Pop goes the world

Ruben won “American Idol”. I am very pleased. I gleefully watched the two hour grand finale show. Both Clay and Ruben performed, as did last year’s winner Kelly Clarkson, but when this year’s third place getter, Kimberly Locke, sang “Midnight Train To Georgia” I got goosebumps. I don’t normally get goosebumps.

The first “Popstars” TV show was made in New Zealand. People like to laugh at TrueBliss, but it launched the careers of the five girls. Erika hosts “RTR”, Joe was a presenter on M2, and she also sings in this corporate functions type of singing trio. Carly’s gone solo and is doing pretty well. Kerry and Megan are… I dunno, but I suspect they’re not on the dole or working in retail.

So would it not be the coolest thing to have a “New Zealand Idol” contest? Would it work? Would people accept the idea or would all the punk-arse bitches get all cynical about it and start spouting the same old complaints about manufactured pop? I think it would be fun.


TV2 are being very cool and showed the second-to-last “American Idol” episode tonight, only hours after it went out live in America, rather than keeping it until the regular Sunday night time slot. The final is screening tomorrow night, but no doubt I will know the winner in advance thanks to the informative inter-web.

Ruben did a lovely version of “Imagine”. Clay sang ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water,” which I was expecting to really kick arse, but just didn’t do anything for me. But the highlight of the show was when Paul Anka came out and sang a rewritten version of “My Way”, which summarised all the laughter ‘n’ tears ‘n’ shit of the previous weeks.

If there is justice in the world, Ruben will win. But I’m prepared for Clay to be the winner because he seems more popular.

“Big Brother” is getting so much more interesting now that the houses have been joined and there’s a pool and a spa. The housemates are getting drunk and getting in the spa and getting naughty. Yes, very good. More, please.

Keeping up the television theme, I was watching “A Cook’s Journey” and Mr Bourdain was in England visiting some women who were making him some Indian food. At one stage they were cooking some stuff in a pressure cooker, and he had to leave the room because he had this fear of pressure cookers. I was really excited because I too have a fear of pressure cookers. I can not stand being around them. I think it stems from the fact that there’s heat and pressure and if something were to go wrong with the release valve, it would explode and that would be really scary.

I also fear microwave ovens. That also comes down to an fear of exploding, which stems from movies like “Gross Pointe Blank” (some explosives were put in a microwave), and just the whole symbolism of the digital clock counting down to an explosion.


I got a hepatitis b vaccination today. When I was at high school there were free vaccinations offered (“Hep B Won’t Get Me!”). I didn’t get it then because only the dorky kids were getting them. I remember asking one of my dorky friends what it felt like. She said the needle hurt when it went in, and she could feel this burning sensation as the vaccine travelled down her arm. That was enough to totally put me off getting it.

But today when the doctor stuck the needle in my arm I felt nothing. When she pressed the plunger down on the syringe, slowly releasing the vaccine into my body, I felt nothing at all. If I hadn’t been looking at the needle in my arm, I wouldn’t have known it was actually happening. All that’s left is a tiny pink dot where the needle went in.

I was thinking about how parents try to calm their kids before they get a vaccine shot by saying “it won’t hurt”. Well, if you’ve never had a needle go in your body, why would you be expecting it to hurt. By saying that it won’t hurt brings up the subject of pain and gets the kid thinking about it, when maybe they previously wouldn’t have. Ow!

I vaguely remember getting a bunch of vaccinations when I was about 4. The nurse gave me some Pebbles afterwards but I didn’t know what to do with them, and they just melted in my hand.

The episode of “American Idol” where five became four was screened tonight. I knew already that Trenyce was the one who left, but I didn’t realise that Ruben – not Josh – was the other of the bottom two. The main theory as to why this travesty took place is because a) most of Fox’s target audience are young white people, so they’re going to vote for people like themselves, and b) Josh the marine gets the post-9/11, post-Iraq patriotic American vote. Yeah, the military are voting for Josh, just like they voted for Bush.

If he doesn’t get kicked off the show this week, I’m going to cry. He might be a good idol as an American, but the show isn’t really about finding an American idol, but rather an American pop idol. He’s not – he is simply not – a better singer, performer, or potential pop idol than Ruben, Clay or Kimberley.

Ok, and Big Brother. I like the new way they determine the nominees for eviction. In the past each housemate as nominated the two people they want to leave. One gets two points, the other gets one. Then the top three housemates with the most points are the nominees.

This time round, the housemates voted like that, but they also had to nominate two people they’d like to stay the most, also giving two and one points. The “leave” nominations were totally ignored. Instead the “stay” votes were tallied and the bottom five people became the nominees.

They mostly match with how it would have been if the old system had been used. The notable exception was Vincent. He was nominated to leave by most people in his house, and under the old system he would have been a nominee. But because a couple of people gave him “stay” votes, he avoided being up for eviction. I had an erotic dream about Vincent last night.


“American Idol” is screened here five days after it’s shown in America. That time gap is enough for the show summary written by the “Jaded Journalist” to appear on the American Idol web site. This means that by the time the weekly performance show screens here, I know already which contestant is cut in the following eviction show.

I thought that reading the recaps would make watching the performance show unnecessary, but I’ve discovered that I really like watching the American Idol contestants performing. That Clay, he’s such a nice young man. It’s really cool watching the not-so-great contestants struggle through the big high notes – and it’s kind of reassuring knowing that the next few contestants to be cut won’t be all that surprising.

Plus, this week is going to be disco week, so I’m really excited about that.