Last night's installment of America's beloved gay rodeo taught us important lessons about inspiration and hope and dreams. Alicia Keys showed up to show the kids how to be serious, and we all cried a lot.

Oh heavens did we cry! What soaring music we heard, didn't we? From Tim's tremolo to Mike's guttural booming to Siobhan's careless whispers, last night delivered a heaping bowl of hot dicks inspiration. And thank the good Lord Christ Almighty that Alicia Keys was there to squeeze our tears out of our faces like the last of the toothpaste.

Can we talk for a second about Alicia Keys? I know you're on your lunch hour and you don't have that much time, but I'd really like to talk to you about Alicia Keys. Why? That's my big question with Alicia Keys. Why? I mean, don't get me wrong. I keep on falling for that "I Keep Falling" song. And if I ain't got "If I Ain't Got You," then I'm not doing too well. And no one doesn't like "No One." So I like A.Keys. But she's not some Incredible Genius who writes Life-Changing Songs. And yet she's sort of treated like that? I feel like every time she performs on something we're supposed to clasp our hands and put them to our chests and shake our heads and make a little gasp and just be like "Now that is an artist." You know what I'm saying? It's all a bit silly. She's a smart lady, went to fancy schmany Columbia and all that, but her lyrics are mostly very silly and she writes pop songs. Alicia Keys writes fun pop songs. But she's not exactly Joan Baez. I mean, she plays the piano so she changed her last name to Keys. That kind of says it all for me. She's one thing and we treat her like another thing and it's just sort of funny. If Alicia Keys is a Legend then I am Mark Harmon. And despite my silvery gray hair and Naval crime solving, I am not Mark Harmon.

Does that make any sense? Again, I like Alicia Keys. I even like her as an actress. I am actually actively rooting for her acting carer. I saw Smokin' Aces, for her. But c'mon guys. Let's tone down the reverence a scoche, shall we? Also, what is a concrete jungle where dreams are made of? I don't know what that is.

So that's that. Now you know how Richard Lawson feels about Alicia Keys. Aren't you so glad you read this website? You learn such meaningful things.

The Good
Oh Crystal. Could you believe that shit last night with the crying? Lady, be a damn professional. Ohhh I'm sorry. You can grumble at me all you like. But Aretha Franklin doesn't just sporadically break the fuck down at the end of one of her barn burners. You don't hear Joni Mitchell bursting into tears when finishing Both Sides Now on that live album, and she had a lot more to cry about than Bowersox does. So I'm just saying that while it was a human moment and all, it was also kind of just "finish the damn song, then cry!" I dunno. I'm a grump. But she was good up to that point, wasn't she? She looked good and sounded good and did something a little different, so hey good for her. She will win this, yes?

I talked to your Aunt Karen the other day and you know what she said? She said she's getting a little worried about your cousin, Phil Dweezy. Oh no, he's doing fine, he's doing well. She just thinks maybe too well? You know, he's been on the singing show and I guess, Karen tells me, that the audience people really are liking his songs and things. But you remember how he can get. You remember when he was, oh gosh fourteen maybe, and he got his picture in the paper because he found that dead man in the fields behind Trexler Middle? Well he got a little bit of a big head about it, which is rare for him, being how shy he normally is. You remember, he just walked around like he owned the place for a week or so and gave your aunt a little lip. Oh, it passed. But you know, this music show is a lot bigger than getting your picture in the Morning Call. So Karen's just worried he might, you know, let it go to his head or something. I told her, I said "Keeks, you can't worry about it. You just gotta encourage him and remind him who he is and where he's from and that's all you can do." He's a young guy, and young guys can get a little cocky, you know, to impress the girls or whatnot. But he'll get past it, I'm sure he will. Anyway I've got my book group at seven so you're on your own for dinner. There's some tuna in the fridge I think. Don't forget to watch Phil's show!

