American Idol Producers Lack Character and Integrity

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OK, so I have to vent and share my frustration for what I believe is American Idol’s lowest of the low, most disgusting act last night.

I refused to watch last season because I didn’t think the show would be worth viewing after Simon Cowell’s departure, and I wasn’t exactly a JLo fan. That being said, I was compelled to watch this year’s auditions, especially after seeing the commercial promo with Johnny Keyser singing his rendition of A Change Gonna Come–you know, the one who Jennifer Lopez fawned over and decided his fate right then and there by telling him, “You know you’re gonna be a star, right?” Unfortunately, he was cut before the top 24 was chosen.

Jermaine Jones didn’t make the top 24, either, but in a strange twist producers decided to bring him back, and he ended up receiving enough votes to make the final 13. It seemed America and the judges were falling in love with the “Gentle Giant.” But as it turns out, Jones has a bit of a criminal past, and as a result, he was told he could no longer be a part of the show.

I wondered how producers would explain his dismissal on tonight’s episode, and sure enough, Ryan Seacrest opened with comments that they lost a cast member. But it didn’t end there. Seacrest continued, saying there would be more on the issue later in the show. I wasn’t prepared to watch what ultimately became a human being’s humiliating moment aired on live television for millions to watch.

Courtesy of FOX

I sat in disbelief with my mouth hanging as executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick sat Jones down to discuss his many warrants and arrests. They told him had he come forward with the information, they might have been able to work with him. Yet, they thought it was acceptable to record such a private and confidential discussion. Where’s the integrity in that?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not condoning Jones’ omission, he should have come clean right away, but his past does not condone the actions of Warwick and Lythgoe. I also wonder why producers were not privy to this information before the show went live. And now I can’t help but wonder if they agreed to bring Jones back with intentions of embarrassing him on national TV for the sake of ratings.

Starting Over

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I know it’s eight days into the new year, but, Happy New Year!

2011 was a shaky rollercoaster ride for me–a year of ups and downs. Like everyone else, the beginning of 2011 had such promise to be a great year, and it started out that way. I was hopeful, excited, dreamy, anxious. I spent two weeks traveling around Turkey–Cappadocia, Antalya, Olympus, Sirince, and finally Istanbul–I graduated at the end of May, and moved to what I thought was going to be my Mecca–Atlanta.

Naively optimistic, I anticipated on landing my dream job within the first month of living there, but the great recession (that I tried so hard not to succumb to) had other plans. Not to sound like an egotistical snob, but I have a great resume, and gosh darnit, I have a masters. A well-educated, smart, and talented young professional is not supposed to have a hard time finding a job.

I received a rude wake-up call.

So after three months of running into brick walls and faltering job leads, broke and unable to financially support myself, the only thing that made sense was to move back to Texas into my parents’ home.

I had hit rock bottom.

But the ten-hour drive allowed me to think. There’s something about getting out on the open freeway, jamming and singing loudly to the radio, seeing the beauty that is America, that gives one a sense of freedom and clarity. On my drive further South, I knew I’d have peace of mind (knowing that I’d have a roof over my head and an abundance of food to eat). Forget that I’m a grown woman who moved out of my parents’ house in the mid 90s and have been an independent woman for more than fifteen years. I had (have) a support system in my parents.

Within a month of being home, the phone calls came rolling in. I started lining up interviews. Granted they were not for my dream job that paid my dream salary, but the positions would have allowed me to utilize my degrees, talents, and skills, and afforded me the ability to support myself. But the positions went to other candidates. What seemed like my new beginning quickly folded and before I knew it, I was having to start all over… AGAIN!

Rock bottom number two.

I slipped into a mild depression. I began to question God and my purpose. My faith dangled on a lifeless thread, and I sulked in my own pity. I was angry, pissed. I had given up. This lasted an entire month.

As I confided in my real friends and family and continued to pray, that clarity that I had gained while driving the interstate 2 months prior resurfaced. I began to write more. I began reaching out, forming new professional contacts.

I’m proud to write that I have found my purpose. I have a new attitude and before 2012 rang in, I had already decided not to settle for less than. I know my talents, know what I excel in, and know what I have to offer.

For months, everyone who I’d come in contact with repeated these dreadful phrases: (1) Everything happens for a reason. (2) Your time is coming. (3) Enjoy your free time. (4) Trust in God, put Him first, and He will lead your path. (5) God does not make mistakes. (6) Just be patient.

Even though I knew their intentions were good, I hated hearing it. In fact, it infuriated me. But you know what? They were absolutely right! I may not be gainfully employed, yet. But I have figured out that if no one will give me a job, then I’ll just have to create my own. Create my own destiny. And that’s just what I did.

