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« American Idol Recap, Tuesday, April 24: “Songs That Inspire": We Are The World of The Children Who Are Our Heroes But Do They Know It’s Christmas Time At All? | Main | Decoding Your PMS M.O. (MOODus Operandi) »

Thursday, April 26, 2007


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Diane- That is a touching story and I understand what the meaning is behind it. I also know about being a paycheck away from poverty (I am a full time student and a single mother - please don't think I'm lounging by the pool, sipping martinis and just decided to put my almighty two cents in.) I just know that I've received no help (and believe me, I've stood in countless lines to practically beg for it) and I've needed it desperately many times. Just like I can imagine those families in the Katrina trailers (and many more like them) need it. Yes, I have the opportunity for an education, yes we are not dying of malaria, and yes there are plenty of people here who would rather take a handout than glance at the want-ads, but there are many more that legitimately need help. And those are the people I think should get that help first because no amount of money is ever going to change Africa's situation until the root of the problem is fixed. That's all I was saying. I, too, look at the faces of those children on the screen and cry; I'm not heartless. I just think that when we, as a country, are "fixed" (which probably is a far-fetched, utopian idea) THEN we can offer our advice and help to others who need it.

So, I'm probably getting myself into more trouble by posting this. I really don't mean to anger anyone, I just feel the way I feel just like all of you do. I try not to have tunnel vision when it comes to things like this and I try my best to keep an open mind, but this situation just strikes a nerve with me and I have yet to meet anyone that can totally convince me that the current "solution" is the right one. I mean, we are giving them school supplies - are we making sure they are going to school or that they will have the opportunity to pursue higher education? We are sending medicine - are we making sure that they will continue with vaccines and check-ups? Are we even fully sure that this money is reaching them? I'm not asking these questions to try to "prove my point" because obviously I am not an expert on this. I really would like to know how we are following up on these families. I only know what I see on the news and I'm sure that's not always 100% accurate. I just don't have time for extensive research on the subject. Until I do though, I just keep thinking of another story: "Give a man a fish vs teach a man to fish" - I'm sure you've all heard it.

And by the way, I never started off saying that we should NEVER help anyone but our own. Again, if my donating money meant we were getting to the "root of the problem" so that these poor babies' lives could have more than just a dim glimmer of hope every now and again, I'd be breaking open every piggy bank here. I just don't think that that is what we are doing, even if we have the best intentions at heart. So since we can "control" (and I use that term loosely) our government better than we can others I just think there's a higher likelihood of change here than anywhere else. Would you take advice on how to raise your children from someone who couldn't clothe, feed or properly raise their own? My thought process may be way off because government and current events are not my forte, but please know that I am not trying to convince anyone to "take my side" through these postings. Everyone has a right to their opinion and I am just giving mine. I could be all wrong, believe me, it wouldn't be the first time!

Diane - Excellent post. Love that story - it gave mn chills and I won't soon forget it so Thank You!!

Laura, re-read what you've written up there. "Why should we help them when they can't help themselves" and "corruption is evident everywhere." In some of these impoverished countries, they can't help themselves because their own governments are selling them out. I won't get in a rant about the many ways the leaders of these countries make it impossible for their people to make a living, grow crops, but it is what happens. Yes, birth control would be nice, but these people often have no access to much simpler necessities. Ideally, they should be able to get birth control AND clean water and mosquito nets. And DEAR GOD I hope I never again have to hear the ridiculous sentence: "Why are we helping them when our own people are going without?" THERE ARE OPPORTUNITIES IN THIS COUNTRY. Yes there is poverty, but millions of children are not dying in the country every year because there is literally NO FOOD for them. Millions in the U.S. do not die from mosquito bites. Food is available, ways to earn money are available, medical attention is available. And please, no lectures on poverty because I've been there before and I'm usually one paycheck away from it again. Why should we care about them when they are just going to keep repeating the same mistakes? Because they are humans and individuals. People in my own household say, "Let nature take its course. When many of them die off from disease or starvation, the rest of them will benefit." In theory that makes sense. But look into the face of a mother whose child is dying for lack of the small amount of food that most of us throw away every day. These theories are great until you look at the individual picture.

This is one of my favorite stories. Maybe by reading it people will better understand what I'm trying to say.

Once a man was walking along a beach. Off in the distance he could see a person going back and forth between the surf's edge and the beach. Back and forth this person went. As the man approached he could see that there were hundreds of starfish stranded on the sand as the result of the natural action of the tide.
The man was stuck by the apparent futility of the task. There were far too many starfish. Many of them were sure to perish. As he approached, the person continued the task of picking up starfish one by one and throwing them into the surf.

