My Friday Five: Shenanigans, Idol & Tourney Talk

Photo: Chris White
1. Idol Recap

My Idol recap is going to be short and sweet this week as the show really didn't throw any curveballs, at least for me.

First off, it was no surprise Sonika Vaid was eliminated. Sonika is a stellar talent for sure, but the remaining four outperformed her last week. Speaking of the remaining four, they are: La'Porsha Renae, Trent Harmon, Mackenzie Bourg and Dalton Rappatoni. Stay tuned for who I think will be leaving the competition a little bit later in this segment.

But first, what impressed me. Outside of the competition, Idol alum, Katharine McPhee, reminded me why I fell in love with the show. On Thursday's show, McPhee reprised her performance of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" that catapulted her into Idol history in 2006 - wow, I can't believe it's been a decade. McPhee gave me the refreshing I needed after I've criticized the show a lot in recent weeks. Check out her performance below.


Back to the competition, I was really impressed with Dalton this week. He gave two incredibly emotional performances that you could tell were not put on just for TV. The most powerful of which was his second song, Sia's "Bird Set Free." Check it out below.


I surprisingly do not have many disappointments this week. I will say, however, that Idol could cut the marketing campaigns for other things during the show and cut how many times we see Scott Borchetta. I couldn't keep track of how many times he was in the camera view. It's like the guy gets a bonus based on how many times his face ends up on camera during a show. It's annoying.

That being said, my Top 2 from this week are Trent and Dalton, which means my Bottom 2 are Mackenzie and La'Porsha. La'Porsha being in the bottom group may come as a surprise. I've increasingly become impatient with her. She's a superb talent, there's no doubt about it, but I feel like she has plateaued and is just coasting right now. I feel the voting public thinks the same. Mackenzie is no different. Although he's given some nice performances, I think Mackenzie hit his pinnacle when he performed his original tune "Roses" and is in coast mode as well.

We'll see next week. 

2. North Carolina's Shenanigans

On Wednesday, the Republican-led General Assembly called an "emergency session" in response to an ordinance passed by leaders in Charlotte regarding bathrooms and transgender people. The response, which was rushed through the legislature at warp speed and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory on the same day. is a sweeping law that not only opens the door for discrimination against the LGBT community but also puts a stranglehold on local municipalities and limits workers' rights.

Now, I won't bore you with all the details - you can check out this article for that - but I will give you my thoughts. Surprise! I'm not a fan of it at all. My voice has joined millions of common folk, politicians, celebrities, professional teams and Fortune 500 companies throughout the country denouncing the law. I think the tweet below pretty much sums it up...


And get this: the new law could strip the 2017 NBA All-Star Game from Charlotte if the NBA decides to relocate it as well as the 2017 NCAA Tournament First/Second Round games in Greensboro if the NCAA decides to do so. Many are calling for a boycott of North Carolina tourism as well. All of which would be devastating to the state economically.

I have several qualms about the new law and I'll address each one in the following sentences. First, this "emergency session" and subsequent law passage has been based on fear mongering. Plain and simple. Proponents of the law argue that Charlotte's ordinance would have made it easier for pedophiles - particularly of the male variety - to "pretend" to be transgender so they can go into a women's restroom and harm someone. There are three major flaws with that reasoning: 1) this is basically equating transgender people pedophiles, 2) since when are men the only pedophiles in our world and 3) if a pedophile wanted to harm someone, he or she would do so regardless of a law/ordinance being in place. A second qualm I have is the stranglehold the new law puts on local municipalities. Lawmakers added language that bars local governments from not only passing anti-discriminatory ordinances but also so-called "living wage ordinances" (see article) that would require businesses to pay more than the legal state minimum wage - which is a puny $7.25/hour. Oh, and let's not forget new language has been added that gives workers no course of action in the North Carolina court system if they're fired from a job based on religion, sex and the like, according to a tweet from State Representative Graig Meyer.

Bottom line, this law is yet another pathetic attempt by Republicans in Raleigh to undermine the people of North Carolina and it will have ramifications for some time to come. Welcome to North Caro...I mean the 1800s.

"...Love your neighbor as yourself." - Matthew 22:39 (NLT)

3. Tourney Talk

I'll start off by saying: QUACK, QUACK! The No. 1 seed Oregon Ducks defeated the No. 4 seed Duke Blue Devils Thursday night, advancing to the Elite 8 and, more importantly, sending that team from Durham back to where it belongs. Can you tell my bias? Haha! I won't do too much trash talking right now since Carolina takes the court tonight against Indiana in a matchup of two historic programs. The Heels are expected to win but it's always up in the air when it's NCAA Tourney time. Regardless of the outcome this evening, I'm proud to be a Carolina fan and would take it any day over being a Duke fan.

Go Heels!

4. Arrested for a VHS?

This is not a news story from The Onion. It's totally true.

A man in Concord, N.C. was arrested at a traffic stop because he had an outstanding warrant from 2002 for, get this, not returning a VHS tape to a rental store which has since closed. According to WSOC-TV, James Meyers has been charged with "failure to return rental property" which is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $200. The story went viral, prompting tons of reactions. I was pretty shocked about it myself. I mean, it's not everyday that you hear a story like this. However, I also had a bit of disgust about it because, come on, is it really pertinent to pursue this 14 years later, especially since the rental store closed? Not saying what the guy did was right by any means but it amazes me how police can make silly - yes, silly - arrests like this but there are so many unsolved cases out there.

5. All That Is Back

"Ready, yet? Get set!" All That is returning to TV - well, sort of. It was announced earlier this week that the cast of the hit Nickelodeon sketch comedy show are reuniting for the show's 22nd anniversary. Here's some "Vital Information for Your Everyday Life": the TeenNick throwback programming block, The Splat, plans to air reunion segments during an All That marathon April 16 and 17. E! Online reports that the segments will be cast member reflections of their days on the show. This is the latest in a series of comebacks for 90s kids TV. It was also announced recently that Hey Arnold! would return as a TV movie, picking up where the series left off, and hit game show Legends of the Hidden Temple would also be getting the big screen treatment. Needless to say, as a 90s kid, I'm t-totally stoked for all of this!

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