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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)

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I am not a fan of reality TV…. scratch that… I am not a fan of MOST reality TV. Real Housewives– my ass. Give me a college graduate working a minimum wage job while trying to raise kids and a man, all the while getting turned down for government assistance because she makes too much money. THAT, my friends is REAL.

These reality TV competition shows. Big, fat WHATEVER. Not into the little drama queens and screwing over every person in their path in order to win a game.  Sorry, give me hard work and an honest work ethic anytime over that drivel.

There are three shows, though, that I– the fan girl confessor– do actually watch. And respect.  They celebrate hard work, self-aware self-aggrandizement and a sense of normalcy in a celebrity world… and I love them for it.

So, in no particular order. My reality TV recommendations:

1. Gene Simmons Family Jewels– A&E

I love this show.  Gene Simmons is one of the coolest entertainers around and his family is one of the most normal. Yes, I know they have more money than some small countries and live a lifestyle commiserate with that money.  Thing is, though, I have never felt like they rub it in people’s faces. They do these wonderful things, but are, for all intensive purposes, a regular family. They have their spats, raise their kids, go through all this normal STUFF; and we are entertained by this sense of elevated normalcy.  They also give back… so many times Gene and the family have done things for charities and the troops… and they never EVER seem put off by it.  Makes me proud to be a fan girl.

I have to give an extra BIG fan girl salute to the kids, Nick and Sophie. Those are two of the most unassuming and non-snobby young people that I have ever watched on TV.  They work hard and don’t take their lives for granted. I attribute that to wonderful parenting on the part of Gene and Shannon.  Well done, you two!  As long as A&E has you on TV, I will be there with bells on.

2. Kathy Griffin- My Life on the D-List–Bravo

This fan girl is TEAM GRIFFIN all the way!

Oh, Kathy…. you media hookah.  I love D-list because it knows what it is and what it isn’t.  It is not high art. It IS a damn funny show about Kathy’s incessant climb  to the top of Fame Mountain and the various ways she gets knocked down again.  She goes for the overly dramatic and in your face funny; then she goes to Iraq or to visit wounded soldiers back home.  She gives her mom Maggie all types of grief and cracks the verbal whip at her staff; but does so with a wink and a nudge that we have all come to appreciate and love.

Whether you like it or not, Kathy… you are A-list in our book.  But as the old saying goes: you can take Kathy out of the D-list, but you can’t take the D-list out of Kathy.  We wouldn’t have it any other way.

3. America’s Got Talent–NBC

This show has the magic that American Idol has lost.  Take ordinary people of all ages and talents, put them on stage, and give them a chance to shine.  Add in three judges (Piers Morgan, Sharon Osborn and Howie Mandel) and one host (Nick Cannon), who know how to judge as well as entertain in a good natured fashion; then combine that with an audience that likes to share its opinion (for better OR for worse). What do you get? The best competition show on Television.

There are some absolutely talented people on this show. They range from singers to magicians to acrobats to everything in between.  They come with their dreams in hand and try to convince the judges and America that their talent is worth a million dollars and a headline show in Vegas.

I love the hopeful attitude of this show. I love the humor and supportive nature of the judges and Nick (even when the act is not-so-great).

What I love most, though, is the fact that this show relies on TALENT; not on who can screw over everybody the most… not on who the most dramatic cry baby is.  A normal person with an extraordinary talent tries to convince America to make their dream come true.  There is nothing more simple, or more entertaining.

So, that’s my list…. if you think you can convince me of a show that is not on this list… do your worst!  Worst thing that can happen is that I’ll tell you you’re an idiot.

Much love,

Fan Girl out!



Every fan girl has to start somewhere. Usually a Disney show or a teeny-bopper, bubble gum band. You may count me among the latter; you see, I was taught the finer art of fan girldom by none other than the New Kids on the Block. Stop snickering… if you are over 30, you KNOW they were king shit back in the day… back when I was in middle school. God, I can’t believe I just wrote that line.

It was way back when the world was young– late 80′ and early 90’s. Bush the first was in office, and the fan girl confessor was a lowly little student at Taft Middle School.  I hadn’t really discovered the power of music or the social and emotional pull performers can have ( I was pretty oblivious back then), but all of my friends had. They’d go down the hall singing their songs, giggling and sighing at all the little articles they found in Teen Beat, Tiger Beat and Bop magazines, talking about the concerts they were going to and trading every known New Kids item they could get their fan girl hands on.  I always felt a little left out because I couldn’t really join in the conversations; but thankfully, that feeling didn’t last too long.

