Daily Archives: May 7, 2008

Pack your bags, Jason Castro…

OK, I promised myself I would not blog about every twist and turn of fate on this season’s “American Idol”, but after witnessing Jason Castro’s spectacularly awful performance last night, well…I kind of had to say something. Simply put, this tuneless poser sucks!

Sure at the beginning of the show Christine and I were charmed by his funky look — Dreadlocks? On “Idol”? Cool! — and goofy personality, but over time we have come to see that everything about this dude is as fake as Ryan Seacrest’s tan.

We might hate that eerily sexless — not to mention soulless — David Archuleta kid for being too slick and manufactured, but we despise Jason Castro for acting like he’s something he’s not. I mean, love him or hate him, Archuleta at least knows what he’s angling for — a comfortably cheesy Clay Aiken-ish career — but Castro has taken “Idol” phoniness to an all time low.

There is literally no substance to Jason Castro whatsoever. He doesn’t know shit about music, he doesn’t care about anything to do with the show — Entertainment Weekly reported that he was bored with the show and missed several rehearsals last week because some of his friends were in town…really, dude? During finals?! — and worst of all, he has absolutely no concept of how lucky he is to have made it to the final four.

As far as I can tell, the one and only reason this loser is still on the show is because of that damn hair. But something tells me that the hair has carried him as far as it can. After his epically bad rendition of Bob Marley’s classic “I Shot the Sheriff” on last night’s show, even the audience seemed puzzled. I’m not kidding, it was probably one of the worst performances in “Idol” history…and that, my friends, is really saying something.

So, here’s hoping Simon’s parting words to the dreadhead ring true — he told a bored-looking Castro to “pack [his] bags” during last night’s show — and that the prophetic pic above comes to pass during tonight’s elimination episode.

In the meantime, I’ll have to take comfort in my fervent hope that America did the right thing last night and sent Castro packing, but as Seacrest pointed out on last night’s show…you never know. This is the week that fan-favorite’s Tamyra Gray and Chris Daughtry went home on their respective seasons as well…so, really, anything can happen.

Keeping that in mind, Christine voted for her favorite David Cook ten times last night and I gotta admit that I hit the old redial button a whopping 60 times for my favorite, Syesha Mercado. The thing that makes me hate Jason Castro even more right now is that I got through every time I called. Poor Syesha…

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The AMPTP walks out…again!

Replicating the strategy they used with us writers last year, the cheap bastards at the AMPTP have walked out of the negotiating room (again!) eighteen days into their negotiations with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). Claiming that SAG’s “unreasonable” demands for modest increases in payments for DVD sales and online downloads has left them with no other choice but to discontinue talks “at this time”.

And so, true to dickhead form, the AMPTP abruptly suspended talks with the actors, even after SAG announced on the website that they were willing to “work around the clock for as long as it takes to get a fair deal” and “keep the town working”. Sounds kinda familiar, huh?

Reverting to their union-busting handbook once again, the AMPTP is rolling out the old “unreasonable” bit in the media — which they totally own, by the way — and playing up the fact that they are also calling off talks to focus on their upcoming negotiations with SAG’s trouble-plagued sister union, AFTRA, which are set to begin today.

Hmm…kinda reminds me of that time the AMPTP abruptly called off talks with WGA leadership to focus on their upcoming negotiations with the Director’s Guild. And if I remember correctly, the AMPTP forged a quickie deal with the DGA and then left us looking like total jerks until we caved — Yes, I said “caved”. God love ya, Patric Verrone, but we totally caved — and took their lousy deal.

Complicating things further for SAG’s rocking negotiating committee — led by bad-ass actor/studio ball buster extraordinaire, Alan Rosenberg — is the fact that SAG and AFTRA had been at war with one another for years.

From what I’ve gathered, the feud centers around the fact that SAG feels they should have more of a say in their wobbly, co-union existence with AFTRA since SAG has more members who contribute more money to the union’s coffers. The far-less-powerful AFTRA — whose members work in such areas as radio, TV news, talk shows, and several soap operas — feels the decision making should remain 50/50 as it has always been. And therein lies the problem.

Many of the SAG members I met on the picket line — several of whom are members of both guilds — have a deep-seated mistrust of anything AFTRA does. And tensions grew so strained a few months back that AFTRA decided — for the first time in 27 years! — to break off from SAG and negotiate a new contract with the AMPTP on their own. Hmm…as Yoda would say: “Unwise this decision was.”

What really sucks for the actors is that now that talks with the AMPTP have predictably “stalled”, the studios are going to use their negotiations with AFTRA — as they so masterfully did with the DGA — to show how quickly the process can work when so-called calmer heads prevail.

Of course, AFTRA is so weak — with their concerns literally light years away from SAG’s — that they’ll probably take whatever crappy deal the studios shove down their throats. And if recent history repeats itself, I foresee the AMPTP joyously announcing a finalized deal with AFTRA in a week at the most. Hell, AFTRA hates SAG so much at this point, they might even take a shitty deal just to spite them!

Either way, SAG will be left looking like the “unreasonable” jerks the AMPTP is already painting them as, and they will more likely than not take a crappy deal to save face. I say, screw that! Whatever happens, in the next few days, I urge you, Mr. Rosenberg, to learn from our mistakes and stay the course!

To quote from an impassioned e-mail you yourself sent out to the entire WGA membership during the heat of battle last December: “…we know that this fight is for the rights of all creative artists, and our collective future is at stake. We share your sound and reasonable goals for fair compensation for new media formats and we believe you are doing the right thing by taking a stand.”

Of course when you said “we”, you were talking about actors. But those same words could just as easily apply to writers now. As the pictures above illustrate, you guys were out with us every day during our strike, so, no matter what happens in the coming weeks, know this…we got your backs, man. Seriously, I got a couple dozen red and gray shirts just itching to come out and play!

To paraphrase the finale of your rocking e-mail, Mr. Rosenberg, the WGA “will stand with you for as long as it takes”. So, keep on keeping on, actors…and remember, we’re all in this together!

Oh yeah, and for the record, that’s “Thirtsomething” icon David Clennon with Patty and myself in the first picture; “Freaks and Geeks” star Dave “Gruber” Allen in the second shot; and the fetching Penelope Whidmore from “Lost”, actress Sonya Walger in the final pic. I should also note that I saw all three of the SAG actors above on the WGA picket lines many, many times, so, gracias amigos!

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