The Herald-Dispatch |


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.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Coming up this weekend...

Yeah, I know that I've been slow to post lately. Things are REALLY busy for me this week, so I'll be catching up this weekend...

I'll have the news on Bucky's latest video shoot; the scoop on Simon Cowell, the hero; news on Lakisha's next career move; AND Ryan Seacrest's latest TV project. Here's a hint on that last one: It involves the Hoff...

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Kimberley Stirs Up a Reunion Controversy

Kimberley Locke caused a little bit of a controversy in the Idol world last week when she told “Billboard” that she, Ruben, and Clay were going on tour together. Many Idol sites reported the tour was already set and even the press release about her Christmas CD mentioned it.

But don’t start saving your money for tickets. It’s not going to happen and Kimberley blames Clay…

In the September 15th issue of “Billboard,” Kimberley said the trio was “in talks” and that it was “up to our agents and managers to book it.” Kimberley said the working title was “Reunited: 5 Years Later” and that it would hit the road next spring.

But then Kimberley posted a message on her website to “clarify” her comments. Speaking about the “Billboard” interview, she wrote, “I went on to say in that interview that I had spoken with them about a reunion concert tour idea and that Ruben and Clay were game for it because they told me they were. In fact, in my last conversation with Clay he suggested that my manager and agents contact his. They did. And they have spoken. And in telling ‘Billboard’ we were ‘in talks’ and ‘Now it’s up to our agents and managers to book it,’ I was being truthful in the information that I had received. I told Billboard I was ‘hopeful’ that the tour would come together. (That didn’t get printed.) In no way did I imply that we were all committed to this tour idea. So contrary to Clay feeling ‘unfortunate’ that the story ‘found its way to the press unauthorized,’ it was not ‘unauthorized.’ It was put out there by me, who conceived the touring idea and called my friends for their involvement. If Clay had chosen to return my phone calls over the last two months, he would perhaps not feel as ‘unfortunate,’ and he would have been made aware that I mentioned it to ‘Billboard.’ I want to thank the fans of Clay and Ruben and my own who were positive and supportive of this idea, which again, was just an idea. It will now be put to rest.”

I do believe them’s fightin’ words…

If I find Clay’s statement on the matter, I’ll be sure to pass it on…

Spend This Christmas With Some Idols

Some of the Idols are already making Christmas plans…

“Hear Something Country Christmas” hits stores October 2nd. It features Carrie doing “Do You Hear What I Hear” and Kellie doing “Santa Baby” (Oh brother!)…

Kimberley Locke’s “Christmas” hits stores November 6th. It includes her AC radio hits “Up On the Housetop” and “Jingle Bells” plus “Merry Christmas Darling,” “Last Christmas” (the Wham classic), “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” “Mary Did You Know?,” “Away In a Manger,” “Holly Jolly Christmas,” “We Need a Little Christmas,” “Please Come Home for Christmas” (with Dave Koz), “Frosty the Snowman” and “Ave Maria.”

Kimberley will join the Dave Koz and Friends: A Smooth Jazz Christmas concert tour which begins in November…

Meanwhile, Mandisa is releasing a Christmas EP, "Christmas Joy," November 20th. She and fellow Idol George Huff will participate in a Gospel Music Channel Christmas special that will air some time in December...

The "Hits They Missed"

So remember all those other songs that didn’t get chosen in the Idol Songwriting Contest? Well now they’re going to see the light of day…

Three songwriters who entered the contest got together and assembled an album of 10 songs that didn’t make the cut. It’s called “Hits They Missed—Songs Not Fit for an Idol—Or So They Say.”

Proceeds from the sales of the album will go to the Oakland School for the Arts.

You can buy one at Melodies That Matter. You can also listen to clips of the songs here. But be warned. Some of them are a little scary—yes, even scarier than “This Is My Now”…

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Bucky Gets a Thumbs Up From the Ashland Crowd

So yesterday I finally got a review from someone who was at Bucky's concert in Ashland Saturday night--my fiance.

