Archive for July, 2010


Even more news on the American Idol— there are unconfirmed reports that Kara DioGuardi has been fired from American Idol and that superstar performers Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler will be joining Randy Jackson at the judges’ table for season 10 of the FOX flagship program.

If this is true… that is a harsh move on the part of the producers. I didn’t mind Kara, actually. She did have industry experience; I think what did her in was the blatant crushing she was doing with Simon this season along with her foray into cougarhood over season 9 performer, Casey James. That really smacked of unprofessional behavior.

I can see Steven Tyler as a judge… but J.LO? I see her more as an actress than a singer; I always have. She does know the business, however; so I will give her a chance. Again, if the reports are to be believed.

When I hear for certain, I will definitely let you, the readers, know.

Ellen--One Season and Done

Major news on the American Idol Front: Ellen DeGeneres, who replaced Paula Abdul in season 9 of the Top Rated show, announced today that she will not participate in a  second season in the judge’s chair.

From her press release:

“A couple months ago, I let FOX and the American Idol producers know that this didn’t feel like the right fit for me. I told them I wouldn’t leave them in a bind and that I would hold off on doing anything until they were able to figure out where they wanted to take the panel next. It was a difficult decision to make, but my work schedule became more than I bargained for. I also realized this season that while I love discovering, supporting and nurturing young talent, it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings. I loved the experience working on “Idol” and I am very grateful for the year I had. I am a huge fan of the show and will continue to be.”

I am a rather disappointed fan girl, but I do agree that this was not her cup of tea. Idol needs a David Foster/Harry Connick, Jr. type who really knows musical performance and industry inside and out and who isn’t afraid to be critical (but not as cruel) as Simon Cowell.

The Producers would also be wise to go back to a three judge format so that the judges have adequate time to critique each contestant… and hopefully end the show on time. When comparing the judges on Idol and my favorite talent show America’s Got Talent, it is like night and day. Piers, Sharon and Howie are critical when needed, praiseworthy when deserving, and truly show their knowledge of the business and how each act fits and doesn’t fit into it.  The Idol judges should really take note of what they are doing and retire boring phrases such as pitchy, and not feeling it, etc. The viewers can pretty much recite the Idol critiques from heart, and that is not a good thing.

Also, when the judges give a critique, they don’t need to go the next week and critique the contestants for DOING WHAT THEY WERE TOLD TO DO. The season 9 contestants were so confused this season, it was rather sad. And it is things like that which led to a major slip in ratings.

My wish for Idol: Reinvent yourself. Take the best of the best of the best and give them unified and thorough criticism to make them the best entertainers they can be. If American Idol can find judges that can do that, they will return to the top of Nielson Mountain… and remain there for a long, long time.

This summer I have been writing weekly reviews for America’s Got Talent for tvwarrior.blogspot.com. I have written about some of my personal favorites for the Fan Girl Confessor; but I want to share with you, my wordpress peoples my weekly rundowns.  So, to help you all out if you have just started watching AGT, below is a link to all of my posts for the warrior.

DO feel free to poke around the warrior while you are there. There are a lot of good reviews. We celebrate the good on TV and mercilessly wish doom on shows that suck.

Also, feel free to follow me on Twitter  at Alexis_Rueal

America’s Got Talent

July 25, 2010

Dear Jim,

Hello. My name is Alexis-Rueal, and I am the creator of the blog Fan Girl Confessions. I discuss various topics and people I go fan-girl crazy over, and, well, you are near the very top of my fan girl favorites list.

I hope you enjoyed this year’s Comic Con. It looks like the Big Bang Theory panel went swimmingly and everyone had a blast. (unfortunately) I  was here in Ohio, so I had to rely on YouTube for live Soft Kitty and theme song from BNL; but them’s the breaks.

I want to congratulate you on this receiving your second Emmy nomination.  You definitely deserved it, and your fans are hoping that this is the year you dethrone Alec Baldwin. Believe me, there are many rabbit’s feet, horseshoes and four leaf clovers in use throughout the world on your behalf.

