May 28, 2013

BOOKS: Red Planet Blues, Robert J. Sawyer (2013)

Robert J. Sawyer is one of our best science fiction writers, and here he tackles one of the genre's bigger challenges -- the SF/mystery hybrid.

The challenge with mixing the two, I think, has to do with reader expectations. SF readers, enjoy -- and yes, this is a rather broad generalization -- the surprise of new gadgets, gizmos, concepts, technology. They'll let an author get away with introducing something entirely new six pages from the end of the book if it makes for an exciting finish. Mystery writers, to make an equally broad generalization, want to feel that they have a fair chance to solve the puzzle, which means that they're going to be annoyed if the solution depends on some unknown bit of technobabble that show up at the very end of the book.

Sawyer's solution to this dilemma is to introduce only one major big new idea for his mystery readers to deal with (and by SF standards, it's neither a very big nor a very new idea). That idea is "transfers," artificial bodies into which human minds can be transferred for enhanced beauty, strength, vision -- whatever they think might be helpful; the original human body is destroyed immediately after transfer so that there's only one copy of any given person at any given time.

And throughout the early chapters of the novel, Sawyers explores the possible complications and ramifications of transfers in a crime-solving context, so that by the time we reach the climax, the reader has been given all the necessary information to stay one step ahead of the detective.

He is Alex Lomax, the only private eye in the Martian city of New Klondike, who Sawyer completists will recognize from the novella "Identity Theft." An altered version of that story makes up roughly the first quarter of Red Planet Blues; it's been fleshed out with additional characters and details to set up the plot for the rest of the novel.

That plot centers on the search for the great mother lode of Martian fossils, the location of which was kept a secret by its discoverers. All of the things you love about private eye novels are here -- cops, both honest and corrupt; beautiful dames, naive and worldly; the local powerbroker who knows where the bodies are buried (often literally). They're set against an appealing Martian backdrop; New Klondike sits under a large dome, and spacesuits are required to venture outside (unless you're a transfer, and don't actually need oxygen).

Sawyer's prose, as ever, is crisp and clean; his ideas are interesting; and his characters are a bit more fully developed than is the norm for either SF or private eye fiction. Red Planet Blues is a breezy entertainment that should please fans of both genres.

May 25, 2013

MOVIES: Star Trek Into Darkness (J.J. Abrams, 2013)

WARNING: It is virtually impossible to talk about this movie without giving away some character information that some may find spoiler-ish. I don't happen to think it is, and I'm not going to say anything more about the actual story than I ever do, but for those who are obsessively sensitive about such things, there's your warning.

The smartest thing J.J. Abrams did in the first installment of his Star Trek Babies reboot series was to establish that we were no longer in the timeline of the original; history changed, and we've moved into a parallel timeline. That gave him the freedom to tell new stories and introduce new characters without being tied to the oppressive "but that contradicts something that Chekov said in episode 12 of season 3" nonsense that Trek fans can be prone to. So what does Abrams do for Trek Babies 2? He decides to give us his riff on the most memorable villain (and movie) in Trek history.

Yup, Khan is back (played by Benedict Cumberbatch), and the movie opens by essentially putting him in the role of Osama bin Laden. There's a terrorist attack, and we want to capture and punish Khan, who is hiding out on the Klingon homeworld (standing in for Pakistan). We're not at war with the Klingons, but relations aren't good -- some say war is inevitable -- and we certainly don't trust them enough to ask for their help in capturing Khan, so Kirk and crew are sent on a Top Secret mission to get the guy.

And once Kirk and Khan meet, the movie turns into a series of riffs on scenes and bits of dialogue from The Wrath of Khan, given spins and twists and reversals that will no doubt have the most devoted Trek fans deliriously happy and pleased with their own cleverness at recognizing all of them, but don't seem likely to be terribly interesting to series newcomers. We're not really being asked to respond to what's happening on screen, but to our memories of what's happened in earlier versions of Trek. It's a "newbies need not apply" movie; fortunately, the box office suggests that there are enough fans that Abrams can keep rehashing old stories and foes in future movies. (Next up: Kirk Meets the Borg!)