As he came up to the person he said, "You must be crazy. There are thousands of miles of beach covered with starfish. You can't possibly make a difference." The person looked at the man. He then stooped down and pick up one more starfish and threw it back into the ocean. He turned back to the man and said, "It sure made a difference to that one!"

I know few people will read this since it's an older post, but I hope I can make someone understand why we should give to causes like AIGB.

PS: Go Jordin and Melinda!!!! (I'm torn between the two!) I thought I should say something American Idol-y since that's what this particular topic is about.

Well, thanks (really, not being sarcastic) for the education on Bush's charitable efforts but I still don't like him (my opinion, my choice, not trying to start a whole Bush/Anti-Bush debate).
T.J., thank you for summarizing in one sentence what I was trying to say in a whole novel: If they are not willing to help themselves, they do not warrant help. It may seem cold, but it's true. Like I said, I feel for the people who are suffering, but throwing money at them is just a temporary fix.
By the way, I am Mexican-American and I live on the border - I've visited our "sister city" in Mexico more times than I can count, and I couldn't agree with you more. Corruption is evident everywhere! If the local government gets away with being so dirty, I can only imagine what the national government is capable of. Again, poverty is all around and there are plenty of men, women, and children (poor little babies) living on the streets and begging for help. But, how can we help if their own leaders won't? I agree. It just seems like we are throwing good money after bad - and that money should stay and help people here. I am not a huge supporter of the way funds are distributed in this country at all, but if it's a choice between our people and Africa's, I think we should be priority 1. Let's fix us before we think we can fix anybody else.

Although I am by no means a "Bush Fan," TJ is correct.

Over the last 20+ years, public tax records show that both George W. and Laura Bush have consistently given approximately 12% of their annual taxable income to charity (recipients being mainly individual churches and well-established charitable organizations).

If you go back to 2004, you might remember that John Kerry stuck his foot firmly in his mouth and made himself look like a real asshat when he publicly questioned President Bush's personal charity-giving record. HUGE mistake that backfired on him in a very messy way - seeing as how Mr. Kerry, himself, rarely ever donated to charities and, when he did, they were paltry amounts (example - a grand total of $187 one year).

P.S. Bush gives a great deal to charity!

Laura, you have some very good points. The primary problem that I have with giving to poor countries, is the Governments of these countries are corrupt from top to bottom! Mexico is a prime example! We give miilions every year to fight the war on drugs and the vast majority of that money goes straight into the top 1% of their leaders pockets. The same goes for Africa. If those people are not willing to help themselves, then they do not warrant help.

You know, I have a really hard time with these "Give to Africa" benefits. I mean, I feel bad for these poor people and especially the babies, I really do, but I can't understand why we are sending millions of dollars to help when next year and the year after that we'll be asked to give again. There are never going to not be starving/sick people over there if they don't start controlling the excessive number of births every year. I understand that rape accounts for a lot of these pregnancies, but I just think that instead of using all the donated money for the obvious necessities, why doesn't some of it go to birth control and education. I've heard, I don't know for sure, that their society doesn't approve of birth control; if this is true, then I really don't understand how this is our problem - why are we sending money over to a problem that keeps multiplying daily?
Instead, why don't we first make sure everyone is clothed and fed here in the United States? Birth control isn't as taboo here, why don't we use that money to provide it here and, for lack of a better phrase, stop it at the source, which we can't do in Africa? I'm sorry, I do feel for them, but I don't think we are really helping if we are not getting down to the cause of the problem.

As for celebrities donating, I don't know if they did, but they should. If every person (not just celebrities) who had over 100 million dollars in the bank gave just 1 million, it would be more than a "measly" 30 million dollars. I know they work hard for their money, but there's only so many mansions and luxury cars that a person really needs. How much do you think Bush gave? (Uh-oh, can of worms just opened.)

One last thing. I'm a single mother too, so I know it would be killing me to be away from my child, but I also know that if being away meant having the opportunity to make our lives better than we ever dreamed, I would be playing the game right. Lakisha needs to think about that. I don't think she feels entitled or bored, I just don't think she has much of a personality. She needs to look around at her competition and realize that what makes them better than her is their likability factor. She has the voice to win, she just isn't allowing the public to get to know her. It's getting to the judges, too. I agree that she (or any of them) should never sing hits from past Idols, but I don't think her singing style has changed much since the beginning, yet they are now just noticing her "yelling the song", which I think she's always done but she still makes it sound good. They're just getting tired of her and her lifeless responses whether she's getting good or bad criticism. I know I am.