Of course, he was there to see Jamie O'Neal...

But it was Bucky he was impressed with. He said he put on a great, high energy show and that he was very personable.

I have heard some complaints from others that Bucky did too many covers during the concert, but the fans who were there didn't seem to mind. My fiance said the women absolutely loved him.

And Bucky returned the love by saying that Poage Landing Days was one of his favorite festivals.

As to why all the covers, I really have no idea. Maybe he doesn't want to wear out his songs.

You can see lots of pictures from the concert on the Julie Thacker Photography blog here...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Idol Concert: Setting the Scene

So let me set the scene…

The first thing I noticed about this concert as compared to last year’s is that there was a lot less energy both in and out of the arena. I didn’t hear nearly the buzzing about the Idols that I did last year. And there didn’t seem to be as many shirts, signs and other outward expressions of love for the Idols…

As we came onto the plaza, we were greeted by the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile (for the jingle contest), the “Idol Chat” van and a Pop-Tarts bus. Inside there was karaoke in the lobby, although I’m not sure the guy running the karaoke ever shut up long enough to let other people take a try. “TV Guide” also had a booth on the other side of the arena where you could pretend you were on the red carpet.

Inside the arena, we were greeted with copies of this week’s “TV Guide” on our chairs, along with a special “Idol” tour magazine stapled on the outside. The text messaging on the big screens was replaced by music videos of Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler, Fantasia and Daughtry. In fact, the site of Chris Daughtry on the screen ignited the first buzz I’d heard since I walked in—a perfect illustration of why this may have not been a good idea. After all, you don’t want to remind anyone that this group (that we paid good money for) may not measure up. In between the music videos, we saw some of the Pop-Tarts webisodes, trivia about the top 10, and commercials for tour merchandise and the “So You Think You Can Dance” tour.

Just before the concert began, we were greeted by a giant Pop Tart Splitz, who was nice enough to pose for this picture for me.

The concert begins…after the break…

The Idol Concert: Part One


So after all of the talk of how this year’s group was not as talented, the concert finally began (after Blake took off his security guard costume, which included a mullet wig)…

And there was nothing to prove that talk wrong as all of the Idols came out to perform “Let’s Get It Started.” I appreciate what they were trying to do with the song, it just didn’t work—especially Phil rapping…

But things got better as the grand dames of the group took over as Melinda and LaKisha gave us “Baby Love” and “Stop! In the Name of Love.” They sounded really good together and their dresses made it seem like we really were watching the Supremes…

Melinda and LaKisha were then joined by Chris Richardson for “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” Chris got a nice welcome from the crowd and he didn’t do too bad of a job, although the girls sang him under the table…

Then it was Sanjaya’s turn to try and hold his own with Melinda on “Proud Mary.” And surprisingly, he sounded pretty good…

But there was nothing he could have done to compare to the next performance—Phil doing “Blaze of Glory.” It was nothing short of incredible and made me wish I had voted for him a lot more times than I did. I’m still hearing it in my head almost 24 hours later…

But the euphoria from Phil’s performance didn’t last long as Gina and Chris S. came out to do a duet on “Tnks Fr Th Mmrs.” It was the worst performance of the night, which was especially sad for Chris since it was really his only song. It was just too low for both of them and a little strange of a choice compared to the others…

The downturn continued as Haley strutted out (and I do mean strutted) on stage for her solo number, “When God-Fearin’ Women Get the Blues.” It wasn’t half-bad, but Haley clearly knows where her strengths lie as she concentrated much more on playing to the crowd that she did her song…

And then, it was Sanjaya time, as he emerged from beneath the stage to the opening strains of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Sanjaya was definitely the most animated performer of the group, but unfortunately, his singing didn’t always match. After a musical introduction of “Thriller” and “Bad,” Sanjaya performed his solo number, “The Way You Make Me Feel.” And yes, he did moonwalk and slide across the stage and do a couple dance moves that made at least one mother cover her daughter’s eyes (It was Michael Jackson after all.)...