The performances from the central crew are both good and bad, and precisely in the same ways as they were good and bad in Abrams' first movie. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto are delightful as Kirk and Spock, and their emotional bond is so obvious and so deep that Spock's romance with Uhura (Zoe Saldana) can't help but seem puny and uninvolving by comparison. Anton Yelchin's Chekov is still not much more than a bad accent; Simon Pegg is still playing Scotty as a clownish buffoon. Karl Urban's McCoy is significantly better than in the first movie; he's playing the character's abrasive exasperation at a more realistic level. And John Cho as Sulu is given a bit more to do this time, and handles his big scenes very nicely.

The casting of Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan is baffling. He's a fine actor, and though he isn't given much of interest to do in the movie, he does it well. But these are supposed to be the characters from the original series; certainly the members of the Enterprise crew have been cast to resemble the TV actors as much as possible, both physically and temperamentally. But Cumberbatch stepping into a role orginally played by Ricardo Montalban? Makes no sense, physically or vocally (the accent alone sinks it) and the break between this timeline and the original is recent enough that this Khan really should be just a younger version of Montalban's.

So mixed feelings here, I suppose. If you know the series well enough to catch all of the in-jokes and references, you may well love this; if you're relatively new to the Star Trek world, it may be mildly entertaining, but you're going to sit through it with the nagging feeling that you're missing something. Most frustrating of all is what this movie tells us about Abrams' (and the studio's) vision for the new series. What could have been an opportunity to boldly go where these characters have not gone before appears likely instead to be nothing more than an ongoing greatest hits medley.

May 15, 2013

TV: American Idol 2013: the finale!

It's Candice vs. Kree, in an Idol final that feels a bit lopsided going in, but also promises to be one of the most entertaining in years; I'd happily take either of these finalists over any winner the show has given us since Carrie Underwood.

Three rounds tonight: a song chosen by Idol creator Simon Fuller, the winner's first single, and a repeat of a favorite performance from earlier in the season.

The rundown:

Kree, "Angel" -- I appreciate that she didn't try to turn the song into a belt-fest, letting it stay the low key song that it is. The challenge, though, is that you still have to fiind a way to hold the audience's attention even without the big notes and the flashy technique to show off, and Kree didn't quite figure out how to do that. Quiet can be riveting; this was just sleepy.

Candice, "Chasing Pavements" -- Not a terribly interesting song, and the little ending tag (I assume the record ends with a fadeout) was a bit too sleazy Vegas lounge. She worked it as well as she could, but you can't make tapioca very interesting no matter what you do to it.

Round One to Candice, but not by a lot, and neither was anything to write home about.

Kree, "All Cried Out" -- The song suits Kree well, and it's a pleasantly serviceable country tune, which is a nice change from the usual Inspirational Anthems. It seems tailored to show off the strong belt she has in her upper register; however, even though the notes aren't all that high, Kree sounds strained as she goes for them, and she's not always quite getting to them. That's unusual for her, and I'd bet it's just a mark of exhaustion and stress.

Candice, "I Am Beautiful" -- It strikes me that no one ever sings a song with the message "I Am X" unless there might be some reason to doubt the singer's X-ness. You wouldn't hear Elton John singing "I Am Gay," or Marvin Gaye singing "I Am Black." And so there is something just a little unpleasant about assigning a song called "I Am Beautiful" to the woman who's not a size 2. And even beyond that, Candice projects such confidence that it feels off to hear her singing in the voice of a woman who takes such comfort in the fact that "he says" she is beautiful. She knows that already, dammit, and doesn't need anyone to tell her so. As for the performance, it's fine, though I'm not sure the song is as instantly commercial within her market as Kree's would be in hers.

Round Two to Candice, by a somewhat wider margin than Round One. But we still haven't seen anything exciting from either singer.

Kree, "Up On the Mountain (MLK Song)" -- Very good. She's slightly drowned out by the band and chorus at one point, but she sounds better than she has all night. Still not hearing the spark of magic you'd hope to hear at least once from an Idol champion on finale night, though; it's a solid performance, but it's not a thrilling one. And that, I think, is an apt summation for Kree's season. She's been a consistently solid performer, but she's never had that moment that makes you sit up with chills and say "oh, my" (It's been many weeks since we heard her do this song, but I think her earlier performance of it was better than this one, and the closest she's ever come to giving us that "oh, my" moment.)

Candice, "I (Who Have Nothing)" -- Oh, my. That's what I'm talking about. That's as close to flawless as you get on Idol, and it ought to be the decisive knockout punch.

Round Three to Candice, by a landslide.

