Your Voice Has Been Heard – Now What?

Thanks to the thousands of you who voted in “ON TV’s” latest polls on who should win American Idol and Dancing with the Stars. It’s always fun to hear from readers on who their choice would be.

To recap: On TV readers chose Jessica Sanchez over Phillip Phillips to take the crown 54% over 46%. America obviously disagreed giving Phillips the edge.

The Dancing with the Stars vote was even closer. Get this: Katherine Jenkins beat out her male challengers in the narrowest of margins. She had 33.79% of the vote compared to 33.33% for Donald Driver and 32.88% for William Levy. A razor thin victory that didn’t translate to the real competition (Driver beat Jenkins who finished in 2nd with Levy in 3rd).

My point is with all of this. We need to do more polls. It was fun! Now I want to know what you want to talk about.

I’ll warn you this blog tends to reflect the things I like to watch. That’s what you can do with a blog. (If you don’t like the shows I write about, you can start your own blog with Areavoices. Just leave a comment here and I’ll tell you how. End of shameless plug.)

So what will you read about here in the future? In addition to Dancing with the Stars and Idol, I like Modern Family, Smash, Castle, Hot in Cleveland, Ghost Hunters, Who do you think you are, Survivor and just about anything on the Food Network. I abhor The Bachelor franchise. More on that in a later post.

But let me know what shows you like. I’ll try to oblige you and write about them. But again, if I don’t, I’d love to read what you have to say about them. (Okay, sorry that was one more shameless plug, wasn’t it?)

American Idol: The Voice vs The “It” Factor

American Idol has set its final and ironically the two people standing at the end could be the poster children for two other singing competition shows.

Jessica Sanchez:

Throughout the season, the 16-year-old California native has been “The Voice.” From her early days of slaying Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” to last night’s performances of Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey, she’s proven no one has stronger pipes. Both sweet and powerful, it’s amazing to think that ginormous voice comes from such a tiny little body!

If American Idol picked its’ winners solely on voice (more along the lines of what NBC’s “The Voice” does) Sanchez would be a lock. But as we’ve seen for years on AI, it’s not just about the voice. Contestants such as Jennifer Hudson and Chris Daughtry were sent home before their time. While the angelic-voiced Katherine McPhee finished second to Taylor “Personality Plus” Hicks in season 5.

So while Randy Jackson might have called Sanchez, “one of the best singers in the entire world” her victory is not a lock. In fact, she was set to be eliminated earlier this season only to be rescued by the judges. Will her fan base be there this time?

Phillip Phillips

From day one of the competition, no contestant better defined themselves than Phillip Phillips. The pawn shop worker from Georgia knew who he was and hesitated veering from it. Even saying a polite “no” to a shocked (but still dapper) Tommy Hilfiger’s wardrobe suggestions.

And while he has defined himself as Phillip Phillips, the audience is still trying to figure him out. Is he part Dave Matthews, part Bruce Springsteen? No matter the case, fans like what they see. In fact, he’s one of the few contestants who has never been in the bottom three. (Carrie Underwood boasted a similar honor the year she won.)

His strength is not the voice. Sometimes, he sounds great. But other nights frankly, it’s been a little cringeworthy. But Phillips seems to get away with it because, in my opinion, he has the “it” factor. (Close enough to Simon Cowell’s “The X Factor” for me). Phillip is the good-looking, aw-shucks, guy next door. But there’s more. A certain star power, charisma that was perhaps most evident in last night’s rendition of “We’ve got tonight” by Bob Seger. Swoonworthy, for sure.

“OnTV’s” Bottom line:

Jessica Sanchez: Sanchez will benefit from the loss of Joshua Ledet. She’s more likely to pick up his voters than Phillips who isn’t know for his vocal strength. She also benefits from Hollie Cavanaugh’s departure two weeks ago.

Phillip Phillips: Phillips has recent history on his side. Since 2008, voters have awarded top honors to cute, young guys. Some of whom, didn’t boast the best vocal chops in their seasons either. Will Idol voters carry on their streak?

What wins this year? The Voice or The “It” Factor? You decide.

Forget Obama and Romney – This is the real dead heat!

After one day of voting, “On TV” readers are torn. I mean big time. When asked who they’d like to see win “Dancing with the Stars” this time around it’s a dead heat between William Levy and Donald Driver, each garnering 35% of the vote.

