol” voters sent home:

Janell Wheeler, 24, Orlando, Florida — pretty blonde who sang “What About Love”

Ashley Rodriguez, 22, Chelsea, Mass.— Berklee student and one of my faves from the Boston auditions, who sang “Happy”

The two guys that “Idol” voters sent home:

Jose Munoz, aka Joe

Joe Muñoz, 20, Huntington Park, California— not surprised, he had tepid support and lacked star power, even after doing a decent job with “You and I Both”

• Tyler Grady, 20, Nazareth, Pennsylvania— This surprised me. I thought Disco Stu was a lock to keep going, just based on his “I’m cool” vibe.

Disco Stu does not approve

I’m proud of the teenage girls of America for not voting for him (and instead voting for Dreamboat Casey James), but I do think Tyler had more potential than Tim or even Jermaine Sellers.

Tyler’s “American Woman” was indulgent, but the judges had been gushing over his 1970s style from day one, so he played it up.

He’s right: Their mix-it-up advice came too late.

So here are our top 10 men and women, ranked in order of my preference:

TOP 10 GUYS

1.  Lee DeWyze, 23, Mount Prospect, Illinois (dark horse)

2.  Casey James, 27, Fort Worth, Texas (he really did give his best performance Wednesday night, and that’s when it counted most)

3.  Andrew Garcia, 24, Moreno Valley, California (I still believe he can do something worthy of his male frontrunner status)

4.  Alex Lambert, 19, North Richland Hills, Texas (I can barely tell him from the others, but he has those pipes; the mullet may grow on me)

5. John Park, 21, Evanston, Illinois (stupid song choice Wednesday, but he has potential)

6. Michael Lynche, 26, Astoria, N.Y. (Big Mike is overconfident, but he has chops)

7.  Todrick Hall, 24, Arlington, Texas (Had the tough first-song position and was unfairly criticized for trying to be creative)

8. Aaron Kelly, 16, Sonestown, Pennsylvania (Barely know who this is)

Dreamboat Casey James

9.  Jermaine Sellers, 26, Joliet, Illinois (Not seeing a lot here beyond good looks)

10. Tim Urban, 20, Duncanville, Texas (Sweet kid, but should be gone already)

TOP 10 GIRLS

Lilly Scott -- love the outfit, too

1. Lilly Scott, 20, Littleton, Colo. (Too edgy for “Idol”? I like her)

2. Katelyn Epperly, 19, West Des Moines, Iowa (She’s growing on me)

3. Didi Benami, 23, Hollywood, Calif. (Unfairly criticized Tuesday)

4. Katie Stevens, 17, Middlebury, Conn. (Did not put her best foot forward Tuesday, but she has frontrunner potential, so she gets another shot)

5. Siobhan Magnus, 19, Barnstable, Mass. (I am curious to hear more)

6. Michelle Delamor, 22, Miami, Fla. (Gorgeous, but needs a really good song choice)

7. Crystal Bowersox, 24, Elliston, Ohio (No more coffeehouse stuff, please)

8. Paige Miles, 24, Cypress, Texas (or Naples, Fla.) (Good voice, needs something distinctive)

9. Haeley Vaughn, 16, Fort Collins, Colo. (So cute, but soooo painful Tuesday)

10. Lacey Brown, 24, Amarillo, Texas (Should’ve gone by now)

Red Sox Nation wages war on Russell Hantz.

By Gina Carbone
gina_carbone@comcast.net

Oh it’s about time the Villains got served. I drink your mudslide. I drink it up!

“Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” had one of those classic mano e mano mud challenges on “That Girl is Like a Virus.”

And it was good.

Not only did the Heroes dominate, they knocked ALL the Villains on their faces.

In the case of James Clement, it wasn’t enough to finish the 8-8 job by knocking down old man Randy Bailey, he also threw his wrestling pad at Randy in the mud.

I can’t stand Parvati Shallow, but she’s right: James is probably on the wrong tribe. (Or was that Courtney Yates who said that? They didn’t show the person speaking, just the voice-over. I don’t like her either.)

Russell Hantz was the first to get thrown in the mud — “easily” — by Tom Westman.

That’s what Russell gets for not only sleeping with Parvati (aka the titular virus girl, a phrase courtesy of Jerri Manthey), hiding the Villains’ machete and threatening to hide Boston Rob’s Red Sox hat, but for daring to insult the Red Sox in favor of the Houston Astros. (Please. In your ugly mud dreams, baby face.)

Parvati got thrown in the mud by paranoid strategizer Candice Woodcock.

Rupert Boneham owned an angry Coach Wade after Coach — “inadvertent or not” — used his arm against Rupert.

Cirie Fields owned Jerri Manthey.

JT Thomas knocked out Tyson Apostol, which felt GREAT.

Amanda Kimmel barely knocked out Danielle DiLorenzo.

I was worried for my boy Colby Donaldson after his Coach debacle in episode one, so it felt PERFECT for him to beat Boston Rob Mariano.

And then James did his damage on Randy. Why the Villains let the biggest Hero take on their oldest man is beyond me. Especially when at that point the wrestling floor was so covered in mud it would take a true champion to stay afloat.

It just took one push for James to end the game.

The heroes got immunity and reward — coffee (that’s all I would need), sugar, rice and mementos from home.

And the Villains went to tribal council for the first time.

Never thought I’d agree with Tyson, but it did seem like the Heroes loaded up on steroids before the challenge.

It was kind of scary how pumped they got about winning each match. Colby and Rupert were especially amusing, but it was hilarious to see Coach’s epic self-congratulation before Jeff Probst finally got through to him that his first match against Rupert didn’t count.

Earlier in the episode, Boston Rob gave a classic “Survivor” tip: If you want to know the real alliances, watch who people sleep next to at night.

That’d be Coach next to Jerri and Russell (married) spooning with Parvati.

Parvati apparently flirts and smiles with everyone. People think she’s the queen waiting to be fed grapes.

But then during tribal council, Coach — who has the sensitivity of a 12-year-old girl — got insulted by a casual comment by Sandra Diaz, who wasn’t even in the challenge. (She and Courtney Yates sat it out.)

It’s interesting that right after it was mentioned at tribal that the machete grew legs and walked off, Russell (who stole and buried it at night) got a chance to compliment his tribe in comparison to the “dodos” he played with on “Samoa.” The Villains actually seemed flattered. Courtney even “awww”-ed a bit.

The vote came down to Randy vs. Rob.