Ok, I think I've got it all off my chest. Sorry this is so long!

You mentioned in one of your posts how disrepectful you thought it was that Simon and Paula chitchat when the Idols are singing. This is what Simon had to say about that to People Magazine:

Simon: I Taunt Paula During Songs
By Mike Fleeman

One of Simon Cowell's habits strikes people as rude, even for him: While American Idol hopefuls are singing their lungs out, he's often seen idly chatting with Paula Abdul.

"I'm taunting Paula throughout the performance," Cowell explains on Monday's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. "I'm saying to her, 'Try to say something interesting, try not to use the words mountain and lakes in your critiques because it's always: You'll climb mountains, you'll swim lakes, whatever.' "

So how can he judge the contestants if he's so busy bugging Abdul? "I'll tell you a secret," he says. "I watch the dress run so I actually hear much, much easier what they really do sound like."

As for his Idol picks, he goes with the favorites Jordin Sparks and Melinda Doolittle, but says, "I wouldn't write off Blake [Lewis] or LaKisha [Jones]."

T.J., you make a good point. Actually, it really got me thinking. Ideal scenario? There would be no striving for wealth so there would be no disparate accumulation of it; altruistic love for one's fellow man would lead one to always share and to always be shared with. No one would lack. It doesn't sound ideal to me if I were to get all of the luxuries I want if that meant any number of people would have to barely scrape by...or worse yet, not make it.

The ideal, however, won't happen this lifetime, I'd bet. Communism has tried a forced version of it and other entities/religions have tried voluntary versions of it, but in the end that darn human nature of ours seems to undermine it. Although I don't think we can obtain the ideal here, but I think we still have to try. We need to take care of our families first, then share with others. How many of us have given and received back blessings that we had no idea we'd get? Maybe it's no more than a really good, peaceful feeling, but usually, that's enough.

Anyone remember that news story a while back of the patron who paid for the person behind them in the Taco Bell line, and that person paid for the next person, and so on, for hours? Sometimes it's the little things, the very little things, that teach us and our children what can make us really happy.

I'll step off the soapbox now and get back to yardwork. :-)

Carol, just a quick thought. As long as human beings are involved in anything, there is going to be poverty, corruption, laziness, scams, charity, help, rich, poor, fat, skinny, war, peace, blood, sweat, tears, and smiles. It all makes the world go round!

It's 5:52 on a Friday and I finally found time to get to Linda's blog....this is getting pathetic. I'm almost going to be glad when...GASP...the show's over! There, I said it! Although, call me a sap (sap), but I just loved the IGB show...schmaltz and all. I do see everyone's points about the exploitation, but I'm guessing that they're not going to care when the $60M that was raised gets dispersed. Know what I mean, Vern?

Linda, I almost choked on a cookie (and why am I eating a cookie with less than a month 'til wedding time?) when I saw the Paula/melons photo! It reminded me of that scene in Austin Powers with the perfectly placed fruit! Seriously, I think the corset was her undergarment and the six vodka gimlets made her forget the rest!

I would have gone on the doggie poop mission with your daughters during Il Divo!

Is Chris Hanson going to come get me if I admit that I was hoping to catch a glimpse of Daniel Radcliffe too?

Have a wonderful weekend!

To every one else posting - sorry for the silliness but some days ya just gotta laugh! I agree that in this day and age in this Land of Plenty it is criminal that ANYONE is hungry or homeless. If we as an electorate made sure our ELECTED Representatives know THIS should be a priority, then maybe it would be. But we can't merely sit back and complain - we need to DO something!! Email, fax or call your elected officials (on a regular basis) and tell them: take care of the Katrina victims; feed our country's hungry; why our so many military families on Food Stamps?; figure out what our country's homeless need to make it in society - mental health counseling, job training, whatever - and DO IT!

I agree with John in AK - start locally. One person CAN make a difference. Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen or Food Bank just once and it will change you forever, I guarantee it. For me, my first time was when I was still a teenager and I believe it set me on the path to a lifetime of volunteering...But that's just me!

I was going to pen an Ode to Linda...but I'm too tired from all the Rally Preparations. That poem cracked me up - lucky I kept my drink far, far away from my keyboard!!

Susi I have a question - if American Idol doesn't matter to you, how come you happened upon this site? Of course it isn't life or death, but reading Linda and Sandy's comments sure beats working...

Regarding food banks, the question should be this - How is there poverty in this country PERIOD. We are the wealthiest, most powerful country in the world. The powers that be should be ashamed of themselves, and until they change, anything that us plebs on Reality Street give is really just small potatoes... for want of a better phrase :)

Wipe out the third world debt, reassign the trillions designated in the name of defence, and start working on how we are going to make sure every single American citizen, every single earthling for that matter, has food and clothing. Only then can our leaders truly say they are making the world a better place.

