Friday, March 30, 2007

On Wii Bowling with KJ-52...

I wanted to let you know, we've got the Fuse auction going on now at Ebay. Because the station I work for is a non profit, every penny that comes in comes directly to us to keep the Fuse playing great music 24/7. You can check out the auctions we've got going at missionfish, or just by searching for the user startime on ebay. There is plenty of cool stuff but the highlight would have to be Wii Bowling and pizza for you and 2 friends with KJ-52. KJ is coming in to do a special release party show for us on the 12th of April and agreed to hang and play some Wii with a few listeners before the show. Come on you know you want to. Bid high, bid often!

Other stuff:

- Apparently I was right that Chris Sligh just wasn't feeling the American Idol thing lately. Best part of the article is the revelation that he got kicked out of Bob Jones for going to a "For Him" (sic) concert. Yeah, that "Basics of Life" song has been corrupting our youth for generations now.

- Looks like Mark Wahlberg is joining the new M. Night project.

- Rejoice! X-Files 2 is back in play !

- And finally, the annual SOS (Save Our Show) poll is going on here. This actually has a pretty good track record of keeping shows on the air, so go vote. In fact, Wife O' Dice would probably have my head if I didn'tcajole you to vote for Studio 60. She has put the pressure on thick for me to use my "influence" to keep Sorkin's latest on the air. She believes that if Howard Stern can keep Sanjaya on American Idol than I can keep Studio 60 on the air. I've yet to break it to her that Stern's audience is just a tad bigger than mine, but I don't think she's going to let me off the hook. So, for my health's sake, just go vote for Studio 60.

Workaholic Intervention (Game 3.30.7)...

Work is too important in our culture. For too long we have worshiped workaholism and put way too much emphasis on work ethic. So to help people break free of the bonds of overexertion I've instituted two new weekly features into the blog as simple online time-wasters. Every Monday, I will post a video, and every Friday a game. Something to keep you less productive at work or home, you know, just so you don't work so hard. It's for your own good.

Each Friday I will leave us with an easy online game to waste a few minutes with. I would love to see people play for 10 minutes or so and then post in the comments what level or score they were able to get. This week, we will move away from the ball games (you happy now Drew?), and into the grade school memory department. This page simply asks you how how many of the States you can type in 10 minutes. I was able to name all of them in about 4 and half minutes, but then I'm one of those freaks who has them all memorized in alphabetical order. In fact, the only reason it took me that long is because I spent 2 minutes misspelling Massachusettes, er... Masachusetes, er... Massachussetes, er..., well you get the idea.

Let me know how you do.

50 States In 10 Minutes

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Lost in my Idol Thoughts (Top 10 Results)...

Since these next few Idol results show are sure to feature the inevitable series of eliminations that are not Melinda and not Sanjaya, and there doesn't seem like much to talk about other than an actual decent performance by Gwen Stefani and Akon (who I can almost stand when he keeps he mouth shut except for the occasional hollah) I think I'll dedicate this space this week to the other Wednesday show you really shouldn't have given up on so soon, Lost.

A quick rundown of Idol grades before we get there

The Bottom Three: C
The Ford Commercial: B
The Guest Performance: A
The Elimination: F

(Crickets chirping)

Updated elimination guess:

9. Jordin (Yet another shocker)
8. Phil
7. Haley
6. Sanjaya
5. Chris R.
4. Gina
3. Lakisha (THE SHOCKER)
2. Blake
1. Melinda

In honor of Chris' early exit here is the video for Mutemath's "Typical", one of the songs he did in his too short time with us. (Mega props to Mutemath for the video it's creative, fun, and well done.)



Now that that is out of the way, Lost last night was amazing! I'm not sure if everyone will like it as much as I did, but I thought it was a much needed break from the constant mythology episodes. It was practically a stand alone story done with much of the humor, wit, and self reference some of the X-Files' classics, like Jose Chung's or Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose (both of which, just like this episode of Lost, came in season 3, when the "files" was really catching it's stride) . In fact, it almost played like a great episode from Hitchcock Presents or Twilight Zone. Not only was it well written and directed, it also managed to take two characters who fans have grown to loathe since their recent introduction to the Island (well either loathe or completely ignore), Nikki and Paulo, and cause us to almost feel sorry for them by the end of the episode. Ok, I know, that's why I said almost.

I won't ruin it for you by going into all the details here, but if you haven't been watching Lost, you really might want to start.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Idol Thoughts (Top 10)...

I'm done rooting against Sanjaya. Not that I will vote for him or anything, but I'm fine with him sticking around as long as the voters put him through. Honestly, once he is gone the show will get really boring really fast. It will just be an inevitable week by week coronation of Miss Doolittle. I guess I'll continue to enjoy what Blake brings to the table, but admit it, it's fun having Sanjaya around. (Hey, reverse psychology works with my boys, so you never know.)

Ratings

Lakisha Jones - “Let's Dance” (B+)
My wife wants you to know that Lakisha wears Premiere Designs Jewelry, if you would like to wear jewelry like Lakisha (I've even heard it might help you sing like her) she be more than happy to show you a catalogue.

Chris Sligh - “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” (C+)
Hmmm, I think my Chris feelings are fading pretty quickly. That was barely more than mediocre and I get the sense he is just feeling less and less comfortable up there. Nice to hear a little Police/Sting though.

Gina Glocksen - “I'll Stand By You” (A-)
Moving up in my book, proved that though she is a rocker, she is still a great singer.

Sanjaya Malakar - “Bath Water” (D)
Even the guest helpers are having a hard time saying something nice about the poor guy. On the positive side, I think he is embracing his status as the freak show.

Haley Scarnato - “True Colors” (B-)
Was I the only one thinking of Kodak film that entire performance?

Phil Stacey - “Every Breath you Take” (B)
Very nice performance, Phil with a hat is always better than Phil without one.
Melinda Doolittle - “Heaven Knows” (A)
I really don't think she has a bad performance in her. Votes don't matter at this point, she will be the biggest star from this crop.

Blake Lewis - “Love Song” (B+)
Saying Blake is the front-running guy is true but dangerous, if his voters have no urgency, you could see him leaving way too soon.

Jordin Sparks - “Hey Baby” (C-)
Oops. I wondered who would try to do one of Gwen's songs. Jordin just proved she can't do the pop thing. Not a good sign. I can't believe the judges liked that, I thought it was awful and I usually like Jordin.

Chris Richardson - "Don't Speak" (B-)
He might get a bit of a bounce from the fact that that song is simply amazing, but his performance, I'm sorry, just wasn't that good.

