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 : )

‘american idol’ top 16: eight girls is enough.

I first need to acknowledge the wonder that is one-hour episodes of American Idol. All the filler was gone and the viewers were left with an emphasis on performances, as it should be. Last night was the final episode before the top 12, as we were reminded every five minutes.
Katie Stevens began the night with Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway.” I really should like Katie, considering we share the same home state, her mother is an alum of my college, and her brother is currently a sophomore at my alma mater. However, I find that Katie brings nothing new to the Idol stage. This performance was the youngest she’s ever seemed, which is about 30. She started the song too low, and then her voice just went flat on the chorus. Based on the judges’ comments, they seem to have given up on her. I think Katie may be traveling back to Connecticut at the end of the week. Simon’s comment that she “kind of sucked….the air out of the room” was classic Cowell.
Siobhan Magnus, however, won’t be returning to her home state of Massachusetts for a while. I don’t care what Simon said; her performance of the Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun” was brave, on-key, and showed the amazing amount of vocal restraint she has. Starting the song a cappella takes guts and confidence in your vocal abilities. I hope Siobhan goes far into the top 12, because she’s the only female contestant I really enjoy.
I’ve been rooting for Lacey Brown since Hollywood week, and I think last night was the first time she picked the right song for her voice. Brandi Carlile’s “The Story” highlighted all the uniqueness of Lacey’s voice, and while it wasn’t a performance I’ll remember in six months, let alone six weeks, I think it’s enough to carry her into the top 12.
Katelyn Epperly may not have done enough. Her performance last night was the epitome of “phoning it in.” I don’t care if she claimed she was trying to be less cheesy; the girl stood behind her Wurlitzer with the same kind of enthusiasm I muster for folding laundry. Her vocals on Carole King’s “I Feel the Earth Move” were okay, but it was like Laurie Partridge 2.0 with the plaid jumper and the lackluster musicianship. I think she might be in danger of going home tonight, unless the buzz from last week’s “The Scientist” can propel her into next week.
Watching Didi Benami‘s performance of “Rihannon,” I was sure that the judges were going to rip her apart. It was like a bad coffeehouse performance, and I’m not sure if Didi was actually playing her guitar. Poor Stevie Nicks; after Taylor Swift murdered this same song at the Grammys and Lacey murdered “Landslide” a few weeks ago on the Idol stage, she’s probably not very willing to lend her songs to others. I already aired my grievances about Didi’s tone and lockjaw, but tonight I realized she over-enunciates her words to boot. And seriously, enough with the waterworks. I don’t care if they’re happy tears or not, just stop. This woman is one criticism away from a mental breakdown.
Someone who rightfully shed tears last night was Paige Miles, who definitely reached the end of her Idol journey with a whispery, shaky take on Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile.” I don’t know why she picked the song if it evokes such strong emotions in her, because clearly her emotions got in the way of delivering a good performance. It was hard to watch a verklempt Paige try to explain her song choice to Ryan, when she clearly knew the song was her death sentence.
Unlike seemingly every person on the American Idol payroll, I’m not drinking the Crystal Bowersox Kool-Aid just yet. Her semifinal performances, including last night’s version of Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason,” are good, but they’re a bit predictable. I know what I’m getting each week, and while the judges like to think it’s because Crystal “knows what kind of artist she’ll be,” I think it’s because she’s a one-trick pony. Just wait until the top 12 theme nights, Miss Bowersox. I can’t wait to see how she puts her girl-with-a-guitar spin on the Barry Manilow catalog, or better yet, disco week! I think Crystal may soon suffer from the backlash that comes from being excessively pimped by the judges. Despite what Simon claimed on Leno the other night, I don’t think this competition is Crystal’s to lose.
Closing the show was Lilly Scott, with a take on Patsy Cline’s “I Fall to Pieces.” She carried a mandolin, but I couldn’t discern it among the horrific sounds made by the Idol Karaoke Backing Band, nor did it appear that she played it very much. Instruments are not props, Idol contestants, but rather a privilege. The whole performance was weird, from the arrangement to the weird ensemble Lilly was wearing: balls of yarn hanging from her ear lobes, granny boots and a gray patchwork dress. The vocals were so-so, but none of the judges touched on that, maybe in their haste to end the show. I think Lilly is going to have to break out of her “look at me! I’m quirky!” box to be a true contender in the top 12.
The boys perform tonight at 9 – tune in for another hour of performances from men with middling talent. Seriously, this season kind of sucks.

live-blogging the grammys!