The beginning of my empire is in its baby stage, and I’m so excited about what the future will bring!

Is This Love?

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As you will soon find out through future posts, Corinne Bailey Rae is one of my favorite recording artists. With so much subpar to talentless acts out there, it’s refreshing to know that there are still singers out there (like Miss Rae) who can actually, well… sing… without the assistance of Auto-Tune.

For some reason I woke up singing her rendition of Bob Marley’s “Is This Love.” It’s from her most recent album “The Love EP.” Though an extremely gifted songwriter herself, Rae covered classic tunes such as Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing,” Paul McCartney’s “My Love,” Doris Day’s “Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)–one of my very favorites on the album–and Led Zeppelin’s “Since I’ve Been Loving You,” and made them her own.

If you’re a fan of real talented artists who can command the stage without a bunch of half-naked flailing dancers shaking their body parts, I highly recommend you purchase this album.

Here’s a a little taste of what to expect.

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe…

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Anyone catch the season finale of “Against the Wall?” Abby finally made a decision between Danny and Brody, but of course, the writers chose to leave the audience hanging. I know… that’s why it’s called a cliffhanger. In the meantime, who do you think Abby will be spending all of her free time with in season 2? Personally, I’m Team Danny. 
 
I’ll be sure to tune in to find out!
 
Missed passed episodes? Catch up here.

 

 

Friday Jam

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I was well into my 20s when I found out Bobby Caldwell was white. I guess you can say he’s one of the pioneers of “blue-eyed’ soul. Til this day, “What You Won’t Do For Love” is one of my all-time favorite songs. I heard it on the radio yesterday and haven’t been able to get it out of my head, so I’m taking y’all back down memory lane along with me. Sit back, relax, and groove to this 70s R&B classic.

Enjoy… and… Happy Friday!!!

Waiting

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Currently, this is me, playing the waiting game. Except I don’t own a pair of pink heels. I had two interviews this past week, and I’ve been patiently waiting (until today) for a phone call. The job I really want is an editing job in Austin, and who could blame me. What’s not to love about the Lone Star’s capital?

It’s the home of the University of Texas–one of the finest higher education institutions in the nation. It’s the Silicon Valley of the South and provides opportunities for businesses–established and starter companies. It sits on Lake Travis, which is a double plus, considering I love the water. I can’t swim a lick, but I have an affinity to the water and water sports. I see myself owning a WaveRunner and a boat once I’m settled there. There are year-round festivals, the city hosts South by Southwest (SXSW), it has a large music scene, and it’s a haven for anyone in the arts.

If all that isn’t enough, no one can argue the beauty that Austin has to offer.

God, I hope I get a phone call today.

31 Day Reset: Day 1

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Hard to believe it’s the first day of August, considering I just graduated from grad school this past May.  Seriously!  Where does the time go??? 

Today is also the first day of Rosetta Thurman’s all new 31 day-reset challenge.  I initially joined the challenge earlier this year, but never completed it because I had so much going on at one time and, unfortunately, I was a bit disorganized.  Now Rosetta has updated the challenge for 2011, and I’m so looking forward to seeing the new changes and exercises.

Day 1′s first exercise was simple enough:

1. Designate a blank notebook to ‘record our responses, insights, and “aha moments” throughout the challenge.’

I chose a yellow 5-subject spiral notebook I had lying around.  It tucks away nicely in my everyday purse so I can carry it around when I’m out and about to record my “aha” moments.

2. Choose a Personal Mantra.

For the 2010 reset challenge, my mantra was George Eliot’s quote, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been,” which I firmly believe.  Though it’s a personal mantra, for the new challenge I chose “I will not stand in my own way.”  It seems the older I get, I slowly lose my confidence, and it is because of fear that I have been getting in the way of accomplishing the success I have dreamed about since middle school. 

I’ve also taken comfort in scriptures such as Matthew 7:7– “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”  And Deuteronomy 31:6– “Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lory your God goes with you; he will never leave you or foresake you.”

I have many interests and talents and I refuse to not share them at the risk of given in to fear, which is not of God.  2 Timothy 1:7– “For God has not given the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

3. Choose a Theme Song.

As of late, my favorite artist is Corinne Bailey Rae and I can’t seem to get enough of her music.  “Seasons Change” has been on repeat on my computer for the past week.  The words say everything that I’m feeling, so it only makes sense to use it as my theme song.

To learn more about the 31 Day Reset or to participate in the challenge, click here.

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