live-blogging the ACMs

I hadn’t intended on live-blogging the ACMs, but halfway through Reba’s opening monologue, I decided to get my laptop and have at it.

8:18 – Eighteen minutes in and we’ve had three performances and no award presentations. This is why country awards shows are so great.

8:20 – This may be one of the worst Kenny Chesney songs I’ve heard. Every song of his is starting to sound the same.

8:23 – Is it wrong that I’d rather see the Jonas Brothers’ concert in 3D over Kenny’s?

8:26 – Reba looks great, as usual.

8:27 – Mom, upon seeing Faith Hill: “Wow, is this ugly hair night?”

8:29 – Lady A takes song of the year! Love them.

8:31 – Dear Laura Bell Bundy, country music doesn’t need its own Britney Spears. You’re better suited for Broadway.

8:33 – I adored LBB in Hairspray and Legally Blonde, but honey, that was just terrible.

8:40 – I greatly prefer the kinder and gentler side of Toby Keith, instead of his ‘angry American’ shtick.

8:45 – This one-two punch of the Toby Keith song and then USO footage is really getting to me. I will not cry, I will not cry…

8:53 – Sooo I still don’t think I get the difference between Single and Song of the year…

8:54 – Another Lady A win! Hillary Scott looks lovely in that fuchsia dress.

9:00 – Person most out of place tonight: LL Cool J.

9:01 – T. Swift is already more in tune in these 30 seconds than she was in her entire Grammy performance.

9:04 – Taylor’s come such a long way since her performance of “Tim McGraw” with the song’s namesake sitting in the front row.

9:05 – I’d like to know what product Taylor uses in her hair to keep it so frizz-free and bouncy. Also, I’m surprised she sang “Change.” Interesting choice.

9:06 – Julianne Hough is way too orange and her poor boobs look like they’re trying to make a run for it.

9:08 – Fun fact: Gloriana’s Cheyenne Kimball had her own MTV reality show back in the early ’00s, and she dated American Idol‘s Jason Castro on the show.

9:09 – Who is this man in the overalls with the tanorexic lady? Never heard them on country radio before…

9:12 – There will not be any commenting during the upcoming Lady A performance. I must watch every second. “American Honey” is my jam.

9:16 – I will be purchasing both of Lady A’s CDs tomorrow. It’s official.

9:18 – Just voted for Brooks and Dunn to sing “My Maria” and for Carrie Underwood as Entertainer of the Year.

9:21 – Rascal Flatts could literally sing the phone book and people would buy their CD. Whoa, Gary Le Vox is a bit pitchy, dawg.

9:25 – Album of the Year goes to…Miranda Lambert. I’m not really shocked; she’s a total critics’ darling.

9:28 – If I was a famous person, I would go on as many USO tours as I could. Damn it, I’m tearing up again.

9:29 – Jason Aldean’s first album is great, but aside from “Johnny Cash,” everything else he’s put out is just so-so.

9:38 – I can’t listen to this Miranda Lambert song on the radio anymore because the first time I heard it, I was sobbing so hard I could barely drive.

9:42 – I’m losing the remote control battle to Mom and Celebrity Apprentice.

9:44 – I doubt you can find a grown man openly weeping about humanitarian work on any other awards show. Bravo, Montgomery Gentry.

9:46 – Jack Ingram and Dierks Bentley = two very talented men on one stage. Love them both…but this song is kinda lame.

9:51 – I despise this Zegrid commercial where the man paints things on his torso. Creepy.

9:53 – On a CBS-related note, I’m totally geeked for this week’s episode of Survivor.

9:56 – Carrie’s my homegirl, but this song is so treacly and overwrought.

10:00 – Oh, another Lady Antebellum win. Shocking.

10:03 – Tim McGraw brings the total number of ACM performances I’ve cried during to three. Stop toying with my emotions, country music.

10:11 – Brad Paisley is just awesome.

10:15 – I’m glad Brad doesn’t take all of his songs so literally…can you imagine what sort of stunt he could have pulled with “Ticks”?

10:17 – Matthew McConaughey’s “lady” (his word, not mine) looks absolutely mortified that he just shared the location of their daughter’s conception.

10:18 – Brad Paisley may be the first person to ever accept an award while soaking wet.

10:24 – Yessss Brooks and Dunn are singing “My Maria.” Awesome song….but lots of technical difficulties.

10:27 – The fact that Ronnie Dunn is successfully hitting all those falsetto notes is impressive. These two will be sorely missed from the country music scene.