Which means that with three wins in three rounds (and, in my opinion, season-long dominance), Candice should be the easy winner. But as we learned from Kree's surprising survival over Amber last week, you cannot underestimate the strength of the Idol country audience, and I will not be surprised at all if Kree wins.

TV: American Idol 2013: year-end awards

You lucky folks on the east coast are watching the final even as I type, but it's still a couple of hours away here in California, which means I've got just enough time to slip in the annual end-of-year awards for the best and the worst of the season. As always, only performances from the Top 10 on are considered.

Best performance: Candice, "Lovesong"
Runner-up: none

Worst performance: Lazaro, "Close to You"
Runner-up: the rest of the Lazaro Arbos songbook, really, but in the interest of sharing the wealth, we'll give it to Burnell, "You Give Love a Bad Name"

Voted off too soon: Burnell
Runner-up: Curtis
(though it should be noted both of these are much smaller offenses than we get in most years; with one glaring exception, Idol voters pretty much got it right this year)

Lasted too long: Lazaro (and there's our glaring exception)
Runner-up: none

Most disappointing: Burnell. At this point in the show's history, there's no excuse for not knowing what probable theme nights are likely to trip you up, and not having something prepared for them.

Most pleasant surprise: Candice. Sure, it was obvious from the beginning that she was good, but she kept getting better, spinning gold from unlikely straw ("Straight Up"? Really?) and singing songs you'd never have expected from her ("Come Together," for instance). At this point, it's clear that she's one of the two or three best singers Idol  has ever produced.

May 12, 2013

MUSIC: Sacred and Profane, May 12

Rebecca Petra Naomi Seaman, conductor

The program:
  • Henrik Ødegaard: Bruremarsj (Wedding March), from Fem slåtter (Five folk songs)
  • Edvard Grieg: selections from Fire Salmer (Four Psalms): Hva est du dog skon; Guds son har grort meg fri; I himmelen
  • Peter Erasmus Lange-Müller: Tre Madonnasange (Three Madonna Songs): Ave maris stella; Madonna over Bolgerne; Salve Regina
  • Jón Leifs: Requiem
  • Jaakko Mäntyjärvi: Four Shakespeare Songs: Come away, death; Lullaby; Double, double, toil and trouble; Full fathom five
  • Lars Magnus Béen: Sköna maj, välkommen (Fair May, welcome)
  • Fredrik Sixten: Peace
  • Karin Rehnqvist: The Raven Himself Is Hoarse
  • Rehnqvist: I varje bit bröd (In every bit of bread)
I'd been looking for an excuse to spend a few days in San Francisco, and this concert from chamber chorus Sacred and Profane seemed like a good one. It's an adventurous program, and most of the composers are not exactly household names. The concert was a delight.

S&P is a chorus of about 2 dozen singers, and while their website doesn't say for sure, I believe they are entirely an unpaid group. They specialize in a cappella music, and while their repertoire does include some acknowledged standards, they lean to the unusual.

This program was called "Music of Transcendence: Songs from the North," and includes music from all five Scandinavian countries. (I had thought there were four, but apparently Iceland is now frequently included in the group.) The only piece on the program that I'd heard before (and that only in recordings) was the group of Shakespeare songs by Mäntyjärvi, which S&P delivered in fine style. They had great fun with the great swooping notes, frenzied chanting, and foot-stomping in "Double, double," and their "Full fathom five" had just the right eerie atmosphere. Perhaps it's just a side effect of the relative familiarity, but I thought it was the highlight of the concert.

The other name that intrigued me was Leifs, who I've heard about on many occasions, but  whose music I've never had the chance to hear. He is almost always described as Iceland's greatest classical composer; given how little music we hear from Iceland, I was curious to learn whether that was a significant achievement, or something more akin to being the most sophisticated guy in Bugtussle. His Requiem is a short piece -- none of the individual pieces on this program were more than 7 or 8 minutes long, I don't think -- and he uses none of the traditional Latin text, opting instead for selections from Icelandic folk poetry. It's focused on the sad, serene mystery of death, with none of the fist-shaking anger we sometimes get in Requiems. It's not really enough exposure to his music to decide whether he's a genuinely world-class figure, but he's certainly more than Mr. Bugtussle.