I just have to say I really enjoy reading everyone's opinions. Free speech is great isn't it? There are so many in the world and in our own country that need help and every little bit counts.

I went one better. Those wax lips tend to get gummy after a while, so I am paying to have everyone's mouths Botoxed into a permanent grin!

After all, this is the most important thing in my life, EVER, EVER, EVER.

I am also flying in Smyla Angelou who will recite her newly penned poem just for the occasion...

Oh smile, smile, where do you hide
No grin, no smirk, are you alive?

Oh to see your Pearl Drops shine
ZOOMed white like toilet porcelain

But no! You frown, you skulk, you moan
You hide behind your microphone

Oh why doest thou seem so downtrodden
Is it because you feel so rotten?

Forced to sing, and dance so funky
Like some little circus monkey?

The judges words cut like a sword
Producers pimp you out to Ford

Your sleep they take, demanding much
Fans in the mall just want to touch

Hug me! Squeeze me! Sing they ask!
Some even try to grab your ass.

The spotlight mightn't be just what you guessed
But be happy cause you're really blessed

Others singers, better than you
Were sent back home while you got through

And now they see you grimace and pout
And hope America votes you out

So perk up soon or out you'll be
No more photo shoots or LIVE TV.

No tailored dresses or borrowed stones
No catered food or free cologne.

A smile is all we ask of you
Pay us back, we put you through

Act happy, even if it's fake
A vested interest we do take.

In fact Linda and Sandy cannot rest
Unless they feel you give your best

They toss, they turn, they weep at night
Longing to see your pearly whites

Their husbands pray to the Lord above
Because they ain't gettin' no love

You signed the contract, so perk up girl
No more looking like you're going to hurl.

The Rules - you must now abide all
So SMILE - you're on American Idol!

Audrey - Sorry, changing it back to the MOST IMPORTANT THING IN MY LIFE - the Please Kiki Smile Initiative. Linda - the sandwich boards are done and I have the Skywriter locked on. Did you remember to get the wax lips for all rally participants to wear?! Maybe if we show Kiki HOW to smile, it will help!

I ttuly believe that there are some people who either don't know about what is available to them, or they just don't qualify. I know that in Tennessee, after you have two kids, they don't support any more and if you don't find a job within a certain amount of time, that aid gets cut also. Maybe the refugee situation is a bit different. Also, all food banks aren't created equal. There was a CONSTANT barrage of inquiries to the public for assistance, as their shelves were almost always bare from them helping so many. In most states you have to be PO' to get food stamps and if you even work a little bit, you still have too much month left at the end of your money.

Not to change the subject, but...
I have what may be a naive question. Why is there hunger in our country when there is so much help available such as food stamps and food banks?? Maybe things are different in other parts of the country than they are here in NH, but I don't get it. I volunteer with a Somali Bantu refugee family and I know that they THROW FOOD out all the time because they either don't like it, or it spoils before they can eat it. They get nearly $1000 per month in food stamps (7 kids.) Are things really that different elsewhere in this country??

Gee Sandy...your smile is so sweet, I think I have a cavity in my retina.


By the way, you DID pull that all-nighter we talked about so you could get all the sandwich boards and picket signs made for the Lakisha Lacks Charisma Rally today, didn't you?

I was so busy working on mine last night that I told my kids to put some ketchup on their toemails and eat those for dinner - I really hope the puffy paint on my Lakisha Needs To Smile tshirt is going to be dry in time.

Yeah, Susi. My life here is on hold until EVERYONE agrees with my Kiki assessment. I hope my "sugary smile" will sway people's opinions...

Susi - In a word, Nope. In fact, the better conversations here stem from differing views.

The comments section is a forum for the sharing of opinions, viewpoints, and discussions on every topic - whether it be the Virginia Tech shooting, a man getting jiggy with a dead deer, or a contestant on a reality show.

Lakisha's rise or fall does not impact my life in the slightest, just as it does not cause a single ripple in your particular pond.

That does not, however, preclude having an opinion about her performances, perceived attitudes, and public persona.

Now you'll have to excuse me - my ax is getting a little dull - I need to go sharpen it...

