Chicago, Illinois AI Live! Show – Sparkles Recap

Some of you may remember Sparkles’ classic re-cap of the Season 5 Show, The Five Stages of Corn. Last year, she reviewed the Milwaukee and Moline concerts. She’s back this year with another hilarious recap. Lucky for us, Sparkles revved up the Sparklebus and headed for the Chicago concert. As fate would have it, we ran into each other before the show, and I was all “I’ll be waiting for your re-cap!” And here it is.

It’s that time of year and once again my imaginary triplets Trixie, Dixie & Pixie are begging me to take them to the American Idol concert. Being the great parent that I am, and considering that my kids are imaginary and I therefore really don’t have to do anything, I was willing to oblige. But I was going to go in style. And that meant full clown makeup even though I was kicked out of Clown School for flunking Balloon Animals 101 (damn non-dexterous digits of mine)! And in some kind of sick psychotic tribute to Kat McPhee, I was sure to wear the oversize clown shoes that had “open toes.” So for the third year in a row, James & I busted out of our polygamist cult, packed up the Sparklebus & headed to the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. And here, my friends for better or worse, is exactly/precisely/sort of/kind of/maybe/not really what happened.

More Recap after the JUMP…

But wait a dog gone minute. Because Season 6 sucked so bad that they didn’t even sell half the seats at the Bradley Center, there isn’t a tour stop in Milwaukee this year. So now it’s the Word Nerds, Arch Angels & Dreadheads that have to pay the price for Season 6’s incompetence and their craptastic tour. That means that if Sparkles wanted to rock, the Sparklebus would have to head south to Rosemont, Illinois. Well, this was a no brainer, my friends. I enjoyed this season so much more than last year that no amount of blacktop would stand in my way. Gas prices be damned, Sparkles was going to rock. But was I building this show up too much in my mind? Could it live up to my expectations? I have to admit that the words of a great American philosopher echoed in my brain: “be careful what you wish for ’cause you just might get it all, you just might get it all, and then some you don’t want.” Not very catchy & it rhymes for sh*t, but no truer words have ever been spoken. On FM radio anyway. So parole violations be damned, I was crossing state lines & going to the big show.

The ride to Rosemont would be almost 2 hours so to keep ourselves entertained, I taught James how to talk Blakespeak. This is an entire language based on the premise that Blake Lewis “wasn’t dropped, ” it’s just that his contract “wasn’t renewed.” So we came up with some Blakespeak of our own: “I’m not late, I just didn’t arrive on time.” “I wasn’t speeding Officer, I was just driving faster than the number on the sign.” “I’m not stalking you, I’m just following you everywhere you go.” “I didn’t kill that person, my actions just caused their death.” And my personal fave “I’m not pregnant, I just have a small human growing inside of me.”

After many miles and a few tolls, we were finally at the venue. This wasn’t my first rodeo so I pretty much knew what to expect: human Pop Tarts clumsily bumping their way through the crowd…text messages filled with countless misspellings flashing across the big screens…parents whipping out their credit cards for ginormous soft pretzels, licorice ropes and Pepsi for their Ritalin fueled children…a voice on the loudspeaker warning “don’t eat the blue cotton candy.” Yeah, this wasn’t exactly Woodstock. But on a dark & lonely July night, it was all Sparkles had. And then the lights went out & the room went black…

That is always the most thrilling part for me at a concert, when the lights suddenly go out & there I am in the dark with a mass of writhing, screaming strangers. Reminds me of my “performing” days in Amsterdam, but I digress. No, this wasn’t Amsterdam, this was Illinois. And Illinois was ready to rock.

I suppose I could write about what happened next. This idol sang this, this idol sang that blah blah blah. But surely you must all know the setlist by now. So to make it more challenging for me & hopefully more fun for you, I will now write my thoughts in the form of a poem. Enjoy!