Greetings! Welcome to my first-ever live blog! Tonight I’ll be picking apart the Grammys, probably my favorite awards show because we get lots of great performances and very little filler. Just a warning: I may give up if this turns into a disaster, and there’s a very good chance I’ll go to bed before the show is over. Wow…if that’s not confidence in my abilities, I don’t know what is. Stay tuned!

8:00: Another crazy spectacle from Lady Gaga. Hopefully this turns into the piano duet with Elton I heard about…

8:02: I think I’m uncomfortable seeing this much of Gaga’s pelvis.

8:05: This is a Grammy performance for the history books, kids.

8:08: Jay-Z was VERY unamused by Stephen Colbert.

8:10: Colbert is killing it. Why doesn’t he host more award shows?

8:12: And song of the year goes to…Beyonce for “Single Ladies.” Great song, but I think it should have gone to Taylor or Gaga.

8:14: J Lo, you’ve come a long way since that infamous Grammy dress all those years ago…

8:16: This is weird…like Green Day meets “Rent.”

8:19: I actually like that song a lot better with the Broadway treatment.

8:24: Kristen Bell looks TERRIBLE. You are so much better than that dress and “When In Rome,” Kristen.

8:26: And Taylor Swift’s domination begins…now. Aww, Mama Swift is so happy.

8:27: Simon Baker is struggling with his TelePrompter. What’s up with the Groucho Marx glasses?

8:29: I really dislike Beyonce. She’s not as great of a singer as everyone claims her to be. This performance is terribly boring…”If I Were a Boy” is one of her weakest songs.

8:32: And now she’s covering Alanis Morrisette? This makes no sense.

8:42: Something tells me Pink won’t keep this demure white robe on for very long…

8:43: She’s taking pseudo-nudity to new heights. (Pun intended.)

8:44: Between Gaga and Pink, the Staples Center must have a team of bikini waxers on staff.

8:46: Oh Miranda Lambert, I love you and your real-woman figure, but honey, that dress is doing you absolutely no favors.

8:47: Best New Artist is always my favorite award…welcome to the club, Zac Brown Band! This is a surprising win; I thought MGMT had this one.

8:54: Go away, Miley. Your dress is ugly, too.

8:55: BEP is not sounding good live. I can’t look at Fergie without thinking of her peeing her pants.

8:57: “I Gotta Feeling” is such a sing-along song. Also, Fergie may or may not be wearing a futuristic poker visor. I’d like to describe this performance as a hot mess.

9:00: JoBros introducing Lady Antebellum? Yes please.

9:05: Joe Jonas, you look foolish.

9:07: Love me some Lady A. They’re one of the few country artists on my iPod.

9:08: Fun fact – Lady A singer Charles Kelley is Katherine Heigl’s brother-in-law. (She’s married to his brother Josh.)

9:09: Yes! Stephen Colbert is a Grammy winner.

9:11: Colbert’s daughter is an insta-celeb now…she’s going to be the coolest kid at her high school/college tomorrow.

9:17: Norah Jones is like the musical equivalent of wallpaper. She’s talented, but she puts me to sleep.

9:18: Wow…Kings of Leon came out of nowhere for song of the year. “Use Somebody” is a great, anthemic song and definitely deserved to win, although I’m quite shocked they beat out all those other pop hits.

9:20: Much like Miley missed the memo about stilettos, I apparently missed the memo about thick, black glasses. Robert Downey, Jr. is like the 5th person to sport Buddy Holly glasses tonight.

9:22: Why does this song merit a Grammy performance? I find Jamie Foxx unnecessary.

9:24: Seriously, what is going on? Everyone in the audience looks pained, especially Josh Duhamel, who looks like he’d rather be anywhere but watching this.

9:26: Ke$ha and Justin Bieber may be the most awkward pairing of the night. Nice recovery though, Bieber, although you might want to avoid Jay-Z for the rest of the night.

9:28: Also, Ke$ha (dollar sign totally ridiculous and difficult to type) looks like a less-cute version of Ashley Tisdale.