Linda and Sandy,
You both sure do have an ax to grind when it comes to Lakisha. I find it very amusing that it's that important to you. Don't get your feathers all ruffled just because people don't agree with you. Really, you 2, you don't expect everyone to see it your way? LOL

If I were on AI and knew it was my big chance, I'd be smiling bigger than Sanjaya and Jordin put together! I'd kiss a few asses, appear to be gracious and laugh myself all the way to the bank. It is NOT enough just to be talented--you have to be able to SELL it! As far as the poverty in New Orleans--HAVE YOU BEEN THERE? HAVE YOU SEEN THE CITY? WHERE IS THERE TO GO? Only about a third of the people either stayed or came back to a place STILL ravaged by the storm. While I am certain there are folks who are just plain lazy, I am equally certain that there are plenty who just cannot catch a break. Before the hurricane, unemployment rates there were sky high and now you think it's easier to get a job? To afford to move? To provide a decent living for their children? Until the infrastructure of the city is rebuilt, which will take YEARS, it is going to be hard for most residents who decided to stay, to eke out a living.

Tires more easily... You'd think she was 63! Look, all of us moms do whatever we can to better our childrens' lives. It doesn't make any of us Mother Theresa. I wouldn't sit at a regular job interview with a sulky expression and try and rely on my having kids to get me the job. At the end of the day, AI is a talent competition for people who want to be in the limelight. She's not the only single mom, not the only parent to be an AI contestant. If she truly wants this thing she has to work the crowd, engage us, PERFORM. It isn't enough to sit with our eyes shut and listen to her voice. You don't sit at a concert with your eyes shut! And you definitely don't buy CDs just because the artist has a child!

P.S. The contestant's ages:

Melinda - 29
Phil - 29
Kiki - 27
Blake - 25
Chris - 22
Jordin - WE KNOW, Dawg, 17!

Soooooo, there goes the Kiki's older than the rest of 'em and tires more easily theory!

The Kiki Controversy - Being a single Mom is her hook. Even Oprah lobbed her a softball question about why she's doing this or something ANYONE who watches the show already knows - she's doing this to change her daughter's life. Good for her. Unfortunately for her, I think she just lacks charisma and star quality. I don't remember her exactly jumping off the screen at the beginning of the season but we had lots of distractions back then - Anhonella, Hairjaya & Legs Scarnato. Now with only 6 left and little to no distractions, Kiki can't hide her lack of "IT" factor, "YO" Factor or whatever you want to call it. Yes, she can sang but she seems limited, not too savvy about song choices and not very flexible. This IS a singing competition but being an American Idol is about the total package - not just the ability to sing well. Someone mentioned the grueling schedule - it's grueling for everyone. And that fact that she's "older" than the others and tires more easily? Give me a break - she's 27 not 87!!

On another note, someone mentioned Phil and his Navy hook (alluding to Josh Gracin and his being a Marine.) Personally, I don't think AI has played up the Navy thing a fraction as much as they did with Josh being a Marine. They practically had Josh singing in his Dress Blues (uniform). We didn't find out Phil was a sailor until he made the top 24 and it has barely been brought up since. The Philster has a couple of hooks - the whole missed his baby's birth thing, the Navy thing. I guess the smart contestants play up their hook the best they can but how much are they beholden to the AI PTB? Things like Hairjaya's crazy hair styles or Haley's ever-rising hemlines the contestants themselves can control. But something like Phil being in the Navy - unless he wears his "Officer and a Gentleman" Dress Whites to perform in, it's hard to work that in every week (yes, he did sneak that salute in there this week.) But what can Kiki do - short of wearing her daughter's picture on a T-shirt or one of those Proud Mom buttons on her jacket? She needs to have more than the Single Mom hook to make us care and so far, I think she's come up empty.

Discussion is good. The cycle of poverty, thoughts about self-determination vs enabling, who is deserving of help and who leeches… I’m not suggesting that the children featured in the show (and others like them) don’t need or shouldn’t have help… It doesn’t matter how they came to be here, or how they came to need the help… We should help those who can’t help themselves.

At the same time, it’s worth exploring how to help people help themselves. The New Orleans thing, for example… who knows why each trailer dweller still dwells there? I bet some truly have done everything possible to move on and I bet some have not. I bet some folks are denied housing due to race and I bet others are denied housing due to other reasons (previous evictions, poor credit ratings, criminal history, etc.). For some, maybe the trailer is the best, most stable, housing they’ve ever had…? To what extent are people stuck due to external influences and to what extent are people stuck due to internal influences? When should people be held responsible for their own choices and when should we assume people need intervention/assistance?

