Tuesday, January 8, 2008

So, Simon Cowell Was Right All Along...

Final standings for American Idol, season 5, and the U.S. sales from their first record:

1. Taylor Hicks: 699,000
2. Katherine McPhee: 355,000
3. Elliot Yamin: 421,556
4. Chris Daughtry: 3,590,048
5. Paris Bennett:(No record; what is up with that? She was the best singer of the season and a spitfire performer too...)
6. Kellie Pickler: 679,000
7. Ace Young: (No album but then, he was more of a poster boy than a performer anyway...)
8. Bucky Covington: 260,000

Obviously, Daughtry was the rightful winner, as Cowell said. He was an overwhelming crowd pleaser and never failed to give his all. He was consistent and true to his rock influences. He was offered the job as lead singer of Tool, but wisely turned it down to form his own band.

Many of the runners-up did nicely for themselves; Paris Bennett is a hideous oversight. She's young, mannered, perky, has a wallop of a voice, and is a cagey stage performer. Her elimination, followed by Daughtry's, seriously called into question the format of allowing viewers complete discretion to decide who gets bounced. No "saved by the judges" on this cut-throat show.

Cowell spent week after week mocking Hicks as a "bad wedding singer." This was fairly close to the truth, but Hicks looks and sounds a lot like Michael McDonald slash Kenny Rogers, and had no trouble bopping around in his sneakers while going for the gusto night after night. He was perhaps even more of a crowd pleaser than Daughtry, because he engaged the audience the way, say, a wedding singer would.

Cowell had his eyes on the marketplace, where Hicks' act would wear thin and Daughtry's voice would stand out. Despite winning it all and with the push of a major label, producer and publicity machine behind him, Hicks became the first American Idol who failed to sell 1 million copies of his debut. He missed by quite a lot, actually, and was closely followed by 6th place finisher Pickler.

Daughtry, of course, lapped the field several times over.

The label dropped Hicks.

NYTimes (via AP) with Taylor's new plan:


Pathetically Bad Luck

So you're 19 and a bit bored with life. Not an uncommon story these days. In your spare time you get blue and red flashing lights installed in the grill of your gold Explorer. You decide to pull somebody over, just for kicks.

What are the odds she'd be a police officer?

I mean, you gotta be kidding me!

No. Steven Revis of Fairfax, VA faces two felony and two misdemeanor counts after speeding away from his abortive "joy stop".

WashPost with the, you know, unfortunate details:


Has Roger Clemens Been Tarred By A Broad Brush?

Of all the names which popped out of the Mitchell report (an investigation into the use of banned performance enhancing substances by major league baseball players), one stands out: Roger Clemens. A de facto Hall Of Famer based on his career statistics, the mid 40-ish fireballer has steadfastly denied that he ever used steroids or human growth hormone, as alleged by the man who allegedly shot the drugs into Clemens' beefy behind.

Brian McNamaee was a clubhouse attendant during Clemens' years with the Blue Jays and the Yankees, and has claimed that he shot Clemens with steroids in Toronto and HGH in New York. Clemens has missed no opportunity to publicly denounce those claims and to brand McNamee a liar.

He also taped a phone call between the two and publicly played it for the press yesterday. At no point does McNamee refute Clemens' claim that he did not use the substances. In other words, McNamee never defended his version of the story.

This is high stakes poker being played out in the public eye. It is rare for a public figure to come out on the attack against accusations. I have to go all the way back to the early 80s when Carol Burnett won a defamation lawsuit against the National Enquirer (and forced them to raise their price) after the paper published a story claiming that Burnett, a teetotaler, had been drunk at a restaurant.

Clemens is clearly going for all out victory here. He seeks to disgrace and discredit McNamee, whose lawyer has promised war.

Just what is going on here? And it had better not turn out to be "I didn't know what was in the syringe" either. Somebody's lying here. There is no middle ground.

NY Daily News with the scorching story: