Thursday, March 8, 2007

The Top 8 girls once again did much better than the Top 8 guys, and will have to say goodbye to two more tonight, despite the fact that whomever gets eliminated will probably be a better contestant than one of the last two guys who move on.

The best from last night? Same old story. Again, it was Lakisha Jones and Melinda Doolittle doing the best, performing "I Have Nothing" and "I am Woman" respectively. They are the only two I would condier to be locks to get into the Top 12, but I'd put Jordin Sparks in there too.

The "not so good"? Antonella Barba again struggled, and Haley Scarnato had a tough night too. It's a shame Antonella will probably survive, but Haley will most likely be cut tonight.

So, here's the prediciton... I was 2 of 4 last week (3 of 8 for the season), so I'm swinging for the fences and hoping to go 4 of 4 this week! Starting with the girls, it will be Haley Scarnato and either Sabrina Sloan or Stephanie Edwards... I think Sabrina Sloan did worse last night, so I'll pick her. With the guys, Phil Stacey will regret picking a Leann Rimes song, and Jared Cotter will finally hurt from not getting a lot of screen time in the early auditions. Yes, Sanjaya and Antonella will advance, and yes, the judges will lecture America again about voting for the best singers. As far as the surprise, I think we'll see Idol integrating itself with a charity this season... we'll just have to see!

Watch for the results tonight at 8 PM on FOX!

So you've been working for your company at least a year. . . and you figure it's about time that you get a raise. Take in these seven tips to help you get one. . .

1) REALIZE THAT YOU *DESERVE* IT. Remember to tell your boss that it's not that you desire a raise. . . but that you DESERVE one. Simply "wanting" one won't get you anywhere.

2) BACK IT UP. In order to have any sort of shot at getting a raise, you have to be able to back it up. Show your boss some examples of major assignments you worked on that you got good feedback on.

3) USE OTHER EMPLOYEES. Sometimes another employee or supervisor will give you some positive emails. Show these to your boss, as well. . . it proves that you're a team player.

4) KNOW YOUR ROLE. Know how your part in the company is useful. . . and why you're better at your job than any other person they could hire tomorrow.

5) KNOW YOUR PRICE. You don't want to go in and blindly ask for a raise WITHOUT knowing how much of a raise you want. But be reasonable. You're most likely going to have to negotiate.

6) AVOID AN ULTIMATUM. Don't use the whole "I need a raise or I'm quitting" thing. . . unless you've already got another job waiting in the works. You might end up without a job entirely.

7) TIMING. The best time to bring up a potential raise is during a performance review or a promotion. It's best not to do it at the watercooler or when your boss is having a bad day.

According to the Conde Nast Bridal Group, the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is now up to $27,852. And, as people are getting married later in life, they have more money, so they aren't dumping that cost on their parents. . . 32% pay it themselves.

If you spend that much, to pay it off in one year, at 12% credit card interest, it'd cost $2,475 a month. Two years, $1,311 a month; three years, $925 a month.

Sharon Rich is a financial planner in Massachusetts. . . she says, quote, "You don't want it to overlap with the cost of children and buying a house." So, she says, don't spend more on your wedding and honeymoon than you can repay in 24 months.

It's been 13 years since "Forrest Gump" came out in 1994. . . but there may FINALLY be a sequel. There had been TALK of a sequel six years ago. . . based on the follow-up novel, "Gump & Company".

But the author, Winston Groom, decided that Paramount didn't give him enough of the cut from the first movie. . . so he refused to sell them the rights to the sequel. Groom and Paramount have apparently settled their differences.

It's still far from a done deal, but the producers are said to be meeting with TOM HANKS and GARY SINISE (who played Lieutenant Dan in the original) to have them return for the sequel. The story would pick up where the last movie left off, and this time Forrest would appear in events from the 80s and 90s.

The Soul 2 Soul 2007 tour will be in Fresno on August 7th. Tickets go on sale March 17th. Country's first couple promise very a few changes to the set, but the set list from last year's Soul 2 Soul 2 tour will change. The three-hour show will feature the concert debut of several songs, but will continue to include such hits as "Live Like You Were Dying," "Breathe," "Everywhere," "Cry," "Real Good Man," "It's Your Love," "This Kiss," "Last Dollar" and "Stealing Kisses." Faith says, "We're gonna try to give the fans more of what they wanted."