Sunday, August 30, 2009

America's Got Talent To Top 20; Hell's Kitchen; HGTV "Design Star"

TV Reviews of Hell's Kitchen where Chef Ramsey keeps cussing the wannabe chefs keep smoking.

Also a dark horse HGTV reality contest for interior designers…."Design Star".

And as "America's Got Talent" rapidly gains as a challenge to "American Idol" it now has a final top 20.

First guess at the top five here with pics and video you'll find nowhere else on the Internet.

Pic of the Day

”America’s Got Talent” 2009 Down to Top 20

This reality competition show is growing in popularity, thanks in no small part to Susan Boyle.

The show began in Great Britain and the American version is produced by Simon Cowell of “American Idol” fame.

Actually I enjoy this show way more than American Idol for the diversity of the talent, the outrageousness of some of the acts and I quite like that you never know just what kind of talent act is going to win the thing.

On the show aired on 8/19/09, the acts were indeed diverse and the ones voted through were quite surprising.

Two dance acts were featured, one a group called FootworksZ, a so-called “urban dance team” and the other a single dancer, a fellow named Hairo Torres. Both of these acts were voted through into the top 20.

I’m really not of a mind that a dance act will win this thing but that might be my own prejudice. Now Hairo Torres, featured as part of the remixed video below, is enough of an intriguing dancer what with dancing on the wall and everything, that he might win this thing. If nothing else, both of these acts make fine introductory type of vehicles for a more major performance.

Jeffrey Ou is a young pianist and we’ve got a couple of pianists in this year finals. Jeffrey will be competing against a younger Arcadia Broad if a pianist were to win this thing, which I think not.

Mario and Jenny are one of the most unique novelty acts in the top 20 this year. They like to dabble with fire and while there’s always a bevy of fire and other “dangerous” type of acts in the initial and zany phases of this competition, this particular act is quite good and could, as a dark horse, sneak through to win this thing.

Lawrence Beam is a singer. Singers are a dime a dozen on this reality contest show, most of them coming in at very young or over the age limit allowed on American Idol you should note. Lawrence Beam, however, has quite a unique voice, a very deep baritone that is so unusual that once heard will stop many in their tracks.

Lawrence Beam could possibly win this thing but in the realm of solo singers he’s got one mighty competitor, a cancer survivor, who I think will edge him out, more on this later.

Below a remix of the acts described above, with mine own fine commentary written upon, of course.

On the America’s Got Talent aired on 8/26/09, the final five of the top 20 for this year were chosen by America (with a little help from the judges).

We begin with a cancer survivor, a pretty woman with a young adopted child, all played up that Americans will weep and phone in a vote for Barbara Padilla. Barbara is a singer but she too is unique in a most intriguing way. For Barbara is an opera singer and she does, indeed, have a beautiful voice.

I think she’s got a real chance at winning this thing. She’s definitely the most talented of all the individual singers put through, at least as I see it, and her story’s as interesting as Susan Boyle so I argue.

Erik and Rickie are a little pre-teen dancing couple and they do feature these things on “Dancing With the Stars” but the notion of such an act winning on “America’s Got Talent” surprises me. I do not for one minute think these children will win this thing but they are interesting to watch and keep viewers tuned in. This team has a right bright future on Dancing With the Stars, at least as I argue.

Drew Stevyns is a solo singer and he’s not all that talented. Look for him to be booted off soon as Lawrence Beam and Barbara Padilla head to the finals. Even Kevin Skinner, the goofy guy who wears his baseball hat so stupidly backwards, will go on beyond Stevyns.

I did predict that the novelty act team of Recycle Percussion would likely go through out of the twelve or so acts featured on the episode aired 8/26/09, yes I did. Again, I’m not a big novelty act fan but the ones that do a good job of it do a REALLY REALLY good job of it. This group plays drums and other rhythm type stuff by using old trash barrels, electric drills and all sorts of weird things that, hey they do entertain. They had a stage that turned 90 degrees, the electric drills put out sparks and a weirdly strange but pleasant type of music. I don’t think this group will win but they’ll not go home forlorn. This group will definitely have a future in the Las Vegas or other gambling type arena.

The EriAm Sisters are very good but they sibling group Voices of Glory are better. However, these sisters, three of them, are very good and every one of them sings well, an unusual thing. I think this group could make the top five, definitely the top ten. For sure they have a future as they are very talented.

Below a remixed video of all the acts featured on the America’s Got Talent on the evening of 8/26/09, again with my commentary spliced into the remix.

