Thursday, March 31, 2011

American Idol - Elton John Night

Even though I did not watch the show last night because I was not near technology, I just watched the performances and here's my pick for bottom three:  Paul, Stefano and Thia. If Scotty replaces Stefano I'll be happy but I'm skeptical because country is BIG in America. So are Disney singers but Reggae is not as popular so it might be Naima instead of Thia. Will America put Paul out of his misery and send that snazzy dressin', handsome boy home? We'll see.

Elton John Night
Casey sang 'Your Song' - Great choice, loved his sweet voice peppered with grit in the last bars. Good move for him to mix it up this week and show his soft voice. That and the hair and beard trim might get him at least a million votes.
Haley sang Benny and the Jets and should take ten steps forward to the top of the pile this week. Amazing! When she chooses the right song, she's golden. Ok, is she 'hangin' with Casey at the mansion because they are sounding like they could do their own tour this summer?
Jacob chose another song that would allow him to emote to the nth degree (Sorry Seems) but he refrained from both too much emotion and too many high notes. Yipee. I think Jacob has a job waiting for him in films, - A Gay Man Jennifer Hudson perhaps.
James worked the crowd, (Saturday Night's Alright) covered every square foot on the stage, hit notes out of the park, looked true to his genre, had a fire raging in the piano behind him and is ready for that recording contract please, now. Veneers too. Ironic that a man with Aspbergers Syndrome has the best connection with the audience.
Lauren, in all her teeness, was eerily Marilynicious with her subdued (for Lauren) makeup, dress, hair and showed off perfect vocals, as always. Never thought of Candle in the Wind as a great country song but hey, it is. Now we know.
Naima....Airie Girl, or whatever they say in Jamaica. This performance artist upped last weeks choice by turning "I'm Still Standing"into a reggae song. Brilliant. Wish you could have done a better job vocally throughout but you finished strong Naima. Top marks for showing her diversity but I fear for her longevity.
Paul..pack your suitcase please, get ready.
Pia was told by everyone to get out of balladville this week and show some sass, some life, leave her vocal coach behind and give us some real moments. But she brought in gospel singers and did "Don't Let the Sun" which was out of balladville but only just. Girl, listen to what we want from you. Next week, do it!
Scotty McCreery the country singer teen sounded great singing one of EJ's only country songs but I got bored and turned it off. Nuff said. Bet he'll stick around for another few weeks because he sang to his grandma and like I said, America loves Country.
Stefano: Ok, man, this is where I get off the Stefano fan club bus. You are fun to watch and don't sing as poorly as, say, Paul McDonald, but you're not showing us you deserve to be on that stage much longer. Sorry dude. And I love Tiny Dancer but this was the most hacked up version anyone could imagine and someone should go to music jail for even suggesting that arrangement.
Thia sang Danielle, a song that was in my own repetoire for years. It was predictably lovely, note perfect. I nodded off somewhere around the second verse.
I do not know what the judges said, what the interviews revealed or how anyone felt about last night but if two go home tonight I hope it's Paul and Thia but think it will be Naima and Stefano if the past bottom three statistics mean anything.
If Smurf Singer (Paul) stays, I'll still be amused but confused.
Stay tuned.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The fourth Video is not mine and other stuff

Warning: the fourth video on the bar above is someone else's but I can't get it off my page until I make another Kimmy's Korner vlog.

Stuff for Today:
Britney just released three new songs and did a live performance in Las Vegas to showcase her new CD. What has happened to the gal who used to kick ass onstage? Is she drugged, terrified of performing now or injured? Does she suffer migraines, have knee problems or worry about all this as the goes onstage because she is not the dancer/performer she was years ago. WHAT IS GOING ON BRIT? JASON? Tell us!

Sleepover parties and Giggles: My nine year old has her bestie overnight and they haven't stopped giggling for four hours. I told them when we went to pick up her brother at soccer tonight that if the car was powered by gigglies, we'd get a ticket for speeding. It's music to a mommy's ears.