So there I was at the Idol concert for Season Seven,
Like Six would it be hell, or like Five would it be heaven?
There were cool concert lights of blue, yellow, red & orange
Damn it, why didn’t I end in blue, nothing rhymes with orange!
Hey Chikeze, it’s been a long time but I remember you
You wanted to play an instrument but only learned the kazoo
Ramiele’s performance obviously didn’t make a big impression on me,
I can barely come up with one sentence about her, let alone two or three.
Michael Johns is really, really hot & sexy
Actually, I don’t have a rhyme, I just think he’s hot & sexy
Kristy Lee likes horses, that much I knew,
So then why did she sell hers to that factory for glue?
Some love Carly and some don’t, but I’ll tell you what I think,
To me she looks more like she should be on that show called “L.A. Ink.”
Brooke was refreshingly different & she did great with “Let It Be, ”
Now maybe one day she’ll see a movie that’s not rated G.
Jason you’re sweet & I love when you play the uke,
And getting all the way to fourth place with no pimping certainly wasn’t a fluke
Hey Syesha if you cry I brought you a hanky,
And although your name spells “yes” I’ll have to say “no thanky.”
Now perhaps your career will soar to great, new heights,
But no, your performance had nothing to do with the battle for civil rights.
Archie you’re cute and all and I don’t mean to be rude,
But wasn’t being on Star Search enough for you dude?
Some say Daughtry sings better than David Cook but what really isn’t fair,
Is when they say that Daughtry is the one who has better hair.
But Cookie does crosswords & I think smart guys are hot,
Daughtry doesn’t do puzzles but he does do “connect the dots” (with a crayon).
Now the concert is over & we gotta head home because it’s getting late,
I’m pretty sure we’ll be here again next year, at the concert for Season Eight.

Believe me, I know that you’ve just read the lamest thing I’ve ever written so you can quit booing, hissing & throwing rotten fruit and vegetables at your computer. Just remember, I’m a clown, not a poet. And it’s not like you have to keep reading this lame recap. As a matter of fact, I dare you to stop reading right now. Yeah, I knew you couldn’t do it. Anyway, here are a few other random thoughts and observations. Basically crap I couldn’t rhyme.

I’ll be the first to admit that it takes a certain amount of self confidence to wear a clown suit & full clown make-up in public. And it takes even more when it’s not Halloween and you’re the only one doing it. But attention, positive or otherwise, is what feeds the beast that is my ego. So as we entered the venue, I noticed a couple of tweeners looking at my clown clothes strangely. Not one to back down from their critical stares, I walked right up to them and said “clown is the new black, bitches!” As their jaws hit the ground, I quickly walked away before their parents noticed and caused a scene. Lord knows there’s nothing uglier than a brawling clown.

As we were walking to our seats I spotted the queen of the blogoshpere and star of, MJ from this very site. I stopped and said hello and heard about the great seat she had scored. I assumed she had some connections or had bought it from a scalper because the show was sold out. Little did I know that she had got it from Ticketmaster that day. It’s so cool that she got the great seat so she could use her skills to document everything for us instead of it being wasted on a screaming fangirl. The excellent photos and videos she took that I saw on this blog that night proved that fo sho.

For some reason once the concert started, I kept turning to the woman next to me & asking lame-o questions. After Ramiele performed, I asked her where Ryan Seacrest was. After Michael, I held up my cell phone & asked “when do we vote?” And after Kristy Lee I just randomly said “I like toast.” Yeah, I can be a real jerk sometimes. Well, actually most of the time but when something comes this naturally, I figure it’s futile to fight it. And let’s just say I wasn’t surprised when after intermission she had switched her seat with one of her tween daughters who glared at me like I was some kind of scary clown. Oh yeah, that’s right, I am a scary clown. My dumb.

So here’s the detailed low down on each Idol.

CHIKEZE – Hey, when you make it to 10th place you open the concert! Cool! I’m not a fan of R&B but I was glad Chikeze made it through. I really appreciate the variety at the concerts. Like Mandisa, he was a great opening performer to get the crowd going. He seems very comfortable on stage and he sounded great. It did look like he stole Taylor’s purple velvet jacket though.

RAMIELE MALUBAY- Hey, when you make it to 9th place you get back up dancers! Cool! I wasn’t much of a fan of Rami on the show. She’s just so young and isn’t ready for such a large venue. Her set was cute though and I’m sure the young tween girls enjoyed it. I personally loved her sparkly pants. I wish everyone wore sparkles like that all the time. It should be some kind of law. I also wish that Amanda Overmyer would have put her bitch persona on ice long enough to have made the tour instead. She could have rocked the roof off the place. Why, Amanda why? Why the long freakin’ face? Couldn’t you have just smiled at the voting peeps at home a little bit? She’ll be in my hometown of Waukesha (pronounced walky-shaw, by the way) for Harley Fest in September. I just may have to go down there and give her a piece of my mind. We’ll see how tough she is when an angry clown challenges her to a smack down. But just when I started thinking “I shaved my legs & drove all this way for this?” a lone figure entered at the top of the stage…

MICHAEL JOHNS – Hey, when you make it to 8th place, you get to enter the stage from a trap door in the floor! Cool! I was a fan of MJ since the audition stage. However, unlike say Taylor Hicks or David Cook, he didn’t seem to know how to play the “game” to get the viewer’s votes. But by getting voted off in 8th place doesn’t mean he’s any less talented and this was evident at the concert. The crowd really came alive when he came onstage. MJ is a great looking guy & he’s a seasoned performer so he knew how to work the crowd. I noticed that MJ was the only one without any sparkly attire or bling. It seems that his extreme manliness has repelled all bling from his body. That’s alright Michael, I’m sparkly enough for the both of us. My fave was “It’s All Wrong But It’s All Right” but I also liked his version of “Dream On.”

