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Idol Chit-Chat
This is your place to discuss all things "American Idol." The performances, the judges, the past contestants — it’s all right here.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sabrina and Sundance Making Music Together? Huh?

Are you ready for this one?

Sabrina Sloan has signed a contract with Universal Motown. Her first project will be a CD of duets with Sundance Head.

Huh?

Sabrina told EW.com that she and Sundance will hit the studio in August so they can release the CD in late November. She describes the songs as “kind of Al Green meets OutKast.”

Huh?

Sabrina also said that the partnership will not be a long-term one, because they both consider themselves as solo artists.

Help me out, dear readers. What is going on here? Did anyone see this coming?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Is Bo Bice Coming to Huntington?

My sources tell me that Bo Bice is coming to Huntington in early September.

I honestly have no idea how hush-hush this is, so that's all I'll say until further details become available...

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Kellie talks about album regrets...

Remember how I got trashed for not liking Kellie Pickler’s CD? It turns out that I’m not the only one who had a problem with the CD. Turns out Kellie’s not completely happy with it either…

In an interview with “Entertainment Weekly,” Kelly said she wished she had taken a few more chances with her song choices. “You can’t go through life expecting to please everyone, because you’re gonna be let down. You have to ultimately be happy with what you see in the mirror. Yes, the fans are the ones that keep us employed. They voted me to where I am today, and I give them so much credit. But when I had songs pitched to me, I was so worried about certain lyrics in particular songs—like, ‘How is this mom gonna feel about her 5-year-old listening to this song?’ There’s a lot of songs that I really liked and didn’t put on the record, because I was so worried about what other people were gonna think, and I regret it.”

“You think about that kind of stuff, and you don’t want to upset anyone. But I do have some regrets about some songs I didn’t put on there. Maybe as I grow and make more records, my fans will grow with me and give me the chance to show certain sides of me that ‘Idol’ didn’t. Everything on this record is honest, every song on there I relate to, even if I didn’t write it. But I do want this next one to be a complete spin around, like ‘Wow, I didn’t know this about her.’ I want people to leave in shock—to think, really? I’m all about that. I like controversy.”

The “EW” article also mentioned that according to “The National Enquirer,” Kellie’s long-estranged mother is looking to reunite with her. Kellie’s hit, “I Wonder,” is about her mother abandoning her as a child…

Bravo Bails on "Paula"

When Bravo gives up on a show, they don’t just pull it like the broadcast networks do. They move it to a worse timeslot.

And that’s exactly what they’ve done to “Hey Paula.”

Last week’s episode was originally scheduled to air at 9:30 p.m. before the premiere of “Welcome to the Parker.” But the episode was bumped by an encore of the season finale of “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List.” The new “Paula” episode aired at 8:30 p.m. after a re-run of “Paula”.

Ouch!…

I have to say I can’t really blame them. “Paula” is the most boring reality show I’ve ever seen. We see Paula yelling at people on the phone and having breakdowns, but we never get to see the cause of those breakdowns or hear who’s on the phone. I guess no one told Paula that when you do a reality show you’re supposed to show your reality. All of it…

And I guess no one told Paula that a reality show could in fact make her look like a huge not-so-nice person…

In last week’s episode, Paula, who was in her I-don’t-care-anything-about-time dimension, didn’t bother to meet with the decorator of her rental home; but when she saw the finished house she called and yelled at the decorator to tell her she hated it and wanted it all changed.

See what I mean?

The episode ended with one of Paula’s assistants casually telling the cameras that Paula decided not to rent a house after all. Why do I think we missed a whole lot of drama there?

The season finale of “Hey Paula” airs Thursday at 8:30 p.m. on Bravo…

Kelly Goes Top 10 Country...


Kelly Clarkson has now added a top 10 country hit to her resume…

“Because of You,” Kelly’s duet with Reba McEntire moves to #10 this week on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart…

On the same chart, Kellie Pickler stays at #14 with “I Wonder”…

Phil's Album: "It'll be interesting..."

Last week in an interview with “TV Guide,” Phil Stacey talked about his plans for an album…

Phil said he has things in the works but he hasn’t signed a deal yet. He’s currently writing a lot of country music, but he’s also influenced by gospel music. And he admits that some of his songs are edgy and “rock-influenced.” “It’ll be interesting to see what the label ends up wanting to put on the record.”

If it’s a label run by Clive Davis, Phil, the answer to that will be none of them…

Phil said that while on the Idol tour, Chris Sligh has written him some songs and he’s also been writing songs with Chris Richardson. “[Chris R.] may end up with tracks on Jordin’s record and Blake’s record. Who knows, you know?”

I know that there’s no way Clive will allow Chris to write songs for Jordin…

Photo courtesy of TVGuide.com...

One Last Frank Kelly Interview


So I’ve already told you about the comments Kelly made in the August issue of “Blender” about her conversation with Clive, but the magazine also has some other frank (as usual) thoughts from Kelly…

“Everyone keeps saying how hard this record must be, because of all the crap surrounding it, but that last one [“Breakaway”] was really hard to make. I literally got told to my face that it wouldn’t sell more than 600,000 copies. And I got lied to. One reason I don’t like working with people at the label is that they lie. They told me, ‘We really want you to go to Sweden. These people really want to write with you.’ So I flew to Sweden with lyrics I’d written to this track I’d been sent, ‘Since U Been Gone.’ I get there, and the writers are like, ‘Oh, we already have lyrics. We just want you to sing it.’ It was really awkward. It was mean. That’s why there’s no relationship with them. Because I don’t like to be lied to.”

