First, THANK YOU James Blake for beating Ivo Karlovic in your earlier round and saving me from watching yet another stupid boring Karlovic match.
Second, having said that, WTF, James, WTF were you doing? That was the most underwhelming potentially-interesting match EVER. And you can't blame it on the clay; Roger just said it was played like a hard court match. So what gives? Sorry to say this, but you played so much better in the exhibition match in KL last year.
I seriously couldn't understand the logic behind Blake attacking Roger's first serves. It worked maybe once, during the first set if I remember correctly, and after that it'd never worked again. Go ahead and attack Roger's second serve, which he did really well in the first set (Roger won less than 50% of the points on his second serve!), but attacking his first serve is just asking for it. He did it throughout the whole match, and kept doing it even when it reaped him little to no results. That resulted in Roger holding serve easily, which is good of course, but it didn't make for very exciting tennis, to say the least.
Also, Blake played like crap. CRAP. Two consecutive double faults in a row in one service game to give Roger break point, and after a great first serve out wide that set up the winner, Blake had to hit a freaking unforced error. The most egregious UFE of the match - that could've-been-easy forehand winner went LONG. It was...SO SAD. Gave Roger the early break in the second, sure, but I couldn't even cheer because I felt so bad for him. It wasn't like the thought wasn't right; it was standard, but also a high percentage play. It was just too bad the execution was so shoddy.
Blake also looked like he wanted to get off the court ASAP and I felt SO bad for him, because I really like him especially after seeing him live. He's a really nice guy, plays a single-handed backhand, plays nice aggressive tennis, and I was expecting a much more competitive match, but apparently he had a really bad day at the office. It was too bad, really.
It wasn't, therefore, a good test for Roger at all, but something must be really wrong with the water in Madrid if Roger had more winners off his backhand side than his forehand side. His forehand was severely letting him down today and I couldn't believe the kind of stupid errors he was making (that egregious error by Blake on break point was copied by Roger a few points later, but at least it was just one unimportant point; he recovered quickly), and his forehand passes were quite tragic. I don't think he made even one, which is...all kinds of weird. But the backhand? Supposedly his weaker shot? Okay, it IS his weaker shot, but the number of winners coming off that wing were INCREDIBLE today. A great backhand return-of-serve winner got him the break in the opening game of the first set, and he hit this AMAZING super cross-court backhand shot that would've been a winner if Blake hadn't feebly brushed the frame of the racquet against the ball.
Roger's serving improved in the second, but was tragic in the first. TRAGIC. The bright side? 3 aces, and zero double faults. I'd say the latter is an improvement.
Still, he could've done better. Which I think he knows. I doubt he went all out anyway; he usually doesn't go all out in the earlier rounds if he thinks he can win those matches easily. Today he was in complete control of the match so there wasn't a need to do too much, and his serve bailed him out when it truly counted (ace on the only break point he faced, ace on match point). All in all, it was a solid performance from him, but nothing to really crow about.
2. Idol results show
Kris' homecoming video brought serious tears to my eyes. I love the guy, and I AM emotionally invested, but not really to a huge or overwhelming extent. I WAS looking forward to the homecoming video, but wasn't expecting to be moved by it.
But OMG, his reunion with his dad was SO touching. His dad just hugged him so tight and kept whispering in his ear how proud he was of him, and it was just SO incredibly heart-warming and touching and it could've melted the iciest heart. And the lump in my throat couldn't help but increase when, after his performances at the amphitheatre, he was standing with his family (mom, dad, brother, wife) and his mom was wiping away tears, and he went, "Don't cry, mama." It was SO cute, and SO sweet.
He's such a genuine, heartfelt guy. He has his vocal limitations for sure, but I just love the sincerity and the earnestness he puts into his songs, as well as the emotional connection. He makes me feel what he sings, even when singing a stupid song like Man in the Mirror. It's this uncorrupted, genuine, and even kind of pure approach he has to music that makes me adore him so much. He's the lone idealist amongst the sea of cynical, jaded monguls that see music as a money-spinning machine, not an avenue with which to express yourself, and I wish he stays that way after he's inevitably signed to a major label.
Kris is awesome. For the first time, I'd genuinely be happy with whoever wins this. If Adam wins, he'd be extremely deserving; if Kris wins, he'd be extremely deserving, too. I'm still going to vote my ass off for Kris, but I'd be happy either way. And it helps even more that they're such great friends.
Oh, and I LOVED that they used Falling Slowly. When it started playing as Kris' dad was hugging him tight, that was when I almost started to cry. And they showed him singing the song! They didn't show Danny singing his songs (he sang some stupid medley of like, 9 songs, at random, and he forgot his words and made an ass of himself. The videos are all online and I'm so not surprised they weren't included in his package) to which I can only say...LOL.
Also, I adored Adam's homecoming video too. That scene of him talking to the little kids in some theatre school was SO cute! And I love how he was so unassuming and, well, real, for want of a better word, throughout the whole thing. The rendition of the American national anthem against the backdrop of the American flag was a bit odd for me though. It was like some weird pseudo-political statement or something and, I don't know, the jarring juxtaposition was just...weird. That was about the only part I didn't like.
As for the rest of it...I HATED the Rwandan kid. It felt exploitative, not genuine, and patronising, not generous. I'm sure the kid had a great time, which is great for him, but it felt so manipulative and fake, as if Idol is trying to remind everyone of its philanthropic efforts (though, er, where was this year's Idol Gives Back?). You know how a genuinely humble person wouldn't go around declaring he's humble? That's exactly it. And dressing the kid in typical rapper-wear also rubbed me the wrong way. Severely.
Also, this may make me sound evil, but I thought he sounded awful. I don't care if he's from Rwanda; he sounded bad, period. To say anything else would plainly be patronising and I won't stand for that kinda crap.
Moving on. Who the fuck is Katy Perry? She was horrible and why was she wearing a swimming suit on stage? Jordin was...kinda weird, almost like she was trying to seduce the stage. Which was weird. Pretty good though, I guess. That song did nothing for me, sadly.
Lastly, I Twittered to Ryan Seacrest to declare Kris safe first - AND HE DID! Bwahaha. The Shock Face wasn't as shocked as it was upon reaching Top 3, but I love his OMIGOSH! reactions.
Even better? Adam's reaction when he was announced as the other person in the final 2. He was genuinely worried and genuinely relieved when Ryan called his name. That was really nice to see.
OMIGOSH TOTALLY EXCITED ABOUT NEXT WEEK'S FINAL! I hope the judges don't piss me off; I'd like to feel equally good about both contestants, thanks. If the judges start bussing Kris again, it'd be so much less enjoyable. Hope the judges Do the Right Thing.
3. Mad Love for Mag!
So happy Mag came back! Had a great time on Tuesday eating yummy half-priced waffles at Gelare, then walking around, trying on clothes at Dorothy Perkins and buying nothing, then having subpar dinner at Coffee Club but it was a great dinner anyway because of the Amazing company.
I love Mag soooo much. I can't imagine my life without her. The food she bought from Japan were all damn yummy, especially the Tokyo banana! (Bro ate the Disneyland chocolate though. What a pig.) I think it proves that everything edible and made in Japan is good haha.
Seeing Mag again tomorrow. Yayness! :)