Wednesday, January 27, 2010

American Idol Dallas Auditions 2010

The Dallas, TX auditions for American Idol air(ed) January 27, 2010 on FOX, and here's a behind-the-scenes look at the first round auditions that were held at Dallas Cowboys Stadium in July 2009.
The video pretty much sums up everything from round 1.

The one thing I didn't include was that throughout the day, PAs would occasionally bring out small groups of very well dressed and trendy-looking young people and place them throughout the crowd. Camera crews then filmed them "waiting" to audition with the rest of us.

This struck me as a little odd. Whether they were people who had indeed already waited and auditioned or people who had not waited at all, it still made obvious how many portions of the show are staged for the camera.

Over the next few months, more audition rounds were held at the W hotel in Dallas.

(I had to cut out the name in the sign)
I was lucky to attend the final Dallas round to support a friend as they auditioned for Simon, Randy, Kara, and guest judge Joe Jonas. After arriving (as instructed) at 8am, we waited in the hotel while Idol filmed interviews with many of the contestants. The judges were not even scheduled to arrive until 1:30-2 in the afternoon. I noticed that none of the contestants seemed of the "odd" persuasion, which made me think they had scheduled the "good" and "bad" auditions on separate days so as not to tip people off.

This is video of me singing with my friend Maegan Wright, who was featured on the Dallas audition episode of American Idol and got a ticket to Hollywood.

One thing I found really interesting was that before auditions began, a producer (Ron from the video) talked with everybody and instructed the singers to not be afraid to talk back to the judges if they disagreed and even if Simon said to stop singing, to keep on singing or sing another song if you felt you weren't given a fair chance.

This may explain why all those "crazy" people on the show continue to sing even when they aren't asked to (but they end up looking like idiots).

The way it worked was that the auditioner would go up stairs (the auditions took place at the Ghost Bar at the top of the W hotel in downtown Dallas), the family would wait by the door, and after the audition was finished and they were headed back down, Ryan Seacrest would join the family for a few seconds before the big "I'm going to Hollywood!" or not moment.

Though I'm not positive, based on the demeanor of the crew, it seemed like most of the time they knew whether or not someone would be going to Hollywood before the audition even occured. There were only a few people that did NOT get golden tickets to Hollywood on this day, which further backed up my assumption that this was the day of good singers.

So all in all it was an interesting experience. I certainly knew that much of the auditions were staged and planned in advance, but it was a little magic-ruining to see it happen right before my eyes.

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Sundae Sunday State Parks!

So this week's Sundae Sunday #50 focused on my dear friend, Candice Woods. Candice is currently in the national tour of Legally Blonde playing the role of Pilar (Elle's best friend).

Candice is so incredibly talented; she was cast in the Broadway production of Hairspray while we were still in high school! I'm so glad to know her, and you will definitely get a kick out of getting to know her in this video.
Coming up next week on Sundae Sunday, you'll get to see a trip I took to two Texas state parks with my friend, Cassie.

Here's a little photo preview of that!

Pedernales Falls:Photobucket

Cassie's Always Wanted to be Like Ariel: Photobucket

We somehow make our way up the enormous Enchanted Rock:Photobucket

That's all coming up this weekend so be sure to check it out at YouTube.com/ajruck

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cougar Town Quotes (1/21/10)

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Last night's episode of ABC's Cougar Town starring Courtney Cox was chock full of funny quotes I thought deserved sharing.

Here we go (S.1. Ep. 13: Stop Dragging My Heart Around):

After Jules' husband Bobby is told he needs to move his boat (that he lives in):
Bobby: It's times like this I wish I owned my own parking lot.
Jules: Really? That's what you wish for?

As Jules' son Travis is going out for the night:
Jules: Be home by midnight, and don't forget our rule: do not wake me up when you get home.
Travis: Solid parenting, as always.
Jules: I'm a better mom with sleep...

Climbing into Bobby's boat:
Jules: You have any of that pink wine?
Bobby: I got white wine.
Jules: Well, mix in some Kool-Aid and make it pink. I've still got some white trash in me.

Laurie: It doesn't matter anyway, Grayson. Any chance you had with her is gone after the way you defiled me last night.
Grayson: Defiled you?
Laurie: That's... not a good thing?
Grayson: That... No!
Laurie: I've been using that word wrong, like, forever!

Bobby: Something stinks and I can't find it. I'm worried it's in my nostrils. Will you smell the inside of my nose and tell me if it stinks?
Grayson: At any point in your life have you ever said to yourself, "Hey, here's a thought I shouldn't verbalize"?

Next two quotes embedded below!

Jules telling frequent songwriter Grayson an idea she has on the phone:
Grayson: No Jules, I don't think 'Sex with the Ex' would be a great song... (hangs up)
Jules (to Ellie): That was odd, and he is wrong. That would be an AMAZING song. Hey, you wanna jam out some lyrics?
Ellie: What is with this stupid neighborhood and the song writing??

Laurie:
Hey, so, I did what I always do when I have a big dilemma: I thought it out while I got a tattoo.
Grayson:
A Chinese character! That's so creative! How did you think of that? What does it mean?
Laurie:
I thought it was the symbol for 'strength,' but it turns out it just means food. That's OK, though. I like food.

