Hyphen TV: Happy Place

March 27, 2012

Christina works on a roof. Possibly of sadness.

It was Billy Joel week on American Idol,
and Heejun -- who was wearing a "Heejun We Love You" t-shirt -- seemed
to make a confusing impression on guest judge Diddy. "I don't know if
he's an actor or a comedian. I don't even know if he's Asian. He might
be black." Foreshadowing: this observation makes slightly more sense
post-performance. Heejun then continued on to the Tommy Hilfiger styling
room(?), where Tommy was joined by American Idol stylist Soyon An (whose blog is very cool, with lots of Idol and non-Idol photos and shopping tips). "Obviously I'm a really fashionable guy, as you can see." Oh, that kidder.

was actually looking pretty sharp for his performance of "My Life,"
wearing his signature slouchy hat and a bow tie as the piano started up.
He seemed to miss his cue, making my heart stop for a second, then
said, "Wait, wait. That's too slow for me. And I wanna DANCE!" He then
tore off his bow tie'd top, revealing a colorful t-shirt and moving to a
funkier, faster beat. If it wasn't already clear enough, the
performance was all about the act and barely about the song, which had
Heejun's voice and accent sounding stranger than usual to my ears. He
sauntered towards the judges and sang to their faces, then jumped into
the crowd, ran all around, and danced -- he was clearly having a blast,
and his adorable family in the audience was all smiles, but his breath
and already not-terribly-strong singing abilities suffered greatly. J.
Lo loved that he "had a little fun" and called the performance "a breath
[IRONY!] of fresh air." Admittedly, it was definitely different from
anything else that happened on stage that night. Steven called him
"He-Man" (better than "Hey Jun"), but then he showed his annoyance when
he said he took the piss out of the song and Heejun's "gotta take it
more serious." Randy said that Heejun was "vocally definitely missing a
bit." See what you think of the performance here.

            Heejun in the Tie of Seriousness

so it wasn't too shocking when Heejun landed in the bottom three for
the first time. How amazing is it, by the way, that he and Jessica will
be on the tour? Though Heejun promised backstage that "something crazier
is coming," Jimmy had harsh words for the goofy performance, saying
that it felt like "four minutes of a bad Adam Sandler movie that went
straight to DVD" (ouch) and reminding the contestants that they're
fighting for a record company to spend a lot of money on their careers,
and no one wants to spend cash on what is basically a big joke. Heejun
was one of the bottom two, but he was safe. Will he bring the promised
craziness this week, or will he take Jimmy's serious words to heart? It
seems that he can't help but do the former, but who knows how far he
could get by focusing on his vocal talents.

Heejun in the T-shirt of Crowd Surfing

had what seemed like a very productive meeting with Diddy, who told her
to pull back on what he called "oversinging," reminding her that less
is more. For a big belter like Jessica, this is pretty sound advice: as
we've seen time and time again on this show, when you start big, there's
nowhere to go for your big finale. Save something for the end and
people will get excited for that conclusion. Jess pulled this off to
perfection with her rendition of "Everybody Has a Dream," hitting an
insane high note at the end that had all three judges up on their feet.
Steven said that she's gone "way past" his judging (no kidding), J.Lo
said that the song was written for Jessica (cue Jess talking about her
dream and Idol and dreams and everybody having them). Randy said
that it takes consistency to win, and Jessica's had "a moment" every
time she steps on stage (not last week, according to them, but who's
counting). Check out that moment right here. Is it any wonder that Jess was safe as usual?

Jessica is bathed in the glow of awesomeness

I can't put it off any longer: this was not a pretty week on Survivor.
Bullying and mockery of Christina continued, but more intense and open
than ever. As main force behind the unnecessary meanness, Colton called
Christina a cockroach because she's survived so long and told her she'll
be the first one gone after the merge. Colton's lackey, long-time
Christina hater Alicia, was also openly hostile, with no one (that we
saw anyway) saying anything in her defense ... including Christina.
During the reward challenge in which no one on Monono performed well
(Colton and Alicia very much included), Colton called Christina a
"stupid idiot" for apparently not running back to the mat quickly enough
after she missed the challenge target. When it seemed like it couldn't
get any more blatant or cruel, Colton interviewed, "I hate her voice, I
hate her face, I hate everything about her." Wow. Tell us how you really
feel, Colton.

Again, I couldn't get over the seemingly unfazed
reception these two got from their tribemates. The most we saw was Jonas
interviewing that Colton and Alicia are "interesting" in the way they
get personal and feel the need to get in one last twist of the knife.
Interesting??? Finally we saw Christina trying to employ some strategy,
telling Leif that Alicia is aligned with the women on the other tribe,
and she'll turn on Monono as soon as the tribes merge. Alicia heard the
conversation and got right into the middle of it, telling Christina,
"You cannot play this game, you suck at it." When Christina tried to say
something to Leif out of Alicia's earshot, Alicia told her to "be a
woman and say it in front of me." Of course Alicia admitted in an
interview that Christina was completely right about her women's
alliance, but saw her own despicable tactics as completely justified in
the context of the game. Yikes.

