And We Have a Winner…

by


Grilled Tilapia!

Y’all…thanks for the advice. This fish was GREAT. All I did was squeeze fresh lemon and sprinkle with pepper before cooking it in my George Foreman Grill. On the side, I had steamed broccoli and red potatoes. A little butter and salt to taste…and voila!

By the way, though I’m not exercising (doctor said to not undergo strenuous activity until my blood pressure is down), I have lost 9 pounds in about two and a half weeks. I attribute this to avoiding restaurants and take-out. (And going to bed with my stomach growling…ha.)

Yeah!

As for last night’s American Idol…I love Blake the Beat Box Guy!

Shamalee and Sunjia (I know I screwed up spelling)…brother and sister…absolutely adorable!

Oh and to Simon for telling that girl to put her gum on Taylor’s face…jerk.

P.S. For whatever reason…I have a HUGE crush on Ryan Seacrest after these first two days of AI. Is that wrong?

I headed over to Gray’s chat after Idol and met up with Squee and Tex there. We were all gabbing about the long string of bizarre and, seemingly, mentally challenged folks AI has highlighted so far in auditions and how the judges seem to be even more cruel this year than in years past.

I said that one day Randy, Simon, and even Paula would have to answer for their mockery of these people.

Texan said that, even though it’s mean…sometimes you just gotta laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.

I said I agreed…but that I always feel guilty for laughing.

And our little Tex replied simply with “humor guilt.”

I thought this was a pretty brilliant term and wanted to throw it out to all my Monkbots to discuss.

What are your thoughts on the mean-spiritedness of the show this year? Is AI exploiting these “slow” folks who come out to audition? Or do these folks deserve such treatment simply because they have enough wherewithal to audition?

Personally…I think it’s on the side of exploitation. You never see the average kid singing poorly and getting pummelled by Simon. It’s usually the slightly stupid or oddly put-together slob that gets torn to shreds.

What do y’all think?

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83 Responses to “And We Have a Winner…”

  1. double d Says:

    CONGRATS! The weight loss is awesome!

    Agree with your AI assessments Shelley. I really liked the brother and sister.

    Did they say how many went through from Seattle? It seemed really dismal. Can’t wait for Memphis next week. We lived there for six years and I can tell you that there is a LOT of musical talent there.

  2. Jan Says:

    I am with you on beatbox guy and the brother and sister. I’m really sad to hear that Simon told that girl to put her gum on Taylor’s face. I saw it but didn’t catch that. I really dislike that dude. That last statement was my edited version.

    Way to go on losing the weight! Keep it up girl.

  3. shelley Says:

    DD…I think they auditioned 9,000…but I don’t know how many went through.

    Jan…I’m with ya…I really don’t like Simon. 😡

  4. Holeigh Says:

    1) Shelley, you are kick ass! Keep on keeping on with that weight crusade, sister! 🙂

    2) Simon…does suck. Especially about the Taylor comment. But when he says, “WHAT the bloody hell was that?!” I just can’t help but laugh.

    3) Agreed on the brother and sister, the guy reminds me of Will Makar, who I also liked a lot. They probably won’t go too far, but they will be a good addition.

    4) The 16 year old with that brilliant smile, sang Celine Dion? Definitely like her. Jordan, that’s her name.

    5) I actually said to my roommate…”Normally, I think I would hate Ryan Seacrest, but I kind of love him on AI.” So no, I don’t think that is wrong at all, Shell, haha.

  5. shelley Says:

    Thanks for the validation, Holeigh.

    By the way…can I say how sad I am that you can’t come to New Orleans.

    I mean, I totally understand…but still would love to meet ya, girl. 😉

  6. Holeigh Says:

    You’re welcome. 🙂

    Oh trust me…if I could come to New Orleans, I would be there in a heartbeat! But, rest assured, I will be at one of these MonkBot Conventions someday, no matter what! I cannot go my whole life without meeting you and everyone else.

  7. Theresa Says:

    Shelley! Congratulations on 9 pounds! That is very good! I’ve got to go get weighed again because I’ve really been battling serious munchies the past few days (I think related to my cycle).

    Thanks, also, for naming the white elephant in the room. I watch the auditions because I love music and watching others sing (something I can’t really do). I hate that I end up cringing at some of the judges’ comments, although each of them seems to do a good job at judging overall. I think they get tired and bored and start to make unnecessary comments, which really sets a bad example for people…however, when people blatantly challenge the judges with their poor voices, I don’t always think the harsh criticism is unfounded. Obviously, for some people, their families and friends have been LYING to them for a while because they are afraid of being honest with their singer-wannabe.

    I’m not sure exactly what you meant by Simon, Randy and Paula someday answering for their mean comments, but you remind me of something I once asked my pastor. I asked him whether pastors who mislead their flocks with false teachings will have to answer to God. He smiled and slowly replied that although our human nature would like to see them receive special punishment, we will all stand before God equally. None of us has any justification for our sins and we all depend on God’s mercy. I do believe, though, that there are often earthly consequences to our actions. Let’s hope that Randy, Paula and Simon don’t ultimately become calloused souls because of this show (I think Simon started out that way!).

    I believe that one of the Minneapolis contestants, who has gone on to do quite well, was exploited by the producers to the point that it might affect his eventual outcome on the show. That certainly is not right.

  8. Shrewspeaks Says:

    Oh wow…great topic. I have had 6 arguments with myself while driving in and pondering this. I have a dreadfully busy day ahead of me here as well.

