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Defining Television Moments - Version 2.0

So when I talked about the American Idol finale back a few months ago, I thought the image of David Hasselhoff crying on national television was going to be the highlight of the TV year.......But I was wrong boys and girls, so very, very wrong. Last night I was witness to one of the greatest television shows ever. With my own two eyes.......I saw American Duets, the new cultural phenomenon that will soon capture the world under its c-list celebrity sway. How can I describe the appeal of this amazing show? I guess the only way is to break down all its main parts, really "get under the hood" as I once had a client tell me. So here goes:

--The Production
This show is being produced by Simon Cowell, so naturally I expected nothing but the best. I've watched the other 47 shows he's put on the air and they have all been slick and well put together. But they're also BORING!!!! Who wants to see some knockoff AI? Not me! And apparently not the people who put on 'Duets', because it looks as if they hired the local high school A/V club to do all the tech stuff. Granted they were on in primetime, on a night that FOX has dominated with American Idol, but hey its ok if you don't get cues quiiiiite right, (or just miss them altogether and have music or video playing over the host talking) or after a contestant finishes singing and the cameras pan to the judges (more about them later) and one asks, in all seriousness, "Are we supposed to do the judging now?" But hey thats ok. Its even ok that during the elimination ceremony at the end of the show, a hand actually comes on screen and begins to adjust the camera lens, for several seconds, before the shot cuts away. Hey it was the first night people! Although I might recommend, you know, actually cueing the stars into whats happening. Having them sing and then awkwardly stand around because they obviously have no idea what to do next is a little distracting. Its seems like host Wayne Brady knew what was happening, since he had to continuously tell everybody else what to do. Just run through it once or twice and all those little kinks will get ironed out.

--The Celebrities
So for a celebrity to do a show like this, where all of the country will basically get to watch you do something you're not very good at and then judge you on it, you have to be fairly hard up and desperate for some action. So of course they got the cream of the crop. Among others, you have Carlton from the Fresh Prince of BelAir, Xena the Warrior Princess, some Gymnast girl from the olympics (who was completely terrified the whole time), and Cheech from Cheech and Chong. As opposed to some other Cheech. So as you can tell, they got a star studded cast. But thats not all!!!! The name of the show is "celebrity DUETS!!" So the show also managed to get some real live musicians to perform with these stars of the silver screen. And somehow, they actually got some accomplished musicians to participate, like Gladys Knight, That Girl from Destiny's Child that isn't Beyonce, and Smokey Robinson. And boy did they look pissed about it. Several of them had the look of "how the hell did I end up here? I'm gonna kill my agent for this...." and most just tried to get the hell off the stage as quick as possible, leading to the great shot of their back as they left the stage, they were trying to get away so fast. Ok, demonstration time. At one point, WWE wrestler Chris Jericho performed a particularily horrible number with country music one-hit-wonder LeAnn Womack, and as the ballad dragged on, he attempted to hold her hand in a great show of emotion and passion. As soon as he touches her, she yanks her hand away and turns to the audience. So he tries again. She then actually steps away from him to avoid him. As soon as the song finishes, she literally turns and RUNS off the stage, leading to an awkward scene where Wayne Brady has to run after her and pull her back so that she can be interviewed. That spells quality people. True American Quality.

--The Judges
So the role of the reality show judge has taken on a life of its own. Since American Idol defined the concept of the 3 judge panel a few years back, the mold that seems to have taken over is simple. Have 3 judges, 2 male, 1 female. Everyone has some experience in whatever type of activity is being judged. There needs to be one nice judge, one mean judge, and one judge that kind of wallows back and forth. This format typically works, and so why break tradition for this show? The tres judges panel is back and in your face with this one. First we have music legend, Marie Osmond. I think she's supposed to be the wishy-washy one. She's also the only judge that seemed to give actual advice to the "stars". Then there the 3rd judge, who's the music producer. You always need to have one of those. I think he's supposed to be the mean one, but since he hardly even got to talk, I couldn't quite tell. And why didn't he get to talk? Because of the judge number 2. Or as I like to call him, "THE MOST ENTERTAINING THING ON TELEVISION" and yes, he is worthy of all capital letters. And who is this towering materpiece of TV fun? Little Richard of course. Who else? Good Golly Miss Molly!! He has everything, the total package. The entire show needs to and should revolve around him. From start to finish, he carried that show on his sequined shoulders, next to his large, flowing, kind of scary wig. Some LR highlights:
  • incoherent babbling throughout, to the point that the other judges actually began to try to silence him
  • Screaming "SHUT UP" at Marie Osmond several times in a high pitched womans voice
  • going off on a creepy tangent about "bones in the desert" after one song
  • commenting about how turned on and 'hot' he was after each of the men sang (I'm not kidding about this, it was absolutely bizarre)
  • incessant shuffling of these strange blue cards in front of him (on which we all assumed he probably had pre-written comments that he could read)
  • kept taking off and putting on his sunglasses (trust me, when he does it, its funny)
  • actually got stuck with his chair turned around to face the audience and had to be helped to turn around and face the stage again. And yes, due to the production value of the show (see above) they actually aired this happening. We all fell out of our seats on this one, no joke.
All in all, this was a bold new night for american television. I, for one, intend to sing the praises of this fresh new look at music, production values, and entertainment. I mean really, who needs 'quality' and 'professionalism'? They're so totally outdated......


