Wednesday, January 23, 2008

JANUARY 23, 2008

It was said before the show aired that of all the audition cities this season, San Diego was the best. On Tuesday night, it sure looked like it. The episode started with three people advancing to Hollywood, and over the course of the 60 minutes, we saw more than a few more....

Some of the names to watch...

Samantha Musa... came in with her sister and sang and Aretha Franklin song. They both claimed to be big fans of Simon Cowell, and her sister even got to sit on Simon's chair during her audition. Good voice, with the look to match... but nothing extremely unique.

Michael Johns... sang an Otis Redding number, and did very well. A very soulful voice who could go far. All the judges agreed to send him to Hollywood.

Perrie Cataldo... is a single father who raises his son alone after the boy's mother lost her life in an incident that wasn't fully explained. He advanced, in my opinion, on his backstory alone, as his voice was just mediocre singing a Boyz II Men number.

Carly Smithson... sang Whitney Houston's "I'm Every Woman" and actually has some history with the show. In Season 5, she advanced to the Hollywood round before it was found out she didn't have the proper papers to stay in the United States (she's from Ireland). Since then, she's been signed and then dropped from MCA Records, gotten married, and gotten a lot of tattoos... I don't know if she'll make it all that far, but she's at least made it to Hollywood.

And the worst audition of the night? Alberto Hurtado, who sang a song he called ''Live.'' But when the cameras cut to the guy spinning a Barbie doll like a top and hilariously cooing, ''It's the paso doble,'' I wondered if maybe I had been duped. I always wonder if some of these people have ever seen the show and see what gets picked and what gets turned away.

I'll admit it, this show looks vulgar. It's sensational television at its worst, but like a train wreck, I need to see The Moment of Truth tonight when it premieres on FOX.

According to USA Today, it works like this: Producers thoroughly research contestants, interviewing friends and family members, then come up with 50 to 75 potentially embarrassing questions, some of them personal ("Do you owe a friend money that you have no intention of paying back?), some not ("Do you really care about starving children in Africa?"). They're asked while contestants are hooked to a lie detector before each show is taped.

Players aren't told whether the polygraph reveals them to be lying, but producers say the mere presence of the machine acts as a "truth serum," and its results are accepted as such. Then friends, spouses and family members are brought in for taping, sitting across from the contestant and often asking the questions themselves.

Some change their answers, and one contestant refused to go on the show after submitting to the early questions. Players can stop at different levels — answering the first six questions wins $10,000 — and a safety button allows friends or family to eliminate one question. Otherwise, once a question is asked, it must be answered truthfully or contestants lose everything.

1) STEALING. You may think that taking the occasional set of Post-its, pens and office supplies from work is cool... but your boss definitely won't be down with it. Not only is stealing this stuff illegal, but it can get you fired.

2) BLAMING SOMEONE ELSE FOR YOUR MISTAKE. Sure, admitting you made a mistake really sucks, but blaming someone else for something you did wrong is pretty childish and lame.

3) SPREADING GOSSIP. Being in an office is a lot like being back in high school, and sometimes even if you try not to, you get involved in office gossip. The best rule of thumb here is if you hear something... don't repeat it.

4) CALLING IN SICK WHEN YOU'RE NOT. If you wake up and absolutely cannot fathom going to work at your mundane job that day, take a personal day. Don't pretend to be sick if you aren't. You don't want to run the risk of getting caught.

5) DON'T SHOW UP WHEN YOU'RE SICK. You may think that it's admirable to come into work when you're sick, but it'll annoy your co-workers . . . because now they run the risk of getting sick, too.

6) ABUSING OFFICE TECHNOLOGY. Do not check your MySpace and Facebook pages, or play Tetris and Sudoku when we should be working.

7) INVOLVING CO-WORKERS IN PERSONAL PROBLEMS. It's one thing to have a personal problem distract you from doing your job... but it's another thing to involve your co-workers in your minor issues that they probably don't care about.

8) GETTING TOO COMFORTABLE. Regardless of how cool your boss is or if your workplace is pretty casual, you should always dress well to work. Generally, you shouldn't dress better than your boss, nor worse.

9) HITTING ON YOUR BOSS OR CO-WORKERS. First of all, you run the risk that this person may not even LIKE you back, which can make things uncomfortable. But even if they do, you don't want to deal with an office break-up. So just don't do it.

12% of coffee drinkers would give up three hours of sleep for a daily cup of java, says a survey by OnTech Operations. So if the average person sleeps from 10 PM 'til 6 AM... those 12% of people would get up at 3 AM, just for their daily coffee fix!