I guess I should thank the Marshall twins for officially introducing me to New Kids. We were at lunch and they were talking about the band. One of them– Dawn, I think– asked why I don’t talk about the band.  I told her the truth… never heard their music. Thankfully, I was not ostracized for this confession. Instead, I was loaned “Hanging Tough”… and a true-blue fan girl was born.

I loved the music… the beats, the rhythms, the harmonies. Most of all, I loved–no, LOVED– the guys. Oh, to my little pre-teen heart, they defined what men were: suave, debonair,  a little bit bad and absolutely A-DOR-ABLE! You had all the types the girls love : The tough guys (Donny and Danny), the boy next door (Joey), the cool guy(Jordan)– and my personal favorite– the quiet one (Jonathan… sigh).

Yes, Jonathan was my favorite.  Handsome, older, almost shy.  Oh, that spoke VOLUMES to me,  considering I was always pretty quiet around other people.  It always disappointed me that he didn’t get more solos; but I listened to the ones he did have overandoverandover again.  I took what I could get.

Once the band was discovered, the natural progression turned to the magazines. Oh, I had magazines… I had pictures.  ALL.FOUR.WALLS. covered from top to bottom with posters and pictures. THREE.FOLDERS. full of pictures that I couldn’t fit on the wall.  Their videos, their comforter, trading cards, and -ah, yes- the dolls. Yes… I had the damn dolls.  My parents HOOKED ME UP! The only things I couldn’t get were concert tickets… we never had enough money for that. I still rank that as one of my major regrets of life. I wanted that experience so many of my friends were able to have. Oh, well….

I loved being a part of something so many others around me enjoyed. It gave me a way to belong; gave me a taste of a world outside of Marion, Ohio.  I loved having something to look forward to talking about and reading about and sharing with others.  They gave me that, and I followed it until the tides changed and everyone moved on.  That’s life, isn’t it?  People move on… grow up and find new things and people to cling to. New things to go all fan-girly over.

I admit, I followed them some after the band broke up the first time. I had to see what they were up to. Helped me keep some nice childhood memories alive.  I was extremely happy when I discovered that they got back together in 2008 and started touring.  Brought all those founding fan girl feelings back to the forefront… and brought a smile to my face.

Now, instead of magazines and pictures posted on my wall, I have the internet with its fan girl arsenal of Facebook, Twitter and web sites of various size and quality. I DID complete my NKOTB collection for Twitter… I daresay I enjoy the stories they tell.  I am sending them all a link to this article, with a note:  Thank you New Kids for being a part of my pre-teen and teenage years. Thank you for showing me how much fun it is to be your fan.

Just got done with the 5th season finale of “Bones”. Damn, that felt like a series finale… some major upheaval in the Bones-verse.

SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!

I’ll be honest, I could give a crap about the case. Give me the sap of Bones and Booth and WHY THE HELL THEY AREN’T TOGETHER ALREADY! We already had our hearts broken in the 100th episode; the least the Producers could do is have Bones see the error of her ways and grab onto Booth like there was no tomorrow and show him how a real woman kisses… or is that me? Hmmm….

Well, either way, didn’t happen.  Team broke up for a year.  Didn’t even get to see a Booth/Bones kiss at the end… oh, they teased it; but left us hanging hard.

I think I can speak for Bones fans when I say: $*#&&#$^$    We hang out with you for FIVE. YEARS.  and keep getting tormented.  So close, yet so very freaking far…Face it: We’re pent up here… the shippers are restless.  We will be back for season 6; but understand this– WE. WANT. THEM. TOGETHER.  Nothing else will do.

Hello world. The name is Alexis and I am a fan girl. I tell you now, if it has to do with Jim Parsons, Hugh Laurie, Matthew Gray Gubler or many (many) others, I will be there with bells on.

I admit, I get REALLY fan girly– almost to the point of swooning (especially if it has to do with dear, Mr. Parsons). I love to see these people in character, but I love to learn about them, too, in the most respectful way possible.

What you will get from me is information, my swoonings and pinings, TV and music reviews and all other types of fan girly goodness… I look forward to meeting you all and I hope you enjoy.

Tomorrow I will be posting a review of “The Good Guys” on Fox. I tell you, now, if you love cheesy cop shows and pornstaches, you will LOVE this show.

Til then… MWAH!