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Archive for January 18th, 2011

Hogs Announce Inviting 2011 Football Schedule

Posted by Adam Butler on January 18, 2011

228 days. Tyler Wilson–you are on the clock.

That is about the best schedule you can hope for right now if you are a SEC West member. Wilson and the new offensive tackles get a 3-game, home, dress rehearsal. The open date comes at a favorable time, the “swing” games (AU, USCE & MSU) are in Arkansas and a 2-game roadie to Nashville and Oxford looks as winnable as a 2-game SEC road trip in October has ever looked.  

Yes, the Hogs play at SEC heavyweights Bama and LSU, but those games bookend the SEC season, and, with a ton of returning talent from a 10-win Sugar Bowl team, Arkansas should be ready to go toe-to-toe with the Tide and the Bayou Bengals in ’11. Find a way to split those and Arkansas should be back in BCS Bowl consideration, again.

Also, interestingly, CBS pretty much admitted its mistake and moved the Arkansas/LSU game back to the Friday after Thanksgiving. It was on the Saturday after Thanksgiving the last two seasons after tradtionally being a Friday affair.

Posted in Sports | 4 Comments »

The Idiot Box

Posted by Jeff on January 18, 2011

The Return of American Idol




It’s back but he is not.  Tomorrow, American Idol returns for its 10th season.  But unless you’re just now emerging from that rock, you know that Simon Cowell is not returning.  Ellen DeGeneres and Kara DioGuardi are not returning either.  They will be replaced by two music industry heavyweights, Aerosmith frontman, Steven Tyler and pop legend, Jennifer Lopez.  More on them later but first… Simon.

Simon Cowell defined the show.  It was his acerbic, brutally honest comments on the contestants’ performances that drove the show and more importantly the water cooler comments the next day at work.  Cowell is a record producer.  He had the credibility to give honest assessments but more importantly he lacked the fear of being labeled a “meanie” or being reviled by viewers and contestants alike.  As much as it might bother host Ryan “Dim the Lights” Seacrest, Cowell was the face of Idol.  No matter how good Tyler and Lopez are, they will always be compared to Cowell or at the least will cause long time viewers to pine for the days when Simon would skewer an off-putting performance.

The credibility that Cowell had was what put Ellen DeGeneres behind the eight ball from the start.  DeGeneres is a comedian, actress and talk show host.  From the get-go she was questioned as to why she was even there. Kara DioGuardi was most known for her work as a songwriter and record producer but she struggled trying to find her role. She eventually replaced Paula Abdul after Abdul left due to a contract dispute but DioGuardi could not decide if she wanted to be the sweet, “nice try” judge or if she wanted to take the line that her record producer colleague Simon Cowell had drawn.  Either way, she never really found her way.  The only returning judge is Randy “Dawg” Jackson.  He and Seacrest will try to maintain the continuity of the show but it’s the chemistry between Jackson and the new judges that will be immediately critiqued.

New Idol judges, Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, some random zombie

Steven Tyler has probably taken the most heat for this career move. His own band mates are not thrilled with it.  Joe Perry even went so far as to state that he did not want the name “Aerosmith” associated with the show.  He has a problem with the fact that it is reality TV designed to sell ads.  In an ironic twist though, Perry said that he was still OK with contestants singing Aerosmith songs… from which he earns royalties.  Actress, dancer and recording artist Jennifer Lopez seems to be a less surprising but also less interesting.  She certainly has the cred they were looking for.  Jenny From the Block has been on the stage since her time as a “Fly Girl” on In Living Color.  Since then she has recorded seven albums and acted in numerous movies and TV shows. She has won AMA’s, Latin Grammys and numerous other awards.  She is certainly qualified but will people watch?

There are several other changes for this year’s edition of Idol.  The head of the Interscope Geffen and A&M label, Jimmy Iovine will serve as an in-house mentor to the contestants.  There will not be celebrity mentors as in years past.  They also plan to extend Hollywood Week which will cut the field of semi-finalists down to 20.  Executive Producer Simon Lythgoe also said that theme weeks will be broader to allow contestants a wider variety of song choices.

While American Idol’s ratings were down last year, it is still the juggernaut that all other show producers respect and fear.  Time will tell if the new faces and changes will change that or if Idol will continue its phenomenal dominance.

Randy says I am "pitchy."

Posted in Entertainment, Pop Culture | 2 Comments »

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