After coming up with a brilliant idea:
Jules:
I'm gonna write a book! And they're gonna put me on Oprah!
Ellie:
Oprah's retiring in like a year.
Jules:
Oh ya, and she's never gonna be on television again!
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Laurie (outbursts in the middle of a conversation):
It was raining! And REO Speedwagon rocks so hard!
Jules:
What are you talking about?
Laurie:
...What?
Ellie (pointing at Laurie):
Just do what I do and treat it like white noise.


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Wendy's Spicy Chicken Nuggets: Where's the Chicken?

The fast food giant that made the phrase "Where's the beef?" famous has some explaining to do when it comes to its chicken nuggets.While I cannot deny the wondrous sensation that fills my mouth when I take a bite out of one of Wendy's new spicy chicken nuggets, I must admit the disappointment that filled my heart (and stomach) today while eating my favorite 99 cent lunch.

I've never been much a fan of Wendy's nuggets in the past, but the new "spicy" take on the old classic quickly won me over. Today, however, I noticed something quite scary about these so-called "nuggets" of chicken.On the outside, they appear plump, full, and begging for consumption. I took a bite of the first, and it was good, but when I looked down again at the half-eaten nugget, what I saw scared me to my inner fast-food-loving core.

The nugget appeared to be hollow.
The wave of disappointment hit me like the large puff of air that comes out of a brand new giant bag of potato chips that's only half-way filled.

I finished that nugget, blowing off my concern in hopes that the next nuggets would improve upon the issue. But I was only disappointed more as I continued to eat. Nugget after nugget revealed large hollow gaps within the battering.It was as if some sort of chicken particle matter was just sprayed into a fried nugget shell.

The experience was still very much like that of eating a real nugget of chicken from say, McDonald's or Chick-fil-a, but in comparison, Wendy's nuggets delivered merely a suggestion of chicken and hardly any real pay-off.

So the moral of this story is: Wendy's "nuggets" are fantastic-- there's no denying that. But if they insist on using this chicken particle filler, maybe the fast food restaurant whose motto is, "You know when it's real," could stand to at least top it off or change the food's name to "spicy chicken particles."

Fin.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Back to School

And so begins another semester of school for one Mr. Adam Rucker.

But this isn't just any semester, it's the FINAL semester of school for me EVER. I'm taking 13 hours, which is the least amount of school I've taken in years so I'm definitely looking forward to that. Among my classes are: Lying & Deception, a class I should be admittedly too good at, a religion class, astronomy observation (I guess we look at stars?), computer-mediated communication, and rhetoric of popular culture, another class I should be admittedly too good at.

So in honor of my almost-graduation, I decided to take a trip back in time for my YouTube series, "Sundae Sunday" this past weekend, where a friend and I go back to our middle school to visit with some of our teachers from 6th and 7th grade. These teachers are the most memorable teachers I've had, and they definitely had a huge impact on my success in middle school and my continued success through high school and college.

Enjoy!


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Friday, January 8, 2010

Amazon Mp3 $5 Albums Holla Back!

So I'm not sure people know this, but Amazon Mp3 (their version of iTunes) has ridiculously good prices on full album downloads!

I just got Phil Wickam's new CD "Heaven & Earth" for $5 ($9.99 on iTunes). And the site has TONS of other great albums for only $5 too, like Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga "The Fame," Radiohead (there's a $1.99 Radiohead album!), Coldplay, Norah Jones, Joshua Radin, Rihanna, Fergie (if you're into that)... The list goes on and on.These downloads are just as good quality as iTunes downloads and go directly into your iTunes program to work with your iPhone, iPod, or whatever you have to play them.

SO- moral of the story: check it out on Amazon Mp3 first before you waste $10 on iTunes.

Here's the link to Amazon Mp3 $5 album page!

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

3 Weeks with My Brother - Nicholas Sparks

I just finished reading "3 Weeks with My Brother," a memoir written by popular author, Nicholas Sparks. I'd never read any of Sparks's books (such as The Notebook or A Walk To Remember), mostly because those books are for chicks, yo! But I'd certainly heard of him and was interested in reading about how he became the successful author/screenwriter he is today.


3 Weeks chronicles a trip around the world he took with his older brother Micah. Scattered among descriptions of the countries and monuments they visited are flashbacks through Sparks's life, offering great detail into who he is. The Sparks family was plagued with tragic circumstances throughout his life, and Nicholas details his dealings with those situations and how his relationship with his brother grew because of them.

Sparks is known for his great ability to draw readers into his stories, and because 3 Weeks is the telling of his own story, I was quickly engaged. The book offers a great deal of insight into the inspiration for a lot of Sparks's writing (like the story behind A Walk To Remember), and is a great read for anyone, Sparks fan or not.

So check it out!

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Lucy Realized She Is a Dog

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After 8 years of life, my Maltese dog Lucy just came to the realization that she is, in fact, a dog. She is chewing on her first bone ever and even tried to bury it in the back yard.

2010 has already brought some big changes!

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