So You Think You Can Dance Episode 2.02

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

So You Think you Can Dance began its second season last Thursday night with auditions in both New York City and Charleston. Tonight's episode takes us to audition in the city of Los Angeles. Judging the auditions in Los Angeles are Mary Murphy and Brian Freedman. The morning auditions were a mess. We see two of the dancers that didn't make it through, Jules Sanchez and Erica Szymanowski.

Erica was cute and she took the rejection well, but Jules shared some words with Nigel. He had seen Jules before back on the first season of American Idol. Jules knew this might earn him some comments going into it, but I don't think anyone thought Nigel would call him rude. Usually it is the other way around. Perhaps Nigel woke up on the wrong side of the bed that morning. The first to go straight through to Vegas is Donyelle Jones.

The after auditions faired better than the morning. Several dancers make it straight through to Vegas, but we don't see any of them individually. The next we end up seeing is swing dancer Benji Schwimmer. He asked by the judges to stay and do some hip hop. The next two we see, Corty Schaffer and Dinopoli Ngyyen. Corty came in with an alright tap performance, but her facial expression through the judges off.

Next we see the six man crew with Ryan from last season's show there to support him. The four that came to audition, Hokuto Konishi, Chris Cuenza, Steve Terado and Victor Kim, all make it through. In fact, by the end of the first day, the twenty that were asked to stay for the choreography portion all are asked to stay. The second day starts bright and early with first up, Ivan Koumaev. He was happy to be there to audition since he had heart trouble and surgery when he was younger. He made straight through to Vegas even if Brian thought he had big ears. The next person up, John Arviso, was a classically trained ballet dancer, but he looked anything but. Both Mary and Brian were quite harsh with their critique which caused Nigel to question their harshness.

Things at this point went from bad to even worse, if that is possible. We see Danny Cabrera who doesn't appreciate at all what the judges have to say about him. Next we see Xufei Wang, and she came in off the street to audition when she saw it happening. The judges were less than impressed with her, and Nigel even told her she had wasted their time. A few others were shown including Henry Graham and Nicole Yates. Henry made it straight through to Vegas. In all, thirty-five dancers made it through to Vegas from Los Angeles. Tomorrow night, we'll see the eye opening Chicago auditions.

RR/RW Challenge: Fresh Meat - Episode 1

Monday, May 29, 2006

The next season of The Real World/Road Rules Challenge premiered tonight on MTV. This season took place in Australia, and there is a whole new ball game this time around. Since the Road Rules stopped airing a few seasons ago, there are no new Road Rulers to join the current players. To fix this problem, MTV has created fresh meat. Twelve former cast members from past seasons of the Real World and Road Rules will go head to head with twelve new people, from neither cast.

This should definitely be interesting. However, we soon learn these two teams wouldn't be going to head. They were instead divided into twelve opposite sex teams of two. One from each side. These pairs will compete in fifteen challenges over the course of the season. Four pairs will make it to the final challenge and compete for $250,000. This means that 125,000 will go to each team member.

Day one already shows tensions are beginning to rise as four of the cast members are from the latest Real World cast in Austin. The two couples that have resulted from that season have both arrived on scene, and people are immediately upset about the alliance they already see formed. The first challenge is bright and early the following morning. It is called Stuck on Me, and the pairs will have to walk on a balance beam and back on the 107th floor of one the tallest buildings in the world. The two will tied together back to back, and they will have to walk down a 25 foot balance beam, turn fully and then come back.

A lottery was done to decide the order of the challenge. Coral is selected, and she gets to decide the order. First up is Tonya and her partner, Johnnie. They make it. Melinda and Ryan are next, and they make it as well. Johanna and Jesse also make it. Next up is Wes, Johanna's boyfriend, and Casey. They also make it. Actually everyone does, so it becomes an issue of how fast each one made it. Coral & Evan make it in 14 seconds, and then they can get to choose the first pair to go into exile. They choose Wes & Casey, and the rest of the teams get to vote to see who goes in against him.

Wes devises a plan in order to get that person to be Shane and his partner. However, he needs more votes, so he goes to Tonya. however, in the first backstabbing of the season, Tonya tells Shane and his partner she is actually planning to vote for Danny to go battle against Wes. The vote is taken, and they are successful. This means one of the Austin boys will be going home the next day. Danny is angry that Johanna and Melinda stuck with their original votes, instead of saving him by voting for Tonya and Johnnie. The rest of the cast feels they need to initiate the new cast, and that means one of them needs to go home the first week.

The second challenge is called Bushwacked. The purpose of this challenge is to knock pairs off a tree stump they are standing on. If one of the exile couples wins, they can choose another couple to go in there place. However, Danny and his partner are one of the first to be eliminated, so Wes needs to save himself. However, he is also eliminated. The exile will be between the two Austin men. The two couples need to go in exile, and the others can't watch what happens. These means the two men will have to leave their girlfriend's.

The exile consists of the two couple's having to carry the weight of the luggage from one point to the next. They have to do this while figuring out puzzle challenges. Danny's partner is disqualified, and Wes returns to the camp. Melinda is of course heartbroken because her boyfriend was sent home.The backstabbing has begun. Tonight's episode was an hour, but we're set for a 30 minute episode next weekend.

Movie Review: X-men 3: The Last Stand

Sunday, May 28, 2006

NOTE: This review will contain major movie spoilers. If you have yet to see X-men 3: The Last Stand read the following at your own risk. You have been warned.

This Memorial Day weekend brought the release many fans have been waiting for. Lovers of Marvel comics and the X-men series have more than likely already gone to see the movie this weekend. In its opening day alone, the movie earned over forty-four million dollars. not bad for a first day out of the gate. The movie is in line to make a three day record if that pace keeps up, but final numbers won't be released until Monday late.

X3 picks up not longer after X2 left our mutants. The president has created an office of mutant affairs led by the lovable Beast Man played by Kelsey Grammer. Within moments we see Beast called into a meeting with the President. Mystique has been captured while trying to break into the FDA. The President shows Beast what she stole, and we learn that a pharmaceutical company has created what appears to be a cure for mutants. Beast takes this information and goes to Professor Xavier.

He tells him, Storm and Wolverine about this new cure just before it is announced to the world by the company. Worthington Labs has mutant boy that has been used in order to help them create this cure. Storm immediately makes her voice and opinions known about the cure. Being a mutant isn't something you cure. However, we can see Rogue sees some use to it. She is unable to unable to touch another living soul, including her boyfriend Bobby.

At the school, we can see things have changed some since the death of Jean Grey at the end of the last film. Scott, known as Cyclops, has taken the death the hardest, which is understandable because the two were a couple. In this film, this Scott is a changed man. The one that Professor Xavier had hoped to some day take his place running the school, he now looks towards Storm for this task if anything was to ever happen to him. He tells her this, and this shocks her. She had always assumed that task would fall to Scott when the time came. The man we see in this film is not the same man that sat by Xavier's bedside as he promised he would look after things if anything would occur in the first film. Jean's death has devastated him. Logan tries to tell him to move on, but Scott doesn't take that bit of advice well.

We see Scott hearing Jean calling for him, and this makes him return to the lake where she died. He shoots his beam towards the water, and something strange happens. Instead of rising from the ashes, the Phoenix rises from the waters of the lake. The two reunite, but it is brief. We can see Jean has changed, and not just her hair. For one, she can control the beam that comes from Scott's eyes. The two kiss, and it appears she sucks the life out of him. We never really see his body, so we're not sure. However, it is assumed by all that Scott is dead. During the exchange, some kind of signal is released and Xavier sends Storm and Wolverine to the lake. Wolverine finds Scott's glasses, and Storm finds Jean. The two take her back to the school. Xavier tries to go to work in repairing her. He tells Logan that over the year's, he had put a series of block's in her brain to help control. Jean is one of the strongest mutants alive, classified at a level five. Uncontrolled, she would be a danger to all around her, including herself.

Logan doesn't like the sound of controlling her, and he visits her alone. She wakes while he is there, and once again we can see she isn't the same Jean we know. However, that woman is right beneath the surface. The two first engage in a little bit of making out, but it soon turns violent, and Jean leaves. Xavier finds her at her childhood home, but he isn't the only one. Magneto is also there. The two go in together, as they had twenty years before when they found her. They each want her though. Xavier wants to get her back under his control, and Magneto wants to use her in this new war that is raging since the cure was unleashed. We see the two try to talk her towards their way, but Jean is a force to be reckoned with as the Dark Phoenix. Storm and Wolverine try to go inside, but Magneto's mutants stop them. We have new faces this time around. Mystique was cured during her escape, but Magneto has had no problem finding new mutants at his side. Pryo has become what appears to be his right hand man since the last film.

The Phoenix unleashes her fury, and in the moments that follow we see Charles die. Afterwards, Magneto takes her to his hide-out, and Storm and Wolverine are left with the task of telling those at the school about their leader's death. There is a funeral, and Storm does end up taking over the school. Rogue leaves for the cure not long after. Wolverine sees her go, and he doesn't stop her. He too begins to hear Jean's voice calling for him, and he leaves not long after. Magneto has a hold out in the forest, and the Army does know about it not long after thanks to the now non-mutant Mystique. Wolverine also finds them, and he talks to Jean. However, Magneto stops him from saying much. He returns to the school for Storm and the rest of the X-men, but by this time Magneto has put his plane in motion. He wants to retrieve the mutant boy from the lab. The lab rests on Alcatraz Island.

He takes his army of mutants, and in a scene of awe, he rips apart the Golden State Bridge, in order to build a way to the island. The rest of the movie from this point is a battle scene between the army and the X-men against the mutants on Magneto's side. The army has guns full of the cure, and there is not a piece of metal in sight. Many of Magneto's mutants are cured. He holds back his higher mutants until the army has been taken over. However, he also has to deal with the six X-men. They outsmart him, Beast and Wolverine apply the cure to Magneto. We think its over, but The Phoenix hasn't had her say yet. She is unleashed, and the final moments of the battle show her at full power. Wolverine ignores the fact she could destroy him and moves forward towards her. His skin is ripped from his body with each step, but with his self-healing powers he is cured just as fast. Our Jean breaks through for a moment, and Wolverine kills her. The battle is over.