The Bad
Did you hear a noise last night and walk out onto the porch and stare off at the purple sky as a train moaned by and see a faraway bright flash of light low on the horizon, a quick pulse and then it was gone? That was Siobhan. For her inspirational song she chose the rousing "When You Believe" from that Prince of Egypt movie nobody saw but is actually pretty good. Oh, Siobhan. She actually sounded fine for the most part, but never has her Cape Cod windy Sundays oyster crackers Ford Escort rube-ness been more evident than it was with that song choice. She might as well have sang a song that went "Tuesday night we went to the Christmas Tree Shop / And drove past the Friendly's / At Roche Brothers "Steal Away" by Robbie Dupree was playing softly / And Tuesday nights are like this forever." That would have been an accurate song. Poor Siobhan. We should also talk about what she was wearing. She actually broke into the costume shop of a high school that was doing a production of Midsummer Night's Dream and wore a fairy outfit. She had butterflies on the side of her arm. And some sort of something sticking up out of her head. It was, as the French say, triflin'. I don't know, maybe I'm hopelessly biased because I gave up on her weeks ago. (Actually, if I'm really honest, I never really liked her. I don't buy her moon-goon doe eyed shtick. She's a rube, sure, but she's one with cold, glaring ambition.)

Apparently I'm not allowed to say anything critical about Big Mike because it is racist for me to criticize a black person's singing on a reality singing competition show. (Oh God, sorry about the Alicia Keys thing!!) So I'll just say that Big Mike did exactly the kind of performance I've come to expect from him. So.

The Giggle Corner, with Tim & Aaron
Oh mercies! You know what Aaron Kelly sang last night for his Inspirational Song? He sang "I Believe I Can Fly." Yes, by R. "Stinkpee" Kelly. Ha ha ha ha. Can you believe that? It is worse, WORSE, than "When You Believe." Way worse. I believe I can flyyy — woo! That woo! is the best part of the song. I mean, it is a great song. But I guess it's just so silly that when you ask a sixteen-year-old field mouse to name you an inspirational song they say "The Nike Space Jam song." Actually, you know what's depressing? A sixteen-year-old almost assuredly does not know what Space Jam is. Can you believe we live in a world where people don't know what Space Jam is? If we asked Bill Clinton, today, what Space Jam was, he would chuckle and say "Isn't that the movie with Michael Jordan and all the cartoons?" Yes, Former Mr. President, that is exactly what it is. But a sixteen-year-old, especially one like Aaron Kelly, pretty much definitely does not know what Space Jam is. That is very sad to me. Not because Space Jam is a good movie (I'm not sure I've actually even seen Space Jam), but because it's just important to know where "I Believe I Can Fly" came from. Anyway. Aaron was ridiculous and silly as usual and it might be his time to go home, I fear.

Timberly. What can you really say about Timberly? He chose a Goo Goo Dolls song because he probably lost his virginity to a Goo Goo Dolls song one afternoon in Larisa Spencer's bed after swimming in her pool three summers ago and so their songs remind him of that good time, when he hears them he can almost smell the chlorine in her hair. Or maybe he just knows that if he picks pop-sensitive boy music the goilies will scream and curdle and clutch their chests and pull at their hair and say, through strained gritted teeth, "Tiiiiiimmmmmmmm." They want to be Larisa Spencer, they really do. But they will never be her. She's a sophomore at Vanderbilt and she can't believe that Timmy Urban is on the TV. I mean, she can believe it, but it's just so surreal. She can still hear the wind chimes on the front porch, dancing softly in the afternoon breeze.

And that emotion is exactly what Tim hopes to invoke in everyone, so well done, lad. Well done indeed.

What About Bob?
Is his name Bob? Oh, no, sorry, it's Casey Johnson-James. I have absolutely no idea who this guy is, but people keep telling me he's on the show, so, here. I am mentioning Carson Jones. I hope all you Casper Juggins fans are happy.

THAT'S IT, I THINK. Crystal Zoomertrunks is going to win this shit. And your Cousin Phil? I think he just might come in second place.

Adios, which means "to God." How's that for inspiring?