Finally figured out who i think i write like: Don't laugh. Cecelia Ahern and Elin Hilderbrand. I hope anyways. I gotta write that memoir this year. I think that might be my in to the publishing world. Maybe.

Have you ever said "I could write a book"? Were you drunk at the time? Reading a terribly written novel? I did say that and I've been eating crow for years now. It's fricking hard to write a book. Don't fool yourself. It's hard and what's even more difficult is finding an agent to take you on. Then, if by some grace of God, you find one who will take a chance on a first time author, getting it published and bought is worse. Ugggh. I have 5 years into this career and I am damned well going to have a published book before I die. Growing up I remember envying a relative (who was way out on the tips of the family tree branches) because he had a book. All the family worshipped this man, which is funny because he was a missionary. Turned out his wife wrote the book (Go Girl!) and although it was inspirationally Christian, I read it and was impressed. She had a platform. She had connections. She got published. Some days i think maybe I should go to China, teach the word of God and come home 40 years later to get published. Harrumph! Tomorrow is another day but I'm leaving town with my laptop and MS for several days and hope to gain clarity on what is so horribly wrong with my query.
Time for bed. Beauty sleep and all that. Even girls with glasses need beauty sleep. Sweet dreams....

Video Pitch - The Dream Jumper

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Literary Agent Search in Canada and the UK

Greetings Fellow Novelists!
How goes your search to secure an agent? I'm learning more about agents than I am about writing these days so I took a cyber journey to the friendly countries of Canada and the UK, in hopes of finding someone who really likes my writing and sees commercial potential. If you ever read that my books come to America via Bosnia, it means I worked my way through countries to find my literary agent.
I am slightly afraid of Canadian agents for the simple fact that most authors in the Great White North seem to have won a Governor General's award for literary excellence and I'm pretty sure my first book is not going to stand up next to them. It's more of a quick beach read and there are few beaches in Canada. Get my point?

But here's a list of agents who seemed open to unsolicited queries, take no reading fee, accept adult fiction (don't ever say Fictional Novel) and accept electronic submissions. Many were ruled out for "snail mail only".
Good luck and don't forget to use best manners with the British and Canadians. It goes a long way and they're used to it.

Canada - Pamela Paul - query only, literary fiction  - Dean Cooke, Query only - Amy Moore Bensen - thrillers, suspense, literary
You choose!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Casey Gets a Pardon!

Oh My God!!! What happened last night on American Idol shocked the judges into using their wildcard before the contestant sang 12 bars of his 'sing for your life' song. Casey got voted out by the American public but Paul McDonald (who looked incredulous that he would be staying), made the coveted top ten who will tour the U.S. this summer. J Lo's advice - just be true to your art. Isn't that what Casey does best? It was shocking that the bottom 3 did not include Paul but not shocking that Stefano sat in one of the cold metal stools. The judges pardonned Casey before you could say 'what the heck' and he almost had a heart attack on stage from gratitude. 'Awkward' (said in a falsetto voice).
Apparently Paul and James love to wrestle at the mansion that they just moved out of because they think it's haunted. So Hulk Hogan arrived as one of the many surprises last night and James looked like he was going to do something inappropriate (he has Asbergers). When Hulk threw Ryan into the crowd he had to quietly reassure James it was okay. Watch the playback.Maybe James isn't lying about Asbergers and Tourettes.
Stevie Wonder surprised STeven on his birthday night and Walk this Way Man was gracious as always. Sugarland was tedious with their horribly repetitive song by the lady in the green pants that stayed in a perfect V the whole 4 minutes. Jennifer Hudson pulled off an amazing performance of a powerful song - something about waiting for you and 'where you at?', and probably reinforced Pia's decision to stand behind the mic in a gown again next week.  The group number was fraught with problems (Pia shone, Jacob too) but at least they didn't let Scotty or Paul sing much. When the camera almost got a view up Naima's dress they cut to a different angle, proving once again that this is live TV. Marc Anthony, whose appeal I've never understood was on hand this week to teach the contestants how to use a headpiece properly, something that the sound man should have done. But i guess he's there anyways, hangin' waiting for J Lo so he offered stellar advice and sat backstage with them in the drab green room, around a small TV watching the performances live on Tuesday. His comments were cute, he poked fun at his wife and now i may forgive him for calling his girlfriend 'baby girl' in his hit song Need To Know.
Another great show and both my husband and I remarked that they've really taken the second night to new heights this year, keeping the surprises coming, Ryan's lost the stupid comments to the contestants(aside from letting gordon Ramsay eat Stefano's mom's pasta) and formatting it to keep the pace furious. Kudos producers, writers, everyone and special shout out to the Three Judges who rock the whole show!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