    So I will run the argument I had with myself.

    “Yes, that was horrible exploiting those people who may not have better council in their lives”

    “But, they put them on TV and they were awfully nice to that one guy”

    “Yeah, but on the producer’s terms, not for humanity sake. They should just not create these weeks about “train wrecks” and the less fortunate/less talented”

    “But there are some people who only tune in for these few weeks, some who only tune in until after the top 12 are announced…so this type of format manipulation is what makes the show have the sustained big ratings”

    “But at others expense”

    “Then don’t watch it until the top 12”

    “Aurgh, but if I didn’t watch it in this phase last year I would have missed THE audition”

    “Okay then watch…and be guilty”

    Unfortunately…this is as far as I have gotten with myself before I reached the office. I am still thinking up a snappy retort to zing myself with…

    Anyone as conflicted?

  9. Shrewspeaks-to-herself Says:

    On another note…the rest of my ride went like this…

    “Shelley lost 9 pounds…that is AWESOME!”

    “Yeah, you should follow her lead”

    “hey, now!”

    “No really…just try cooking for yourself and cut out the cake and candy and see what happens”

    “You know what you are right, Shelley inspired me! Self you are on…except for the MonkBot Convention in N.O., right?”

    “Oh yeah…eating in the Big Easy!”

    Okay so it has been stressful at work and now I am talking to myself…but doesn’t lessen the meaning of “WAY TO GO SHELLEY” any less!

  10. leejolem Says:

    Shelley–9lbs in 2&1/2 weeks is great, congrats!!

    Shrew, I had the same type conversation w/myself last night. “Humor guilt” for sure. I don’t think it’s out of line for the judges to give criticism, even when its harsh, about the singing or dancing, but I think they go too far when they insult someone’s physical appearance. This is not a beauty contest. When Simon told that one dude that he looked like a bush baby, and he said they had let a giraffe into the competition (when referring to the 6’4″ girl) I thought it was unnecessary and cruel. Stick to the voice and musicianship please!

    Did anyone notice the guy with the afro that sang Amos Lee? His voice was smoooooth. I really liked him.

    I think they had a total of 14 go thru from Seattle. I’m not 100% positive, but I think it was 7 both days.

    Oh yeah, I also don’t like it when they show lots of footage of the person crying after they’re rejected–I fell it’s very exploitive.
    Can’t wait to hear other Monkbot’s perspective on the AI conundrum.
    P.S. Simon’s gum comment was uncalled for!

  11. KD Says:

    Good morning!
    Congrats Shelley on your successes!! If you liked tilapia, try fresh haddock as well…prepare it the same way. I think you might like it. I’m not a fish person and I love haddock. 🙂

    Sorry I missed the “good chat” last night. 😦 I was in earlier in the evening and had to leave…too much drama. I’ll check in again tonight, hoping to run into some of you.

    As far as AI and humor guilt goes (love that Tex!) you raise a good question. It all reminds me of the “smart kids” picking on the “slow kids” that goes on in schools, with the latter being the butt of the joke, and never realizing it. Having taught special ed for several years, and teaching all abilities for the last five or so, I’ve seen plenty of this. My “No Put-Down” philosophy is always challenged as I watch AI. I admit, I find myself laughing—but it’s usually at the disillusioned “normal” folks out there who come to the auditions for the face time on TV. My heart does not enjoy watching those who are obviously “borderline.” Simon has a way of crossing the line too often…”You look a bit odd,” is honest, “You look like one of those things that live in the jungle..what are they called?” is just mean. I can appreciate his honesty, but not his ridicule…that’s when it’s no longer amusing to me.

    So, exploitative? Yes. Is some of it laughable? Yes. Is some of it stomach turning? Yes. However, all of these people have watched the show year after year, and borderline IQ or not, they have to know that they are opening themselves up for ridicule. Simon doesn’t exactly keep it a secret that he’s an ass.

    So I say, laugh without guilt in the privacy of your own home…we all need a release at times even if it isn’t showing our kindest side. I believe it’s all in how you live your life and treat people that speaks the most about you. I can forgive myself for being amused by some of the escapades on the show, while at the same time I use it as an example to my daughter of how not to treat people…AND of how not to be the target of such treatment…”Act that way, and that’s how you’ll be treated. Expect it.”

    Enough (too much!) from me today! Sorry if I rambled. I think the couch is getting to me!
    FYI–I should be off the couch this weekend! Then we’re in waiting for Baby mode…and I have WAY too much to do. I have exactly one diaper and three outfits for this little man. If he comes tomorrow, I’m in trouble! 🙂

  12. nolagirl Says:

    I was so pumped that someone sang Amos Lee!! I hope it brings more people to his music.

    I was also pumped that the “I Shot the Sheriff” guy was back, as my boss and I have his rendition nailed and actually reminisced yesterday morning about him with a little snippet of it. Then he was back last night – crazy!!

    About the exploitation …
    I really point the finger at the producers, if anybody. When that 27-year-old geeky guy was singing “Unchained Melody,” it was clear that the judges were dying and would have told him “Ok, enough” way sooner, but you KNOW the producers said “keep it rolling, keep it rolling.” Sure, they could have told him “enough” anyway, but they are getting paid millions of dollars to sit in those seats and be a part of the “script” so to speak. Does that weigh on their consciences? Who knows. I don’t let it weigh on mine. Maybe I am a horrible person, but I rarely felt bad for any of the “rejects” last night. The only one I can think of is the overweight young guy who was “friends” with the kid Simon called a monkey or whatever and sang “God Bless America.” That kinda heart my hurt. Other than that, I laugh, shake my head, want to throw something at the TV, etc., and don’t feel any “humor guilt”!

