I've never breakdanced. Not even in a "I'm going to comically breakdance around my friends" sort of way. I did do the Macarena once, after several drinks at a wedding.
The video after the jump, from 1985, shows Dancing with the Stars/Celebrity Duets star Alfonso Ribeiro pitching his breakdancing book. Over 100 pages of instruction on how to do everything from The Wave to The Centipede to The Windmill. But that's not all! You also get a giant foldout floor to breakdance on, a full "rap sheet" on how to rap, and an album of rap/dance music that is, in Alfonso's words, "radical." And all for only $19.99! He guarantees you'll freak out your friends. It's brought to you by Telmak, who, if I've not mistaken, was Spock's brother.
But there's one guy of vital importance to the show who isn't so well known. Most of the time he stays in the background. But there wouldn't be any Idol music without him. He's Idol's inhouse musical director -- Rickey Minor.
Well, that wasn't much of a surprise, was it? In a show that should have lasted all of ten minutes, Alfonso Ribeiro was named winner of the first Celebrity Duets competition. By winning, $100,000 was donated to his charity Fresh Start. And, I wouldn't be surprised if David Foster, one of the judges for this competition, didn't ask Alfonso to stop by his studios one day. Personally, I always thought Alfonso was the front runner since the beginning of the competition, and I'm glad that he won.
I'll admit that I fast-forwarded through a good portion of tonight's fluff, but there were some highlights. We actually got to see what Little Richard was most famous for . . . singing and pounding the piano keys. Although he seemed a bit out of it (more than usual) he really belted out a version of Good Golly Miss Molly. Wayne Brady also performed this evening with Boyz II Men (now known as just 'Men'). If you had never heard them before, you would have thought that Wayne was part of the group since the beginning; he's actually quite good. Another highlight was solo performances from the remaining three finalists. I thought Alfonso did the best job, and Hal was much less screechy than in past duets. I thought that Lucy's solo performance was the worst, mostly because she looked like she was having a seizure up on stage.
All in all, I liked Celebrity Duets. I think they had a good mix of semi-professional and novice singers and it was actually quite entertaining. If there is another season of the show I would drop Little Richard from the judges tables and switch David and Marie Osmond, so that David could speak first. Definitely keep Wayne as host. If you have some ideas for improvements (besides canceling the show) let me know.
(S01E05) Alfonso Ribeiro, Lucy Lawless and Hal Sparks. These are your three remaining Celebrity Duets performers.I'm rooting for Alfonso, who I always felt was the front-runner. Even a bit better than Jai Rodriguez. Although, I do have a soft spot for Hal. So, without further ado, here are the night's performances.
- At 8, ABC has the series premiere of Ugly Betty, followed by new episodes of Grey's Anatomy and Six Degrees.
- CBS has Survivor at 8, then new episodes of CSI and Shark.
- NBC has new eps of My Name Is Earl, The Office, Deal or No Deal, and ER.
- FOX has a new Til Death at 8, followed by a repeat episode, then a new Celebrity Duets.
- The CW has the season premieres of Smallville and Supernatural, starting at 8.
- Ashton Kutcher hopefully punks Ryan Seacrest on Larry King Live on CNN at 9.
- At 10, Spike has a new Ultimate Fighter.
I thought a lazy Sunday afternoon would be a good time to hop in the way back machine for a look at one of the Celebrity Duets finalists in their younger days. The person we're going to look on is Alfonso Ribeiro.
Before his role as Carlton Banks on the hit NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, even before his role as Ricky Schroeder's friend Silver Spoons, Alfonso was already a recognized personality. Since 1983 he had been starring in the Broadway musical The Tap Dance Kid. His talents at acting and dancing impressed media types so much that, in 1984, he was cast in a Pepsi commercial with members of the Jackson family, as well as The Gloved One himself, Michael Jackson.
In the video, which you'll see after the jump, Alfonso is decked out in full Jackson garb, circa the Thriller era. As he's showing off to his friends he runs into Michael and his siblings. Rather then getting angry, the Jacksons dance along with Alfonso in his friends, because that is what you did back in the 1980's. If you grew up in the during this time and don't remember this commercial, it will come back to you as soon as you watch the first five seconds.
I haven't reviewed the Celebrity Duets live results show, but I decided that I should this week because the three finalists would be picked. Well, it's good that I did because I got to see the elimination of Cheech Marin (big surprise) and . . . Jai Rodriguez?
What? The? Hell?
Yes, you are reading this right. Jai Rodriguez, who was a front runner since the beginning of the competition a few weeks ago, was eliminated this week over, ready, Lucy Lawless! Okay, Lucy is a decent singer, but Jai was head-and-shoulders above her and I thought he would be in the finals along with Alfonso Ribeiro, who you knew was going to make it after his very first duet. I guess, like in all other Simon Cowell produced shows, the fix was in. Although, in the show's defense, Lucy looked absolutely shocked that she was in the finals. I believe that she was mouthing something like 'Are you sure you didn't make a mistake?'.