Randy
Rob
Randy
Randy
Randy
Randy

Jeff Probst: Third person voted out of “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains”: Randy.

It sucks to get old, man!

Parvati’s name was never written down once. Apparently her spooning paid off. Randy, remember that if you ever come back.

These are the people who are still around:

HEROES
Rupert Boneham (Pearl Islands, All-Stars)
James Clement (China, Fans vs. Favorites)
Colby Donaldson (Australian Outback, All-Stars)
Cirie Fields (Panama, Fans vs. Favorites)
Amanda Kimmel (China, Fans vs. Favorites)
JT Thomas (Tocantins)
Tom Westman (Palau)
Candice Woodcock (Cook Islands)

VILLAINS
Tyson Apostol (Tocantins)
Sandra Diaz (Pearl Islands)
Danielle DiLorenzo (Panama)
Russell Hantz (Samoa)
Jerri Manthey (Australian Outback)
Boston Rob Mariano (Marquesas, All-Stars)
Parvati Shallow (Cook Islands, Fans vs. Favorites)
Benjamin “Coach” Wade (Tocantins)
Courtney Yates (China)

RELATED STORIES

‘Survivor Heroes vs. Villains’ recap: Boston Rob passes out; Villains rule; Stephenie sent home by James’ angry ‘one voice’

‘Survivor Heroes vs. Villains’ premiere recap: Coach flirts, Colby fails, Sugar cries her way home

2009: The year No. 2 was the real No. 1

Holy crap! Natalie White beat Russell Hantz on ‘Survivor: Samoa’

Looks like Russell Hantz just won ‘Survivor: Samoa’ (Not!)

Survivor Samoa recap: And his name is Brett, the prayer warrior

"American Idol" top 12 guys: (Front Row, L-R) Andrew Garcia, John Park, Tyler Grady, Joe Munoz and Jermaine Sellers. (Back Row, L-R) Lee Dewyze, Aaron Kelly, Tim Urban, Michael Lynche, Todrick Hall, Casey James and Alex Lambert. CR: Patrick Ecclestein / FOX.

By Gina Carbone
gina_carbone@comcast.net

Simon Cowell has never looked so ready to check out.

“Grumpy” doesn’t begin.

The short-timer said he watched the poor beleaguered top 12 guys rehearse their “American Idol” season nine debuts and he saw a lot of nerves.

He told the guys — deadpan — that if they lost it Wednesday night, or forgot the words, their careers would be over.

Gulp.

At least he didn’t say they have to do well because the girls really “blew it out” last night. That was Randy Jackson’s assessment.

Not sure about you, but I watched the top 12 girls last night. And they did nothing the guys should worry about.

In fact, I think the ladies guaranteed another guy will win “Idol.”

Three seasons in a row. I predict it now.

I also predict this season is going to continue to suck like a dirty plunger.

Even with Casey James as “eye candy”/”ear candy.”

***

PREDICTION

Which two guys will go home tomorrow? I think Tim Urban is going back to wherever he was before replacing Chris Golightly. And … maybe Jermaine Sellers or Joe Munoz.

***

1. Todrick Hall, 24, Arlington, Texas

“Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson

He walked out, did some major performing. Seemed comfortable and confident. I didn’t even recognize the song, he changed it so much. No nerves here.

The guys are already 100 times better than the girls.

Ellen DeGeneres: He’s a dancer so he has that natural performance ability and made it his own. The chorus wasn’t great, though.

Randy Jackson: Talked about how he’s a big fan, but it didn’t even sound like the same song. You never want to take a song and completely obliterate it.

(That makes no sense!)

Kara DioGuardi: He’s a strong enough singer he doesn’t need to change the arrangement that much. But he’s a performer and he took a risk, so maybe next time pull back.

Simon Cowell: “I think you came over as a dancer trying to sing…” rather than the other way around. He thought it was a “crazy arrangement.” He’s all for taking risks, but he completely “murdered the song.” “It was verging on stupid what you just did.”

(NOT TRUE AT ALL)

To vote for Todrick, call 1-866-IDOLS-01

***

2. Aaron Kelly, 16, Sonestown, Pa.

This kid is one of the youngest on the show, but he forgot the words to his song in Hollywood. (How did he get through?)

“Here Comes Goodbye”

I just learned this: This song was written by “American Idol” season 6 finalist Chris Sligh and Clint Lagerberg. It was recorded by Rascal Flatts.

This guy is OK. Again, better than the girls last night.

Simon: Bearing in mind that it was his first live show, that was actually a good performance. But he looked embarrassed and not confident. He has to take control of the song. Simon called him “cute” but this song was not as memorable as “Angels.” It’s all about self-confidence with him. He’ll be there next week.

Kara: He’s her favorite kind of contestant because he has no idea of his raw, natural talent. She likes the pop/country lane for him. “I think we’re going to see incredible things from you.”

Randy: It was a big song but he’s got “all those pipes.” There were a couple of pitchy moments, but if he believes in himself he can do it; 16 with that voice, wow.

Ellen: Ditto to all that. She loves how humble he is. “You’re just going to get better and better and better.”

Ryan Seacrest said Aaron does have the confidence, he’s been flirting and winking at the ladies in the front row. Or something.

I’m still having trouble telling Aaron from Alex and Tim.

To vote for Aaron, call 1-866-IDOLS-02

***
3. Jermaine Sellers, 26, Joliet, Ill.

“Get Here” by Oleta Adams

Soft voice at first. He did seem to make the song his own, but not so much that the song was unrecognizable.

The audience loves when the singers hit the big notes. He did some yelling there in the middle. Not sure about his high notes.

Love his look, though, with that hat and jacket.

I preferred the soft, breathy parts.

Nice attempt, but I’m not hugely impressed.

Ellen: She’s a huge fan and loves his look. She felt he was singing the song more as a performance than feeling the song. He was pushing too much. She likes him and thought it was a good song, but he should relax into the song more.

Randy: He loves the song but not for him. He sees Jermaine more as Maxwell or Ne-Yo. He was trying to do too much vocally with the song. Just sing sometimes, you don’t have to make too much out of it.

Kara: She thought he just wanted to show what he could do — the extent of his range. But you should do that with purpose, not just because you can. Make it special. It made him seem old.

Simon: It was an old piano bar song. He thought there was screaming in the middle. “It was so over-the-top it just didn’t work. I think you’ve totally blown your opportunity with that.”

(Lots of boos.)

Is this guy in trouble now?

To vote for Jermaine, call 1-866-IDOLS-03

***

4. Tim Urban, 20, Duncanville, Texas

He got here after they kicked Chris Golightly out.