There is much more to this movie though, and I think that in part lies the problem with it. Too much happening, and too many characters to follow in a movie that is only one hour and forty-five minutes long. We had some new mutant additions on both sides, and we hardly saw enough of everyone. Angel was introduced, but other than flying around a bit we didn't see him do much other than save his father at the end. Rogue's main story line this movie was getting cured. She didn't even take part in the final battle. Scott dying so early on was unexpected too. Even with the Phoenix, her main function in the film was to unleash her powers, almost in a "Hey. I'm cool. Look at what I can do." kind of way.

I enjoyed the movie, but I think it could have been better. Is this new movie the result of a new man behind the scenes running things? Would Bryan Singer have made a different movie? Possibly. Is this The Last Stand? I don't see how it really could be. Sure, this could end it, but the final moments didn't make it feel like this was the end. Before the credits roll, we see Rogue happy she is able to touch her boyfriend, and then we see Magneto playing chess and trying to use his power to move the pieces. After the credits roll, there is an extra scene in which we see that Charles has not died as we thought he had. He had somehow transferred his consciousness to another man. How could this be the end? I think there is a chance for an X-men 4. I see the cure somehow only being temporary, and the powers returning to those that received it. It might be one of those type cures you need to boost every so often, but they just don't know that yet. I also think we might somehow see the return of Scott and Jean if there is another film.

That all said, I would recommend this film to those that enjoy these movies. Just be prepared for way too many characters that you won't learn much about during the film. The action scenes are well done, and the movie is enjoyable. I just think we needed less people to know about.

So You Think You Can Dance Season 2 Premiere

Thursday, May 25, 2006

So You Think You Can Dance's second season opens up tonight with auditions in New York City. Last year, we saw one dancer, Nick Lazzarini win the title and a year in New York City, all expenses paid. This year, the stakes are higher as the winner will be able to join the hit Las Vegas stage show, A New Day with Celine Dion at Caesar's Palace. They will also win a car and $100,000 dollars. Not bad.

This year we have a new host, Cat Deeley, a young woman and television personality from the UK. She will take us through from auditions to finale with her commentary and hosting. During the auditions, the judges will pick the best from those auditioning in the cities of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Charleston. Those selected will then travel to Las Vegas to go through what I called hell week last year on my reviews. Five days of intense working with five different choreographers. Only twenty will make it past this round, ten women and ten men, and this is when the vote will go to America.

Tonight, we have the New York Auditions with the return of judges Dan Karaty, Mia Michaels and Nigel Lythgoe. Auditions open up with David Soller, who preferred to go by the stage name, Sex or Sexy. He used both, but he was anything but in my mind. The judges compared him to Pee wee Herman, and this was something his mother didn't particularly like at all. Next up was Gino Guevara. He appears to have injured his knee during his audition, and on the way out the thirty-one year old said he would never be able to dance again. Next we quickly saw Erica Wallace-Jackson, and she didn't make it through either. Our first contestant to make it through and receive a ticket to Vegas was eighteen year old, Krystle Henry, from Baltimore.

After a commercial break, we saw three more go straight through to Vegas. The first two being, Juliya Tamarkina and her partner Stanislav Savich. Both ballroom dancers from Russia, and there was no doubt in my mind once Juliya began to dance these two would make it through. Next we saw Jason Luks, an eighteen year old tap dancer. He impressed the judges with his moves and everything else, but you have to wonder if he can just tap dance or is he the entire package? I guess we'll find out when he makes it to Vegas. The next auditions, Heath Stambo and Ian Bernardo, were frightening, and it was clear they weren't going to make it through. Even with the words of the judges, I have a feeling they are still dancing to this day.

After another commercial, we saw three more dancers, two that were cut and one that made it through. The two that were cut weren't horrible dancers. They just needed some more technique. First up we saw Dave Warshaw, who hit his head a little during one of his breaking stunts. afterwards, we saw Jason Perez, who I commend for actually going to audition. Little people can dance too, but I agreed with Nigel. It would have been hard partnering him up when it came time to dance on stage for America's votes, and his partner would have been at a disadvantage. Last season, we saw this with Big Poppa. This time it would have been the opposite end of the scale. I do think Nigel and the judges could have found a more tactful way to say this though, and Jason was right to walk away. Last up for day one, we saw a returning audition from Musa Cooper. He tried out in NYC last season, but he didn't make it past the choreography round. He went back and took classes, and this time he earned a straight pass to Vegas. After he left, Mia and Dan with those they wanted to look at again in the choreography round, and a few more made it through.

Day two started and first up we saw an amazing break dancer, Christopher Bryant. Mia and Dan were impressed, but Nigel wanted to see if he could make it during choreography, so they kept him around to see that. The next two, Emily Rodriguez and Rob Williams didn't make it through. Emily mooned the judges, but Rob Williams was just great, personality wise. He actually reminded me of Big Poppa, but he just didn't have the talent needed. The auditions continued on with popper Michael Kim. This is another the judges wanted to stick around to work with Mia on lyrical. Our final NYC audition was Joseph Greco, also known as Jaime. They were a treat to watch, but as Nigel mentioned this gender chameleon just wouldn't be paired all too easily. Afterwards, we saw our two breakers work with Mia, and one made it through, Michael Kim.

With New York done, auditions moved to Charleston. Two new judges joined Nigel for these auditions, Doriana Sanchez and Ron Montez. Out of the first four auditions we see in Charleston, only one makes it through straight to Vegas. That is dancer Travis Wall. all the judges enjoyed his performance. As for Jessica Wheeler. Derek Talisman and Glenda Deshield, they did not advance. Glenda, in fact, showed the judges just a bit more than what the judges were expecting to see when it appears her breasts popped out of her top part way through the audition.

Auditions continue on, and we see one male dancer, James Davis, quit after two attempts. Natalie Fotopolous makes it through straight to Vegas, while a third Claire Calloway needs to go through the choreography round first. The last male dancer to audition, James Payne, also was asked to stick around for choreography. Both James and Claire made it through to Vegas. Next week, the auditions move to Chicago as the show moves to Wednesday night at 9/8c.

A few things I noticed in this premiere episode for the second season. The judges were extremely harsh with some of their comments. Nigel actually makes Simon look nice some of the time. I understand this is a competition, but still some of the comments were over the top. I also noticed that in the opening comments, the host mentioned they were searching for America's favorite dancer, and not the best dancer. This makes me believe this competition will be based on personality and not talent. I hope that isn't the case, but I think we need total all around package, meaning personality and talent, to win out here. For those wondering on last season's host, Lauren Sanchez is on maternity leave. She got married shortly before the end of the first season. and she is now awaiting the birth of a child. Congratulations to her.

TV Review: Lost Season 2 Finale

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

From ABC: After discovering something odd just offshore, Jack and Sayid come up with a plan to confront "The Others" and hopefully get Walt back. Meanwhile, Eko and Locke come to blows as Locke makes a potentially cataclysmic decision regarding the "button" and the hatch, on the two-hour season finale.

My Rating: 4 out of 4

At the end of last week's episode, a boat was spotted off shore. Jack, Sawyer and Sayid dive into the ocean to swim for it, and that is where this two hour season finale titled Live Together, Die Alone opens up. The three survivors reach the boat, and they are immediately shot at by whoever is below. That is until they run out of bullets. The three break through to below, and they find Desmond. They bring him back to the island, where many are curious about the boat and its passenger. Jack questions on why he returned to the island, and Desmond tells Jack that he had been sailing for two weeks, and he thought he would have reached Fiji in a week, but instead he traveled in a circle. He arrived back from where he started from. Desmond called this a snow globe effect.

Sayid goes to Jack after Jack is done with Desmond, and he once again tells him that Michael has been compromised. He devises a plan to take Desmond's boat on a scouting mission to see just what The Others are like. Jack agrees, and the next day the five are off to look for The Others. Sayid goes to Desmond and asks for the boat, and he gets it. However, there is a problem. Sayid doesn't know how to sail, so he wants Desmond to. However, he tells Sayid to find someone else. Meanwhile, at the hatch, Locke returns and he tries to get Eko to stop pushing the button. He is unsuccessful though, and Eko even throws him out of the hatch.

Needing someone to sail the boat, Sayid goes to Sun to ask Jin to help him with the sailing portion. She relays the message to Jin, but he tells her he won't leave her. However, in a shocking little twist, she says she will go with him. This is something that Sayid doesn't appreciate at first, but Sun stands firm on it. In the forest outside the hatch, Charlie comes across Locke, and he informs him of Desmond's return to the island. As for the five headed to The Others, they are moving forward. Sawyer and Kate talk about Kate being caught in a net with Jack when a huge bird screeching Hurley's name swoops down from above.

Locke goes to find Desmond, and he tells him about the other hatch and that the button pushing is some kind of huge test. At first, Desmond doesn't believe him, but Locke pulls out the tape he has as proof. Desmond tells Locke if that is the case, then stop pushing the button. However, we know Eko is now taking over that duty. Locke devises his own plan to stop that with Desmond's help. Meanwhile, Sawyer offers Hurley food, which he doesn't want, and Jack talks to Michael about their trip. Michael thanks Jack for coming along to help Walt.

The next morning, Sayid, Sun and Jin spot a part of a statue on the other side of the island. They only find the foot, and as Sayid points out, the foot has only four toes. At the hatch, they lose power, which sends Eko to search out why. Desmond plays around with the wiring, and he is able to trap Eko in a room while they wait to see what happens when the button isn't pushed. Throughout the episode we see flashbacks of Desmond's life before the island. We see him get a boat from Libby that he wants to race around the world. Her husband has just died, so she gives him her husband's boat in this task. We also see him in his dealings the father of his lover. The man has banished Desmond from her life. Once he reaches the island during his around the world boat trip, we see him when he meets up with another man that has the task of pushing the button.