Tonight's Rankings:

10. Sanjaya Malakar
9. Jordin Sparks
8. Chris Sligh
7. Chris Richardson
6. Haley Scarnato
5. Phil Stacey
4. Lakisha Jones
3. Gina Glocksen
2. Blake Lewis
1. Melinda Doolittle
Overall Rankings:

10. Sanjaya Malakar
9. Chris Richardson
8. Haley Scarnato
7. Chris Sligh
6. Jordin Sparks
5. Phil Stacey
4. Gina Glocksen
3. Lakisha Jones
2. Blake Lewis
1. Melinda Doolittle

Predictions:

I'll stick with Sanjaya who obviously should have been long gone by now. Having said that, I'm convinced now that he will come in 7th or 6th, it would be difficult to survive after that. (Non Sanjaya pick: Haley Scarnato)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Earth Tones...

TV Review: Planet Earth
Discovery Channel, check local listings

"5 years in the making", "over 2000 days of shooting", "202 locations", and so begins the most audacious nature documentary ever created. In case you've missed the hype, The Discovery Channel launched the first 3 of an eventual 11 one hour episodes this weekend of an ambitious project called simply "Planet Earth".

Now I'm not sure how you usually feel about nature shows, but the idea behind Planet Earth is to take the typical nature show and "Spinal Tap" it all the way to 11. You get the sense that the creators of this series wanted it to be nature's highlight reel, to take the most incredible aspects of the world around us and form them into some sort of nature doc on steroids. Does it work? The simple answer is yes. After watching the first three episodes in one sitting last night, I have to admit I'm hooked.

One thing that's evident off the bat is that there is a real arrogance to these shows. Narrator Sigourney Weaver mentions every five minutes that this is the first time such and such has ever been recorded. These constant reminders can become a little weird especially when she mentions that they are filming Snow Leopards in the wild for the first time in history, and then 5 seconds later tells us that this Snow Leopard hunt is the first time an entire Snow Leopard hunt has ever been caught on camera. Ya' think? Yet somehow, like Babe Ruth calling his shot, they pull it off. Honestly, I've yet to find the perfect adjective to describe the visuals in this series. Stunning? Astounding? Incredible? Triple yes and more. Filmed with high speed HD cameras there are scenes peppered throughout each episode that truly must be seen to be believed. At our house we probably watched the Great White attacking the Sea Lion at least 5 times, and each time we were more amazed at what we were seeing. I know I'm laying on the hyperbole pretty thick here, but seriously, my HD plasma now knows what it was born to do. Speaking of which, I'm sure that these shows in standard def are pretty amazing, but if you know someone who has an HD set you need to see at least one of these episodes in HD. Offer to house-sit, baby-sit, dog-sit, or just invite yourself over to sit, whatever it takes it will be worth it.

Ok, we get it, it looks real purty, but what is it about, what does it say? Good point.

The very first sentence of the very first episode sums up the major philosophical flaw of the series. "Earth is the lucky planet, not too near the sun, not too far". Ah yes, it was luck that put us here. It was chance that landed us in the perfect spot for life to flourish. Now I know it's not like this is a new tension between scientists and theologians, but to hear it so blatantly presented right up front certainlycaught my ear. I've never understood the desire to take a creator out of the equation. I mean isn't it more fulfilling to believe that someone made this for us, then that it happened from some random acts of chanceness. Even setting aside the emotional aspect of it, since truth isn't always about what sounds better, what are the facts? Well, considering both a creator God and creation by chance are unprovable, outlandish claims which makes more sense to you? That everything around us just happened or that someone put it together on purpose, with purpose. I mean, seriously, do you think while sitting in my living room watching "PlanetEarth " that I even once thought to myself, "This show is amazing, I bet it just happened"? Even though I don't know all the ins and outs of how and who made this show, I can assure you, someone did make it. The truth is that while watching the incredible scenes of the world around us, I've never been more convinced that there is a designer behind it all, and one with a great sense of humor at that.

The remaining episodes of "Planet Earth" will air two at a time for the next four weeks. Even if you miss the Sunday debuts, you can be assured that they will air around the clock, in that wonderful, "it's on cable, so you can catch it anytime." sort of way. I would highly recommend doing a quick search on your DVR and setting every episode to record, even knowing the producers don't quite have the same world view as you. In the end, it doesn't bother me one bit that the creators of this series likely see our planet as a miracle of chance, becauseinadvertently in this gorgeous series they capture the truth of the awe of creation and the love and care of the creator who designed it.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Workaholic Intervention (Video 3.26.7)...

Work is too important in our culture. For too long we have worshiped workaholism and put way too much emphasis on work ethic. So to help people break free of the bonds of overexertion I've instituted two new weekly features into the blog as simple online time-wasters. Every Monday, I will post a video, and every Friday a game. Something to keep you less productive at work, school, or home, you know, just so you don't work so hard. It's for your own good.

Today's vid features one of my favorite artists (and I used that word with the utmost depth and respect) Mr. Weird Al Yankovic. The man's genius is that he takes topics so human and simple, in this case the dilemma of choosing what to eat in a relationship, and makes it not only really, really funny, but also gives it a sense of absurd gravitas. Not to mention that all the while he is perfectly aping a modern song, R Kelly's "Trapped In the Closet" for this one.

Buckle in, this is a long one, but well worth it. Weird Al's "Trapped In The Drive-Thru".

Friday, March 23, 2007

Workaholic Intervention (Games 3.23.7)...

Work is too important in our culture. For too long we have worshiped workaholism and put way too much emphasis on work ethic. So to help people break free of the bonds of overexertion I've instituted two new weekly features into the blog as simple online time-wasters. Every Monday, I will post a video, and every Friday a game. Something to keep you less productive at work or home, you know, just so you don't work so hard. It's for your own good.

Each Friday I will leave us with an easy online game to waste a few minutes with. I would love to see people play for 10 minutes or so and then post in the comments what level or score they were able to get. Another simple game this week. This ones all about avoiding elimination, sort of a mouse version of tag combined with dodge ball. OK, that's a horrible explanation, just play the game. You deserve the break.

Dodge

High Scores? My record is 175.

Comments? Questions? Blue Circle + Blue Square = Red Circle? All feedback welcome below :)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Idol Thoughts (Top 11 Results)...