American Idol - Top Ten Prediction

It's amazing how artists will grow and broaden given a few weeks on the international stage. Some are getting more comfortable with it and some are falling behind and that's what American Idol is all about.
Last night's studio audience was peppered with stars - think an embarassed Jennifer Beales, Aerosmith's guitar player, Liv Tyler and even a very rude Gordon Ramsay who insulted Stefano's mother's cooking. Even Ryan Seacrests gal Julianne Hough was seated beside Jimmy ionvine. He's the guy with the amazing, right-on advice to the idols about song choice. He pairs the singer with the producer and i think this new format is working because this year the singing and performances are the best ever. Ever!
First off was Casey who smoothed down his unruly hair and did a kick ass job on Grapevine. He went into the audience to sing to his 'friend' Meagan which was cute until she did a rocker tongue thing at him (Ok, even that was cute) then finished up the song in Casey Style. Keeper. Next came Thia who did spice up things but unfortunately, even though i liked what she did, it only proved she is not ready to be an idol. Loose the prom dress and controlled arm motions. Maybe age another 10 years. Next was Jacob (we can drop last names now, can't we?). He did a fantastic job, so much so that Steven got out of his judges chair to hug Jacob. He kept his song contained like that Jimmy guy told him to. The judges love him. Lauren next and she looked smashing. Aside from checking her mother's cues every few sentences during the interview, she came out of her social funk and seemed almost back to normal. I think her mom told her to cut the sassy crap onstage and no more calling Ryan 'Peaches'. Stefano. Oh Stefano. Oh dear. Who told you that Hello would be a good song? Especially when you claim you've never heard it before? James? You were lead astray. It was the worst choice all night and you murdered it. But, as my husband said 'i still like you'.Luckily we know you learned your lesson and will give us the full Stefano next week. Then Haley almost killed herself in high shoes on the stairs. Please, no. We couldn't even listen to the song for worrying about you trying to navigate those stairs. I liked the hair switch up. Nice flat-ironning Haley. But you must also try to connect with the song and audience. Amazing chops will not get you further if you are only pretending to feel the song. Scotty turned For Once in My Life into a country song and i have to say he did a dang fine job but he's coming to the end of his run. Get that boy a ticket to Nashville and let him start his teen job as a country idol. Pia came next and I couldn't wait to see her dance around and let it rip. No such luck. Yawn...Another ballad (even though i love this one) and another evening gown. Ho Hum, yes she's gorgeous and is on par with Celine Dion but comeon girl - light a fire cracker under that tooshy and have some fun. You're not going home anytime soon. The wiggling smurf-voiced idol is next - Paul. Ok, pal I stuck with you this far but this is where I open the idol bus door and let you off. You sounded terrible and on the commercial break I perfected my impersonation of your strange voice and i have to say, it's not a compliment. Forget the sincerest form of flattery and all that. Time to say bye bye to Paul's teeth. I mean Paul. Naima fights her way up the ladder to one of the top spots this week with a spectacular performance of Dancing in the STreet. She even did some african dancing at the end that sealed her as a true performance artist. I like this woman. Alot and not just cause they once showed her cleaning toilets. Well maybe. I love a good rags to riches story.  Then came James. And boy did he come! That boy loves to perform and it shows. He sang good, worked the camera (Pia take note) and secured his spot as a keeper.
The performances were top level last night and here's my prediction for the bottom three...Paul, Thia and Haley (Sorry girl but they just don't love you like i do.) Possibly Stefano but I hope not.
What do you think?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

American Idol Tomorrow!