Clive sent three songs for Kelly to consider in place of three songs on “My December.” One of them was “Black Hole,” which Lindsay Lohan released on her second CD. But no one told Kelly that the song had already been released. “I’m young, I’m a rookie—I get that. But when you’re sending me Lindsay Lohan covers to sing, why would you think I’d want your opinion?”

When RCA refused to authorize a release date, RCA executives and Kelly’s manager Jeff Kwatinetz engaged in daily “screaming matches.” Craig Marks of “Blender” writes, “The relationship flatlined in late April, when Davis, at a Sony BMG worldwide conference in Las Vegas, hurriedly presented four songs from ‘My December’ to the gathering of international department heads, complete with overhead projection of the lyrics, an unusual tactic that some felt was meant to show up Clarkson and Kwatinetz and serve as a chance for the ego-driven Davis to effectively wash his hands of the project (The label says Davis was only trying to gather feedback for what would be a challenging record to market.).”

Clarkson told “Blender” that she is already working on her next album, which she calls “country-blues.” She names Patty Griffin, Ryan Adams and “Dead Flowers”-era Rolling Stones as reference points for the album…

A Good Week for Bucky...

Last week was a good one for Bucky Covington…

Not only did Bucky become the best-selling debut country artist this year, his single “A Different World” moved up to #7 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

Also last week, Bucky did a Q&A and performance at Idol Camp in Northfield, Massachusetts…

Is Constantine Sticking Around "B&B"?

Last week’s “Soap Opera Digest” reported that Constantine may be sticking around “The Bold and the Beautiful.”

“B&B” Executive Producer/Head Writer Bradley Bell told “Digest,” “We did a short-term contract, but he’s enjoying working with us and we really enjoy working with him. A surprise relationship is going to emerge for his character.”

I hope he’s talking about Felicia, but we’re still waiting to find out what happened after their kiss since Constantine has not been on the show since and that was July 19th.

Ah, the perils of a half-hour soap…

Friday, July 27, 2007

Kat on "Tonight"


Katharine McPhee is scheduled to perform on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" tonight (Friday).


I presume she's singing "Love Story," but I haven't heard for sure...


"Tonight" airs at 11:35 p.m. on NBC...

Monday, July 23, 2007

This Just In: Kelly apologizes!

Kelly Clarkson has posted the following message on her website:

"There has been quite a bit of controversy surrounding the release of "My December," much of which has focused on a supposed feud with my record label, in particular, Clive Davis. I want to set the record straight on this by saying that I want my band, my advisors, those close to me and my record label to be one big, tightly knit family. Like any family we will disagree and argue sometimes but, in the end, it's respect and admiration that will keep us together. A lot has been made in the press about my relationship with Clive. Much of this has been blown way out of proportion and taken out of context. Contrary to recent characterizations in the press, I'm well aware that Clive is one of the great record men of all time. He has been a key advisor and has been an important force in my success to date. He has also given me respect by releasing my new album when he was not obligated to do so. I really regret how this has turned out and I apologize to those whom I have done disservice. I would never intentionally hurt anyone. I love music, and I love the people I am blessed to work with. I am happy that my team is behind me and I look forward to the future."- Kelly

It's obvious that Kelly's new management is encouraging her to make amends (no doubt Simon Cowell will take all the credit, however). I hope this causes Clive to show her a little more love and put some push behind promoting her CD...

Bucky Ashland Date Confirmed...

The fine folks at Lyric Street have confirmed for me that Bucky will be in Ashland September 15th.

I'll pass along a time and more details when I have them...

Attention Sanjaya Fans: Hold Your Nasty Nigel E-Mails...

This is what happens when things get taken out of context...
It seems that Nigel Lythgoe did acknowledge Sanjaya's contributions to the show after all.

Here's the FULL quote thanks to "Entertainment Weekly":

''There isn't a Sanjaya here, although I do think Sanjaya helped the last season of Idol. I think there's enough talent with enough great stories to warrant the fact that we are basing it on their talent. No one needs to alter their hair on this program.''

Okay, so he still dissed him, but at least he complimented him while doing it...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Nigel admits a mistake and takes a shot at Sanjaya...

During the Critics’ Press Tour panel for “So You Think You Can Dance,” Executive Producer/Judge Nigel Lythgoe, who is also an executive producer on “Idol,” admits he made a mistake not showing more of the “Idol” contestants’ personalities last season. “We certainly want to increase the emotional hooks for the audience next year. I’d like to know the contestants better.”

Lythgoe then proceeded to take a shot at last year’s most controversial contestant (Sorry Jim). “I’d like our top 12 to be strong[er]—at least as strong as the top 10 on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’…There isn’t a Sanjaya [in this group]. No one needs to alter their hair here”…
Now, why would Nigel take a shot at Sanjaya? Didn’t the ratings drop after he was eliminated? AND wasn’t it Nigel that gave Crying Girl that primo seat? Talk about biting the hand that feeds you…

Is Kelly Clarkson going country?

Is Kelly Clarkson going country?

Earlier this month, Kelly hired Narvel Blackstock as her manager. Blackstock is the manager—and husband—of Reba McEntire. His company, Starstruck, also manages Blake Shelton.