10:29 – I covet Carrie’s white cupcake-ish dress.

10:30 – Randy Travis is starting to resemble Skeletor. And I think approximately zero people are shocked that Brooks and Dunn just won Top Vocal Duo.

10:37 – Reba’s great, but I find 98% of her music to be quite boring. Now “Fancy”…that’s a song I can get behind.

10:40 – Ugh, Josh Duhamel, that’s an ugly suit. Did Fergie pick it out?

10:42 – Miranda Lambert’s dress has just been panned by the illustrious fashion critics also known as my parents.

10:47 – Is this Keith Urban performance live? I’m confused.

10:50 – It’s totally adorable that Nicole Kidman is singing along in the audience.

10:54 – And Entertainer of the Year 2010 is…CARRIE UNDERWOOD! I’m sure my one vote was the deciding factor. You’re welcome, Carrie.

10:56 – And Hootie is closing the show. Goodnight y’all : )

Advertisements

live-blogging the oscars.

The awards season comes to a close tonight with the most prestigious of ceremonies: the Academy Awards. It will be an interesting telecast with an unprecedented 10 nominees for Best Picture, and, for the first time in Oscar history, two hosts. The duo of Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin is either going to be great or terrible. I’m hoping for the latter, because I find both of them funny separately, so they have to be funny together, right? I’ll be picking apart the fashions as they appear, since I can’t stomach any network’s red carpet coverage. Check back for my thoughts on Hollywood’s most important evening, and bear with me, because I think I’ve seen one, maybe two nominated movies.

8:30: This intro of the Best Actor/Actress nominees feels like a beauty pageant.

8:32: Neil Patrick Harris! Love him and his sequined tux. Of course he’s singing.

8:33: Loving the SYTYCD alums in this number, courtesy of producer Adam Shankman.

8:35: Meryl Streep is awesome.

8:37: Great “damn”/”dame” joke at Helen Mirren’s expense. BTW, has she found the fountain of youth? If so, please share.

8:39: Gabourey Sidibe’s mom is loving Baldwin/Martin.

8:41: Awkwardddd…James Cameron is sitting behind Kathryn Bigelow.

8:43: I asked why Zac Efron and Taylor Lautner were invited and my mother’s response was, “They’re in movies.” Thanks for clearing that up, Mom!

8:48: And Best Supporting Actor goes to…Christoph Waltz. Can’t say I’m surprised since he won a Golden Globe.

8:50: Ryan Reynolds – one of Canada’s best exports.

8:52: It’s nice to see that the real family from The Blind Side was invited.

8:56: This bit with the animated characters is cute.

8:58: Not at all surprised that Up won Best Animated Feature Film. I haven’t seen it, but it’s Pixar, so it has to be fantastic.

9:00: Go home, Miley. Amanda Seyfried looks lovely, though.

9:03: The song from Crazy Heart is probably going to win.

9:04: I’m three for three with winners so far. Too bad I didn’t take part in an Oscar pool.

9:05: So far we’ve had Ryan Reynolds then Chris Pine introduce a Best Picture nominee. I like the trend that’s being set here…

9:12: Tina Fey. My idol. My mother thinks she looks like “Tarzana” in her polka dotted-ish dress.

9:13: Fey and Downey, Jr. are killing it with their writer/actor bit.

9:15: As a writer (I use that term loosely,) I love when they do nerdy writer stuff like read the stage directions on scripts.

9:17: Molly Ringwald? Did you get lost on the way from 1987?

9:19: This John Hughes montage is making me feel old.

9:22: This gathering of Hughes movie alums may or may not make me cry.

9:24: Now the clip of Up is making me tear up. Get a grip.

9:27: I have a total girl crush on Zoe Saldana, even though she was in the Britney Spears cinematic disaster Crossroads.

9:30: John Lasseter, you are awesome.

9:32: I may love Zoe, but hot damn, her dress is UGLY.

9:35: That red haired lady was pretty intense. I got the impression that she wasn’t supposed to be onstage and/or speak.

9:37: I am not shocked at all that Ben Stiller is dressed as a Na’avi.

9:40: I still love the Will Ferrell/Steve Carell bit from when they introduced Best Makeup a few years ago. I may YouTube it during a commercial.

9:47: I love Rachel McAdams (aka Regina George).

9:52: Queen Latifah always looks classy at awards shows. Her dress tonight is very flattering.

9:54: Cameron Diaz, I see you in the background chewing gum.

9:55: Robin Williams is oddly subdued.

9:59: Best Supporting Actress was a strong group with lots of talent, but Mo’nique totally deserves this.

