alycewilson (alycewilson) wrote,

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No Superstar

Performance is only one factor in the voting for American Idol, as demonstrated by last night's result.

Although few would argue that Brooke White and Jason Castro turned in the worst performances this week, both of them were saved from the chopping block, presumably by fans rushing to rescue them. This left Syesha Mercado and Carly Smithson in the bottom two.

Carly, however, bears most of the responsibility for being sent home. While she initially showed bright promise, starting with the first week, she failed to impress. She was often burdened with bad song choices, easily thrown by different genres.

While some weeks her vocals were more impressive, her performances from week to week were inconsistent, with a couple so bad she seemed destined to leave.

This week, her performance of "Superstar" from Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Jesus Christ Superstar" was energetic but primarily a one-note performance, where she simply belted her way through it. As she sang the song one last time, the lyrics seemed strangely prescient:

Every time I look at you
I don't understand
Why you let the things you did
Get so out of hand
You'd have managed better
If you'd had it planned
Now why'd you choose such a backward time
And such a strange land?


Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ
Who are you? What have you sacrificed?
Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ
Who are you? What have you sacrificed?
Jesus Christ
Do you think you're what they say you are?
Jesus Christ
Do you think you're what they say you are?

Voting, though, is based on more than talent, with personality playing a role, especially this late in the season. Her fellow contestants, Brooke and Jason, have been perpetually humble and positive, while Carly has occasionally answered back to the judges' criticism, coming off as whiny.

This week, she might have put the nail in her own coffin with a stunt she'd clearly planned. After the judging table, where she got a positive, if not gushing, review from Simon Cowell, she dashed off-stage where another contestant tossed her a T-shirt, her size. It said, "Simon Loves Me (This Week)" or words to that effect. She held it up, bounced around, all smiles, seeming to think she was terribly clever. But this stunt likely backfired. First, it reminded the audience that she hasn't been receiving consistently good reviews. And secondly, it made her seem boastful. That simply doesn't fly with viewers, who like their Idol winners to be both talented and likable.

For any Carl Smithson fans who are disappointed she didn't continue, let this serve as a warning. Even on the weeks you think your favorite contestant is safe, you still need to vote. As the joke goes, vote early, and vote often.

Earlier this week, I asked The Warrior Princess, a.k.a. which_chick, for ideas about what to do with a jar of wheat germ I'd bought.

I'd only used a small amount of the wheat germ for a recipe, and now it was taking up space in my refrigerator. She suggested a number of options: adding it to bread or cookie recipes, add it to my yogurt along with granola, sprinkling it on hot cereal. So I decided to add it to my favorite smoothie recipe, and I was pleased with the results.

Alyce's Super Smoothie
(serves 1 or 2)

1/3 of a 1-pound package of light silken tofu, drained
1 small container (about 4 to 5 oz.) light yogurt, any flavor
1 banana
1 cup (about 6 medium) strawberries
1/2 cup granola (such as Go Lean Crunch cereal)
1/2 cup milk or juice (orange or berry works best)
2 teaspoons wheat germ
1 teaspoon reduced fat peanut butter
1 teaspoon honey (optional)

Combine ingredients in a blender. Mix until the smoothie reaches an even consistency.

This makes for a filling, yet light breakfast or lunch for one person. Or, it could be split between two or three people as a refreshing snack. If you don't have strawberries, substitute a cup of any other type of fruit. Berries work particularly well. I like to add the granola because of the texture, but you could substitute another 1/2 cup of fruit instead. If you use sweetened juice instead of milk, you probably don't need the honey.

You can also add a tablespoon of sliced almonds. If you'd like your smoothie to feel more like a shake, add some crushed ice (not ice cubes, since they don't work as well).

I love this recipe, because it's filling, refreshing and light. It combines protein with two (or more) fruit servings and some dairy, along with vitamins, minerals and fiber from the wheat germ, granola and nuts. If you use strawberries, the smoothie takes on a nice pink color, which makes it seem inviting and fun to drink.


Don't brag until you know you've won.

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Tags: american idol, food, music, television, warrior princess

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