  13. double d Says:

    I thought the Amos Lee dude RAWKED! He said it was his 3rd try…I think it was that he picked a “different” song and he did it well.

    Regarding the laughing. While I seriously don’t think it’s right to laugh at anyone and I feel really bad for those people, I find it like a wreck on the side of the road — I’m sickened but I HAVE to look.

    Simon’s blatant lack of respect for ANYONE is getting boring. I’m redicting that we saw the apex of AI last year and it will lose ground from here on out.

  14. double d Says:

    That’s predicting, not redicting…

  15. leejolem Says:

    NOLA, “heart my hurt” that sounds like a Taylorism.

    That guy is the one that got to me also. I think he was a little mentally disabled, and he didn’t have a horrible voice. I’m not sure what people are thinking when they go on this show. The only way you could get me in that audition room is if you promised me Taylor was in there waiting to whisk me off my feet for dinner and dancing.

    NOLA, did you see the guy sing Amos Lee? I thought he was very smooth.

  16. leejolem Says:

    DD, they’ve probably not let him get thru to the judges before because he wasn’t freaky enough. I loved him. No Taylor, but my fav so far.

  17. nolagirl Says:

    leejolem – Thanks for pointing out my blatant mistake! HURT my HEART, people, HURT my HEART … you knew what I meant! LOL

  18. bamaborntxbred Says:

    I’m with Nola on this. I don’t feel much, if any guilt. Anyone of “sound mind” that auditions for AI knows full well what they are getting into. Anyone that is not fully there mentally….I blame the people around them: Family and friends. Those people should know better than to let those kids try out. (Like the first night when that mother was comforting her juggling son by assuring him he would be famous someday.)

    I felt bad for that kid in the Hawaiian shirt…but you know what? The judges were very kind to him. I think they can discern between someone that is “a little off” and someone that is truly handicapped mentally. I think the producers exploited him, but the judges were gently honest with him.

    I thought Jewel did an outstanding job as a judge. She was very impartial and had valid critiques.

    As far as contestants we’ve seen so far…two stand out in my mind: Blake the Beat Box Guy and the Amos Lee Afro Guy. I thought the NFL daughter that sang the Celine Dion song was good…and then, all of a sudden, when they were critiquing her, she reminded me of Kat…and I was turned off.

    Shelley- You rock!! 9lbs. is awesome!!! I’m totally inspired to start buckling down.

    Kd-Are you about to have a baby??

  19. Mind Doc Says:

    Shelllley!! Hooray for weight loss. I am happy for you, because you are really working it and getting the results. I am also glad that you like tilapia. It is remarkably cheap and is my 13 year old’s specialty. He is learning the adage about seasoning that you can always add more later, but you can’t take it out.

    I am with Shrew, I only watch to see if there is anyone who catches my eye. I know that there will not be a Taylor, for which I am glad. However, I don’t feel guilty for laughing, because I am laughing at the situation, not the person. I generally don’t find the awful auditions funny, but my kids do. I think that I laugh out of embarrassment, sometimes. An “ooooh no!” sort of thing. Maybe it is some part of me that is grateful that I am not in that particular spotlight. I don’t know why people looking bad is funny, but it is. Think slapstick.

    I think all of american idol is a huge exploit-fest. The sob stories, the down-trodden heroes, the underdogs. To some extent, people put themselves out there — even if they don’t know exactly what will happen. I would NEVER — in a million, jillion years audition for AI, because I would be laughed at. And rightly so.

    But I have also noticed that the level of cruelty, has gone up. When the judges are kind to someone with no talent, it is endearing. The increased ugliness is distasteful.

  20. double d Says:

    Oh, BTW, that Taylor wannabe hair-dresser guy who didn’t think he could be given a fair chance because he was unfairly compared to Taylor and then wanted to put hair gel in Simon’s hair, was beserk.

    Bama, love your titles…and yes, KD is coming to the end of a LONG pregnancy. Yeah for baby Zan! KD, you must furnish pictures once he “arrives”.

  21. double d Says:

    Hey KD, maybe we can put those baby pictures to music, like “You are so Beautiful”….heh.

  22. Jax Says:

    Shelley ..

    Great news with the weight loss! That’s wonderful! Be very very proud of yourself!!!… I’m at 4.5 loss with a weigh in tomorrow … I am afraid of this week ..

    AI ..

    Loved the brother & sister … the Amos Lee guy was good … loved the little guy that sang California Dreamin’..

    Simon … His total lack of respect for Taylor is driving me up the wall … he dissed him badly on Oprah now again on AI … if the boards are any indication folks are really getting fed up with it..

    Mr Jax & I had the discussion about WHY in the world do these folk put themselves thru this stuff … If any of you were ever the kid that was made fun of in school … well you know where I am going with this .. kids are the meanest thing going … you are left with no doubt about your appearance or weight . The singing? My kids will tell you about how their mother steered them from chorus to band … Did no one ever tell these kids the truth?? If they are there for their 15 mins of fame then they get what they deserve … if they really belive they have talent … gosh you just have to feel sorry for them..