Congratulating you is only one reason why I am writing tonight. The other reason I am writing is to offer my services as your escort during the evening of the Emmy Awards. Of course, you could take a family member or a friend, but there are a few really groovy reasons why I would make a great companion to the Emmy Awards.

First and foremost, I am entertaining as hell. Some people might actually call me charming. I can handle myself around very important people without making myself look like a buffoon. I can handle glad handing and air kissing  (if I need), but I can also have a down-home quality too. I am southern, so I definitely know a little something about using my southern wiles to put people at ease. That can be quite an important skill in a theater full of nervous celebrities.

Second, there is nothing fake about me. What you see  is what you get. I am not a size 0 (far from it)…but I am proud of who I am. I was taught to carry myself well and I know I could be a graceful and elegant date for the evening.

I know this is a pipe dream… but I was always taught to go after my dreams– no matter how big. That is why I wrote this letter. I have a great deal of respect for your talent and find that you are one of the most genuine people I have seen. You are the type of person that people (including myself) want to get to know and become friends with.  I also know that in %99.999 of normal circumstances, it will never happen. It is still a dream worth having, though, and I want to show people that it is still okay to have those types of dreams.  And if you say ‘yes’ to my offer, it will show people that it is okay to dream big because every now and again those dreams can actually come true. That and you would be one of two who rank as the coolest friends that I have… and you can never-NEVER-have enough cool friends.

Okay, there is my offer. Please feel free to let me know via the comment form or you can e-mail me at buckeyehoney@gmail.com (Ohio State alumna… gotta keep true to the school). I wish you well as you start the new season’s taping of Big Bang and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours Truly,

Alexis-Rueal (the fan-girl confessor)

America's Got Talent judges Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel with host Nick Cannon

Some of our illustrious 14 were passed straight through to Hollywood. No second auditions were needed for Haspop, Future Funk, The  Strikers All Stars and Fighting Gravity. They joined six more acts ranging from a hula hooper to a cheer squad in filling the first 10 spots of the Top 48. I have to admit, this fan girl is feeling pretty proud of herself. I can spot talent… I ain’t gonna lie.

From this group, Future Funk and Fighting Gravity both performed live . Fighting Gravity made it on America’s Vote and Future Funk made it through from the judges’ vote. (Howie waited until the LAST second to make his mind up)

The rest of our top 14 had to try out a second time  in Vegas.  I will give a brief rundown:

Prince Poppycock: The Prince was sick and had almost lost his voice.  His second performance was good… not the greatest considering his illness, but it was enough to get him to the top 48 episodes (he still has not performed live as of this posting)

Carlos Aponte: He had a very good second performance, but the judges were unsure if he could handle the big stage and live shows. In the end, Carlos did NOT make the top 48. (I was EXTREMELY disappointed in this decision by the judges)

AscenDance: They did just as good on their second performance and were a shoe in for the top 48. They did perform live and added two more members to their troupe.  The judges were quite taken with their live performance and could see the start of a new art form. I admit, I can see it, too. It is breathtaking to watch their work.  They made it through to the semi-finals on America’s Vote.

Debra Romer: Debra did a very good job of getting over her nerves for her second audition. The judges thought she did a wonderful job during her Vegas audition and passed her through to the top 48. (she still has not performed live as of this posting)

CJ Dippa: This kid is still a player and he worked it yet again in his Vegas audition. The judges passed him through to the top 48. (He still has not performed live as of this posting)

Alice Tan Ridley: Alice has cemented her position as a front runner in this contest. She can totally TEAR UP anything she sings. She took on Tina Turner in Vegas and was sent through to the top 48. In her quarter final performance this week, she brought down the house with her take on “Midnight Train to Georgia” . Her getting sent through to the semi-finals was pretty much a foregone conclusion…

Michael Grimm: … as well as for this man. I see this contest coming down to a horse race between Michael and Alice. Michael did his thing in Vegas and cleaned up very nicely in his quarter final performance. Add to that, a soulful voice to die for and I have a feeling the women are going to fall all over him.  On top of that… he seems so humble and his love for his family is genuine. I look forward to seeing where Michael and Alice go from here. I think they both have wrote their own ticket, though. The people know them, now.

