10. "Slightly husky" is not considered more sexy.
9. My wife abjectly refuses to take up woodworking.
8. Steve Jobs hasn't come out with a device for smoking meats yet. Hickory or Apple wood apps!
But did you know R.L. also tries to make his holiday season scary? That's right, not only does his 'Goosebumps' TV show give us the chills almost every Halloween, now the terror can run over into Christmas too.
We asked R.L. for the 7 ways he keeps his Christmas scary. Here's what he said ...]
7. Watch the debut of my new TV series, 'R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour' on Sat., Dec. 25 at 8PM ET on on The Hub network. It's the show's 'XMas Special.'
6. Trim the tree blindfolded. (Ouch!)
5. Use Grandma Edith's ashes as tinsel.
"So, the bitch is OK" -- at least that's what Ryan says. Hmmm, I suppose we'll never know for sure.
I've been here at the Hollywood and Highland complex all day basking in the presence of past, present and future Idols and schmoozing it up with Fox affiliates and top 40 DJs. Oh joy! (Despite the sarcasm, it's a lot of fun.)
It's been a circus here all day. Every third person is toting a Fox News video camera with an anchor in tow while the rest have digital cameras cocked and ready to snap at any passing celebrity behind the barricade. I feel like I'm at a high school reunion. Well, what I imagine a reunion might be like...
I like surprises. Aside from Sanjaya, this year hasn't had very many -- although, he's probably enough surprise for an entire season. Melinda, Simon's longtime favorite and subsequently everyone else's, said goodbye to all our company. M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E.
(You won't get that if you weren't forced to watch everything involving Annette Funicello as a kid. My mom knew how to punish us when she was mad.)
And now without the protection of success, the media wolves are already laying into whatever they can get. Some are taking this opportunity to assuage their own egos by claiming that they weren't surprised at all.
The American Idol format is so brilliant. It's like the marriage of a national sports league, Star Search and the presidential election. After seeing the final three go home to all the fanfare, I can't help thinking how amazing all the intense community support is for the local Idol. It's like watching the home team during the NBA playoffs.
I never really had that experience, though, since my dad was a military man, and I grew up all over the country. That, and because I stayed in L.A. after the show instead of going back to school in Idaho, which is where AI decided to place me.
No surprises tonight with Lakisha going home. She's had a great run and lasted a lot longer than I expected, to be honest. Not that I think she isn't good. She's great; but I expected that, since she and Melinda have a similar thing going on, one would have canceled the other out a lot sooner -- like Fantasia and Jennifer Hudson.
During tonight's episode, I found myself thinking about results shows in general. I remember it being especially hard on the crew and production staff almost as much as the contestants. What you don't see while the camera is practically shoved up the teary-eyed contestant's nose is that on the other end one of the tattooed operators is trying to hold back his emotions too. I always heard Debbie, the stage manager, say at the start of most results shows something to the effect of "I hate this part."
Boy, that's rough having to learn a couple songs in a week; I think the challenge took its toll on the contestants. Those guys couldn't have looked or sounded more tired -- a fact which wasn't lost on the judges, it seemed.
There was very little love coming from the judges' table tonight. Only Jordin and Melinda seemed to get any praise on a night that should have been Blake's moment to stand out.
Granted, there's only so much you can do with '70s dance tracks, but it's dance music nonetheless. And you'd think that'd be enough to give him an edge.
One of my favorite Einstein quotes is, "Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That's relativity." Tonight's episode was an exercise in physics for me.
I don't know -- maybe it was the hot stove-like Seacrest interviews or the company I was keeping, but I was busy putting both sides of that version of relativity to the test, while I suppose Chris and Phil typified Idol's weekly lesson in gravity: What goes up must come down -- this time in a Blaze of Glory by high-fiving everyone in the crowd and choking back tears. (C'mon girls, lets hear an "awww" for sensitive guys). Glorious. Charlie Sheen and Lou Diamond Phillips would be proud.