10:01: Colin Firth is so dapper.

10:06: Of course Avatar won Art Direction. It’s easily the most visually stunning movie I’ve ever seen.

10:09: More Martin and Baldwin, please. These two are getting lots of laughs in my living room. SJP’s dress and hair piece are heinous.

10:11: I like this lady who just won Best Costume Design. Way to thank the under appreciated costumers!

10:13: Ugh, I can’t even escape Twilight on the Oscars.

10:15: I’m getting sleepy and bored. I might not make it to the end.

10:18: Color me shocked…Kristen Stewart’s dress is nice and she doesn’t look as slouchy as usual.

10:19: Do. Not. Like. Horror. Movies. I’m watching through my fingers.

10:22: Zac Efron and Anna Kendrick are very cute together.

10:27: Hmm…I thought these sound awards were a lock for Avatar. Does this mean The Hurt Locker has some big awards in its near future?

10:30: Quentin Tarantino – the Dwight Schrute of directing? Discuss.

10:35: Sandra is looking super shiny tonight. I kind of like the dress.

10:36: Avatar finally wins a technical-ish award tonight.

10:37: Oh no. The death montage. We’ve lost a lot of greats this year. Sad.

10:45: Oh, hello, Sam Worthington. I like your glasses.

10:46: LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY DANCERS! I love them so much.

10:54: Do you think Gerard Butler and Bradley Cooper talked about Jennifer Aniston while they were waiting backstage?

10:55: A big “DUH” that Avatar won Best Visual Effects.

11:02: Matt Damon – smart, talented, and a writer. Yes, please.

11:08: Dear Keanu, please shave. Thanks.

11:13: All the big awards are coming up, and just in time too, because I’m by myself now and I can barely stay awake.

11:14: I rest my case re: Quentin/Dwight.

11:19: Kathy Bates, you own Dunder Mifflin now.

11:20: I got chills watching the Avatar clip reel. It truly is a story that sucks you in and keeps you emotionally involved until the end credits.

11:23: There is a GIGANTIC spider crawling across the wall towards me. I just want this awards show to be over so I can get away from this speedy arachnid.

11:28: These personal tributes are actually quite interesting and touching.

11:31: Oh my god, West Coasters, it’s 11 freaking 30. Wrap it up, already.

11:33: Best Actor goes to…Jeff Bridges. No surprise there.

11:37: All right, I have to close up shop. I needed to go to bed like, an hour ago. Unlike everyone at the Oscars, some of us have to go to work tomorrow and earn a living : )

the ultimate oxymoron: britney spears sings live.

During her seemingly endless Circus tour, Britney Spears stopped in Greensboro, NC last night and sang a cover of Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know.” Unlike 99.9% of Britney’s performances, this one was actually sung live and didn’t induce bleeding from the eardrums.

YouTube video courtesy of user BOYBLACKICE.

enough already.

I listen to the radio a lot now that I’m home: in the car, while I’m at work, and in my room. I never listened to it when I was at school because I had iTunes, and frankly, the station selection in Poughkeepsie left a lot to be desired. I now realize I was better off not listening to the radio because the selection is terrible and they play the same 10 songs over and over again. Here are songs I would like to ban from further radio rotation:

Black Eyed Peas, “Boom Boom Pow”: This is the number one song on the Billboard charts, so that explains why I hear it even on adult contemporary stations. I hated this song when it first came out, then I warmed up and enjoyed it on my Saturday night jaunts to the bar, but now I’ve come full circle and loathe its very existence. When Fergie starts to scream the bridge, (“People in the place/If you wanna get down,” etc.) my ears start to ring and just want to curl up in a ball until it’s over.

Shinedown, “Second Chance”: I hate everything about this song, from its stupid music video with the runaway ballerina to the insipid lyrics. No, you did not just see Halley’s Comet, so stop trying to tell me you did. I can already tell this song will soon be making it onto grocery store playlists, and once you’re heard in the frozen food aisle at Stop and Shop, you lose all credibility.

Beyonce, “Halo”: My qualm with this song isn’t so much the fact that it’s overplayed, but the repetition of the word ‘halo.’ Beyonce says it 69 times throughout the song’s duration, (yes, I counted) and after about the 20th ‘halo,’ I’m driving off the road because I can’t focus on anything else but Mrs. Jay-Z’s favorite two-syllable word.