Present day, Kate finds two of The Others are trailing their group. She tells Sawyer just moments before she opens fire. Sawyer joins in, and he takes one down. Jack confronts Michael there on the spot. He tells the others Michael told The Others they were coming. Hurley asks Michael if he killed Ana Lucia and Libby, and the man confesses. Hurley wants to leave immediately, but Jack stops him. He has a plan, but we just don't know what that plan is. Back on the boat, the three sailors appear to find The Others camp. Charlie leads Eko to where the dynamite they used before is hidden. He takes it to the hatch with the intention of blowing the blast door open. However, Charlie tries to talk to Locke first instead. When that is unsuccessful, Eko sets off the explosion, which causes a wall of fire to move through the hatch. Charlie runs from it, and Eko hides from it. Inside the door, Desmond and Locke are unhurt, and Desmond asks Locke why he is doing this. Locke tells him about Boone's death. I never knew his death affected Locke so much, but that appears to be the case.

On the other side of the island, Sayid enters The Others camp, and he finds yet another hatch, or what appears to be one. It is only a door that leads to a rock wall on the other side. Meanwhile, Jack and the others are still headed somewhere, but we're not sure if that is to the beach where the others are. The group finds the journal books written at the other hatch Locke found before just prior to the arrival of The Others. They shoot both Sawyer and Kate with what looks like tranquilizer darts. Jack tries to save Kate, but he is shot himself. The last thing he sees before passing out is one of the others capturing him.

Desmond doesn't believe Locke about the experiment on the island. He asks to see the tape, but he can't. There is no VCR where they are in the hatch. He then asks to see the print-out from the other hatch, but all the print out is is numbers. While this is happening, we go back to the past, and Desmond sees the man he has spent the last three years with venture outside with a hole in his suit. Desmond follows him, and he finds that the air is breathable and there is no reason for quarantine. He also finds his boat. After appearing to kill his partner, he runs back to the hatch to push the button, but he doesn't make it in time. He causes a system failure, which we don't know exactly what that means. However, in present day, we see Desmond ask Locke what day they arrived, and that date is the same as the system failure, which leads Desmond to believe that he is the one responsible for the crash of Oceanic 815.

On the other side of the island, the five are brought in front of the others, and we see the return of Henry Gale. It seems he might be quite important in the group of The Others. We finally see Charlie is okay back at the hatch, but Eko might not be. Desmond tries to convince Locke to push the button, but Locke pushes the monitor off the table, and that causes it to break. Desmond really thinks he crashed their plane. The countdown goes to zero, and we see all hell break loose in the hatch. Things start flying as they are being pulled by some magnetic force. Eko wakes up and with Charlie's help he makes it to the computer room after Desmond opens the door. Desmond himself goes down below and uses a key that looks to be in case of system failure. Locke tells Eko he was wrong just before Desmond turns the key, and a white light blankets the whole island just before there is silence and the quarantine door falls from the sky nearly hitting Claire and her baby. Bernard moves her out of the way just in time.

With The Others, Michael is set free by Henry, who I am thinking is their leader. He is given a boat, and told a specific heading. Walt is on the boat waiting for him. After he leaves, Hurley is released to return to the camp and tell the others to not come their again. Jack, Kate and Sawyer are taken by The Others. Back at the camp, clean-up is underway, and Charlie makes his way back in. Claire sees him, and she's immediately happy. The two talk about the events of that day later that night, and they share a kiss. Charlie & Claire fans can rejoice. We think at that moment, the episode is over, but it isn't. We're taken to somewhere that appears to be in Russia or Antarctica, and two men are playing chess. One immediately notices a flashing alarm on a screen that says something about an electromagnetic anomaly being detected. The two men rush into action, and they call someone. That someone being Desmond's girlfriend. Could her father own Dharma? Could be, but we won't know what happens next until October when Lost makes its return.

This season of Lost has had its ups and downs, its good episodes and its bad episodes. Midseason I was almost ready to give up on the series, but things picked up, and now I can't believe we have to wait until October to find out what happens next. We don't know what happened to Desmond, Eko or Locke. We don't know why The Others wanted Jack, Kate and Sawyer. We don't know if Michael and Walt actually make it off the island safely. Just what was that bright light? Was it a missile being launched? Did Desmond really cause the crash of the plane with the last system failure, and who is watching the island? So many unanswered questions. More questions than answers I think. However, isn't that how this show works? I think so. We'll just have to wait oh so impatiently for its return. Don't forgot to hop on over to Willo's Blog. She was quite happy over tonight's American Idol results!

American Idol: The Season Finale

By now most of America know who this year's American Idol is. The journey that started for these contestants last year with auditions is now over, and tonight's two hour season finale. Yes, two hours. A decision that takes only seconds to announce is deserving of a two hour show and a red carpet show before hand. They made this into huge event. I was expecting to be bored to tears during the two hours, but I was actually pleasantly surprised by enjoying the performances.

Those in the top twelve returned, and they opened the show with a performance with last year's Idol Carrie Underwood. She won two Academy of Country Music Awards last night in Las Vegas. Now, she's on stage to help crown the next Idol. She also sang her next single midway through the show. The top twelve was seen throughout the night. The men performed a melody together, as did the women. They also joined together to sing another melody towards the end of the show.

The top twelve also came out and performed one by one with the Idols. Paris Bennett sang a duet with Al Jarreau, Chris Daughtry was joined by the band Live, and Katharine McPhee performed the Celine Dion classic, It's All Coming Back To Me Now, with Meat Loaf. Elliot Yamin shined in his duet with Mary J. Blige. However, Taylor Hicks shined over his duet partner, Toni Braxton. I am not sure what was wrong. Her microphone was either turned down, or she just doesn't have the voice that she used to.

Seeing the performances tonight, I found myself once again asking how Mandisa and Chris Daughtry were eliminated. I think they have the best voices of this competition. I think Katharine and Taylor are great, but Mandisa and Chris had the entire package in my mind. I was actually shocked when Mandisa was eliminated so early on in the competition. Chris' elimination is still causing shock from many, but he seems to have handled his being voted off well. Rumor is he might not take Fuel's offer. He is trying to make the best decision for him and his family.

Besides the performances, Ryan also handed out the Golden Idol Awards and we also saw Kellie Pickler take lessons in food from Wolfgang Puck. I was amused by both, but I think we all know that by the last fifteen minutes, we just wanted to know who has won this year! Although Clay Aiken coming out to surprise his clone was quite amusing! The Brokenote Cowboy's had to go though. Although, Ryan saved it when Prince came out on stage. Rumors flew this year about his appearing this season, but many said he had opted to not appear. I'm surprised they were able to keep this little surprise under wraps. Yes, I'm a huge Prince fan, and I jumped out of my seat when the man decked out in purple came out on stage.

With one minute left in the program, we were told that this year's American Idol would be Taylor Hicks. Almost 64 million were cast, and that is who America wanted. Out of the two left, he was my choice following last night's performances. However, I think there was someone better than him in this year's competition, and that is who should have been standing there at the end tonight. That being Chris Daughtry. Yes, I know he was voted off, but still he had the stage presence and voice to make it. He will do that without the Idol crown though. I'm looking forward to seeing what Taylor, Katharine and the rest of this year's Idol contestants do musically in the future once their commitment to American Idol in September.

New Person On The Couch

I have a new person sharing the couch with me this week. No, I'm not adding another writer. I thought calling it the Blog of the Week was a bit on the boring side, so I decided to change it up a bit. This week on my sidebar you can find Willo and her blog Willo's Web. She seemed to be the perfect fit for this blog as she talks about and reviews television shows on her blog too. She throws the reviews in with posts about her everyday life. She's a fan of American Idol and Grey's Anatomy, so that makes her great in my book. She's joining me just in time for the season finale of American Idol. I'm sure she'll have something to say about that later on tonight. So make sure you hop on over and say hello to Willo and see what she has to say.

American Idol: The Final 2

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

This is the night American Idol fans have been waiting for all week and possibly all season. The winner of this year's American Idol is announced tomorrow night, but tonight Taylor Hicks and Katharine McPhee went head to head at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Each of them performed three songs, two of which they performed before, and one original song written specifically for them and their voice. Following last weeks show, a coin toss determined this week's order. Taylor won that coin toss, but opted to go second.

That means Katharine McPhee opened the show tonight. For her first song, she chose Black Horse And The Cherry Tree. She sang this song back during Bilboards week, and it was one of her better performances. She did even better with the song this time around, and Simon even said she did good, even if he only used the small g. As for Taylor, he picked Living For The City. Another one of his better performed songs, and I think he did really great with this song tonight. In fact, I think there is no doubt who won round one tonight. At least for me, I think Taylor did better here.

Next up for round two, Katharine returned to the stage to sing Somewhere Over The Rainbow. I think she did well here. This song was her best performance of the season to date. Performing it again so soon was a bit of a risk, but I think Katharine even did a better job with this song tonight. This is one of my favorite songs of all time, and her performance even brought tears to my eyes. For Taylor's second performance, he chose Elton John's, Levon. I'm not sure what it was, but I agree with Randy and Simon here. This second performance wasn't as good as his first tonight. So I think round two goes to Katharine McPhee.

For the final performance for each singer, they sang the song that would become their first single. Katharine McPhee sang a titled My Destiny, and I just didn't like the song very much, so I have to agree with Randy on that. However, I just don't think this was Katharine's best performance at all. The judge's didn't say it, but I will. I heard some definite problems with her voice in that song. I think she even messed up the lyrics at one point. Katharine's best song tonight was Somewhere Over The Rainbow. No question in my mind there.

As for Taylor, his first single will be a song titled Do I Make You Proud, and based on this song performance I think we might be this year's American Idol. This song was definitely his song. He made it a Taylor song, even if the lyrics and music weren't totally Soul Patrol material. I liked Simon having to eat his words and selecting Taylor as winner. He did pass on Taylor when he auditioned.