Now, before you go into the rant about Sanjaya sticking around for another week, I have two questions for you. Did you vote? and if so did you vote for everyone except for Sanjaya? If not, then quit your whining and enjoy the ride. If you don't care enough to pick up a phone and dial a few numbers, then maybe you're actually finding entertainment in the train wreck. I know I am. But it is starting to feel a bit too "Carrie" for me. You know, all the popular kids getting together to vote the ugliest, most socially inept girl at school homecoming queen. I'm just praying Sanjaya doesn't develop telekinesis or we are all doomed.

The Bottom Three (er... two): D-

Chris R.: No. As much as I'm not a fan, there were several people that deserved to be lower than Chris
Stephanie: Uh..., you meant Sanjaya right, it was all just a typo, right?

The Ford Commercial: C

Mediocre at best. Nothing memorable unless you count "Melinda"'s acrobatics.

The Top 11 performance: ?

Did they do one? Was I so haunted by "Crying Girl" that I missed it?

The Guest Performance: B+, B

These guest coach's appearances just scream, "Hey look at me, I was famous 40 years ago, please notice me". Having said that, these two actually did a decent job. I'll always give the nod to Herman's Hermits. Is it just me, or does everyone now know a "Mrs. Brown" who has a lovely daughter.

The Elimination: F

I haven't quite joined the Sanjaya hunger strike yet, but I could stand to lose a few pounds.

Original Pre Top 12 predictions
12. Brandon (Ding, Ding)
11. Sanjaya (GRRRRRR)
10. Haley
9. Phil
8. Jordin
7. Chris R.
6. Stephanie
5. Chris S.
4. Lakisha (THE SHOCKER)
3. Gina
2. Blake
1. Melinda
After this week I'd amend them to look like this:

10. Phil
9. Haley
8. Sanjaya
7. Jordin
6. Chris R.
5. Chris S.
4. Gina
3. Lakisha (THE SHOCKER)
2. Blake
1. Melinda

Comments? Questions? Rank the Top 10? All feedback welcome below :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Idol Thoughts (Top 11)...

Someone help me out. Who was that crying girl? Did I miss something? Did she win some sort of contest? If so I can only imagine it was some sort of thing where contestants see who can produce the most tears at unexplainable times, cause honestly, that was way more creepy than cute. Thoughts on the actual singing competition to follow.

Ratings

Haley Scarnato - “Tell Him” (C+)
Good for Haley, but still leagues behind our front-runners.

Chris Richardson - "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying" (B-)
It's no secret I'm not sold on this guy. I don't get him and I thought that was completely boring. Very well done, but boring.

Stephanie Edwards - “You Don't Have to Say You Love Me” (C)
That's too bad, cause Steph can really sing, but that was pretty rough to get through.

Blake Lewis - “Time of the Season” (A)
YEAH BLAKE, PUT IT DOWN BABY. Of course then he was completely upstaged by a little Seacrest breakdance beatbox action. Ladies and Gentlemen you're runner-up.

Lakisha Jones - “Diamonds are Forever” (B)
An off night for LJ is a great night for anyone else, but for the first time I probably won't have her in the Top 2 for the night.

Phil Stacey - “Tobacco Road” (B)
What was all over his shirt? I was so distracted by the smudges that I almost missed that Phil laid it down pretty strong. Nice job, no real chance of winning, but nice job.

Jordin Sparks - “I Who Have Nothing” (A-)
Well done. By the way, just how tall is this girl?

Sanjaya Malakar - “You Really Got Me” (D)
Smart choice to chose a song that is actually more yelling than singing, I honestly thing this may be the week he goes home. (clicks heels three times, repeating "Sanjaya go home, Sanjaya go home", I knew these ruby slippers would come in handy eventually)

Gina Glocksen - “Paint it Black” (B-)
Gina, rockin' out just like she should be.

Chris Sligh - “She's Not There” (B)
I thought that was really good. Chris has lost a bit of his luster for me, but he is still the second best guy there. (Side Note: Interesting article on Sligh's faith and how it is affecting him in the news today.)

Melinda Doolittle - “As Long as He Needs Me” (A)

Yep, she's the one.

Tonight's Rankings:

11. Sanjaya Malakar
10. Stephanie Edwards
9. Haley Scarnato
8. Chris Richardson
7. Gina Glocksen
6. Phil Stacey
5. Chris Sligh
4. Lakisha Jones
3. Jordin Sparks
2. Blake Lewis
1. Melinda Doolittle

Overall Rankings:

11. Sanjaya Malakar
10. Chris Richardson
9. Haley Scarnato
8. Phil Stacey
7. Chris Sligh
6. Gina Glocksen
5. Stephanie Edwards
4. Jordin Sparks
T2. Blake Lewis
T2. Lakisha Jones
1. Melinda Doolittle

Predictions:

I actually think it could be Sanjaya this week for a couple reasons. One he actually wasn't that bad, so his voters might be less frantic. Two, I still believe in truth, justice, and the American way, one of which must prevail. (cynic boot pick: Phil Stacey)

Comments? Questions? Is Blake really a contender? All feedback welcome below :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Getting to the Point...

Today is the first official day of Spring, and like many this time of year my mind immediately turns to Roller Coasters. Cedar Point was a Spring ritual growing up and somewhere about 3 or 4 years ago (and 3 or 4 kids ago) we just stopped going. Yet, like a bird yearning to migrate, like a compass seeking north, each spring I get the pang to strap myself in to a machine that will rocket me at crazy speeds over crazy hills and then drop me like I'm hot. I gave into the desire and decided to tease myself this morning by checking out the Cedar Point website to see what I'm missing. Now I'm even more depressed. Starting this May there will officially be 3 roller coasters I have not ridden at America's Roller Coast. Three brand new, record breaking, death cheating experiences that I have not had.

Wicked Twister

Top Thrill Dragster

Maverick

These three bring the total number of Roller Coasters at The Point now to a staggering 17, and as you can see by clicking above, all three look incredible. So now the question is, how long do wait to go? Do I wait for all four of my boys to be old enough to enjoy it? Do I wait til Austin (my oldest) is tall enough to ride every ride (oh wait, he's been 52 inches tall since he was 6.)? Do I take a day away with Wife O' Dice? Do I wait til I am a "guest of less exceptional size"? Maybe that's what I will do. Make Cedar Point my reward for losing some weight, though I'm not sure how I'm going to lose 4 inches of height. Whatever the case, it's Spring, and as the presence of new Roller Coasters wafts through the air, the only G-Force I am dealing with is the one that keeps my firmly planted in this chair. Sigh...

Comments? Questions? Your favorite Coaster? All feedback welcome below :)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Workaholic Intervention (Video 3.19.7)...