The men and women of the chorus each had a chance to shine on their own. The men were at their strongest of the day in Béen's Sköna maj, an arrangement of a traditional tune that is a standard part of Swedish spring festivals; it comes across as a cross between glee club and barbershop, Swedish style.

The women's solo moment came with Rehnqvist's The Raven Himself Is Hoarse, a setting of one of Shakespeare's monologues for Lady Macbeth. It was an intense and fully committed performance that called for the women to sing in their highest and lowest registers, often to deliberately unattractive effect. The program notes say that Rehnqvist is a favorite composer of S&P; based on the two pieces we heard to today, I can't quite see the appeal.

I was more taken with the Sixten,  a setting of John 14:27 written in memory of the victims of a 2011 terrorist attack in Norway. The music and the text are very much in tension -- you've never heard so troubling a setting of "let not your heart be troubled" -- but it's a lovely piece, and the choir handled the difficult dissonance very well.

Intonation is, in general, one of Sacred and Profane's strengths; I suppose if a chorus is devoted entirely to a cappella music, it had better be. Their balance and blend are also quite good. And while I can't speak to the accuracy of their Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, or Swedish, I can say that they were at least in agreement about which sounds they wanted to make. And when they were singing in English, their enunciation was excellent; I found myself having to glance at the program for text in those moments where the word choice had gotten particularly Biblical or Shakespearean.

Were these absolutely ideal performances? No, probably not. But the problems that Sacred and Profane has are the problems you'd expect from a very good chorus  that's working to become a superb one. Entrances were occasionally somewhat tentative, particularly from the men (it is always harder to find good male singers than female). The sopranos tended to be shrill in their highest register, and the overall sound is notably less rich and solid when singing quietly. (At full volume, though, the chorus is capable of a beautiful, robust tone.)

But when a chorus is offering programs this unusual and challenging, those quibbles seem even more quibble-y. To hear this music at all is a marvelous opportunity; to hear it sung this well is a spectacular one.

May 10, 2013

MOVIES: The Great Gatsby (Baz Luhrmann, 2013)

Let's start with the obvious question: I have read the book, but not since high school, so this will not be the place for a point-by-point comparison or a list of all the ways in which Luhrmann has changed things. And even if the book were fresh in my mind, those things wouldn't interest me much, because this is a movie, and it should be judged on its own merits, on whether it succeeds or fails as a movie.

That said, The Great Gatsby is a novel whose reputation is based largely on Fitzgerald's prose, and so it's notable that Luhrmann's most obvious major change allows him to get more of that prose into the movie. Luhrmann has added a framing story which finds Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) in a sanitarium, recovering from some sort of breakdown (the doctor's notes list his symptoms as insomnia and "morbid alcoholism"); his doctor encourages him to write about his memories as a way of exorcising them, and we hear large chunks of Nick's story (which is, of course, Fitzgerald's novel) as voice-over narration.

That story centers on Nick's cousin, Daisy (Carey Mulligan), and his neighbor, Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio). Gatsby is a mysterious member of the nouveau riche; no one is quite sure where he (or his money) came from. Daisy lives across the bay with her old-money husband, Tom (Australian actor Joel Edgerton, doing an American accent that is an unfortunate blend of Ernest Hemingway and Foghorn Leghorn). Gatsby throws spectacular weekend parties, at which anyone who's anyone simply must be seen.

Those parties are a fine example of both what's good and what's bad about the movie. They are, as you'd expect from Luhrmann, visually spectacular, and the use of anachronistic music helps to make that excitement feel new and of the moment, and to make Gatsby's world seem like a place that is entirely alien to Nick. (The fact that most of the music comes from the modern R&B/hip-hop world only emphasizes Nick's disconnection, because Tobey Maguire is among the leading contenders for the crown of Whitest Man in Show Biz.) But for all the energy and visual excitement, the parties aren't enticing. You sense that people have shown up because doing so is socially obligatory, not because they're having any fun.

The other visuals of the movie are also marvelous (costumes and production design are both by Catherine Martin). One thing that period movies often get wrong is that everything looks old, a bit drab and faded, as if the period has been re-created with objects that actually are that old; even if the movie's in color, everything is tinged with sepia. Martin and Luhrmann don't make that mistake; they remember that these characters are wealthy, and that everything they own will be new and bright and shiny.

(I should mention that the movie is in 3-D. I can't do 3-D because of vision issues, so I can't offer any useful commentary on that aspect. It did seem to me, though, more so than most 3-D movies, that the technology often makes the actors look slightly creepy and puppet-like.)