But that mother (or us) hadn’t seen anything yet. The next number opened with LaKisha draped across a white couch in a cabaret-style outfit. She would later be joined by Gina and Haley as they did “Lady Marmalade.” Now, maybe I’m just a big prude, but I thought this song was COMPLETELY inappropriate. The outfits weren’t that skimpy and the dance moves not all that suggestive, but I just don’t think a song about hookers is appropriate for a family concert. Feel free to disagree. However, one thing I don’t think you can disagree with is that Haley could barely handle the song. Gina, who’s looking much better than she did on the show, fared much better…

Then it was time for the lamest moment of the show as Phil, Sanjaya and Chris S. emerged to sing “I Want It That Way.” However, the song was actually just their opportunity to mock boy bands (which never scores well with me) and to plug the “So You Think You Can Dance” tour. Plus, Chris S. attempted a lame joke about the “Lady Marmalade” performance by suggesting the song was referring to orange marmalade. You could have heard a pin drop in the arena. And Phil’s proclamation of “How hot was that?” didn’t really help…

We got back to the actual performances with Jordin and Chris R. playing guitars and singing “What Hurts the Most.” No big surprise that Chris handled it well since Rascal Flatts is right in his range, but it was a little bit of a surprise that he and Jordin sounded so well together. And Jordin’s guitar skills were pretty good too…

Then, Jordin brought out her “best friend” Melinda for a duet of “This Will Be.” Not surprisingly, the duo sounded great together and have wonderful chemistry…

Then, finally, it was the moment many (including me) had paid to see—Blake doing his solo performances. He entered from atop the stage to do “Time of the Season.” Then he brought out some of his gizmos to record his own backbeat for “She Will Be Loved.” The beat was good, but it was obvious the tour had taken its toll on Blake’s voice as his vocals were pretty much shot. Then he did some freestyle beatboxing to the delight of the crowd, followed by “You Give Love a Bad Name,” which got a huge crowd reaction. Say what you will about Blake, but he is an original and it was nice that he was allowed to show that during the concert. He was joined by all of the Idols for the end of the song and to introduce the intermission…

The rest of the concert, including Jordin’s songs…after the break…

The Idol Concert: Part Two

After the intermission, it was time to get patriotic as Phil Stacey, in his Navy uniform, did “America the Beautiful” backed by the girls (minus Jordin). It was another phenomenal performance. In fact, when Phil left the stage leaving only the girls, the song fell apart as it dissolved into some kind of weird hip-hop sounding thing…

Gina introduced the next act, a band formed by the guys from the group. Phil said they picked songs that people could sing along to, which made “Crazy” a little bit of a strange choice (although we tried really hard). They also did “Hey Jude,” which the crowd responded to a lot better. However that one was pretty much ruined by Sanjaya’s screaming at the end. Sanjaya spent most of the night walking the line between cute and ridiculous and that one definitely crossed it the wrong way…

Then it was time for Gina’s solo song—even though we’d seen her tons already—Pink’s “Who Knew” (which Phil had earlier called the greatest pop song ever written). She did a decent job (The Gina fan behind me certainly liked it.), but she’s no Pink. And I think it’s a shame that she didn’t do her showstopper, “I’ll Stand By You” (I presume she couldn’t because of Carrie recording it.); but Gina clearly enjoyed the song since Pink didn’t clear it for her to do on the show…

Chris R. returned to perform “Ain’t No Sunshine,” which he finished with the help of Blake. Then the two engaged in a beatboxing duel, which Chris jokingly won (Chris does have skills, but he’s no Blake.)…

Then it was time for LaKisha’s solo and it was a showstopper as she tore up “I Will Always Love You” and received a standing ovation. It’s a shame that she couldn’t have performed this one on the show…

Then, Chris R. got his solo spot as he did Maroon 5’s “This Love.” And no, it was not as good as Blake…

Phil returned to perform “It’s Your Love” with Gina (who got A LOT of stage time) and they blended well together; but Phil sang her under the table.

