Tag Archives: TV
So, you’ve watched the ’89 opening number. Good for you.You might wonder: What’s happened to these people in 20 years? Has Rob Lowe sung since? Are any of the Cocoanut Grove folks still with us? Want to know who behind the scenes is to blame for this catastrophe? Read on!
The Oscar presentation in 1989 – 20 years ago! – was a watershed in bad taste. I usually like things that are tacky and overdone, but this just stretched all credulity. It takes something special to drive Julie Andrews to trash you to the press.
We’re going to be taking a look at the two god-awful numbers of the evening: The infamous opening number starring Snow White and Rob Lowe, and the lesser-known “Stars of Tomorrow” number which is somehow just as bad on a smaller budget.
Up first: The opening number!
Note: The videos and images are all taken from a second-generation copy of a 20-year-old VHS tape. I’m not apologizing, because all considering, they look good.
Up Next: Where Are They Now?
Alas, I missed the last ‘audition’ “American Idol,” so I’m having to scour ultra-detailed online recaps for names. I’ll check next week to see what names were so horrible the producers hid them from us in the previous round.
My fellow Bay Area-ers trying out in San Francisco included Mathew (actually from Fresno). And…. yeah, that’s it for weird names. Woo! As usual, we kick ass. Go San Fran! We’re No. 1!
Then the producers hid a girl named Aloha from me for a month! A month! But I had to sit through the clip of the lady who hocked her wedding ring (instead of her karaoke machine) saying if she can’t sing, she’ll just DIE before and after every commercial break. And no Aloha. Who’s making the editing decisions over there?
So to fill up space I’ll mention actor Christopher Noll, who depending on who was watching went in “in character” or is a needy, needy man who once had their own eponymous show yet would answer a cattle call for amateurs. Since I didn’t see what happened, I can’t comment, except Noll goes by the stage name of Chris Wylde and that, my friends, is what we’re all about. It’s so pathetically young-actor-in-L.A. I can’t even stand it. It’s so self-parodying it creates a black hole from which no vowels or talent will ever escape.
If I were at some trendy eatery on Melrose on an infrequent, teeth-grinding visit to my parents in Southern California (I’m allergic – why I moved to S.F.), and at this eatery someone called Chris Wylde were my waiter, I would sit in the booth for two solid hours trying to decide if I should give the putz an extra big tip to ease his pathetic desperation, or give a bare minimum tip to help drive him out of L.A., and if so, would it be for his own protection from being eaten alive, or to punish him for being so so SO goddamn sad? Or does the end justify the means, meaning it’d be OK to drive him to the state line in my trunk?
Moral of this story: Actors, don’t give yourselves stupid names. If I roll my eyes, imagine what a casting agent’s going to do.
Oh goody – Cleveland. Uhh…..yeah. Ohioans have issues, man.
They’re temporarily getting rid of one issue, Jaclyn, who I swear acts and sounds like a 9-year-old. “Paula, I like u cuz ur pretty.” Creepy. But she can hit four notes in a row, so she’s moving to the next round.
Not joining her, thank God, are Ebony, who sang like Tiny Tim with tinnitus and Sampson, who sang in I think Urdu. Also sisters Lashunda and Leandra who the second I saw them I could hear teenage girls all across America go, “Ha ha ha ha ha! FAT!” and laugh so hard they fall out of their size 0 jeans. Yeah, they were big girls. I worry they were targeted by the producers for laughs. Lashunda’s boobs were each easily bigger than her head. But they both seemed so nice and well-meaning that even though Leandra started making up her own random, off-key tune to “Summertime,” she got a big ol’ hug from LL Cool J. So shove it, bony Princess Bitchy. LL defended big girls several times, and that makes him awesome. I’m sorry about what I said about “Deep Blue Sea,” LL.
Apparently both Cleveland and Orlando sucked so bad they each only got half a show. Technically, Orlando got even less. ‘Cause we have enough shit pop acts out of there, thank you. Staying in Orlando is Eschine, who might have finally put the last nail in “The Greatest Love of All”‘s coffin. And for that, she is a true patriot. Leaving Orlando to harm the children of the Los Angeles basin are Vonzell – that’s a girl’s name – who acted out the lyrics to “Chain of Fools” while singing (well) and Dezmond, who I wanted to smack. Anyone who declares themselves an “artist” SUCKS, especially when your art is dancing for change. (Seriously!) Have some freakin’ humility, you drama ho! Even Randy could smell the fake on him, but Paula Abdul literally cried until he got in. Paula thought he was better than James Brown. Paula needs re-educating in Siberia.
Strangely, Vegas had fewer dippy names than I expected. They must have cut the 10,000 Kryseenas and Madicyns for sheer suckage off-camera. We were left with only Desi Yazzie, who I only mention for the bad combination it forms, and Valentin, which isn’t even a bad name, but deserves mention for driving Simon from the room.
Only real (cough) quality name was Mikalah, who is Fran Drescher’s little sister with a tragic addiction to lip liner. Should she win American Idol, she promised to buy her mother breast implants like she’s always wanted. Oh Mikalah, you are class defined. She got through, and with all her, um, personality, I’m sure they’ll have her on camera plenty. But she can sing.