However, this decision is not up to Simon. It is up to you. Four hours to vote. Three numbers to call. Make your voice heard! America is the one that will choose the next American Idol. Not me. Not Simon, Paula or Randy. I think there is a really good chance we'll see Taylor win tomorrow night. We'll have to wait 24 hours to find out though! Want to see who's performing on tomorrow night's finale check out my entertainment blog, Thoughts From The Couch! Want to chime in with your pick for winner go vote on my finale poll in my forum.

TV Review: The O.C. Episode 3.25 Season Finale

Thursday, May 18, 2006

From FOX: The end of senior year is finally here, bringing the excitement of graduation and the anticipation of new lives in college and beyond. But for Seth, Ryan, Marissa and Summer, it's also a time to look back on the amazing journey that has brought the four of them this far. Seth must confront his recent misdeeds or deal with the wrath of Sandy - and the police. Ryan's proud mom arrives with a surprise for him. Marissa receives an astounding proposal that may radically change her plans. And Summer, facing the prospect of going away without Seth, can't stop crying and hugging her best friends as they say their farewells. But amidst the speeches and toasts, nothing is ever simple in Newport. Sandy shocks Kirsten by making a big decision after visiting his old Public Defender's office. Kaitlin returns and moves into Julie's home, vowing to become the next Cooper to rule Harbor High. And to Taylor's joy, the "core four" turns into the "fab five." However, although the kids may be ready to move on to bright futures, unresolved issues from their past could ruin everything.

My Rating: 4 out of 4

At the end of the last episode, we saw Seth being taken away in handcuffs as a suspect in the fire that had just occurred at the Newport Group. This episode titled The Graduates opens up with Sandy and Kirsten talking about the arrest. Seth denied being involved, but his father doesn't believe him. According to the security video footage, he was the last to leave. He can't accuse his son though because things are already troublesome enough with their relationship. Meanwhile, Seth is telling Ryan what really happened that night at the Newport Group. As we know, he was smoking a joint, and it was still lit when he threw it out. He tells Ryan he wants to go get his iPod, but Ryan doesn't let him because it is in Kirsten's car, and he used that to help Volchok. So he goes out, and Volchok is waiting for him. He wants Ryan to help him get out of town, or he'll go to the cops and Ryan's family about his involvement in the car robbery.

The next day is the graduation ceremony. Taylor, Summer and Marissa are getting things ready for graduation. Taylor tells the two about her prom night threesome just before Julie shows up with a letter for Marissa. As it turns out, daddy Cooper is asking his daughter to join him on a yacht as a crew member. She actually thinks it would be good for her. The thing about this is she needs to leave immediately, as in the next day. However, it looks like she is going to. She also tells Ryan, and in a sweet move, he offers to take her to the airport, and she had planned to ask him anyway. She was the first he met in The O.C., and he wants to be the one to send her off. In other Cooper news, Mini - Coop has come home for the graduation, and word has it she will be a season regular next year. Back at the Cohen's, Seth comes clean to his father about the father as well.

The ceremony itself passes quickly. Scenes of the graduates receiving diplomas and celebrating are mixed together with Taylor giving her valedictorian speech. That night, they celebrate. Sandy gives a speech, Ryan's mom buys him a car, and the Cooper women talk about Marissa leaving, and Kaitlin's return home. Volchok calls Marissa, and he tells her about stealing a car with Ryan. She goes to Ryan, and offers to help him get rid of Volchok. Taylor also leaves for the summer, and Seth even jokes about her joining the "inner circle." However, Summer and Taylor take him seriously.

The next morning, Ryan's mother leaves, letting Seth talk about Ryan getting a car and not him. He's supposed to be the spoiled one he says. We also learn Kaitlin's real reason for coming home. Now that her sister and everyone else graduated from Harbor she can now rule the school. Marissa joins Ryan to help with Volchok, even with him not wanting her to tag along. He tells her to stay in the car. When he meets Volchok, Kevin wants to see her, and when he sees her driving Ryan's new truck, he tries to do so, but she drives off and leaves him there. As for Sandy, he goes to talk to the district attorney on neutral ground, his old stomping grounds at the public defender's office. We soon learn that Sandy wants to return there and work following the fire at Newport Group.

That night, Marissa is getting ready to go off with her father. She says good-bye to Julie and Kaitlin before Ryan arrives. The four had originally planned to go to one last Harbor party, but they veto that idea. Instead, Marissa has an idea of where they should go. She leads them back to the Model Home. Once again this place returns, and I think it is a fitting place to say good-bye to our fab four. After Summer and Seth leave, Ryan and Marissa share their own good-bye in the model home. Unknown to them, Volchok is outside watching. As for Seth and Summer, back at the Cohen's house, Seth tells Summer he will be attending RISD in January. He was accepted.

On the way to the airport, Volchok starts to follow Ryan and Marissa. However, he isn't satisfied just following. He starts to ram them, and it forces Ryan off the road. The car flips over. Ryan is fine. He is the first to come to, and get out of the truck. He sees fire in the engine, and gasoline is leaking. Pulling Marissa to safety, he holds her as she dies. Marissa's death had been rumored for weeks, but I didn't actually think it would happen.

This season, The O.C. has had its ups and downs. Early on in the season, things weren't working for me much at all, but starting with the arrival of Kaitlin things seemed to pick up. Now with Marissa's death, things are set for a total revamp of this series. Kaitlin will be a permanent fixture of this show, and something tells me she and her friends will become the new fab four. As for The O.C., FOX announced today it would remain in its time slot for next season, which puts up against Supernatural and Grey's Anatomy. Tough competition for this show, but I think it might do okay. As always don't forget to check out my Blog of the Week!

TV Review: ER Episode 12.22 Season Finale

From NBC: Chaos strikes in County General when shots are fired and the gunmen get more and more desperate to make it out of the hospital. Dr. Kovac (Goran Visnjic) unknowingly puts himself in harms way while Abby (Maura Tierney) is in the line of fire. Meanwhile, Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) tries to help Neela (Parminder Nagra) as she attends to Gallant's concerned parents (guest stars Ernie Hudson, "Ghostbusters," and Sheryl Lee Ralph, "Designing Women"). Laura Innes, Linda Cardellini, Shane West and Scott Grimes also star.

My Rating: 4 out of 4

This season finale episode of ER titled Twenty-one guns opens with Pratt getting ready to attend Gallant's funeral, which is for family only. This doesn't set well with Ray, but he has to accept it. While Pratt waits for Neela to arrive, she ends up not showing. She can't handle the funeral service. Back at Luka's, Abby wakes up to find him in the nursery. She sits to join him, and she opens up a conversation a about their relationship, and he pops the question.

Back at the hospital, Carrie is informed that their are problems from the Clemente situation. Apparently, a family is seeing an opportunity to cash in by suing the hospital because of Clemente's bad doctor status. Carrie says he was cleared any wrongful duty in that one case. She is also told that Luka is also under fire here as the head of the ER. When she tells Luka that, he is not too happy because he might lose his job for something he had no responsibility for. He didn't hire Clemente, but as Carrie points out he didn't fire him either.

In the ER, several patients are brought in for care. It is also Morris' last day at the hospital, so he is going around trying to film a video to take with him. An elderly man, a young boy and a prisoner that turns out to be Sam's ex-husband are all brought in. As for Pratt, he heads over to where Neela is staying to try to convince her to go to Gallant's funeral. She is having severe problems with his death, but he is finally able to convince her to join him at the cemetery. Meanwhile, Sam has a EMT trainee named Mary shadowing her and causing havoc in the ER, as she fouls up one thing after another.

At the funeral, there is a twenty-one gun military salute in honor of Gallant, and during this time Neela remembers her times with her husband. These are shown in flashback form. Back at the hospital, Sam is taking care one of the prisoners, and he warns her of the other man brought in with him. When she goes to take care of the other, we see the EMT trainee drugging one of the cops in the hallway. She lets the other prisoner, and then goes to get the one Sam is treating. They then want Sam to accompany them out. Luka comes looking for Sam, and he then tries to play hero. The woman shoots him up with a drug that helps those in the ER with intubation, which shocks Sam.

If she doesn't intubate Luka, he will die. She finally talks the men into letting her do that before she escorts them out. However, it appears she might not have been successful before she is dragged off. As she leads the two men down the hall, she tries to signal others in the ER, and the only one that gets it is Abby, when Sam calls her Abigail. When they find out they have been caught,. they start shooting in the ER before they rush out to the car. Sam tells him to think of his son, which he already did. Alex is in the car with him, so this causes Sam to jump in with her ex.

At the ER, things are hectic following the shooting. Abby has hit her head, and it appears she might be in early labor. Jerry has been shot, and no one has seen Luka. He is still in the room, and the good news is the medicine has started to wear off, but he is tied up and unable to free himself or call for help. As for Abby, she is injured herself, and she begins to bleed and then proceeds to pass out. Luka sees this happen from the next room, and this is how this season of ER ends.

As for ER, this is another series that hasn't always won me over this season, but I still love it. In the last few episodes, the season has drastically improved, and I am glad to see it returning for another season next year. As for season thirteen, ER will be shown with no repeats next year as it has a shortened season. It will air from September through December without stopping. This should allow the show to get a full season in before a new series, The Black Donnellys, comes in during its time slot in January.

TV Review: Lost Episode 2.22

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

From ABC: A determined Michael convinces Jack and several castaways to help him rescue Walt from "The Others." Meanwhile, Charlie struggles with Eko's decision to discontinue building the church.

My Rating: 4 out of 4

Tonight's episode of Lost titled Three Minutes opens up with a flash back sequence that shows what happened when Michael first left to find Walt after talking to him via the computer. Throughout the episode, we see flashbacks from the time Michael was gone from the camp and in the custody of the others. During the present time, we see Michael trying to convince the others to go with him to find the Others and his son. However, as Hurley reminds him, they have yet to bury Ana Lucia and Libby, so this sad tasks takes precedence.

They go to do that, while Michael stays behind to clean the hatch of the blood from the shootings. Eko finds him there, and the two talk. Eko tells him about serving mass as a priest, and a story about a young man that was in his charge as a priest. In the story, the young boy told Eko about killing his dog to protect his baby sister. The boy is concerned about going to hell. The exchange makes you wonder if Eko knows Michael pulled the trigger.