They talked about how Tim had to keep his return to the show a secret.

Poor Chris. This must be hard for him to watch.

“Apologize” by One Republic. I’m a big One Republic fan and this is not good. Not good.

WHY did they let this kid back in? They never should’ve cut Chris, but since they did why let this guy in and not Matt Lawrence, or someone else?

It’s not too late to apologize at all. Tell Chris you are sorry and let him back. Tim seems sweet but he’s not up to par.

Simon: “Congratulations for coming back. Having that said, we absolutely made the right decision the first time around by not putting you through, based on that performance.” (Ouch!) There was nothing to take from that. The vocals were weak. The performance was weak. He doesn’t think his voice is good enough. People might let him through because they feel sorry for him or he looks good. But that wasn’t good enough.

Kara: The music overpowered him and when they saw him in Hollywood week with an acoustic, organic performance they got a better feel for him. Here he was just buried under the beat. If he gets another shot, he has to listen to the notes.

Randy: It was such the wrong song. He doesn’t have the falsetto. The arrangement, none of it worked. He thinks Tim is better than that.

Ellen: It was smart to pick a popular song but he couldn’t hit those high notes. Looking at you, if the sound is down, he’s adorable. He may get a lot of votes for being adorable.

(Hey, they chose him, so if you need to bash someone, bash yourselves for picking an “adorable” guy over a “talented” guy.)

To vote for Tim, call 1-866-IDOLS-04

***
5. Joe Muñoz, 20, Huntington Park, Calif.

“You and I Both” by Jason Mraz

I like Joe a lot as a person and he got through that OK, but the song didn’t wow me with anything original.

He doesn’t seem to have a lot of range, either.

Ellen: He looked comfortable on stage. She liked it.

Randy: Not quite the perfect song choice “for me for you.” But he loves Joe’s voice and he did a good job with a tough song.

Kara: She liked that he picked a song that she wouldn’t have expected. She liked that he was up front and center with it. She thought he was the best singer of the night, so far.

Simon: “I kind of agree, but it’s very, with this show you have to get out the bubble. This competition can actually find stars. … based on that performance I don’t believe you’re that kind of artist.” He thought it was an OK, safe, forgettable performance. He didn’t show potential to be a star. In 10 seconds time they will forget that performance. It was limp and forgettable.

(I agree with Simon on this one.)

To vote for Joe, call 1-866-IDOLS-05

***

6. Tyler Grady, 20, Nazareth, Pa.
I’m so sick of how much everyone talks about this kid’s “style.” It’s retro. So what. We’ve seen it.

“American Woman”

He does come out and do the Jim Morrison stuff, though. In a way, with the level of talent we’re (not) seeing, this is comparatively good.

He may be the closest thing this season has to an Adam Lambert.

Everyone, CRY WITH ME ABOUT THAT. It’s truly sad. I hope you know that.

He can’t sing, but he has stage and star presence. I know about 10 girls who would drool over him. For the record, I’m not one of them.

Simon: Plus side, people are going to remember that performance. Down side, partly for the wrong reasons. He comes over a lot as somebody who has gone to Pretend To Be A Rock Star School. It sounds gimmicky and put on.

Kara: It’s like Jim Morrison’s all up in his room and on his walls. He’s playing too much to the 1970s thing. He has to do more than the schtick of the 70s. He has a front man vibe. Bring it into this decade.

Randy: “It definitely was style over substance.”

Ellen: He is copying the poses of his heroes, but he’s just going through the motions without really being that person. He has to work on the singing and not just make the poses.

To vote for Tyler, call 1-866-IDOLS-06

***

7. Lee DeWyze, 23, Mount Prospect, Ill.

“Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol

Singing with the guitar.

Something about this guy makes me think “dark horse” to win.

Maybe it’s the David Cook vibe. I like.

Or maybe because out of everyone so far, he comes closest to having real talent.

But he’s still not distinctive. I don’t think I’d recognize his voice on the radio.

And stop shaking your head as you sing.

Ellen: She thought it was a good song choice for him until he started screaming a bit. But she loves the tone of his voice. She thought he had a distinctive sound until he pushed.

Randy: He disagreed with “E.” He didn’t like the song. It was a little more of a pop rock song and Lee is more of a rocker. He wants to hear harder things that Lee could sink his teeth into.

Kara: The song has a small range so he tried to change it up to get to his sweet spot, but he almost made the song unrecognizable. Pick a song like “Bad Company” with soul and blues and rock and strip it down.

Simon: Disagreed with Randy and Kara. He thought it was the best performance so far. “This guy is a naturally good singer.” He fought for Lee to be there. He doesn’t recommend “Bad Company” he recommends the David Cook route to find a song and reinvent it. He thinks Lee will do well in this competition.

(I mostly agree with Simon here.)

To vote for Lee, call 1-866-IDOLS-07

***
8. John Park, 21, Evanston, Ill.

Oh yeah, I remember Shania Twain hitting on him. Hard.

He said Shania is the most beautiful woman he has seen in person. If she would marry him he would propose to her.

GO FOR IT!

“God Bless the Child”

Why this song? Seriously. Two seconds in and I’m already wondering.

I love this guy and love his voice and I think he’ll be fine, but what the heck. This is not modern, this is not going to be on the radio. It’s an even slower version of the “jazz standard.”

Simon: “You have got to have an incredible voice to take on that song. And you haven’t.” It came over as very flat and interestingly, zero, emotion. “I thought it was kind of a pointless performance, really.”

Kara: She agreed with Simon. He has a really big voice in there, but there was no connection and it got a bit lounge-y and sleepy. “Almost indulgent.” She can’t figure out where his “lane” is in the recording industry. But he can sing.

Randy: When he hit the runs and the bridge he was the John that Randy fell in love with. The song made him old.

Ellen: She’s not sure why he chose the song because it’s not the kind of thing that will get young girls to vote for him. But she liked the performance and thought he sounded great. She just wishes it was a different song. She wants people to give him another chance because “I like you a lot.”

He said he loved the song and it meant a lot to him because of his parents and their lack of money.

To vote for John, call 1-866-IDOLS-08
***

9. Michael Lynche, 26, Astoria, N.Y./ St. Petersburg, Fla.
“This Love” by Maroon 5

Standing at the mic with a guitar. He’s making it his own, anyway.

This is pretty good from a vocal and performance standpoint, but I wonder if I’ll remember it. Where are the distinctive voices?

No one is wow-ing me.

