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Thursday Notebook: "Idol," "DWTS," "Reaper," Some Links

By admin Published: April 23, 2009

Between school and work I have been running hard the last few days, so I apologize for getting backlogged on posting. Let's catch up, starting with next week's "Idol" theme: "standards made famous by members of the original Rat Pack, a group of legendary performers that included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr." Also, Taylor Hicks performs on the results show.

Links:
A review of "The Soloist," with Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr., is here. For those of you who like my explanation of field conditions, I saw it at a preview Tuesday night in the Cedar Lee, with a decent-sized crowd; a string quartet performed before the screening.
A feature about locally made independent film "The Bride & The Grooms" is here.
The weekly mailbag is here.

More after the jump.

Well, I was bound to be disappointed by the outcome of last night's "Idol" once I saw that either 'Noop or Allison was going home. I have liked both singers at various times, and would have kept them both over Matt as well as the swiftly dispatched Lil. (As I've said before, she was badly handled by the judges, who kept giving her contradictory advice, and she didn't know what to do with it. She might have been better off to have ignored them, as some contestants do, but even then I suspect her vocal limitations would have become painfully evident eventually. And she was the worst on Tuesday's performance show.) That said, neither 'Noop nor Allison made much of a mark on Tuesday, and there have been repeated indications that neither has a sizable and passionate fan base. So I was sorry to see 'Noop go but not outraged enough to rant.

Digressing into Tuesday's show, Adam was again the best (except for that raptor yowl he can't help throwing in) and Kris did quite well; both also demonstrated that the best way to deal with disco night is to choose a song and then un-disco it, Adam by going full-on ballad, Kris by bringing out his Jason Mraz side again. I'd put Danny in third, 'Noop and Allison in a tie for a distance fourth, Matt and then Lil. Still, considering the vastness of disco, what's with all the Donna Summer songs? Like the Bryan Adams tilt on movie night, it's another hint that "Idol" may be getting cheap about how much it's spending on music rights. I skipped all the judges' chatter and feel better for having done so.

Back to Wednesday, the Disco Stars Of the Past Who Are Not Deceased made for one scary sequence, and not just because of Thelma Houston's dress. Sent me to the music archive for "Don't Leave Me This Way" the way Houston sang it 30 years ago. And to those of you who pointed out that "Band of Gold" doesn't seem like a disco song, let the record show that you. are. right. 1970, folks. Not that its being almost 40 years old excuses Freda Payne's performance. And just because KC made disco songs, doesn't mean he can dance.

At "Dancing With the Stars" on Tuesday, Lawrence Taylor went home and that's OK. He was not in the top rank of dancers on the show, and he wasn't going to win. LT is such a competitor that I suspect he wasn't eager to stay in a contest he was not going to win. But he gave it a decent shot.

"Reaper" remains a show I watch every week although I find it can be really uneven. Hated the Sock-and-the-stepsister stuff. Sam and Andi's relationship woes are a bore. And even Ben with his demon girlfriend has been overworked some -- although the way things ended on Tuesday was certainly an interesting note for future material.

But where the business with Sam and his half-brother Morgan had some bumps, it was very well used this week. For one thing, Armie Hammer has gotten better at picking up Ray Wise's moves; you could see a lot of Ray in the early parts of his performance this week. And the Devil's playing the sons against each other, and Morgan's reactions to both the Devil and Sam, had some fresh sparks. Am very curious about where this might go next.

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