American Idol–The Helaine and Stef Director’s Cut

I cannot remember seeing a live stage show as astoundingly well produced as tonight’s American Idol. This is real live TV–no second chances.

american-idol.jpgI work nights–possibly you’ve already noticed this. I don’t get to watch prime time television much. There are no episodic shows I follow. I knew Dancing with the Stars ended Tuesday and American Idol on Wednesday, but not much more.

Oh–I heard American Idol was going to run until 10:07 PM, a perfectly legal weasel ploy to enhance the ratings on all Fox stations whose news would follow. In similar circumstances I’d do the same thing. Bastards.

With all this I was surprised to find Helaine and Stef awake when I got home and beckoning me to the TV. They spoke in code but I quickly caught on they had DVR’ed Idol and had parts for me to watch.

“The gay maybe not gay guy lost,” I said. Like Miss USA this contest will be defined by the second place finisher, not the winner.

That wasn’t where they were going. The DVR zipped along passing some pretty major musical acts and a lot of stage pyro. They stopped as the ‘eyeliner guy’ was singing “Beth” from Kiss. As he finished (only to return later with platform shoes tall enough to dunk in the NBA) Kiss came out in full makeup!

They’ve still got it! Even Gene Simmons’ tongue made an appearance. Stef complained she’d been born in the wrong decade.

Later Queen came on stage. I suspect Freddy Mercury would have loved to play this gig too.

The piece de resistance was Rod Stewart singing “Maggie May.” He is 64 and though his voice is a little thinner than it was in 1971 he rocks too! I wonder if he could identify his real hair color in a lineup?

I cannot remember seeing a live stage show as astoundingly well produced as tonight’s American Idol. This is real live TV–no second chances. I’m sure there were screw-ups they saw in the booth, but little of it was visible at home.

Job well done. Live TV lives.

When You Don’t Know Number One

Google has announced its Zeitgeist list for 2006.

I always thought this list should be their most popular searches. It’s not. Year after year the most popular search terms are pretty much the same… and I’m sure the Google boys didn’t want to let on what people are really searching for.

No specifics, but by and large, you’re perverted!

As Google’s corporate voice explains:

We looked for those searches that were very popular in 2006 but were not as popular in 2005 — the explosive queries, the topics that everyone obsessed over. To come up with this list, we looked at several thousand of 2006’s most popular searches, and ranked them based on how much their popularity increased compared to 2005.

Indulge me a moment. There are some entries we do have to discuss. For instance, number one on Google’s master list is Bebo. Yes – the world is searching for Bebo. I have no clue what Bebo is (and until a moment ago, I was going to type ‘who it is’)!

Let’s put this in perspective – each time I type Bebo, my spell checker reminds me I’ve done something wrong!

From Wikipedia: Bebo (pronounced “Bee-boh”) is a social networking website, designed to allow friends to communicate in various ways. It has developed into an online community where users can post pictures, write blogs and send messages to one another, and is similar in format to MySpace,, Xanga and Yahoo! 360.

Inferred in that is, I’m too old (or too married) to ‘get’ a social networking site. That’s depressing.

There are a few other interesting tidbits to be found. There was lots of buzz off the net (aka – the real world) this year for Dancing with the Stars and Project Runway. They’re both rounding errors compared to American Idol!

Likewise, the Super Bowl, World Series and Olympics paled in comparison to the World Cup – a non-event in the United States.

If you’re romantic, the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes wedding took 4 of the top-10 spots in the marriage list. Next year, we’ll see how the breakup rates.

Finally, who are the Cheetah Girls and why do so many people want tickets? Can a huge touring act be completely under my radar? Am I that unhip?