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AI - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Well, the guys were better last night. Sundance actually showed skill, but I still don't like him much. Conversely, Sanjaya's still loveable, but all I could think of while he was doing Frank Sinatra was that movie from the early eighties, with all the little kid stars (like Scott Baio and Jodie Foster) (ETA: Bugsy Malone, and it was mid-70s) playing gangsters and molls. It wasn't pretty. I hope his sole ownership of the teenage boy role this year will keep him here to do better. He's just so sweet and polite. Loved Blake, loved Chris, but there's not much more to say there.

Anyway, notes on the girls.

Gina: I like Gina, and hope that she goes on to the end. She's got a cool sound, and I really want to hear her take on some Pat Benatar (I know Simon hates "Best Shot," but hey, there are others). Or maybe some Bonnie Tyler--I think she'd rock out "Holdin' Out for Hero." Or Joan Jett. They haven't had a good girl rocker yet.

Alaina: What's with the arm shaking? A couple of people have had this weird, twitchy thing with their arms, and the judges aren't calling them on it, but it's weird. She looks better in a loose dress than she did in tight pants last week; you can't see her hip bones quite as clearly. Still boring.

Lakisha: I like her outfit. I'm sure she'll get some flack for wearing a short, fitted skirt as a large woman, but she wears it well. I kind of like her more controlled approach here to the full out "belting" she's done when I've seen her before. (Then again, I'm kind of bored with belting in this show.)

Commercial: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES! :gigglefest:

Melinda: I love that she admits that it's hard to think of the image! She's going to get savaged for picking a "crooner" song, though. I do like the style, but I don't think it's exciting enough at this stage of the competition, when other people are picking up-tempo fun songs. I think she'll rule the week they do this sort of thing and the basis of comparison is more even. (Huh, the judges surprise me here and give her a tongue bath. I'm glad--I like Melinda--but surprised.)

Antonella: Antonella's outfit is horrible. She looks like she poured glue on herself and then rolled over some sofa upholstery. She's better when she does the high grace notes, but on the whole, boring, not quite on. Not as bad as Randy says, but not good. What exactly does he want her to sing? (Of course, Paula... leaps and bounds from last week still doesn't get there.) She doesn't take criticism well.

Jordin: Hmm. This keeps getting introduced as a Christina Aguilera song, but to me, it will always be, "That song from Mulan." She's okay, but she started weak. I think she'd have done better to go with the movie version, honestly. I don't like this arrangment.

Stephanie: (Before she starts, I wonder if they realize that they're running out of time. They did six in an hour and have four left in half an hour, and Ryan's starting extended banter.) Anyway. I don't know Stephanie's song, so I can't comment on the choice. It's definitely a "belting" song, and, like I said with Lakisha, I'm a little bored with the belting. But she does it well. (Oops, I'm supposed to know the song, apparently. I really should listen to something contemporary.)

(Why am I being harsher than Simon this week? I'm not in all that bad a mood!)

Leslie: Sounds like she took the good advice last week to heart... let's see if she comes out and looks more comfortable this time. Not entirely, but I love this song in her voice. I seem to like this one better than the judges do.

Haley: Whoever made her shirt is also raiding the upholstery remnants, but this is slightly more attractive than Antonella's pattern. It's a fun son, and she's really trying to hold interest. I'm not sure she's succeeding. Randy's right--not great.

Sabrina: This girl's born to sing power ballads, but power ballads aren't all that interesting. Not sure where the judges will go with this after they liked Melinda's crooning. For me, there's too much clutter.

And... I left the TV on. And "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?" just terrified me. Deeply. These aren't the kind of obscure questions that you'd have no reason to think about once you put your textbooks away. I've heard "What star is closest to the Earth?" and "Which country has the longest border with the U.S.?" And the contestant only got one of them right... and that after a great deal of thought. I am deeply frightened by this show. I am turning it off now.
21 comments or Leave a comment
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: March 1st, 2007 02:31 am (UTC) (Link)
You like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

I was watching Friday Night Lights so I didn't really get a chance to check out Idol.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 1st, 2007 02:37 am (UTC) (Link)
I think they're funny because they're so, like, over the top, but they play it like they're a normal superhero comic. It's so very meta.
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: March 1st, 2007 11:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
They did actually originate from a comic book. One that was more serious than the cartoon and movies. TNMT was always a favorite of mine as a kid. That enjoyed more of a run than a lot of today's cartoons.
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: March 1st, 2007 03:09 am (UTC) (Link)
At some point, I will stop automatically assuming that AI means artificial intelligence.

Then again, American Idol bores me to tears, so it's not likely to happen soon.