I have always thought that country was where Kelly wanted to go with her career. And now that many people see her pop career as ruined, maybe that’s what she’ll do…

Broadway Re-Energizes Fantasia's Career

VH1 had an interesting article online this week about how Broadway has energized Fantasia’s career, when many people thought the move seemed a little desperate…

Keith Murphy, an editor at “Vibe” magazine said, “Fantasia showed that Broadway is not the graveyard for “American Idol.” She blew that notion out of the water, basically. And I’m not a huge Fantasia fan, but I saw something special on that stage.”

The “New York Times” said she was “pretty terrific” and “wholly convincing” in her role as Celie in “The Color Purple.” And the “New York Daily News” reports that a new show based on Ada “Bricktop” Smith is being written for Fantasia to star in.

Plus, as I’ve reported in other posts, her single, “When I See U” is starting to take off.

Murphy said Fantasia’s success will only continue. “I think she could become a bulletproof artist without her album necessarily having to go triple platinum or even platinum. You’re looking at an artist who now has the capability of growing old with her fans.”

And to think, just a few months ago, we were asking where she was…

Elliott Embraces His "Idol" Status

“Entertainment Weekly” also had a chat this week with Elliott Yamin, whose album is approaching gold status—soon to overtake Katharine McPhee and outpacing the sales of Taylor…

Elliott said that after “Idol” he called 19 Entertainment guru Simon Fuller personally to thank him for everything he had done for him and to pass on any possible deal with 19. Elliott said Fuller told him, “That’s cool, just don’t put out a record before Kat, Taylor or Chris.” Elliott said he was relieved because “they were trying to manage a lot of people at one time and they didn’t indicate that in the future, away from ‘Idol,’ they’d give me 100 percent of the attention that I need. It wasn’t the right fit.”

After doing a jingle contest with Oscar Mayer, Elliott is now working on a Christmas album with Target.

When “EW” asked him if he has come to terms with the fact that he’ll be talking about ‘Idol’ for the rest of his life, he replied, “I’ve accepted it. I know I’ll be forever synonymous with those two words. But so what? I knew what I was getting myself into. I didn’t know the magnitude of how big it was, but I’ll talk about it until I’m blue in the face. So many doors have opened because of it. Now, I get to do what I love every day.”

Elliott is also gracious to “Idol” for the support the show gave his single, “Wait For You.” “It wouldn’t be where it is today if not for performing on that show. One-hundred percent. Thirty million people saw it! There was an 87 percent increase from one week to the next. I was really pumped.”

Which makes you wonder why they gave the spot to Elliott instead of Katharine, one of their own artists, doesn’t it? Granted, Elliott’s is a better song, but still…

Could it be that Elliott is a nicer person?...

Constantine Recap: In One Word--Lame

In an interview with “Entertainment Weekly” this week, Constantine said, “I say it’s cool to be cheesy. But also look at Boston Conservatory, [the] “Rent” [tour], record entrepreneur, classical actor. You can see all sides of it. As long as they’re talking about me, that’s all that matters.”

I’m glad that Constantine is okay with being cheesy, because that is exactly how I would describe his “Bold and the Beautiful” experience.

Actually, I think lame might be a better word…

You may have noticed that I haven’t given you a Constantine recap in a while and that’s because there hasn’t really been that much to say since “B&B” has been focusing on other (and better) storylines. But last week, Constantine’s story came back into the spotlight, and produced some of the lamest stuff I have ever seen on a soap opera…

Rick, Constantine and Phoebe agreed to a duet contest at Insomnia. If Rick and Phoebe won, Constantine would give up on trying to sign Phoebe to his label. If Constantine and Phoebe won (which is what she was hoping for), Rick would back off and let Phoebe work with him. But after a TOTALLY lame audience vote, it was declared a tie. Even more lame.

Don’t believe me? Check out the duets for yourself on YouTube…



And then the “vote”…



If you watch the second video, you’ll see that at the end of the episode, Constantine’s story FINALLY took a good direction—the direction I had been rooting for all along. But there are things happening with Rick and Phoebe’s story that could totally derail his momentum. I’ll keep you posted…

Also in the “EW” interview, Constantine discussed his career. He had a major label deal with Atlantic, but it fell through. Then there was the ABC sitcom produced by Kelsey Grammer that didn’t make it to pilot stage (Constantine said he had to take the chance.), followed by stints on and off Broadway, and now “B&B.” “I’ve taken the time to consciously build a career. I wanted to do Broadway. I wanted to do soap operas. I wanted to start my own label. I wanted to host and write. There were all these ‘I wannas’ and I got to do them all.”

Constantine, I love you, but I don’t believe for a second that your career went exactly the way you wanted…

“Constantine,” his CD, hits stores August 7th. He paid for all aspects of the production himself. When asked if he was concerned about the album’s sales, he responded, “If we can sell enough to continue making records and stay on the road long enough to get more people into the music…that’s the goal. Numbers are irrelevant now. It’s about who your target audience is and trying to move them. I’m realistic. I know I’m not going to be like the major artists out there. I think that’s so silly when artists talk about [how much they’ll sell]…

Not sure if I believe that one either…

"Idol": Emmy's Biggest Loser?

“American Idol” received seven Emmy nominations Thursday, including one for Outstanding Reality Competition Program.

But the show may achieve a rather dubious Emmy record come September…

“Idol” is just three losses away from tying the record for most Emmy losses with 25 (“The Bob Newhart Show” is the current record holder.).

With this year’s weak season (and rough finale), I think the show has a good shot at becoming Emmy’s biggest loser.

