February 14, 2008

Althouse eats chocolate, tweaks photographs, watches "American Idol"...

... and fails to keep all her body parts out of the aggressive view of the fisheye lens.

DSC_0001.JPG

I skipped blogging the audition phase of the show this year, maybe because it's too much trouble to keep track of everyone — especially on my dinky Brooklyn TV — but I've been watching.

I liked the way they did the Hollywood phase this week. They skipped all the reality show drama created in the past by putting people in groups and letting personality conflicts and artistic differences play havoc with the selection process. Good! I always hated group assignments at school. (But I must say that the coolest "American Idol" performance of all time came from one of the Hollywood week groups.)

This year, Hollywood was all about the on-stage audition. With one exception. We saw Josiah Leming crumple as he lost sleep and freaked out at the band. He was an extremely attractive contestant and we were invited into his lonely little world. The teenager left home and has been living in his car. I think the producers decided he was not emotionally capable of handling the pressure of the show. Speaking to one of the other very young contestants, the judges talked about how psychological readiness is taken into account. That contestant made it, and I think it was a subtle way of telling us why they rejected Josiah. They may toy with youngsters for the amusement of millions, but they draw the line at teenage nervous breakdown.

Here are the final 24 contestants. I've only mentioned one by name so far in my minimal AI blogging and that is the beautiful 16-year-old Alexandréa Lushington. My personal favorite at this point is the 29-year-old Australian Michael Johns, who sang "Bohemian Rhapsody" this week.

So, on to more "American Idol" blogging and fisheye photography! Am I descending into madness? At least I had the sense — I think it's sense! — just now to order another lens — so my lensomania won't be entirely convex.

24 comments:

Chris said...

Not a big fan of the fisheye.

Paul Zrimsek said...

When all you have is a fisheye, everything looks like a slightly bent nail.

Rick Lee said...

"When all you have is a fisheye, everything looks like a slightly bent nail." That's funny.

You ordered the 70-300VR? That's great, but if you didn't already own one, I would have recommended the 18-200VR. It's great to be able to stick that one lens on there, put a 4gig card in the camera and just walk around with no camera bag. Switching lenses all the time is a drag and in the era of digital cameras, it's a real problem of getting dust inside the body.

Ann Althouse said...

Rick, I have long relied on the original 18-55 lens, and I'm now looking for excitement. I won't carry around extra lenses and spend time switching lenses. I will pick a lens -- such as the fisheye -- and go out looking for something to do with it.

I always have my little Sony with me, and if I need something normal, I can use that.

Zeb Quinn said...

Fisheye is a cool lens, but one of limited use. Less is definitely more.

As for Josiah, perhaps he'll be back in a future iteration.

michaele said...

Loved the Bohemian Rhapsody rendition...wanted to hear it all the way through. It certainly seems like a deep top 24 this year although the grind of the competition seems to diminish early promise in some contestants.
As much as I liked some of Josiah's performances, I was concerned he didn't have the psychological strength to deal with some of the tough critiquing that Simon especially likes to dish out during the season.

Roman said...

Nikon VR lenses rock. Have a 24-120 VR on my D200. The 70-300 VR in on my B & H wish list.

PatCA said...

I was worried about Josiah, too. His first audition was great, quite Blake-like, but then he just fell apart, poor kid.

Whatever happened to my Blakey anyway?

SteveR said...

Yes Hollywood was better for the reasons you stated. I do think overall talent is better and as with the Aussie, it may have something to do with more "professional" singers being allowed in. I don't have the details but I've seen it mentioned elsewhere.

Middle Class Guy said...

Althouse eats chocolate!


Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

Did the girl from Madison who went to Hollywood last year only to be sent home get to stay in Hollywood this year (I believe she again qualified). Denise something-or-other?

Middle Class Guy said...

Trooper York,
Clothes, blah blah, blah. Tells about the good stuff in Vegas. Getting right to the nitty gritty, you know, the booze, broads, and bucks.

MadisonMan said...

No to the girl from Madison. I found some site that had the 24 listed.

Two 29-year-olds, and some teens. What a strange age dynamic that must be.

Ann Althouse said...

"I found some site..."

The original post has: "Here are the final 24 contestant" with a link to the official site.

Publius said...

Had this on TIVO, so a little late with the comment. What's up with Randy and his William Rehnquist Robe sleeve?

Joe Hogan said...

I hate to be morose, but watching Josiah fall apart on two successive shows made me wonder by what miracle we have not seen a rejected hopeful commit suicide.

How would we, the viewing community, feel about our silent participation in this spectacle were that to happen? This season I stopped watching before the Hollywood portion of the process. I felt that by watching I was helping to enable a perverse display of sad freaks and misguided dreamers, with the judges applying all the concern of carnival barkers and adolescents on a pot induced laughing jag. I truly hope that behind the scenes some professional monitoring of the mental health of contestants goes on.

MadisonMan said...

You're assuming too much reading comprehension ability on my part.

MadisonMan said...

'ability' is redundant in that previous comment. Apologies. It's this coming snow storm -- I'm dreading it and it's affecting my brain.

Guesst said...

http://www.realitytvworld.com/news/simon-cowell-already-has-favorite-american-idol-5-singer-1005828.php

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jroosh said...

You need a bigger TV! (or is it just the lens?)