    During one of the commercials I played the video of Taylor’s audition … Mr Jax (bless his Taylor saturated heart) sat down to watch it… when it was over he said… “Well they surely haven’t seen anything close to him have they?” I said “No, an something tells me we won’t again for a very very long time”..

    Platinum Baby!! 33 days!

    I wish at least one other Monkbot was going to be there with me to see him.

  23. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Awww…congrats to KD!! I had no idea. I’m kinda clueless sometimes…

    I hated that stoopid Taylor wanna-be…but I love that Ryan said he’s what Taylor would look like if you hit him in the face with a shovel. Hahahaha! I love Ryan!

    Side note: My local radio station played snippets of Kat’s album and pretty much thought it sucked. Of course they don’t like Taylor either…but I’m glad they weren’t blindly saying her stuff was good.

  24. baby duck Says:

    Good for you, Shelley! Your tenacity is paying off!

    I don’t know if the mean-spiritedness is any worse this season than before. Maybe Randy is, but Simon has always been cutting and cruel in his remarks. What I haven’t seen this year is Paula being the sugary-sweet counterpoint.

    There is a distinction between blunt, even harsh, comments about someone’s singing, and comments about their pants, height, size of their eyes. AI knows this because of all the negative feedback they and their sponsors got after Simon’s comments to Taylor about appearing to be drunk. But for whatever reason, they have decided to allow those types of criticisms to continue.

    Somewhere last year I read an interview with Taylor describing the audition process. It seems to me that there were 2 screenings with other panels before he ever auditioned in front of Randy, Paula, and Simon. It’s not like all 100,000 who try out go before them. Obviously the bad ones didn’t suddenly get bad between screenings. They were allowed to go through because audiences are entertained by it. Here’s another internal dialog:

    “Fox shouldn’t do that. It’s just plain wrong to make money off the misfortune of others.”

    “No one has to watch. Is it Fox’s fault that people like this kind of stuff?”

    “How can anyone be that self-deluded, to think that they are the next American Idol when they are so obviously bad?”

    “Aw, you run into people like that almost every day: thinking they’re great at something when they’re not (I’m thinking of co-workers here). It’s just usually not so publicly displayed.”

    After 5 seasons, I think by now anyone who auditions should know what they might be facing in terms of criticism/humiliation. At some point don’t they (or their parents/care providers if they really are mentally challenged) have to assume some responsibility for the potential outcome?

    So call me callous, but no humor guilt here. I still think the guy singing (if you can call it that) ‘Like a Virgin’ a few seasons back was hilarious. No one since has topped (or is it bottomed?) that!

  25. KD Says:

    Awww…DD..making me all teary with the You Are So Beautiful idea! 🙂 And thanks Bama! I think this pregnancy has been as long for some of you as it has been for me! *snicker* And I will definitely have to break my “no pics” rule when he comes. (Yes Shrew, I’m ready to come out of the closet to my fellow Monkbots…can you believe it?!) 😉 I won’t want them posted, but e-mailed to my friends here, absolutely. You all have been through the whole thing with me! Y’all will be some of the first to know. 🙂

  26. nolagirl Says:

    kd, I had no idea!!! We just had a new baby in my family – my nephew was born Monday! I love new babies. (not ready for one of my own, but I love other peoples!)

    Congrats to you and your family!!!

    —-

    Bama – Thanks for the tidbit about Kat’s album. That made my day. I also snickered when Ryan made the comment about the ANNOYING “Taylor poser”. I’d rather a kindergartener cut my hair than that chump.

  27. shelley Says:

    Wow, folks…great discussion.

    Everyone has a brilliant point of view.

    But I gotta say, I almost made myself dizzy nodding in agreement with KD…congrats to our little Mommy-to-be…she wins the

    Official Prize of the Day

    Other points…the Amos Lee guy was amazing. His voice was like soft rain falling on flower petals.

    Congrats to Jax for the 4.5 lb weightloss!!! o–{:8)}=

    And the shovel-faced Taylor wannabe comment was hilarious! Maybe that’s why I’m in love with Ryan this year.

  28. KD Says:

    Oh, my Shelley!! You made me “WHOOOOOOOOO” out loud to the empty house!!!!! Thanks!! My day has been made! *permagrin* 🙂

  29. shelley Says:

    Y’all…we’re not the only ones feeling a bit squeemish over AI’s treatment of the slow folk.

    Here’s a great write-up by Michael Slezak, Entertainment Weekly.

  30. jenfera Says:

    Hi folks – just chiming in to say that I totally agree with baby duck. I have been watching since the beginning and I don’t think it’s necessarily worse this year with the criticism. It really has always been that way, and as many of you have said, it is has been on the air long enough. People know what they are in for.

    I always wonder if when these people (the really bad ones who swear and rant afterward) see themselves on TV if it does finally dawn on them. Maybe that is what it takes for some of them, to see it on a TV and really hear it outside their own heads.

    kd – best wishes for a safe & happy delivery!

    Shelley – congrats on the weight loss! I’m a big believer in cooking for yourself and starting with fresh, whole ingredients. And, whoaa… that pic! Ai yi yi! After a chat on GC with Susan I can’t see that pic without having dirty thoughts.

    Shrew – make sure you enjoy the hell out of New Orleans and eat whatever you want. I just read some great quotes from Julia Child on the Amateur Gourmet’s blog (www.amateurgourmet.com):

    ‘She says, “I’m awfully sorry for people who are taken in by all of today’s dietary mumbo jumbo. They are not getting any enjoyment out of their food. “

    She suggests: “Moderation. Small helpings. Sample a little bit of everything. These are the secrets of happiness and good health.” ‘

    I think Julia knew a lot about happiness! And she managed her booze way better than Paula.
    😉

  31. shelley Says:

    i think jen’s right.

    we’ll enjoy New Orleans.

    plus…i don’t mind sharing to save on calories. 🙂

  32. bamaborntxbred Says:

    I loved that article Shelley! I forgot about that software engineer guy. I didn’t think about it last night, but the idea that his office mates put him up to auditioning is cruelty at it’s worst. (Remember him saying over and over that all his co-workers kept encouraging him to try out? There is no way that they could all be as deluded as he is. They did that on purpose to make a fool of him.) That is sickening.

  33. leejolem Says:

    Shelley, that article was right on. You can’t help but laugh at some of the comments, but the next minute you’re shaking your head in disgust. I wonder if the producers really egg on the judges to up their level of cruelty. I think all of you that said much of the responsibilty falls on the producers’ shoulders are correct. It is surely a conundrum !

  34. texan Says:

    Shelley…way to go on the cook at home plan! Home food tastes so much better! It is just hard to find the time to shop and cook. I hated it when the online grocers closed here. I loved that concept. They brought it all to me, I was not tempted by things I did not see and it was so much faster! Proud of ya sis! Now scoot over and share that tilapia!..then we can head up to KD country for some haddock! then womp is bound to be cooking something good! DD seems to stir up some cool food! …squee is always cooking… then we can take a break at Shrew’s to raid her pantry, besides I need to iron her laundry

    and wow i blush…on the humor guilt thing…. that is a struggle for sure. I hate to laugh AT people… it seems that some audition for that purpose, to be laughed at in a “I wanna be famous as William Hung” way…. those to be are open game… they are comedians their to take advantage of the spotlight… then there are the others…that seem genuinely unaware of their lack of talent… it hearts my hurt too NOLA. I really don’t want to participate in that sort of affair. Watching is participating, we are the ratings. I do not draw a line bewteen passive and active participation, especially when someone’s dignity is at stake.

    Yet, I do watch, but not with the intent to laugh at someone less fortunate.

    … oh well I am not a saint… on TWO occasions I have been attacked by laughter at funerals. Couldn’t help myself! Now that is embarrassing!

  35. texan Says:

    someone take a red pen to that posting, meant to preview..oops!

    and it hearts my hurt would make a great t-shirt! I like IT!!!!!!

  36. texan Says:

    ok i am still not done….

    and ummmmmm …..

    AI has plenty of people to choose from for these laughable auditions. People that are there to draw laughter.

    Why intentionally humiliate even one person that is not there for that purpose? ..and yes I think the producers can tell the difference.

    …will try to sit quietly now. (This skill does not come naturally!)

  37. claire Says:

    Shelley – kudos on the Weight Crusade!! 9lbs is excellent. *Better ‘n me…*

    Well, I had a long post written, but I just deleted it in favour of the Readers Digest version – I just don’t like to watch people be made a fool of. Even if it is their choice to go on TV in the first place and sing like a crow with strep throat, I don’t have to watch it. I CANNOT watch it. It “hearts my hurt” (heh).

    I can’t watch those candid camera TV shows either, like Punk’d etc. Nooooooo. I know it’s all in good fun, but IN THE MOMENT, the people on these shows believe the “event”, whatever it is, is actually happening. And it’s usually humiliating and/or upsetting for them – that is, until Ashton shows up.

    It’s just not my sense of humour’s cup of tea. I choose not to watch.

    PS: Doesn’t Gray stop by here anymore????

  38. shelley Says:

    I think Gray is done with us.

    Or maybe recent posts have bored him too much to comment.

    Who knows.

  39. claire Says:

    Aw, sorry Shelley. Anyhow, your blog is kewl. Doesn’t Gray have his own little blog, or sumthin’…..

  40. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Gray might be a teensy bit busy. (I’ll choose to believe that over the idea that we are boring…that’s just not possible. )

    Y’all. I’m one of those people, for good or bad, that hangs on every sordid story about Britney sans panties, Lindsey entering rehab and Isaiah Washington calling/not calling T.R. Knight a f****t…Isn’t that (in a weird way) the same sort of thing as the AI audition process for us as viewers? I mean, it’s all about sittin’ slack-jawed while other people make public fools of themselves. It’s about being entertained by other people’s bad judgement and/or bad luck.

    I’m aware that I suck as a person for being entertained by this crap. I’m also aware that in some sick way it gives me a sense of satisfaction to know I’m not that stupid/trashy/deluded/obnoxious. I really think that’s what draws most of us in…some sense of relief that we are better people than they are.

  41. Squeebee Says:

    Loved Thomas (Amos Lee guy) last night, and I predicted that he would end up as a top 12 contestant in chat last night. We shall see! I also liked the brother and sister pair.

    Ok, so here is my theory on Simon dissing Taylor. I think he is trying to alienate the group of viewers that voted for Taylor, because he doesn’t want another “dark horse” to win the competition this year. If all the people who like “real music” stop watching the show, the winner will be a pop-tart, just like Simon wants.

    Shelley, congrats again on the weight-loss! You are a MonkBot inspiration!

  42. leejolem Says:

    Squee, I hadn’t thought of that. I kept wondering what does Simon have against Taylor. I think he knows Taylor was smart and manipulated the show as much as they manipulated him. Does that make sense? TH was smarter than the average bear, and maybe Simon didn’t like that. I hope you’re right about Thomas (Amos Lee guy). I really liked him.