For the record, “The Amazing Race” has won the Outstanding Reality Competition Program Emmy every year since the award was created…

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Chart News: Good News for Kelly and more...

Here’s some “Idol” chart news from this week’s Billboard charts…

Daughtry continues to cross over to all formats as “Home” climbs to #16 on both the Hot Christian Adult Contemporary Songs and the Hot Christian Songs charts…

Speaking of Christian Music, Mandisa’s “Only the World” moves to #7 on both of those same charts. “World” falls to #2 on the Hot Singles Sales chart after several weeks at #1…

Bucky garners his first top 10 country hit with “A Different World” as it moves to #10 on the Hot Country Songs chart…

And speaking of the Hot Country Songs chart, Kelly Clarkson’s duet with Reba McEntire, “Because of You,” moves to #12. It’s the fastest climbing song of Reba’s career since 1998. And that great video I love? It was directed by Roman White, who directed the “Before He Cheats” video…

Kellie Pickler sits at #15 on the Hot Country Songs chart with “I Wonder”…

Looking at Mandisa Through "Idoleyes"

If you’re looking for some juicy “Idol” gossip, you’ll be disappointed.

But if you’re looking for an inspirational story about a young woman and how she believes God has worked in her life, then “Idoleyes” is what you’re looking for.

In fact, it makes me wish I had voted for Mandisa…

Though we don’t get any juicy gossip, we do get our most comprehensive look yet at the auditioning process and the toll it can take on contestants. Mandisa had her first audition in Chicago in September, but then had to wait four more days to sing for the judges, forcing her to stay with a friend of a friend because she couldn’t afford the hotel (and the radio station that sent her only paid for one night). She went to Hollywood in December, and then she went back home after the two big groups were chosen. Then in January, she went back to Hollywood to see if she made the top 24. Mandisa writes about dealing with keeping the secret about what happened on the show and trying to hold down a job in the meantime (A CD she planned to release had to be shelved and she couldn’t explain why.).

We also get to see what happened when Mandisa discovered the comments Simon Cowell made about her after she left the audition room. When she returned to Hollywood after that episode aired, the producers encouraged her to confront Simon. We see the turmoil she went through before we saw her put Simon in his place.

But Mandisa’s turmoil was not over, as she would learn after making the top 10. As you may recall, Mandisa introduced her performance of “Shackles” by saying, “This song goes out to everybody who wants to be free. Your addiction, lifestyle, or situation may be big, but God is bigger.” Her use of the word lifestyle—and her friendship with Beth Moore—made people think that she was a gay hater (She was referring to her struggles with her weight.). Mandisa shows us her devastation over the controversy and how it led to a deep depression after she was eliminated…

And it’s the frankness with which Mandisa describes her reaction to her elimination that is probably the most fascinating aspect of the entire book. Sometimes we forget that these contestants are just people and they have feelings too and hearing how genuinely upset Mandisa was at being eliminated (especially with the growing controversy surrounding her) reminded me of that. It was doubly hard for Mandisa since her Queen performance the next week was probably going to be her best of the season…

If you’re looking for a little inspiration for your life, I highly recommend “Idoleyes.”

I admit it inspired me…

What happened with Paula and the "Bratz"?

Is anyone out there still watching “Hey Paula”?

I still am, though I have no idea why since it just keeps making her look worse and worse (Last week’s pre-Letterman breakdown was downright ridiculous.).

If you are still watching, then you’ve noticed a change in theme song. When the show premiered, the theme was “Straight Up,” but now it’s a Paula song about nice guys finishing last. If anyone knows what the song is, please let me know…

The other thing I’d like more information on is the whole deal with the “Bratz” movie. As you may remember, back in January, it was announced that Paula was going to be an Executive Producer of “The Bratz Movie.” She would also help with the choreography and clothing, as well as appear in the movie.

In the first episode of “Hey Paula” there was a brief scene where the people with the movie called to see Paula’s clothing designs after two months of not returning calls. Paula said they had fired their costume designer and now they decided they needed her help (RealityBlurred.com reported that “Project Runway” winner Jeffrey Sebelia was designing clothes for the movie, but I don’t know if he was who Paula was talking about.).

Then in last week’s episode, Paula got an e-mail from the “Bratz” people telling her that she was no longer needed. We saw Paula have a breakdown, but that was the extent of the explanation.

So what happened? The movie is being released next month, so maybe the story will come out then. In the meantime, if anyone knows anything, please let me know…

And speaking of movies, let me officially welcome my friend Derek to the blogging ranks here at Herald-Dispatch.com. Longtime readers of this blog will recognize Derek from his “Idol” debates with Jim Ross. You can read Derek’s “Reel Dude” blog by clicking on the link at right…

Josh returns from the Gulf...

The fine folks at Lyric Street dropped me a line to tell me that Josh Gracin has returned from his tour of the Persian Gulf.

Josh did five shows in Kuwait and Iraq, signed autographs, visited soldiers in the hospital and played basketball with other Marines in 128 degree heat. At Camp Arifjan in Iraq, Josh performed for 2000+ troops, the second highest attendance ever at the base.

The picture is of Josh and his band with members of the 43rd Air Wing out of Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina…

Photo courtesy of Lyric Street Records

The Country Idols Rock ABC...

ABC will air parts of the CMA Music Festival this Monday night on “CMA’s Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” and there will be Idols aplenty…

The special, which was filmed during the festival in June, is scheduled to include performances by Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler and Kelly Clarkson, who duets with Reba McEntire.