Top 20 2009 “America’s Got Talent”
Kevin Skinner-bluesy type singer
Acrodunk-acrobat team
Grandma Lee-senior comedian
Arcadia Broad-classical pianist
Drew Thomas-Magic Act
The Texas Tenors-barbershop type group
Pardizo Dance-unusual novelty act
The Fab Five-dancing sisters from Utah
Voices of Glory-siblings sing in harmony
Tony Hoard-dog act
FootworkZ-an "urban" dance team
Jeffrey Ou-pianist
Hairo Torres-single dance act
Lawrence Beam-bass singer beautiful and unique voice
Mario and Jenny-novelty fire act
Barbara Padillo-opera soprano singer, cancer survivor
Eric and Rickie-preteam dance team
Drew Stevyns-singer
Recycled Percussion-novelty act plays drums on trach
EriAm Sisters-sister song and dance team

For now, and with the complete right to change my mind, I will predict the top five for this series, not necessarily in their order of finish:

Barbara Padillo
Voices of Glory
Drew Thomas Magic Act
Recycled Percussion
Hairo Torres

HGTV’s “Design Star” Contest-2009

I really do enjoy both fashion and home decorating shows and such as reality contest shows featuring same capture my fancy.

This year we’ve got Project Runway on Lifetime, to be covered on a future Blog post, and HGTV’s Design Star’s annual contest.

So far the 2009 episodes of Design Star have been very entertaining but I’ll allow as such as home decorating shows are not everyone’s cup of tea. My husband would rather hang by his tongue in a vat of red-ant filled honey than watch such a thing is what I’m saying here.

What I find very intriguing about Design Star is the final reveal be damned, if a designer screws up, the final reveal will show such as bad paint jobs, unfinished tile jobs, cleaning rags left laying about.

It’s more real is what I’m saying here.

The show began with ten contenders and after the episode aired on 8/23/09, there are four left. They are Lonni Paul, Dan Vickery, Antonio Ballatore, Torie Halbert.

Lonni is quite good at what she does, she’s more mature and not out there with the crazies or the gay. Dan is, well not so much. He’s quite gay, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but he giggles like a gay guy and his hosting abilities are suspect.

Speaking of gay, Jason Campion was sent home this past week and he so deserved it. After watching his presentation and his final reveal Jason’s only comment was “I’m so gay.” Well damn, yah think?

Not that using placemats as a headboard helped keep him and a chandelier in an adolescent’s room, even if female? And that stupid thing he painted around his client’s window was dumb as all get out.

Torie Halbert is definitely a contender but of the two final females, Lonni is better, as I see it anyway.

Antonio Ballatore is, for now, the most likely to win this thing. Again, as I see it. Although he’s a guy, Antonio presents no obvious and silly gayness. To me that sort of thing tends to detract from the presentation and the drama of the final reveal. Don’t go calling me a homophobe. I don’t care a whit about the sexuality of the decorator but it isn’t about the decorator, it’s about what he or she decorated.

At any rate, Antonio is very talented and throughout this series he has consistently won every challenge and by me his rooms have always been both practical and attractive.

The most recent challenge on the episode aired 8/23/09 had the final five re-doing a child’s or adolescent’s room. They had a budget of $5,000, a handsome amount thus no need to use placemats for a headboard, damn.

”Hell’s Kitchen” 2009 Summer-The Cussing & Smoking Go On

Fox’s Web Site for the Series HERE.

Gordon Ramsey continues to cuss and the chefs continue to smoke and life goes on in Hell’s Kitchen in late summer 2009. So okay, as this show narrows down to fewer contenders it begins to get more interesting. My eyes tend to glaze at the beginning of this contest with so many chef contenders, all of them looking pretty much the same.

After a while I begin to know them and take an interest in their individual progress.

On the episode aired on 8/18/09, we had each team, the guys and the girls, whip up a menu of under 800 calories. Chef Ramsey was the judge and the girls won handily.

On the HK Episode aired on 8/25/09, Robert was finally sent home. This makes two times over a span of two contests that Robert had to be sent to the hospital and yes, it was time for him to drop out. If he’s not healthy enough to compete, clear the way for a healthier contender.

Robert, I am sure, knows he’s extremely overweight and obviously he’s got health issues. By me he looks as heavy as he was last year when he got sent home and he doesn’t seem to care an awful lot.

In this episode Ramsey had something called “Chef’s Tables”. Well damn, is this cool or what? They have actual tables set up in the kitchen and chefs sit and dine at the tables.

The guys lost this challenge of the Hell’s Kitchen service. Van and Andy were chosen for possible elimination. Robert had not been chosen but Ramsey called him out and sent him packing.

It was time.

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TV Reviews of Hell's Kitchen where Chef Ramsey keeps cussing the wannabe chefs keep smoking.

Also a dark horse HGTV reality contest for interior designers…."Design Star".

And as "America's Got Talent" rapidly gains as a challenge to "American Idol" it now has a final top 20.

First guess at the top five here with pics and video you'll find nowhere else on the Internet.

Ed and Lois Smart tell the harrowing tale of the search for their abducted daughter Elizabeth.

She'd been taken from her bed in her own home one night and as the Smart family suffered the insults of a community the Salt Lake Police blew this case so bad that Elizabeth suffered many more months for their dereliction of investigative duty.


For one can never get enough Ted Kennedy.

But more importantly, on Thoughts this week we have a tender story about butterfly babies and backyard habitats. Plus a story about a new computer malware that is particularly nasty.

And of course, as we all need more of the wonderful Ted Kennedy in our lives, my tale of just how I shall explain the story of Ted Kennedy to my granddaughter.

Much more.


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