Good Clean Family Fun

Fact: Nearly 8 out of 10 scientists agree that Dry Ice rocks.

Fact: Dry Ice tastes just like candy-coated rainbows.


A Night In The Life Of A Mexican..............Tourist

So if any of you are astute enough, you'll notice that its 1:45 am. And if you aren't, I just pointed it out, so pay attention. And that same astuteness might lead you to think, why is he writing a blog at 1:45 in the morning? Well thats because i'm waiting for my shirt to finish freezing in the refridgerator. To explain this, and because I have a little time, I'll have to relay a little back story. so I'm on vacation with the fam right now. We left on saturday, spent a few days in san diego, and have now proceeded to Rosarito beach to spend a few days enjoying the many wonders of our neighbor to the south (thats in mexico for all you non-geography buffs). From the start we should have guessed that we were in trouble. I don't know how many of you have been to Tijauana before, but its not the exotic locale that the name suggests. It kind of a migrant town for all the people who come across the border to do all the jobs that we hardworking USians don't want to do. At any rate, its basically a shanty town, full of people trying to hock their wares to gullible american tourists and underage college students trying to buy booze. (and on a side note, why is there such a market to sell chiclets? Why is it that they don't seem to exist anywhere but in the hands of third-world country people trying to sell them to tourists?) So we made it to the timeshare condo (which was a whole other journey, I'll talk about that one later, lets just say that Mexico doesn't seem to share the american love of actual roads) The main problem that i have right now is that its about 85 degrees, there's no A/C, and we have all resorted to watching TV all night, since the 1 (thats right, 1, as in singular) fan only cools a little bit, and the beds suck (as in, they are all broken, and broken to a rather hysterical and slapstickian degree). To cool off, one of my brothers-in-law came up with a great idea to start putting our clothes in the freezer to cool them off. It seems to work pretty well so far, although out clothes have taken on a distinctive smell, and we have all agreed to blame it on the freezer and not the fact that we are sweating like animals. Livin' La Vida Caliente!!! And now I shall return to watching "Family Guy" in Spanish. Adios.....


Tin Can? Or Tin Bullet?

Check out this car that some guy brought to my work this week. Size of a motorcycle, 0-60mph in 4 seconds. All I need is $100k and I can order mine! Unfortunately it only seats 2, so I guess when kids come along, i'll need to upgrade to something a little bigger. I guess I'll have to go with the more traditional Moller Skycar. Good times.....


Oh Thank Heaven....

For those who don't know, today is 7-11-06. But more than that, its the funnest day of the year if you work at a 7-11. Thats because this is the day that one of the corporate heads of the 7-11 convenience stores decided "Hey - we should celebrate our company's birthday on July 11th! That would be soooo witty and awesome! Everyone will remember it!! And for our birthday, lets give the children of the world FREE slushy sugary SLURPEES, saving everyone nearly $1.49 in slurpee money!!!" He then was promoted and bought a new cadillac escalade tricked out with gold plated dubs and a bumpin' system to impress all the honeys. But the honeys weren't impressed, no they were not. Not impressed at all. But on the plus side, as is the case with many free giveaways organized by top level people who don't actually have to do the "giving away", all the 7-11 workers now hate the cadillac man with golden dubs and the sound system that doesn't impress the honeys. What's the moral of the story you may ask? GO GET A FREE SLURPEEEEEEEEEE!!


I Would Like The Fish Sandwich, Please.........

So I got to go on a fabulous business trip last week. Made me feel all grown up and professional and stuff. Unfortunately it was to Tampa, Florida, which made me feel very sweaty and sticky and stuff. Seriously, don't go there, it sucks. Ok, Object lesson time. Have you ever gone to the gym on a hot day, and they don't have the A/C up high enough, and it feels kind of damp and stuffy when you work out? Well, imagine a whole state like that, and you have Florida in a nutshell. A very humid, sweaty, crappy nutshell. With crappy A/C. And Disneyworld. Maybe I'm a little annoyed because I got to fly 5000 miles for a 3 hour meeting. Oh yeah! And maybe its because I got to eat a fish sandwich (it was grouper, none the less) at 9:30 in the morning. It was 12:30 Florida time, but my stomach knew that it was actually 9:30, since I'm from the sunshine state and all. And my stomach was like Whitney Houston "Hell to the NO!" But it was kind of yummy. And kind of crappy at the same time. Only the ratio was 3% yummy and 97% crappy. And I also got to tour much of the midwest, thanks to the good folks at SouthWest Airlines. I got to visit Chicago, Indianapolis, Tampa (of course), Kansas City (which oddly enough, isn't located in the state of Kansas), San Deeeaaahhhgo (discovered by the Germans in 1904), and then the good ole Oakland Airport. And what did I learn on my cross-country journey? The rest of country is kinda crappy, people should stay in California. Oh yeah, and we maaaaay have killed a turtle while driving in Florida (there's a debate raging over this point, however, as to whether the turtle was already dead before we ran over it) TAKE THAT FLORIDUH!!!!!!!!