I've heard Dead or Alive, You Give Love a Bad Name, Living on a Prayer and most of the other tunes sung tonight, but I have no real opinion about Bon Jovi's music. Ryan calls them one of the greatest bands of all time and qualifies himself by recounting their huge touring and record sales successes. But, do big numbers make them great?
I don't know. Some would say so, but I see McDonald's signs everywhere boasting how many billions of customers they've served, and I know I can make a better burger than they can.
This was a busy week for Idol. Three group songs for the contestants, two venues for the director, countless celebrities for the agents and enough video clips to keep the editors busy for months. At home on the couch, I felt exhausted.
During the season I can't recall ever not sleeping well. I was so tired at the end of each day -- and we didn't have all the gimmickry of today's Idol. These guys must be going out of their minds.
It was a little eerie to hear all the shouts for joy when Sanjaya's name was announced as the one to leave Idol this week -- even though I felt just as glad as the audience sounded.
And, while I was happy to see him go, I ran into him backstage on Wednesday, and that stripped away all the dehumanizing effects TV watching had on me. I felt a little guilty about being so happy and felt empathetic for the media blast he's got to face.
It's easy to look at the characters we see on TV and pick them apart, and sometimes we forget that that person is real. Well, in reality TV anyway. I'd forgotten until the other night when I saw the on-staff psychologist. Directly after you get the boot, you have an immediate counseling session. Poor guy -- he's gonna carry some scars around for a while.
Oh man, not one, but two celebrity guests tonight. Uh, how were we so lucky? That means a full hour show...
You'd think a ten percent ratings drop from last year would motivate them to keep it simple, but Idol's sixth season is still picking up new fans and continuing to find new ways to keep us entertained -- even when that means morphing into something other than the beloved original format.
I wonder if turning American Idol into a variety show is a good thing? No longer is it only a singing show but also a telethon for the needy, an outlet for songwriters and a place where celebrities go to sell a few CDs and pretend they sing better than the contestants. All they need now is a stand-up comic and a cooking segment.
You might say I had my reservations when they announced a Jennifer Lopez week. Can you blame me? The artist formerly known as J. Lo doesn't exactly have a classic hits catalogue; but having the show billed as a "Latin Night" put me at ease ... a little.
Only a little because having Latin night in English doesn't make any sense. With only Santana's 'Supernatural' and Gloria Estefan's greatest hits to show off their voices, it's no wonder the judges were harping on the kids about how unexciting they were -- except Sanjaya, oddly enough. I think what he got right and the others didn't understand is that if you're going to make the effort to have a night for Latin music, you gotta go all the way.
I didn't see this one coming. I liked Gina and thought Haley was the more forgettable of the two, but I guess looking ominous and singing "Smile" is a bad combo -- and for Haley, being Idol's resident hot chick has more weight than I thought.
This is a strange year. Well, maybe not so strange now that I think about it. TV watchers are no less fickle than the Roman mob. They'll give you the thumbs down just as quickly as they fell in love with you. Voters this year seem to be less devoted to any one person and more prone to dial for their favorite that night.
All the voters except for what's-his-name's -- those guys are freakin' mobilized. I heard them campaigning to keep him going on the radio this morning. Overall they're the minority of voters, I think, but together they're enough to keep him in for a few more weeks. That's pretty funny. Poor Gina, though -- she's probably pissed.
I love Tony Bennett. I wasn't really familiar with his stuff until I had a chance to see him open up for Paul McCartney in Hollywood a year-and-a-half ago. At least, I didn't think I was familiar with his stuff. But, when I heard him sing "Rags to Riches" and "I Left My Heart In San Francisco" I was thinking, "I know these songs ..."
Since then, I see him and the era he represents everywhere I go and wonder how I could not have known before. I mean, they play his stuff in shopping malls, elevators and automated phone systems a thousand times a day. It's obvious those businesses rely on the innate smile-making ability of that era to keep people happy when they'd otherwise go insane.
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