Wade on Birmingham

Archive for March, 2011

Alabama to face Wichita State in NIT Championship Game

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Video: Alabama defeats Colorado 62-61 in the NIT semifinals.

The Alabama men’s basketball team faces its final challenge tonight: Beating Wichita State to win the National Invitation Tournament.

The top seed Tide (25-11) will face the No. 4 Shockers (28-8) after they crushed Washington State 75-44 in the semifinals. Alabama narrowly defeated Colorado 62-61 on Tuesday in the other semifinal match.

The game takes place at 6 tonight in Madison Square Garden in New York, airing on ESPN2.

Also:

Paul McDonald on ‘American Idol’: Top 11 again

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Video: Paul McDonald sings “Rocket Man”
for Elton John night.
[buy it on iTunes — aff. link]

If these 11 faces seem familiar …

American IdolAs you may recall, Casey Abrams almost went home last week, but the judges used their only save to keep him on “American Idol.” And so, two contestants will be going home this week.

Legendary singer and pianist Elton John provides the hits for tonight’s show. Can Huntsville’s Paul McDonald continue his winning ways, with everyone facing double jeopardy this week?

Song: “Rocket Man,” by Elton John

[buy Elton John’s “Rocket Man
on iTunes, Amazon
; buy Paul’s version aff. links]

Judges say: Randy: “A little pitch-y. When you get into that tender zone with that quiet soft voice, it’s very infectious. Allow yourself to go all the way.” J. Lo: “I wonder if you’re holding back, if there’s more to your voice than even you know. Push, push, push.” Steven: “When you start hitting every note, that’s the day I’m not gonna like you anymore.”

We say: An interesting take, but not a compelling one. Where’s the intensity, the uplift?

Paul McDonald, American Idol

Paul McDonald, American Idol

Gone Hollywood: The magazine photo shoot.

Paul McDonald, American Idol

Paul McDonald, American Idol

Back in the day: Paul McDonald plays with his original band.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio: “Rocket Man,” Paul McDonald

“American Idol” airs at 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays on Fox 6.

Voting closes at 11 tonight.

Update March 31: Paul landed in the Bottom Three, in a week in which two contestants would be eliminated. But he escaped, as Naima Adedapo and Thia Megia, “Idol’s” youngest contestant ever at age 15, were sent home.

Previous: Top 11 — Motown songs
Next: Top Nine

Video: “Rocket Man,” by Elton John

Video: “Rocket Man,” by William Shatner

Video: “Rocket Man,” by Stewie Griffin

Also:

• • •

More “American Idol” at idol.wadeonbirmingham.com.

the corridors of power

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Up and down the long
hallways hung crudely drawn hopes
from the city’s youth.

• • •

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ode to a cupcake

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

When eating a whole
cake by yourself is frowned on
by society.

• • •

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march maelstroms

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Storms roll through leaving
hail and branches strewn about.
The air calms, clears up.

• • •

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sunday brunch 2011

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

The warm mimosas
remained unsipped while the group
stared at their smartphones.

• • •

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Krista Klumpp: the mediator in a short-lived ‘Survivor’ alliance

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Krista Klumpp, Survivor: Redemption Island

She went from fearing a villain, to bonding with a villain, to being dragged down by said villain.

Survivor: Redemption IslandAfter 14 days, Fairhope native Krista Klumpp exited “Survivor: Redemption Island” in 15th place.

What went wrong? How did she come into such a controversial alliance? And what didn’t get shown on television?

The Columbia, S.C., pharmaceutical sales rep dished on her 2 weeks in Nicaragua during a conference call.

On aligning with Russell Hantz, the three-time notorious contestant: “I have a tattoo on my foot that says, ‘Saved by grace.’ And (Hantz) said, ‘I like your tattoo.’ And I was like, ‘I like yours.’  That’s where our conversation started and where we got to know each other.”

(Hantz has an arm tattoo that reads, “Keep Hope Alive.”)

Klumpp and Hantz shared some things in common, including Christian beliefs, a love of SEC football (he attended LSU, she was head cheerleader at Auburn) and being Southerners. She was drawn to this side that wasn’t shown on television.

But having seen his cutthroat moves in two previous “Survivor” seasons, she feared he would just unload on her at any moment. Instead, she connected with him personally, leading to their ill-fated alliance on Zapatera that included Stephanie Valencia.

On what she wish had been aired: “I did a lot of behind-the-scenes work for our alliance.

“Being an alliance with Stephanie and Russell, they’re such big personalities and so dramatic, (so the footage focused on them). I was a big part of a lot of our decisions that we made and a lot of the strategic conversations.

“I did a lot of mediating between Stephanie and Russell. Me being a mediator, me calming Stephanie and Russell down to not be so brash to the others is not as entertaining.”

On the Redemption Island duel with Matt Elrod: “I was doing really well staying focused, and I thought I was way ahead of Matt. I thought I had it by a long shot.

“To hear Jeff (Probst) say that Matt wins, it was like, ‘No way.’ I thought for sure that I had won it. It was over, very emotional for many reasons.”

On looking back at her alliance with Hantz: “I really feel like that was my only choice. None of the others were there to play the game like I wanted to.