Ellen: “You have so much personality it’s just bursting out of you.” He’s constantly smiling and happy. She thought it was a great song choice. There were a few little pitch problems he’ll hear later, but it doesn’t matter.

Randy: He likes Michael, he likes his persona. But Michael hurt Randy and Ellen when he picked them up after the top 24 announcement.

Kara: It was a little depressing in there until Michael showed up. If they had some better performances that night they would be more critical, because it was good but not great.

Simon: He is the support act before the main act. He delivered so little on that performance. It was like a vague jazzy version. He’s heard that performance so many times before.

To vote for Michael, call 1-866-IDOLS-09

****

10. Alex Lambert, 19, North Richland Hills, Texas

I seriously can’t tell him apart from Aaron. Tim is close, too.

“Wonderful World” by James Morrison

He has an amazing voice, actually, but the mullet has to go, for one, and he needs to develop some stage presence.

But man I’m shocked to hear that voice coming out of him.

A little bit pitchy on that higher note, but in his range he does have a distinctive sound.

But he needs major help on presence, star power and everything else. Funny, he has the opposite problem of most of the other guys.

Simon: “I don’t know who was happier for that to end, you or me. Because that was the most uncomfortable performance of the night.” (Boos) Simon said he’s got a good voice but he was staring into the camera in an uncomfortable way. He needs to get his nerves together.

Kara: She wants to give him a hug. He sounds so much like James Morrison and that’s bad in some ways but it’s also a huge compliment. It’s all there for Alex, but its’ not coming together. He has so much potential and he’s adorable.

Randy: Do it with conviction. He has the voice and “my favorite tone of voice” but he needs to pull it together.

Ellen: “I like that you’re holding on to the mullet…” She loves bananas and sometimes they’re not quite ripe and Alex just needs to ripen.

(OK. Not sure about the banana thing, but I think we’re all in agreement. Love this kid and I’m rooting for him.)

To vote for Alex, call 1-866-IDOLS-10

***

11. Casey James, 27, Fort Worth, Texas

Not gonna lie. I think this guy is Smoke Monster hot.

Kara, you are correct.

He’s like a mix between Halle Berry’s man, Gabriel Aubry, and Jason Lewis of “Sex and the City.”

They are clearly saving the Big Guns for the end, with dreamboat Casey and Andrew Garcia, the only lock for the top 10.

“Heaven” by Bryan Adams

What was that little titter of laughter before he started singing (and playing guitar, while sitting on a stool)?

Oh, OK, Randy and Kara are dancing at the judges’ table. Not very considerate for Casey.

He’s great, though. So much better than his first audition, which was just about him taking his shirt off.

Please please please don’t make me like this guy enough to actually get invested in his future on this show. Come on, Gina, he’s not that cute. Pull yourself together.

They make Kara start the judging.

Kara: “Casey, I don’t recognize you with your shirt on.” She’s married and she loves her husband. She thought he got a bit pitchy in the chorus when she was in his arms.

Ellen: “I could feel Kara undressing you with her eyes.” She apologized that there was so much going on while he sang.

Randy: “I know we’re both models…” It was a great song choice for him. He likes Casey’s whole swagger.

Kara: “You are eye candy, but you’re also ear candy.” His looks may be what they first looked at, but he’s got heart and soul and he can sing.

Simon: “One thing I do understand is that we were both cursed with good looks. And somehow you have to manage the talent thing as well.” Kidding aside, he chose the right song. It came off as honest and sincere and likable. “Obviously the cougar here likes you.”

(Rrrrrarrrr!)

Simon: This is the best performance he’s heard from Casey since he’s been in the competition.

I like him too, but enough with the Miss Prissy blushing and gushing. You’d almost think we’d never seen a hot guy before.

To vote for Casey, call 1-866-IDOLS-11

***

12. Andrew Garcia, 24, Moreno Valley, Calif.

Stay-at-home dad.

Maybe it’s the glasses, but he’s giving me a strong Danny Gokey vibe. If Danny Gokey is the frontunner of season 9, we are moving backward.

“Sugar We’re Goin Down” by Fall Out Boy

I’m not wowed by this either. So far the only one who wowed me was Casey — and that was half looks.

Yikes.

Simon: “I was looking forward to hearing you more than anybody else tonight. But I was disappointed with that, to be honest with you.” (I agree) It was too serious, too indulgent and not original enough.” His take on Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” was a risk that worked. This was a bit forgettable. Simon thinks Andrew has a great recording voice but he didn’t use it this time.

Kara: He did take a risk with this song but the song wasn’t meant to be acoustic. The “Straight Up” song bought him a lot of time. She likes him and hopes to see him again for many, many weeks.

Randy: The song, the arrangement was really strange. But he’s a fan of Andrew. What he did in Hollywood he still remembers like it was yesterday.

Ellen: Also brought up the Paula remake and she thinks that will still carry him. It was too serious and self-indulgent, but when he turned and opened up to his wife or girlfriend it was fantastic. But she thinks he will stick around.

To vote for Andrew, call 1-866-IDOLS-12

RELATED STORY

‘American Idol’ recap: Top 12 girls disappoint (Haeley, Lacey, Ashley, Katie) and impress (Lilly, Katelyn, Siobhan)

If this is true, I'm disgusted ... and jealous. The man's last name is accurate.

By Gina Carbone
gina_carbone@comcast.net

Never mind Jack Shephard bashing the lighthouse mirrors on “Lost.” If this tabloid gossip has a germ of truth to it, Jack is gonna get himself thrown off the lighthouse and into the doghouse.

(Although I bet Matthew Fox’s wife wishes she had some of those mirrors to keep an eye on him.)

According to In Touch Weekly and the National Enquirer, Stefani Talbott, a 25- or 26-year-old stripper (depends who you ask) and single mom claims she has slept with married 43-year-old “Lost” star and father Matthew Fox twice in the past year.

The stripper said she met Foxy last July, soon after she started working at Stars Cabaret in Bend, Ore.

“I was dancing onstage, and I made eye contact with him immediately. I got so excited,” Stefani told In Touch.

This is my favorite part of the story:

“Since she was a big Party of Five fan, she recognized him right away — but she soon found out he was much different from the clean-cut characters he plays.”

She’s a big “Party of Five” fan?! She would’ve been 15 when the show ended. Kind of a slap in the face.

Stefani told In Touch that Foxy started by buying her a drink, then paid for four private dances, each worth $20.

Is that the going rate? So cheap. What was he even doing in Oregon, if this is actually true?

