Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Idol Top7: The MC Week Recap

Idol: Where Cruelty is actually GOOD.

Just when KLC was starting to pick up momentum, and when I was starting to *cough* like *cough* her, she gets the boot. Her pretty face must have been the subject of all hate when the earlier favorites got the boot before she did. Whitaker, Epperson, Malubay, Hernandez and Johns to name the lot. I will miss you, barbie doll.

After Ryan's (and his scriptwriter's) classless "method" of breaking the elimination news to Papa Johns last week, Idol Producers just cannot resist the need to get any meaner, can they?

This week, they choose to toy again with the contestants' feelings in their annual "Choose" stint. Ryan divided the group into two: Cookie, KLC, Brooke vs. Carly, Jason, Syesha. I bet they had a million thoughts per millisecond during those moments... thoughts such as, but are not limited to the ff:

Everyone: Wtf is this, Seacrest?
Carly: KLC with Cook in the "Top3"? This must be a joke.
Jason: Duuuuuude... ...this is not cool
KLC: I'm safe? Hmm, Mr. Dreds, you're next.

Wittle David, however was the last to be called on stage. Leaving confuzzled wittle David backstage the whole time must made the poor thing nervous to bits! And Mr. Not-So-Genius Seacrest should even ask him if he was enjoying. "Ooh Yeaah", replies wittle David although the audience must have reminded him that his facial expressions show otherwise. I thought he was gonna throw up at a weirdly-tanned-and-looking-orange Seacrest. He seriously thought he was going home! The poor kid must have been a nervous wreck the whole time, and forgive the fangirl in me who just wanted to hug him ."There, there..of course you're safe, sweetie." To clear the confusion as regards the impossibility of the groupings, Seacrest performs a switcheroo between Syesha and Cookie. Now, its Syesha, Brooke, KLC vs Cookie, Carly, Jason. Yes, things made more sense.

Like leaving him all by himself wasn't already mean, Ryan eventually asks David to join which group he believes is safe.The audience gasps, Carly does her famous slackjawed and killer eye look, and the producers loved, loved, loved the drama! Wittle David, on the other hand was at his extreme spacey-ness mode. The look on his face was precious! And the way he just plops on the floor refusing to choose was hilarious. Everyone applauds such show of class and extreme adorkability. Simon and Ryan was already pointing him to the safe group, and still, he just stays put as if saying "Nah, I'm good here", and when Paula tells him to move to the "middle" middle , he gives an "omg, whaa?" face. lmao. this kid can't get any more adorable! It was still very very mean, though.

Ryan, Nigel, you guys are just c r u e l.
Thank you for that, and that ultimate adorkable and endearing archud2 moments it gave.

I'm not sure though which is more hilarious, David's refusing to understand and pick which group is safe, or Carly's 30-second delay in understanding she was safe. See for yourself.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Amateur Tastebud: The Boyd's Discovery

Chicken in Vinegar Sauce

I feel awful having to write this in a bad and lazy mood. But the long overdue entries are to blame. So let's get this going.

Never have I imagined vinegar to perfectly complement any fried chicken dish, but Boyd's proved me wrong. This has got to be the most awesome sauce-for-this-food thing I've ever encountered so far!

The chicken was nicely done, crisp and tasty but the dip blew me away! I even tried creating my own "version" at home. [Try: 1 part banana catsup + 1 1/2 part Pinakurat] Fyi, the latter ingredient is a local spiced (more of pasteurized?!) vinegar condiment. Anyway, this homemade dip should make a worthy, not to mention, delightful addition to your favorite fried chicken meal. Forget the gravy!

Tastebud Rating: Return Act Awardee. Definitely eating this again!
Budget Buzz: The dish costs less than a hundred bucks! Fair enough.

Beef and Mushroom Pizza

Crust is crisp and perfect, not too light not too heavy. One bite was like a total explosion of meat and cheese! I f''loved it! Cheese, Beef, Onions. All the pizza basics perfected!