The strongest scenes in the movie are not the noisy party scenes, though; they're the quieter character moments, particularly from DiCaprio. He does lovely work in a scene where he's nervously anticipating his reunion with Daisy, and the explosion of anger that marks his final confrontation with Tom is chilling. He's also (finally!) beginning to age into a mature masculinity; he's a handsome man in this movie instead of the pretty boy he was for so long.

And because the movie's stronger when it's actually telling the story, rather than when it tries to dazzle us, I think you're likely to enjoy the movie more as it goes along. The opening, when we're being teased with the parties and the glitz and the mystery of Gatsby, is far less interesting than the last 45 minutes or so, when the truth about these characters and their relationships is finally revealed.

May 08, 2013

TV: American Idol 2013: Choices (Jimmy Iovine / Judges / Producers)

It's the final three, which (as we were repeatedly reminded last week) means hometown visits, during which each singer is "surprised" with a message declaring what song the judges have assigned them. The producers and Jimmy Iovine also get to choose songs, giving us three songs apiece. As always on choice night, I wish that we were still getting choices from the reanimated corpse of Clive Davis, whose choices were always the smartest and most interesting. Ah well, let's see what we get from Jimmy and the gang, shall we?

The rundown:

Round One: Jimmy's choice

Kree, "Fuckin' Perfect" -- Or "Perfect," as it's identified by Idol. Pink doesn't seem a good choice for Kree (but then, Jimmy's seemed rather hostile to her in previous weeks, so maybe it's deliberate). The song's vaguely inspirational lyrics, which boil down to "yay, you!," are bland enough to be reshaped into any genre, though, and Kree gives us a mildly country flavored version. It's competently pleasant, but not really Top Three caliber.

Candice, "One" -- Loved the first verse and chorus all to bits. Subtle, understated, tasteful, restrained singing. Then the drums kick in, and it's just another bit of belting to be heard over the band. It's a nicely performed bit of belting, to be sure, and I'd rather listen to this again than the U2 original. Again, though, Jimmy is choosing songs far outside the singers' wheelhouses.

Angie, "Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word" -- This is certainly the most suitable choice Jimmy's made; the song is right in Angie's sweet spot (and I'm rather surprised that she's chosen not to do it at the piano). It's a fine performance, though some of the highest notes ("it's a sad, sad situation") get a bit screechy.

For Round One: Angie, Candice, Kree. But Jimmy's song selections had as much to do with Angie's relative success in the round as the singers' talent did.

Round Two: Judges' choice

Candice, "Next to Me" -- It's a catchy little song, and it suits Candice fairly well. It's not her finest performance, but it's cheerful and entertaining, and it could almost convince you that the song has more substance than it does.

("Now entering Beverly," says Angie during her home-visit video piece, and we few who know and adore the music of John Forster go into quiet giggling fits.)

Angie, "Try" -- A good choice for Angie. It shows off her wide range, both in volume and pitch. I like her better in the verses -- quieter and lower in pitch -- than in the choruses, which are too bellowed, but I do admire the clarity of her upper register, and how high she can go without having to slip into a falsetto/head voice. And she does seem more comfortable than she ever has away from the piano.

Kree, "Here Comes Goodbye" -- Another unkind choice for Kree. (One might almost think that someone was really rooting for a Candice/Angie final.) Yeah, it's country, but it's firmly at the pop end of today's country spectrum, and Kree is far more comfortable with the more traditional style. It's not a terrible performance; it's just never a very interesting one.

(A side note: While romantic loss and the loss of one's parents are very different things, there's still something disturbing about the judges picking this song for Kree. And from their post-song comments, it's clear that they chose the song fully intending to take emotional advantage of the resonance that her personal loss would bring to it.)

For Round Two: Candice, Angie, Kree. But there was nothing here to be very enthusiastic about.

Round Three: Producers' choice

Angie, "Maybe" -- She's overpowering the son with a "look, Ma, I got tonsils!" assault. It's all power, all the time, and the lack of tonal variety would be wearying, even if it weren't a bad fit for the song. (Who would have thought that her worst performance of the night would be the one she does at the piano?)

