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Monday, May 2, 2011
Or, as he says it on air, "Chemical Romance".

Glenn Beck has certainly picked some odd fights in his day.


While the Fox News anchor has made targets out of the likes of Van Jones and George Soros to much media commotion, sometimes he does the exact opposite, instead responding to criticism by only criticizing back, whether it be responding to Rep. Anthony Weiner’s allegations of Beck supporting Goldline’s shady business practices by establishing the juvenile WeinerFacts.com or calling Avatar a “Smurf-murdering” movie following James Cameron’s criticisms against him (these latter two attempts are not considered his most successful).


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Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010

Going into Tuesday night, we were down to the Top Ten, and perhaps for the first time since the season began, voters finally axed the right singer. Paige Miles was pretty sore when her name was called, and you can’t blame her since she was so close to making the big tour. Nor, however, can you blame America’s speed-dialers and repeat texters, who liked everyone else better, including the much-maligned Tim Urban (barely). In any case, it’s time to turn the Paige so that the real bloodletting can begin, as the finalists start truly wishing the worst for each other. The stakes go up each week, knowing that the closer you get, the meaner your agent is going to be. That is, for every Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson, there’s a Kellie Pickler and a Chris Daughtry out there who are also tipping with fifties these days.


One of the season’s most surprising developments, in a season full of them, is the fact that the boys, in the Top Ten, outnumber the girls six to four, especially given pre-season projections that the girls would run away with it. But here we are, and three or four of the boys stepped up even further on Tuesday. In fact, after Tuesday, the competition seems tighter than ever, with at least six of the singers having legitimate shots at winning the whole thing. So instead of coasting, knowing that the tour is set and that the odds of winning are long, everyone appears to be in it to win it and might even have improved enough to, in the final few weeks, salvage what has been a heavily derided year. R&B lothario Usher was on hand, by the way, to coach the Top Tenners, as each chose a tune from the great R&B hitlist. In honor of the Top Ten, here were the night’s Top Ten moments.


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Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010

Okay, raise your hand if you miss Lacey. Me too!  It was clear from Tuesday’s Top 11 debacle, a show that will decide the Top Ten and the subsequent summer tour participants, that Lacey was gone too soon. She did show up on Letterman the other night, sitting in with Paul and the band, holding her own with Dave’s quips, and singing a nice, fluttery version of “What a Wonderful World”. Paul put a friendly spin on her getting voted off: “She doesn’t have to go on the tour! That’s the best thing!” 


But, of course, the tour is huge, as most of these kids will never again play an arena as long as they live, and Lacey along with this week’s reject will miss out on a nice payday, a survey of major-market Radissons, and the chance to pose for copious tour merch. In a perfect Idol world, those t-shirts would feature, along with Lacey, the visages of Katelyn Epperly, Lilly Scott, and Alex Lambert cuddling with six others. As cruel fate would have it, however, we’re going to be stuck with some combination of Paige Miles, Tim Urban, Andrew Garcia, Aaron Miles, and Katie Stevens, which isn’t exactly the gorgeous thought that would have this year’s concert promotors rubbing their hands together.


The voting debacle that has jettisoned some of the season’s most-promising performers was a subject of the night’s lead-in. After a bodiless announcer introduced the judges and Ryan—the show continues to tinker with the format—Ryan prompted the judges to offer PSAs about the importance of voting. Randy and Ellen, especially, seemed downright desperate with the knowledge that audiences have gotten things badly wrong and have aligned the worst Top Ten in the show’s history, a nightmare for a show trying to survive while its best-loved judges exit like rats from a burning barn. But onward we trudge, and it’s not all dismal—some genuine talent remains, and on Tuesday, the singers had to choose from any song to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. With that in mind, here’s what was Hot about Tuesday:


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Wednesday, Mar 17, 2010

The shock, the denial, the pain, the guilt, the anger. Still waiting for the acceptance. It’s been a rough week for American Idol after a devastating week of cuts, for a season that can hardly afford it. Last time out, I called for Paige, Katie, Tim, and Aaron to go home. All four survived to make the Top 12, which is a drag, but not nearly as suckful as missing out on a few more weeks of Katelyn Epperly, Todrick Hall, and especially Alex Lambert and Lilly Scott. Fans of both Alex and Lilly have been doing everything from circulating petitions to organizing boycotts, reflecting the general outrage over how America could’ve gotten it so wrong. There hasn’t been this much righteous indignation over voting in this country since hanging chads.


I still don’t think Vote for the Worst is influential enough to swing this thing, by the way, mostly because I refuse to believe there are that many people out there who are devoted to malicious, mean-spirited, bottom-feeding. What kind of person is driven to disappoint the largest possible number of people, anyway? Yes, there are thousands of VTFW voters out there, but total Idol votes number in the millions. It’s much more plausible that Lilly suffered from the three-way-split in the girl-with-a-guitar vote that broke heavily to Crystal and Didi this time. Tim received glowing praise from the judges last week, which played way more into his making the cut. Mike, Casey, Lee, and Andrew all have different niches and voting bases, so when the judges heaped the praise on Tim, it sealed Alex’s fate at the cute-guitar-playing-shaggy-haired-teen-boy fangirls gravitated toward Tim.


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Wednesday, Mar 10, 2010

The girls are down to eight and looking to cut two more this week, merging with the boys for the Dirty Dozen. Michelle Delamor was cut last week, after failing to connect with audiences, perhaps because everyone hates Creed. Haeley Vaughn was also shown the door, to great relief, but not before delivering one of the most skin-crawlingly awful performances in Idol history. It’s one of the show’s most peculiar rituals—making the contestants sing immediately after voting them off the show. Such a tradition is simultaneously compassionate and cruel, leading to a flood of emotions that often leads to bizarre final performances like Haeley’s and to melodramatic tears from the remaining hopefuls. (Haeley was endorsed by Vote for the Worst, by the way, so so much for that group. If they can’t even concentrate enough votes to save a singer when there are ten to choose from, then VFTW has, without question, no real impact on results. But I’m sure it’s time well spent.)


Tuesday’s Ladies Night was a tight show—eight songs in an hour, which, by Idol standards, is flying. The judges still took up a majority of the airtime, and most of their commentary was typically redundant. They did, however, find plenty to admire as the girls, for the most part, continue to improve. After Tuesday, a clear favorite and a clear clunker had emerged among the women. The other six are all knotted up together, but one of them has to go, so we’ll be saying goodbye to a worthy singer no matter who gets sliced. I’m in a bad mood, so for these awards, let’s focus on the worsts.


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