“He asked me, ‘Why are you working in a place like this?’ I told him that I am a single mom and needed the money,” Stefani said. “He absolutely did not mention a wife or family, and I don’t remember him wearing a wedding ring.”

Matthew Fox and his gorgeous brunette wife. Never cheat with a blonde stripper. It's too cliche. I refuse to believe it.

Foxy has been married to Margherita Ronchi for 18 years. They met when they were both undergraduates at Columbia. They have two children together.

To continue quoting the In Touch story:

“Despite the club’s strict rules about dating customers, Stefani left her 5-year-old son with a babysitter and claims she met Matthew later that night at the house he was staying in with his entourage.”

His entourage! Hah! Was this a bachelor party — if it really happened at all?

“‘We sat around and talked about his show,” she continued. “He complimented me and was saying how down-to-earth I am. He told me he was going to be in town for a couple of days. … He didn’t tell me to keep it a secret or anything. He didn’t even use protection. He didn’t seem concerned at all.”

Gross.

Foxy’s rep denied it all: “These accusations are false.”

But stripper Stefani told the National Enquirer (take THAT for what it’s worth) that she has saved the incriminating voicemails and texts.

Why would this chick save all sorts of incriminating info … and why is she coming out with this now? Is she scorned? She must be really really desperate for money.

Matthew’s partying is out of control. He’s boozing and carrying on with women. His carousing is at an all-time high,” a source told the Enquirer.

The “Lost” cast is a mess in general…. Except for my personal hero, Terry O’Quinn (Locke). He’s an angel straight from the sky.

Michelle Rodriguez (Ana-Lucia) and Cynthia Watros (Libby) were arrested for DUI in December 2005.

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Mr. Eko) was arrested and accused of disobeying a police officer and driving without a license in September 2006 although those charges were later dropped.

Daniel Dae Kim (Jin) was arrested in October 2007 on suspicion of drunken driving.

Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond and his sexy-as-hell Scottish accent) was accused in April of 2009 of harassment and sexual battery by a former ABC Entertainment employee who claimed he groped her and made inappropriate sounds and gestures around her in October 2007 on the “Lost” set.

Just last week Dominic Monaghan (Charlie) was thrown out of a Los Angeles club for allegedly making “inappropriate gestures” toward female partygoers.

And those are just the people I could find after two seconds of Googling.

The silver lining on this alleged Matthew Fox sex scandal: It would prove he can actually act.

Going from hero Jack to Jack Daniels Stripper King With An Entourage shows A LOT more range than anything he’s doled out on “Lost,” “Party of Five” or “Vantage Point.” (I refuse to see “Speed Racer,” but throw that one in there, too.)

I wonder how his parents feel about her. Well ... good for him for following his heart, I guess. I'm tired of hating on her. Can we hate on Ali for a minute? She's coming off as fake to me. OK, done. Let's be nice now.

By Gina Carbone
gina_carbone@comcast.net

Reality Steve, aka Steve Carbone (no relation that I know of), just announced some big news on his blog.

By now, all RS spoiler fans know that Jake Pavelka will choose Vienna Girardi over Tenley Molzahn during the season finale of “The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love,” which will air from 8 to 10 p.m. this coming Monday, March 1.

The “After the Final Rose” special was taped this past Sunday in L.A. and will air right after the finale, from 10 to 11 p.m.

Jake has said in interviews, and this past Monday on “The Women Tell All,” that he is “happy” with his decision.

But he has never said if he’s engaged, or if he proposed to the final lady at all versus deciding to take it slow, or maybe they were engaged until all the tabloid stuff about Vienna came out. It was all purposely left vague.

Well…

According to Reality Steve, “Not only are Jake and Vienna together and happy, but they are engaged. … At the ATFR show, that is what happened. Jake says he’s happy and he and Vienna are engaged.”

To quote more of Steve’s Feb. 24 post:

“Let the boos’ and hissing begin now…ha ha. Now what does this all mean? Not much really. I’m sure none of you will buy it, you all will expect them to be broken up by next week, and a lot of you will call it fake. Hey, don’t shoot the messenger. I’m just here to report the facts. At the ATFR show, that is what happened. Jake says he’s happy and he and Vienna are engaged. I do not know the rationale behind it, I do not know what they said to each other, how Tenley reacted, what Jake said to each woman, etc. So please save the emails asking what else happened at the taping. I do not know, but if I did, I would tell you. All I know is the outcome, and that is that Jake and Vienna are happy and engaged.”

Getting engaged doesn’t really mean much. I’m telling you. Shayne Lamas all over again.

Reality Steve is interviewed in this week’s In Touch magazine.

Don’t forget: Also on Monday night, we will learn the answer to the question Who is the new “Bachelorette”? (Ali Fedotowsky) and meet the cast of “Dancing with the Stars” 10.

Catch up on an arse-load of “Bachelor”/”Bachelorette” stories here. Yes, you have time.

"American Idol" top 12 girls: (Seated, L-R) Katelyn Epperly, Lilly Scott, Ashley Rodriguez, Lacey Brown, Janell Wheeler and Haeley Vaughn. (Standing, L-R) Didi Benami, Michelle Delamor, Katie Stevens, Crystal Bowersox, Paige Miles and Soibhan Magnus.

By Gina Carbone
gina_carbone@comcast.net

It’s always interesting to see what fun new comically self-serious ways Ryan Seacrest will announce “This … Is American Idol!”

This time it was the classic sports team lineup with the top 24 glaring at each other as Ryan walked down a dark path between them.

I’d give it a 5 out of 10.

Which is basically what I’m giving the top 12 ladies after their debut.

“American Idol” season nine launched its live action on Tuesday with the top 12 girls performing top 10 hits from the Hot 100 chart.

The result was a classic mixed bag — some total rubbish, some mediocre stuff that could get better with experience, and some surprisingly good performances.

(I’m talking about you on that last part, Lilly Scott and Katelyn Epperly. Nice.)

But mostly it was rubbish.

I didn’t expect much — having followed the development of this top 24 with rising horror — and sure enough, watching the “Give me back that Filet-o-Fish” McDonald’s commercial 100 times would be better than even 10 seconds from some of these “Idol” finalists.

(I’m sorry, but I’m including you, sweet, pretty 16-year-old Haeley Vaughn. Ellen DeGeneres, you’re barmy. Even Paula Abdul would recognize that was not a good version of “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” And don‘t get me started on Lacey Brown.)

