My Prediction on Who Ali Fedotowsky Will Choose for the Finale, Plus “The Men Tell All”

Seriously, it’s my job to mockingly keep a count of how many times Kasey says “guard and protect your heart”, not Chris Harrison’s.

Currently stealing my thunder and my idea of the "Ali Tally".

The Bachelors did a good job of making fun of themselves and each other, like when Kasey sang a newly written song for Ali entitled “You Left Me on a Glacier” and when Craig challenged Justin to an olive oil wrestling match.  That means there’s not a lot for me to do here today as far as recapping.  But still, my job is to pick out the idiosyncrasies of the show, calling out its the subtle and almost hidden agendas.  And thanks to Justin, “Bachelor Pad”, Jessie Sulidis and Kirk,  I’m still able to do that.

America is supposed to equate this man with a Communist spy.

Agenda #1: Get everyone to agree that Justin did a bad thing.  What an easy target.  We’ve all already established what he did was stupid back when his final episode air, but just to make sure we realize that Justin committed a cowardly reality TV show crime, Chris Harrison gave anyone on set a chance to throw a stone at the memory of the three-timing Canadian wrestler.

Agenda #2: Advertise for the new upcoming trashy Bachelor spin-off called “Bachelor Pad”.  Of course it looks like something Fox would have aired circa 2001.  Needless to say, I will not be recapping any episodes of it, nor will I be tempted to watch it.  Chris Harrison told us it has everything that Bachelor fans want to see; more like everything Rock of Love fans want to see…

Agenda #3: Give Jessie Sulidis more unnecessary air time to attempt to kick-start her acting career.  (Her resume is all over the Internet.)

"Most Likely to Succeed in Being Picked as the Next Bachelor"

Agenda #4: Try out Kirk as the new Bachelor.  Same thing happened with Jake Pavelka on “The Men Tell All” last year.  He’s the only Bachelor they put in the “hot seat” without trying to embarrass.  Kirk was portrayed sympathetically as a guy who “got his heart broken on a journey to find love”.

My Prediction on Who Ali Chooses:

Call me old-fashioned, but I’m not a cheater.  While it would be pretty easy to find out Ali’s pick from some blabbermouth website with about 45 seconds of research, I choose to wait like the rest of the country until it’s officially announced next week.  From just nine short weeks ago, when I did my first recap for Ali’s season, here were my initial thoughts, as cited in Ali Fedotowsky the Bachelorette: Episode 1- Cowboy Boots.

Predictions of who will “win”, if anyone:

My wife- Frank

Me- Roberto

Our mutual runner-up: Chris L. from Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Well, if Frank wouldn’t have ended up already having an Italian girlfriend back home in Chicago, he would have obviously been the winner of this thing.  And while Chris seems like a solid choice, he’s probably more like the kind of guy who should be chosen as the next Bachelor, not end up with the current Bachelorette.  But since, as previously mentioned, the Bachelor producers have already decided that Kirk gets that coveted role, it looks like Chris will be left out in the cold.  Literally, in Cape Cod.

Roberto, with his soap opera good looks, will be the one Ali chooses.  And if I’m right about that, I will be quite amazed I predicted it right from the first episode.  If nothing else, I should give myself a pat on the back, for the right reasons, of predicting the Top 3 along with my wife.

But ultimately, it’s all meaningless.  While Ali chooses Roberto, I see it as a short-lived thing.  Like really short.  Maybe three weeks.  This is not a spoiler, just a gut-driven prediction.

If I’m wrong, my reputation as a writer is on the line and you’ll never read one of my recaps ever again.  If I’m right, then it means I’m really good at analyzing The Bachelorette and making accurate predictions.  In the words of the Simon & Garfunkel song “Mrs. Robinson”: “Either way you look at this you lose…”

Hall and Oates are Officially Cool Again, Says Me

They make my dreams come true.

Yesterday my wife and I were hanging out at our new favorite brunch spot in Nashville, The Perch.  As we were waiting on our crepes, we both had our laptops up and running (she was working on stuff for her Master’s program, and I was catching up on burning about a dozen CD’s that I’ve bought since last December).  An energetic couple sat down at the table across from us; as she walked past, the wife snuck a peak at the pile of CD’s I had laying on the table.

“Just checking out your musical style”, she said with a curious smile.

I lifted up Landon Pigg (a local Nashville artist recently featured on an ATT commercial) and Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson to give her a good idea of exactly was is music to me.  She approved.

