I feel like I owe you an "American Idol" post. I know you're dying to talk about the Boston episode. Personally, I'm a little fried. I got home from work today determined to put in my minimum 2 hours on the house, getting the massive thing in shape to put it on the market.
Today's target: outer space! This is a windowless storage room between the studio and the garage that has been accumulating things for more than 20 years, most prominently, a horizontal stack of drawings dating back to 1970. I dreaded looking at this stuff, because it contains the evidence of the folly of a decision to go to art school, made over 35 years ago. You have NO idea how many nudes I stared at and delineated.
Many things I looked at and thought: Why did no one tell me I didn't have enough talent to devote my life to this? There was no Simon Cowell of drawing to tell me to find another line of work. But a few things were fun to see, like the drawings of Woodstock '94, which we watched on pay-per-view. Maybe I'll scan these for you, in the manner of the old "Amsterdam Notebooks."
But, anyway, I've cleared out outer space, and I've hired two teenagers to help me tomorrow, dragging all sorts of junk out to the curb for trash day. There's a lot of progress here in the war against accumulated clutter. I got into the fight today. I didn't just put in the 2 hours I set as my goal. I went 3 hours, and I accomplished a lot. Hungry and dusty, I put the left-over stew on the stove to heat up, and I went upstairs to take a shower, stopping just long enough to answer a phone call. Okay, I didn't time it perfectly. I scorched the stew a little, but it was nice to sit down with a plate of beef stew and a big glass of Cabernet and click on the TiVo'd "American Idol." The stew and the wine and the show all made a lovely evening for me after my hard day's work (which wasn't just about conquering outer space, there was plenty that had to do with making the presumption in favor of concurrent state court jurisdiction into a challenging subject for Socratic inquiry).
But let's focus on tonight's "American Idol."
There was the patriotic rapper that they gave some respect to just because he supported the troops. Lame!
There was the beautiful basketballer Ayla Brown, who belted robotically but made it on athletic attitude. Simon said the brilliant words that could stand as a critique of the whole show: "There's something empty about it all."
I loved the beautiful twins, especially the one with the wrecked vocal chords who crouched on the sidelines and mimed the choreography while her sister sang.
I liked the gorgeous Tatiana Ward, who wanted to show up her grandmother, who disowned her mother for marrying a black man. Tatiana sings "My Cherie Amour," following each intonation of the Stevie Wonder original. They tell her it's old fashioned, even though they've held up Stevie Wonder as the pop music ideal throughout the history of the show. She gets through.
Making me cry this week is Holly Corrente, who works as a music therapist. We see her interacting with a disabled man. They say no.
I'm impressed by Kenneth Maccarone who sings "Believe" in a Cher voice and gets the usual crap from Simon ("Be a female impersonator"), but stands up to him: "I won't dress up like a female. I'm a man."
There were a couple guys that played the Clay Aiken card. One was a joker (Michael Sandecki) and one was dead sincere (Kevin Covais -- "I don't know. I bring youth and excitement"). The sincere boy makes it. God bless him. He looks like one of the Munchkins. "I think anyone over the age of 80 would like you" is Simon's putdown.
And we end with a long, cool montage of the auditions, setting us up for tomorrow night's show: Hollywood Hell Week! Now, we'll get to see most of these supposedly good singers fall flat on their face. They were super-prepared for their auditions, but when they're given something to learn and perform quickly, most will shrivel up into nothings, and we'll wrack our brains trying to remember what was ever good about them.
See you tomorrow!