Work is too important in our culture. For too long we have worshiped workaholism and put way too much emphasis on work ethic. So to help people break free of the bonds of overexertion I've instituted two new weekly features into the blog as simple online time-wasters. Every Monday, I will post a video, and every Friday a game. Something to keep you less productive at work, school, or home, you know, just so you don't work so hard. It's for your own good.

Today's vid harkens back to the original Super Mario Brothers, if Mr. Bros were some sort of literal plumbing freedom fighter. If you want your childhood memories warped feel free to click here.

Comments? Questions? Imagine if Luigi were involved? All feedback welcome below :)

On Goldblum, Richter, and Manning...

An inch of snow this morning when I opened my door, an inch. It was 70 less than a week ago, it's the official first day of Spring tomorrow, and I had to brush an inch of snow off my windshield. Welcome to Central Michigan, enjoy your stay. Just a couple TV things today, a combined review of two new shows and a heads up on an atypically "Red State" SNL.

Both "Andy Barker P.I." and "Raines" debuted last week on NBC. I would review them separately except that NBC seems to be promoting them as a one-two Thursday night punch, and it's easy to see why. Both star quirky "A-" list stars (Andy Richter in Barker and Jeff Goldblum in Raines), both are titled with the main character's name, both feature an interesting plot device that propels the stories, and they air back to back. The main difference (other than run time) is that Andy Barker is straight comedy while Raines is being sold as a procedural drama (as if we don't have enough of those on already). But Raines is definitely more "Monk" than "CSI" and you will find yourself laughing at both of these shows quite a bit. I managed to DVR them and I have to tell you, I was quite impressed with both. Here are three reasons you might want to check out NBC on Thursday nights about 9:30 (or just set your fancy-shmancy DVR, you techno geek, you).

The Stars

Richter and Goldblum shine. These characters are perfectly crafted to their personalities and it's great to see these guys in their element. I've been a big fan of both of these guys for a while now (Richter since his early days on Conan, and Goldblum since at least ID4 and Jurassic Park) and it will be a pleasure to visit them in their new environments every week or so. This is Goldblum's first real shot at TV, so it will be interesting to see how he does, but Richter has had two previous post "Late Night" forays into the sitcom genre neither of which lasted long. "Andy Richter Controls the Universe" was a great show that nobody watched (well I and like 7 others watched), "Quintuplets" was an awful show that nobody watched, and of course he has guested on shows like "Arrested Development" and "Malcolm in the Middle", (Both of which are now off the air I might add, though it's probably not fair to blame him for those.) I get why "Quints" never took off, but "Universe" should have been a success. Hopefully people will give this one a shot, and see how truly funny and, dare I say it, sweet, Mr. Richter can truly be.

The Concept

Andy Barker, PI is based on an accountant who accidentally becomes a Private Investigator, due to the fact that his office was previously occupied by one. Which means, each week, we will get to see Andy stumble his way through a case based on only his new friends and fierce accounting skills, fun stuff. But Raines wins the high concept award between the two, with Goldblum's character having the victims of his cases appear to him, literally. The trick is, that it is only a device that his mind is using to help him solve the case, so they don't know any more than he does. As he finds out they have an accent, suddenly they speak with one. So you are always aware that this is him talking to himself, but through a very literal vision of the deceased. It sounds much more complicated than it is, but it plays out in an extremely engaging and entertaining way.

The Writing

The pilots for both of these shows were compelling and stocked full of quick wit and depth. I found myself consistently smiling at a turn of phrase or raising my eyebrows at a turn of the plot. When you look at the pedigree it's not that much of a surprise. Richter's show is fronted by old pal Conan O' Brien's production crew, and Raines rests much on the back of the genius of Graham Yost whose previous credits include "Band of Brothers" and "From the Earth to the Moon". Both shows benefit from some well honed writing talent that keeps you on your toes yet entertained at the same time.

At the end of the day, there are few things I love more than when a new show appears that feels different than anything else on TV and makes me laugh and think at the same time. Lucky us, there were two such shows this past week. Check 'em out, and if you like them, keep tuning in and let a friend know. I'm sick of quality shows biting the dust within a season (I'm still reeling from Studio 60 disappearing). If all of us chip in and do our part we can keep G.S.G.C. (Good Shows Getting Cancelled) disease at bay.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On a completely separate note, I wanted to let you know that SNL is going distinctly middle America this weekend. They have Colts QB Peyton Manning hosting and former Idol Carrie Underwood as the musical guest. With this in mind, I wonder if they will tone down the innuendo of the sketches knowing who these guests appeal to. The truth is I've been DVRing SNL for the first time in several years and have been somewhat impressed at both the writing and cleanliness of this year's production. Of course when I say "cleanliness" I mean relative to where they were when I quit watching, which was 2 out of 3 skits being vulgar. Now it's just 1 out of 4. So I guess maybe the right word is "lessdirtyliness" but that just didn't feel like a real word (not that that has ever stopped me before). This weekend should be interesting though. Athletes have never had much success on the show (anyone remember the Nancy Kerrigan episode?) but maybe Peyton will break the stereotype.

Workaholic Intervention coming later today:)

Comments? Questions? Do your shows suffer from G.S.G.C disease? All feedback welcome below :)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Workaholic Intervention (Game 3.16.7)...

Work is too important in our culture. For too long we have worshiped workaholism and put way too much emphasis on work ethic. So to help people break free of the bonds of overexertion I've instituted two new weekly features into the blog as simple online time-wasters. Every Monday, I will post a video, and every Friday a game. Something to keep you less productive at work or home, you know, just so you don't work so hard. It's for your own good.

Today is the first game edition of W.I. Each Friday I will leave us with an easy online game to waste a few minutes with. I would love to see people play for 10 minutes or so and then post in the comments what level or score they were able to get. Today's game is a simple ball bounce game (my favorite genre) and playing it should put you well on your way to recovery from your work addiction.

The Red Ball Game

What level can you get to?

Comments? Questions? Follow the Bouncing Ball? All feedback welcome below :)

On Busted Brackets and Unused Gift-cards...


What a boring first day of the tournament (For those of you not into the whole March Madness thing you may just want to skip ahead to the next paragraph.) Not only was there only one upset but that upset was the only truly great finish to a game. To make matters even worse, the MSU game was ending at the same time, and even though it wasn't close they held us on it til the last possible second. They barely got us over to the Duke finish in time to see the last play, with zero time to really get into what was going on in the game. Seriously, was there any Michigan State fan who would rather watch them ho hum there way through some last minute free throws than watch the last two minutes of an exciting back and forth battle with an upset brewing? Very frustrating day of College basketball overall, capped off with the knowledge that Michigan got bumped out of the NIT. The only positives from the day were that Duke lost (They truly are the Yankees of College Bball), and that the Big 10 had a great first day.