You can see more from the festival—including a look inside Bucky Covington’s tour bus—at http://abc.go.com/primetime/cma/index...

Bucky Coming to Ashland...

Bucky Covington will be coming to Ashland in September...

Bucky will be a part of Poage Landing Days which runs from September 14th-September 16th.

If those dates look familiar to you, that's because that's the same weekend the Idols are in Huntington (September 15th). I have not heard whether Bucky will be performing on that same night.

I hope not, because that would be a bit of a bummer for Idol fans.

I'll have more details as they become available...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Elliott Cracks the Top 20

Elliott Yamin's "Wait For You" moved up to #19 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, giving him his first Top 20 hit...

See what happens, RCA, when you give singles time to catch on?

Speaking of which, "Sober" has yet to crack the top 50...

In other chart news, Fantasia remains at #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart with "When I See You." The song moves to #42 on the Hot 100...

Melinda, I never knew you at all...

If I had known this little fact during the season, I may have voted differently…

Melinda Doolittle revealed today in an interview with “TV Guide” that “24” is her favorite show.

She said that FOX kept her up to speed during the “Idol” season, but she’s missing 12 to 6 a.m. “If I could just see that, I’d be a happy camper. I’ve kind of put a word in, so hopefully I’ll get hooked up!”

I may now have to rethink my “Blake, you keep me hangin’ on!” sign for the concert…

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Daughtry and Fantasia Get Some Precious Metal

The RIAA announced its list of June certifications this week, and two Idols are on the list…

Daughtry’s self-titled album has now been certified triple platinum for three million copies shipped…

Fantasia’s self-titled album has been certified gold for 500,000 copies shipped…

Mark your calendars for Carrie's next CD...

Carrie Underwood’s second CD has been scheduled for release October 23rd. The CD, which is currently untitled, is being produced by Mark Bright, who produced seven tracks on “Some Hearts.”

As Carrie told “Billboard” earlier this year, the CD will be a country one. “I really, really like being a part of country music—and hopefully they like having me—so I don’t have any intentions of trying anything else."

Look for Carrie to perform a new single on the CBS special "Fashion Rocks" Friday, September 7th at 9 p.m...

Kelly: "I am set for life"

My friend John (who will be in row 20 with me at the Idols concert in September) called my attention to Sunday’s “USA Weekend” in which Kelly Clarkson talks about where the songs on “My December” came from…

“I met this musician, not a famous musician—he doesn’t even deserve to be named—and I thought he was totally into me. And then you find out, oh God, that he had this whole other relationship on the side, and that he is only dating you to get into pictures and become famous.”

That breakup, combined with the stress of her tour, combined with two cases of pneumonia, combined with a bunch of friends getting married and having kids sent Kelly into “a tailspin.”

“Everything caught up with me in a bad way. My body was wearing down, and my emotions were wearing down. I was trying to get over someone. I hadn’t seen my friends and family for a while, and it was becoming a nuisance [to see them] because I was so busy. I was traveling, and then there was more added to the schedule. It just got chaotic. I was 24, and that is pretty young to be the boss of so much. And it caught up with me, I couldn’t smile. I couldn’t do anything. I broke down. I cried so much I couldn’t speak. I was that tired. I was drained. I didn’t want to act. I didn’t want to smile—I didn’t want to pretend. I just broke…It was the lowest point of my life and my career.”

During this dark period, Kelly started writing the songs that would become “My December.” “It was free therapy.”

Of course, you couldn’t have a Kelly interview without something about Clive Davis. “I’m going to be real honest with you: I am not a fan,” she said. “I do respect him, but I don’t want to barbecue with him. We don’t braid each other’s hair. And, despite the rumors, he is nowhere near a father figure.”

Kelly had even more pointed comments about Clive in the August issue of “Blender” (Thanks to Jim for that tip.). She told the magazine that during one of their fights over her CD, Kelly said to Clive, “I don’t know you very well and I am not a bulls---er. I get [that] you don’t like the album. You’re 80, you’re not supposed to like my album.”

Those comments sparked a reaction from Simon Cowell who told “Extra,” “Clive Davis at 80 is better than 90 percent of the people in the music business in their twenties, thirties and forties. And he’s not [even] 80, he’s less than 80.” Simon’s advice for Kelly? “Kiss and make up, decide what’s best, get on with it.”

This week’s “Entertainment Weekly” declares the early sales of “My December” “something of a victory,” though they admit the next few weeks will tell the story. The CD’s first two-week total of 405,000 nearly matched the first two-week total of “Breakaway.” This week, the CD sold 59,000 copies (which is less than half of the 128,000 of “Hannah Montana 2/Meet Miley Cyrus” sold this week).

Kelly herself is not concerned. She told “USA Weekend,” “I used to live paycheck to paycheck. Now I am set for life”…

How does Blake really feel about the tour?

In Sunday's "USA Weekend," Jordin and Blake were asked about the Idol tour…

When Blake was asked, “Are you ready for the tour this summer?” Blake responded, “Honestly, I’m not a big fan of group anything. I’ve always thought that group performances are a little cheesy.”

Alrighty then. Glad to see Blake is really into this…

Kelly, Carrie, Elliott and Daughtry are so "Now"


Four Idol tracks are on the “Now 25” CD that came out Tuesday: Kelly’s “Never Again,” Carrie’s “Before He Cheats,” Elliott’s “Wait For You” and Daughtry’s “Home.”