Th conversation strikes a chord with Michael, and it makes him ill. Jack finds him, and Michael is able to convince Jack five and five alone must go to find the Others. They leave to return to the camp where Charlie has gone to talk to Claire. He found a case of vaccines, and he wants to give it to her for herself and her baby. At first, she is standoffish, but she warms up a bit, and warms up even more when she sees Michael walking into the camp with Jack. Everyone has questions, and even more arise when Sun sees Kate digging graves and the two wrapped bodies next to them. Michael tells them it is Ana Lucia and Libby, and that they were murdered.

The next flashback shows when Kate was captured by the others. Michael was also there at that time we now know, and Alex, who I still suspect to be the French Woman's daughter, was also there. She asks Michael about Claire and her baby, but he says nothing. The search party that went to look for Michael leaves as week. In the present day, Sawyer and Jack tell Sayid what they are doing, and Sawyer thinks Sayid should join them. Jack is against it, but he is outvoted. When Sawyer finds Michael, he tells him of the addition to the party, and Michael isn't happy about it, but he deals with it. Meanwhile, back at the hatch, Eko is taking over the button pushing duties, and when Charlie finds him there, he asks for the other man to bring him his things from his camp. All thoughts of the church are now gone. Charlie gets mad, and tells him to go get his own things.

Michael goes to Sayid, and uninvites him from coming along because he thinks Sayid is going only to seek revenge on Henry. Even when Sayid he wouldn't do that, Michael tells Sayid he must do it his way, and this appears to satisfy Sayid. Back at the church site, Vincent arrives and drops off a Virgin Mary full of heroin for Charlie. This made me laugh, and causes Charlie to get mad. He follows Vincent to Sawyer's camp, and it is there that he finds the rest of the statues. He then proceeds to throw in the ocean, which is witnessed by Locke. Back at the hatch, Jack finds Eko, and then talks to Sawyer as they prepare to leave. Jack tells both about the burial that night, and Sawyer tells Jack that he slept with Ana Lucia. When Jacks asks why Sawyer told him, he says that Jack is the closest thing he has to a friend.

At the burial site, Michael talks to Kate and Hurley. They will leave the next morning. However, Hurley declines on going, even after Michael tries to use Libby's death as enticement to go. However, as we see in the next flashback, Hurley needs to go. The Others asked him to help free their man, and then bring those four individuals back to them. If he doesn't, then he will never see Walt again. He is given a few moments with his song, and Walt tries to warn him. He says The Others aren't as they appear to be, and he also mentions something about giving him tests. The only thing other than his son that Michael asks for is a boat, and that arrives by ocean during the burial.

A great episode tonight for Lost. Not as intense or fast paced as the last few, but we learned some things there was questions about, and it sets up events for next week's two hour season finale, which is said to answer a lot of questions. Next season, ABC promises no repeats for Lost. However, in order to do this, the show will be shown in two chunks, and there could be months in between the two. The first chunk will consist of seven episodes, and the next chunk the remaining episodes. This was announced this week when ABC announced its fall schedule, which I talk about on my entertainment blog here. Changes are also in store for another series I talk about on this blog a great deal, Grey's Anatomy. Check it out! While you're here, why don't you check out my Blog of the Week on my sidebar!

American Idol: Top Three Elimination

Tonight's American Idol results show went from thirty minutes to an hour long. After a quick review of what happened last night, it was time for another funny music video and footage from the contestant's trips home last week. We also saw the three contestants meet with X-men stars Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Romijn after last week's episode back stage. They give the three DVD's of the yet to be released movie X-men: The Last Stand to watch in private jets they use to return home.

The first we see go home is Taylor Hicks. We see his trip home to Alabama, where he sings with his band, meets with the mayor, get a key to the city. We then see he perform a song. We do the same with Katharine McPhee. However, no flight home for her. She was born and raised in Sherman Oaks, California, just minutes from where I was raised myself, and where the show is taped. She visits Good Day LA, two local radio stations and also her former high school before heading home to her parent's house for a party. She also performs, choosing to sing Aretha Franklin', Think.

After a commercial break, we see footage of Elliot's trip back to his home city of Richmond, Virginia. He also visited with the governor of his state, had a parade, and performed a song he had performed earlier in the competition, Michael Buble's, Home. Back in the studio, he performed his track from the upcoming American Idol 5 CD that hits stores next Tuesday. Just in time for the finale!

When Clive Davis took the stage, I felt immediately nervous about who would be going home tonight. It could be any of the three as we learned last week with Chris' elimination. As Clive recounted the accomplishments of the past Idol contestants, my nervousness only grew. After one final commercial break, we return to find out that only .62 separated the top scorer from the bottom scorer. Who scored 33.06 % and thus eliminated from American Idol this week? That would be Elliot Yamin. I suspected it would be him.

This means our finale next week will see Katharine McPhee and Taylor Hicks compete for the title of American Idol for season five. Judge Paula Abdul has seen two of her choices sent home. First, she threw it all behind Chris Daughtry, and earlier this week she threw her support to Elliot Yamin. He is now going home. Come back next week for my thoughts on the finale. During the week hop on over to my entertainment blog, Thoughts from the Couch, for any Idol news developments in this crucial final week of the competition.

TV Review: Bones Episodes 1.22 Season Finale

From FOX: While trying to determine the identity of a Jane Doe, Brennan is shocked to learn the remains are those of her mother, who went missing with her father 15 years ago. After years of uncertainty and not knowing what happened to her parents, Brennan finally has confirmation of her mother’s death, and the news understandably hits her hard. Now that remains have been uncovered, Booth can open an investigation into the case for the first time. After researching Brennan’s parents’ lives, Booth surprises her with the news that her parents were not the people she thought they were - both were outlaws living under assumed identities. With the team working to glean more information from her mother’s skeleton, to Brennan, she’s now more of a Jane Doe than ever. As more details of her parents’ past, in addition to her own, come to the surface, Brennan must come to grips with a whole new reality.

My Rating: 4 out of 4

Tonight's episode of Bones titled The Woman in Limbo starts with Brennan being rushed off to court. She is looking for her notes. Booth wants her to leave now. wants her to stop at archeology. Zack has brought up a Jane Doe from "limbo." Booth finally gets her out of the lab, but she once again rushes back to look for her notes. she walks in and sees Angela with the visual of the Jane Doe, and she freaks out. She goes to grab the artifact bag from Zack, and after dumping out its contents she finds something she recognizes. Booth comes back to look for Bones, and Angela shows him the visual. He automatically recognizes the woman as Brennan's mom.

Booth goes to Brennan, and she is obviously upset. Zack also goes to her office, and he tells Brennan her mother's remains have been at the Jeffersonian as long as she's been working there. Tests run by Zack and Hodgins tell Bones that her mother died in 1993, but she disappeared in 1991. Booth sticks by Brennan through this, even going to her apartment the night she finds out about her mom. He had been looking into her parent's disappearance for her since she gave him the file on it. He says now with her mother's death, the FBI can officially get involved, and he proceeds to look into it further. A prime suspect in the mother's death is Brennan's estranged brother. Booth goes to interview him, and he is less than forthcoming.

Upon further inspection, Hodgins finds something in the soil sample, a movie ticket that is dated for 1993. This also dates the death of her mother for that time period. Before going to Bones, he goes to Angela to ask if they should tell her about the find, and they decide to. At first, Brennan isn't as accepting with this new information, but further finds show that this is more than likely true. Booth brings her brother, and she doesn't want to talk to him. After Booth searches a bit through the NCIS database, he finds her parents, and they are not the Brennan's. They stole those identities from some other couple. Brennan confronts her brother on this, she learns her true name was Joy. She slaps him.

After talking to Angela, Booth comes to find her. They have found the FBI agent in charge of their case. The woman tells them they were specialized bank robbers that focused on safe deposit boxes. They got mixed in with a worse crew than they should have, and after one bad case they disappeared in 1978. It was at that point, they became the parent's Brennan knew. Angela talks to Russ, Brennan's brother, and she finds out more about what happened during that time. Apparently, Russ was old enough to remember someone that his father told him that if he saw again, he should take his little sister and run. Angela tells him that when he is ready, she wants him to tell her about that man. Those working on the Brennan family car also find blood in the car from more than one individual.

Booth once again goes to Brennan's for a late night visit with Chinese food, but he leaves soon after. Brennan returns to the lab because she is unable to sleep. She finds Zack there, and he tells her the rest of her team will stay until they find out what happened to her mother. Booth uses his contacts to find the man that worked with her parents, and they go to interview him. It was his blood that was found in the car. He knows who Brennan is, and he tells her that it wasn't him that killed her mother. He fingers her father for that crime. This upsets Brennan a great deal.

Booth gets a warrant to search the man's farm. They bring back every possible weapon that could have been used to kill her mother. They don't find a match. So they go to the man's farm, and they do find a possible match. The man tries to talk Brennan out of having him charged, or she will never learn about what happened with her dad. She has him taken away anyway. Afterwards, she returns to the carnival where her brother works, and the two reconcile. She invites him home with her, and while there we learn two things. Brennan dedicated her second novel to her partner Booth. He had been asking to read her manuscript all episode long. Second, we hear a message on her answering machine from her father telling her to stop looking for him. This is how the season ends.

Bones has been one of favorite series' this season. I love the characters, and their development over the season. I also enjoyed how they kept revisiting this story line about her parents and their disappearance over the season. I never saw this twist coming, and it fits the episode and the characters. I'm looking forward to what happens next season with this show.

American Idol: The Top Three

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

We're down to the semi-finals everyone! We started this journey back in January. We saw the bad, the very bad, the good and the great. Katharine, Elliot and Taylor have been with us since almost the beginning. Now one of them will be the next American Idol. Fans are still reacting to last week's reaction of favorite to win Chris Daughtry. However, now we need to put that behind us. We have to move forward and pick this year's American Idol. Tonight, for the final three they had to perform not two songs, but three. Things are really picking up.