Then Chris S. returned with Haley, Chris R. and Sanjaya to do “Life Is a Highway.” Again, Haley struggled with the song, but she looked good while singing it…

Finally, Melinda got her solo with “You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman).” It was, of course, outstanding. Then, she was joined by LaKisha, Gina and Haley for “Ain’t No Other Man.”

Then, the American Idol, Jordin, finally emerged from under the stage, looking gorgeous in fuschia. But she sounded more gorgeous than she looked as she gave the performance of the night with “(I Who Have) Nothing.” Jordin gave it all of the emotion it deserved as you could see the tears in her eyes on the big screen and I had chills when she was done…

Then Jordin did “Heartbreaker,” “Broken Wing,” which she dedicated to her great-grandmother, and “You Were Meant for Me” with her guitar. Jordin ended her set with her worst performance song from the show, “Livin’ On a Prayer” and she struggled with it a little last night. The rest of the Idols joined her on it to “close” the show, but of course, they weren’t done yet…

The encore began with Jordin doing “This Is My Now” and it sounded just as stupid last night as it did when she first sang it. I guess she’s obligated to sing the winner’s single on the tour, but I would’ve much rather heard her new single, “Tattoo”…

Then each Idol came out to give a short reprise of their solo songs: Phil with “Blaze of Glory,” Haley with “God-Fearin’,” Sanjaya with “The Way You Make Me Feel,” Blake with “You Give Love a Bad Name,” Gina with “Who Knew,” LaKisha with “I Will Always Love You,” Chris R. with “This Love,” Melinda with “You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman),” and finally Jordin with “This Is My Now.” Chris S. did not get a reprise since he didn’t have a solo, but he did come out for the goodbye with the rest of the Idols, who emerged from a door in the floor of the stage (It was pretty cool.)…

My final thoughts on the show…after the break…

The Idol Concert: My Final Thoughts

First of all, let me say that the people behind the tour should be commended for this year’s format, as the lineup was jumbled instead of everyone coming out in the order they were voted off. I couldn’t help but think how good it would have been to have this year’s format with last year’s performers. And having the live band for the entire show was a good change as well.

Interestingly, AEG Live (the promoters of the show) sent out an e-mail survey asking if concertgoers preferred this year’s format. I said in my survey that I hoped they did stick with it since it kept things a little more interesting. And the stage was much improved with some special effects and a video screen that showed the Idols’ show performances as they performed on stage. It was a nice touch, especially during Jordin’s “This Is My Now”…

Kudos should also go to the concert sponsors, "Pop-Tarts" and "TV Guide." I know they're probably disappointed that the concert isn't getting as much buzz (or as many people), but their giveaways of magazines and Pop-Tarts are both great ideas...

All in all, it was a good concert. And believe it or not, I think it may have been better than last year’s—not because the performances were stronger (because I’m not sure that they were), but because it was a better overall show.

With the right performers, they could really be onto something here. So I hope they don’t change it back.

And not raising the ticket prices again would help…

So what were your thoughts on the concert? Feel free to share them by posting a comment or sending me an e-mail at hdstaytuned@hotmail.com.

Be sure to send your concert pictures to news@heralddispatch.com for the online photo gallery…

The Top 10 Things I Learned at Last Night's Idols Concert

So in honor of the Top 10 Idols, here are The Top 10 Things I Learned at Last Night’s Idols Concert…

10) Those new Pop Tart Splitz are pretty good.

9) Playing videos of Idol alumni only invite comparisons.

8) I should’ve voted for Phil more.

7) Sanjaya is not nearly as cool as he thinks he is.

6) Chris Sligh is not nearly as funny as he thinks he is.

5) Haley Scarnato really did make the top 10 solely on her looks.

4) I love Blake. Wait. I already knew that one.

3) LaKisha really needed a week where she could’ve done “I Will Always Love You” on the show.

2) Jordin Sparks is the real deal.

And the number one thing I learned at last night’s Idols concert?