"Dicer boy" story of the week: Justin (who just turned 6) recently received a Target gift card for his Birthday. It was one of those cute gift-cards that is more than just a piece of plastic. This one had a picture of a dragon fly on it with the eyes cut out and replaced by prism glass, so that you can look through it as if you are a bug. Justin tore open the envelope, saw the card, and immediately said, "This is awesome!" He then proceeded to tear through the house making buzzing noises. After I told him that the card was actually a gift card that he could use to buy something at Target, he looked at me quizzically for a few seconds and offered, "I think I'll keep the card instead". (Reader warning: spiritual application ahead, if you just wanted a cute story, turn back now.) After laughing a bit and explaining that he could actually do both (you should have seen the joy on his face after that revelation), I got to thinking about how surface level I treat the gifts that God often gives me. Sometimes I know I've been that little boy, zooming around, making buzzing noises, never knowing that there was more that God had for me. I even think I've often treated salvation this way, excited at the gift of forgiveness and grace, yet almost oblivious that there is more joy to be had in the application of these truths in real life. As if God is saying, "You know, you can actually do something with that thing I gave you."

Today, don't just play with your gift card, go buy something.

Comments? Questions? Did you know that $4.8 billion of this year's gift cards will go unused? All feedback welcome below :)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Idol Thoughts (Top 12 Results)...


Interesting Idol last night, Can't say I was too surprised. It's such a flawed voting system, and they know it. What's nice is that it actually brings a bit of drama to what is certain to be an inevitable finale. Was it just me, or did Sanjaya have more of a look of dread on his face than relief when he found out he was sticking around? It's got to be tough on him to know how much people think he doesn't belong there and yet to keep coming back every week. I feel for him, I really do. I imagine it's the same feeling my Indiana friends had this past weekend with the time change, "You mean I have to do this AGAIN?" (Special word of advice, stay out of Indiana if you can for the next few weeks, you have no idea how grumpy daylight savings makes them.)

The Bottom Three: A-

Brandon: Agree
Sanjaya: AGREE!
Phil: I might sub in Chris R. or even Haley for him, but still not a horrible bottom three.

The Ford Commercial: B+

Pretty funny, Sligh's hair was magnificent, and Blake's Breakin' made my day.

The Top 12 performance: B-

Ironically enough, The highlight of this song to me was Brandon's mugging for the camera. He should look into acting. That, and of course Melinda and Lakisha's parts. Have I mentioned yet that they are really good singers?

The Guest Performance: C-

Dianna Ross was amazing back in the day, but that performance seemed like a freak show, and more freak than show at that.

The Elimination: F

And the grade won't change til the Malakar malarky stops. Though I did predict last week that Brandon would go first.

Speaking of which, here's what I wrote in the comments of last week's post:
Here's my opinion on how they should go down:

12. Sanjaya
11. Brandon
10. Chris R.
9. Phil
8. Haley
7. Jordin
6. Chris S.
5. Stephanie
4. Blake
3. Gina
2. Lakisha
1. Melinda

But here is how I think it will go down:

12. Brandon
11. Sanjaya
10. Haley
9. Phil
8. Jordin
7. Chris R.
6. Stephanie
5. Chris S.
4. Lakisha (THE SHOCKER)
3. Gina
2. Blake
1. Melinda
Looking at it now, the only one I'd change is the Jordin elimination, flippin' her and Stephanie. I still think the big shock elimination this year will be either Lakisha or Melinda at the final four, and as the guys start to drop Blake will get stronger and stronger. It could be an interesting season after all.

Comments? Questions? Rank the Top 11? All feedback welcome below :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Idol Thoughts (Top 12)...


So since it's Dianna Ross night, can Lakisha do the Dreamgirls tune again?

Simon and the gang seemed to think that tonight made it a three girl race. I think they are trying to drum up something to offset how inevitable this season has become. There is an almost tangible difference between Lakisha and Melinda and the rest of the finalists and that includes Jordin. All her performance did was put her at the top of the "we won't be around for the finale" bunch. I would request that we just call it a Jones/Doolittle final and skip the next 9 weeks, but then I would miss 9 more performances from those two and that would be a shame. So how about we send everyone else home and have a battle each week between the two of them, and score them like boxing matches. At the end of the 10th round the scorecards can be read and we can crown "The Champ." Anything to spare me from another week of Malakar Madness.

Ratings

Brandon Rogers - "You Can't Hurry Love" (C)

Rough performance, but that's probably to his advantage. I'm sure his fans voted like crazy last night.

Melinda Doolittle - “Home.” (A)
I didn't like the song, but I love that singer. She could sing "Row Your Boat" and I'd probably break down weeping at how life truly is but a dream.

Chris Sligh - “Endless Love” (C+)
That was alright, not great, but let's get real, the guys don't have a shot this year and now that they are singing with the girls it's even more obvious.

Gina Glocksen - “Love Child” (B-)
Perhaps what Diana was trying to tell you Gina was, take the metal out of your mouth so we can understand your words. Gina seems cool and is certainly better than the guys, but that wasn't her best.

Sanjaya Malakar - “Ain't No Mountain High Enough” (D-)
I really don't know what to say anymore, uh.... nice earrings?

Haley Scarnato - “Missing You” (C-)
That was just bad, not horrible, just bad, Haley should have been gone last week, but she's fortunate there are some guys that need to go before her now.

Phil Stacey - “I'm Gonna Make You Love Me” (B+)
That was pretty good, Phil can sing, but his personality is just lacking something, he should be around a couple more weeks.

Lakisha Jones - “God Bless The Child” (A)
Wow, every time I think Melinda has it, Lakisha steps it up. Every time I think Lakisha has it, Melinda steps it up. Final two, period.

Blake Lewis - “Set Me Free” (B)
I wish Blake could sing a little better, cause I love his style, and he brings something that Idol has never had before, maybe we could put Phil's voice with Blake's personality and have a guy to compete with these divas.

Stephanie Edwards - “Love Hangover” (B+)
Steph is really good, but still not in the LJ/Mindy Doo league.

Chris Richardson - "The Boss" (C)

He just doesn't feel like the real deal to me. I feel the same about every Chris performance, parts are ok, but overall I'm left wanting.