3OH!3, “Don’t Trust Me”: This song was cute and quirky when it first came out, and even I was singing along to “Shoosh girl, shut your lips/Do the Hellen Keller and talk with your hips,” but the novelty wore off quickly. I understand the quirky appeal of both the band and the song, but quirk can only carry you so far in this music industry. Gimmicky music like this makes me crazy.

The Fray, “You Found Me”: I enjoy the Fray, I really do. I have their first CD and it’s gotten a lot of play on my iPod, but this song is just so treacly and melodramatic. It’s been used in every show from Lost to The Real World, so hearing it ad nauseum on the radio is just overkill. Not to mention it’s interchangeable with about 80% of the Fray’s other songs.

Britney Spears, “If You Seek Amy”: I’ve had . I love almost every track off Circus, except this one, so I was prepared to grit my teeth and suffer through the incessant replays of this song. The tongue-in-cheek hilarity of the song’s title is made even worse by radio edits, which change the titular lyric to “If you see Amy.” As unexcited as I am about Britney’s next single, the Blackout-recycled “Radar,” I’d much prefer 2007’s leftovers to this ridiculous hot mess of a song.

‘so you think you can dance’ recap: top 18

Last night’s show was rough. Some of last week’s top performers were not good, and most of the routines were just so-so. Other highlights of the show included Cat Deeley wearing a human-sized ruffled pillowcase, and the dancers revealing “secrets” about their partners.

Evan and Randi: We learned that Evan likes to build cars and that Randi’s dog is like her child. Yawn. I enjoyed their jive upon first watch because the two of them can sell a routine like no other, but after watching it a second time, I noticed all of the things the judges pointed out. I doubt many viewers, aside from those who are trained ballroom dancers, noticed the errors because Randi and Evan are truly fun to watch. (Oops…I tried so hard not to say “fun” in my recap.)

Ade and Melissa: We learned that Melissa and her sister are married to brothers, and that Ade’s full name is Adetokunbo Isaac Kayode Obayomi. Again, not very exciting. Moving on to the dancing…I have never been able to get behind Sonya Tayeh’s choreography, probably because I just don’t understand it, but I do know that these two performed it well last night. Melissa is a walking example of the idea that having a strong foundation in ballet translates well across all dance genres, and Ade is just great at anything he does.

Jason and Caitlin: Jason’s big secret is that he used to do Michael Jackson impressions as a child, and aside from the tragic mullet he sported, I wasn’t exactly falling off my couch in shock by this revelation. Caitlin’s secret is that she talks in baby voices and does a velociraptor imitation that annoys Jason. Come on, dancers, where’s the dirt? I want to be shocked and amazed! One thing that did not shock or amaze me was Shane Sparks’ hip-hop choreography for these two. It’s hard to make a great performance out of lackluster moves. Jason was much better than Caitlin, and even though you could tell she was trying, it was nowhere near as enjoyable as their week one Bollywood routine.

Brandon and Janette: Janette used to have busted teeth, (her orthodontist must have specialized in miracles) and incredibly ripped Brandon says he has never set foot in a gym. The clueless preteens in the audience audibly gasped at this revelation, but then again, saying the words “Jonas” or “Brothers” could send them all into catatonic fits. It’s called a dancer’s body, people! I always thought disco was simply a music genre until SYTYCD proved me wrong. Doriana Sanchez (who may or may not be made entirely out of plastic) choreographed possibly the fastest disco routine to grace a dance floor, but that didn’t hinder Janette and Brandon. I thought Janette’s facial mugging was a bit distracting, but I come from the school of “less is more” when it comes to facial expressions.

Vitolio and Asukah: I cannot for the life of me remember what their secrets were, so that shows you they probably weren’t very exciting. Their waltz is one of those dances where the emotional back story far outweighs any technical mishaps (see: Kherington and Twitch’s Viennese waltz from last season). Inspired by Vitolio’s plight as an orphan, Louis van Amstel crafted a beautiful waltz that wasn’t technically stunning, but it was emotional and they definitely connected more with the piece than they did with last week’s Broadway disaster.

Max and Kayla: Max is called a “housewife” by his fellow dancers because he likes to cook, and Kayla likes to text. Wow…an 18-year-old girl likes to text. Who would have seen that coming? Having been a teenager during the glory days of pop in the early 2000s, I was extremely familiar with Brian Friedman’s choreographic resume (Britney Spears, ‘NSync, P!nk, etc.). I was very happy to see him return to SYTYCD after a brief absence. Kayla and Max perfectly captured his pop-jazz routine, and I have to say, this week, I watched Max more than Kayla. Yes, Kayla is good, but I don’t really get all the hype from the judges. All I noted about her dancing last night is that she’s what I like to call a “fish face dancer,” meaning she dances with her mouth hanging open in a very unattractive way.