KRISTY LEE COOK – Hey, when you make it to 7th place, you get to sit on the stairs! Cool! I’m no fan of country music so KLC was never a fave of mine. But I was pleasantly surprised at how well KLC did on stage. She definitely got all of the men’s attention. And I totally appreciated her shiny & sparkly apparel. She seems to have embraced my personal motto: I sparkle, therefore I am. And that makes Kristy Lee okay in my book.

CARLY SMITHSON – Hey, when you make it to 6th place you get wind! Cool! I thought Carly was okay on the show. But she never seemed to know what type of artist she wanted to be. My fave was “Crazy On You” & I thought it showed her range. The one thing I absolutely loved though was the wind machine. If I had the cash & resources I would hire a person whose sole job would be to follow me everywhere & blast me with a wind machine whenever I entered a room. I don’t care if my lips would be eternally chapped & my face rubbed raw, it would be worth it to make such a dramatic entrance.

Man, I sure wish I could insert a Paypal donation button here because observational gems such as these shouldn’t be free. And yes, I really am that full of myself.

BROOKE WHITE – Hey, when you make it to 5th place, you and your piano get to enter through a trap door in the floor! Cool! I was a fan of Brooke on the show. She’s in my top 10 favorite Idol female singers ever. I liked that she was different from most of the other singers who feel that they must sing 37 notes instead of just one or two. And she seems like a genuinely nice person. I’m glad she mixed it up a bit and did one song on guitar. My fave was “1234.”.

GROUP NUMBER – Since we only get 2 group numbers this year they better be good. Well, this was just okay. Michael Johns sounded great. The others were just okay. I was hoping for a fun group number. Instead we got a message song and video of poor children with diseases. Kind of weird to see just before intermission when all the kids in the Arena went running for more popcorn, candy and soda as soon as the song ended.

INTERMISSION – During intermission I really had a chance to check out the crowd because I decided to copy that crazy astronaut lady & wear adult diapers. I just didn’t want to miss anything while dealing with such trivial details such as urination. Not to mention that I was all hopped up on ginkgo biloba for enhanced memory & concentration. There’s just nothing I won’t do to make this the bestest recap I can. Anyway, I noticed that the crowd was full of all types of fans. There were a lot of parents with their young children. There were tweens & there were teens. There were couples in their twenties, thirties & forties. There were people with white hair too. Fans of the show of all ages. And at least one woman with long brown hair & a serious case of camel toe. Now at one time I would have never thought of going to the concerts because I thought it would be all screaming tweens and teens with their parents. But after Season 5, a/k/a the bestest season ever, I just had to go to the concert. To give you an idea of how much I love Season 5, I now have a huge tattoo across my back that reads “SPARKLES.” And I didn’t even vote for Daughtry! So it has now become a yearly tradition: I watch the show, I read MJsBigBlog, I go to the concert, I write a lame recap. A really lame recap.

JASON CASTRO – Hey, when you make it to 4th place, you get to sit on a stool! Kind of cool, I guess! I became a fan of Jason after I finally heard him sing. For some reason he was never shown singing during the auditions so I had no idea how the boy with the dreads would do. I thought maybe he was a poser who wore the dreads to be all trendy & what not. I was pleasantly surprised by his sincerity and laid back attitude on the show. The last time I saw a singer play the ukulele at an arena show was Paul McCartney so that puts Jason in excellent company. I enjoyed his entire set with my favorite being “Daydream” even though the row of women in their 50’s in front of me suddenly turned into swaybots. And although he was lacking in sparkles & bling, he did have red shoes so that counts for something.