Nick Pike: This has been interesting for Nick. He did good in Vegas (juggling while blindfolded and walking on broken glass), but the judges did not send him through to the top 48. However, when the live shows started, we found out that Twisted Trystan and Krystan were not able to make the live shows– which means Nick was in. His live performance was okay… the judges were a little rough on him. Nick committed the cardinal sin of contestants, though… he talked back. The he went backstage and cussed about the judges. I lost quite a bit of respect for him after that. I think America did, too… he did not make it through to the next round. He DID, however, apologize to the judges.

New Directions Choir: I just adore this group. They are so inspirational and talented. Their Vegas performance was just as wonderful as their original performance, and I truly thought they were a shoe in for the top 48. Well… color the judges stupid on this one. They were passed over. What the hell?!?!?! I was epic pissed at this result. All I can hope for is that someone else dropped out and the judges saw the error of their ways… I can dream, you know.

Connor Doran: Conner was another one of my sentimental favorites. I loved his story and his indoor kite flying was absolutely divine. He performed in Vegas and I (again) was pulling for this young man to make it to the live shows… and (AGAIN) I was screwed over. Conner did not make it.  Yet… hand whistle lady (Sally Cohn) made it through  along with Ronith.

So there are the updates on my favorites. Just to show you the magnitude of the competition between Michael and Alice, I am adding in the video performances from their live show. It is going to be a tough contest this year. Too much talent…. and that is a good thing.

Sorry I haven’t been around too much.  I have been doing some  blogging on http://tvwarrior.blogspot.com.  As America’s Got Talent moves on to the Vegas round, I want to give you an idea of who you should be watching out for.  I admit, this is turning out to be a GREAT season so far. The judges have done a very good job of choosing quality acts to go to Vegas. I have a feeling it is going to be a tough choice to whittle these down to a top 40.  Her are my top acts so far:

1. Prince Poppycock— This store-clerk come singer is dramatic, talented and HIGHLY entertaining.   From the foppish aristocratic costume to the beautiful voice, I was enthralled with the Prince.  I had to watch and re-watch this performance the next day, I was so taken.  With the right music and costumes, I can see him going to top 3.  I am really looking forward to seeing what rabbits he pulls from his hat in the Vegas rounds.

2. Fighting Gravity— This is a performance dance group out of  Virginia Tech. The members are fraternity brothers, none of whom have had dance training.  They performed this wonderful black light, gravity defying dance routine that resembled a puppet show.  I was completely  impressed by the timing and the choreography of this group.  I think we could see even better from them and could make the top 5 to 10 of the show.

3.Carlos Aponte— We have this year’s Susan Boyle and his name is Carlos Aponte.  He is a young wedding singer from Puerto Rico; and at first blush you wouldn’t expect a whole lot from this unassuming man.  Yeah, you’d be wrong, too.  Carlos has a voice on him. It, and he, fill up the stage as the performance goes on.  Doesn’t hurt, either, that he’s a cutie. (fan girls notice these things) I could see him in top three or even winning this thing.  I can’t wait to see what he brings to Vegas.

4. Debra Romer— Debra is a 21 year old college student and waitress. She has one of those heartbreaking, yet hopeful tales that AGT (hell, ALL reality shows) LOVE.  She was a foster child who ran away from home at 17 and didn’t look back. She sang “Arms of an Angel” by Sarah McLaughlin.  I think Sarah Mac would have really liked Debra’s take on this song– even though Debra WAS nervous. There was a debate between Piers and the other two judges about how ready Debra is for the big stage. Howie had voted no and Sharon had to be convinced to vote yes. We will see if Debra can grow in presence to reach the top 40 this year.

5. Strikers All Stars– This is a hot dance group. They stem from the FAMU Strikers out of Florida A&M University.  These gentlemen have danced together for many years and were contestants on America’s Best Dance Crew.  This is truly one of the most talented dance groups I have seen in a long time. Their stepping and dancing was as tight as can be and the athleticism was a sight to behold. I can seen them going pretty far in this show.  Another act that I look forward to seeing more from.

