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February 2009

The Beyman Bros Taps Into Pleasant MEMORIES

When The Beyman Bros’ debut CD, Memories of Summer as a Child, arrived in my mailbox, it was a gray and rainy day in Los Angeles. Within minutes of popping the disc in my player, I was cruising on a sailboat in the Caribbean and being serenaded on a gondola ride through Venetian canals. No, I wasn’t dropping acid. These are the memories the music evoked in me. And some of them haven’t even happened yet.

Who are the Beyman Bros? They’re three unrelated guys—Christopher Guest (yes, that Christopher Guest), David Nichtern and CJ Vanston—who have adopted alter egos a la the Traveling Wilburys (Guest is Doc Beyman, Nichtern is Nudgie Beyman and Vanston is adopted kid brother CJ Beyman). Guest and Nichtern have been jamming together since childhood and eventually teamed up with long-time Guest collaborator Vanston (Spinal Tap’s musical director/keyboardist, among other cool credits) to put out this album. They’ll even tour if the accommodations meet their “medium-high standards.”

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From L: Guest, Vanston, Nichtern

The brothers may be made up but their music is for real. It’s a warm, vibrant blend of jazz, Mediterranean, Western, folk and Mark Knopfler. It’s instrumental but not boring, always moving, never stagnant. The multi-talented trio fuses so many instruments together—mandolin, accordion, clarinet, lap steel guitar, electric piano—you’d think they’d each need six-fingered hands to play them all.

But dissecting the sound is useless since this is the kind of music to be experienced more than described (click here to go to their website and sample several cuts). You should just kick back and let the music wash over you. Close your eyes and let it take you places. Some tracks had me sailing the Caribbean with wind through my hair and a masseuse at my back. Other times, I was on a horse trotting through the Irish countryside, driving a car on a long road trip in the rain at night and running through a grove of trees with the sun tickling my skin. All this is to say the album can give you a mental vacation for about ten bucks. What could be better?

After listening to their music, I wanted to know more about the Beyman Bros so I requested an email interview. Guest wasn’t available but Nichtern and Vanston kindly obliged.

PCN: What are some of your favorite memories of summer as a child?

nichternNichtern: Having grown up as a city kid, definitely going away to the country, the beach, camp, whatever during the summer. The picture on the front cover of our album is actually a real pic of me and Christopher on the beach in Shelter Island one summer. We were both there with our families, who were good friends. (We didn’t know CJ back then so we Photoshopped him in!) Riding bikes, playing baseball, swimming, roasting marshmallows, all the classic stuff.

Vanston: Watching Cathy Stewart play tether ball, the day Ann Pincumbe moved to town, kissing Cindy Smith on the swingset.

PCN: Who is the “Man of La Mantra” [title of the second track] and what is his mantra?

Nichtern: Ha ha, good one. His mantra would be, “Why hurry when you can take your time and still get there?” Appreciate the journey. Also, “Where is Sancho Panza when I need him? Have him get me a half-caf and half-decaf soy latte. Now, please!”

Vanston: This song is actually about David Nichtern, and his mantra is “Dear universe: Let us do another record.”

PCN: What should people be doing while listening to your music?

Nichtern: 1. Actually listening. 2. Yoga. 3. Cooking. 4. Sensual interaction (with others, hopefully). 5. Relaxing/massage. 6. Playing or singing along? 7. Bathing. 8. Flowing along with the music. 9. Flowing along without the music.

cjVanston: I didn’t have this in mind when we did the record, but evidently this album is perfect to listen to while operating large farm machinery.

PCN: What kind of accommodations would meet your medium-high standards so that you’d tour? The Best Western? Bread large enough to accommodate lunch meat?

Nichtern: Ha ha again. I think we’re talking the presidential suite at minimum and if they don’t have that, then maybe the bridal suite. Definitely up high with a view, 24-hour room service, cable with pay TV and all the different kinds of channels they have in those places. If not, then a modest room with twin beds and 5 extra cots will be fine.

Vanston: I need the Golf Channel and free coffee in the lobby. Oh, and I only sleep on Haastens mattresses.

PCN: CJ, how does working with Doc and Nudgie compare with working with Spinal Tap?

Vanston: It’s actually exactly 1/3 easier, because there is one less genius to deal with.

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AMERICAN IDOL Season 8's Top 36!