Once again Linda, you are right on the money. It was definately a teary-eyed night. It's unreal that we have such proverty in our very own country. Instead of "Idol Gives Back" they should have called it "America Gives Back" because it was "us" doing the giving. It would have been nice to hear how much any of the "celebrities" (other then Ellen)were giving. Also, did anyone see that cow Kirstie Alley wearing a Priest's getup? What was that about? Still, it's amazing what a good makeup artist could do because some of the celebrities looked like death warmed over ie: Teri Hatcher, Eric McCormick, Hugh Grant....Yep that Kiki definately looks bored. Do you see the puss she has on everytime the judges give their opinion? At first I thought it was her fake eyelashes weighing her eyes down...but even without them, she gives them the droopy eyed look. I hope it's her and Chris that get the boot next week.

Once again Linda, you are right on the money. It was definately a teary-eyed night. It's unreal that we have such proverty in our very own country. Instead of "Idol Gives Back" they should have called it "America Gives Back" because it was "us" doing the giving. It would have been nice to hear how much any of the "celebrities" (other then Ellen)were giving. Also, did anyone see that cow Kirstie Alley wearing a Priest's getup? What was that about? Still, it's amazing what a good makeup artist could do because some of the celebrities looked like death warmed over ie: Teri Hatcher, Eric McCormick, Hugh Grant....Yep that Kiki definately looks bored. Do you see the puss she has on everytime the judges give their opinion? At first I thought it was her fake eyelashes weighing her eyes down...but even without them, she gives them the droopy eyed look. I hope it's her and Chris that get the boot next week.

In several recent interviews - People, EW, etc - Lakisha has gone out of her way to let everyone know she is segregating herself from the other contestants and not getting "chummy". This stay detached attitude is seeping into her on-air persona and this is the result: the public is getting turned off.

LaToya London was fabulous, but she reeked detachment and was sent packing because the audience just would not support someone who seemed "above the proceedings".

Anyone who chooses the path of performance needs to learn to turn it on and off - ON being when the spotlights are shining in your direction.

Lakisha is not going to win this - that much is evident simply based on vocal quality - and I am reasonably certain she knows this, but she is attituding herself out of what she will need for any future success when this show is over: audience support and goodwill.

I just wanted to chime in and say I absolutely agree with you, Lizzieb. LaKisha doesn't look annoyed or divaesque to me. She comes across as being extremely nervous and even more frustrated. Besides, even in the beginning she was never one of the shiny, happy, people. I think her worst fault, where AI is concerned, is that she's a serious person who just doesn't have a whole lot of personality. People often take that for snobbishness or divatude. See Gayle Sayers.

As the show is moving forward, the judges reviews are getting worse and worse, and yet I don't think she's giving any less than her all in every performance. While her reviews are tanking, someone like Chris gets patted on the back for sounding less whiney and nasaly than usual. If I were her, that would frustrate the crap out of me too.

Also, she's not the charismatic, youthful, charming beauty that is Jordin. She doesn't have the down-home, girl next door, folksiness or the control and training Melinda has. She's not in the Armed Forces, which past AI experiences shows us will get you a long way. And more than that she's not a cute guy that teeny boppers are going to vote for no matter how horribly she sings. This is make or break for her and it could change her daughter's entire future. She's got a helluva lot more riding on this than anyone else. She's nervous, probably scared out of her mind she's going to blow her shot at making it. Let's face it, she, like Phil, has little chance of making it in today's pop world. A place like AI is it for her.

To me, just as it's rather silly to assume Melinda is putting on an act, I think it's equally so to assume a girl who's consistently been in the bottom three lately, gotten fairly bad reviews the last few weeks, is suddenly, inexplicably getting a big head. What actually makes sense is that she's losing a contest in which she started out being the one to beat, she's well aware of that fact, and she's letting it show.

Well you can't teach a man to fish if you didn't realize he was hungry. . .

Do you walk around telling homeless people to get a roof to put over their heads?

Did you read the article that said that the Blacks in New Orleans are being discriminated against by property owners and they can't rent a new place to live.

Oh, and if their jobs are gone, how are they supposed to afford to move out of a trailer park.

And a job at Wal-Mart or McDonalds is not going to go a long way towards supporting a family. I work as an Engineer (I have an MS & BS degree) and my husband works full time and with our three kids, it can sometimes be a stretch. I pay almost $1600/mo in childcare. This is more than what someone working a minimum wage job even makes in a month.

Kudos to Idol for at least opening this dialogue. I just only hope that people don't forget about this when it's not right in their faces.

Linda, another great recap! That's a lot of time you put out there to make sure we get our morning laughs.

