Friday, February 26, 2010

Happy Friday!

I don't normally wish away the week, but MAN it was a busy one!

I'm exhausted! Three American Idol columns... my Hump Day column... and two sample columns for another idea I have. It was non-stop! Plus... the day job, volunteer work and family stuff. Haven't been this happy to see the weekend in a long time!

I'm duct taping myself to the sofa tonight and not moving... at least for a few hours! :)

I hope you all had a great week! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Idol Chatter - Top 24 results show aired February 25, 2010

As with every season on American Idol, there are shocker eliminations. Mostly, these occur later in the season, but I really felt that there were two shocker eliminations last night after Tim Urban and Jermaine Sellers (my predictions for elimination) were spared when two other male contestants were sent home -- contestants that, in no way, deserved to go this early... especially one of them who's been a fan favourite since the auditions.

One of my predictions, thankfully (for me, not for her) was accurate. Janell Wheeler earned the reputation of being the first contestant of the season sent home by voters. Lacey Brown, shockingly, was spared being shown the door, even though most reviewers pegged her for elimination.

The name of the two male contestants and the one female contestant I hadn't predicted? Well, if you didn't watch the show, you'll have to click here to read my Idol Chatter column in today's edition of the Moncton Times & Transcript to find out!

The Top 20 perform next week when another four contestants will be eliminated. On Tuesday, the 10 girls perform, while the 10 guys perform on Wednesday. Results will be announced on Thursday. All shows air at 9 p.m. Atlantic (8 p.m. Eastern) on Fox.

CORRECTION TO COLUMN: Tyler "O'Grady" should have been "Grady". My apologies for the error.

Idol Chatter - Top 12 guys' performance show aired February 24, 2010

The Top 12 guys performed last night on American Idol. I was expecting them to do much better than the girls, but only found it was marginally better... but better nonetheless.

The highlight of the show was definitely Casey James, who nearly had Kara melting in her seat. The guy's got good looks, lots of charm and a great voice, too... so he will definitely be going very far in the competition.

The only huge trainwreck of the evening was poor Tim Urban. Tim was a last-minute addition to the Top 12 after original pick Chris Golightly was disqualified. Tim's performance was just terrible and he was gutted by the judges in their comments. The biggest surprise of the night was low-profile Joe Munoz, who did really well despite being barely seen throughout the auditions and Hollywood Week.

I'm predicting that Janell Wheeler, Lacey Brown, Tim Urban and Jermaine Sellers will be sent packing tonight. How many will I get correct? There's such a huge field of contenders right now that it's anyone's guess, but we'll all know tonight during the results show airing at 9 p.m. Atlantic (8 p.m. Eastern) on Fox!

For a complete recap of last night's performances by the 12 guys and the judges' comments, click here to read my Idol Chatter column in today's Moncton Times & Transcript.

CORRECTION TO COLUMN: Tyler "O'Grady" should have been "Grady". My apologies for the error.

Don't be in too big a rush to declare somebody dead

Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

To his utter surprise, Canadian singing legend Gordon Lightfoot found out he was dead last week. Thanks to a prank that began on Twitter, tributes started pouring in from fans and even very credible media outlets ran heartfelt obituaries.

A few hours into the prank -- that spread like wildfire thanks to the lightning speed of the Internet rumour mill -- Lightfoot's staff confirmed that he was very much alive and well, much to the relief of fans and much to the chagrin of some red-faced media outlets, bloggers and social media enthusiasts who rushed to be the first to announce the news.

I think it would be interesting to see how people would react if they thought you were dead when you really weren't, don't you? Well, I guess it would only be interesting if you were pretty sure there wouldn't be cheering in the streets and the immediate declaration of a worldwide holiday by the United Nations to celebrate the fact that you were no longer alive. That wouldn't be terribly good for the self-esteem, I think.

I fully expect people to completely freak out when I die. (Take notes, I will be checking from beyond the grave. Anyone who doesn't react strongly enough to my death will be severely haunted.)