1) This year’s group is nowhere near as bad as everyone said.

I will have MUCH more to say later, including a song-by-song review and plenty of pictures. But right now I need to devote my attention to my beloved Bengals, who apparently forgot they were playing a game today…

Friday, September 14, 2007

I Want to Hear From You!

So since I can't be in two places at once tomorrow night, I need your help!

For those of you who are going to be at the Bucky Covington concert in Ashland Saturday, send me your review, pictures, or any other thoughts you had about it. You can e-mail them to hdstaytuned@hotmail.com. Please put Bucky Concert in the subject line.

Also, feel free to do the same if you're going to be at the Idols concert in Huntington Saturday, but please put Idols Concert in the subject line.

I'll be away from the blog until Sunday, when I post my complete review of the Idols concert, so see you then!

It's Finally Here!

After months of waiting, the Idols Live Tour is finally ready to hit Huntington.

There is A LOT going on in the area tomorrow so Huntington should be quite crazy tomorrow night.

If you see me at the concert tomorrow, feel free to give me a shout. I'll be wearing my Jack Bauer for President t-shirt. And yes, you read that right.

I'll be back Sunday with a complete report, so stay tuned...

Bucky in Ashland Reminder


Don’t forget that Bucky Covington will be performing this Saturday as part of Ashland’s Poage Landing Days.

Bucky is scheduled to take the stage at 9:45 p.m.

You can read more about Bucky and the concert here.

An "Idol" Emmy Controversy

If “American Idol” takes home the Emmy for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program Sunday night, it won’t be without controversy…

As I told you earlier, “Idol Gives Back” won the Emmy for Outstanding Technical Direction for a Miniseries, Movie or Special. But the Academy allowed “Idol” to submit that same show to be judged in the Reality-Competition Program category and not special. Some critics are already crying foul since “IGB” probably gives “Idol” a good shot of winning Sunday. But their argument is that a show that won an Emmy in the special category should not be eligible to win an Emmy in a regular program category, and I would have to say I agree.

We’ll see what happens on Sunday…

Can the "Idol" Judges Save Britney's Career?

Just one day after Simon Cowell said Britney Spears’ career was basically over, Simon—and Paula and Randy—have offered to help her get back on track.

Simon told FOX News, “We’ve decided we can bring Britney back. We are serious. We plan to buy her some underpants, get her bigger shorts to perform in, and get her away from her stupid friends.”

Simon added that the constant talk about her and the higher MTV ratings prove that “she can turn it around.”

Randy Jackson said, “We’d love to take care of you, Spears! We will make you a superstar again!”

Made over by the stars of the number one show in America? Britney could do far worse…and has…

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A First Look at Carrie's New CD


Here's your first look at the cover of Carrie Underwood's new CD, "Carnival Ride."

The CD hits stores October 23rd...


J-Hud Joins the "City"


After co-starring with fellow Academy Award winner Forrest Whitaker in the upcoming “Winged Creatures,” Jennifer Hudson has landed another high profile role…

Jennifer will play Carrie Bradshaw’s (Sarah Jessica Parker) assistant in “Sex and the City: The Movie.” There’s no word on just exactly what Carrie is doing that requires an assistant.

“Variety” reports the movie’s story will take place four years after the end of the series…

"Idol" Avoids Being Emmy's Biggest Loser

Congratulations to “American Idol” for avoiding the title of Emmy’s Biggest Loser…

Saturday at the Creative Arts Emmys, “Idol” received not only the already announced Governor’s Award for “Idol Gives Back,” but also Outstanding Technical Direction for “Idol Gives Back.”

Of course, this probably just gives them ammunition to do “Idol Gives Back” again next year…

“Idol” is up for Outstanding Reality Competition Program at Sunday’s Primetime Emmys, which Ryan Seacrest is hosting…

Friday, September 7, 2007

Constantine's "B&B" Run Comes to An End

It appears that Constantine’s run on “The Bold & the Beautiful” has come to an end since he was removed from the opening credits this week.