Tastebud Rating: Need to Go Home. So good that I ate waaay too much and needed to unload!
Budget Buzz: Regular - a little above a hundred bucks. Double - double the price too, obviously. Family - triple. Totally worth every penny.

(pardon the pizza snap, I told you I'm too lazy right now to do anything perfect)

If you want to have a bite, you may checkout Boyd's Pizza House, beside Autoshop Compound. (i don't know the effing street address!)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Amateur Tastebud: Farmer's Meatloaf by Gourmet Deli

Breaking the Rice Diet

I remember having "Americans barely eat rice" as my number 1 reason for not being able to live comfortably in the US, not that i have gone there.

Rice is the staple food in our country, and I for one, never get full - no matter how much i eat - without it.

Surpisingly though, Gourmet Deli has proven me dead wrong. I got totally hooked on their mashed potatoes! The texture is perfect, not too pasty, not too dry. The sweet and buttery taste totally complements the crisp premium ham, which is a little too salty. The herbs mixed in, together with the fresh lettuce beneath the mashed potatoes add even more flavor to this already delectable starch overload. For someone as rice die-hard as me, I actually thought the meal was very filling. I totally forgot for a while how much I needed rice for e very single meal.

In contrast to the typical Filipino dishes where all flavors combine in one single dish, Gourmet Deli's Farmer's Meatloaf actually has each part contributing their specific flavor. The stir-fried veggie sticks came quite interesting to me, as steaming them would have probably deprived the tastebud of its unique texture - slightly burnt and crisp outside, but insanely tender on the inside. Sunny side up or Scrambled, eggs always go well with meat and the same doesn't change for this one. Or maybe I'm just biased, considering I love love love bacon and eggs.
All in all, its one of those meals you can eat at any time of the day.

Tastebud Rating: Return Act Awardee. Definitely eating this again!
Budget Buzz: The dish costs less than a hundred bucks! Fair enough.

If you want to have a bite, you may checkout Gourmet Deli at Chimes, Sales St., DC.

The Amateur Tastebud: Food Reviews by A Culinary Non-expert

Most culinary reviews come from either a well-known journalist, a tv personality, an elite or upperclass figure, or a cooking expert or chef. Such reviews, most of the time, feature either the exquisiteness, or exoticness (if such both words exist) of the ingredients and the dish itself , the grandeur of the restaurant, the chef's competence and the owner's success, aside from many other things.

However I, a total non-expert (probably even dummy) in the field of culinary arts - one who has not even worn a chef's hat, who cannot even remember local fish names, and who totally freaks at being within 1 feet of a lengua (an exotic local cow tongue dish) - dare take this challenge of posting my takes on some of the most (and least) delightful food in Davao City (and, given the chance, other places as well).

I will be rating the subject (i may be confusing this with a laboratory dish!) food on the following, well, i'd like to call it scores:

Need to Go Home (5/5: So good that I ate waaay too much and needed to unload!)
Return Act Awardee (4/5: I'm definitely eating this again!)
TGIH (2-3/5: Thank God I'm Hungry, or I would have noticed I can cook better!)
Swallowable (1/5: like when all the ice cubes in your iced-tea has melted. You drink it but you don't love or hate it)
Puke-able (0/5: like when you're drinking and something hilarious/bad happens, you spit the water out of your mouth.)

Important: Do not mistake TGIH as an implication of me being bad at cooking. I have a few specialties, and am actually good, I just have not fully developed my potential as the next Wolfgang Puck.

That's not quite a clever scoring criteria, I know. But it's exactly why this may just be the perfect review, not for the culinary genius, but for the everyday consumer - he who eats just because. After all, food is not over-analyzed - actually even expelled through that found within the same word - It is enjoyed.

I've always wanted to say this anyway, Bon Apetit!

The Lock-up: The Doc is IN

Hats off to PB Producers/Writers, Heads (back) on to Sara!