9:32: Alice Cooper is like Russell Brand in 40 years. Take it all in, Katy.

9:33: Kind of an underwhelming selection for Best Rock Album. “21st Century Breakdown” is like a watered-down version of “American Idiot.”

9:35: “Chicken Fried” is incredibly cliched, but it’s such a feel-good country song.

9:40: Just realized the telecast ends at 11:30…I’ll be wicked ired in the morning, but I’ll be blogging until the end credits roll. Have no fear.

9:46: Only Taylor Swift can sing the lyrics “I wore a dress/You wore a dark gray t-shirt” and not get laughed at.

9:47: My parents are not T. Swift fans…Mom thinks she sounds flat, and Dad think she “sings like a 10-year-old.” Clearly they aren’t Grammy voters.

9:49: I love Taylor Swift, Stevie Nicks and “Rhiannon,” but I don’t love them all together.

9:50: My family room has turned into a Taylor Swift-bashing festival. There is no love for Miss Swift among my parents.

9:52: I love Lionel Richie…he’s so comfortingly bland.

9:54: Dang, no 3-D glasses for the MJ tribute.

9:55: Carrie Underwood looks fabulous, as usual.

9:58: LOVE the shots of the celebs in the audience rocking their 3-D glasses.

10:00: Call me insensitive, but that was kind of a lackluster “tribute.” Maybe if it was a more familiar song?

10:01: Paris and Prince seem so well-adjusted and normal. They’re very cute kids.

10:08: Sheryl Crow still exists?

10:10: This may be the most formulaic and boring Bon Jovi song in their entire songbook.

10:12: Jennifer Nettles is a country goddess. I love Sugarland.

10:14: Bon Jovi are such seasoned pros that they can play “Livin’ On a Prayer” with one second’s warning.

10:16: Mos Def and Placido Domingo are totally failing at their witty banter.

10:17: PLEASE LET “I’M ON A BOAT” WIN.

10:19: Who is this cute child with Jay and Rihanna? Also, was Kanye not invited for fear of a VMA repeat?

10:26: Must. Stay. Awake.

10:28: I’m sure this is a lovely tribute, but I can’t stop yawning. We need some upbeat performances, stat.

10:31: Drake, Lil Wayne and Eminem will definitely inject some life into this dying telecast.

10:39: Mr. Grammy President, let’s wrap this up. You’re very eloquent and important, but it’s too late for long speeches.

10:41: Adam Sandler looks old and lost. Love that they played “The Hanukkah Song” as he walked onstage, though.

10:43: Maybe I should take up playing a stringed instrument so I can be featured on the Grammys…maybe the viola?

10:44: This is not a great DMB song. Also, Dave Matthews should never dance. Ever.

10:46: Lea Michele is GORGEOUS. I may prematurely name her best-dressed of the night.

10:48: Beyonce is in the running for worst dressed…that getup is a Lady Gaga reject, and her poor boobs look like they’re being cut in half.

10:53: I’m really hoping Gaga pulls of a win for Album of the Year…”The Fame” is a fantastic pop album.

10:55: Excuse me while I take a nap during Maxwell’s performance.

10:58: The first time I ever saw Roberta Flack in my life, she was on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” singing a spoof called “Killing Me Softly With This Thong.” It was a wonderful first impression.

11:03: The “In Memorium” segments are always so sobering. The music industry loses so much talent every year.

11:04: This lady singing with Jeff Beck has her hair shaped like a Cinnabon. I’m very hungry all of a sudden…

11:12: Quentin Tarantino scares me. A lot.

11:13: I think this is Lil Wayne’s last public appearance before he goes to jail. I love Travis Barker so much…he kills it on the drums.

11:16: I always think of “Degrassi” when I see Drake. I’m sure that does a lot for his rap credibility. Also: Jamie Foxx, you are one of those embarrassing people who sings along at concerts even though you don’t know the words.

11:20: I’m getting very anxious to see who’s going home with Album of the Year!

11:25: Here we go…TAYLOR SWIFT WON?? HOLY CRAP! I was hoping for a Gaga win, but Taylor totally deserves this award. To be that young and that talented – congrats, Taylor.

So there you have it…the 52nd Grammy Awards. Thank you to anyone who bothered to read this; I had fun writing and I hope you had fun reading. See you at the Oscars : )