I've been sick with a raging head cold so i'm working towards feeling well enough to prop myself in front of the TV for two hours of judgemental bliss tomorrow night. American Idol...
Did you know that Casey is only 19? Firstly that surprises me because of his confidence onstage and secondly because i suspect he will look exactly that way when he's 60 except the curly mop will be grey. If he got a great haircut this week, let the stylist dress him and upped his image, wonders would not cease. Now's the time to bring something super new to the table Casey. I suggest hair. I like Pia...OK i love you girlfriend but you gotta do a faster song this week or my love is going to be challenged. Take some steps, sing something uptempo. Get out from behind the mic and mix it up. Haley, you gotta do that gravelly blues thing with your voice and sell us like you've been living on the streets for the last three years and not a college dorm room. Thea (Disney Girl), I hate to tell a teen to drink before they sing but you need to let loose a bit this week. And i know the theme of Motown will be difficult for you young' uns but throw some moves in, twirl your skirt, bend down to low five the audience at least once. Be 16 or whatever you age is. Stefano - tomorrow you will bring the house down because Motown is your thang, baby. Jacob - ditto- even tho you're shook up about your friend Nate Dogg's death this week. Go for it on stage but keep those notes in line. Not too sharp. Paul - smiley man- look good, keep smiling, keep up what you're doing 'cause although it's strange singing, it's unique. Naima, please sing on key. I want you to be good so baaaad. Don't make us think we kept you for the outfits. James, even though you are used to singing about 'whores' and are now very regrettful of saying that, just do what you do with that thing you do it with and go for it, like always. You rock. Literally. Who's left? Scotty, that's who. On Motown night i think if he does something like Papa was a Rolling Stone, he'd have them on their feet. Don't you? And Lauren...keep the faith, loose the fear and sing your heart out tomorrow little girl. You'll make the top ten and get to tour this summer for sure.
One last note about Fergie...although everyone thinks she had major P.Surgery, I think that she just parted her hair on the side and her usual ability to cut a pound or two off her cheeks was eliminated. That's all.
Tune in Thursday for my spewing about what went down.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Introduction to Dr Venus

My Vlog - From French Polynesia


To vlog or not to vlog...that is not the question. The question is how to vlog, what to vlog and where to vlog. I'm gonna vlog! It's official. And all from a one hour conversation with my BFF Kendal's husband last night at a St.Patrick's Day party. Granted we had drinks in hand and funny hats on our heads but Patrick knows my background in entertainment, reads alot about the next best thing and works for Amazon (was formerly with Microsoft) and is an artist himself. He's got my back, in other words, and I trust him.
At this point are you still wondering what Vlogging is? It's video blogging and Pat recommended I video blog my book on youtube. Or tell my story of how I adopted in Taiwan..short bursts of a one sided conversation, released every few days. I gotta research this more BUT I'm jazzed about vlogging because I love to perform in front of a camera. I don't like watching the play back but love to perform. So much so that in my new career as a writer I'm now going to teach other writers how to be confident when they creep out from behind their computers to meet their public. It's called "Channeling Your Inner Rock Star".
Anyhow, Vlogging is the next best thing and I'm going to ride that dragon soon. I just have to figure out how to focus my $4.99 camera from China and get a big ole piece of black cardboard behind me to hide the mess in this office. Oh and convince the 3 others in this office to be quiet when I vlog. Wish me luck.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