Kree, "Better Dig Two" -- I don't know if the problem is in the original version of the song, or in this arrangement, but there's a serious mismatch between the lyric and the music. The words are about someone who loves her husband so much that she doesn't want to go on living without him; the music is a not very melodic burst of anger. And try though she might, Kree can't reconcile the contradiction; there's no coherent point to the song. (And another song about dead loved ones? Really? The emotional vampirism is bordering on the sadistic.)

Candice, "Somewhere" -- Oh my. Yes. All the prizes for Candice, please.

For Round Three: Candice, Angie, Kree.

For the night: Candice, Angie, Kree. Song choices were so much harsher for Kree than for the other singers that even I find it hard to believe it wasn't deliberate, and I am not given to conspiracy theories.

For the season: Candice, Angie, Kree. The second-place battle is ridiculously close, taking the season as a whole, and if you wanted to argue that Kree should be ahead of Angie, I wouldn't put up much of a fuss.

Let's send home: But it'll be Kree going home, largely because of tonight's ridiculously unbalanced song choices, but because Angie has momentum on her side. Her best moments have come later in the season; Kree's best moments came early, and she's faded in recent weeks.

May 01, 2013

TV: American Idol 2013: Now & Then

The final four are back for a second week, which makes it all the more baffling that the judges chose not to save Janelle on the final night they could have used the save. We'd have gotten the final five twice, instead of the final four twice, which isn't a big difference, really. Janelle would probably still have gone home in fifth, but she'd have gotten to sing one more time. (And given some of the awful song selections last week, who knows? She might have hung around for another week.)

In any event, it's the final four again, for Now & Then night, when each singer gives us a 2013 hit and a song from the Great American Songbook. And we're even trotting out a celebrity mentor for the first time in many weeks, with Harry Connick Jr. on hand to provide advice.

The rundown:

Angie, "Diamonds" -- Pretty enough, though there is one very loud, very high note on which she falls short of the actual pitch. But like most Rihanna songs (heck, most of today's pop), the production is more interesting than the song itself, and with the production stripped down to a minimum, there's not much left to hold our attention.

Amber, "Just Give Me a Reason" -- Not a great effort. She's frequently drowned out by the band; when she can be heard, her enunciation is unusually mushy; and she's chosen a key in which she can't hit the low notes. And she seems nervous and uncomfortable; still struggling to remember the words, maybe?

Candice, "When I Was Your Man" -- Candice is helped by the fact that this is a somewhat better song than the others we've heard tonight. But she doesn't really need that help. She's just flat out a better singer than the other three, by a wide margin. This isn't her most exciting or interesting performance, but it's easily the best of the night so far.

Kree, 'See You Again" -- I'm not sure what was missing from that, but all the time Kree was belting the big notes and getting a pained "I'm feeling something, really" look on her face, I was being distracted by the cute guy playing the guitar next to her, which is a measure of how dull that was, because as much as I like a cute guy, I am not that shallow.

For Round One: Candice, Angie, Kree, Amber.

Angie, "Someone to Watch Over Me" -- The opening was quite nice, but then she turned on the Full Angie, and if ever a song shouldn't be belted with a big, confident smile, it's this one. It's about longing and desperation and the fear of being alone. She made a lovely sound; it just had no connection to the emotional content of the song.

Amber, "My Funny Valentine" -- Very good. She ran out of breath on the note before that final little riff, and I think there were more unnecessary runs and frills than when she sang this in the semifinal rounds, but the song suits her voice and range extremely well.

Candice, "You've Changed" -- That was showier and brassier than it needed to be, but unlike Angie's performance, the emotional content was appropriate to the song; the volume became an expression of anger, loss, and frustration.

Kree, "Stormy Weather" -- Certainly an improvement over her first round, though like everyone else, it was overly embellished and too big. (I am firmly in the Harry Connick camp when it comes to singing these songs simply, as written.) But given that these are young 21st-century singers, utterly at sea without the crutch of their ruffles and flourishes, that was about as good as could be hoped for.

For Round Two: Candice, Kree, Amber, Angie.

For the night: Candice, Kree, Amber, Angie.

For the season: Candice, Amber, Angie, Kree.

Let's send home: As I said last week, as long as it's not Candice, I don't much care. And given that last week's votes are being added in to this week's results, and we know that Candice and Amber were the bottom two last week, I think it's a tough week to predict. Angie had a bad week, but may have enough of a cushion from last week to survive. I think it'll be Amber going home, but I have no confidence in that prediction.