8 years ago my sister suggested I find a way to publish the amusing emails I sent her about our dog Zoe. Now there is blogging! Zoe tales are about Zoe (3 1/2 lb Chihuahua), Gracie (bigger and the world's friendliest Chihuahua) and other stuff I am thinking about. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Hit Me Baby One More Time: Week 2

Let me begin with a plug for Dancing With The Stars which is turning out to be a nice bit of summer fluff. I point you, as always, to TVgasm for an excellent recap, but encourage you to watch for yourself - watching more TV is good!

Now onto the recap at hand...

The show kicks off with

The Knack - My Sharona

The band wore very appropriate black suits with skinny ties, simultaneously giving nods to the 80's new wave skinny tie look and the Beatles (winking at being proclaimed the new fab 4 as we were reminded in their intro.) They really performed the song and were selling it. The audience was way into it, singing and bopping along.

Haddaway - What is Love?

You know this song as the soundtrack to the SNL Roxbury skit with Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell as clueless clubbers. Regarding Haddaway's performance - all I can say is, wow NBC is good with finding the absolutely campy-ist backup dancers to embellish the dance hits! Haddaway got 5 in tube dresses that barely covered them. The audience members bobbed their heads ala SNL but were more interested in what those dresses would reveal as they rode up with every gyration than in the song. Host Vernon Kay called the performance cheeky. Touche.

Tommy Tutone - 867-5309 (Jenny)

I give this band props for having fun with it and not acting above the show. It was a perfectly fine performance. Nothing snarky to say about it.

The Motels - Only The Lonely

The audience was subdued in its swaying, but there was polite recognition and cheering. Everyone knows this song but nobody loves it, I think. Also, it was a bit of a downer after 3 upbeat pop tunes. I never really dug Martha Davis (or the Waitresses.) Of the raven-haired new wave gals, I preferred Deborah Iyall of Romeo Void for her walking-the-edge-of-a-razor-could-snap-at-any-moment edginess.

Vanilla Ice - Ice, Ice Baby

So this was the big moment of the night - would he do Ice Classic? Nope, we got New Ice. But not so far removed from the original that the audience couldn't sing along with Rob's rap/metal version. And the audience ate up what Vanilla was serving.

Round Two - Songs from Today's Charts (and by that, they mean anything recorded after the last millennium when these bands had their hits.)

The Knack - Are You Gonna Be My Girl? (Jet)

Fine choice even though it was a bit out of Doug Fieger's range. The Knack managed to lend an appropriate nervous energy and again sold it with facial expressions, gestures and hip swiveling.

Haddaway - Toxic (Britney Spears)

We learned that Haddaway now plays golf. The backup dancers were back with truly frightening outfits featuring fishnet thigh-high stockings sticking up from under black boots and below denim minis and shiny bustiers. They managed to out trailer trash Britney. And, despite panning across a funny Kevin James look-alike in the audience lustily singing along, the performance failed to live up to its camp promise.

Tommy Tutone - All the Small Things (Blink 182)

Awww, poor Tommy has to work as a software developer to pay the bills - kind of sad. But Tommy did a nice job with this song, giving it a nervous, edgy punk pop sound that was pure Tutone. Nice, but the crowd didn't seem to dig it - they couldn't get into it without the exact copy and didn't react except at the chorus where they could sing along and bop as instructed.

The Motels - Don't Know Why (Norah Jones)

Well, they get the "you made it your own, Dawg" award of the evening for their sped-up version. Apparently they got the memo backstage that songs needed to be upbeat. I didn't like it and the crowd didn't know what to make of it and they just clapped along distractedly to the drumbeat since they couldn't sing along.

Vanilla Ice - Survivor (Destiny's Child)

Wow - when VI said he was going to do this as his cover choice, I thought "hmmm, interesting- girl power." But then the little promo before the song indicated that this was a selection from his new record. And sure enough this was not a cover, but a completely new rap with just a hint of the melody and the refrain "I'm a survivor." Poor VI - it is amazing how you managed to find the strength to make it through the fire that is selling 7 million records. Share your pain. But, props for being clever enough to figure out how to pimp your new record - nobody else did. The audience dug it and loved the choreography. So, damn - I think he's gonna win this thing. Will the money go to the Van Winkle foundation?

All around, a good time from performers who were, for the most part, spirited and game and even Vanilla Ice wasn't too bent on being a sad sack like he often is.

So ... the winner is: Vanilla Ice with his twenty grand going to Make A Wish (who I give props to for ending their practice of granting dying children their last wish to go hunting although apparently they didn't do it because they recognized the hideous irony.)

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