American Idol: TV Guide Poll: Jessica Sanchez Favored To Win American Idol

Jessica Sanchez will be the next American Idol according to the latest TV Guide poll which showed her garnering 36 percent of the vote.

The latest TV Guide poll shows Jessica Sanchez with 36 percent of the vote and Phillip Phillips second with 24 percent. Colton Dixon is third with 15 percent of the vote. The rest of the contestants have less than 10 percent of the vote. Elise Testone has 9 percent, Hollie Cavanagh 6 percent, Joshua Ledet 5 percent, Skylar Laine 4 percent and DeAndre Brackensick is last with only two percent of the votes in the poll.

I am surprised that Joshua Ledet only received 5 percent of the vote in the poll. It may be hurting for him to be from a small city in Louisiana, rather than living in a metropolitan city. I have to admit I am prejudiced in favor of Ledet, considering we live less than 10 miles from his house.  That 5 percent may be a harbinger telling us that Ledet may not even make the top five contestants.

Votefortheworst.com has chosen DeAndre Brackensick as the worst remaining singer and urges their readers to vote for DeAndre to keep him on the show till the end. The website bought a little time for Heejun Han as he remained on the show much longer than anyone imagined. As far as I am concerned DeAndre should have left the show before Heejun,  based on his performance on Wednesday night.

I think Heejun outsung him, but Heejun apparently didn’t have the teenybopper vote this year, so DeAndre didn’t even make the bottom three. I predict he will not only make the bottom three, but will be voted off next week, if the teenyboppers forget to vote for him next week.

It is a big deal for Ryan Seacrest to say we had 50 million voters register their vote last night, but it is an even bigger deal if good singers like Erika Van Pelt are sent home due to teenage girls voting over and over for an undeserving singer.

Seacrest who had elbow procedure done before the show continues to make a contestant feel like they are in bottom three, then tells them they are safe.

Scotty McCreery may be the first American Idol in years to sell a million albums, besides Carrie Underwood. I am positive that Lee DeWyze the previous winner didn’t come close to selling a million albums. DeWyze will be the answer to a trivia question someday that asks which American Idol singer had the least success. DeWyze’s Live It Up debut album only sold 146,000 copies. Taylor Hicks will give him a run for his money but DeWyze is in a class by himself. Quick, name one song either singer recorded. I rest my case.

Update On Past American Idol Winners

If you are in the market for a $1.5 million house in the Los Angeles area, then David Cook has the house for you:

http://www.realtor.com/blogs/2012/03/27/american-idol-david-cook-selling-los-angeles-house-photos/

Carrie Underwood sent a necklace to Hollie Cavanagh before Hollie sang her song. My personal favorite after Joshua Ledet is Hollie but I have a feeling she won’t make it much further, considering she was in bottom three with nine singers in the competition last night before the voting.

http://tasteofcountry.com/carrie-underwood-american-idol-hollie-cavanagh-necklace/

How soon they forget….Just searched three pages of links after typing in Taylor Hicks in the search box and found nothing about Taylor Hicks the singer from American Idol. I did check on how the albums by Hicks have sold. His debut album Taylor Hicks went platinum selling 705,000 copies, but his next album The Distance has sold 52,000 copies since being released three years ago.

Kris Allen surprisingly did even worse than Hicks, selling 329,000 copies of his debut album Kris Allen in the last two-and-a-half years. Hicks reportedly is working on his third album.

Carrie Underwood sold 315,000 copies of her Some  Hearts debut album before it even charted and it has now sold 7.1 million copies making it platinum times 7 in sales. Her last two albums Carnival Ride and Play On have sold 3.2 million and 2.1 million respectively. She will release her fourth album Blown Away this May. She has sold over 12 million copies combined of her first three albums.

Fantasia Barrino, in comparison has sold less than 3 million copies combined of her three albums. Jordin Sparks sold barely over a million of her debut album Jordin Sparks, but has sold 177,000 copies of her July 2009 release Battlefield.

Sparks will be appearing in the movie Sparkle as a singer with Whitney Houston portraying her mother. The movie will be in theaters on August 17.

http://www.ontheredcarpet.com/Whitney-Houston-made-silly-faces-on-Sparkle-set–Jordin-Sparks-says-Video/8580885

American Idol Ratings Rising, While The Voice Numbers Decline

American Idol drew more viewers than The Voice for the third straight week, outdrawing The Voice which drew only 12 million compared to 17.2 million for American Idol.