Tonight, 54 contestants found out if they made it into the top 36. Producers made some changes to the ritual (no elevator, nicer mansion, better chairs, sing-offs) but it was still nerve-wracking for the wannabes.

I have mixed feelings about the sing-offs. It’s always nice to hear some singing in a singing competition but I hated who they chose for them. It seemed they picked good friends and pitted them against each other, making the victory bittersweet for the one who made it. I mean, wouldn’t you want to go out and celebrate with your friend if you’re in? Nope, he/she didn’t make it so you’d better find someone else to party with.

There wasn’t a lot of suspense in tonight’s show. Generally, if you’d never seen a contestant before, he/she wasn’t going to make it. Let’s break it down. (Bolded names are people who got through.)

Anoop Desai was shown going into the Chamber of Fear first. He’s awesome so he’s in. I think he’s gonna crack the top 10, at least. Next was Von Smith, cute as a button but a mass murderer of notes when he sings. He was given another chance to “blast” us all (his word).

The first sing-off was between good friends Cody Sheldon and Alex Wagner-Trugman. Alex was clearly the better singer (he sang “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down”) so he won. I hated how the judges put Alex in a position where he just couldn’t give in to his joy because his friend was crying beside him.

Adam Lambert, who wears more makeup and hair products than most of the girls, made the cut. Taylor Vaifanua walked in next and looked so much better with her makeover. The bangs actually made her look her age (17), whereas she looked 30 in her original audition with the big hair. She’s through to the next level.

Next was a montage of a bunch of very pretty and talented girls who made it: Jasmine Murray, Arianna Afsar, Casey Carlson, Megan Corkrey, Mishavonna Henson and Stevie Wright. I was happy to see Megan, who needs more air time, and Stevie, too, because I love her fresh-faced, free and hippie vibe.

Then came Joanna Pacitti‘s turn. They let her through and I thought that was B.S. Unlike some people, I’m not hatin’ on her because she’d already had a recording contract and failed album. I was annoyed because that girl repeatedly forgot lyrics—sometimes a whole chorus, it seemed—and Simon had announced his strict rule that if you forgot the words, you were done. That’s why he sent home really interesting singers like Emily Wynne-Hughes and Rosa Flack. But they let Pacitti stay, who’s attractive but in an unremarkable way and has a forgettable voice. UPDATE: The producers have just disqualified Pacitti and picked Felicia Barton to take her place! Yay! Give some other girl a chance.

A montage of guys being rejected came next: T.K. Hash, Chris Chatman, and Reggie Beasley. Except for Hash, who sang “Imagine” with too many runs in his original audition, I’d never seen the other guys before so I knew they were toast.

Kendall Beard came in and was put through by Paula saying, “It isn’t great [news]. It’s fantastic.” Huh? I hate when they play those stupid word games to mess with contestants’ heads. If something is fantastic, it isn’t great?

Time for another sing-off, this time between Jenn Korbee and Kristen McNamara. I’d never seen Korbee (or her fine husband Tom!) while McNamara had been given lots of screen time during group day so it wasn’t hard to figure out how this would go. Korbee is very attractive, like Simon kept saying, but McNamara was obviously the better singer (with a few notes of “I Will Always Love You”) so the right girl was chosen, even if Simon pouted about it.

Three more people made it through: Alexis Grace, who stands out with her pink-streaked, jagged bob and adorable Gerber baby girl; Scott MacIntyre, whom I’m just not crazy about, despite my respect for his overcoming his handicap; and Lil Rounds, whom I haven’t been that impressed with since her original audition.

Then a bunch of people got kicked out: Felicia Barton, Ashley Hollister and Devon Baldwin. I had no idea who they were so I had nothing invested in their leaving. But like I said in the update above, Barton is coming back after producers disqualified Pacitti for reasons they won’t reveal.

Next up was another sing-off that really annoyed me: Frankie Jordan vs. Jesse Langseth. Both girls were talented and shouldn’t have been in the position where one had to go. That said, I knew Langseth had to make it. That girl came out of nowhere to wow me in a brief snippet singing “Some Kind of Wonderful” on group day and tonight she impressed me even more with her soulful voice and funky vibe. She’s a confident, fiery female amidst quivering, crying girls and I like that. I was sorry to see Jordan go, though it was ridiculous how she said she was getting older and wouldn’t get many opportunities like this. She’s 23, for goodness sakes! She could come back next year and 5 years after that if she wanted.