    Claire, I get uncomfortable watching Punk’d, Candid Camera, etc…. also. I would never be able to pull that off. I would spill the beans the 1st 30 secs.

    There is no way Gray is bored with us–come on!!!!!! We are the Monkbots, hear us roar!

  43. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Squee- I’m curious to see if the SP lines up behind one contestant this year. Seeing as how the majority of SPers have very similar taste in music. It will be interesting to see.

    I could see Simon wanting to alienate us for that purpose. Maybe not wanting our voting power behind one particular person…

  44. nolagirl Says:

    See, now that article tripped me up Shelley. He mentioned the same guy that I mentioned heart my hurt (tm NOLAgirl). But you see, like Bama said, I thought they treated him pretty nicely. So is it exploitation just merely having him on screen period? Or is the exploitation when they drag it out, ask them to sing more songs, made mean comments, etc.?

    Bama – I read all that celebrity gossip crap too. The Grey’s Anatomy “drama” is something else …

  45. Shrewspeaks Says:

    Bama…I will not have you talk about my friend that way!

    I will say I think Celebs who make asses of themselves *cough- Issaia -cough* are fine for the fodder that we love to follow. I do feel though as a programming tactic exploiting the sensationalism of the bad, dejected, desperate and slow is a bit of a different story. But like I argued with my self this morning…I know the compitition really starts when they are in Hollywood…so why watch. I think DD hit it on the head…This is not a new phenom Weejee explored this special phenom as an artistic expression while working as a crime photographer. He would notice the near gleaful expressions of the by-standers when he was documenting some of the most grizzly scenes. For years my friends and I have called this the Weejee effect…I usually use it in relation to my dating life…(I didn’t want to…but I just HAD to)…sigh.

  46. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Nola- totally agree. That’s why I think it’s the producers at that point that are exploiting the sweet boy. They let him through to the judges, they filmed and edited his stuff, they aired it. The judges sat there, listened to him, and gently told him that he wasn’t right for AI.

    And yeah, totally…Grey’s drama. I’m afraid that Washington might get written outta the show! (I love that Katherine/Izzy stood up for T.R./George and that they’re bff’s in real life!)

  47. shelley Says:

    bama said, ” I could see Simon wanting to alienate us for that purpose. Maybe not wanting our voting power behind one particular person… “

    I think you’re spot on, bama.

    remember last night…simon kept saying, sarcastically, “what’s this years catch phrase?” or something to that effect…talking about taylor’s “soul patrol” and “woos”

    in other words…he believes taylor won because of a gimmick.

  48. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Shrew- I’m dying laughing here about your “dating life” line. Hysterical!

    It took me a minute to figure out who you were yelling at me for talkin’ bad about…Teeheehee…

    Shrew said :”I do feel though as a programming tactic exploiting the sensationalism of the bad, dejected, desperate and slow is a bit of a different story.”

    True- but my point wasn’t really about what “they” do…but what we like to consume.

  49. Squeebee Says:

    I also think there is a bit of the “alpha male” mentality with this whole Simon-Taylor thing. Simon likes to be the one to criticize and belittle people. Taylor took all his crap as a perfect gentleman, instead of like a whiney child, like so many others. Simon doesn’t like that Taylor is a bigger man.

  50. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Shelley- I was just thinking ’bout this Thomas guy (or someone we haven’t seen yet)and what if he’s a real “artist with soul” type of dude….the SP might rally behind him more so than one of the other plain-vanilla contestants. That would piss Simon off!! They advertise the idea that “America chooses” the AI, but I really think they prefer to have a bigger hand in that choice!

  51. double d Says:

    Guys, I’m tellin’ ya. This stuff is catching up with AI. Many, many people who didn’t watch before, did so last year AFTER the audition process. Now, with multiple articles on the financial success, etc., there are folks tuning in for the first time.

    While the remarks have been cutting before, this year seems particularly harsh. Simon is the same but Randy and Paula are outright LAUGHING at people who they didn’t before. They are not real “excited” about the ones they are putting through, etc. I think it’s going to get alot of unwanted press, just like the EW article, particularly because there are some folks that they put on clearly knowing that they don’t have sound judgement in terms of thinking they should be there.

    I’m telling you…it’s all about karma. What you throw out there, you get back. And, let’s face it, AI throws out some pretty crappy stuff to people in these auditions.

    Oh, and Gray….I don’t know. Busy, maybe. Bored, maybe. Dunno. I understand it. Don’t like it, but understand it. Maybe his New Year’s resolution was not to post on other blogs anymore. Maybe we’ve been traded in for “new” models. Oh well. We’ve still got each other. heh.

    Now, on to more important things…how do we get to meet Taylor at HoB?!?

  52. double d Says:

    So are we saying that the Soul Patrol is akin to Vote for the Worst?

    Man, this just gets stranger and stranger….

  53. bamaborntxbred Says:

    DD- I don’t know what you mean by SP being like VFTW. Can you elaborate??

  54. Shrewspeaks Says:

    Ummm…TMB…HOB?

  55. bamaborntxbred Says:

    TMB should be at the HOB. Maybe someone can drop a bug in Tay’s ear about the Monkbot convention and we can get a pic with him, us and the MB.

    Come on DD. I know you can think of some way to make this happen.

  56. Shrewspeaks Says:

    *cyber high fives Bama* Excellent call my MS sista!

