:: Last night's Deal or No Deal was a Star Wars themed show, with two contestants who are big Star Wars fans. One was a woman whose hero as a kid was Princess Leia, and she nearly burst into tears when Carrie Fisher turned up. The other contestant was a guy who went to see Star Wars in 1977 with his father, when he was just a kid. What was nice about the show wasn't just all the fun Star Wars stuff (for the woman, the briefcase toting models were replaced by stormtroopers, while for the guy, the models were there and all were dressed in the famous gold bikini), but that they didn't make fun of these people for being Star Wars fans. They allowed the two contestants to be what they are: two normal people with jobs and families who happen to love Star Wars. I appreciate that.
:: American Idol's theme night tonight is Neil Diamond. That's pretty cool -- I love me some Neil Diamond -- but the remaining Idol contestants are my least favorite of any grouping at this point in the show since I've been watching it. David Cook's the best one remaining, but he doesn't really "Wow" me at all; I think the whole "rocker dude doing brooding arrangements" thing was done better by Chris Daughtry a few years back, and his "Music of the Night" from Phantom of the Opera last week just didn't impress me. I seem to be alone in this view, but I remember when that show came out, and I remember how every school choir, amateur community chorus, college chorus, all-state or all-county chorus, or vocal ensemble of any kind was doing Phantom, and I remember how "Music of the Night" became so ubiquitous a selection by amateur baritones that the song just started to sound clicheed within a year or two of the show's debut. That's what Cook sounded like, to me: he didn't make me think of Phantom, but of all those kids and amateur adult singers I heard back in the day doing Phantom.
Then there's David Archuleta, who I suspect will make the final two with David Cook. I can't imagine why he gets wild praise every week, because there is nothing convincing about him at all. He's Kevin Covais with a better voice; he's the male Diana DiGarmo. (GAHHHH!!! This kid's doing my two favorite Neil Diamond songs, "Sweet Caroline" and "America"! NOOOOOO!!!) I get no sense at all that this kid connects with the songs on any emotional level whatsoever. Maybe in ten years when he's been drunk a bunch of times and vomited in public places and been dumped by better looking girls than he deserves to date and failed a class or two in school and been bluntly told that he has no future, his singing will be convincing.
(Oh God, he just murdered "Sweet Caroline". It made me want to throw three bricks through my teevee, in time with the "Bum Bum Bum"s. Ack.)
Syesha has bored me each week, except for last week, when she was awesome singing an Andrew Lloyd Webber tune I don't know. Maybe she's this year's Kimberly Locke, who flew under the radar in Season Two to nearly steal the spotlight from Clay and Ruben.
Brooke? She's immensely likable, and she's toast. She should be singing soulful songs in coffee bars somewhere. Oh my God, it just hit me: Brooke is Phoebe Buffay, with a decent voice and without material like "Smelly Cat"!
And the dreadlocked Jason? Meh. Meh, meh, meh. Meh.
It's weird: the Idol people clearly wanted to avoid the embarrassment of having another Sanjaya on the show, but in succeeding there, they've also avoided having another Jordin Sparks or Melinda Doolittle. My favorite singers this year were Michael Johns (gone three weeks ago), and Carly Smithson (gone last week). David Cook is the favorite to win, but I'm not excited at all. He's the best of a weak bunch. In football terms, he's the 9-7 team that wins the NFC South.