I find it very hard to believe this was the best America had to offer, especially in an Internet age where everyone’s cousin is in a band with the girl down the street killing it as lead singer.

Wednesday night the top 12 boys will perform and then on Thursday we lose two boys and two girls.

Eventually we’ll get down to six boys and six girls for the top 12.

But first we have to listen to the judges — and I have to say they gave some decent constructive criticism. Maybe the bar is just low because the songs were so uninspired.

They seemed to make an effort this time to build on each other’s statements, even if they agreed with each other and were just trying to find new ways to say the same things.

Isn’t that what singing top 100 songs is about — finding a new way to do what’s already been done?

But, as usual, Simon Cowell said what most of us were thinking, Kara DioGuardi was the technical one (and, technically, she didn’t need to whisper “bitch” even as a joke), and Ellen tried to be “the nice one,” although she forgot to ramble on about how the girls were beautiful enough to be models. (Paula, I know you never would’ve forgotten.)

Randy Jackson was just cool. As always.

Point of order: I’m tired of hearing how this season will go to the ladies. Not if the teenybopper voters have anything to say about it.

They make these calls (don’t they?) not the judges, and they chose David Cook and Kris Allen. They may pick another cutie this year.

And I can’t say that I would blame them.

Even Simon told the New York Post he regretted some of his choices this season. (Maddy Curtis, anyone? Or Matt Lawrence?)

At the judges table, Ellen sat on one end of the panel, with Simon at the other.

Ellen joked that it was because “We had a little problem … The problem is, Simon wants me… He’s got, like, a little thing for me.”

At least someone has a thing for someone on this show.

Eh.

I’d take 10 “I’m on a horse” commercials over even the best of these singers.

Where’s my real “American Idol”?

***

PREDICTION

I think on Thursday we’ll be saying goodbye to Lacey Brown and possibly Ashley Rodriguez or even my wispy friend Didi Benami.

***

1. Paige Miles, 24, Cypress, Texas (or Naples, Fla.)

“It’s All Right Now” by Free

She didn’t sound strong or loud at first. I hate the set with the weird fire and brimstone in the background. It’s like an evil screensaver.

She hit the big notes but the rest of the song wasn’t that good.

Simon Cowell: “I think out of all the girls you have the best voice.” But he wouldn’t have picked that song. It was a “wedding singer” type song. He thinks she’ll be fine, but the song was wrong.

Kara DioGuardi: Disagreed with Simon. She thought the song was brilliant and Paige rocked it. She slayed the verses and just needed help with the chorus.

Randy Jackson: Agreed and disagreed with both. It was not the right song but she showed she has this powerful, big voice.

Ellen DeGeneres: She said Paige must’ve been nervous to come out first but she was “so there” and “so present.” She liked the song. She was worried in rehearsals but Paige pulled it out.

To vote for Paige, call 1-866-IDOLS-01 (43657-01)

***

2.  Ashley Rodriguez, 22, Chelsea, Mass.

“Happy” by Leona Lewis

Almost too breathy at first. They need to get used to making their voices translate above the background music. Too soft.

I do love this song, but it just highlights how much better Leona Lewis is.

But Ashley added some kind of Alicia Keys attitude to it.

Seemed short.

I’m not thrilled. And she was my favorite. Ugh.

Kara: Big song to take on. Contemporary diva. There were some nice moments, but there were definitely moments that weren’t great. She thinks Ashley will go forward but she hopes they show something different.

Randy: Agreed. You’re always going to be compared to those big singers so it didn’t do well for her. He didn’t hear Ashley.

Ellen: Agreed. She loves Leona and loves the song but it was predictable for her. She wants a risky choice they would be shocked by.

Simon: “I thought it was clumsy, your version. I didn’t like the arrangement. … I think you’re going backwards.” He didn’t feel her as a contemporary recording artist. He sees her as someone who sings other people’s songs and not particularly well.

Dang. that was harsh, but she took it like a pro. Who needs four bad reviews? Three would’ve been more than enough.

Paula Abdul, where’s the soft side?

To vote for Ashley, call 1-866-IDOLS-02 (43657-02)

***

3. Janell Wheeler, 24, Orlando, Florida

“What About Love” by Heart

She is very pretty and commercial and I do like the sound of her voice. It’s reaching over the music, anyway.

It’s not distinctive, though. She and her voice are sort of generically nice.

To vote for Janell call 1-866-IDOLS-03

Randy: It wasn’t his favorite song choice for her. And he likes her different, interesting voice but she didn’t bring anything unique to this. “But I still got vibes for you.”

Ellen: Did like the song choice. She liked the song and felt she sang it well. She thought Janell moved easily on stage, although there were a couple of off notes.

Simon: She gave it 100 percent effort and probably delivered 65 percent. (Boos from audience) She started to go off-key in the song. But there were moments in the song when he did like the choice. It’s song choice and doing something original. But he thinks she’ll survive this week.

Kara: “I like you, but I have to agree that song was too big for you.” With a song that big it takes everything that’s distinct about you and it goes away.

That’s actually pretty good advice.

***

Ryan asked Randy what song someone should pick.

Randy said his rule is pick something interesting you can bring something different to and not something where you will be compared to the original.

***

4. Lilly Scott, 20, Littleton, Colo.

“Fixing a Hole” by the Beatles

She broke out the guitar for this one. I’m tired of the guitar songs, but she was probably the most original and interesting one. She’ll never make it. Too edgy with that hair and sound. What is she even doing here? Then again, Chris Daughtry and Allison Iraheta didn’t look that typical and they made it pretty far.

Ellen: I think that’s what we’re talking about. … It’s such a random song choice and you did such a great job with it.” She has such a distinctive voice and present. “I loved that. I loved it.”

Simon: Definitely the best so far. He felt she sang that song because she liked the song and it portrayed her as an artist. But he’s still not feeling much star power from her.

Kara: “You’re believable. You come from your heart.” The best thing you can do as an artist is stand on a street and busk for money. She could felt Lilly was comfortable on stage and everyone will remember her tonight.

Randy: He loves that she’s more of the indie artists. She’s not affected. He loved the honesty.

To vote for Lilly call 1-866-IDOLS-04

***

5. Katelyn Epperly, 19, West Des Moines, Iowa

“Oh! Darling” by the Beatles. Again.

I loved her little black dress. And her hair. Her whole look is cool and her voice is good, but the song didn’t do much for me.

Still, given a different song she could kill it.

I would vote to keep her around for another week. I don’t mind her.

