Wednesday, April 18, 2007

APRIL 18, 2007

Looking for a great day of family fun? Families First and Jesus Shack present X-Stream Family Day… Sunday (3-8 PM) at The Park at Riverwalk!

Bring the kids out for carnival games, bounce houses, giant slides, prizes and food booths… plus a performance by Go Fish! Tickets are $5 each, or $15 for a group of 5. Call 324-0638 for more information… or visit

Country music night always seems to be a struggle on American Idol. For me, a huge country music fan, I always enjoy one or two of the performances, and then find everyone else a letdown. This year, JD Roberto (the host of American Idol Extra) and I chatted about the lack of a Josh Gracin, Carrie Underwood, or Kellie Pickler, and thought the contestants would pick mostly crossover country pop songs. Boy, were we both wrong.

The show started strong… I thought Phil Stacey had his best performance ever, singing Keith Urban’s “Where The Blacktop Ends”. If you don’t listen to country, you wouldn’t know that song, but I thought he did a phenomenal job. No, not as good as the original, but definitely well done by Idol country standards. Jordin Sparks immediately followed it up with Martina McBride’s “A Broken Wing”—it turned out to be the vocal of the night. Simon’s right… she may win this thing.

Everyone else (with the exception of Melinda Doolittle, who did a good job with “Trouble Is A Woman”) was extremely disappointing. Sanjaya is going to start running out of Fan-jayas any day now. I thought for the last few weeks he had been at least doing a good job of being an “entertainer” if not a great singer. This week, he failed at singing an entertaining. His WORST performance yet, along with his “Waiting On The World To Change” from a couple weeks back.

Chris Richardson destroyed Rascal Flatts’ “Mayberry”, although he may have been distracted (see below). Lakisha Jones ruined “Jesus Take The Wheel” from Carrie Underwood, and maybe I missed it, but I totally disagreed with the judges—Blake Lewis was horrible with Tim McGraw’s “When The Stars Go Blue”.

Much of the show was subdued due to the country’s understandable sadness over what happened at Virginia Tech. Chris is from Virginia, and offered his condolences at the end of his performance. As I mentioned, he did seem distracted, and I hope he was sincere with his words, not just trying to earn votes (as Simon obviously thought he was when he rolled his eyes).

Speaking of which, Simon was in rare form last night. I agreed with him on everything (except Blake), and loved it when he called Melinda out on her fake humility after every performance.

So, here’s the official prediction… I think the Bottom 3 will be Chris, Lakisha, and Sanjaya. I could see Phil being in the Bottom instead of Sanjaya, but I think Phil earned the right to be completely safe. It’s also the week I think Sanjaya’s support will begin to erode. I also think Chris Richardson will find himself with the least number of votes in either scenario, and will be going home. If so, he had a good run, but he isn’t as strong vocally as some of the other contestants.

JD Roberto will join us once again tomorrow at 7:20 with the dirt from backstage… A lot to talk with him about this week, as next week, Idol Gives Back.

The samba and rumba proved tricky for many of Dancing With the Stars couples. Basketball Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler and singer-actor Billy Ray Cyrus had the lowest scores from the judges, but it was activist Heather Mills who found herself sharing the red spotlight with Drexler at the end of the show. When the curtain fell, it was a not-so-disappointed Clyde "The Glide" who was trading in his dancing shoes for an early morning tee time. Beginning next Monday, the celebrities and their dance partners will be performing twice during each show. Next week's competition features the competitors doing the swing plus a dance of their choice.

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Don't you hate it when you wake up from a nap and actually feel WORSE than you did before you went to sleep? Well, it's probably because you're not napping "correctly". Here are eight tips for getting the perfect nap. . .

1) IT'S ALL PSYCHOLOGICAL. The first step to getting a truly nice nap is to get it through your head that you're not napping to be lazy. . . but rather to make yourself more productive and more alert after you wake up.

2) NAP AT CERTAIN TIMES. The best times to nap are in the morning or just after lunch. When you take naps in the late afternoon you're more prone to deep sleep. . . which will make you groggy when you wake up.

3) AVOID CAFFEINE. Try to avoid drinking large quantities of caffeine as well as foods that are really heavy in fat and sugar. These things meddle with your ability to fall asleep.

4) EAT SPECIFIC FOODS. An hour or two before you lie down to take a nap, eat foods that are high in calcium and protein. . . which actually promote sleeping.

5) BE FREE OF DISTRACTIONS. Where you nap is pretty key to whether or not you'll be able to rest easily. Find a clean, quiet place away from the distractions of passersby and shut your phone off.

6) KEEP THINGS DARK. Try to darken where it is that you'll take your nap. Darkness actually stimulates melatonin. . . which is the hormone that induces sleep. Get some dark curtains or wear an eyeshade.

7) STAY WARM. Your body temperature drops when you fall asleep. . . so be sure to have some warm blankets or comforters on hand to keep you warm.

8) SET YOUR ALARM. The length of your nap is important. Just two to five minutes of sleep will make you feel less tired. Sleeping five to 20 minutes increases alertness, stamina, motor learning, and motor performance. Sleeping for 20 to 50 minutes helps to clear the brain and improve long-term memory. And sleeping for 50 to 90 minutes is good for repairing bones and muscles and improves the time it takes for your brain to process things.