Tuesday, February 22, 2005
AMERICAN IDOL THOUGHTS
OK, I had myself a nice three-day weekend. I headed out of town and really tried to stay away from the computer for as long as possible! Of course, I had to try to do my taxes in there too, but I guess that has to be done!
Today also starts my American Idol Thoughts. Those of you who have been reading this site for over a year know that I enjoy American Idol. I believe that it should be required viewing for schools, at least through middle school. I think it shows that music and singing can be considered cool! Anyway, what I will do is write a few brief thoughts about how I thought each singer performed and then quickly rank how I think they did, therefore showing the two that I think should be eliminated. I hope you enjoy this feature as I will be doing this each time there are performances. Last night, the 12 boys/men sang and America will vote out two of them on Wednesday. Tonight, 12 girls/women will sing and two of them will also be eliminated based on America's vote, on Wednesday.
Anyway, I did work on a couple of projects over the weekend that will help me with future projects. However, for today, I am just going to provide you with a number of links and other thoughts that have been running through my head. OK, I am not going to bore you with all of the messed-up thoughts running through my head. I will confine it to, well, anything else.
But if, by chance, you have missed any of the divisional fantasy perspectives, check them out here. Tomorrow, I will be posting the National League East hitters.
Part 1 - American League Central Hitters
Part 2 - American League East Hitters
Part 3 - American League West Hitters
Part 4 - National League Central Hitters
Part 5 - National League East Hitters
Again, if you have any questions or comments on anything, please e-mail me.
Here are just a few other sites that I noticed over the past few days:
Lets start with some Twins articles in the local media. Trib article on Joe Nathan by Lavelle E. Neal. Another Neal article discusses how excited Joe Mauer is to play again. Neal also discusses the few openings in the Twins pitching staff. The Pioneer Press's Jason Williams had a Q&A with Ron Gardenhire. Twins players expect to be asked about steroids.
Khalid El-Amin is playing in Turkey this year and still wants to play in the NBA. The former Minneapolis North star who went on to win a National title at U Conn wants another shot after a half-season with the Bulls a couple of years ago.
According to Aaron Gleeman's site on Friday, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue is out. OK, I did know that before reading it on his site. However, he pointed out that Mallory Snyder is one of the models featured. She was one of the housemates on The Real World: Paris. I wonder what ever happened with her and "Ace." Aaron mentioned that other Real World people have made their marks elsewhere (besides Trishelle). He didn't mention Kyle Brandt who was a member of The Real World: Chicago. He plays Phillip Kiriakis on Days of our Lives.
Looks like SethSpeaks favorite NBA player will soon be traded. Rumor has it that Devean George, Vlade Divac and Caron Butler will go to the Utah Jazz in exchange for power forward Carlos Boozer. The trade really seems to be good for both teams.
MLB.com ranks the Top 10 Twins in terms of fantasy baseball value. As would be expected, Johan Santana is the highest ranked, but who are the next nine?
The Savant also continues his team previews by looking at the Kansas City Royals.
My sister and I hit another Sunday afternoon matinee this past weekend. We decided to go to Hitch, the comedy/romantic comedy starring Will Smith. I have to admit that I thought the movie was incredible. Not only was it funny, but for some reason (and not to sound over-corndoggish, but...) it was like the movie was speaking to me. I won't get into a review of it, but it is one of the better movies, particularly better comedies that I have seen in a long time! Kevin James was also great in his role as the shy, uncertain Albert.
Oh, and Eva Mendes is a given if I ever develop my Top 10 Hottest Actresses list. I know I talked about her a lot when I wrote about her small role in Stuck on You. But yeah, she was great as the object of Hitch's affection.
Seriously though, Will Smith is my hero! What an incredible life he has had. Really, I don't think that you could script a career as well. He started out by being highly educated and had the option of going to MIT for college. Turned that down and became a famous rapper by deciding to keep rap fun and refusing to get into the name-calling, excessive swearing that we see and have seen in much rap. By keeping his lyrics light, he was able to gain access to a wider variety of demographic (as well as winning a couple of Grammys). That helped The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air become widely popular. From there, he continued his rapping, but he also began doing bigger and bigger movies. He has shown great range in his movies from comedian, to action, to drama and everything.
Hey, the Twins officially started training camp yesterday when the pitchers and catchers reported to Ft. Myers. The Twins are the last team to get their players to camp, but most of the players live in Ft. Myers year round or show up early anyway ready to play.
Have I mentioned how excited I am about the 2005 Twins yet???
It was All-Star weekend in the NBA this weekend. The sophomores, a team that included Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwayne Wade beat the Rookie team. Steve Nash won the Skills competition (to no one's surprise). Quentin Richardson got engaged to Brandy this year, and he won the 3-point shoot out! My man, Josh Smith won the dunk contest with three consecutive 50s! That shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who watches SportsCenter and seen Smith in highlights frequently. Amare Stoudemire put on a show with the help of Steve Nash who "threw" him one alley-oops pass off of his head, after Stoudemire threw it hard off the backboard. Nash also flipped a soccer-style back pass for another alley-oop. And Allen Iverson won the MVP as the East beat the West in the All-Star game itself.