American Idol - Cream Rises

This is the moment in the mega contest where cream rises and the singers with no 'fat' start to sink. All singers left have enough ooompf to be on that huge stage at this point but as in any race, or contest, the stronger ones are going to pull ahead now.
Song choice is just as much a part of the contest as knowing your style, hitting the notes, timing, connecting with the audience and presenting yourself as a star onstage.
With that said, here's my advice to anyone left after tonight.
1. You must choose songs that show your strengths, not showcase your weaknesses. Don't do Whitney Houston just because you love the song. It's better to sing a little known song and blow everyone out of the water with your talent than satisfy the known song demand and crash on stage.
2. Dress for success (Jacob did, why can't everyone).
4. Do not skip your way behind the judges desk if you're going to loose notes or breath in doing so. It's too risky and you'll notice that the front runners don't do it.
5. Don't look like a deer caught in the headlights up there even f you have the flu. Have fun. It's painful to watch someone who thinks they might not be good enough.
My predictions for tonight...Front Runner is still Pia but burn the white jammies, I love Casy for kooky reasons but not sure he's Idol material, Jacob is singing just too sharp still - he needs better control of his own voice, Hailey is gifted but may get left behind because she can't find her style, Adaima is out of her league now (back to blues please), Stefano was awesome last night in every regard, the Disney singer has a beautiful voice (forgetting her name is a very bad sign), Paul surprised me sounding better with a cold -still sounds like a dead cat but i like it, James Durbin sang the wrong song for his voice but pranced around like a seasoned rock star and i loved him, next week he will do better, Scotty improves every week but is not my favorite, Lauren is sick but i think she's getting scared and it shows in her interviews - buck up Lauren, your voice is amazing, Karen did an amazing job of a horrendously difficult song to sing. She gained points in my book last night.
Who will go tonight?   Probably Naima or the Disney singer. i hope it isn't Hailey.
American idol...Fox 8pm, thursday.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Bachelor's Less Than Happy Ending

Brad Womack chose Emily Maynard, the bleached blonde who fiddles constantly with her hair and talks about her daughter Ricki with every breath. Last night's final rose ceremony in South Africa was less than satisfying for viewers as we were shown the couple two months later, as a fractured couple who'd broken up then reunited and couldn't stop telling each other 'I love you'. Brad is still campaigning for this woman's devotion and she is working equally hard to repel him.
In the final date before the rose ceremony she explained how horrible fatherhood is and all but pushed him out the door. Brad obviously likes a good challenge because that didn't deter him. He chose Emily over the devoted, darling Chantal who got in he water with great white sharks for him the day before. Where was that therapist when Brad most needed him?
Then Brad went on at to explain to Chantal last night, that he was basically keeping her around until the end because she deserved a good vacation. Something like that. She challenged him on that one and fired back her own bullet that she was already in a wonderful relationship back in SEattle. She'd just wanted closure.
But, we later learned that Emily is the jealous type and Brad was not going to say on national TV that he'd had feelings for Chantal that only dissolved when Emily looked half interested at the end. REading between the lines, i heard that Emily was extremely jealous and insecure and watched every Monday night episode in spite of the pain it caused then proceeded to fight with Brad on the phone about how much he gave to the other girls. Apparently she did not know about the fantasy suite offers for everyone.
I feel badly for them but again, i think Brad chose unwisely. Chantal was a better match only in that she actually was available and open to a marriage with Brad. Emily is not. But in front of the world she did let him put the ring back on her finger and told him repeatedly that she loved him even if she didn't see marriage for them anytime soon. To put it in Brad's words..."Ouch."