The Voice has an identity problem with their present format. Singers who won the blind auditions and battle rounds have only been seen twice in the first nine weeks of the competition. The Voice needs to go straight to the live performances, so the contestants can be seen every week instead of being shown one week in the last four weeks.

It would help if The Voice would flash the names of the singers on the screen more often, so the singers could build up a following. Nobody can build up a following if nobody knows their name. We might remember the faces of the remaining contestants on the Voice, but few could tell you the names of any of the contestants.

My hometown favorite Joshua Ledet who lives only a few miles from us continues to impress the judges on American Idol. When he broke down at the end of the song, it could be viewed as a weakness or strength, depending on the preferences of those who voted last night.

Holly Cavanagh is my second favorite. She might not win, but it is good to see her out there, after the heartbreak she endured when she didn’t make it last year. I particularly liked her when she was part of a girl’s trio with Skylar and Jessica.

Last Night For Heejun or DeAndre?

It is time for Heejun Han to go home. He doesn’t even belong on the same stage with the other singers. I am still amazed that Erika Van Pelt went home before Heejun and DeAndre last week. If Heejun and DeAndre are not in the bottom three tonight, American Idol has lost all credibility.

Judges Continue To Ignore Ryan Seacrest

Ryan Seacrest is getting a taste of what Steve Jones had to put up with as host of X-Factor. Seacrest tried to get the judges to name names of who was in trouble, but Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez all ignored the question and refused to name anyone that was in trouble. Steve Jones would ask questions on X-Factor and get no response, which made him look like a inept host.

It is time for him to stop asking the question, since it is not being answered anyway. It just makes him look bad for asking a question, that the judges have no plans of answering.

It will be interesting to hear Jimmy Iovine’s opinions of the singers tonight, especially the ones that the judges gave standing ovations for.

Five hours from now there will only be eight contestants remaining, unless the judges use their save. I can’t imagine them using their save to save Heejun if he receives the fewest votes. Heejun just as well refuse to sing the song that might save him, since the judges will save the save for a good singer, not a clown that should not have even been in the Top 24, much less the Top 8.

The Voice: Took 9 Weeks To Choose Final 24

 

The Voice is seeing its rating slip as it drew the fewest viewers of the season last night with 11.7 million viewers. Nobody expected them to match the 37.6 million viewers, with the Super Bowl lead-in, but the ratings have dropped almost every week from the 17.8 million viewers of the second show.

14.8 million viewers tuned in for the last blind audition shows, but then the viewers returned for the first week, of the battle rounds with 16.8 million viewers. The ratings dropped to 14.5 million, 11.9 million and the 11.7 million last night. I am sure they have lost some of those viewers to Dancing With The Stars. The Voice has lost 6.1 million viewers since the second show.

Battle Rounds Fiasco

It took four weeks to finish the battle rounds and when they finished last night, there were still 24 singers remaining in the competition. Only the most ardent fans could give you the name of any of those 24 singers.

The main problem is that there were so many singers at the beginning of the battle rounds, that the fans forget the singers when they don’t see them week after week. Some of the singers haven’t even been seen on the show for over a month.

Even after whittling it down to the final 24 singers, there is not enough continuity on the show, to remember the names of the singers. Singing eight songs in two hours means there is 24 minutes of singing, assuming the average song is three minutes. That leaves NBC with one hour and 36 minutes to tell about the singers and run their commercials. It is almost a relief when the show is over, after watching so many commercials.

The worst thing about the battle rounds is that the judge/mentor seem to be more interested, in staging a great battle between the contestants than anything else. It is almost a given that the flashiest and loudest singer of the battle rounds, seems to invariably be the winner.

Another problem is that the judge/mentor are favoring one singer over another, like when country singer Jordan Rager was forced to sing a Jason Mraz song, which fit better the style of Naia Kete. This is where the battle rounds hurt one singer or the other, forcing them to sing out of their genre.

Why not just have live performances the entire season, instead of having battle rounds. Hopefully, the producers saw how the ratings dropped during the battle rounds and will rework the show, before it returns this fall.

 

Ratings Could Drop This Fall

I am worried that when the show returns in the fall, the ratings will continue to drop, since by then the new television season will have begun and television fans may want to see the new and returning shows of the fall season.

X-Factor will be returning also, which could cause more problems for the singing competition industry. It will be disastrous for X-Factor to go head-to-head with The Voice. That probably won’t happen, since they might just split the audience in half.

There are still 12 more shows of The Voice to be seen and I am wondering if the ratings will continue to drop, week after week or will the live shows bring back some of the lost fans.

The Voice needs a winner that is a household name and don’t want another winner who would be a trivia question, only one year later. Who did win The Voice last year anyway? Not many people could give you the answer.

