Wednesday, February 21, 2007

American Idol- Final 24

Thus begins a new feature.

This is of course a bit of a departure from the usual political/sports fare here, but American Idol has simply become a cultural institution and I am one of the millions of Americans who enjoys the show. Perhaps one of the reasons is that like politics and sports, there is a competition aspect to American Idol that is quite compelling. It is fun to keep track of who survives and who is sent packing, etc., as Americans demonstrate their voting power.

Now, in composing these rankings from week by week, I am not judging the contestants over what they look like, or how they move on stage, or their personalities, or even if I enjoy the type of music they are performing (often I dislike the songs featured), but simply on their vocal abilities in that performance.

Maybe some will be interested in my opinion, and want to share their own on American Idol as well in comments. Maybe others could care less, but I am just making a record for myself here after all in who I thought was good, who I thought was bad, and who I think is going home, which of course may not necessarily be the same person or persons.

On Tuesday night, the males performed- Here is how I thought they did, from best to worst:

1. Blake Lewis
2. Jarred Cotter
3. A.J. Tabaldo
4. Chris Sligh
5. Nick Pedro
6. Sundance Head
7. Brandon Rogers
8. Phil Stacey
9. Sanjaya Malakar
10. Chris Richardson
11. Rudy Cardenas
12. Paul Kim

So, basically I think Paul Kim was horrible, and the boy needs to put his shoes on too. I agree with Randy Jackson in thinking that Rudy Cardenas's performance was quite cheesy. Those are the two who I think should be voted off tomorrow evening. Will they be? It is tough to say. I would not at all be surprised if 3 or 4 others get axed, but I actually am going to stick with a prediction of Paul and Rudy saying goodbye to their 15 minutes of fame.

The females performed on Wednesday evening.

1. LaKisha Jones
2. Melinda Doolittle
3. Stephanie Edwards
4. Sabrina Sloan
5. Gina Glockson
6. Amy Krebs
7. Jodin Sparks
8. Alaina Alexander
9. Leslie Hunt
10. Haley Scarrato
11. Nicole Tranquillo
12. Antonella Barba

The top four were all very good and serious threats to win the competition. They may all prove to be serious contenders to win it all, although I think Blake Lewis and Chris Sligh are both also going to go quite far.

As for tonight, Antonella may be easier on the eyes, but she seemed pretty out of her league, especially with such an overambitious song. Nicole's performance was just kind of weird in my view. I think a couple others are at risk to go home, but in this opening week, I will stick with a prediction of the two at the bottom who deserve to be eliminated being the unlucky ones.

Presidential Power Rankings # 8

February 21, 2007


No changes this week. I have a hunch this list may stay this way for quite a while-

1. Hillary Rodham Clinton (1)
2. Barack Obama (2)
3. John Edwards (3)
4. Al Gore (4)
5. Bill Richardson (5)
6. Tom Vilsack (6)
7. Chris Dodd (7)
8. Joe Biden (8)
9. Dennis Kucinich (9)
10. Wes Clark (10)
11. Al Sharpton (11)
12. Mark Warner (12)
13. Phil Bredesen (13)
14. John Kerry (14)
15. Mike Gravel (15)


For a day or so this week, I really felt the temptation to move John McCain down to # 3 and move Rudy Giuliani up to # 1 for a variety of reasons that would be irrelevant to get into now, since after further reflection, I think it makes sense to leave the rankings as is.

The one change though now that I have seen Jim Gilmore on Fox News speaking as a Presidential aspirant is to move him back up a spot over Chuck Hagel, who seems to be less likely to jump into the fray.

1. John McCain (1)
2. Mitt Romney (2)
3. Rudy Giuliani (3)
4. Mike Huckabee (4)
5. Sam Brownback (5)
6. Newt Gingrich (6)
7. Tommy Thompson (7)
8. Duncan Hunter (8)
9. Jim Gilmore (10)
10. Chuck Hagel (9)
11. George Pataki (11)
12. Tom Tancredo (12)
13. Ron Paul (13)
14. John Cox (14)
15. Michael Savage (15)