I don't know how to feel about this recently confirmed buzz of Sarah Wayne Callies returning to Prisonbreak's season 4 - as a regular, mind you - since Dr. Tancredi was the perfect love interest for Scofield, i thought way back in season 1. However, her stubborness and often stupidity in the season that followed turned that admiration into a love/hate notion, In fact, I actually didn't feel any sorrier than the infamous Susan/Gretchen biatch for Sara's death, or decapitation. But yes, writers, that was a bit too harsh.

Nevertheless, Sara's stubborness aside, I am actually feeling all fangirl-giddy again for a Michael/Sara reunion. After all, they're my favorite smarty pair.

One thing though, I have no idea how they are going to glue that hideous, open-mouthed decapitated Tancredi head, that left me with sleepless nights, to her neck. (Forgive the necessity to emphasize my point with the image.) But then, I trust the brilliant minds behind my first love in the 2000's generation of TV Series.

And just when I was about to think that Prisonbreak is unfortunately hitting the dust, despite the wonderful season 3, here comes the greatest news I have ever heard for the show - and this might, just might bring Prisonbreak back as one of the most highly-rated series. To PB Producers, i give you props for this wonderful "twist" - that which I may also conveniently call a "desperate" attempt to boost ratings. Well done!

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Lock-up: Prisonbreak Season 4

Looks like we have a lock-up! There will be a Season 4 of Prisonbreak. Major Yay!

FOX has picked up a fourth season of the hit drama PRISON BREAK, the action-packed series starring Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller as on-the-lam brothers Lincoln Burrows and Michael Scofield. After spending the first season filming on location in Chicago, followed by two seasons on location in Dallas, production on the upcoming fourth season of PRISON BREAK will move to Los Angeles.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Idol Top 9: The Dollywood Recap

Rami won me over, while the KLC hate continues.

Ramielle is Filipino, I know. I think she has a wonderful big voice, the little girl with the great big voice, as the judges branded her. But I wasn't rooting for her since the auditions. Strangely though, I felt really, really bad when she got the boot today.
I actually got spoiled early this morning, and read that her idol journey has come to the end. I thought it was fine. Objectively speaking, she has not delivered since after the Top24 night. But I know she has that great talent and big voice in her.

And so I watched the show. I was squeeing, again, like a little fangirl over the group medley, which is so far, my favorite. The group sang 9-5 and The Archuleta had solos, beautiful ones, thank God.

The weird trio did their weird instrument strumming. IGB clips and even more. Dolly Parton sang Jesus and Gravity. Then, the bottom 3, of which I got a 2 out 3. (not bad for a first time review, eh?). Brooke was crying and had gotten very emotional. Kristy was (still) being a pain in the arse. Ramielle was doing her adorable Oh-dear-i'm-squished-by-these-giants pout. I didn't really dwell on my fellow Filipina's fate at all. Then, TMOT. It's official, Ramielle is OUT. She broke into sobs, and out of Is-this-Atlantis-nowhere, I ended up *insert cheese here* crying as well.

I felt so bad for her, having to hug the lady who should have gotten to boot forever ago. Yes, I predicted Rami's Idol fate ends today, and *insert more cheese here* I friggin' wish I could take it back. I realized how, unpatriotic I have become. I should have shown more blind support, no matter what, not only because of her talent, but because she is Filipino (last word used as an adjective, not a noun).

There you have it, Not only did this emotional boot make me a Rami-convert (not really the Archie FTMFW kind), It also made my perception of KLC "devolve" from her being a cat with nine lives to that night bug you'd want to keep squishing but can't get dead.

Moving on.

Dying to cast a vote for your idol?

As promised, here is my TIP on how to vote for your favorite even if you are outside the US. (I'm sure Ramielle would've appreciated if I posted this a week earlier.)

Download GIZMO5 from this site. This works with XP/Vista/Mac/Linux etc.