Dave Garroway: First Host of Today Show, Broadcasting Pioneer

Dave Garroway 1913-1982

David Cunningham Garroway was born on July 13, 1913 in Schenectady, New York. Garroway had lived in 13 places by the age of 14, but did settle in St. Louis, Missouri, where he attended University City High School and Washington University.  He earned a degree in abnormal psychology.

A broadcasting career didn’t seem to be on the horizon for Garroway, after he finished 23rd in a class of 24 for NBC announcers. He was still able to find work with KDKA in Pittsburgh, which reportedly was the first commercial radio station.

After having moved to Chicago after his stint with KDKA, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was a disc jockey for a Honolulu radio station on the side. Then after the war he returned to Chicago as a disc jockey on WMAQ radio.

Dave Garroway is shown promoting his new show Today with Fred Allen injecting humor during Garroway’s promotional pitch.

Garroway appeared in several radio and television shows before receiving his big break, when he became the original host of the Today show in 1952, including Garroway At Large which was broadcast by NBC from June 1949 to June 1951.

Dave Garroway and his co-host J. Fred Muggs shown celebrating the 5th anniversary of the Today show in 1957.

NBC began telecasting Wide Wide World from 1955-1958. I can recall watching this show often, since there was not much on television on Sunday afternoons.

Dave Garroway introducing the television program Wide Wide World. The video shows scenes from across America, while Garroway comments on what is happening. It is a great way to relive what it was like, on a Sunday afternoon in America 57 years ago.

The key to the success of Garroway was his easygoing style, which made him almost seem to be a family friend, when he was appearing on a television program. I will never forget him holding his hand up and saying “Peace” at the end of some of his programs.

It would have been nice to say that Garroway’s time on Today ended on the best of terms. He reportedly began to be more difficult to work with and even would disappear in the middle of the show. Then his world changed forever on April 28, 1961 when his second wife Pamela Wilde died from drug-related causes. It upset Garroway so much that he announced he was leaving Today and made his last appearance on Today on June 16, 1961.

Garroway didn’t disappear from the television screen, but never came close to being the force on television, that he was when he was the host of Today.

He appeared on the 30th anniversary show ofTodayon January 14, 1982 with his co-host Jack Lescoulie, and the news editor Frank Blair. In addition the anniversary show featured Pat Weaver who created Today.

It is sad to know that Garroway who appeared to be enjoying celebrating the 30th anniversary show, would be dead six months later.

Garroway had open heart surgery prior to taking his own life. He was found dead on July 21, 1982 in his Swarthmore, Pennsylvania home. He was 69 at the time of his death.

The following video of the 30th anniversary of Today was apparently videotaped on a VCR. The video is shaky at first but is better a few seconds later and very watchable.

The video shows the very first Today show from 1952 and will bring back memories to those who watched the show in the early days of the show.

It is ironic to hear that critic John Crosby thought Today would last no longer than 15 weeks. It turned out he was a little off, as the show celebrates its 60th anniversary this year.

While doing research on Dave Garroway, it reminded me once again of how little we really know, about celebrities like Dave Garroway. The late Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes did know Garroway better than most of us and knew that he did have a dark side as is revealed in this article written shortly after Garroway’s death:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=lNs0AAAAIBAJ&sjid=TfsDAAAAIBAJ&pg=2343,847687&dq=dave+garroway+obituary&hl=en

This obituary tells more of the details of how his body was found 45 minutes after his wife left the house, on the morning of July 21, 1982:

http://www.richsamuels.com/nbcmm/davegarrowayobit.html

This article doesn’t come close to telling the life story of Dave Garroway. He was a complex man, with a wide variety of interests including jazz music, automobiles and astronomy.

Sadly, Garroway never wrote his planned autobiography, so we will never know his complete thoughts on the events in his life.

However, he does leave a legacy in the memories of each of  us who watched him five mornings a week for nine years on the Today show, watching him on Sunday afternoons for three years on Wide Wide World and countless other appearances after leaving both of those programs, in lesser known, but not any less important programs before his death.

The most lasting impression from Garroway was him holding his hand up and saying “Peace”. Thank you Mr. Garroway for doing your part in sharing the world with us.

American Idol Update: DeAndre and Heejun Still Hanging Around

Heejun Han, Erika Van Pelt and DeAndre Brackensick wound up in the bottom three after the voting last night on American Idol with Erika Van Pelt receiving the fewest number of votes and left the show after the judges decided she was not worthy of their one save.