For the first set of songs, they were picked for the contestants by record mogul, Clive Davis. Who hasn't heard about this man? First up was Elliot Yamin, and Clive chose the Journey classic Open Arms for him to perform. For me, it wasn't a great performance. I just didn't like it at all. It didn't grab me. Katharine had an R. Kelly song, I Believe I can Fly, to perform, and I really liked her performance. Randy and Paula didn't like the song choice, and they downgraded her because of it. Simon actually liked her performance minus a few small problems. Both Ryan and Simon agreed on the fact that Randy was disrespectful their guest who picked the song. It wasn't Katharine this week. As for Taylor, he just rocked this week in this first performance. Clive picked a classic Bruce Springsteen song for Taylor, Dancing In The Dark. He even placed a call to the singer to ask if Taylor could use it on the show. I really enjoyed Taylor's performance, and him pulling Paula up to dance with him was fun.

The second set of songs were picked by the judges. Paula picked What you won't do for love by Bobby Caldwell for Elliot, and once again this performance just didn't grab me. It's in his element, but I just think it wasn't the right song, which is something Paula even alludes to in her comments. Next up was Katharine, and Simon picked the Wizard of Oz classic, Somewhere Over The Rainbow. Here Katharine did excellent. she had been one of my favorites all season, but in recent weeks I thought she had overdone it just a bit. Tonight, I saw why I liked Katharine so much when she sang this song. The judges all complimented her on this song, and I think she might have notched her spot next week with this performance as well. Once again, Taylor comes out and does an amazing performance. Judge Randy Jackson picked a great song for him Joe Cocker's You Are So Beautiful. That song just matched Taylor's voice perfectly. Simon even liked it!

For the last round, the contestants chose their own music. Elliot Yamin chose a Ray Charles song, I Believe To My Soul. This was his best performance of the night, but I don't think it will save him. As for Katharine, she chose an Ella Fitzgerald song, I Ain't Got Nothing But The Blues. I really liked her performance. However, I agree with the judges that her second performance was better. However, this performance was better than her first. Taylor closed out the night by picking Try A Little Tenderness by Otis Redding. If some of you might recall, Taylor tried to sing this song during love song week, but he was asked to change it last minute because American Idol producers didn't consider it a love song. I am glad to see Taylor got to finally sing this song for his soul patrol. Taylor even had me dancing in my chair as he performed tonight. He was really great tonight with all three of his performances, and I think we will see him next Tuesday night.

So there we have it. I think next week we should see Katharine McPhee and Taylor Hicks go head to head in the finale. They by far did the best tonight, and as much as I love Elliot and his voice, he just didn't have it tonight. What do you think?

Songs performed on tonight's show:

Set 1:
Elliot Yamin: Open Arms - Journey
Katharine McPhee: I Believe I Can Fly
Taylor Hicks: Dancing In The Dark - Bruce Springsteen

Set 2:
Elliot Yamin: What you won't do for love - Bobby Caldwell
Katharine McPhee: Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Judy Garland
Taylor Hicks: You Are So Beautiful - Joe Cocker

Set 3:
Elliot Yamin: I Believe To My Soul - Ray Charles
Katharine McPhee: I Ain't Got Nothing But The Blues - Ella Fitzgerald
Taylor Hicks: Try A Little Tenderness - Otis Redding

Also everyone, I have selected an all new Blog of the Week. On my sidebar, you can now find Laci's blog, Long, Slow, Beautiful Dance. I chose her blog for a couple of reasons. She's a Grey's Anatomy fan, which is a plus in my book, and she also works as producer for a television station. Since the focus of this blog is television reviews, I thought she was a perfect fit. Her blog is a personal diary where she talks about her life and opinions. Make sure to check her out and tell her I sent you over! Also head on over to Media Village as well. It is becoming a source for American Idol news. My own blog on the site has the latest in news each week, and I'm not the only one talking about Idol! Check it out!

TV Review: Grey's Anatomy Episode 2.26 Season Finale

Monday, May 15, 2006

From ABC: Izzie and George attend to Denny as the pressure increases to find him a new heart, Cristina suddenly finds herself in charge of an ER, and Derek grapples with the realization that the life of a friend is in his hands. Richard goes into interrogation mode about a patient's condition, Callie confronts George about his feelings for her, and Meredith and Derek meet about Doc.

My Rating: 4 out of 4

Tonight's Grey's Anatomy is a special two-hour season ending an event. The first hour is titled Deterioration of the Fight or Flight Response, and the second is called Losing My Religion. At the end of last night's episode we saw Burke lying on the ground in ambulance bay having been shot. This episode begins right there. Bailey brings him in, and he is quite out of it but his injuries at first don't appear to be that bad. Webber tries to keep Yang busy treating the other patient so that she doesn't see that Burke has been shot. That only works for so long. She does find out, and she goes to play the supportive girlfriend, but all Burke wants her to do is go check on Denny.

She goes, and this is where we pick up Denny's story line. At the end of last night's episode, Izzie had cut the cord that kept Denny's heart beating via machine. George has paged Meredith, and Cristina arrives on scene. The four interns are trying to figure out what to do with the man, especially once Cristina tells Izzie and the rest that Burke isn't coming to help Denny with a new heart because he was just shot. Izzie freaks out again, but Meredith stays relatively calm. She comes up with a plan.

The four will help Izzie get the lab results needed, while Alex tries to hold back the other doctor from taking the heart. He fails at that task, but no one knows that. Denny is touch and go for a bit, but the interns are able to keep him stable until Bailey catches them when she comes to look for Yang after Burke asks for her. She knows something is up when none of the interns are running around. Bailey finds them in Denny's room, and she tells everyone to leave, but Izzie has made it clear she won't leave Denny's side at all. Nurse Olivia is told to stay with her. During all this, Denny also asks Izzie to marry him.

As for Burke, his condition is worse than expected. One of the bullets is close to a nerve that effects his hand. There is a chance he may lose all hand movement. Derek can go in and operate, but this only worsens his chances. They want to play a wait and see game. Burke asks both Derek and Cristina what he should do, but neither can answer him immediately. After talking to Derek again, he goes into surgery to remove the aneurysm. During the operation there are complications, and Yang is called in to help Burke focus once they wake him up mid-surgery to see if they paralyzed his arm. She comes in, but she is unable to help. Derek has to help his friend and patient, and his fingers don't move.

As for Denny, Bailey is beyond upset about what her interns have done. She pulls Izzie's privileges right on the spot, and she goes to Webber with a hypothetical question based upon reality. Is it right for a patient to get a heart when a doctor created his injuries only to get the heart in the first place? They can't tell the transplant coordinator what happened because they would lose transplant privileges at the hospital. Webber tells her they need to take care of their patient first. They do get the heart, and Alex brings back the other doctor to Seattle Grace to perform the transplant on Denny. They go in, with the four interns outside, until Izzie is tired of waiting and goes to check on him. However, his new heart won't start beating on its own. Meredith and George are still in time out alone, and this gives these two some time to talk about what happened, and in a twist George apologizes to Meredith because he knew she didn't love him when they had sex.

A subplot in the first hour has to deal with Webber's niece. Mrs. Webber brings her in from prom night after she has passed out during her first sexual intercourse. As it turns out, she had suffered from ovarian cancer when she was fourteen, and it appears it has come back. This time her prognosis is fatal, and during this time we also learn that Webber's wife knew all along about his affair with Ellis Grey. He thought she never did. After a few nail biting seconds, Burke's fingers move, and Denny's new heart begins to beat. Now it is time for Webber to find out what happened. Everyone covers for Izzie, so this puts all the interns on Camille duty until one confesses. Izzie offers too, but her friends won't let her. They will stick together. They think taking care of Camille will be easy until they find out she is Webber's niece, and she wants a prom since she missed most of hers.

Izzie goes to see Denny, and his condition has improved drastically. Denny once again asks her to marry him, and after a long speech that even made me cry, she runs scared. Finn comes to hospital after trying to call Meredith all night to tell her that Doc had seizures the night before, which means the cancer spread to his brain. She responds to this by asking Finn to the prom. Derek also asks Addison. Webber has made attendance at his niece's prom in the hospital mandatory. George also asks Callie, but she's mad at him for standing her up the night before and not telling her why when she asks because he can't.

Webber then pulls the interns one by one to interview them on what happened in Denny's room. However, what happened in Denny's room is the last one any of them talk about. Alex talks about football and the importance of a team. Cristina talks about having lost her edge. Izzie talks about being pretty, and how Denny is the first one to not see her as that pretty girl. George talks around in circles about love and wanting. Meredith chooses her interview time to confront Webber on the affair with her mother.

After some thought, Izzie returns to Denny, but Bailey throws her out. Visiting hours are not in session yet. However, Denny asks her to stay and Izzie accepts his proposal. Meanwhile, Meredith goes to Derek to ask about what they should do for Doc. At first he is rude, but the two do decide to put Doc to sleep. Finn had suggested they do it that day, and the next scene is Derek, Meredith and Addison at the vet's and Doc is put down, which made me cry as much as if it was someone else.

Now it is time for the prom. Meredith goes all out. Cristina shows up instead of staying with Burke. He is still having some problems with his hand, but he hasn't told Derek that yet. Webber and his niece even share a moment as they dance together. Finn gets serious with Meredith, but this is the point when Derek and Meredith both realize they are in love with each other. Meredith runs and Derek follows her. They talk and then they kiss. I thought these two were done! Guess not! Not only do they kiss, but things get really heated and yes they do have sex. On Izzie's way up to see Denny in her prom dress, his heart fails and he dies. Oh my God! How heartbreaking, forgive the pun. I thought these two had finally made it. Now you have to wonder if Izzie will be brought up on charges now. however, that might be a mute point with how the rest of the episode plays out.

