Welcome to the first “Hit Me Baby One More Time” summary. Or Da H-BOMT. Think of the show as “American Idol Surreal Life edition” or “B-Star Search.” Rules are simple. The performers sing one of their hit songs, (sometimes their only hit song) and they will do another round; where they do their version of a current hit. In the end, the audience votes for the winner. I think that sucks personally because people in the audience are more hardcore fans than the Idol watching public, who may have never heard of them.
The winner gets $25,000 to their favorite charity. Personally, I would have had them get a major record deal and a pretty good markeing push. No word on if the winners will go to a final. Our host is Vernon Kay, the British version of Ryan Seacrest. Believe it or not, he's more annoying.
We start our program with Loverboy. Last time we heard from them, they were an inane reference on an episode of South Park, where we found out “Elephant and Pig DNA just don’t splice." (See song “Hot Girls in Love”) Where are they now? They are in Vancouver B.C. doing 100 shows a year. Still recording music and doing TV shows. Well, Canadian shows, so us Americans never see them.
Only three of the four original members showed, as they performed the Wednesday hump day anthem “Everybody’s Working for the Weekend”. Nothing reminds us of the ‘80’s more then females screaming every time their name is mentioned. They did an all-right job, but looked like their middle aged selves -- look like your next door neighbors in a middle class neighborhood.
Their second round song was their rendition of “Hero” by Enrique Iglesias. The lead singer, Mike Reno, did a great rendition of the song, and his pipes are still there.
Next up is CeCe Peniston. The last time we saw CeCe we were still making jokes about her last name. She sang at President Clinton’s inauguration, which you wonder, besides Fleetwood Mac, who survived it. She is now in Phoenix, married, and still doing national anthems on occasion.
Cece sang “Finally.” The years have been good to her, although had a little bit of baby fat on her, but hey, a couple of pounds is fine by me. She also had two dancers with her, which looked somewhat awkward. She still has the voice though. If this was Idol, she would the in the top 5.
Her second song was “There You’ll Be” by Faith Hill. This reminds me of Idol, as a country song turned into R & B. She actually did a better job on this song than her hit. She had the best performance of the night in my opinion and would have gotten a standing “O” by Randy if he was there.
Last time I saw “Flock of Seagulls” they were opening for the Romantics at a wine and cheese festival in Las Vegas. Seriously. I saw them. I had free tickets. Anyhow, they are based out of Cocoa Beach, FL. Lead singer Mike Score is still writing music and he admits he likes guitars and boats. Ahhh….
Mike, who is well known for his unusual hairstyle, cut his famous do and was wearing a hat, which sucked. They all had long hair—but so does Michael Bolton. Again, only three members of the band showed. They sang “I Ran”, not to be confused with the place where the Iatola is. The lead singer's voice has changed, and he appeared to be more speaking in rhythm than singing. It's gotten a bit rough in his old age. It wasn’t the song I remembered in the ‘80’s.
Their second round song was “On the Way Down” by Ryan Cabrera. This was worse than the first song. They wouldn’t even make it past Idol auditions—they would be on the “never gonna make it” blooper reel.
Last time we saw “Arrested Development” it was a show on Fox. Okay, not the same thing. Fox’s version are a white collar family, while the group features African Americans who have no collars -- as dashikis don’t have them. Still making music, they now work out of Fayetteville, GA. For those who haven’t heard of them, think Black Eyed Peas with an African twist.
They did “Tennessee” which is not about country music or Elvis. They dropped the African gear and went urban. They haven’t changed in sound. Fareedah Aleem’s vocals are still kickin and Speech, the rapper, is still pretty good. Didn’t mess a step.
Arrested Development did “Heaven” by Los Lonely Boys next. The lyrics are the same, the tune changed drastically. Speech rapped new lyrics, plus another singer added a Jamaican flair. You would never know it was Los Lonely Boys, because they changed it so much. Not to say that their song wasn’t good. On the contrary, it was a great performance and could easily be released as a single. In fact, it was so different that they might not need to secure any rights from Los Lonely Boys to release it.
Before Britney, before Jessica, there was Tiffany. Before Brooke Hogan toured the malls, Tiffany did it. Last time we heard from Tiffany she was on “Behind the Music” explaining why she posed for Playboy and how she had turned her life around. Now she is in L.A. raising a family and getting ready to release a new album.
She did “I Think We’re Alone Now” which I wouldn’t mind doing, because she is still hot. Very confident on stage, and still has the voice. Another performer that would make Idol's top five.
Speaking of Idol, she did “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson as her second song. Hey Kelly Clarkson -- guess what you are going to look and sound like in ten years? Strangely enough, Tiffany and Kelly sound very, very similar -- with the exception that Tiffany sounds slightly more mature. Did a great job on the song.
With the performances all out of the way, we get to the voting. I would have picked Cece because she did a great job on vocals. However, the audience voted for Arrested Development, which was an interesting choice. They donated their $25,000 to UNICEF for Africa.
Next week, we get to hear Tommy Tutone, Haddaway, the Motels, plus two other one hit wonders. For now, this is Flairmarq dimnming the lights and turning off the mics.