Install it.

Register and you're good to go.

Launch program.

Click the DIALPAD tab on the console and dial your fave's number.

+1-866-IDOLS-06 was Archie's this week. I got more than a hundred through. Fair enough considering there's like a 20-30 second lull between hanging up and the console getting ready for another call.

And oh, the best part of it all? +1866 numbers are free. So vote your idol to victory. Archuleta FTW!

There. You now have a chance to not feel the way I did tonight over Ramielle's going home.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Idol Top 9: The Dollywood Recap

Wow. I don't even know how to start this. Dang. I should learn how these review thingys work. Okay, here goes. If you're one of the crazy fandom-ers who go rummaging through the web for reviews, articles and bashing slash critiques, Please skip this site. My critiquing (is that even a word?) skills are rather amateur-ish as of the moment.

Out of 10,this is how I'd score the idols:

FTMFW! (absolutely brilliant 10pts)
WOOT! (great 9pts)
COOLIO! (good 7-8pts)
BLAH! (alright/okay 5-6pts)
PFFHT! (bad 2-4pts)
WTF? (like KLC's 8daysaweek. 1pt for the effort)

Oh, and I'm not really big when it comes to Country Music, and this one being Dolly Parton week, I was unfamiliar with most of the songs. This week, I'll be judging based on their performances alone, no song choice considerations whatsover. I'm Asian for crying out loud.

Ramielle - I hate to say this, being a Filipino, but she just hasn't delivered since after Top24 week. Today is no different. I'm afraid she might actually go bye bye. (PFFHT!)

Brooke - She sang Jolene, with her folk band around her on stage. I love Brooke, I think she's a good musician, but I didn't like this particular performance. At one point I thought she was like running a race. I went wth? (BLAH!)

Cookie - Sorry for the nickname. I like David Cook. I love grunge and alternative, and he's just my favorite rocker boy on Idol. I'm not rooting for him though. I liked his previous peformances, and even loved some. The same goes for this performance. I thought he couldn't handle country, but i spoke too soon. He did pretty good,from the falsetto to the acoustic guitar. Plus, I'm more than happy he took the emo look out. He may look smug all over again with his new look, but me likey. (WOOT!)

Carly - I agree with Simon, she needs to look like a star by this time. What's with all the black? Her performance was very good though. Very solid performance, imho. (COOLIO!)

Jason - Funny how Idol actually approved a rather preachy/gospel-y song to be sung on stage. Don't get me wrong, I grew up in Church but I just didn't expect the AI audience to.. well.. be very accepting of it. Whatever, maybe I'm culturally biased. I loved the performance though. Definitely NOT boring. Nice to see him out of his usual comfort zone. Liked it. (COOLIO!)

Syesha - She did the most famous of 'em all - I Will Always Love You - which I thought wasn't smart at all. Okay, she did good at the start, but the rest was just blah. When she decided to go Whitney and belt it out, I went Uh-oh. She didn't crack, but she didn't wow me either. Which makes it all the more useless. I mean, you can't avoid the Whitney comparison. So if you can't surpass that, then imho, nevermind. I didn't get the last prolonged note either. I actually went wth? Nothing against her, in fact I loved her version of Yesterday, but i just didn't like this one at all. (Wow. I seriously think I sound like Simon) (PFFHT!)

Kristy - I have been wishing she get voted off since like, forever ago. And looks like I'm not getting that this week either. She stayed around despite the horrendous 8daysaweek performance, I don't think that's going to change since country is her cup of tea. Hatred aside, I actually liked her performance. Good enough. (BLAH!)

Aussie - Finally his blues side! I loved his performance. The piano, the jazz strings, the rock, the soul. Awryt! Michael's back as one of the strong contenders, imo. Rock + Blues + Aussie = pure love. (WOOT!)