And then there’s….Bobie. (That’s pronounced “Bobby” here in the corporeal world.) Bobie’s psychic. Bobie’s also really strangely built — Television Without Pity went with Divine in “Hairspray” for comparison — but once we saw her mother, Bobie’s bone structure and psychic powers all made sense with stunning clarity. The build: inherited. The psychic powers: a fantasy world to escape to. You immediately knew the whole story: Bobie almost definitely lives at home and probably grew up taking care of Mama more than being taken care of. I bet Mama’s demanding and smokes Kools while watching Wheel of Fortune. I imagine their homelife a lot like “Carrie,” but with less religion and more Cheetos and beer. I feel really sorry for Bobie. Because Bobie tried to sing “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You,” missed every, single, solitary note so horribly it sounded like she was just making up her own weird tune, and was humiliated on TV. She was set up, and I blame Mama. That name cursed her!
Bobie, if you’re reading this: MOVE AWAY FROM MAMA! You’re not psychic, you’re just trapped in a codependent cycle! Move to another state, buy a trendmill, find a nice job and a guy. If you still want to make music, learn to play the saxaphone. It’ll be OK, Bobie!
This time, from New Orleans:
Daron, John Waters’ love child, managed to scare Gene Simmons with his gothy looks and creepy rendition of “I Put a Spell on You.” Larenda wore the season’s 80 gabillionth stupid pink fedora. Algua Isaac doesn’t have the sense to reverse his first and last name. He totally looks like the Rubber Band Man from the Staples commercials. You won’t ever be seeing these people again.
You almost definitely will be seeing Leroy, who I’m mentioning not for having a bad name but for being the king of awesome. Leroy was stomping and singing and going insane. They’ll show him again – he’s better than William Hung, man! And I’m a girl who likes me some Hung. Leroy, “the crunk guy,” was like if Samuel L. Jackson’s character from Jungle Fever and Flava Flav had a test tube baby. And it smoked crack. A lot. But unlike most of the camera whores, you could definitely laugh WITH Leroy instead of just at him. Somebody give that man a variety special! (Once he’s out of jail.)
Seems Midwesterners have more wholesome values, because the St. Louis edition of “American Idol” was strangely lacking in funny names. But what they lacked in quanitity, they made up in quality.
Osbourne Smith II gets a certain amount of a pass because it’s a family name, and his dad, being baseball legend Ozzie Smith, could beat me up. Plus, Li’l Oz can sing beautifully.
I’ll also give a mini-pass to Dirk, who despite being named Dirk, was a big ol’ geek, and I love guys that play against type. I’m going to name my kid Rock Brickjaw and raise him to avoid sunlight and study for Mathletes on Saturday nights.
Sadly, that was it. All the usual craziness apparently was boiled down, processed, refined, Pasteurized and encapsulated in one name: Aa’shia. Seriously. Aa’shia. And she made it to the next round, so we’ll get at least one more chance to contemplate what the hell’s wrong with the world.
It’s not just that I don’t watch reality shows – I’d call myself an ardent opponant of reality shows. Hate ’em. Think they’re bad for children and other living things. And yet….and yet….damn it, I watch “American Idol.” I can rationalize a (poor) excuse, though – it’s research. No other TV show packs in as many bad names per hour than the ‘audition’ shows on “American Idol.” There’s one hell of a sociology study in the connection between a doofy name, fame-whoring and total delusion about one’s talent.
That and I just got an e-mail asking if I was Simon Cowell’s love child. Thank heavens no, because then my total Fellow Evil Genius crush on him would be immoral. Sweet zombie Jesus do I want to be able to make his kind of money telling people the obvious brutal truth about why they suck. Then making a show that’s nothing but a long market survey and commercial to sell an album where I make all the money, plus license the idea to a billion other countries, plus be the star of the show on two continents and get a sweet hosting fee. Bill Gates could learn something about being an evil genius from him, and that’s why I have a Fellow Evil Genius crush. My boyfriend understands and approves.
ANYWAY, “American Idol” does definitely attract the freaky names like molasses with ants, so for the next few weeks, I’ll be dropping in with that night’s “American Idol” good, bad and ugly names.
Tonight they were auditioning in Seattle. “Singers” we won’t be seeing again include Davon, a woman who figured singing with energy meant bouncing spastically while hollering the lyrics to “YMCA.” One we’ll be seeing clips of over and over was Aven, a giant tuneless guy dressed in more purple than Barney the Dinosaur and a very-‘Fame’-esque headband. Like so many drama queens, he expected everyone to fawn over his meager talent and really, really, REALLY wanted validation. It didn’t go well for him, even when we proved he can (try to) hold a note for the length of time it takes me to turtle wax my car. Of course, now he’s been on TV and probably think he’s some sort of star. Awwww…poor dumb Aven. Strangely also rejected was Franchon, who has some fierce pipes, personality, a gimmick (she boxes) and is only 17. They said she was too young. Oh, like that stopped them before.
Getting another shot at the big time is Anwar – which isn’t a weird name if you’re Middle Eastern, but Anwar is a black guy from the Northeast with a silly poofy crochet hat; Marlea, a single mom who tried singing Bonnie Raitt, not noticing Bonnie Raitt is more about guitar riffs than lilting melodies. She struggled but survived to the next round.
(No, I won’t pick on Constantine, because he has a Greek last name. So his first name doesn’t lead to head scratching like Anwar’s.)
More to come…