American Idol – Results

American Idol

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Tonight was the results show. I loved the little acts they had the contestants do!

First up was Scotty and Lauren with Randy Travis’ “I Told You So.” I loved it!! Those two sounded great together. In my opinion, I think Lauren’s voice was so tender. Loved it. Scotty starts doing those weird facial expressions. Oh well. I do wish I could buy the single! 

Next up was Jacob and Naima singing Ashford and Simpson’s “Solid.” The dancing and the singing was just awkward. Their voices were just…odd…together. Not my favorites in the competition anyway. I’m not a bit surprised that Naima is in the bottom three.

Oh look, Fantasia. She looks…different.

The next contestant act was Haley, Thia, and Pia with Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream.” Cue the Warbler’s from Glee, please. 🙂 I was surprised to see that Pia could do something more than a ballad, as odd as it may seem, lol. Thia. Whatever. Haley, she’s cute, but seems like she would be annoying in person. Thia in the bottom three. Not suprised.

At this point, I do want to comment that I do like how they are revealing them with the little acts. 🙂

Is it time for my fave? James?

Yep. It’s James, Casey, Paul, and Stefano. They rocked it something amazing. They sounded like the Beatles. 🙂 Of course, this means they have to send someone to the bottom three. 😦 I like all the guys. Paul in the bottom three. His voice tends to drive me crazy, but I don’t want him to go home yet. As long as it’s not James.

Oh look, Jamie Foxx and irritating will.i.am. eyeroll. Rio looks good…and cool dancing. Then, they start singing. Next.

It looks like Paul will be here next week. Only three girls left. Let’s hope they can bring it.

Great season!!

Discuss, if you like!

Dolly, Tornado, and a Barnstormer

This past weekend, after a long, cold winter, Dollywood opened up for it’s 26th season. With much fanfare and aviator sunglasses, Dolly pulled a lever on the newest addition to the park, the Barnstormer. The Barnstormer is located in the new Owens Farm section of the park. You may know the section by it’s former names of Daydream Ridge and Dreamland Forest. The Barnstormer is an S & S Power Screamin’ Swing.

Other information from Dollywood’s website about the Barnstormer and Owens Farm:

Enjoy the same breathtaking moments that daring stunt pilots of the1920s might have experienced as they zoomed over the fields of nearby farms.  The $5.5 millionBarnstormer features two pendulum arms with seating for 32 riders.

Seated back to back, riders travel progressively higher on each swing of the Barnstormer’s massive arms, reaching a maximum speed of 45 miles per hour and 230 degrees of rotation. At its peak, the Barnstormer reaches a staggering 81 feet in the air!

Located adjacent to the Mountain Slidewinder, the Barnstormer rests amid a big, red barn, creating a huge, barnyard-themed area which includes a 22-foot by 16-foot bi-plane play area as well as a pig pen water play area for children.

That section is beautiful! The old “Critter Creek Toys”/”Tree Trunk Treasures” store is now “Granny Owen’s Toys, Gadgets and Tools.” They’ve done some remodeling in the store and they sell some cute new merchandise relating to the Barnstormer. The old “Daydream Diner”/”Mountain Dan’s Burgers”/”Ranger’s Cook House” is no more (although the restaurant has been gone for the previous two seasons. Instead, the old queue and seating areas for the restaurant have been converted to “Granny’s Garden” and the “Pig Pen.” “Granny’s Garden” utilizes the old “Tiny Tots Playground” crawling structures and the “Pig Pen” relocates the former “Bullfrog Creek” squirting fountains from the old Dreamland Forest. It’s a very cute section and kids really seemed to enjoy it. The Barnstormer itself takes up a huge space, but a new crawling structure/play area has been built next to it. It’s a crashed bi-plane with a slide and other features. With all the changes to Daydream Ridge/Dreamland Forest/Owens Farm over the years, one constant attraction in that section is the Mountain Slidewinder. It’s still there, with a little bit of a new entrance/sign. It’s a fantastic section and Dollywood really outdid themselves.

The weekend also saw the opening of Festival of Nations. Three new shows include: Samaia: Legend of the Caucasus, a show from Georgia, Oisre, a show with the music of Ireland, and Los Pampas Gauchos, from Argentina. It also brings the return of Drum! from Nova Scotia, Canada. It’s a personal favorite of mine, and a must-see! Festival of Nations will be featured now until May 2nd.

Here are some other changes to the park this year:

  • “Red’s Drive-In” has had a complete renovation. They’ve enclosed the carport area of the restaurant (where the classic cars used to be) and also part of the outdoor seating area to make additional indoor seating. The counter has changed in the fact there are several more registers with an improved flow to the speed of service. The food has also changed! The installation of a charbroiler brings charbroiled burgers and chicken sandwiches. The burger bar with just lettuce, onions, tomatoes, and pickles has been changed to include sauteed mushrooms and onions, as well as relish and salsa. A big improvement!
  • “A Touch of Ireland” and “Old Flames Candles” have swapped stores. “Uncle Bill’s Music in the Valley” is now located in part of the “Valley Carriage Works” building.
  • The “Sweet Shoppe” has changed some of it’s building, too. The Taffy Kitchen, that used to house Mr. Percy (the talking stove), has been repainted to a bland (in my opinion) white walls with colorful trim. Also, they have built a “lollipop tree” in the middle. It’s neat, but I think it looks boring.
  • The “Tater Patch” now serves Petro’s Chili and Chips (complete with Hint of Orange tea!).

Of course, my trip to the park wouldn’t have been worth it without a ride on the Tennessee Tornado! I also bought the butterfly jump drive they sell to acquire the ride photos, entrance photos, etc. for only 6 bucks! 🙂 Here are my family’s pictures.

My mom, my sister, and my brother and me:

My brother, and his friend:

Well, there you have it. My take on the opening and the changes for Dollywood 2011. It’s looking to be a fantastic season and I’ll try to post more pictures and whatnot later. 🙂

American Idol

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Anyone watch American Idol? I used to be a huge fan…especially when Adam Lambert was on the show. I loved him. The next season, I felt like the show had no personality or originality. Also, it had Kara Dioguardi (the spelling may be wrong, but I don’t care, lol). I think she ruined the show. She was a waste of space. Her critiques were self-indulgent and irritating. I wanted to watch for Ellen, but I just couldn’t do it. Too much was too much.

When I read Simon wasn’t returning, I was sad!! I loved him. It got worse for me when I read that Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez were signing on as the new judges. What?? Ew!!

I want to take this time to formally apologize to them and Fox. They have been so great for that show. It’s new and fresh. They aren’t mean. It’s a breath of fresh air. I also love the addition of Jimmy Levine, president of Interscope Records. His continual mentoring/producing has helped the contestants be the best crop we’ve ever had.

Tonight’e episode was amazing. First of all, it included music by Elton John. Always a good option, I must say. My favorite on the show is James Durbin. As I type this, I’m listening to his version of “Saturday Night is Alright (for Fighting).” Amazing. He’s right up there with Lauren Alaina. She rocked it with “Candle in the Wind.” I actually cried. 🙂

If you watch it, who’s your favorite? What did you think of this season’s changes?

Have an awesome day!!
Joie M.

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