Archie - It seemed the world was on a high during his stellar Imagine performance, but it has been a rollercoaster ride since then. Fans love him even for flubbed lyrics, Haters hate him for doing "ballads all the time", and haters still hate him for doing up/midtempos saying "he should just do ballads instead". Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. It's getting really annoying, all this hate for this sweetie, but I just tell myself, If song choice is all they can fault him with, Damn, he must be one heckuva talented kid.
The Long and Winding Road, was master class. You're the voice was obscure but good. Think about it, If Cook sold Billie Jean an already famous song, like hotcakes, he's good. But what does it take for one to sell to America a totally obscure, almost unheard of, song like Archie did last week? Surely, charm can't be enough. You do the math. Like Paula said, he could sing the phonebook and we'd all fall in love. Before this turns into a love letter, I better get moving. Smokey Mountain Memories - Archie just sang it with so much conviction and emotion, even Dolly was moved to tears. He also hit notes we heard for the first time from him, and finally a glimpse of his falsetto - which is just as beautiful. His runs were wonderful, and the total performance was just brilliant. Okay, i don't want this to be an overkill. So, on the bad side, I didn't really dig the brown and beige outfit. I said that just so you wouldn't think I'm biased, but I guess the 2-paragraph review spills it all. (FTMFW!)

Bottom 3: Ramielle, Syesha, Brooke.
Top 3: Archie, Cookie, Aussie.
Who gets the boot? Ramielle. (She's nice and all, but i, too, have been very disappointed)

Results show, tomorrow. I'd post hints on how to vote for your fave, even when you're outside the US!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Idolmania 2008

I'm not huge fan of Idol.
I haven't seen any episode of Season 1, 2, 3.
I started watching during the Top 4 Week of Season 4. And i rooted for Bo. (><,) I watched only the finale of Season 5. I started watching during the Top 10 of Season 6. I rooted for ChrisR, and stopped watching when he got the boot. I thought I would love Blake just as much, but nah. I didn't really join the Jordin bandwagon either. This is the only season of Idol wherein I've watched ALL the airings since the auditions.
Yes, I've seen Lapuz' Brothers Forever. Un/fortunately, Simon's horrible gut feeling of it being a hit single came to past. While having pizza last night, I thought i heard a rather familiar (in a bad way) tune. I realized it was Brothers Forever, mixed with this certain beat. I was torn between laughing and getting annoyed.
Yes, I wish they'd shown Archie's Hollywood Day1 rendition of Crazy, by Gnarls Barkley.
Yes, I loved the Aussie's Bohemian Rhapsody.
Yes, I wish Josiah Lemming didn't get cut.
I saw every single episode. And this is record-breaking, for me, considering I'm not a tv person at all.

I always wanted to write about it, but I thought blogging would jinx the chances of my favorite, so I didn't. Instead, I just squee like a silly little fangirl, all giddy inside, every Wednesday for the past 2 months or so.

Since the Top 16 week, I would follow the show live (because it airs an entire 12 hours later in my part of the world) via live blogging. Yes, through the internet. Rickey's, Slim's and Idollive's are my favorites. These three usually compete like maaadddd when it comes to putting up videos and audios of the performances first. Not that I'm complaining. I'm the type of person who cannot live a spoiler-free life. I just have to KNOW before watching. Otherwise, I'd faint due to so much...err..emotions. The same goes for my favorite series (PB, Lost, Chuck, etc) whose "suspense" I like killing off by checking DarkUFO's site.

Back to Idol, I actually couldn't contain all the squeeing and giddyness to myself anymore.

So, I thought I'd just start this errr.. review sort of thing. You just have to bear with my biases of course. I promise to reduce them to the lowest possible percentage though.
So, err. Yeah, I basically decided to join the pool of already-overflowing bloggers/critics for Idol.

To add to all the pop-culture crap and cheese, I'd end this post not on one corny one-liner, but on 3.

Welcome Aboard, self.
Idols, here I come.
What can i do? I freaking love this cheesy show!

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