Jordin Sparks - “If We Hold On Together” (B+)
Great job. Jordin is good, a strong third to the power two.

Overall Rankings:

12. Sanjaya Malakar
11. Brandon Rogers
10. Chris Richardson
9. Haley Scarnato
8. Phil Stacey
7. Chris Sligh
6. Gina Glocksen
5. Blake Lewis
4. Stephanie Edwards
3. Jordin Sparks
T1. Lakisha Jones
T1. Melinda Doolittle

Predictions:

It should be Sanjaya and I think just for my own sanity I will continue pick him to leave until he actually does. It gets harder each week to see him crash and burn. (cynic boot pick: Chris Richardson)

Comments? Questions? Can anyone challenge Lakisha and Melinda? All feedback welcome below :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

On a Darker Night, a Madder March, and CG Chipmunks...


First off, I saw this article over at Sci-Fi on M. Night's latest movie announcement. It looks like he will be shooting for an R rated thriller this time. I'll withhold complete judgment on this until I find out what he thinks will make it R rated, but I must say it's quite a disappointment to hear. Night has always told great "thriller" stories and I hope this doesn't signify his move towards a more "horror" movie approach. "Lady In the Water" was a big disappointment to a lot of people (me not included), and I hope this isn't some sort of over-reaction to that. Mr. Shymalan has yet to let me down, but this isn't a good first step for me.

In other movie news, you probably heard that Jason Lee (his name is Earl) signed on to play Dave in a new adaptation of "The Chipmunks". After recently wrapping his work on "Underdog", it appears that Jason may be the go to guy in the ever popular "Cartoons that should stay cartoons" genre of movie making. It doesn't help my outlook on Chipmunks that it is being produced by the same people who made "Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties" (known in some circle as "Bill Murray Cashes a Paycheck"). With Transformers out this summer, I'm telling you, this is all leading to the inevitable film, "Snork's: That Sinking Feeling"

Also, every year I do a March Madness pool over at espn.com, and I'd love for you to be a part. All you need to do is have an ESPN account (easy and free) and then enter it in my private group, 63 Wrong Answers (password:dicer). Why would you do this? For fun, of course! That is, if you consider it fun to watch you picks steadily drop to the bottom of the pile as you pick wrong upset after wrong upset, or maybe that's just me. Also there is no entry fee, and the winner gets their choice of either the love and admiration of the other contestants or their own stage to blog whatever they like in that Tuesday's Rollin' blog (some restrictions apply). My history in this is to perform much like Romber in Amazing Race:All Stars. Dominate out of the gate and then get completely destroyed. Sign up TODAY, because the games start Thursday.

Comments? Questions? The cartoon you would like to see on the big screen? All feedback welcome below :)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Workaholic Intervention (Video 3.12.7)...

Work is too important in our culture. For too long we have worshiped workaholism and put way too much emphasis on work ethic. So to help people break free of the bonds of overexertion I've instituted two new weekly features into the blog as simple online time-wasters. Every Monday, I will post a video, and every Friday a game. Something to keep you less productive at work or home, you know, just so you don't work so hard. It's for your own good.

This week the first ever Workaholic Intervention features Christian Hip Hop impresario John Reuben. Check out the video to see Reuben when he was but a wee lad of 13 tearin' it up on stage. I know it looks nothing like him (you'll see) but you can tell in the eyes it's Johnny Reu.

Enjoy!

A Dice by any other name...


I've been fortunate. I had a nickname from childhood that not only stuck, but I kind of like, "Dice". It comes honestly from my last name, the very rare "Dicer" (prize for anyone that can find more than 30 Dicers worldwide, I'll even give you the immediate 6 in my house.) But then something terrible happened around 8th grade, some unknown comic named Andrew Clay Silverstien decided to drop the Silverstien and as part of his act embody "Dice", a highly racist, homophobic, woman-hating, street-wise, Brooklyn tough guy. Called mostly, "The Diceman", his vulgar comedy all of the sudden had an audience and I was no longer just "Dice", I was "Dice, oh like Andrew Dice Clay" or "Dice, you mean like The Diceman?" NO, NOT THE DICEMAN, JUST DICE, HOW MANY.... Sorry, the pain still cuts deep. Fast forward to the present and the fame of Mr. Clay thankfully came and went quickly and it has only been a recent rarity when someone will try to make the rancid connection, in fact it was much more common (though still rare) to hear Piston forward Antonio McDyess referred to as Dice, then any reference to ADC at all.

And now, this...

Just when I thought my nickname was safe, he's back. Why? Was anyone clamoring for more dirty nursery rhymes? Do we want a closer look at the real man behind the vulgarity, a la "The Ozbournes"? Whatever the case, I'm begging you, please don't watch this show. The last thing I need is for it to be a success.

As a side note, like father like son. Not long after we named our first boy Austin, Stone Cold Steve Austin hit the scene, and now he will never escape the Austin 3:16 references.

So who has sullied your fine name/nickname?

Comments? Questions? How many Dicers can you find? All feedback welcome below :)

Friday, March 9, 2007

Tragedy visits my town...

You may have read about another "school shooting" that took place this week in a small Michigan town. I didn't read about it, I heard about it when my wife called me crying saying there had been a shooting at Dow High School in Midland, a town of 40,000 or so that is about 15 miles from our home. If you live in the area it probably hit you the same way it hit us, in pieces, by word of mouth, from about 11:30 to 1PM Wednesday afternoon. It was only later that I found out that the shooter was actually from Coleman, the tiny town of about 2,000 where my family lives, works, and goes to school. I really don't feel the need to go into the details (you can check them out here), but it was tragic and evil and has our community in a bit of shock even as this weekend draws near. Honestly, I struggled for the past few days as to whether or not to even bring it up here on the blog, or on the air on my show, but somehow things change when "a small Michigan town" becomes my small Michigan town and I think there is value in expressing how it has affected me, if only I could put my finger on it. I know it seems more personal, it feels more like my family is in danger, even though neither is likely true. I no more knew this boy than the Columbine guys or any others, and my family is in no more danger today than before Wednesday. Yet, somehow I feel responsible, as if I could have saved him. He lived in my town, I might have seen him at the park. Could I have started a conversation? Could I have made an impact? All of the sudden this isn't about "School Violence" or "Security Measures" it's about a person who needed help. Maybe, as a culture we are too quick to jump to the "issues" and philosophy instead of seeing the hurting people involved. Maybe we miss the trees for the forest. If anything, this is what taking it personally does, it teaches us to be aware of every soul that crosses our path, and teaches us how unable we really are to change them in the end.