Jonas and Leif discuss how everything seems totally fine at camp

the episode have gotten any weirder or more distressing? Cut to: Colton
moaning in pain, lying down with his head in the lap of ... Christina?!
"When someone is sick and needs help, I'm going to be there for them
... Colton will see I'm a good person." I know we miss a lot that isn't
aired, but I cannot for the life of me imagine how Christina could hear
the things we did hear and believe that one night of kindness could turn that vileness around. Need further proof? Check out this
footage that wasn't aired in the episode. Yep, that's the ol' slanty
eye. Just a little meaningless hate of Christina's face, right? It
doesn't appear that she knew, but ... come on, Christina! No head rub is
going to sway that level of racism, immaturity, and ignorance. This is reality TV, girl, not fantasy TV. Perhaps she's just a far bigger person than I am, which is undoubtedly true.

a not unwelcome but also not satisfying bit of karma, it turns out that
Colton likely has appendicitis and must leave the game. Obviously it's a
relief to get that hate party outta here, but oh how much sweeter it
would have been to see his tribe -- perhaps led by Christina -- vote him
out. I realize that that's unlikely. In another strange happening,
Jonas actually cried as Colton was carried off to go to the
hospital. He cried! He also observed that now is his opportunity to
"take the bull by the horns and make myself the leader," an interesting
thought from someone whose entire strategy was to follow Colton blindly
just one episode ago. Jonas's proclaimed plan might not come to fruition
now that the tribes have merged into one, but it'll be interesting to
see what happens to the dynamic now. This is likely a good development
for Christina, who was surrounded by as many enemies (Alicia, Tarzan) as
neutrals (Jonas, Leif). In case you need a refresher on Tarzan's take
on Christina, he told her in this episode, "You're a wonderful girl who
will be very successful, but you wouldn't be my friend" and then
interviewed that, "Christina sucks up and says just the right thing."
Imagine the nerve of this person, at the very bottom of this twisted
totem pole, trying to get people on her side! We got Tarzan's take on
race back when he complained that "people [of color] talk too much about
race" and he's sick of it. Hoo boy. They really got some live ones this

Christina is hopefully saving her challenge prowess for individual immunity

On RuPaul's Drag Race,
the queens were paired with their "frenemies" to perform a (live, not
lip-synced) song and dance. Phi Phi was paired with Sharon, the "Party
City" queen who had a blowup with Phi a few episodes back. Things got
off to a rocky start during their angel/devil rehearsal (Phi Phi as the
angel, of course) when Phi tried to outdo Sharon by singing in a weird
falsetto and adding in lots of runs that ... she didn't quiiite pull
off. They seemed to start getting along later, especially during their
prep when it was revealed (or at least I noticed for the first time)
that Phi Phi appears to use ... a glue stick on her eyebrows?! I'm sure
it was some kind of fancy makeup thing I'm not familiar with. But it
sure looked like a glue stick.

The performance was, to borrow a
word from Jonas, interesting. Though the coach/songwriter suggested that
Phi Phi tone it down, and though she did lose the falsetto, as Sharon
said, "I think she added a teaspoon or two of Christina Aguilera." Guest
judge Jennifer Tilly was impressed by the harmonics, but then things
went south and they were singing some clashing notes. Other guest judge
Pamela Anderson noticed that Phi Phi's look resembled Pam's own, and Phi
told her that that was her aim. The rest of the critique was unexpected
for this pairing: they were "almost too nice," the comedy was
underplayed (this is more surprising for Sharon than for Phi Phi), and
there didn't seem to be any shade in the performance at all. They were
the bottom two girls, about which Phi Phi huffily interviewed, "I was
nice to Sharon and it backfired." Okay girl, I think you've got some
selective hearing going. Phi was energetic in her lip sync, throwing her
wig off when it came unfastened, but she and Sharon were both saved
when Willam was mysteriously revealed for breaking a Drag Race
rule. What could it be? Has Phi Phi truly learned nothing from this
challenge experience? I think I know the answer to one of those

On Top Shot,
the contestants were shooting a cannon, which really excited IT guy
Chris. Not so excited? Chee, who was elected to sit out again by the
blue team. He was understandably frustrated, and I'm sure Chris's boyish
glee was no help. The blue team lost the cannon challenge by just an
eighth of an inch, and morale went from bad to worse back at the house
when Chris took it upon himself to go around and sum up the strengths
and weaknesses of each player's performances -- or as he called it,
"putting the data out there." Oh, Chris. You make the IT guy jokes too

Teammate Tim got upset by Chris's actions, accusing Chris
of naming everyone else's faults and glossing over his own. Tim thought
that he and Chris should be the ones up for elimination, but then Chee
practically begged to get sent out there so that he could do what he
came there to do: shoot a dang gun! It really is a bummer that he's had
to sit out two fun-seeming challenges, and he kind of embarrassed
himself badly on the rope swing last week. Ever the fair players, they
put it to a coin toss between Tim and Chee to go out with Chris, and
Chee was chosen. But then! The rest of the team decided as individuals
that it was just ridiculous to send one of their strongest shooters out
for possible elimination for almost no reason, so a last-second change
was made and Tim went out with Chris after all. The men had to throw a
primitive spear-like weapon called the atlatl (super fun to say), and
Chris started out with a couple misses. Then he went to his "happy
place," which he explained is "a penguin in an ice cave" that kept him
"cool and focused." If I weren't already a fan of this guy, he won me
over for life right there. Whether it was the penguin or a steep
learning curve, Chris turned the game around and scored time and time
again, ultimately hitting the smallest circle on the farthest target and
beating Tim 30 to 10. Stay with that penguin, Chris. He's really
steering you right.


Dianne Choie


Dianne Choie's TV is in Brooklyn, NY. She has a cat, several reusable shopping bags, and other mildly annoying stereotypes of youngish people who live in Brooklyn.



Thank you for sharing the link to soyonan.com!

Happy to spread the word!