Another two were sent home: Shera Lawrence and Derik Lavers. Who? Exactly.

But next up, red-headed Allison Iraheta was the exception to the rule. They’d never shown her before but she made it. She sounded good in the few clips shown tonight so I’m okay with her staying.

Then it was Danny Gokey‘s turn. C’ mon, was anyone even wondering if he’d make it? This guy was a sure thing. Shockingly, his BF Jamar Rogers was cut, which was so sad. Jamar used to be one of those REALLY LOUD singers who make me scramble for the mute button but he’d gotten much better at moderation. Plus, he’s got stage presence and puts together cute ensembles. This was easily the biggest upset of the evening.

Next, several guys were shown getting yeses: Ricky Braddy (who?), Matt Giraud, Ju’Not Joyner, Jorge Nunez, Brent Keith (what happened to the Smith?), and Stephen Fowler.

And then a rude thing happened: Nick Mitchell/Norman Gentle made it through. They cut Jamar to give this guy a spot? He said, “I’d do anything to get through to the next round.” Really? How about taking the competition seriously and just singing for a change?

I have no objection to the next person who made it: Jackie Tohn. She’s like a brunette Sheryl Crow and she’s a bit quirky but I like her energy.

The next person, though, has too much energy. Tatiana Del Toro made it through, which was no surprise because the producers have already given her so much air time, but it was disgusting nonetheless. She screamed so loudly you’d think she was being assaulted, which is what happens to my eardrums every time I hear her sing. My only consolation is that after tonight, the judges can’t keep her safe anymore. America is gonna kick her to the curb.

Another sing-off: Jackie Midkiff vs. Nate Marshall. Oh goodness, Nate cries way too much but his mama is in prison so I’m not gonna say anything else.

Jeanine Vailes, Kai Kalama, Anne Marie Boskovich, and Kris Allen are shown in a montage of yeses.

Final sing-off of the day: Matt Breitzke, the welder, vs. Michael Sarver, the roughneck. It was such a cliche to put these guys against each other and there was no suspense. If you were keeping tabs, you would’ve known there were two spots left so both of these guys would make it through and that’s what happened.

Now that the top 36 have been determined, 3 groups of 12 will be performing in the next 3 weeks for America to vote. First up: Carlson, Tohn, Braddy, Boskovich, Keith, Grace, Sarver, Wright, Gokey, Del Toro and Desai. This is a really strong bunch and I predict the bottom 2 will be Del Toro and Braddy.

UPDATE: I just learned that only 3 from each group of 12 will move on! That’s crazy! They’ll take the top male and female vote-getter and then the next person of either sex who got the most votes. This is grossly unfair. This means we may have to choose between Danny and Anoop or Anne Marie and Alexis or Jackie and Stevie. I know producers are trying to change things up but this is nuts. Lots of really talented people are going to be eliminated before their time.

What do you think this new voting system and the semi-finalists? Did the judges get it right? Who do you think will be first to go next week? Post a comment!

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Winners of FROZEN RIVER Script

Wow, that was fast! Evidently, my trivia questions are too easy. Must make it harder next time.

Congrats to Julien, Allison and EireGo for being fast on the trigger and the first three to get it right. Scripts have been emailed. Thank you FFBUFF8, ScriptPimp and ShelleyP for also participating. ShelleyP gets extra credit for knowing the name of the role. Do you watch All My Children in Australia and France or did you find the answer on the Internet? 🙂

I’m happy to see the interest in this movie. It doesn’t have a big budget but it’s good filmmaking. Rent the DVD then come back and let me know what you think!

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FROZEN RIVER on DVD and Script Giveaway

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I’d bet good money you haven’t seen this little film which got Melissa Leo and writer/director Courtney Hunt Oscar nominations (Leo for Best Actress and Hunt for Best Original Screenplay). I didn’t want to see it at first, either, since the subject matter is so bleak—a destitute mother dabbles in human trafficking to earn money to buy her kids a new double-wide trailer for Christmas. Why would I want to spend the few extra dollars I have to watch a woman scrounge for change to feed her kids? 

Because the movie is worth it. Leo kicks butt as Ray and deserves the nomination. There is no self-pity with her; she’s a mom who simply does whatever it takes to provide for her kids. She’s fierce and flinty and we don’t judge her actions because Leo makes it possible for us to understand her.