SYESHA MERCADO – Hey, when you make it to 3rd place, you get a lot of restless tweeners waiting for the 2nd place winner! And a sh*tty microphone that doesn’t work! Not so cool! I think Syesha is very beautiful but her style of singing just isn’t my thing. I’ve read the various reports on how she is being verbally bashed by fans & that she’s grown wary and defensive. She should live her life as I do and that is under the impression that every one likes me. It may be a delusional world I live in, but it’s awfully pretty here with rainbows & waterfalls & butterflies. And lots and lots of sparkly sparkles so she’ll fit right in with that dress. So take my advice Syesha and ignore these rude punks. I’m sure you’ll have a career in music or acting while most of those jerks will grow up to be clerks at Walmart or working the drive-thru at some fast food joint.

DAVID ARCHULETA – Hey, when you make it to 2nd place, you get smoke! Cool! I have to admit, I didn’t get Archie at all on the show. I’m just not a fan of watching young kids sing. Or, more accurately, watch kids forced to give up their childhood so they can perform and compete. It always seems a little unnatural to me, like when people dress up their dogs & teach them how to “dance.” They make them twirl and spin but no matter how talented the dog is, it’s not like you’re watching the ballet or anything. I mean it’s still just a poodle in a tutu. I do think he’s cute though and if I was 12, I’d be all over Archie like white on rice. I just personally prefer singers whose voices have more character and emotion like, for example, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan and Joe Strummer (may he rest in peace). It cracks me up when people say “so and so is the best AI singer of all time with the purest voice ever on the show.” When it comes to singing, among other things, “best” is subjective. As hard as it is for me to believe, not everyone thinks I’m the best clown ever. Some folks, no matter how misguided they may be, might actually prefer Bozo or heaven forbid, that poser Ronald McDonald. So dont get mad at me Archie fans just because I’m not a fan of his voice, tone or style of singing because Sparkles aint no h8r. It just an opinion. From a clown. That being said, I thought when he was just singing and not playing the piano, his performances were entertaining. Most of the young girls in the crowd absolutely loved him. The one thing that weirded me out though, was when he sang part of “Beautiful Girls” in “Stand By Me.” It was strange to see this innocent looking kid singing “suicidal” while doing this rehearsed little jig. It was just odd. The young girls sure went ape-crap for it though. What I loved the most was his suit with the sparkly trim. It was as if he were saying “I know there have been thousands of posts about how people don’t like this sparkly suit but I’m wearing it for you Sparkles.” And for that reason, Archie will always be my boo.

DAVID COOK – Hey, when you make it to 1st place, you get smoke & an entrance through a trap door! Cool! I always pick a fave during the auditions. This year it was David Cook and he remained my fave for the entire season. Anyone that can make me actually like songs by Lionel Richie & Mariah Carey is not only a genius, he just might be some sort of wizard with a very powerful magic wand (insert your own joke here). Speaking of magic, he even makes me kind of like his corny coronation single “Does My Magic Rainbow Make You Proud?” My faves of the night were “My Hero” and “Billie Jean.” From where I was sitting, he won the applause-o-meter of the night and he seemed truly delighted to be performing in front of the large crowd & it was a joy to watch. It really was nice to see a guy clearly living his dream. Maybe it’s because my own hopes and dreams have long ago been squashed, stomped on & pulverized into a fine powdery dust that’s been scattered into the wind, until the dust all but disappears, as if my dreams had never existed at all. Not that I’m bitter or anything.

GROUP NUMBER – The show ends with one of the famously cheesy group numbers. I thought it was odd that they were singing “please don’t stop the music” when that’s exactly what they did 2 minutes later. And that damn song stuck in my head for at least an hour after the show. When we were being funneled out of the arena I kept singing “please don’t stop the moving.” In the parking lot it was “please don’t stop the traffic.” And I don’t think the toll booth operator fully appreciated me when I sang “please lift up the toll arm thingy or whatever you call that thing that you lift up after we pay.” Anyway, add me to the list of people that would have preferred a few more group numbers or duets. Season 5’s format was better in my opinion. There was a real sense of cheesy fun and joy that wasn’t as evident this year.

