Wednesday, February 8

Wait...American Idol is about people who CAN sing?

Enough is enough. It feels like this season of "American Idol" has been going on forever, but I can only remember maybe two or three Idol wannabes out of the bunch. Singers who might actually be deserving of their 15 minutes. In the premiere season of the show, the audition process focused on the faces we'd be seeing more of, like winner Kelly Clarkson and runner-up Justin Guarini. The morning after it was the worst candidates who were all the talk of the water cooler, though, and producers picked up on this fast.

At first I laughed it up too. Why people would humiliate themselves voluntarily for the entire country is beyond me, but it is pretty entertaining. Idol did a good job at balancing the good with the bad and it wasn't long before we were punching in numbers for our favorite top-tenor (haha, get the pun there? I know, I killed it, but I wanted to make sure you got it). Now they've added weeks for extra audition footage, and almost all of it is of people who must have lost dares.

Fortunately for me, last night was the final episode during the audition phase of the competition and Idol definitely saved the best for last. The series visited Boston for the first time since the series' creation and the judges seemed wowed by the history of the city and the talent we have to least in regards to the ladies.

There were few truly memorable auditions, but Wrentham resident, 17-year-old Ayla Brown looks promising. With a Senator father, TV personality mother and a full basketball scholarship to play for the Boston College lady eagles next year, Brown is definitely the All-American Idol.
(I know I said I hated the bad candidates, and I do, but I will say that Kenneth Maccarone's Cher impression was killer. JUST had to put it out there.)

Aaaand in other reality news, Kristin Cavallari's new reality show, "Get This Party Started," debuted on UPN last night. What's funny is that it's referred to everywhere as Kristin's new show, when the other host, Ethan Erickson, is famous for numerous television and film roles. That's gotta be rough...getting shown up by an 18-year-old made famous by her blonde hair and Daddy's credit card.

If you're like me, you were expecting "My Super Sweet 16" for all ages. What the show delivered was more of a "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" plot. Each episode will feature a new party and a new story of one person or family who deserve their dream bash. Last night was all about Alexis Jones and her family, who were forced to move into a hotel after their home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

Alexis' sister Arin contacted the show to make the perfect 21st birthday celebration for her sister. Posing as hosts for a talent competition, Cavallari and Erickson meet Arin and tell her and her sister that they're traveling to Las Vegas for the contest. In reality, it is just a cover up and Arin has to sneak away at opportune moments to help plan the festivities. Within just a couple days the Jones family and their friends are reunited for the first time since the devastation and the big surprise is revealed to Alexis with the totally pink, Mardi Gras theme party.

Part of me wanted the show to be stupid, and Kristin definitely acted the valley girl part, but the episode was pretty moving overall. The surprises kept on coming when the family's musical inspiration group, Mary Mary, made an appearance and both Arin and Alexis were given new wardrobes. Top it off with a new family portrait shot by famous celebrity photographer Tierney Gearon and a BRAND NEW FORD EXPLORER, the Jones family walked off with more than their share of goodies.

Looks like I have another guilty pleasure. So little time, so many reality shows.

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