But then, I pulled out the one she couldn’t see because it was currently being burned.  And that definitely got her attention as well as her husband’s: The Essential Hall and Oates.

She eagerly told me about Daryl Hall’s current website, in which he invites special guest musicians to play concerts in his house.  Within a minute, she had emailed me the link.  http://www.livefromdarylshouse.com/index.php?page=ep30

As if it wasn’t obvious, being that I’ve referenced Hall and Oates in the last couple things I’ve written, I’m a little bit obsessed with this feel-good duo.  Maybe it started when they performed on the recent American Idol finale and I realized they not only are still performing but also haven’t changed who they are one bit.  Because there was John Oates bouncing and bopping around on his electric guitar and Daryl Hall running the show in all confidence.

Some musical acts could have only been popular during the time they were popular.  Hall and Oates is the epitome of them.  The late 70’s and early 80’s were the only time that a male duo singing group looking the way they did and performing the way they did could not only get away with it, but have six Number Ones and have 34 singles to chart.

The duo of course is comprised of  Daryl Hall (of Scottish heritage) and John Oates (half Italian, a quarter Spanish, and a quarter British English).

Hall and Oates is also the kind of musical act that sings so many more songs than I ever realized.  I’d been hearing their songs all along, assuming it was a random one hit wonder.

If I was asked two weeks ago (before I bought their 3 disc greatest hits set) which songs Hall and Oates sang, I would say “You Make My Dreams”, “Maneater”, and “Out of Touch”.  Just the tip of the Oatesberg:

Here’s a brief looks at their credentials:  Their six Number Ones were “Rich Girl”, “Kiss on My List”, “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)”, “Maneater”, and “Out of Touch”.  A few of their 34 singles that charted include “You Make My Dreams”, “You’ve Lost That Loving Feelin’”, “One on One”, “Say It Isn’t So”, “Adult Education”, “Method of Modern Love”, and “Sara Smile”.

But after listening nonstop to the 40 plus songs on the 3 disc set I bought exactly a week ago, my favorite song of theirs, to my surprise, is not “You Make My Dreams” (which hilariously leads into the guitar solo with the lyrics “well listen to this”).  It’s instead one that I truly never heard prior to seven days ago.  A song that peaked at #6 in June of 1983.  The song is “Family Man”.

Complete with a grungy guitar riff reminiscent of Weezer’s 2001 hit “Hash Pipe”, perfect back-up vocal spurts, and the off-beat subject matter (for a pop song) of a faithful husband and father basically saying “skat!” to a temptress.  And best of all, it was a hit in 1983.

As I recently explained to a friend who was much less familiar with Hall and Oates as I made him listen to them in my car, “They’re the kind of music you should listen to if you’re considering suicide.  You’ll change your mind by the end of the first song.”

Now Simon and Garfunkel, well, that’s a different story.

Karaoke is Funny: I’m Turning Japanese, I Really Think So

For the last 10 years, I believed the urban legend that “karaoke” is Japanese for “tone deaf”. I wanted that to be true. Because that would be funny. Instead the word just means “empty orchestra”. Thanks Wikipedia, for bursting my bubble.

I am hardly ever exposed to social events that include karaoke. But in the back of my mind, I am constantly juggling around songs that would be good ones in case I suddenly had to participate in a karaoke contest. There is an art to choosing a good karaoke song.

The point of singing karaoke is not to show off a person’s singing talent, but instead their ability to entertain. There should be a rule that no serious songs can be sung while participating in karaoke. No Celine Dion. Nothing by Whitney Houston. And definitely not “Bridge over Troubled Water” by Simon & Garfunkel. Too sappy and too difficult to pull off for an amateur.

It’s okay for a person to sing horribly if they know they are not an awesome vocalist. But when a person thinks they’re pretty decent and actually tries to sing well, but then falls flat on several parts of a Josh Groban song, or hits the notes too sharply and loudly, “clipping the mic”, that kills the mood.

That can make things awkward, causing the audience to hope that the next performer will perform an obviously stupid song like “I Wish” by one-hit wonder Skee-Lo (“I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller…) or “Peaches” by The Presidents of the United States of America (“Millions of peaches, peaches for me…”).

An ideal karaoke song also should be one in which the singer can incorporate stupid dance moves during the lead guitar solo and fade-out. I am set on “Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen. Or “That’s All” by Genesis. Or maybe best of all, “The Heart of Rock & Roll” by Huey Lewis and the News. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZFqA8JJQj0

Surely I couldn’t go wrong with those songs. Because I couldn’t go right. And that’s what truly defines karaoke.