and a Spirit: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/472511.html
and a vague statement within the latter http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/472511.html?thread=47104703#t47104703 that maybe I would mention something about the various contestants left in today's Green Room. Just semi-random observations I have about them. It might take me a good part of the day. So keep looking back for updates. Since there is a poll up, I figure I will just cut and paste the names and start with the ones lowest in the rankings. Why? *shrug* I dunno. Just because that's how I'm feeling this morning. :)
alephz - If an award was given out at the beginning of the season, he would have had it hands down. His analysis posts welcoming newbies, and giving them (and veterans) advice were absolutely top notch. His openness about various ideas and drafts let people into his writing process in a way that few others have managed to pull off over the years. It invites discussion of process, and that is *never* a bad thing.
amenquohi - It's about time. I have been waiting for her to be at this point in the season for what seems like *forever*. Every season was the same story... since, what? Season 4? 3? I can't even remember. It's been going on for quite some time. She would start off strong, real life would happen and then she would drop out. It became an Idol tradition, a running joke. . . The surest sign that this season is different - she is still with us. She is where she has belonged since the moment she walked into the room. I am thrilled for her.
java_fiend - Is also a contestant this season.
Seriously though, the lesser half of the dynamic duo and teller of tales dark and twisted has expanded his emotional and technical arsenal over the course of the season. He used to be one of those people who was overlooked on the radar, but I think after 3 seasons (Yes, Kevin *3* seasons) that he has emerged as someone quite well rounded. (Granted, being someone who gets my Survivor references doesn't hurt him either!)
joeymichaels - He won the Spirit award for Season 7. I don't think that I actually have to say anything nice about him. :) You already have said plenty. :)
Something nice. :)
hosticle_fifer - Not only did he marry well, he's a talent in his own right. :)
How talented? I've hinted at it before - I'll go ahead and say it now, he is *the* highest ranked contestant only and Gatekeeper round in the competition. Note, I didn't say "left in the competition" - he has been one of constant favorites! There is always someone who never really gets talked about in public, that it turns out that everyone, in private, just thinks is *that good*. I called it the abbismom/fourzoas effect. This is the one for Season 7.
pixiebelle - If there was a "Heart" award, she would definitely win. Over the course of two seasons I have seen more personal growth, as well as the growth in her craft, than I have seen out of a lot of people. She continues to progress, and as much as I wish she would give herself more credit, some of that does stem from not being satisfied with what she did yesterday. The drive to constantly be better serves her well in pushing her to "prove" just that much more. Even if there is no one left to prove it to (we all know she's talented) other than herself. :)
serpentpixie - There is no one in the field who is doing what she does. As someone who has seen 7 seasons of material from all kinds of people, being able to say that isn't a small feat. She came in, has completely done her own thing in her own way. Being able to say that, and keep your head high the entire time, while finding your footing in a new environment - that's asking a lot of someone. But she does it very well.
the_vernacular - People do experiments all the time. Sometimes they are more "let's try this" and sometimes it's more about proving a point. After an incredible feat last season and making every single deadline *with comics*, there were still a handful of people who weren't convinced that she could actually *write* and tell compelling stories. I usually call them "dumb people". :D She's clearly brilliant and I'm really glad that she has had the chance to showcase that. Coming into this as an alt, with minimal interaction with other contestants, and still making it this far. I think she's proven quite a bit.
vaguelyclear - In a season where veterans seem to be squeezing out every last bit of moving room in the spotlight, there have been some notable exceptions. Exceptions that are both vague *and* clear at the same time!! She was under the radar for quite some time, but as the weeks have progressed, has managed to impress quite a few people and establish her footing. Without a doubt, a Season 7 success story. updated: OK, so technically she is also a veteran! But I think, in this specific case, that the sheer impact made on the game this time around, as opposed to last time, does merit a mention. ;)
yachiru - There is one in every group. Someone who pushes the boundaries of what you are "supposed" to be getting away with, in such a way that encourages others to follow suit. This season has been fortunate enough to have several of those, including her. There is a hilarious (to me) story about her, but it will *definitely* have to wait until the poll is over! :)