To lizzieb and a few others, really, what does it matter if Simon, Randy, Paula, or Ryan are publicized as having given $X? (Sorry for the algebraic reference, Linda.) The only way to come out of it well is to NOT say what OR even if they donated at all. If they say, "Yes, I donated," we all want to know how much to judge whether we think it is enough. If they say, "I donated $10,000," we want to judge them for bragging about it.

A certain amount of announcements about donations is useful (like Ellen using her $10K donation as motivation to others), but anything more than that is boastful and takes away from the spirit of charity. They were ALL involved in putting this charitable event together, and were that all they did it'd be enough for me. There are no hypocrites here; they all made an effort.

This $30+ million is going to go a long way to helping people that might not've happened otherwise. Nobody should be pressured into giving--oh wait, the government already does that with taxes. :-)

ROFL! Just so I'm clear, Lakisha is not to be criticized, but the celebrities, judges and people of Africa have been cleared for open season? Did you truly say that they shouldn't have children they can't afford? OMG!! Perhaps you should be touring Africa or better yet, you could have actually paid attention last night. You did hear the part about children raising themselves due to their parents being dead, right? A lot of those children were a product of rape.

Some of you have forgotten irregardless of this one show, this is American Idol...a singing competition and whether we close our eyes or look directly into their eyes, some of them have it and some of them don't! Vote for who you like, but don't bash and then try to defend one for being tired, missing her child or being in desperate need of a producer!

Each of them knew the magnifying glass they'd be under and that they need to act like they are truly vested and interested in being there, winning and having a career at this.

Technically, Lakisha is only better than Chris in my opinion. It's her time to go and if my votes matter, she will. She could have garnered more interest if she'd acted differently, but it really comes down to singing. The reason they're there!

well i guess im kind of agreeing with marci, the whole give a man a fish he eats for a day, teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime theory. these people that live in these horrible conditions should not be reproducing, period. so if that takes education, birth control, whatever, thats what we need to be spending the money on. in regards to the fema trailer situation, why are there people still there after 2 years? because they have not gotten off the couch and done something to help themselves. just because a hurricane hits LA, the government now has to pay to help these people for the rest of their lives? dont get me wrong, i believe in helping people who truly need it, but give me a break, most of these people could walk down to mcdonalds or walmart and get jobs tomorrow. those trailers were set up as TEMPORARY shelters for people who lost their homes, not to live in until the next government handout comes their way.

whoa - sorry for the double posts, the server just did a funky chicken.

Why are people so bitter about the celebrities? They did donate time which is something that they can do to help what they feel is worthy, what they do beyond that is their perogative. Bottom line, if they want to donate more than their time - so be it. If they don't - so be it.

If us who are not celebrities want to donate something that we can do (money) that we feel is worthy - so be it. Sure we worked hard for it, but it's everyone perogative to shell it out where we want to, celebrity or not.

So instead of worrying about what those who can afford to contribute did and how much - maybe we should focus on what we can afford and how much, if we want to.

Why are people so bitter about the celebrities? They did donate time which is something that they can do to help what they feel is worthy, what they do beyond that is their perogative. Bottom line, if they want to donate more than their time - so be it. If they don't - so be it.

If us who are not celebrities want to donate something that we can do (money) that we feel is worthy - so be it. Sure we worked hard for it, but it's everyone perogative to shell it out where we want to, celebrity or not. If you worked too hard to part with it, then don't. Worry about your own pocketbook rather than Hollywood's.

I think the contestants knew about the results.
No one looked nervous when Ryan had them stand up and no one let out a huge sigh of relief when they were told they were safe.
Even Jordin smiled as she stood there alone.

I think they should have revealed who were the bottom 2 at least,
and then allowed them all to stay 1 more week and combine the votes.

Kelly Clarkson is the best Idol winner by far.
Carrie Underwood is good, but Kelly has a more soulful style that I prefer.

Can you even compare Kelly to a Taylor Hicks??? Not even close
(more comparable to Kath McPhee)

Pink, Borat, J-Lo, Gwen Stef were all no shows.
I wonder why.

I thought the Celine thing was a whole lot of hype for noting.
The technology was cool, but maybe since I am not a Celine fan, (her facial expressions bug me), I think they could have picked a better star for Elvis to duet with.

Paulas boobs did look ridiculous.
In most cases, you would say when someone wears something like that, they look good (even though ridiculous at the same time) but Paula still looks freakish, no matter what she wears. Her hair, makeup, facial expressions just look too overdone, over surguried for me.

I like Randy's clothes. Very hip.

Bob… not self-righteous, just practical and idealistic. And I understand the points you are making and the lack of education/cultural support/access to birth control/etc. All the more reason to also funnel money into prevention while at the same time assisting the children already here and suffering.