I’m especially happy for Kelly since this shows “Never Again” a little love. And this has to be sweet for Elliott since he’s not even signed to a major label…
The CD also features the latest hits from Fall Out Boy, Avril Lavigne, Fergie, and Justin Timberlake and 12 others...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Another Idol gets Bold and Beautiful

“The Bold and the Beautiful” head writer Bradley Bell promised that Constantine would not be the only Idol to appear on the show this summer. And now we know the identity of the other Idol…

So will we get the Bo-Constantine reunion some of us have been looking for? No, it’s Ruben Studdard.

And no, I don’t really get that either…

Constantine’s MySpace page lists details about “B&B” taping a special concert featuring Constantine, Ruben and Jon McLaughlin (BoldfaceRecords.com only lists McLaughlin.). The taping will be Tuesday, July 24th. No word on when the concert will air on the show…

Ryan Seacrest As the New Bob Barker?


"TV Week" reported today that CBS went after Ryan Seacrest to replace Bob Barker on "The Price Is Right" but "his price tag was too high."

FremantleMedia, which produces "Idol," also produces "Price," so I knew his name would come up eventually...

"Idol" Moves Into Fashion

Soon you’ll be able to wear your love for “American Idol”…

FremantleMedia, the “Idol” production company, has inked a deal with Lyric Jeans, Inc., a Los Angeles-based company known for premium clothing adorned with song lyrics from classics like “Stayin’ Alive” and “Revolution.”

The 11-piece “Idol” line, which will initially be aimed at the junior market, is called Lyrix by Lyric Culture and features a color palette of pink, white and black with embroidered or painted logos. One pair of jeans has an image of a microphone snaking up the leg, while other pieces will feature lyrics from songs by past winners or the “American Idol” logo.

The line should hit stores in February. The clothing will also be made available for contestants to wear on the show…

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Is Nashville Becoming Idol-ville?

Nashville has been very good to a lot of “Idol” finalists, so it’s not a surprise that a few of last year’s crop are considering moving there…

Phil Stacey and Chris Sligh told “The Tennessean” that they are both planning to move to Nashville soon. Phil said he plans to do a country album with a possible gospel influence.

Jordin Sparks spent part of the tour stop in Nashville with Michael W. Smith and his daughter Anna (who was celebrating a birthday). Jordin told “The Tennessean” that she “would love” to move to Nashville.

Melinda Doolittle, who is from the Nashville area, told the paper that she has no idea what’s next for her…

Fantasia Sticks With Broadway

As you may have already read on the “Tri-State Theater” blog, Fantasia has extended her run in “The Color Purple.” She made her debut as Celie April 10th and was slated to do a six-month run, but now she’ll be there until January 6th.

Fantasia’s run has been a box office bonanza for the show…

Friday, July 13, 2007

Pickler Pleases Proctorville

By all accounts, last night's Kellie Pickler concert at the Lawrence County Fair was a huge success.
Be sure to check out the "Herald-Dispatch" Photo Gallery for more pictures from the concert. You can access it at http://www.herald-dispatch.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=NEWS09.

If anyone was at the concert and would like to give me a firsthand account, please post a comment or shoot me an e-mail at hdstaytuned@hotmail.com...

Kat Lands Another Movie


Katharine McPhee has landed another movie—this time, a major studio project.

According to “The Hollywood Reporter,” Katharine has signed to co-star in the untitled Anna Faris project for Columbia Pictures and Happy Madison (Adam Sandler’s company). The movie will also co-star Rumer Willis, Bruce and Demi’s daughter.

The script, which was written by the writers of “Legally Blonde,” centers on a Playboy bunny (Anna Faris, best known for her “Scary Movie” roles) who is kicked out of the Playboy Mansion and becomes the house mother to the “lamest” sorority on campus. Katharine will play a pregnant hippy sorority sister.

Filming is scheduled to begin July 23rd…

Chart News: Elliott Takes a Jump

Here’s some chart news of note this week…

Fantasia remains at #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart this week with “When I See U.” The song also moves to #48 on the Billboard Hot 100…

Elliott jumps to #22 on the Hot 100 with “Wait For You.” The song had begun sliding down the charts…

Did you ever think at the end of last season that Elliott would chart higher than Taylor or Katharine? Okay, maybe you did…

Meanwhile, as “Never Again” continues its freefall down the charts, “My December” slides to #3 on the Billboard 200, still behind “Hannah Montana 2/Meet Miley Cyrus”…

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Kellie Pickler Concert Reminder


Don't forget that Kellie Pickler will be in concert at the Lawrence County Fair tomorrow (Thursday).

According to the schedule in todays "H-D," the show begins at 9 p.m., following the Colgate Country Showdown and a performance by Traci Ann Stanley...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Clay Talks Old CD and New CD...

In an interview with the “Houston Chronicle,” Clay Aiken made some frank comments about his CD, “A Thousand Different Ways,” and gave a little insight into his next CD…

When “Chronicle” reporter Joey Guerra asked if there were any songs that didn’t make the cut on “Ways,” Clay answered, “Things other than covers. Sorry, I’m being way too honest today. How do I say this politically correctly? I was strongly encouraged by other sources to do an album of covers. There was the feeling that it might be successful because there’d been success with Rod Stewart and Barry Manilow doing covers. I guess the argument against that would be I don’t have the reputation that Rod Stewart has. I really don’t have the credibility that he has, so there’s no reason for me to do them.”

Guerra then asked Clay if he liked the disc at all. “It did turn out to be something I was really proud of. My mom’s always told me, ‘Take lemons…’ I think we really did that.”

