My Friday Five: Happy Trails & ‘Idol’ Thoughts

Photo: Chris White
1. Happy Trails, Roi Wassabi!
All good things must come to an end, I guess. Roi, one-half of the inseparable YouTube duo that runs the popular Wassabi Proudctions channel, has decided to leave. According to an article on Tubefilter, Roi is moving on citing unhappiness with the current situation. Alex said in a personal vlog that he will continue producing content the channel. For 10 years, Alex and Roi have created some hilarious videos that’ll sure put a smile on your face – if it doesn’t, come talk to me. I’ve been a proud “Wassabian” for those 10 years and I actually went to high school with these two – I believe I had a class with Alex one time as well. Bottom line is, Alex and Roi are two talented, funny, genuine and hardworking people with creative minds. It’ll be weird not seeing Roi alongside Alex.
Check out the “Goodbye, Roi Wassabi” video below and please check out some of the awesome videos on the Wassabi Productions page. You won’t regret it!

2. Bronco in the Review Booth?
I know the media – and fans alike – can make much ado about nothing, but this one may be justified. After Super Bowl 50, several media outlets reported that the wife of the assistant replay official for the big game is a huge Denver Broncos fan – and didn’t shy away from showing it. The official, Jimmy Oldham, and his wife live in Denver and the wife attended the game on Sunday all decked out in her Broncos garb. 
Why does this matter?
Early on in the game, Panthers wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery made what looked to be a first down catch. The on-field officials ruled it incomplete despite several replays that made it appear as though it was indeed a catch. Panthers coach Ron Rivera challenged the call. Easy overturn, right? Wrong! After further review, the call on the field stood and, on the very next play, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was sacked and fumbled the ball, leading to a Broncos touchdown. No matter how you slice it, that was a big momentum shifter for the Panthers. Whether it was a purposeful act or just an oversight, this additional feather in the NFL’s hat of gaffes is just bad optics for the league.
3. Idol Talk
American Idol continued this week with what seems to be its 10th round of the judges choosing who stays and who goes. This part of the show always feels like some weird, in-between round that gets scrunched into the season just to fill up some time. This week and next, the contestants are tasked with performing a solo as well as a duet with an Idol alum. Although I appreciate the, sort of, flashbacks with the alums – could have done without Caleb Johnson and Lauren Alaina – I think the whole format and whatnot is ridiculous. As I alluded to at the beginning of this segment, there seems to be a never-ending stream of judges pick rounds. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the voting public had much more say in some of Idol‘s earliest seasons. Input from the viewers has decreased more and more each season, with this season being the worst I’ve seen. The judges are dwindling the Top 24 into 14 in the next two weeks and then I believe public voting will only choose two of the Top 10 while the judges choose the other eight.
Speaking of the judges, their critiques, or lack thereof, have been useless so far. For three supposed “well established artists” in the industry the judges haven’t been doing very well dishing out their critiques. Like in Thursday night’s episode, Harry Connick, Jr. said he was going to either forget or pass on I don’t know how many of the duet performances and focus on the previous night’s solo performance instead. Keith Urban just some form of gibber jabber. Jennifer Lopez’s critiques are just confusing. One glaring error made by the judges’ critiques, noted by the Idol Radio Show, was calling out Emily Brooke’s “lack of performing experience” when she’s had a wide array of performing experience prior to Idol. Brooke ended up being eliminated from the show Thursday night. This is one such instance in a plethora of just flat out weird critiques from the judges.
As you probably know by now, especially if you know me personally, I’m an Idol junkie. I’ve watched all seasons of the show, been to several of the summer tours, you name it. When I first started watching, I was under this spell of thinking that the show was indeed a real competition where the viewing audience voted, etc. Now, some of that is true – it is a competition – but I can see more and more that it’s only a show and the powers that be are going to put through who they think is most fit for their needs. Plain and simple. That being said, I still enjoy watching the show but I view it now more than ever with a critical eye both musically and format-wise. My how things have changed in 15 years.
4. Welcome Back, Cole Sprouse!
You remember Cole Sprouse, right? Sprouse played Cody Martin in the hit Disney Channel series The Suite Life of Zack and Cody as well as its spin-off series The Suite Life On Deck. Sprouse and his twin brother, Dylan, left acting, got a college education and have continued to be a couple of awesome dudes. I watched both Suite Life shows religiously back in the day and I’ve kept up with the Sprouse fellas on social media throughout the years. Both have become incredible artists by the way, Cole with photography and Dylan with drawing.
I was browsing the social media channels the other day and came across this Twitter post from Cole. Undoubtedly, I was stoked to learn that Cole will be returning to acting to play the role of Jughead Jones in the upcoming series Riverdale, based on the Archie Comics. According to Deadline, Cole will join Lili Reinhart – from one of my favorite shows that was canceled, Surviving Jack – and two others who have yet to be named. I don’t fault Cole for stepping away from acting but, man, I’m glad he’s back. He and Dylan are two incredibly talented people and it’s been fun to follow their journeys outside of the Suite Life world. I hope Riverdale will be a successful venture for Cole.
5. What Contest?
As I perused Facebook the other day, I came across a post from the official page of Little People Big World, a show that I’ve watched for several years. The show, in conjunction with its network, TLC, is holding a contest for fans to prove that they are the ultimate fan. Selected fans will be invited to spend a day and hang out with the family featured in the show: the Roloffs. Sounds cool, right? Well, as a super fan of the show, I just about jumped off the couch when I found out about this. That excitement quickly turned into frustration when I continued reading the contest page. The rules state that selected people must be able to provide their own travel, transportation and accommodations.
Are you kidding me?
I don’t get why the folks at LPBW and TLC want to call this a contest. It’s not. Most contests I see provide transportation and accommodations for the winner(s). I guess only the privileged few are allowed to this party.

Thanks for Reading

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