BANTER WITH BEN AND LISA #54: ‘American Idol’ Behind The Scenes! Also, Katie Perry and Amy’s Baking Company

You guys — this was a fun one!

This week on Banter with Ben and Lisa, Ben Mandelker ( talks about his experience going to the live finale taping of American Idol. Observations about Mariah Carey and Colton Dixon ensue. Then Lisa Timmons ( spills the tea about her brush with a big time, real deal celebrity. Finally, the two break down the whole Amy’s Baking Company / “Kitchen Nightmares” fiasco. This is definitely one to listen to. For real, yo!

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BANTER WITH BEN AND LISA #49: Famous Siblings We Love; Also, American Idol, Tiger Woods, and A Shout-Out To SoundCloud!

New Banter with Ben and Lisa is up, and this episode is really funny, if I do say so myself. Here’s the official description:

This week on “Banter with Ben and Lisa,” Ben Mandelker ( and Lisa Timmons ( embrace Siblings Day by discussing the famous siblings they like most. From Kim Richards to Bambi Swayze, we definitely cover a lot of ground. Then it’s on to this week’s “American Idol” which featured Mariah Carey’s most long-winded critiques yet. Finally, we tackle some of the dubious celebrity couples out there — Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn, Rihanna and Chris Brown, e.g.. Along the way, there’s talk of hamsters and a big shout-out to all our followers on SoundCloud. Come take a listen!

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VIDEO: The Best ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ Cover You’ll See All Year

I suppose we really shouldn’t be surprised to learn that when it comes to “All I Want For Christmas” by Mariah Carey, the best person to cover the song is… Mariah Carey. Check out the newest rendition of the holiday classic performed by Mariah, Jimmy Falon, The Roots, and some cute kids.

Izzz the best.

British Soldiers Take On “All I Want For Christmas Is You”

Guys, it’s been about fifteen minutes since I posted something about “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” I know what you’re thinking: why the long wait? Luckily, I can put you out of your misery. Today comes yet another viral video featuring Mariah’s seminal holiday tune, and this time it’s a lip synched rendition courtesy of Britain’s HMS Ocean, which is returning from deployment in Libya this month. Like the song itself, the video is so ebullient and cheesy that you can’t help smiling along. Also worth noting: this is the whitest warship crew of all time.

BANTER WITH BEN AND LISA: Episode 22 – Talking About Mariah, Redickulous, and Brownies

Lisa and I are back with another podcast! We recorded this one on Friday while eating ice cream, and admittedly, we’re a little hyper after having stuffed ourselves with Indian food just prior. Normally that would be cause to enter food coma, but we just became more bonkers.

The two of us actually recorded two episodes back to back, but the first one’s audio file became corrupted (morally, Faye Resnick style) and so it had to be trashed. Therefore, when you listen to this episode and hear us mention how we previously talked about Indian food and Mariah Carey on the previous podcast, just know that these are references to a sadly expunged recording.

A Better “All I Want For Christmas Is You” Video Option

I feel like all I’ve been doing this week has been posting about “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Well, here goes once again. Two spritely hoofers have put together a dance to the aforementioned song that can best be described as infectious. It’s cute, sweet, fun, and really impressive. This is far better than the latest Justin Bieber / Mariah mess (not to mention the grainy original video).

As a bonus after the jump, check out another dance routine that is far less choreographed. What it lacks in skill, however, it makes up for in silly goofiness…

Via The Daily What Continue reading

And Now The Inevitable Bieber/Mariah Christmas Video

A few days ago, I posed a question to the readers: who has ruined “All I Want For Christmas Is You” more — Michael Bublé or Justin Bieber. I suggested that the latter performer merely had his vocals slapped onto the classic Mariah track, but now comes an official music video of the “duet,” and as it turns out, Mariah is an active participant in the sullying of her own legacy. I can’t imagine why she would do this. I assume it’s a way for her to stay relevant, but personally, I like to think that the record label simply threatened to photograph the left side of her face.

Hey, at least Mariah shed that baby weight. Good for her.

Now excuse me while I satisfy my sudden compulsion to purchase a Nintendo 3DS at Macys.

BIEBER VS. BUBLÉ: Who Ruins ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ More?

When it comes to Christmas music, there are few contemporary songs better than Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” which was released just a shade over (gulp) seventeen years ago. The inimitable tune (co-written by B-Side Blog friend Walter Afanasieff) has been covered many times since its release, but this Holiday season, it has been sullied by not one but two very popular recording artists.

In one corner we have Michael Bublé, who trades out the song’s signature spunk for his own typical, jazzy blandness. The word “neutered” comes to mind. I don’t actually mind the arrangement, but Bublé’s voice (some call it velvety, I call it boring) really drains the recording of any life. Of course, I’m sure we’ll hear this version on many a TV drama soundtrack. I already anticipate Grey’s Anatomy chomping at the bit for the rights. I don’t love Bublé’s take on the song, but I can’t begrudge him for changing things up. I reluctantly dole out a smidgen of credit for showing some creativity.

In the other corner, we have Justin Bieber, who’s been copy and pasted into the Mariah Carey original. That’s right: same song, but now with 50% more Bieb. On the plus side, the spirit and arrangement of the track have been preserved. But on the major minus side, this feels like cheap coattail riding. Bieber is just piggybacking on Mariah’s hard work, which might be more offensive than Bublé sapping the song of its soul. Plus, let us not forget that for every second that Bieber is singing, Mariah is not. If Bieber is going to take on this vaunted classic, he should just do his own thing with his own arrangement instead of barging in on Mariah’s territory. This is HER song. She don’t need no help from no Hilary Swankish teen idol.

So, who ruins the song more? Michael Bublé, who is creative but boring, or Justin Bieber, who lets us enjoy the original but is altogether too intrusive? To help inform your thoughts, click through to the embedded songs for reference after the jump.

The floor is open.

Continue reading

Mariah Makes Herself Comfortable on HSN

Mariah Carey popped up on Home Shopping Network today to hawk some jewelry, but as far as we can tell, she used the time to sit back and relax. The pop diva got comfy in the studio, sprawling her pregnant self out on a couch as if she were about to share her mind with Dr. Melfi. Mariah doesn’t say much that is actually funny, but the image of her just lounging about on live TV is kind of amazing. Above, check out a thirty-second snippet.

To watch 15 more minutes of Mariah (where she is mostly upright), click here.

Mariah Carey Releases Most Ambitious Music Video Yet

I love when Mariah Carey does goofy things. Tops on my list is when she threw the first pitch out at a Japanese baseball game (followed by her drunken acceptance speech at the Palm Springs Film Festival). Certainly ranking up there is this silly music video which looks like it was filmed in her basement in between afternoon snacks. It’s just a loopy, chesty Mariah swaying back and forth behind generic footage of fireworks, all while she croons her ridiculous take on “Auld Lang Syne.” Clearly this will be the anthem for any and all New Years gay pride parades.

Nevertheless, I gotta give it up to Mariah. That was $10 of production values well spent!

Via Bark Bite Blog