- At 8, ABC has a recap episode of Grey's Anatomy, followed by the season premiere, then the series premiere of Six Degrees.
- CBS has a new Survivor at 8, followed by the season premiere of CSI and the series premiere of Shark.
- NBC has the season premiere of My Name Is Earl at 8, the season premiere of The Office, a new Deal Or No Deal, and the season premiere of ER.
- There's a new 'Til Death on FOX at 8, a new Happy Hour, then a new Celebrity Duets.
- TCM has a classic Dick Cavett interview with Robert Mitchum at 8, followed by The Night of the Hunter.
- At 9, PBS has a new American Masters on Andy Warhol.
- At 10, Food Network has a new Throwdown with Bobby Flay, followed by a new Ace of Cakes.
(S01E03) It's about 1:00 a.m. as I write this, so let's get down to the business at hand. To recap from last week, Lea Thompson was let go. I'm surprised, since I thought she did a fairly decent job. I'm guessing that a number of wives and girlfriends called to vote her off because they were tired of their husbands and boyfriends ogling Thompson in her mini-skirts. And now, this week's performances:
1. Lucy Lawless and Dionne Warwick: This was one of Lucy's better performances (this coming from the man who thought she should have been let go after her first week). She was a nice fit to Dionne's husky singing. Judge Marie Osmond liked her performance as well, but thought she was being a bit timid. Judge Little Richard also liked her performance (although it was hard to tell). Finally, Judge David Foster agreed with his colleagues, but requested that she sing her next duet in a higher harmony.
(S01E02) Welcome to the second review of Celebrity Duets, now on at its regular time. Thanks for sticking with me, despite the poor decision I made last week when I thought Lucy Lawless should have been the celebrity to be let go from the competition. From the comments I read you thought that she did much better than I did. Well, you won't have to worry about that now, because I will only be covering the talent portion of the show. The judging will either be covered by another one of our talented TV Squad writers (beautiful people one and all), or not at all.
So, without further ado . . .
2. Law and Order: SVU (NBC)
3. Two and a Half Men (CBS)
4. Prison Break (FOX)
5. 60 Minutes (CBS)
6. Two and a Half Men - 8pm (CBS)
7. CSI (CBS)
8. Without A Trace (CBS)
9. Criminal Minds (CBS)
10. CSI: NY (CBS)
11. Justice (FOX)
12. Celebrity Duets (FOX)
13. NCAA Football: Notre Dame vs. Georgia Tech (ABC)
14. Bones (FOX)
15. Big Brother (CBS)
16. Vanished (FOX)
17. California 500 (NBC)
18. 20/20 - special (ABC)
19. Celebrity Duets - 8pm (FOX)
20. The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS)
- At 7, Andre Agassi is in action as USA continues U.S. Open coverage.
- At 8, ABC has a new Big Brother: All-Stars.
- FOX is repeating the two hour premiere of Celebrity Duets at 8, for some reason.
- MTV has the 2006 Video Music Awards at 8.
- FX has The Transporter at 8 (repeated at 10).
- Also at 8: TCM has the classic film noir Double Indemnity.
- At 10, NBC has a new Windfall.
- There's a new American Eats on The History Channel at 10, focusing on "Canned Foods."
- Food Network has a new Throwdown With Bobby Flay at 10, followed by a new Ace of Cakes.
- E's Fashion Police rip apart what the celebs wore at the Emmys. It's on at 10.
- Also at 10: GSN ends their countdown of the 50 Greatest Game Shows of All-Time with shows 2 and 1.
(S01E01) Jai Rodriquez and Alfonso Ribeiro. Remember these two names because they'll probably be the finalists for Celebrity Duets. Granted, the eight stars that were selected for this show all have singing talent. But, these two really stood out, particularly Jai. Although I'd like to see Alfonso win, only so we can see the 'Carlton Dance'.
For a Simon Cowell production this wasn't a bad show to watch (and I am NOT a fan of either American Idol or America's Got Talent). Wayne Brady was a good choice for host. He was a bit stiff in the beginning, but began to warm up to his role as the night progressed.
Between this and his constantly running Geico commercial ("Mashed Potatoes! Gravy! And Cranberry Sauce! Awoooooo!"), Little Richard seems to be making a bit of a cultural comeback, isn't he? Hey, despite his bad plastic surgery and... uh... flamboyance... he's a legend and deserves whatever kind of attention he gets, even at this late age.
Who will be gracing the screen with their untrained voices? Lucy Lawless, Cheech Marin, Lea Thompson, WWE veteran Chris Jericho, Olympic gold medalist Carly Patterson, Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air), Jai Rodriguez (from Queer Eye) and Hal Sparks (of about a billion VH1 talking-head shows and Queer as Folk). It's definitely a more respectable roster than Dancing with the Stars, but they set a pretty low standard.
Hosting this circus will be Wayne Brady, who, despite his brilliant turn as "evil Wayne Brady" on Chappelle's Show, continues to confirm Paul Mooney's theory about him.
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