But Katherine Jenkins is no slouch. She’s close behind with 30% of the vote.

Polls are still open. Weigh in and we’ll give you the final results of our poll after the mirror ball trophy is awarded next week.

Who should win “Dancing with the Stars?” Vote now!

If last night’s results show told us anything it’s that YOUR VOTE MATTERS! First place finishers Maria Menounos and Derek Hough were sent packing. They finished with a nearly perfect 59 out of 60 points for their two dances Monday night. But they still managed to received the lowest vote total when you combined judges’ scores with audience vote.

The biggest surprise of the night might have been the pass to the finals given to classical singer Katherine Jenkins and her partner Mark Ballas following a back spasm Monday night which nearly leveled her at the tail end of her routine. She finished a full 3 points behind Menounos, but obviously garnered more audience votes.

Hearthrob William Levy and his partner Cheryl Burke finished in second with 58, followed closely by Green Bay Packer Donald Driver and his partner Peta Murgatroyd with 57.

The judges have remarked that this has been the most talented cast in Dancing with the Stars history. In any other season, any of these three finalists would easily be the favorite. Not this year.

The power is with you. Let us know who you’d pick.

Desperate Housewives: Thanks from a (formerly) Desperate Mom!

I’m a little melancholy today. Not overly sad or distraught. Just a little wistful and sentimental.

Last night I said “goodbye” to an old friend, “Desperate Housewives.” Yeah, I know it’s just a TV show and truth be told my old friend and I had drifted a bit in the last few years.

In the early years of our friendship I waited all week for my dose of suburban scandal, intrigue and humor. But lately, it hasn’t really been appointment television. I might watch the TiVoed episode of my old friend later in the week.

So the melancholy doesn’t come from losing my favorite show, but rather from marking the end of an era.

Desperate Housewives came on the air in 2004. At the time, I was mother to a two-year-old and a newborn baby. Life was hectic, crazy and even a little desperate. So when I could squeeze out an hour of television on a Sunday night, it was comforting to spend it with my buddies Susan, Gabrielle, Bree and Lynette. Especially Lynette. While I could live vicariously through the other women and their choice of designer clothing and stilettos, it was Lynette who brought me comfort.

Lynette was a woman struggling to keep it all together. As the show began, she was a stay-at-home mother to 4 children. She was often overwrought and disheveled. One day as her sons were misbehaving during a garden party at a neighbor’s pool, she jumped right in with them and carted their soggy butts back home. Ah, an inspiration for anyone who’s had to deal with a bratty kid in public. As the show progressed, she went back to work and had to try and juggle the demands of being a full-time working wife and mom. Sound familiar?

I remember in the early years of the show, I’d always watch while I folded my umpteenth load of weekend laundry. I was usually crabby that I hadn’t gotten enough done over the weekend to prepare us for our busy week ahead. I’d watch as I bathed my toddler and baby. (Actually, not really watching just listening as the TV played in the bedroom nearby.)

As my kids became preschoolers I had to convince them to turn off Penny and Pals so I could walk down Wisteria Lane instead. (My petitions to ABC to allow Penny Andrist to become a Desperate Housewife went unanswered. That would have solved all my problems.) Once they surrendered the TV, I’d have to half-watch it as I bribed and cajoled them to get to bed already!

But as they started elementary school, the tides turned a bit. They started to find something else to do while mom watched “that scary show!” From glimpses of promos, they began to think the show was as violent as a Jean Claude Van Damme movie. (Actually, for the suburbs, Fairview did have its share of murder and mayhem but it wasn’t really that bad). I didn’t argue with my kids assessment of the show since it meant they would give me an hour’s worth of peace. That didn’t happen very often.

So here we are 8 years later. My life is a lot easier than in was in 2004. My daughters are 10 and 8 and the work they require is a fraction of what it once was. They’re just a blast to hang out with. (In fact, I didn’t watch last night’s series finale until later because we were spending time out in the yard playing.)

So Susan, Gabrielle, Bree and Lynette (especially you Lynette) thanks for hanging out with me. Our time together was fictional and make-believe. But as I navigated my way through those early mommy years, you helped make my reality a little less desperate.