Olivia calls Meredith and the others to Denny's room. Callie finds her with Derek right after they have finished having sex. They arrive to find Izzie laying with his body. She won't move, and the only one that gets through to her is Alex. He finally talks her into leaving Denny, and she leaves the room and then proceeds to quit the intern program in front of everyone after confessing it was her that cut the wire. They said that one intern would leave by the end of the season. I just never imagined it would be Izzie. That's a shocker! before the episode ends, and yes we have the cliffhanger. Meredith is called by two men, and we are left wondering who she chooses until next season.

Grey's Anatomy made me laugh and cry tonight, and throughout this season. There is no doubt in my mind, and probably not in anyone's that comes across this site that this series is by far my favorite on television. It is well written with amazing characters that make you care about them. They make you laugh. They make you sad. They make you angry. All of them together make you care, and that's what good television is about. We're left wondering who will Meredith choose. We're left wondering what will happen to Burke. Is Izzie really gone? Or will a new intern come in to replace her.

We've gone through twenty-six episodes this season, which is four more than many other series had this year. Yet, it feels like we didn't have enough. I know I wanted more. I have no idea what I will do without Grey's all summer. I look forward to the series each and every week. I was shocked by tonight's episode because I thought we were done with Meredith and Derek. I thought she'd go with Finn, and Derek and Addison would fix things eventually. I never thought Izzie would quit. Grey's Anatomy is one of the best shows on television, and I definitely see it around for quite some time to come. Season two comes out in September, just in time for us to watch it all again before season three takes off! I'll be back to recap season three when that happens. For the summer, I'll have to find other show's to cover.

TV Review: Grey's Anatomy Episode 2.25

Sunday, May 14, 2006

From ABC: Finn gives a health update on Doc, Meredith works with Callie while George works with Derek, and Burke and Izzie are still in need of a heart for Denny, on part one of the season finale.

My Rating: 4 out of 4

Tensions are high in this episode titled 17 seconds, the first part of the two part season finale. The second part will air tomorrow night because they know we just can't wait to find out what will happen after tonight. The episode opens up at Joe's bar. The men are off playing darts imagining the women in their life as each dart hits the board. The women are drinking and talking, and they are happy to see George when he arrives, but they are less than enthused to see Callie's with him. The next morning Meredith, Derek and Addison visit the vet to find out just what is wrong with Doc. The diagnosis is bone cancer.

Once the staff arrives at the hospital, they can see they have a busy day ahead of them. A man has gone into a restaurant that had formerly worked at and started shooting. He hit at least sixteen, killing two and injuring fourteen. Some with life threatening injuries. Meredith is set to work with Callie and George is at Derek's side today, which should make things interesting. Callie is less than polite to Meredith while they are working, and Derek is distracted and rude to just about everyone, including his wife. After seeing Derek and Meredith together, Addison even asks Meredith if Derek and her are sleeping together again. Meredith tells her about Finn, and Addison is less than enthused.

As for Burke, he is on his way to get a donor heart that will end up going to Denny. Cristina wants to tag along with him, but he says no. When Alex asks just a bit later, he says yes, and this causes even more a rift between the couple. Burke and Alex and arrive at the hospital, and they learn there are two men with two hearts going to two other men. However, the one assigned to Denny dies before the heart can be removed. This causes Burke to go after the other heart, but for him to get that he has to go through the transplant coordinator.

Whoever is higher up on the list will get that heart, and that happens to be the other man. He was listed on the transplant list seventeen seconds before Denny. When Izzie calls to check on the status of the heart, she learns that the patient died. She then tells Alex and Burke that Denny is getting worse, but he really isn't. However, the transplant coordinator gives Burke and Izzie to run tests showing that he is deteriorating.

Izzie freaks out a bit and goes to Meredith and Cristina, but they tell her that Denny will get the next heart. That isn't good enough for her. She decides she will make Denny's condition deteriorate so she can have real test results to show Burke. Denny didn't seem all that thrilled about that option. However, it appears Izzie has gone off the deep end, understandably so. The man she loves is facing death. She loses it as she tries to convince Denny, and her tears finally convince him to go through with what she wants She checks in with Burke, and tells him to bring the heart as soon as he can because she doesn't know how long Denny. Burke hangs up, and instead of getting the heart he decides to return to the hospital to see Denny's condition for himself.

Meanwhile, Derek's patient with George is now brain dead. However, she is pregnant. The family wants to keep her on life support to keep the baby living. Derek tries to convince them, but that doesn't work. He asks Addison to talk to them, but it turns into an argument quickly. An argument that turns personal and causes a scene in front of everyone, including Meredith. Addison later talks to Webber, and she tells him that the only two that don't know they are in love are Meredith and Derek themselves. As for Meredith, we do see her go to Finn and ask about Doc, but when she tells him Finn how much she loves him, something tells me it isn't Doc she is talking about but Derek. So it looks like at least one of them knows.

Meanwhile, George and Callie are having a moment. Meredith first went to Callie to ask about bone cancer. At first, Callie's response was negative, but after talking to George, she helps Meredith, and then lets slip to George that she loves him. That was quick wasn't it? Soon after her confession, Izzie asks George for his help. She takes him in with Denny, and the couple shares a moment before Izzie tells George she plans to stop Denny's heart. Burke will be there any moment.

However, he won't be. Down on the emergency room, the sounds of gun fire are heard in the ambulance bay. Bailey runs out and finds the man that was originally the target of the shooting at the restaurant shot, but he isn't the only one. Burke has also been shot. We see this just as Izzie cuts the cord to the machine that is keeping Denny's heart beating. This is how the episode ends. As I said though, we have less than twenty four hours to wait until the two-hour conclusion and season finale tomorrow night!

This episode kept me on the edge of my seat, and I really loved everyone in it. Great writing and acting tonight by all involved. I can't wait to see what happens tomorrow night! Don't forget to stop by and visit my Blog of the Week! Backyardigans Fan has less than twenty four hours to reside here on my blog. I'll be selecting a new tenant on Tuesday!

TV Review: ER Episode 12.21

Thursday, May 11, 2006

From NBC: Freshly back from Darfur, Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) struggles to get the real story when two abused boys come into the ER with their injured father. Neela (Parminder Nagra) is nervous when she is urgently called up to Dr. Dubenko's (Leland Orser) office, but is quickly relieved when she gets the good news. Meanwhile, two U.S. Army officers enter the ER, and the staff worries that it might be bad news. Clemente (John Leguizamo) comes into the ER acting very strange and after putting some of his patients in jeopardy, Kovac (Goran Visnjic) forces him to take a break. After bickering for months, Morris (Scott Grimes) and Albright (Dahlia Salem) can't seem to fight the sexual tension between them.

My Rating: 4 out of 4

This week's episode of ER titled The Gallant Hero and the Tragic Victor opens up in Iraq as Gallant and his group make their way through the desert. They come under heavy fire, and one of his men is shot. He fights to save him, but he perishes. While continuing to drive through the desert. a bomb hits his convoy and he his killed just as a fellow soldier asked him about his wife. This has been hinted at for weeks now, so his death is really no surprise.

We then return to the emergency room at Country General for the first time in the last couple of weeks. First though, we see Clemente at home, and he is definitely on edge. Every noise makes him jump. We then go to Morris who is in bed with the surgical attending Albright. That next morning, a man is brought in with his two children that have been victims of a home invasion.

The son is brought in with serious injuries and Luka and Clemente go to work on the boy. As always the two disagree on treatment, and Luka leaves Clemente when two men from the army arrive. A search for Neela goes underway, but she is upstairs in surgery receiving good news from Dubenko. She is the newest surgical resident. However, she quickly answers the pages that have been sent her. When she finally makes it down, she is told that her husband has died. She doesn't deal with it well, and she runs off to work on more patients. The news hits more than just Neela. Everyone knew and was friends with Gallant at the hospital.

Work continues though, and what first looks like a robbery, turns out to be a little boy trying to protect his younger brother from an abusive father. The eldest boy hit their father with a baseball bat several times. The father dies as a result of his injuries, and Pratt loses it just a bit as he tells Luka about the boys that are his patient. Luka asks if the police have been called, and Pratt makes one final comment about prison and war before leaving. Pratt then talks to the eldest boy about what happens next. He needs to go into foster care with his father dead and his mother in rehabilitation. The little boy thinks he will go to hell, but Pratt tries to soothe him.

As for Clemente, he is still a bit unstable as well. He goes to pick up coffee for everyone, and a homeless man sees the blood on his shirt and confronts him on it. This only increases Clemente's unease. When he tries to cross the street, he is almost hit by a taxi cab, and this is the straw that broke the camel's back so to speak. He has what one can only call a psychotic episode, jumping up and down on the man's cab, and then peeing on the road when the man asks him if he is on drugs. Afterwards, he is brought into the ER. Abby and Sam are on his case the moment he comes in, and his condition doesn't improve

Abby goes home to her place where Neela is staying to check on her friend. She brings home dinner and groceries. Abby offers to stay for the night, but Neela would rather stay home alone. After Abby leaves, Neela opens the packet the Army left her. In it, she finds a video from her husband that was made by him in case of his death.

Back at the hospital, Clemente is put on a 72 hour psychiatric hold due to his behavior and recent events in his life. With the lack of sleep it is possible he is suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome. Luka goes in to talk to him after he hears, and this is the first time the two don't disagree or argue. Luka takes him up to the psych ward.

This was a powerful episode of ER, and this show seems to improving as the season nears its end. Word has it that NBC might be moving the series next season from its Thursday night slot to a lighter night of the week. No official word on that yet, but we should know next week hopefully. Don't forget to stop by and visit my Blog of the Week!

TV Review: Lost Episode 2.21

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

From ABC: Mr. Eko enlists Locke to help find a secret location he believes houses answers to the island's mysteries. Meanwhile, Jack and the other survivors struggle to cope with the horrific situation in the hatch.