Simon: Even though it was messy and there were elements where she screamed the song, he likes her. He thought it was a good choice of song. “You’re going to need an awful lot of work, but I like you an awful lot.”

Kara: “You know your voice very well.” When she was switching up her voice and her register, she could tell Katelyn had been singing a long time. Kara didn’t like her makeover. She liked her more natural.

Randy: He liked the makeover. He felt like everyone was concerned with doing runs but she pays attention to the tone and the melody. He liked her whole vibe. “I think you could go places and do stuff.” (!)

Ellen: She couldn’t tell at first if she was pushing too hard and working too hard, but it was interesting and it made her want to pay attention to her. “I felt like it was pushed… but you have an amazing voice.”

To vote for Katelyn call 1-866-IDOLS-05

(We got a “bitch” word bubble moment from Kara! On live TV before 9 p.m. Take that, Heartland!)

***

6. Haeley Vaughn, 16, Fort Collins, Colo.

She got her nose pierced the day she made it to Hollywood. She sounds very high school.

“I Want to Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles. Again.

She brought out the guitar, too.

This is painful. Talk about the wrong song choice.

She seems cool and I like her white outfit with the red guitar, but this isn’t right.

Nice range to her voice, but this is the wrong way to show it.

Kara: From a technical standpoint she was all over the place, but when she gets on stage everyone around her has fun. She is pure and she makes up for what she can’t do with her vocals. But she has to work on technical abilities.

(Nice way to put it.)

Randy: What he loves about her is that unpredictability. But the top of her vocals when she hits her high notes is not so pleasing. Maybe drop it down a note or key…

Ellen: She is 16 and has so much presence on stage. “You just shine.” As someone who just likes music, she enjoyed it.

Simon: He thought it was verging on terrible. She’s like a windup doll that never stopped smiling throughout the song. “It was just for me a complete and utter mess.”

To vote for Haeley call 1-866-IDOLS-06

***

7. Lacey Brown, 24, Amarillo, Texas

“Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac

From the first note I’m disappointed.

She sat on stool and sang right into the microphone as some weird golden screensaver image took over the background.

Not good. Not quite terrible, but it was only tolerable when her voice was blending with the backup singer.

Randy: He didn’t think it was the right song for her. He though it was terrible, pitchy and all over the place.

Ellen: “I think you’re better than that.” There were some moments she got lost. She felt herself pulling for Lacey to come back on, but she

Simon: He thought it was quite depressing. After a few seconds he was working out how much longer they had to listen to it. He thought it was indulgent. He got the impression she’s trying to figure out who she is. “It was just boring, sorry.”

Kara: She usually hits her notes, the falsettos, so easily, but this time it was forced. “Kiss Me” from Sixpence None the Richer would’ve been more in her range, for example. She hopes America gives her another shot.

Simon: You’ve got nice eyes.  (Yes, a Paula type comment! When you can’t think of anything nice to say, call them pretty!)

To vote for Lacey call 1-866-IDOLS-07 — You’d better vote ‘cause I think she’s leaving

***

8. Michelle Delamor, 22, Miami, Fla.

She works at a clothing store and was a “corporate singer,” whatever that means.

She is truly beautiful — she would deserve Paula’s model comment. She seems older than the other contestants. More mature and “together.”

“Fallin” by Alicia Keys

She has the look for this, for sure. But on this song I could hear the backup singers almost as much as her.

I want to hear something distinctive from her. Something like what Lilly did, because right now she just has a generically good voice.

Ellen: “Now that was fantastic.” Her only criticism is she thought it was safe, because it was so easy for her. She knows Michelle has more in her.

Simon: he thought she did very well. She’s a professional singer. There wasn’t one moment in the performance where he thought “wow.” He felt like he sounded like a broken record but they have to do something original. He thought she looked great.

Kara: “You’re very commercial looking.” When she hits it right she sounds great, but it wasn’t always great. She’s going for that diva spot, so she has to be on all the time. Kara wants her to be more unique. Believability is big with her.

Randy: “Show me something no one’s shown me yet.”

To vote for Michelle, call 1-866-IDOLS-08

***

9. Didi Benami, 23, Hollywood, Calif.

“The Way I Am” by Ingrid Michaelson

She has that quirky Brooke White thing going on.

I think this was probably the best choice of song for her. She doesn’t have a strong voice but she has a distinct voice and it fits this song.

I like her.

Simon: “I think you are a good singer, but here is my problem tonight. There’s too many people trying to sound like the same person.” If he shuts his eyes he could confuse her with a bunch of singers. “What I’m missing is a spark here. Something which excites me.”

Kara: She thought the song was good but while her voice has some derivative things, she at least made some changes to the original recording. ‘

Simon: No one’s going to remember that.

(I will! I liked it.)

Randy: “Where’s the star factor? “There’s no outward oomph.” It was a bit sleepy.

Ellen: For the first song to reach out to millions of people it was a little low-key.

Ryan said Simon looked frustrated.

Simon said it’s like your first kiss. You have to do something to make an impression, be unique and say you’re a star.

Ryan said he didn’t think of any of those things during his first kiss.

Simon: It probably went both ways.

To vote for Didi, call 1-866-IDOLS-09

***

10. Siobhan Magnus, 19, Barnstable, Mass.

Two Massachusetts girls this season! That’s great.

I’ve always loved the name Siobhan (pronounced Shi-VON)

“Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak

Started bad, picked up a bit. She hit the high notes well. The chorus was good, the rest of it was barely hanging onto OK.

I don’t mind her though. I’d put her on the list of people I can stand.

Kara: Wouldn’t have picked the song, but she kind of liked her on that song. She’s a quirky girl. It got a little nasal at times, but Siobhan is in the moment when she’s singing and it feels real. She feels a connection and that sets her apart from everyone else tonight.

Randy: He liked when she opened up in the second verse, but he wants her to reach for bigger things instead of smaller things. (He mentioned the Stevie Wonder song during Hollywood Week where she showed she can really “blow.”)

Ellen: For a minute she forgot she was in a singing competition and just let herself be entertained. “I really liked it a lot.”

Simon: “You really are a funny little thing, aren’t you.” He liked the song, he didn’t love the song. He didn’t think it was anywhere near as good as the Stevie Wonder song during Hollywood Week that set her apart.

Siobhan wanted to show that in addition to hitting really high notes she also has a softer side.

To vote for Siobhan, call 1-866-IDOLS-10

***

11. Crystal Bowersox, 24, Elliston, Ohio

“Hand in My Pocket” by Alanis Morrissette

Guitar and harmonica.