This one event has put me in my place in a very painful way. Powerless, yet responsible, weak, yet unexcused. Maybe the blame game is pointless not because no one is at fault, maybe it's pointless because we all are.

Whatever the case, today I stand more aware of my utter dependence on God, and on His call for me to see people more than "issues".

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Idol Thoughts (Girls, Round of 16)...

It's all about the turtleneck baby, none of that wimpy mock stuff, bring back the full turtle, Ryan. Beyond the fashion choices of Mr. Seacrest last night proved again (as if we needed more) that the ladies own the season. Are we to the boring part of AI already, where we wait for the inevitable Lakisha, Melinda showdown for the finale? Oh well, as long as they keep bringing it like last night I'll be listening.

Ratings:

Jordin Sparks - “Heartbreaker.” (A-)
Lots of fun, infectious smile, liked it a lot. Randy nailed it, not her best but still better than all the boys, sad.

Sabrina Sloan - “Don’t Let Go.” (B)
Eh, it was good but not stand out good, we shall see.

Antonella Barba - “Put Your Records On.” (C)
Her best performance yet, and it was still nothing but fare to middlin'.

Haley Scarnato - “If My Heart Had Wings.” (B-)
The B stands for Bye, the minus stands for the show will be minus Haley next week. Sorry, girl, too many uber-divas for you to survive.

Stephanie Edwards - “Sweet Thing.” (A-)
Girl can sing, she was even a bit off tonight and still blew the boys out of the water.

Lakisha Jones - “I Have Nothing.” (A)
Incredible, two words, different league.

Gina Glocksen - “Call Me When You’re Sober.” (B)
Hmmm, I didn't like the song, but I like her, but she sang poorly, but the energy was there, but the pitch was off, but it was Evanescence, but.... ah forget it.

Melinda Doolittle - “I’m A Woman.” (A+)
ASTOUNDING! I was not ready for that. Houston, we have a new frontrunner. Since she kicked everybody's butt tonight does that mean she also has to slap them in the face, you know for equality.

Rankings:

10. Sean Michel (Here's hoping they bring back the wild card show)
9. Haley Scarnato
8. Stephanie Edwards
7. Sabrina Sloan
6. Chris Sligh (BTW, how did it get by me that he did a dctalk song this week?!, sheesh, I'm losing it)
5. Blake Lewis
4. Jordin Sparks
3. Gina Glocksen
2. Lakisha Jones
1. Melinda Doolittle

Predictions:

It should (once again) be Antonella and Haley but I'm guessing the pity/threat/votefortheworst factor keeps Antonella in once again. If Haley goes the other spot will be the shocker for the night no matter who it is. I'm guessing it will be one of Stephanie or Sabrina since they are so similar to each other and to the front runners Lakisha and Melinda. Official guess on the gals; Haley and Stephanie.

Comments? Questions? Guesses on tonight's big Idol announcement? All feedback welcome below :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Idol Thoughts (Guys, Round of 16)...


Ryan asked the appropriate question last night, "How many guys belong in the top 12?" I think the judges were generous to say 4, the real answer is 2. Unfortunately there will be 6. One of whom, for some unknown, shake the universe to it's core, reason will likely be Sanjaya. I'm glad that was the last time the guys performed on their own, I don't know if I could take another night like that.

Ratings:

Blake Lewis - “All Mixed Up.” (A)
Blake is quickly becoming my favorite guy, I love hip-pop and Blake's got it goin' on. He is a flat out pop-star waiting to happen and I even enjoyed his little SNL audition.

Sanjaya Malakar - “Waiting On The World To Change.” (D)
He knows how to Hula... why am I not surprised? And what was up with him sporting the Rachel do from Friends? Don't get me wrong I don't want him eliminated for his looks, he needs to go because he can't sing. WHO IS VOTING FOR THIS GUY? Please for the love of everything that is sacred STOP VOTING HIM THROUGH!

Sundance Head - “Jeremy.” (C-)
Is this just the night for weird hair and awful singing? Sorry Sundance, I loved your first audition, but you just butchered Pearl Jam, and you must go now.

Chris Richardson - “Tonight I Wanna Cry.” (B)
Boring, but serviceable, Chris should stick around, but this is exactly the kind of performance that gets you booted at this stage.

Jared Cotter - “If You Really Love Me.” (B)
Bye Bye Jared, not good enough to inspire phone calls, not bad enough to get the threat bounce. Sorry man.

Brandon Rogers - “I Just Want To Celebrate.” (B)
Thought it was going to be good from the energy at the beginning, but the singing just wasn't that good. Good song choice, but bad execution.

Phil Stacey - “I Need You.” (C-)
Whoa, what is up with Phil's tone tonight? I got the grimace face from Wife o' Dice when he started and I have to agree, Phil was off tonight, yikes.

Chris Sligh - “Wanna Be Loved.” (A)
If it's a guy, it's Chris or Blake, plain and simple. Proved it again tonight. Not sure what the judges heard cause I loved it.

Rankings:

I'll do my rankings tomorrow after the girls perform, but it's safe to say Sligh and Lewis will be the only guys in my top 10, meaning 2 of my top 10 will be going home Thursday because of that silly 6 and 6 rule.

Predictions:

Once again Sanjaya and Sundance should go home but will probably be safe. Phil might actually benefit from being off and get the threat bounce. Blake and Sligh should be safe. That leaves Chris R., Brandon, and Jared, the B boys. I'm guessing Brandon and Jared will be the average boring performances that go home tomorrow. Lesson once again will be whatever you do, don't be mediocre. Go for either awesome or awful and you should stick around. Seems like there is a scripture about that somewhere, something about God doing a spit take. Whatever the case, bring on the girls!

Comments? Questions? Guesses on Thursday's big Idol announcement? All feedback welcome below :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

On Rudy, Hillary and John C. Bowling...


You know those type of friends that you are completely comfortable with? The kind that you could tell anything too? The kind of friends that within seconds of reconnecting with you are already discussing deep issues and telling old stories? The kind that love you no matter what you say or do, that pat you on the back when you are right, and kick you in the pants when you are wrong? The kind of friend that berates you in your blog comments for not expanding on how deep and important your relationship with them is? Well, I was with those kind of friends this weekend, and within seconds of dropping my suitcase I was asked this question:

"So, what do you think about Giuliani?"