Heejun Han and DeAndre Brackensick avoided being sent home last night on American Idol, but Erika Van Pelt was not so fortunate. The judges elected not to save Erika, saving their save for later in the season.

There is no reason Heejun and DeAndre should still be on the show, while Erika went home. Votefortheworst.com is taking credit for saving Heejun from going home. They pick the worst artist on American Idol, then tell fans to vote for him or her.

Joshua Ledet is my personal favorite among the Top 9 singers. My next favorite is Hollie Cavanagh, but will support Joshua as long as he is on the show. Jessica Sanchez is my third choice with Colton Dixon close behind at fourth and Phillip Phillips rounding out my Top 5 singers.

I look for Heejun, DeAndre, Skylar Laine and Elise Testone to be voted off the show in the coming weeks. Five of the nine remaining contestants are teenagers with Jessica 16, DeAndre 17, Hollie and Skyler both 18 and Joshua Ledet the oldest one of the group at 19.

Colton Dixon is next youngest at 20, while Phillip Phillips is 21, Heejun 22 and Elise is the oldest of the remaining contestants at the age of 28.

Next week the contestants sing songs of their idols, so should make for a good show, since the singers should be in their comfort zone next week.

Let’s hope there is not a Gregorian Chants week this season, because the contestants and viewers alike would be eternally grateful, if that never happens in Season 11.

On a more serious note, Haley Reinhart sang her first single Free on the show last night. The song doesn’t seem destined to be a million seller, but Haley sang it well and I wish her success with her first album, which is due later this spring. I personally like to hear her sing the old standards from the American songbook like Night and Day.

 

 

 

 

 

Gasoline Prices Rising Again…Not a Time For Partisan Politics

Once again gasoline prices are rising and the politicians don’t seem to care. The rising gasoline prices don’t seem to affect politicians, since they can afford the high prices.

The high prices have nothing to do with partisan politics, since presidents of both parties and whichever party is controlling Congress do nothing to lower the prices.

For instance  gas is costing close to $3.70 a gallon,  where we live in Louisiana. It cost $37 for 10 gallons and $74 for 20 gallons. This is nothing to a congressperson earning $174,000 a year, but to a family getting by on $1100 a month, with $900 of it for paying rent, it leaves little for food after buying gasoline.

There are reportedly places in the United States where gasoline cost $5 a gallon, meaning it is $50 for 10 gallons and $100 for 20 gallons.

Where is the outcry from our politicians in Washington? Do they even care? The two political parties need to ignore their quest for one-upmanship and think of the average American trying to make ends meet.

Maybe in a few months the prices will start trending downward, but if they don’t we could see national average of $5 a gallon, this spring and summer when prices usually escalate higher.

The oil companies don’t mind because they reap huge profits, when gasoline prices go through the roof. I am not necessarily calling for alternative fuels, since that could cause layoffs in gas refineries and offshore drilling. There has to be a way we can produce more oil in the United States, to avoid being held hostage to oil-producing countries like Iran and Venezuela.

The electric cars like the Volt are not selling that well, according to latest reports. Consumers don’t seem to want to be bothered with continually charging their cars.

It is time for Washington politicians show, that they have a little compassion for the average citizen, that is trying to make it from one month to the next. Guess someone earning $174,000 a year doesn’t care, about someone earning $1000 a month or less. The politicians will continue to drive their gas guzzlers and thumb their noses at the “little people” struggling to get by.

We need to break free from this cycle of gasoline prices, going up and down and see them stabilize, so an American citizen can drive their car, without worrying about how much it will cost to buy gasoline.

This call for Washington to do something will probably go unheeded as it usually is, since politicians of both parties are out of touch with reality.

Lizard Lick’s Bobby Brantley’s Facebook Page Best Source For News

I am often asked questions about Bobby Brantley of Lizard Lick Towing television show. It is best to go to his Facebook page and ask him questions directly. I am not sure if he will respond, but I am almost positive he reads any questions by his fans.

Just go to Facebook.com and type Bobby Brantley in the search box and you will see his fan page pop up in the menu. When you click on it you should see his wall with comments by his fans.

The menu on the left has Photos, where you will get to see hundreds of photos of Bobby and his wife and his fans at different events that Bobby has appeared at.

On the left will be another menu that includes Events which tells where Bobby will be appearing in the near future. The Info folder on left will give more information about his Facebook page and shows links to other Lizard Lick related pages including under the Likes heading the link to Big Juicy’s fan page in the fourth line.

Hope Bobby’s fans find more information and photos about Bobby than they dreamed of at Facebook.com