Now that the movie’s on DVD, it won’t cost you $30 to see it. If you’re still not convinced, I can email you the script so you can read it first and see why it was nominated (also, click here for my interview with co-star Misty Upham). The first 3 people on my subscribers list who correctly answer the following trivia question get a script.

TRIVIA QUESTION: Melissa Leo was chosen over which superstar for a role on All My Children back in 1984?

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AMERICAN IDOL Season 8 — Final Audition Day

I’ll try to keep this short since the top 36 still hasn’t been revealed, though a bunch of people got cut tonight. We did get more singing and less drama so that was good.

Some Safe Ones: Danny “I Have Most Air Time” Gokey, Jamar “DG’s Best Friend” Rogers, Matt “JT Lite” Giraud, Anoop “Dawg” Desai, Adam “I Sound Like a Woman” Lambert, Jorge “Secada” Nunez, Jackie “Tortured Faces” Tohn, Joanna “Do-Over” Pacitti, Scott “Legally Blind” MacIntyre, Kendall “Bouncy Blonde” Beard, Lil “Loud” Rounds, Kristin “Anna Faris” McNamara, Mishavonna “Season 7 Reject” Henson, Alexis “Pink Streaks” Grace (I’m glad she’s still safe ’cause it looked like she had been cut last week due to confusing editing), Jasmine “Sweet-Voiced” Murray, Nate “I Can’t Stop Crying” Marshall, Casey “I Forgot the Lyrics” Carlson, Stephen “Walked Off Stage” Fowler, Matt “Welder” Breitzke, Nick “Norman Gentle” Mitchell, Anne-Marie “Makeover” Boskovich, Ju’Not “Never Seen Him Before” Joyner, T. K. “I Love My Runs” Hash, Kai “Rough Voice” Kalama, Michael “Roughneck” Sarver (who dropped the Jeremy from previous weeks) and Tatiana Del Toro. I’m afraid that calling her crazy would be insulting to people who are truly suffering from mental illness.

M.I.A.: Where were Megan Corkrey and last week’s discovery, Jesse Langseth? They haven’t shown Corkrey singing at all since her original audition and, after showing us how awesome Langseth was, the producers benched her this week without a glimpse or mention.

Some Who Were Cut: Michael Castro (we hardly knew ye!), India Morrison, Kaylan Loyd (never seen her before) and Leneshe Young. Man, I hurt for Leneshe. I didn’t love her funky version of “Love Song” but she deserved a spot more than some people who made it. Nick Mitchell pulled out his tired, cheesy Norman act with the shiny shirt again and they kept him. Joanna Pacitti completely blanked on several whole lines in her song and made it. Stephen Fowler tried singing his song twice, screwed up both times, gave up and they still let him in. Why they gotta hate on Leneshe and then show her crying? That was just rude.

But I have hope. More cuts will be made Wednesday so Nick/Norman, Tatiana, Nick Marshall, Joanna Pacitti and others can still be sent home. And then there are wild card spots, so maybe we haven’t seen the last of Leneshe, Emily Wynne-Hughes, Rosa Flack, and Deanna Brown.

Come back tomorrow to discuss the top 36!

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Backstage at the Grammys 2009

With all the talk regarding the Chris Brown scandal that came to light at last night’s Grammys, I contacted one of my sources who worked the show to see if she had any interesting inside tidbits. Here’s our conversation (she wished to remain anonymous).

Q: When did you first hear Chris Brown and Rihanna had dropped out as performers?

A: At about 2:30 or 2:40. [The show started at 5 p.m. PT]

Q: What happened?

A: There was mad scrambling. One of the stage managers had to revamp the listing of performers for the day. They had to move talent around. Someone had said [Brown and Rihanna] were in a car accident; that was a rumor that was going around early in the day. It wasn’t ’til the end of the night when a member of the press told a production person what happened that we were like, “Oh my gosh, is that really what happened?!”

Q: After the mad scrambling and revamping of talent lineup, was there another quick run-through?

A: There wasn’t time because the red carpet opened at 3 p.m.

Q: Were people nervous about whether things would go well?

A: They were pretty indifferent. Awards shows are generally always high stress and high pressure.  Whether it be a presenter being late or canceling last minute, there is pretty much always some sort of last-minute change. Changes are not as extreme as what happened Sunday but the main focus of awards show people is to adapt.