I like her and her voice, but I’m just telling you now, I won’t buy anything on iTunes or on CD with this guitar-and-harmonica folksy vibe. I need to hear something modern and exciting. Like Simon said of someone else, I didn’t have a wow moment.

But she’s fine. She’ll go through to the next round easy.

Randy: “You’re one of my favorites tonight for a bunch of reasons.” He loves her coming out with her honesty and her vibe. He wasn’t sure it was the right song for her but he wasn’t sure it mattered. It was about her. He’s a fan.

Ellen: She’s also a fan. “You add something fresh to the show. And if I’m at home watching I’m voting because I want to see more of you.”

Simon: It was good, we like you, love your little baby, like your story. The truth is there are thousands of you doing this outside subway stations.

(He’s so right!!!)

Simon: “You’ve got to do something that is you.”

Crystal said they are not allowed to do original songs.

Simon said they need to make songs their own and that’s how people have done well on the show in the past. Something like a David Bowie song, which Crystal said would be cool.

Kara: Crystal was good tonight, but she has greatness in her. She has the ability to take them on a journey when she’s singing. To go with what Simon said, she needs to break out of the coffeehouse performer style.

To vote for Crystal, call 1-866-IDOLS-11

***

12. Katie Stevens, 17, Middlebury, Conn.

Ooooh. Little Katie gets the final spot. The Adam Lambert Treatment. Are they grooming you?

“Feeling Good” by Michael Buble (although not really by him)

Hasn’t someone else already tried this song this season? Didn’t I hear it in previews? A better version, too.

Although as she got going her voice got stronger. Still, I like the preview guy better. This is not wow-ing me.

Ellen: It was good, but Katie’s 17 and Ellen felt it was very conservative. It’s a serious song. She wants to see Katie be 17 and play and be current and fresh and modern. It was a little old for her.

Simon: He agreed with Ellen. “It was like your mum and dad had dressed you and given you the song for this audition. So it started to become annoying.” He’s heard this kind of performance so many times. She needs to become a young recording artist, not someone who is going to sing at her mother’s birthday party. “Very pageanty.”

Kara: If Katie had killed the song he wouldn’t be saying that. She thought Katie couldn’t hear herself. She was pitchy and all over the place. Katie has ridiculous chops and she hopes America gives her another chance.

Randy: She was pushing so hard that all the notes were going sharp, a little higher above the note. But she reminds him of Jordin Sparks. Young it up, be 17.

To vote for Katie, call 1-866-IDOLS-12

RELATED STORY

‘American Idol’ recap: Top 12 guys ‘murder’ songs? Or are they better than the girls?

A shrine to their dearly departed dignity.

By Gina Carbone
gina_carbone@comcast.net

Does anyone want to place a purely theoretical bet with me on who will be named “The Bachelorette” on March 1?

I’m willing to bet $1,000 completely theoretical dollars that it’s Ali Fedotowsky.

But it could very well be Gia Allemand or even Tenley Molzahn.

Or, what if we’re all wrong and it’s Vienna Girardi. Ha! Ha ha ha. Ha ha ha. (Wipe tears.) Ha!

Long odds there. You could make a theoretical mint.

Or, you could go for even longer odds and guess Rozlyn Papa. She gets my vote. Girl can put on a show — with or without a sex tape.

Anyway, ABC issued a press release today with details on the season finale and “After the Final Rose” special.

Don’t forget, we’re already going to hear about the new “Dancing with the Stars” cast that night.

Enjoy!
******

SEASON FINALE

IT’S ONE OF THE MOST ROMANTIC AND DRAMATIC NIGHTS EVER ON ABC,

ON THE SEASON FINALE OF “THE BACHELOR: ON THE WINGS OF LOVE,”

MONDAY, MARCH 1

And Immediately Following the Season Finale, Both Tenley and Vienna Join Jake

to Look Back at the Dramatic Ending to His Journey to Find Love,

on “The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love: After the Final Rose”

America Will Get a Sneak Peek at Next Season’s Bachelorette

“Episode 1408” – In this emotional special conclusion, Jake prepares to make one of the most difficult choices of this life. His search for love is now narrowed down to two very different women — Tenley and Vienna — and he is falling in love with both of them. Now, after having his family meet them on the exotic island of St. Lucia, he must make one final heart-wrenching decision that could change his life forever, on the season finale of “The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love,” MONDAY, MARCH 1 (8:00-10:05 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

With Jake’s search for his soul mate over, he talks to Chris Harrison about both Tenley and Vienna, taking us back to that final day in St. Lucia. And both women are back with Jake to discuss the dramatic outcome of this rollercoaster season. Then America will be introduced to the next “Bachelorette” who will have a chance to find her Prince Charming, on the one-hour special, “The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love: After the Final Rose,” MONDAY, MARCH 1 (10:05-11:00 p.m., ET).

Jake’s family arrives in St. Lucia to meet the final two women and offer their advice. Jake is very clear on one thing: He cannot choose a woman who does not get along with this family. Tenley makes a winning impression over brunch, but she feels compelled to be honest with Jake’s mom about her past and the fact that she’s divorced. The next day, Vienna immediately admits that she didn’t get along with the other women in the house. Jake’s mom is quick to notice some warning signs about Vienna and shares them with her son. Vienna’s brutal honesty and confrontational style don’t go over well, and the family wonders if she would ever fit in with them.

The women both have one last romantic date with Jake. He takes Vienna to a steamy mud bath in St. Lucia’s volcanic sulphur springs. There’s no question that he has plenty of passion for her, but will that chemistry translate into a lifelong commitment? Now Vienna worries that she might well lose Jake.

The next day Tenley and Jake cast off in a sleek private yacht for a wonderful day of snorkeling among the dolphins in the coral reefs of St. Lucia. This time he’s worried that, although he has an incredible emotional connection with Tenley, their chemistry may be lagging behind. When he shares his concerns with her, she is hurt and anxious that she might lose Jake to Vienna.

Jake has pulled no punches in his search for true love this season, but how could that search end with two women as different as Tenley and Vienna? Both women have captured his heart and both would love to share their lives with him. How and whom will he choose? Will he prove that, this time at least, nice guys don’t finish last in love?

The remaining two women are:

Tenley, 25, a college admissions representative from Newberg, OR

Vienna, 23, a marketing representative from Sanford, FL

Hosted by Chris Harrison, “The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love” and “The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love: After the Final Rose” are productions of Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Television. Mike Fleiss and Martin Hilton are the executive producers.

Twitter Updates

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 30 other followers