While the donations of school supplies, medicine, mosquito nets, etc. are helpful, they won’t solve the underlying problems. I wrestle with the notion of personal responsibility… I don’t like to think that people (no matter how poor, culturally influenced, isolated, etc.) are unable to reason and assist in solving their own problems…I give people more credit, perhaps, than I should…

Just a thought about Kiki. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen! People like her should not try to do these type of shows. They go into it knowing full well what the sacrifices are and then cry like babies when they don't see their family for a couple weeks. Just like Survivor. People as a whole are a very sad lot!

Again, way to go BobC. Lakisha has the most to lose if and when she's voted off. The others, are either young and have their whole lives ahead of them or like Melinda, are going to get a contract no matter what. Lakisha is, apparently, a single mother trying to make it. You can tell she's extremely nervous when it comes to the results shows. I also think all of the contestants are tired. It sounds like a grueling schedule each week with no breaks, made all the more easier the younger you are. Face it, older people tire more easily and worrying about and just missing your child would be all the more tiring.

Note to Lizzieb and BobC, two peas in a pod- first of all, Jerry Lewis has twenty four hours air time and 30 years of history behind his tremendous work with fundraising, so to compare the two is laughable (btw, Jerry raised $67M last year, so not a bad start for AI). Secondly, to assume that the "rich stars" haven't donated is absurd. Most have their own charities and fundraisings of their own (I know, as I do their books!), and besides giving their time and talent, most also give a personal check. They usually request that it not be publicized for obvious reasons. Many of the talent that you've judged so harshly are coming from home or from a set after 18 hrs. of shooting and are tired and sans make-up, or are still in makeup from their shoots. To criticize them at all- for their looks, clothing, or anything- is just wrong. Lastly, speaking of wrong what exactly does "how much good can you do for a group that thinks boinking a virgin will get rid of AIDS" really mean? We are talking about a third almost fourth world country with thieves who portray themselves as government leaders and military protectors running the show. They are underfed, malnourished and uneducated. To blame them for their plight and for this insidious disease is baffling, to say the least. Once again, I say if these victims resembled Nordic Vikings instead of African tribespeople, it would have been wiped out years ago. I think your statement makes that even more clear.


I'm sorry but I have to take offense at your "don't have kids you can't support".

1) A lot of kids in Africa are the product of rape (without condoms) which leads to AIDS/HIV. There is a lot of tribal/national upheaval there at present and, as always, it's the women and children who suffer.

2) Many folks in the US do not have access to birth control or the education to use it properly as some of us do. Luckily I grew up in a household with educated parents and health insurance and knew how to make good choices regarding my body and my sexuality.

3) How can you expect people to learn proper sexual attitudes with the smut, filth and excess being demonstrated by their role models -- namely their parents and the media they are bombarded with everyday.

Blanket statements like that just show ignorance and insensitivity.

Linda, sorry for the tone here but I can't stand self-righteous people.

Thanks, Mike Burns, for your comments on Kiki--this talented woman is being dissed because of her lack of smiles?? Come on, America--where is your compassion for this single Mom who is separated from her daughter while the judges play mind games with her? If you want to vote fairly, close your eyes during the performances and vote for the SINGING--it is a singing competition (Simon's words), isn't it?

Weird show… just, odd… And yet amusing and sad. I couldn’t help but think, though, that 1) the celebs are playing on the sympathies of middle-classers to raise money when their freakin’ t-shirts probably cost more than my Ford truck… and 2) Don’t have children you can’t support. Sorry, but there it is…

Hatcher did look just… bad…poor thing. And I too noted the Mama Cass/Kelly Clarkson correlation.

Jack Black is awesome…sorry Linda, but listen to his Tenacious D album (after a couple margaritas) and begin to appreciate his clever satire of metal and his musical prowess. There’s more to him than School of Rock…. Would be seriously awesome if Black were the mentor for a night and the songs were either metal or satire…. Let the kids show their charisma and humor. (If that’s even possible for Kiki).

I wonder if Hugh Grant's lawyer will get him excused on today's "Baked Bean Assault" by touting his great dancing on the Idol Gives Back show!

I was in tears for a large portion of last night. I wish I could adopt that 12 year old boy and his sister. The saddest part is that my kids don't get it yet. Yeah they're still pretty young but my oldest dd just didn't understand that there are kids who don't have parents, who have to sleep on the floor and who would be grateful for the clothes/food/shoes that she says she doesn't think are cool/yummy/new.

Good recap. I think that it is good to show that "We Are the World" and "Let Them Know It's Christmastime" didn't solve all the problems over there and that it is still ongoing.

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