  57. KD Says:

    Okay…we SOOO need to plan a date for our hostile takeover at Gray’s chat…I say Shrew picks a night and tells us when to be here, since her work schedule is the most crazy. It’a a train wreck over there.

  58. nolagirl Says:

    DD, I was talking with a co-worker about this today. I don’t think they have changed their “formula” too terribly much (besides dragging out some of the really bad ones wayyy too long). I think it’s just that Idol has become even more mainstream than it’s been in the past, and even more millions of people are probably watching it. It was always huge, but I think it’s really blown up in the past year due to numerous factors, including Carrie and Kelly’s success and Taylor’s “underdog, unlikely gray haired singer dude goes all the way” storyline.

  59. Shrewspeaks Says:

    OMG KD the Pressure…the pressure!

  60. shelley Says:

    By the way…someone brought in a King Cake this morning filled half with Praline and half with Bravarian Creme…

    …and I haven’t had a single piece.

    It’s killin’ me…but I haven’t!

    pats self on back

  61. suzi-q Says:

    Hi Y’all,
    Monkbots are the greatest! I think I heard that in Minneapolis that out of 10,000 only 17 made it to Hollowood (not a mispelling:) and only 7 from Seattle because Ryan (cutie pie) called Seattle a “talent vaccuum” I think whomever said something about the judging has to be right cause it would take the three judges several weeks if they gave each wannabe two minutes each, plus the arguing time when the wannabe it told they don’t cut the mustard (do you know where that phrase comes from? mustard is solid and one use to have to cut it up to use it in recipes!!!!:)

  62. shelley Says:

    suzi-q…you never told me that about the mustard before.

    crazy.

  63. nolagirl Says:

    Hey Suzi-Q! Glad to see you around … and thanks for the mustard trivia as well!

    Shelley – Someone in MY office brought a king cake too, and I’ve had to pass it up about a million times today (Especially on my way to the bathroom from all the water I’m drinking – how ironic!) and have also resisted!

    Yay for us!

  64. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Good for y’all for resisting that cake I ain’t never heard of. It must be mighty delishuss!

    Nola- did you hear about that lady that died from drinking too much water? Weird.

    Y’all. I’m outta here. Work day’s done!

    DD- When’re you gonna let us know ’bout hotels?? Just curious!

  65. baby duck Says:

    Squeebee, Spot on with the “alpha male” reference to Simon. I think he is as egotistical in real life as he appears on the show. And that can lead to all sorts of insensitive and self-promotional behaviors. Craig Ferguson did a great job in his monologue of pointing this out. Fair warning: there’s a reason Craig is on late late night (crude).

  66. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Hi Suzi-Q!

    Ummm…mustard. I’m hungry.

  67. Squeebee Says:

    Babyduck: Craig is hilarious! I have seen a couple of his monologue clips, and I wish I could stay up that late.

  68. nolagirl Says:

    Bama – You’ve never heard of King Cake???? I would have thought being just one state away from Mardi Gras that you would have. Crazy!

    Yes, I did hear about the woman who died from drinking too much water. She didn’t pee though, which is what caused the problem. That was an awful story! And those DJs are idiots! I read today that they have been fired and the show has been taken off the air. (and that the woman’s fam is suing)

  69. HicksChick4Soul Says:

    Wow there are a lot of comments today….everyone pretty much has said what I have to say…I wonder what Simon ment when he said that gum comment….I was in open mouth shock when he said it…hmmmm…..

  70. Rowan Says:

    Shelley, let me add my congratulations on your weight-loss. That’s terrific! Yaay! I am so impressed that you are cooking healthy stuff and doing lifestle-changing things. Tonight for dinner, I had a jar of pickled cabbage and a Slim Fast shake. goodness knows why. Must have been craving a mineral, or something.

    I think my first post at Gray’s was on the subject of the audition process, and the feelings of unease over actively participating in someone’s ritual humiliation, just by watching. This year however, and I am unable to comment on AI, as yet, I would say I sense a bit of a sea change. Any residual humour-guilt has faded, in that I can recognise that I’m usually only laughing intermittently, and at situations where the comedy is partly recognised by the contestants themselves. On the X-factor, there are many eccentric auditionees and the whole show has a bit of a silly, seaside postcard vibe, until the competition hots up.

    I tend to find that those who are rejected and dejected generally reflect a level of self-belief which brought them to the audition, and which I’m imagining will continue to keep them bobbing on the surface, in spite of the relentless Cowell cannon-balls hitting their target. I see pride dented, but not self-belief. I laugh at Simon, because what he says is so often apt, and is off-the cuff. He is clever, and he is awful. I agree with KD in that the show is unabashedly what it is. People go in knowing they will be made fun of, unless they are considered a potential means of increasing Simon’s bank account. Anyone who auditions shuffles pretty much knowingly into the lion’s den.

    I can, nevertheless, lay the charge at my door, that I am simply a compassion-fatigue victim, and am this season de-sensitised to the distress which is often expressed. However, I tend to take the view that the global-media anti-Simon compassion encountered by failed cotestants will be enough to restore equilibrium. Simon’s persona offers a paradoxical palliative to his hurtful jibes. Public indignation at him him acts as a buffer to the sense of personal failure. I’ve never heard anyone come out and say, “I was really awful and I am now just wanting to go and live on the Outer Hebrides for the next hundred years.” They have taken part in the spectacle. They have donned the colourful robes and played a role in Simon’s very successful bit of street theatre. Been a part of things, even as an extra or a passer-by.