My Rating: 4 out of 4

On last week's Lost, we had a shocking conclusion where at least one of the tailies died, Ana Lucia, when Michael shot her. I don't think anyone saw Michael turning on the survivors. He also shot Libby, but it isn't clear if she died as well. This week's episode only titled ? opens with a dream sequence of Eko's. He sees Ana Lucia and his dead brother. Ana Lucia talks to Eko about building a church, and his brother tells him to go to John. He then wakes up, and we jump to Jack, Sawyer, Locke and Kate to find Ana Lucia and the gun. They find her dead, but Libby lives. Michael has injured himself.

Eko comes to the hatch and prays over Ana Lucia's body in a sad moment. Jack and Kate are working on Libby, and it definitely doesn't look good for her. Jack wants to go after Henry, but he needs to stay with Libby as Sawyer reminds him. Eko then volunteers to go with Locke's help and tracking experience. Jack tells them to return if they see anything. In the jungle, Eko asks Locke to take him to the question mark, but Locke has no idea what he is talking about.

This causes Eko to knock Locke out, and when he comes to he tells Locke he hit him because he was being difficult. Eko then begins to once again ask about the question mark. He has no idea what he is asking about, but he knows Locke does. Locke gives Eko the design that he had seen a few weeks ago in the hatch, and Eko tries to figure out what it is. To him it appears to be a map. He then tells Ana Lucia told him about the question mark in his dream. Eko and Locke continue to follow the map, even if Locke doesn't agree it is a map. They come to the plane where Boone died and make camp.

Back at the hatch, Jack needs more than he has on hand. He needs the heroin, which Sawyer has in his stash. Sawyer offers to go get it, and Jack says Kate will go with him. At first Sawyer stops, but he then agrees to go and take Kate with him. On the way to his stash, Kate asks Sawyer about how Ana Lucia got his gun from him, but he doesn't tell her just how she managed it. At first, Kate is unsure about where he takes her. As it turns out, he hid everything at his camp. When they come out, Hurley asks them if they had seen Libby, and they tell him the news.

That morning in the jungle, Eko sees his brother and he follows him into the jungle and up a cliff. When Eko falls, we learn that Locke was dreaming. Eko asks him about the dream, and then Eko tells him the man in Locke's dream was his brother. He then asks Locke what he saw, and from what that he climbs the cliff. At first he sees nothing, but when he looks down at John from that height he sees the question mark in the ground below. Eko returns to Locke, and together they proceed to move the plane. It is covering another hatch in the ground. However, another hatch like their own isn't down there.

The two travel down into the hatch, and they find what appears to be a security outpost. There are cameras inside their own hatch, and they can see everything that is happening there. They also find another part of the orientation video. While watching, they learn more about the monitoring station. The job of the station is to watch an experiment taking place. They are to watch and record everything that happens as those being watched complete a task that to them is of the utmost importance.

So does this mean that pressing the button is that task, and it is really some part of some sick psychological experiment. If they don't press the button, nothing really happens. They are only told it will. Was Henry telling the truth when he told Locke he didn't actually push the code in and nothing happened afterwards? It definitely looks that way to me. It also appears that way to Locke. Although, Eko sees it differently. After watching the video, he thinks that pushing the button is now even more important. This leads to a discussion between the two.

Back at the hatch, Jack prepares to use the heroin. Hurley tells Michael that him and Libby were about to have their first date. You can see in Michael's eyes he actually feels bad for shooting Libby at that point, but that is briefly. Before Jack administers the injection of heroin, Hurley comes in to talk to her. she comes to for a moment, and says Michael's name. Jack thinks she is asking about him, but she was naming the man that shot her. Shortly thereafter, she takes her last breath and dies. Tears are shed by Hurley, Kate, and Jack. Sawyer even shows emotion as he comforts Kate. As the tone for the button begins to sound, we see Michael.

Early on in this season, I admit I was losing interest. Things just didn't fit, and the show had a bit of a slump. All signs of that slump are now gone, and this is the Lost I remember from season one. Things are exciting, and there are more twists and turns now than in earlier episodes this season. Tonight's episode told more of Eko's back story as he is sent by the church to research a miracle. A woman has died and come back to life during her autopsy. He claims it to not be a miracle after research and interviews, but the woman comes to him just before he leaves on Oceanic 815. She tells him she saw his brother while she was in between life and death.

He even sees Libby at this time. Now, Libby's death brings up another point. Will Hurley ever know that Libby was with him in the mental ward? Or is that story line just left in the dust now. Seems to be a bit of a waste don't it? Next week, we have an all new episode of Lost, and the previews for it look great. I can't wait!

American Idol: The Top 4 Elimination

Last night on America Idol, the final four competed by singing the songs of Elvis Presley. Each had to perform two songs, and they made it too close to me to even call who the bottom two would be this week. After some thought, I picked those two to be Katharine McPhee and Taylor Hicks. Will the last female go home, and make this a male's year as Randy protected early on in the season? Let's find out.

The show opened with a look back at last night's performances and judges commentary. After a commercial break, we saw another Idol music video with a special appearance by Kermit the Frog as they sang Wonderful World. This is a song Chris Daughtry had sung earlier in this competition. Next is shown more of the contestants trip to Graceland. Next, we see our four Idols once again on stage as they once again sing Elvis. Elliot opens up with Don't Be Cruel. Then the men sing us a bit of Blue Suede Shoes. Taylor then takes us into Heartbreak Hotel. Katharine then sings Are you lonesome tonight? Chris then ends it with a little bit of Love Me Tender. There were more. I thoroughly enjoyed this medley of Elvis though.

When we return from commercial Ryan talks to Rebecca Romijn who is in the audience with her fiance Jerry O'Connell. She even makes a request. She wants see Taylor perform Jail house Rock again, and they give him the go ahead from upstairs. We then have the four brought on stage and separated into two groups, the top two and the bottom two.

Well we quickly learn that our top two are Taylor Hicks and Elliot Yamin. The bottom two are Chris Daughtry and Katharine McPhee. In a shocking development, Chris Daughtry goes home this week. Now I don't think many saw this coming, and I've made no secret he was my favorite in the competition. I'm sad to see him go home. I know he will succeed. He's had already one offer from the group Fuel early on in the game. So I'm sure we will see him do something.

However, I don't think we should have seen him go home this week. Could this be a matter of the voters thinking that he was safe so they didn't need to vote for him this week? Or did American really think he was the worst performer last night? I don't think he was the worst, but he is still going home. What do you think? Next week, the top three compete in the semi-finals.

TV Review: Bones Episode 1.21

From FOX: Booth and Brennan investigate the apparent suicide of a protester in Arlington National Cemetery. But Brennan and her team discover this was not suicide, it was murder, and the victim was a soldier who had served in Iraq, not a war protester as originally thought. Booth and Brennan pursue the murder investigation and interrogate the American soldiers the victim served with in Iraq. Their investigation leads to many unanswered questions about the victim's military unit in Iraq and the actions they took while on patrol there. As they uncover more information about the case, all clues point to a potential military cover-up. Meanwhile, Booth laments the horrors of war and his own shady past as a military sniper.

My Rating: 4 out of 4

This episode titled The Soldier on the Grave opens with Booth and Bones walking through Arlington National Cemetery as they are called there to see about a body burned and left resting on the grave of a man that was going to be paid tribute to that day. The death first appears to be a suicide. We can definitely see the difference's in the characters this week with there differences in opinion when it comes to the War in Iraq. This is a topic that is bringing a lot of debate in this nation at the moment, and this episode shows that a bit here in the early moments of this week's episode. As Bones and her team works to find out the identity of the victim and exact cause of death, it turns out to be someone that served with the man in the grave the body was found. Even more unsettling, the death doesn't turn out to be a suicide but murder.

The differences in opinion first come to light when Bones and Booth are investigating the murder by interviewing various individuals. First, the family, then another man that the two men served with and then the man's commanding officer. The two have distance in their beliefs when it comes to the War. As having served himself, Booth has his own beliefs based on that. Bones hasn't truly been in a war situation herself, so her views come from that. The team also has their own debates that occur while they work on the bones. After Bones speaks to everyone, she decides she has to have the soldier from the grave the current victim was found on exhumed. Booth is immediately against it, but the exhumation does take place. This earns Booth a slap in the face from the mother of the dead soldier.

Kent is brought to the lab, and it is uncomfortable for Booth. He is still against the man having been exhumed. in an odd twist, the one that understands him the most is Hodgins. Angela and Hodgins don't see eye to eye, and this causes some tension between the new possible couple forming there. Angela tries to explain to Hodgins that sometimes you don't have to be so loud in order to get your point across. She tells him that how he went to Booth and let him know he understood was a good thing. He was heard without having to scream.

With more interviews and investigation, Booth determines that it looks like the group is hiding something. They all use the same phrase to describe the shots head, pop pop pop. Bones pulls out the bullets from the first soldier's body, and she says the way the blood pooled around the bullets they didn't kill him. She also finds two different types of bullets, and the ones that did kill him came from the gun of one the man's fellow soldiers. The two are then off to arrest the man they think committed the murder, but they find the man has just committed suicide saying he shot Kent. That and the fact that he was out of town the night the second victim died makes him innocent. The killer is still on the loose.

The team continues to work, and the longer they work it turns out there was a conspiracy. Someone fired more bullets into Kent to cover up the friendly fire incident. This leads Booth to speak a friend from his past. It seems there is a similar incident in Booth's own past, and that is why this whole case bothers him so much. When Booth returns to the lab, Bones and Angela have discovered the team of a year ago hadn't gone in to a home full of insurgents but the home of an unarmed family getting ready to sit down at dinner. Their weapons were placed after they died. This leads Booth to have the commanding officer arrested for covering up the shooting of innocents and obstruction of justice. He still isn't a killer. The female of the team is. When they arrive to arrest her, she confesses. At the murder victim's funeral, Booth turns to Bones about the events in his own past.

Next week is the season finale for this series. FOX has already picked up the show for a second season, and I am glad to see that. This episode took us into the mind's of the team, Booth and Brennan, while dealing with a very sensitive topic currently affecting the people of this country. Debate on this topic is happening everywhere. I especially enjoyed the deepening of Booth's character in this episode. Him going to Bones and telling her about that event in his past really showed how close these two have become.

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