Q: OK, let’s talk about other things. Did you have a plan in place if M.I.A. had gone into labor at the show?

A: There was a gurney in the back. I wasn’t sure what/whom it was for but we’ve never had one there during past shows.

Q: Any backstage scoop you want to share about anything?

A: Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift were adorable. They were joined at the hip, went everywhere together. Miley got starstruck when Gwyneth walked by. By the way, the announcer should’ve said “Grammy-nominee Gwyneth Paltrow” [in the Best Spoken Word Album for Children category for her reading of Brown Bear and Friends] when she came out to introduce Radiohead.

Justin Timberlake’s people were so pretentious. All the talent had signs on their dressing room door with their names on it and someone from Timberlake’s team took it off as soon as he got inside, like they were afraid people would know where Justin was and rush his room or something. But he was in the same hallway as U2, Sir Paul (McCartney), John Mayer, Miley, Coldplay, Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z and all their signs were still up! It just made my colleagues’ jobs harder when they had to locate Justin and do it quickly.

Q: That does sound annoying. If I were walking down that hallway, I’d be rushing U2’s, Coldplay’s, and Sir Paul’s dressing rooms, not JT’s!

Now, I gotta ask the inevitable fashion question. Who looked the best?

A: Fran Drescher looked really good, Katy Perry’s dress was gorgeous, and Sheryl Crow was flawless.

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AMERICAN IDOL — Second Hollywood Round: Slaughter of the Front-Runners!

Oh, the drama. So much of it tonight, where to begin?

Let’s start with the best news of the evening. No more Bikini Girl! She abandoned her group practice then had the gall to call her teammates “fake girls” when she’s about as natural as Nicolas Cage’s acting. But we don’t have to deal with her any more! Yay! Her room needs to be disinfected after she leaves.

But, but, but…why is Nick Mitchell still there? Didn’t get to see him “sing” but at least he wasn’t wearing the shiny shirt so maybe he finally decided to take this seriously. We’ll see.

From what I could tell, the following are also among the (approx.) 75 who are safe: Megan Corkrey, Casey Carlson, Danny Gokey, Jamar Rogers, India Morrison, Anne-Marie Boskovich, Jasmine Murray, Taylor Vaifanua, Alex Wagner-Trugman, Adam Lambert, Jeremy Michael Sarver (what’s with the three names? He was only Michael Sarver during his original audition), Matt Breitzke, Jesse Langseth, Tatiana Del Toro, Jorge Nunez, Kristin McNamara, Nathaniel Marshall, Kris Allen, Justin Williams and many more whom I’d never seen before and could not I.D.

Many good people were cut tonight whom I was sorry to see go: Deanna Brown (bummer!), David Osmond (too bad), Rose Flack (aw, man!), Alexis Grace (frak!), and Emily Wynne-Hughes (crap!). We didn’t even get to hear Brown, Osmond or Grace sing so I have no idea what happened. As for Flack and Wynne-Hughes, they completely blanked on their lyrics and were fairly cut (according to Simon’s new hard rule) but they both had distinctive voices and personas and would’ve been assets to the show. I guess I’ll now throw my support behind Danny G, Megan C, Jasmine, Anoop and Leneshe, if the last two are still safe (I think they are).

Other highlights:

Bitchiest Good-bye: Nancy Wilson. Wow, that girl was bitta. She was angry through the whole rehearsal process, not undeservedly so because of that crazy, flaky Tatiana, but she couldn’t let go of her anger and ultimately it destroyed her performance.

Craziest Retort: Ryan Pinkston. After he got cut, he blamed it on Paula, saying he felt “manipulated and assaulted” (?!) and “I saw an evil in [Paula]’s eyes.”  The producers decided to play along by making Paula’s eyes glow red. Nice. Way to disrespect one of your judges and indulge a failed contestant’s nonsensical rant.

Best Group Performances: The first one and The Rainbow Coalition. The first group had India Morrison, Justin Williams, Matt “White Chocolate” Giraud, and Kris Allen rapping and beat-boxing Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.”  They were really good and unique but I must say India only rapped a little bit and didn’t actually sing.

The Rainbow Coalition, consisting of Jamar, Danny, Taylor Vaifanua and unidentified girl, performed a strong, well-harmonized version of Queen’s “Somebody to Love.” That poor Danny cannot seem to stay away from lyrics involving death (“Each morning I get up I die a little,” plus “kiss from a rose on a grave” last night and “losing you would end my life, you see” from “I Heard It Through a Grapevine” originally) and his run at the end was unnecessary but he’s an awesome singer so I hope he cracks the Top Ten.