    I laugh happiest when the contestant displays a recognition of the process they are involved in, offer a few barbed rejoinders, if required, but remain aware that they have played the game for the game’s sake. Here is my very favourite current X-Factor moment. The final remark from the tall Welsh girl hopefully illustates my point, that taking part is its own reward. I am still chuckling at this clip…

    I like this audition too. The 86 year old lady who has Simon on the ropes seems content to have admonished him. It is a nice staged-managed ‘power to the people’ moment. Go, Edna go!!

  71. Rowan Says:

    Sorry – problem with first clip. The tall girl’s remark is a total hoot! Trying this!

    http://tinyurl.com/2z2ruy

  72. shelley Says:

    Great clips, Rowan…thanks! 😉

  73. leejolem Says:

    Rowan, when Edna calls Simon ignorant–that is priceless. Edna and Mandisa should have gotten him together in a room and spanked him. The X-factor seems to have a little more tongue in cheek atmosphere about it. I think I would enjoy it. People put all their hopes and dreams in the AI basket sometimes, and it’s almost pathetic. Was the X-Factor on before AI started? If so, I think it lost something in the American translation to AI!

  74. bamaborntxbred Says:

    DD- I asked you, like, three questions yesterday and you never came back!!

    I’m pouting now….

  75. double d Says:

    Sorry, Bams. Had a very LONG day yesterday for work. Didn’t get home until late then back to doing it again. Here’s my answers.

    1. SP/VFTW – If the Soul Patrol plans to get behind a particular contestant and only vote for that contestant because it makes Simon look bad, then they are basically doing what VFTW did/does.

    2. TMB @ HoB – I’m going to try to catch Widespread Ted (audio/video guy) over at Gray’s and put a bug in his ear. He’s going to be on tour with Taylor and he loves Patron evidently. Might cost me a bottle or two, but it could happen.

    3. Hotels – I will work on it tomorrow. Haven’t had time to see if Pat has any information yet. SAWRY…this dern job pulls me away.

  76. Mind Doc Says:

    Rowan — very funny. I did laugh out loud at the second girl’s comment on Simon’s appeal. I liked Edna, too.

    The X factor seems to be a bit more of a free for all…

  77. bamaborntxbred Says:

    1. DD- When I was talking about the SP getting behind a certain contestant, I meant that it would happen more organically.

    The SP was founded b/c we all had mad love for this crazy gray-haired guy, but turns out, for the most part, the SP has similar tastes in music/musicians.

    I don’t think of the SP aligning w/a contestant in an organized fashion, but that it would happen naturally b/c of our similar tastes. Not at all b/c we wanted to be asses to Simon. I would think we would have more pride than that.

    What Simon might gain by alienating us, is that we might be less inclined to watch. If we did line up (naturally, not meditatively) behind someone…it might cause Simon to fear that he could lose control of what he wanted to happen with the show.

    I would never, stoop to being vindictive and I certainly didn’t mean it that way.

    2. That sounds like a stellar plan! I knew you would think of something. I’d be happy to throw in a bottle of Patron too!

    3. Take your time on the hotels. I just wanted to make sure I didn’t need to go ahead and take care of that myself!!

    Don’t kill yourself at work honey-pie! TGIF!!

  78. double d Says:

    Bams (Like Babs with a M) –

    I get it now. I misconstrued the pissing off Simon part. I really don’t think that the majority Taylor’s fans, i.e. Soul Patrol, will get invested in another artist on AI.

    I really think that lightning won’t strike twice. And, NOBODY will have the combination of growls, dance moves, humor and wits that our boy does.

    😉

    So, it’ll be interesting to see how the contestants go about creating a fan base. Personally, I don’t think any of them have a clue nor a plan.

  79. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Well, I’m glad we understand each other now!

    I definitely haven’t seen anyone that comes close to even standing in the shadow of “the man”. I was just speculating as to why Simon was being such an ass about Taylor!!

  80. Rowan Says:

    Ah well. I am eating dirt a bit now, as I have just watched AI and it did seem a bit meaner and more exploitative than last season. I felt uncomfortable at times. wanted to see more of the talented people they have chosen and less of the deluded ones. the ratio seemed more than a little skewed.

    Lee and MindDoc – yep, the X-Factor is very funny – it is more deliberately light-hearted. The judges have categoies of contestant to mentor and compete to see whose act goes through each week. There is a lot of hilarity. Although the show is serious in its purpose of finding a great winner,and is very big on sugary back-stories, I would say that it does have a seaside-postcardy vibe.

    Here is the girl that has just won. I liked Leona I am less pissed at Simon over his gum remarks about Taylor(Si is still smarting) when I see him all agog over someone who seems to fit his template of pop princess. He is speculating to accumulate, and Taylor was out of his frame of reference. Simon is unashamedly shallow, and he was indeed “PROVED WRONG!” Whoo hoo..

    It is funny, watching the show again, post-Taylor – it is entertaining, but also a little bleak.

  81. Rowan Says:

    Sawree again (blush) – broken link. Here it is:

    http://tinyurl.com/2fs3s4

  82. leejolem Says:

    Rowan, “seaside-postcardy vibe”–lol!! I can always count on you to give me a good belly laugh after a crapola day at work. Thank you fellow Monkbot sistah!

  83. Rowan Says:

    Aww, thanks, Lee! o-{:8D}

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