As for his next CD, Clay said, “The goal for the next album is to go with one producer. The person we picked is very credible, has won Grammys and has really done an eclectic mix of stuff. The hope is that we’ll be able to find really great songs that suit me and produce them in a way that…makes me hip without trying too hard.”

Do I smell a collaboration with Timbaland? How classic would that be?...

And I’m curious who the “we” is that picked the producer. I hope he didn’t mean him and Clive. No doubt that is who he was referring to when he said “other sources,” but clearly he’s learned from Kelly Clarkson’s troubles to keep his mouth shut…

One of the songs Clay did during his show with the Houston Symphony was “SexyBack” as part of a medley of songs people wouldn’t expect to hear with an orchestra. “I know that it’s not going to be cool,” he said. “I have no problem making fun of myself.”

Clay also apparently has no problem taking credit for things. In the interview, he credits the Claymates with getting “Jericho” back on the air. You can read about that on my “Stay Tuned” blog at http://media.herald-dispatch.com/blog/tuned/2007/07/did-claymates-save-jericho.html...

And on another Clay note, he did confirm to “Entertainment Tonight” that he was involved in that airplane skirmish Saturday. He told “ET” in a statement, “While sleeping on a plane over the weekend, my foot evidently found a home on the arm rest of the passenger seated directly in front of me. I didn’t realize I was causing the woman any distress until she woke me up with a quick hit to the chest…I’d like to thank everyone for their concern. I’m fine and have taken steps to prevent any foot wandering in the future.”

Monday, July 9, 2007

Idols Playing Instruments! Sanjaya Moonwalking! The Idols Tour Gets a Redux

The Idols Live Tour kicked off over the weekend in Jacksonville and “USA Today” was there to capture all of the action…

For those of you who caught last year’s show, you know that it was basically each contestant coming out and doing a couple of songs and then dueting with the next contestant, who then did their songs, and so on. But based on the Jacksonville show, it looks like this year’s show will have a decidedly different vibe as we’ll get more group songs, Idols playing their own instruments, and Sanjaya moonwalking…

If you don’t want to know what to expect on the tour, stop reading now. Otherwise, keep reading for a sneak peek at what you’ll hear...

Here’s the set list I derived from the “USA Today” article. Keep in mind that songs could change as the tour goes on:

Blake, Jordin, Haley, Gina, and Chris R.—“Let’s Get It Started”
LaKisha and Melinda—“Baby Love,” “Stop! In the Name of Love”
Melinda, LaKisha, Chris R.—“I Heard It Through the Grapevine”
Melinda and Sanjaya—“Proud Mary”
Phil—“Blaze of Glory”
Sanjaya—“The Way You Make Me Feel”
LaKisha, Gina and Haley—“Lady Marmalade”
Chris S., Phil and Sanjaya—“I Want It That Way”
Jordin and Chris R.—“What Hurts the Most”
Melinda and Jordin—“This Will Be”
Blake—“Time of the Season,” “She Will Be Loved,” “You Give Love a Bad Name”
Intermission
Phil and the Girls—“America the Beautiful”
Guys—“Crazy,” “Hey Jude”
Gina—“Who Knew”
Chris R.—“Ain’t No Sunshine”
Chris R. and Blake—“Virtual Insanity”
LaKisha—“I Will Always Love You”
Chris R.—“This Love”
Phil and Gina—“It’s Your Love”
Haley, Chris R., Sanjaya and Chris S.—“Life Is a Highway”
Melinda—“You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman)”
Girls—“Ain’t No Other Man”
Jordin—“I Who Have Nothing,” “Heartbreaker,” “You Were Meant For Me”
Idols—“Living On a Prayer”
Encore:
Jordin—“This Is My Now”
Redux of solos: Phil—“Blaze of Glory,” Sanjaya—“The Way You Make Me Feel,” Chris R.—“This Love,” Jordin—“This Is My Now”

You’ll notice that I didn’t list a solo for Chris S. or Haley. I don’t know if that was a mistake by the “USA Today” reporter, or if they really don’t get to sing their own songs.

You’ll also notice that Gina and LaKisha are not singing their showstoppers. I’m guessing that Gina isn’t singing “I’ll Stand By You” since it’s a single for Carrie, but I know that LaKisha really wanted to sing “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” so I don’t know what happened there. Thankfully, though, Phil and Blake are doing their showstoppers.

I actually feel a lot better now about the ticket price…

Clay's Girl Troubles...

You may have heard that Clay Aiken got into a dispute with a woman on a plane during a flight to Tulsa…

Apparently the dispute was over Clay’s foot resting on the woman’s armrest. She reportedly gave him a “minor shove.”

Passengers were held until the FBI arrived, but no charges were filed. The FBI confirmed that a former “Idol” contestant was involved, but they did not name him.

However, Clay joked on-stage that night about being beat up by a girl earlier in the day…

Don’t forget that Clay will be in concert with the Columbus Symphony July 21st at 8:15 p.m. The concert is part of the symphony’s Picnic With the Pops series on the lawn at Chemical Abstracts Service. For more information, visit http://www.picnicwiththepops.com/...

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Some Tour News...