I am an incredibly slow reader, but I am currently reading a book called The Overnights. It was recently written by Jeffrey Victor Dorle. Mr. Dorle was born and raised in St. Paul, MN, but moved to Arizona. This is his very first published book. Like I said, I am a slow reader. With the work on the website, trying to have a personal life, and work, I am trying to read for about 45 minutes or an hour each night. But this is a VERY interesting, suspenseful book that although I'm just half-way through it, has me wondering which direction it is going to go next. Check out this site, and be sure to buy the book here if you enjoy a good, suspenseful mystery!
MSN announces their Top 10 Road Trips. I have been to just three of them, so I have a lot of catching up to do. I have been to the Mall of America, Disney World and the French Quarter.
The Timberwolves appear in two of the 10 Stories to follow in the NBA's second half. First involves their coaching vacancy after the season and where Flip Saunders will end up. The second simply involves how the team expected to contend will respond after a first half that barely had them at .500.
AMERICAN IDOL THOUGHTS
It is now Season 4 of American Idol. So far, winners Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard and Fantassia Barrino have all been very successful. But so have Clay Aiken, Josh Gracin, Diana Degarmo and other contestants. Like Independent sports leagues, I love the concept of this show; giving people who wouldn't otherwise a chance to make it big.
There are a number of changes this year in the format of the show. Many were seen in previous weeks. The main one this year is that there will be six mean and six women in the final competition. Right now, there are 12 men and 12 women still in the competition. Last night, the 12 men each sang one song. America was asked to vote for their favorite. Tonight, 12 women will each sing one song. America will again vote for their favorite. On Wednesday, the two men and the two women who receive the fewest votes will be eliminated from the show. This will happen the next two weeks again to get down to the final 12.
Anyway, as I have in the past, I will critique each of the contestants. What I do is watch the show with a little notepad and jot down a couple of thoughts as I hear them sing. I will post those brief thoughts, and then I will conclude by ranking the performances. Obviously this is strictly one person's opinion, mine, and not everyone needs to agree with me. You will find that in some cases, I completely agree with the judges. You will also note that there are a few occasions when I completely disagree with them. So, let's get to it, but if you have any questions or comments, please be sure to e-mail me.
Nikko Smith - Part-Time Lover
Very strong voice. He sang high and low very well. To me, he sounded as good as Stevie Wonder did when he originally recorded it.
Scott Savol - You Are My Lady
Absolutely incredible vocally, as good as the original. He just looks and dresses really bad.
Anthony Federov - Hold on to the Night
He does have a strong voice in some ranges. But there are a number of weak spots, where he misses notes. He was a great story though (being told as a child that he may never even talk)
Bo Bice - Drift Away
He was far better when he was able to rock out on the chorus. It just didn't work for me when he was signing the verses.
Travis Tucker - My Shari Amor
Slow start, but once he started moving around, his voice got better, more in tune and stronger. Should have ended it before the "la-la-la's" though.
Constantine Maroulis - Kiss from the Rose
Horrible start on the verse, missed higher notes by far. But even his rocking was not good! Strange rendition of a great Seal song.
David Brown - Never Can Say Good Bye
He started out awful, just way out of tune, too low. Horrible song choice. From previous shows, he may have the most talent, but it didn't show last night!
Jared Yates - How Could I?
Excellent whiny voice, needed to clear his throat a little at times, but overall very good.
Anwar Robinson - Moon River
Looked confused, but really strong when he sang louder, just struggled with the low notes.
Judd Harris - Travelin' Band
At least he was fun and different. Certainly had a lot of charisma. He just looked like he was having fun. And, aside from all that, I thought he sang very well too.
Joseph Murena - How Am I Supposed to Live Without You?
The Kevin Millar/Barry Zito combo looking guy had an excellent voice. Hit both slow and fast notes. And at the end, he even said "thank you"!
Mario Vazquez - What Do I Do?
Excellent falsetto and energetic.
I will rank the performers from #1 (best) to #12 (worst). In doing that, I would be saying that my choices for who should be eliminated would be numbers 11 and 12.
1.) Nikko Smith - Simon said his performance would be forgotten after five or six more performances. I thought it was the best!
2.) Mario Vazquez -
3.) Scott Savol -
4.) Judd Harris
5.) Joseph Murena
6.) Anwar Robinson
7.) Jared Yates
8.) Anthony Federov
9.) Bo Bice
10.) David Brown
11.) Travis Tucker
12.) Constantine Maroulis - it was just that bad!
So, by that, I would have to guess that Travis Tucker and Constantine Maroulis will be the first two men eliminated. Check back tomorrow when I will analyze tonight's performances by the women. Again, if you have any thoughts, please e-mail me.
And on that note, I wish you a good day!. If you have any questions or comments on anything you have read above, please e-mail me.
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