“I knew I had to be aggressive from the beginning. I had to come in ready to play, and the only people ready to do that were Stephanie and Russell.

“When you’re approached by Russell to get in an alliance, I don’t believe there are many choices that you have.” (laughs)

Krista Klumpp, Survivor: Redemption Island

“Survivor: Redemption Island” airs at 7 p.m. Wednesdays on on CBS 42.

Previous: Episode 6 — So it is written

• • •

Back up for grabs … more “Survivor: Redemption Island” at survivor.wadeonbirmingham.com.

a call for poets

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

The call for poets
did not roil the land but
shook hearts from within.

• • •

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Alabama heads to NIT’s final four in New York

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Video: Alabama’s Senario Hillman with the dunk after a 3-pointer
miss. The Tide defeated Miami to advance to the NIT semifinals.

The post-season continues for Alabama. The No. 1 Tide defeated No. 2 Miami 79-64 Wednesday in Tuscaloosa to advance in the National Invitation Tournament. The win marked a school record 19 wins at home, undefeated in Coleman Coliseum all season.

Next stop: New York’s Madison Square Garden to face fellow top seed Colorado on Tuesday. The game airs at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.

The winner will face the victor in the following game, No. 2 Washington State vs. No. 4 Wichita State.

The NIT championship game will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, also on ESPN2.

Alabama, Miami, National Invitation Tournament

Alabama’s Ben Eblem tries to get past a Miami defender.

Also:

Photo: Kent Gidley, Alabama Athletics

renewal phase

Friday, March 25th, 2011

The promise of a
new season inspires us
to grow, to become.

• • •

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the countdown

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Invites sent, menu
set, decorations in place,
band tuned, almost there.

• • •

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Paul McDonald on ‘American Idol’: Top 11

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Video: Paul McDonald sings “The Tracks of My Tears”
for Motown night.
[buy it on iTunes — aff. link]

Motown never dies. At least, not on “American Idol.”

American IdolThe Top 11 pick their favorite hits from the label, including Huntsville’s Paul McDonald, complete with guitar.

Song: “The Tracks of My Tears,” by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

[buy Smokey Robinson and the Miracles’ “The Tracks of My Tears
on iTunes, Amazon;
buy Paul’s version — aff. links]

Judges say: Randy: “You have a distinctive voice. You took it to a Rod Stewart level. When you sing tender, you’ve definitely got that husky, quirky voice quality. Bring more of that out.” Steven: “Like (Bob) Dylan, Willie Nelson, your voice is that different. I love it.” J. Lo: “You’re the most seasoned performer we have. You’re the complete package.”

We say: The uptempo version charmed the audience and the judges, but where’s the sorrow, the longing, the true emotion of a classic? And yet, he’s growing on us.

Paul McDonald, American Idol

Paul McDonald, American Idol

Behold the power of the trucker hat.

Paul McDonald, American Idol

Rehearsing for Motown night.

Paul McDonald, American Idol

Paul McDonald, American Idol

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Audio: “The Tracks of My Tears,” Paul McDonald

“American Idol” airs at 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays on Fox 6.

Voting closes at 11 tonight.

Update March 24: Casey Abrams was almost sent home, but the judges unanimously decided to use their one “save” to keep him on the show.

Previous: Top 12 — Songs from Your Birth Year
Next: Top 10 Top 11 again

Video: “The Tracks of My Tears,” by the Miracles

Also:

• • •

More “American Idol” at idol.wadeonbirmingham.com.

Krista on ‘Survivor: Redemption Island’: So it is written

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Episode 6 recap

survivor.wadeonbirmingham.com

Krista Klumpp, Matt Elrod, Survivor: Redemption Island

Against the grains: Matt Elrod and Krista Klumpp share
a meal on Redemption Island.

Does Krista Klumpp have what it takes to defeat the three-time champion of Redemption Island?

Survivor: Redemption IslandFor the Fairhope native, that’s the only question that matters in tonight’s “Survivor.”

Matt Elrod has sent other competitors packing, including one of the toughest players of three seasons, Russell Hantz.

And before they duel, will Krista and Matt connect on other level?

Find out after the jump …

[buy this episode — aff. link]

(more…)

Krista on ‘Survivor: Redemption Island’: Live for today

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

‘Survivor: Redemption Island,’ episode 6 preview

survivor.wadeonbirmingham.com

Video: Preview of tonight’s episode.

For Fairhope native Krista Klumpp, her journey on “Survivor: Redemption Island” has come to an end.

Survivor: Redemption IslandOr has it?

Tonight, she faces the formidable Matt Elrod, the three-time champion at Redemption Island. She stays only if she defeats him, and every other castoff after him.

Last week, Zapatera booted her over her ally Stephanie Valencia. The question is: Does Krista have what it takes to beat all challengers from here on out?

Check out the action tonight, and look for the recap here.

Episode 5 recaps:

“Survivor: Redemption Island” airs at 7 p.m. Wednesdays on CBS 42. Look for the full recap tonight following the show.

• • •

Back up for grabs … more “Survivor: Redemption Island” at survivor.wadeonbirmingham.com.

join the parade

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

The clatter of feet
and cars and bands and Shriners
and floats approaches.

• • •

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