Did you know most of the answers to the questions you heard?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 1st, 2007 03:15 am (UTC) (Link)
I only heard those two and the one from the commercials ("How many sides does a trapezoid have?") and, um, yeah. I really was expecting them to be something that there's no reason you'd remember outside school, but might have learned in fifth grade for a test, like "What's the primary export of Lithuania?" or something. (European geography was sixth grade, but you know what I mean.) But the star closest to Earth? Longest border? There are only two to choose from, and just looking at the shape of the continent, you have to know which is longer.
akilika From: akilika Date: March 1st, 2007 03:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Actually, now I'm kind of curious. I'd guess Canada--Mexico has a curvy border, and would rack up length quicker that way, but Canada's got two borders with the US, one of which is our largest state. So I'd guess Canada, but I can understand how you could think differently (if you forget Alaska has a border, too.)

The closest star is Alpha Centari (which is actually two or three stars--I was taught the closest of those is Proxima Centari), but I can see how people would think it's useless to know and not make any effort to remember. Not that I *agree*--but I can't expect everyone to think the same way I do.

Maybe if I saw the commercial, I'd feel differently, but . . . perhaps because I know the rednecks I do, but I'm not really mortified.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 1st, 2007 03:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, it's definitely Canada.

The closest star is the sun. :)

akilika From: akilika Date: March 1st, 2007 03:41 am (UTC) (Link)
It's amazing how many questions I get wrong by trying to show off overthinking.

Thanks. You know, I'm pretty sure I knew that in fifth grade. Damn. ^^;
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 1st, 2007 03:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, the sun question was the one she really thought about, then got right after saying, "No, it's not the sun... is the sun a star?" then finally gave up because she couldn't remember what she was trying to over-think to. I hadn't thought about the curvature of the Mexican border, and grew up along the Canadian one, so that probably contributes to that one seeming like a no-brainer to me!
akilika From: akilika Date: March 1st, 2007 03:55 am (UTC) (Link)
. . . okay, you've made a convert of me. "Is the sun a star?" is fairly unforgiveable. x_x;
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rabidsamfan From: rabidsamfan Date: March 1st, 2007 04:42 am (UTC) (Link)
That's my first instinctive answer too. It would take me a minute to recognize it as a trick question because while I know that the Sun is a star, we don't necessarily treat it as being part of the class "stars" -- things that twinkle at night, you know...
alkari From: alkari Date: March 1st, 2007 08:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've seen that closets star question asked on quiz shows before, and a number of thinking people have asked back something like: "Do you mean other than the sun?" Or else have sometimes given both answers.
second_batgirl From: second_batgirl Date: March 1st, 2007 06:15 am (UTC) (Link)
I watched "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?" and I've decided that I'll simply pretend to be really stupid and audition. Easy million bucks, right? Because... oh my GOD.

Half of me is convinced that the people are failing on purpose. Because... I really can't believe that people couldn't answer those questions.

... to be fair, some of my high school students probably couldn't have answered them. But... I just... ARGH.

(sorry for ranting - I've been slightly obsessing over that show all night.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 1st, 2007 06:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, that's my comfort thought--they're doing it for attention, and the producers stage it.

arclevel From: arclevel Date: March 1st, 2007 12:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't care how much attention you're getting, and how much the producers want you to; if it's a difference between getting $5000 and $1,000,000, there's *nobody* who's going to get questions wrong deliberately.
From: jme1374 Date: March 1st, 2007 03:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll join you in that audition. I haven't even watched the show, but I checked out their website. It would be an easy way to win some money...

The website doesn't say how to get on the show, though. ;)

The sad part is, I can totally believe that some people can't answer these questions. I just hope they're not representative of the majority.
arclevel From: arclevel Date: March 1st, 2007 12:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I'm loving "Fifth Grader", though you're right, it's terrifying at the same time. :-) The woman who was on last night was *much* better than the first guy. She got through a total of eight questions including the one she took the money on; factoring in her three cheats, that means she got four of them right on her own. The first guy, who opened up the show last night, quit on the fourth question -- which means he didn't actually get *any* of them right on his own. Between what he said and the info on the bottom of the screen, he apparently graduated from UCLA with a 3.0, majoring in US History, then went on to law school (it didn't say he *graduated* law school, but still). Despite that, the question he wound up giving up on and taking his $5000 was, "Who was the first US President to be impeached?" It was good he took the money, since the answer he was thinking of was John Quincy Adams.

Tonight's the guy who, according to the commercials, froze and looked blank on "five times two is..."
From: iamweebles Date: March 1st, 2007 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is why I don't watch the "Jaywalking" segments on Leno any more either (well, I don't watch Leno at all any more, but that doesn't make for a good rhetorical point, does it? :P ) because it would make my head want to explode listening to adults unable to answer questions like that. And then thinking it was really cute and funny that they looked like morons on camera.

TMNT - my boys are SO looking forward to this movie! Everyone at their karate dojo is into it. We've had the promo posters plastered on the bedroom walls for months. (No doubt, 20 years from now they'll be unable to answer any 5th grader questions that are not routinely addressed in comic books. And then my head will explode. And I will have no one to blame but myself. Heh.)
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aebhel From: aebhel Date: March 2nd, 2007 03:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I remember for my Logic and Reasoning class one of the students made the grave mistake of arguing to the teacher that the current educational system needed no reforms. The teacher retaliated by writing out a basic science test and making the class take it; we all failed.
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