6. Ascendance— This is an engaged couple who combine dance with rock wall climbing. I was skeptical, I admit; but after watching them, I was impressed.  They are graceful… and (DAMN!) athletic. This is also a very UNIQUE act. That could work very well for them as the contest moves on.  Should be interesting…

7. Nick Pike— Nick is a young British juggler who now lives in the US and performs his juggling act on cruise ships and the such. He has talent, wit (catch the Riverdance bit… hella funny), charm and he’s cute to boot.  Yes, he did drop one thing… but he juggled while on FIRE. He juggled a CHAINSAW. I know I will get some disagreements on Nick… but I enjoyed him and I REMEMBERED him. That is important in a show like this– who is memorable and who is not.  Those are the people that get the votes.

8. New Directions Choir– This is a choir made up of formerly homeless veterans from all branches of the armed forces.  Some members of this choir were homeless for one or two decades  before finding New Directions and rebuilding their lives. This act is GOOD… their a cappella was lovely and their stage presence was wonderful.  Seeing this choir reminds one that our veterans should NEVER.EVER. be forgotten.  I am hoping against all hope that this group goes far.  They are good enough for it. They deserve it.

9. Alice Tan Ridley– Another singer, and yet, not another singer.  This is Academy Award nominee Gabby Sidibe’s mother. Alice has raised her family, now she is chasing her dream of becoming a singer. She spent the past 20 years singing in the subway stations, entertaining the passers by. Well, she gets the big stage and she TORE IT UP. Her version of  “At Last” was superb and powerful… honestly, there aren’t enough adjectives to describe how good this lady is.  She has a great personality and stage presence, too.  Could definitely be a real contender.

10. HasPop– HasPop is a 32 year old dancer/mime originally from France.  His dance routine left everyone amazed. Piers had even said that he’d never ever seen  anything like that before.  I agree with that.  He uses his body very well. This dance is artistic AND entertaining.  The tempo changes are things of beauty…. and I have to give props to anyone who can use the song “Barbie Girl” and get away with it.  I see a top 10 for HasPop.

11. CJ Dippa– This is an 11 year old rapper and dancer. Yes… a mini-Eminem– except “Eminem can’t dance” (his words, not mine).  Thing is, though, he’s good.  He’s got the little swagger, he has the pre-teen ladies eating out of his hand.  I don’t see him winning, but he’ll be cute to watch for awhile. I do think that he will also get better as he gets older.

12. Conner Doran– Conner is a 16 year old who lives with epilepsy. Conner’s talent is indoor kite flying, which he does to take his mind off his health difficulties.  This act was beautiful.  It truly does take a lot of skill to fly a kite indoors and do so with the amount of choreography that Conner used in his performance. What was amazing is that the audience was spell bound. You could hear a pin drop during this performance.  The audience knew they were seeing something special and you will too once you watch.  I am hoping this kid goes far.

13. Future Funk– This is the most adorable kids act on this year’s AGT. These kids are 5 and 9 and they were gettin’ all funky with their little selves.  They are very good little break dancers.  And they are  cheek pinchinly cute, too.  I am excited to see what other routines these little guys give us.

14. Michael Grimm– Michael is a singer who seems to have stolen everybody’s heart. Almost a million hits on YouTube since his performance aired a month ago. He has it all. The backstory, the looks, the talent.  I think he is an easy lock for the top 40, and from early buzz, he might be the one to beat this season. His performance of  “You don’t know me” was smoking hot… and I don’t think we’ve seen everything he has to offer, either.  I have a feeling we are going to be in for a treat.

These are just the acts that have struck MY fancy.  I am sure you will have differing opinions. Please, feel free to write me and let me know.  Also,  come join me on Twitter by following  Alexis_Rueal. You name it, I’m usually tweeting about it.  I will keep everyone posted on this weeks Vegas editions of AGT. We’ll see how my top 14 acts do on the strip.

Til Then!

Alexis-Rueal

(fan-girl confessor)