No, I don't want any of this, "Oh, it was his time," or "It was a blessing," or "He lived a good life." Nope. I want fall-on-your-knees screaming and banging your head against the floor... and hopefully because you'll actually miss me and not because I owe you a boat-load of money and died before I could repay you.

In all seriousness, I don't hope that happens. Of course, I suppose there would be a bit of that if I die young and unexpectedly, but if I'm 110 years old and have been bedridden for 20 years, I would hope there's a bit of relief. I know there would be from me. And at 110 years old, it's pretty much time for someone to put a pillow over your head until you stop squirming, anyway -- especially if you haven't gotten out of bed for 20 years.

If not a pillow, then give me a plugged-in toaster to play with during my next bath. When the lights stop flickering and the frantic splashing sounds stop, you'll know it's time to call the funeral home for a pick-up. Not exactly a beautiful death surrounded by friends and family like in the movies, but it's quick and cheap. Toasters are inexpensive. Just make sure you scrub the tub well afterwards. Dying can be messy.

I can just imagine the screaming next Christmas when some of you find bath salts and a toaster under the tree. "Those salts smell like lavender, Mom. Why don't you try them out now? I'll run the bath for you and set up the toaster on a wobbly stool next to the tub so you can have some delicious toast while you're soaking. By the way, you have a will, right?" If that happens, best to drive those brats right over to the orphanage, even if they're in their 40s.

I wonder what the headlines will say when I die? "Man found dead in home. Eaten by cats after not showing up at work for two weeks." "Beloved columnist dies. Queen Elizabeth cries in public upon hearing news. Has Prince Philip beheaded for asking, 'Brian Who?'" "Newspaper sales collapse after Hump Day columnist found dead in bathtub. Tragically mistook plugged-in toaster for bar of soap."

I'm still not sure what I want to happen to my body after I die. After the hospital declares you dead and the funeral home embalms you, the chances of waking up in the casket are pretty slim, but I keep remembering these horror comics from when I was a kid. They would dig up some poor guy and find bloody scratch marks on the inside lid of the casket and a look of horror on his now-dead face after he was mistakenly buried alive.

I don't like the heat, so getting cremated isn't an option. I've seen videos of the cremation process, and let's just say that it's pretty final. Even coming back as a zombie is out of the question after that. At least if you're only buried, there's hope that a mad scientist will bring you back to life as some sort of evil monster. "Honey, I think I just saw that nice man who we used to read in the newspaper -- you know, the one who died a couple of months ago... Well, he just bit the head off the mailman and is running after the paperboy yelling, 'More brains! I want more brains!' Should we call 911?"

There's always donating my body to science. I have a friend who wants to do that, actually. However, there's something about lying on a cold metal table dead and buck naked in front of a bunch of strangers. If I was a handsome athlete, I don't think I'd mind, however I'm not. I just know I'd end up being stared at and cut apart during the lesson called "People who let themselves go to pot. The tragic consequences of a wasted life."

"Now, class," the professor would say, "let's take a look at this poor sot in front you. Try not to be sick. Try to hold it together. Someone pick Becky off the floor. She fainted. Tyler, stop throwing up inside the corpse. I'd give you a failing mark, but in this case, it's understandable."

Maybe I'll just jump into a running wood chipper and get it over with quickly. No, with my luck it would probably jam half-way through. Then, I'd have to spend the rest of my life with children pointing at me and saying, "Mommy, who's that half-mangled, half-gorgeous man?"

All I know is that if I ever wake up in the casket, there's going to be hell to pay. If anyone hears muffled screams coming from deep inside my grave, just ignore them because I'll be stocking up on toasters and wobbly stools if I ever dig myself out.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Still ignoring social media and the Internet?

Idol Chatter - Top 12 girls' performance show aired February 23, 2010

Last night, the Top 12 girls sang their hearts out on the first performance show of the 2010 season of American Idol. Most sang OK. A couple sang very well. One sang very badly... one of the favourites, in fact.