Jonathan and Karla: We learned that Jonathan (who my sister pointed out is a David Archuleta lookalike,) is tone deaf but sings all the time and that Karla, despite being labeled by Fox as a contemporary dancer, is actually a member of hip-hop crew Boogie Bots, as seen on season two of America’s Best Dance Crew. Ballroom dancing and ballet/lyrical/contemporary are both very technical genres, but each has its own specific technique. I was very surprised to see that ballroom dancer Jonathan was able to effortlessly slip into the contemporary technique, and I think he matched contemporary dancer Karla’s skill level.

Philip and Jeanine: We learned that Philip is a science nerd and has close to 40 reptiles in his room. We also learned that Jeanine has a teddy bear named Spanky that she dresses in coordinating clothes and claims is “better than a boyfriend.” What a perfect match: science nerd with a reptile fixation and crazy girl in love with a bear. “Hot mess” is the only thing that comes to mind when I think of their routine last night. Philip’s lack of technical training was glaringly obvious while attempting the tango, and Jeanine, probably sensing this, seemed to be working twice as hard to sell it. It was painfully awkward to watch.

Kupono and Ashley: We learned that Kupono is OCD to the point of irritation, (explains his lists) and that Ashley projectile vomited on her first-grade classmates. Really Ashley? That’s what you choose to tell America about you? Nothing else about you is as remarkable as the fact that you spewed barf before Show and Tell? Okay then…This was another Shane Sparks routine that I didn’t really like. Nigel claimed it was the dancers, but I think the source of the problem is Mr. Sparks himself. Two bad routines in one show points to the creator of said routines. Ashley was much better than Kupono. There were moments where she was hitting the choreography just right, and I just wanted to shake Kupono and say, “Can’t you synchronize yourself with her for one 8-count? Please?”

Predictions: It’s hard for me to pick three couples this week, because the ones who slipped are frontrunners/favorites. I can’t tell if America is going to vote based on who they like vs. who danced the best. (I only vote during the finale…I have better things to do with my time than repeatedly press redial for two hours after the show.) If I had to predict, I would say Asukah and Vitolio are going to be in the bottom, simply because neither of them has really connected with the audience. Ashley and Kupono could also see themselves dancing for their lives, and I think a third couple could be Philip and Jeanine. Based on the bottom three I chose, I think Asukah and Vitolio could be going home.

Tune in to Fox tonight at 9 p.m. EST to see who will be packing up their dance shoes.

rant & rave of the day 1/15/09

So now that I’m an established blogger, (2 days!) I’ve decided to start my first daily feature. Here is “Rant & Rave of the Day,” a place where I get to highlight something I love and something I don’t love each day.

Rant: The music they play at my gym. I understand that background music is sometimes necessary, but about 90% of the gym’s patrons bring their own form of music, whether it’s an iPod or a one of its ancient predecessors. (I saw a lady at the gym wearing a fanny pack once, in which she was storing her Walkman.) The major problems I have with my gym’s music are a) it’s wayyyy too loud, and b) the music selection is horrible. I have to turn my own workout music of choice (gotta love Circus) up so loud that my eardrums ache just to drown out the worst selection of Top 40 music. I go to the gym around the same time each day, and within that two hour window, I can guarantee that I’ll hear Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” and Wyclef’s “Sweetest Girl” competing with the music on my iPod. It’s like my gym has one CD that they start at the same time each day, so by the time I come in at 9:30, it’s Katy Perry time. The amount of Mariah Carey they play is nauseating; I think the only person who would want to work out to Mariah Carey music is Nick Cannon.

I’m glad today was my last day at my home gym. The next time I work out will be at my school’s gym, where the music in the weight room is far enough away that I can listen to “Womanizer” at a tolerable volume while I’m on the elliptical.

Rave: Lisa Frank

Any girl who grew up in the 90’s must remember the bright, cheery designs of Lisa Frank. Her fluorescent animals adorned backpacks, notebooks, stickers and many other things that I deemed essential when I was in elementary school. I remember my Trapper Keeper in 4th grade was Lisa Frank, decorated with two golden retriever puppies sitting in a sandcastle. I was talking with one of my friends recently about Lisa Frank, and all we could remember about her designs was how bright and obnoxious they were. We might laugh at it now, but back in the day, having a folder with two bunnies dressed in tutus was a guaranteed way to make the other girls in your class jealous.