Thursday, April 24, 2008

All TV, all the time - AI / ANTM / water coolering

Yup, everything at once. Why not?

Starting with the Idol - I am sad about Carly getting dropped. Not entirely deserved, but again, a lot of good singers are going to go home this year. I rather wish it had been the Crown Prince, since he was very snoozy. One of the commenters at Snark Raving said that Carly maybe annoyed some of the Christians by singing "Jesus Christ Superstar." I can't say one way or the other - I know some people (such as the Spider) who were on board with what ALW and Tim Rice were trying for.

For me, the song just wasn't the same when it wasn't sung by a black dude wearing the seventies-iest fringed, sequined, white suit. What I'm surprised by is that Carly couldn't really comfortably sing the high notes. The song was written for a male tenor, I don't see why she wasn't able to hit those notes - or why she wouldn't have shifted it to a key where she could. (Doncha get me wrong, now; I only wanna know.)

Pity, though - she finally loosened up, and as she said on the results show, "I'm going to have fun from now on." And then "now on" lasted twelve minutes.

She wasn't the only one. During the recap snippet that I saw, David Cook took the choruses of "Music of the Night" up the scale, rather than down. Now, I'm not saying that any schlub can hit the bottom notes of that song, but it just sounded odd. I wish I'd seen the whole thing, maybe I'm wrong on this.

PS - I also liked Jason's "midnight train to Georgia" move when Randy called his performance a train wreck. And gosh, is ALW the biggest geek or what? I loved the guy. He's just a big musical theater nerd who happens to have written songs for Michael Feinstein and Sarah Brightman and made eleventy billion pounds sterling.

PPS - Hancock just looks like it rocks hard. He is legend, with superpowers. I can't tell if they're going for a gritty urban retelling of Superman or if this is adapted from an indy comic, but it looks really sweet. And I have to go see Iron Man. And Prince Caspian. And I'm not really a movie goer at all.

Moving to the fierceness - they are in Italia, bellas, and it makes me sad because the Death Cab for Cuties is now parked in some garage in North Jersey. Their new digs are sweet. They get some Tyra Mail from the new driver they have, and of course - it's Tyra's face on the Mona Lisa. She is beautifully cracked. They're going to be rolling or something, and Anya cries out, "We're going to be on gondolas!" or some such. Everyone mocks her a bit, but I see what she was going for: they were rolling, rolling, rolling on the river. Anya's got some Ike and Tina soul going for her, ya dig? But sadly, she's incorrect. Some guy tours them around Rome in segways, which looked pretty darned funny - all these ancient buildings and absolutely awesome scenery, and this dude and six models tooling by on upright scooters.

They got to meet a big mucky-muck Italian designer, and instantly the Ladybug turned to me and said, innocently, "Hm. I wonder if Whitney is going to have to overcome something since she's a plus-sized model." Heheheheheh. She says it every three minutes. Sure enough - "Will any of this stuff fit me, the samples are all size 2..." But she found something, of course. Anya, however, won the challenge. Gondola THIS, girls! This is where Whitney really shone through - being a plus-size model, she finds it hard to be remotely pleasant. "She won $10,000 last challenge, gripe gripe gripe." No - she EARNED $10,000 by doing a print ad for 7-up that is currently running in magazines everywhere. (Ladybug actually saw the finished product a couple of days ago.) Man up, chickie.

The challenge is to do a commercial for Cover Girl - in Italian. Hoo boy, this is gonna be Il buono, il cattivo, il brutto - only without the buono. Capice? I mean, Anya is hard to understand in English, much less Italian. (NB - Nigel Barker stole that line during the judging. Poopie.)

Yup, it was horrid. Pretty much all of them. Dominique looked like a zombie mannequin. Anya was cute and flirty, but her Italian had the entire set cracking up. I had to pause because the director's reaction made me laugh so hard I missed the next girl. Fatima was eh, Katarzyna was best of the lot. Whitney, as a plus-sized model, found it hard to act well, or at all. She definetely lacks that touch of Tuesday Weld; so plasticky. And poor Lauren - oy.

This is where I have to rant a little bit. Mr. Jay is the consultant on all the shoots. He's good at what he does, I suppose, but would a little feedback and coaching really be so hard? He's too much of a diva. These aren't models, yet - they're contestants, they're not professionals - it's not a matter of being too hard on them, but he's just cutting and bitchy. I mean, there's a difference between someone like Simon being no-nonsense but essentially fair vs. trying to destroy the contestant.

In Lauren's case, I would have tried a few things. First - be natural, don't defeat yourself. Second - don't worry about your accent. Third - don't talk at the camera; talk through the camera, as if you were talking to a friend on the phone.

Then, I would have tried a couple of other things as the takes began to mount badly. Take a minute, get composed. Then, do a run-through in English, to get the rhythm of the thing. I mean, if you're doing eight takes anyway, why not one to give her a bit of confidence in her ability? The whole idea is to get something useable, right? Then, for real in Italian.

Wow, that's a lot of things, isn't it?

Too late. Lauren and Whitney were the bottom two. It's Lauren going home, of course. She was simply too disastrous. As a plus-sized model, Whitney found that it was a challenge to pretend that she was worried about losing.

(I'm going to work that phrase into my everyday life as often as possible: "As a plus-sized model, I find it difficult to type that memo." "As a plus-sized model, it's harder for me to stop for red lights." WE GET IT, you're a normal human woman with curves. Maybe she can abbreviate it for all the interview bits: AAPSM? AA+M? She should just make a little plus sign with her fingers every time she talks on camera.)

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