Two girls will be sent packing tomorrow night. I think Janell Wheeler and Lacey Brown are in trouble. Janell was forgettable and didn’t do well. Nothing special enough about her or memorable. I didn’t think her performance was that great and the judges’ comments were harsh. Much was expected from Lacey Brown in her second chance to make the Top 12 this year. Unfortunately, she had a complete meltdown on “Landslide”. I remembered her last night, but because she was bad.

Click here to read today's edition of Idol Chatter in the Moncton Times & Transcript. Columns will also appear tomorrow and Friday after the Top 12 guys' performances and the results show, respectively.

Tune in to Fox tonight at 9 p.m. Atlantic (8 p.m. Eastern) to see the Top 12 guys sing!

This week's Hump Day column...

... is about how you want people to react when you die. Last week, rumours abounded that Canadian country music singer Gordon Lightfoot passed away. Fortunately for him, they were just rumours and he was very much alive. At least he could console himself by reading how beloved he was by all the nice things people were saying about him, though!

How do you want people to react when you die?

Check out today's Hump Day column in the editorial section of the Moncton Times & Transcript.

Remember, if it's Wednesday, it's Hump Day!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Old Spice has some great new ads

Everyone's talking about Old Spice. Huh? Yeah, really! They've got some great new TV ads that people are talking about around the water cooler.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Idol Chatter update

Hi everyone! You may remember a few weeks ago when I announced that my Idol Chatter column would be returning to the Moncton Times & Transcript in March. Well, there's been a slight change of plans... but it's a good change!

In past years, the column began in mid-March when the Top 12 began competing. This year, however, the Times & Transcript asked me if I'd push the start date up to the very beginning of the performance shows -- meaning this week! Of course, I said "Yes!" right away.

So, that means that Idol Chatter begins THIS WEEK! For the next three weeks, Idol Chatter will run three times weekly in the Life & Times section of the Moncton Times & Transcript. This week, the Top 24 (12 girls, 12 guys) perform... then next week it's the Top 20 (10 girls, 10 guys)... then the Top 16 (eight girls, eight guys)... then the Top 12 begins the week after that. Starting then, Idol Chatter reverts to its usual twice-weekly.

The column runs the day after the performance show and the day after the results show. For the next three weeks, Idol Chatter will run on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the newspaper. After that, it'll run on Wednesday and Thursday.

Please send along e-mails with your predictions and comments on the contestants. It's always a lot of fun speculating on who'll be this year's winner. What we know for sure is that one of these 24 singers will be named the American Idol 2010 in May:

Top 12 girls:

- Crystal Bowersox (24, Toledo OH)
- Michelle Delamor (22, Miami FL)
- Ashley Rodriguez (22, Chelsey MA)
- Janell Wheeler (24, Tampa FL)
- Siobhan Magnus (20, Marstons Mills MA)
- Lacey Brown (24, Amarillo TX)
- Lilly Scott (20, Denver CO)
- Haeley Vaughn (16, Fort Collins CO)
- Paige Miles (24, Houston TX)
- Didi Benami (23, Knoxville TN)
- Katie Stevens (17, Middlebury CT)
- Katelyn Epperly (19, West Des Moines IA)

Top 12 guys:

- Tyler Grady (20, Nazareth PA)
- Aaron Kelly (16, Sonestown PA)
- Todrick Hall (24, Arlington TX)
- John Park (21, Evanston IL)
- Tim Urban (20, Duncanville TX)
- Casey James (27, Fort Worth TX)
- Michael Lynche (26, Astoria NY)
- Lee DeWyze (23, Mount Prospect IL)
- Andrew Garcia (24, Moreno Valley CA)
- Joe Munoz (20, Huntington Park CA)
- Alex Lambert (19, North Richland Hills TX)
- Jermaine Sellers (27, Joliet IL)

To learn more about the contestants, click here to visit the official American Idol website on Fox.