So now here’s James’ take on things. He usually doesn’t watch the show because he works during it. But he is able to listen to it through his secret special radio at work. So his opinions are based on the actual concert performances and not all of the internet stories/rumors/bs. I asked him who his faves were and he said he “liked the blondes.” Wow, thanks for all the details James. I asked who his top 3 were and he said Brooke, Michael Johns (who he always calls David Johns) and Kristy Lee. His 4th fave was David Cook. He also really enjoyed the Guitar Hero commercial that featured all of the Idols. He thought Archie was hilarious in it and looked like a cross between Fez & Davy Jones. However, he was a bit disappointed by Archie’s set. He thinks he has a great voice but he didn’t like his stage manner at all. He said his moves were contrived and unnatural and, unlike all the tween girls, he couldn’t stand all the giggling he did between songs. I’ve dragged him to these concerts 3 years in a row now & what he really didn’t like about this year was the lack of duets and group numbers. He thought that too many of the songs were slow and that most of them chose songs because they liked them and didn’t necessarily choose the best songs for the audience. He also thought this concert seemed to lack the cheesy fun factor that was evident in Season 5 & 6’s tour. And although he would have rather seen the new Batman movie tonight, I think overall he had a good time. He said he just thought of DC as Batman, Archie as Robin and KLC as Catwoman when he got bored. We did some further casting with Michael Johns as The Joker, Jason as the Riddler and Rami as the Penguin. The crap you talk about to pass the time on the road.

It seems the peeps on this blog love numbers so who am I to deny them such simple pleasures?

Outside temperature at show time: 87

Inside temperature at show time: like I have time to look for a thermostat in this big ol’ place? But I will say it got awfully hot when Cookie came onstage. Down cougars, down!

Miles from my house to the venue: 108.62

Number of our parking spot: space 10 South (I’d make a comment about Taylor Hicks being our parking attendant but he’s proved all the skeptics wrong by taking Broadway by freakin’ storm).

Section number our seats were in: 111, if you really must know you nosey McNoseys

Row our seats were in: now this is getting annoying, what are you some kind of stalker?

Time the concert started: about 7:20

Time the concert ended: about 10:15

Length of intermission: about 35 minutes

Time on the clock when I arrived home: 12:56 AM

Dollars I spent on my ticket: $82.75 w/Ticketmaster fees (yes, I paid full price. Not like last year when I paid $20 on eBay two days before the concert).

Dollars I spent per Idol: $8.27

Dollars I spent on my diet Pepsi: $5

Dollars we spent on tolls: $4.80

Dollars we spent on parking: $15

Number of free pop-tarts we got: zero, what a rip!

Number of “what the %$#& is a clown doing here?” looks I got: I lost count

Number of AI seasons I’ve watched: all 7

Number of my fave AI season: Yup, it’s still 5 (but this season is my second fave).

Number of times I accidentally shouted “Soul Patrol”: 2

Number of women Clay Aiken has artificially inseminated in the last 3 hours: 12 (he’s creating a super race of singers that will take over the world so that one day every living person will have some Aiken in their DNA so that it will actually be renamed DNAiken).

Number of the seasons I referenced in this recap: 2, 5, 6 & 7 and now that I’ve said Dunkleman, Fantasia & Constantine I can add seasons 1, 3 & 4.

Number of American Idols mentioned that I made snarky comments about: all of them, but it was done with love.

Number of CDs I’ll buy from this season’s Idols: the jury’s still out.

Number of times I mentioned David Cook’s/Cookie’s name: 7

Number of times I mentioned my own name: 11

Number of parole violations I racked up tonight: 4

Number of sexual partners I’ve had in my lifetime: 2, 384

Number of sexual partners I’ve had since the concert started: 3 (isn’t that what intermission is for?)

Memories made: once again, too many to count

So the show was finally over & after walking back to the Sparklebus my dogs were barking & my sticks were aching. That means my feet & legs were hurting if you’re not hip to the Sparkle slang. That was some show. We danced, we sang, we clapped, we yelled, we hooted, we hollered, we twirled, we whirled, we shimmied, we shook, we jumped, we skipped, we were warned repeatedly by security to “knock it the hell off.” Yes, a good time was had by all and the memories are forever tattooed on my cerebellum (thanks for the awesome imagery idea Miss Jordin Sparks).

So that pretty much covers it. Actually, that more than covers it. I can’t imagine that anyone has actually read this entire recap but if you have, it’s your turn now. Keep in mind that I took “sparkle” time away from my many admirers to write this piece of crap, I mean recap (is recrap a word?), so the least you could do is leave a comment. And if at least one lurker posts for the first time, Sparkles’ cold, black heart just may thaw a bit. But then again if that happens, Sparkles just wouldn’t be Sparkles.

The End (finally)

PS Congrats to those who noticed that my title had 7 words that started with an “S” for Season 7. And you thought those hidden clues on “Lost” & the puzzles in the “National Treasure” movies were cool! Hollywood ain’t got nothin’ on Sparkles.

Click the link below to check out my sparkle-icious photos.
I really hope Cookie notices me when I stalk him at the buses.

About mj santilli 34539 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!