Monday, March 14, 2011

Birthdays for Little Girls

My 8 year old turned 9 before i could stop her. And now she's one year away from the double digits. Of course she is thrilled about this in her childhood innocence as she races to be taken more seriously and get to an age when she can date. But Mom has mixed feelings and over the birthday party dishes on Sunday, a few tears mingled with the lavendar scented dishwater.
This year the party did not involve a bounce house, games, loot bags, party hats or adults lingering. It was a big girl, sleepover party with 5 friends, cute pyjamas, sleeping bags and movies with cute boys saving the world. How did this suddenly happen, I say? When my back was turned my darling girl started to mature and took tentative steps toward blending in with the stream of all the girls who are headed towards puberty one day. Always one to sit out the games of girlhood, my daughter has been the child who declines birthday party invitations, sits quietly while the other girl scouts noisily chase each other, gets kudos at school for eating her lunch in the cafeteria and not talking, whispers in public to not assume herself into any situation. But this weekend saw a change in my shy girl. She ran, she laughed, she became one of the girls. Seeing her get older is bittersweet because I want normalcy for her but fear loosing her devotion to me.
The birthday party transformation was a beautiful thing to watch as she gathered the girls around her to open presents, make faces, crack jokes and revel in their attention. Ah,'s fun being a girl. Go for it!

Friday, March 11, 2011

American Idol Drops Ashton and Adam Lambert is Amazing

Yup AShton. She has lots of talent but needs to work on control of her big voice. I think her cocky attitude hurt her in the long run, even if it was cute.
OMG I love Adam Lambert's voice. I don't think I have ever loved anyone's singing voice like this guy. It's almost perfect and the high notes when he's singing soft, like at the end of his song last night. I want to watch him sing all day long but that's weird and wasteful. However i did happen to see he twitters and noticed his charity is BeHeard, which i haven't checked into yet but i forsee it's something to do with coming out of the closet or loving your gay self. The thing about AL is that he is a really well spoken, nice man. He's polite with Ryan on stage, shakes hands, seems grateful and for all that's happened to him lately is still humble, underneath all the eyeliner and lipstick. He could have done some huge number last night with his band and smoke and confetti dropping from the ceiling and licking his guitar player's face but no, he wanted to use the platform to promote a song that was written to draw attention to charity. Good career move too since the last time he was on an international platform he french kissed his keyboard player and has been too controversial to be asked back to a mega awards show.
Did not love P Diddy who is now called Diddy and Dirty MOney or something equally stupid. Maybe i just plain don't like him because he has enough money to put jewels in his teeth and is now trying to be Eminem. But i liked his piano player. She was a lovely touch to an otherwise stupid performance.
Thanks for listening, as always....

Thursday, March 10, 2011

American Idol Top 13 Sing

They came to sing and some did, some didn't. At this point in American Idol we are starting to weed out the singers from the performers from the artists and last night's show proved that some are not ready for stardom.
And I must say that i think Steven Tyler and J Lo must man up and be more honest with the contestants at this point. Randy is speaking the truth, now you two need to stop telling everyone how organic everyone is and offer some reality to this reality show. Don't get me wrong, I love this panel of judges and don't miss the stupid flirting between Paula and Simon one iota. This combination of judges is the bomb. BTW, Randy laughs just before he's going to say something negative in direct contrast to what JLo and Steven said. It's funny. Watch for this.
As for the singers, one will be eliminated tonight and that person should be.....Karen Rodriguez. She's the weakest singer but Golly, she looked like a superstar last night. If that counted, I'd say Casey should go, but it doesn't. And what's up with Paul MacDonald? He looks great onstage, has the whole image thing down but can't sing his way out of a wet paper bag. Or should i say he sings very off key. I like to watch him though. And Ryan, trying to dance like Paul.
James Durbin and Pia Toscano are still favorites and in my humble opinion, Jacob Lusk can go straight to Broadway now. He has amazing heart but sings very sharp as do alot of artists who are immensely invested emotionally. The kid with the low country voice can go straight to Nashvile now, Ashton has gone as far as she deserves, Thia megia ( i love saying her name) can go straight to Disneyland recording studio, Casey is ready to record a CD then tour and Lauren Alena should finish high school first. She's cute, has tons of talent but do you think she's ready for idolness? I worry. I love the guy from Seattle too. Stefano? He's got great chops, cute to watch with that never-ending smile and worry that America might not love him enough to take him to the top 5. Watch tonight when my boy, Adam Lambert performs. Love this guy but i hope he doesn't lick his guitar players face. Uck, Adam!
There you have it. My morning spew about American Idol. I'd love to hear what you think.