There’ll be something special for all of you who go see the Idols on tour. “TV Guide” has produced a tour guide that will be given out free to all concertgoers. “TV Guide” will have a special display where people can pretend to be on a red carpet and have a chance to be on TV…

This week’s “TV Guide” shares some details about the tour. Jordin and Blake were doing a song together, but it got cut. Blake told the magazine, “Thank goodness! It was terrible.” Blake will apparently do a song with Chris Richardson. “Chris is a really good beat-boxer too. So we’re doing an acoustic thing. It’s going to be cool.”

“TV Guide” also reports that there will be “lots of dancing, Idol guys playing instruments and perhaps even a new Sanjaya hairdo.”

In case you’ve forgotten, the Idols will be in Huntington Saturday, September 15th…

Fantasia stays at #1...


Fantasia remains atop the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Chart for a second straight week with “When I See U.”

The song has yet to crack the Billboard Hot 100…

"Never Again" for Kids?

One of the craziest things I heard during my vacation was a commercial for “Kidz Bop 12,” the latest in the series of CDs where kids record popular songs. One of the songs on the newest CD is “Never Again;” but the kids sing “hurts” instead of “sucks.” I don’t know if they sing “I hope when you’re in bed with her” or not.

This must terrify Kelly Clarkson to her very soul. I know it does me...

“Kidz Bop 12” hits stores July 31st…

What happened to Justin?

While I was on vacation, I caught a TV Guide Channel interview with Justin Guarini.

It’s a shame that he wasn’t a contestant these days, because he probably would’ve been a bigger star…

As Justin said during the interview, “Idol” was still working out all the kinks in that first season and he, unfortunately, fell through the cracks.

Because of the filming of “From Justin to Kelly,” the recording of his CD got postponed. But then, RCA decided that Justin would have to wait until Kelly released her CD. So by the time “Justin Guarini” was released, “Idol” fans were caught up in the Ruben vs. Clay fervor. In fact, his CD was released the same day as Ruben and Clay’s singles.

He never stood a chance…

Justin is now a co-host on TV Guide Channel’s “Idol Tonight” and he just finished filming the movie, “Fast Girl.”

Say what you will about “From Justin to Kelly,” but it did show us that Justin can act. And he is the best part of “Idol Tonight” (if you can tolerate Kimberly Caldwell long enough to watch him).

Maybe things will come around for him yet…

Saturday, July 7, 2007

"Hey Paula" Makes It Worse...

This week’s “TV Guide” cover story tells us that “Hey Paula” is meant to be “a rebuttal to [Paula’s] loopy ‘American Idol’ image, indisputable evidence that she is not the scatter-brained nutjob the tabloids frequently make her out to be.”

But if you’ve watched the first three episodes, you know that statement couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the show only makes her image worse…

In the first episode, we see Paula chastising her assistants for bringing her the wrong clothes to wear on a flight. She opens her suitcase and starts throwing out clothes right on the curb. And although we didn’t see it, I would guess that they held the plane for her. Then, we see her bicker with the folks at QVC about a key pendant she designed having an indentation she didn’t approve. Then, she arrives an hour and a half late for an event where she is being honored with a fashion icon award forcing the fabulous Tim Gunn to babble like an idiot until she gets there. When Tim finally does announce her name, she is still in the hallway, shaking hands with fans. Her voiceover tells us that even though she’s “a little late,” she will always make time for her fans…

Then we get to see Paula in all her loony glory. She tells us that she has a problem with insomnia, but she insists on making a stop at Starbucks, where she incoherently tells them to “surprise her” with something. After getting very little sleep, she meets with the makers of her perfume and makes a complete fool of herself. At one time she sat in the floor doing a “mad scientist” laugh…

And then, we got to see the infamous satellite interviews. Yes, she had a touch of the flu. And yes, she appeared to have not gotten much sleep, but it still didn’t all add up. And the story she told on “The Tonight Show” about having two different cities in her ear. Sorry, didn’t see it…

So what’s really going on with Paula? First of all, her publicist is an idiot who lets Paula run all over him. Of course, since his idea of damage control is to do nothing, I can kind of see why she does. Secondly, it’s clear that Paula packs her schedule with WAY too much. If her constant jetting from coast to coast is going to wear her out and make her act like an idiot, maybe she should just slow down…

And she really should start thinking a little more about others when it takes her FOUR HOURS to get ready for an event…

I’ve always liked Paula but when you make Tim Gunn look like an idiot, that seriously knocks you down on my list…

“Hey Paula!” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on Bravo…

Kelly's Good News/Bad News Week...

I’m back! Did you miss me?

So let me get back in the swing of things by telling you about the good news/bad news week for Kelly Clarkson.

The good news is that she sold more copies of “My December” in its first week on the charts (291,000) than she sold with “Breakaway” in its first week (250,000).

The bad news is that she only debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200, finishing behind “Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus.”

I warned you that “Hannah” would give Kelly a run for her money. I just didn’t realize how much of a run…

And as happy as I am for Miley Cyrus, Kelly really needed that #1 debut…
In other Kelly chart news, "Never Again" slides to #20 on the Hot 100, while "Sober" has yet to crack the top 50. Kelly's duet with Reba McEntire, "Because of You" is at #52...

Monday, July 2, 2007

An "Idol" Fourth of July!

You can make this Fourth of July an “Idol” Fourth of July thanks to NBC and PBS…

Elliott Yamin will perform on “A Capital Fourth” at 8 p.m. on PBS…

Jordin Sparks, Blake Lewis and Melinda Doolittle will perform on “Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular” at 9 p.m. on NBC…

And with that, I’m officially on vacation. Have a safe and happy Fourth, and I’ll catch you all next week…