Now, I refuse to turn this into some sort of political blog. In fact, I'm actually kinda annoyed that people are already talking '08 election when it is 20 MONTHS AWAY! Way too much is going to happen between now and then to really be talking about this stuff yet. Having said that, the conversation with these important, deep, meaningful, and bestest of best friends quickly turned toward third parties and "throwing away your vote", a topic that I am always willing to debate because I'm sick of the "vote for the lesser of two evils" mentality. I have voted in every Presidential election since I have been eligible, and I have yet to vote for someone I didn't wholeheartedly want to be my commander in chief, and I don't plan on starting 20 months from now.

The fact is, at this point, I don't trust Rudy's views on what is by far the most important issue facing our culture, abortion. He gets around this by saying he will appoint judges similar to Roberts, but his history seems to indicate differently. These are the issues I will need to resolve in my conscious before I can vote for the man. So when all the primaries are done and the nominees are finalized, if we are looking at Hillary vs. Rudy, and Rudy still hasn't assuaged my concerns, what am I to do? Do I, out of some crazy fear of the apocalypse that will be upon us if Hillary reigns supreme (you do get satire, right?), vote for someone whom I don't really want to occupy the office? Do I pack the family in the mini and book it north to Canada? No. I weigh my third party options, find out where they stand on abortion, and other issues of importance to me, and cast a vote for a person I can get behind. In fact, if Rudy is nominated, it would be nice for someone like Newt Gingrich to run as an independent to give the more conservative among us a chance to vote "en masse". And if I don't find a viable candidate among them I will gladly write in a name of my own choosing (probably John Bowling, though he might just turn it down if elected. I love that man.)

The point is the more you adhere to a lesser of two evils mentality the more you give away your vote to a conglomerate. It is their responsibility to nominate someone I will vote for, not my responsibility to vote for whoever they nominate. All you are doing is telling the Republican (or God forbid, Democratic) party that they can throw anyone they want in there and you'll pull the lever. You are essentially voting by proxy, giving your vote to someone else to make for you. As for me, I plan on casting my own vote thank you, even if it is almost two years from now and I have no clue who it is yet.

Comments? Questions? Do you chant RUDY, RUDY, RUDY? All feedback welcome below :)

Monday, March 5, 2007

The Prestige (x2) and The Most Amazing Soccer Goal I've Ever Seen...

Crazy busy today, but wanted to hop in and mention that I saw "The Prestige" again with some friends this weekend and it was even more amazing the second time through. It was great to have it confirmed by said friends that it is indeed an amazing film. If you haven't seen it, make an effort to Netflix it, you won't be sorry.

If you don't have a couple hours to watch an amazing movie, just take a couple minutes to watch this amazing soccer play. With time running out and down by 1 the goalie decides to make his way down field. What happens next is incredible. Not just the goal, but the way he was involved in getting to that point. Absolutely incredible.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Your turn...

I don't have much time today, but wanted to check in. I've been doing this for about 2 months now and am having a great time venting all my pop culture passion. I would do it even if nobody was checking it out, because I have this incessant need to make my opinions known even if it's just to the paint on the wall. What's amazing to me is that you are reading. I check the stats on the readership every day out of curiosity and it's floored me that you would take the time to come by and see what this crazy Christian has to say about culture and the like. The numbers have been growing steadily and I'm pretty sure if I'm reading them right that more than just my dad (Hey pops!) are dropping by. In fact, I've actually had someone hit the blog from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where ever that is. The point is, I'm realizing people are actually reading this stuff. It's not "Pop Candy" or anything, but it's surprised me none the less.

So here's the question:

Now that I know you are there, what do you want from me? What are you enjoying about the blog, and what do you wish would go away? What topics get you interested, and what topics have I missed? Just drop me a line at pastordice-at-gmail-dot-com or simply leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading "Rollin' with Dice" and if you like it pass the word around :)

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Idol Thoughts (Girls, Round of 20)...

A girl is winning this, period. You get the sense that the guys left it all on the floor Tuesday and still fell short of what the girl's did last night by just showing up. Ratings, Rankings, and Predictions to follow.

Ratings

Gina Glocksen - “Alone.” (B+)
I like Gina, but she didn't quite reach a lot of those notes, still she did a great job.

Alaina Alexander - “Not Ready To Make Nice.” (C)
So can I vote against her just for singing Dixie Chicks? or maybe just cause she can't sing very well.

Lakisha Jones - “Midnight Train To Georgia.” (A)
I'm telling you she is in a different league than these others, should we just give it to her now? Wow, captivating.

Melinda Doolittle - “My Funny Valentine.” (A)
Ok, maybe not, looks like Melinda wants to give Lakisha a run for her money. Great performance, and how can you not love this girl's humility?

Antonella Barba - “Because You Loved Me.” (C-)
Oh yes, it's the great pretender. She just doesn't belong here. The female Sanjaya, not much talent, but will likely stick around for a while. GRRR.

Jordin Sparks - “Reflection.” (B-)
Off her game, but still OK, unfortunately these are the exact kind of performances that get people eliminated.

Stephanie Edwards - “Dangerously In Love.” (B)
I actually didn't think that was all that great, but Stephanie is a great performer and that should take her through.

Leslie Hunt - “Feeling Good.” (C+)
Did you know that scat is another name for animal dung, just sayin', that's all.

Haley Scarnato - “The Queen Of The Night.” (C)
Tried to "Rock out" but it just didn't work, amazing that such a energetic song almost seemed boring.

Sabrina Sloan - “All The Man That I Need.” (B+)
A good performance that just missed being a great performance.

Rankings

Is it too early for a Top 10?

10. Sundance Head
9. Chris Richardson
8. Jordin Sparks
7. Blake Lewis
6. Stephanie Edwards
5. Chris Sligh
4. Gina Glocksen
3. Sabrina Sloan
T1. Melinda Doolittle
T1. Lakisha Jones

Predictions

Tonight could be very, very interesting. With the ticking time bomb that is this voting process, tonight strikes me as a perfect opportunity for a shock elimination. Alaina and Antonella should go home in a perfect world, but since people usually pick just one person to vote for most of the votes will head directly to Melinda and Lakisha leaving the very good B performances vulnerable. I would not be at all shocked to see one of the four B performances (Gina, Jordan, Stephanie, or Sabrina) get booted even though it would be an absolute crime. I'm going to hold out hope that they make it through and officially predict that Alaina and Leslie go home. But I'm warning you, be ready for a shocker tonight.

Comments? Questions? Rank your Top 10? All feedback welcome below :)