Performer Who Surprised Me Most: Adam Lambert. I never got this guy’s front-to-back comb-over hair and guyliner look, kinda David Cook crossed with Pete Wentz. Plus, I’m not a musical theater fan. But when he did that run of high notes in “Some Kind of Wonderful,” I put my sandwich down so I could pay full attention. That dude could really sing! Gonna have to keep a kohl-rimmed eye on this one.

Performer Who Came Out of Nowhere to Grab My Attention: Jesse Langseth. Who the heck is Jesse Langseth? I laid eyes on her for the first time last night when she also sang “Some Kind of Wonderful” in Matt Breitzke’s group and made a memorable first impression. She could be a dark horse in this competition.

What were the standout moments for you? Who were you most disappointed to see cut? Comment away!

(Don’t miss out on any American Idol discussions this season—Subscribe to Obsessions of a Pop Culture Nerd by Email)

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AMERICAN IDOL Season 8 — First Night of Hollywood Week!

I was really looking forward to the competition finally kicking into high gear but the first Hollywood edition was kinda dull. We were told 104 made it through to the next round (out of 147 who came to Hollywood) but got glimpses of only about 28. For the first time, the wannabes were sent to “boot camp” to get makeovers and advice on song selections (Barry Manilow was there talking to them; I thought producers were only bringing in younger mentors this year?) Looked like some listened and some couldn’t be helped. Some highlights:

Person Who Most Renewed My Early Faith in Him: Danny Gokey, the Robert Downey Jr. lookalike whose wife passed away right before his original audition in Kansas City. I remember loving his rendition of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and was hoping he wouldn’t prove to be a fluke. When he said he was taking on “Kiss from a Rose,” I thought, “Dude, that’s a hard song.” No worries. He hit all the high notes beautifully and is through to the next round.

Other People Who Kicked Butt: Lil Rounds, who pulled off the Whitney version of  “I Will Always Love You;” Anoop Desai, whose rich voice is full of soul (notice how he was less preppy last night?); Jasmine Murray, precocious beyond her years; Jorge Nunez, who sang in English much more confidently than he did during his San Juan audition; and Rose Flack, who did a pretty good version of “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.” Her voice has a really interesting quality but she’s got to get her nerves under control and purchase a pair of shoes. She’s gonna pick up a disease walking down Hollywood Boulevard barefoot. Didn’t someone tell her this in boot camp?

Speaking of Catching a Disease: That girl Katrina Darrell is sooo skanky, I can’t deal. She’s not that talented, not attractive and has a bad attitude. Why is she still there?! I hate that Kara and Paula are made to look like they’re being catty or jealous by not liking her. What do they have to be jeaous of?! When Kara said, “Bring a pole tomorrow,” I thought, “And antibiotics and hazmat suits for everyone.” She needs to go.

And He Should, Too: I’m so over Nick Mitchell/Norman Gentle. This guy is a joke. I’d be kinder if he were at least funny but he’s just obnoxious and tiresome and I hate how he’s hijacked this singing competition. Let’s just say for argument’s sake that he ends up winning. What’s he going to release—a music album or a comedy one? He should go away and try out for Last Comic Standing instead.

Saddest Cut: Jessica Furney. I liked this girl when I saw her original Kansas City audition. Anybody who can sing a Joplin song well has my respect (I’ve tried during karaoke parties but it’s never gonna happen for me). Tonight, there was only a brief mention that she was cut and we didn’t even get to see her perform. Oh well, I guess I don’t have to worry about her 93-year-old grandma any more ’cause Jessica’s coming home.

Most Deserved Cut: That Dennis Brigham was a pill. I didn’t like him the first time and completely disagreed when the judges put him through in Kansas City. He wasn’t good then and he certainly didn’t get any better. When he was cut this time, he started dissing Simon’s wardrobe, which had nothing to do with anything. His tirade convinced Simon he made the right decision. A little late, Simon, but I’ll take it.

What did you think of the people who got through tonight? Picked out the Top 5 yet? Any of your faves got cut? Post in the comments section.

(Don’t miss out on any American Idol discussions this season—Subscribe to Obsessions of a Pop Culture Nerd by Email)

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