And unfortunately, it ended just as lamely as it started…

Two weeks ago, “B&B” presented the “Boldface Challenge” concert. But instead of devoting the entire episode to the concert (It is only 20 minutes after all.), they combined it with the vile storyline involving Brooke’s rape, which made the concert that much more out of place.

Speaking of out of place, none of the people in the audience looked like they’d ever been to a concert before. In fact, they all looked bored stiff—and that included the cast members they kept cutting too.

And apparently, the show got bored with the concert too, because by Monday, most of the characters had left the concert—even before the winner of the challenge was named.

As for the concert itself, I have to admit I fast-forwarded though Jon McLaughlin (who will be opening for Kelly Clarkson this fall), so I can’t really tell you anything there. Elliott Yamin gave another stunning performance of “Wait For You” and Constantine gave a pitchy-in-spots performance of “Fading Into You” (He should take some lessons from Elliott.). As I suspected, the show used Elliott’s performance as a backdrop for some Phoebe and Rick angst, but there was no interaction between Constantine and Felicia, except for a quick kiss before his performance. In fact, Felicia was one of the characters who wasn’t even there when the winner was announced.

So who was the winner? It was actually Phoebe and Constantine. I didn’t vote, but if I had, I would have actually voted for Phoebe and Rick. Their song at least sounded decent. Phoebe and Constantine’s duet was basically just Mackenzie Mauzy butchering Constantine’s song.

The only highlight of the concert was at the end of Constantine and Phoebe’s performance when Phoebe felt sorry for Rick and started singing their song, which brought Rick on stage and led to Phoebe telling Rick she loved him. But because the show had already stopped caring about the concert, there were no reactions from the other characters—including Phoebe’s dad, who had already left. There was not even a reaction from Constantine.

Of course, the reason for this became obvious the next day when Phoebe broke up with Rick AGAIN, making the entire Boldface Challenge story completely pointless.

Constantine has not been seen again. And in this week’s “Soap Opera Digest,” Head Writer Bradley Bell confirms that he won’t be. “We just brought him in for the summer, so for the time being, we’re done with his story. The character of Constantine will be going on tour and Felicia will be hearing from him and so will Phoebe. He may pop in from time to time.”

That’s definitely a different tune than the one Bell was singing a few weeks ago. My guess is he finally listened to all the critics who have been trashing his hiring of Constantine from the beginning.

Here’s a tip for any other soap operas looking to cast Idols: Come up with an actual story before you start signing the paychecks…

Kelly Goes "Live from SNL!"


Kelly Clarkson will be among the artists on “Live from SNL!,” a new CD of “Saturday Night Live” performances.

The CD features 11 tracks from the past four seasons, including music from Avril Lavigne, Maroon 5, and the Foo Fighters. No word on what Kelly’s song is, but I’m guessing “Since U Been Gone.”

The CD will be available beginning Sunday, September 9th only at Target…

Another Auditioner Gets a Record Deal

Anyone remember Sarah Burgess from last season’s auditions? She was the girl from Ohio who lied to her dad about going to the auditions and then tearfully called him and told him she made it to Hollywood.

She didn’t make it to the top 20, but she scored a record deal anyway. Her first single, “Didn’t Matter That,” will be released September 20th. You can hear it at www.myspace.com/sarahburgessmusicdotcom. I’ll warn you; it’s not that good…

Sarah’s album, “One” will be released on PME Records November 30th…

If you need a refresher as to who she is, you can check out this video…

Seacrest Sounds Off On The Tour and the Auditions

This week, Ryan Seacrest did a conference call with reporters about the Emmys, and he weighed in on a few things “Idol”…

First, he responded to the “USA Today” story on the troubles with the “Idol” tour. Ryan said the tour should try smaller venues. Then he said, “I think, to be candid with you, we could have done a better job with the storytelling of the contestants—looking at who they are and where they came from and compiling compelling bio pieces, and I think you’ll see us do more of that this season.”

So I guess we’re all in agreement then…

As for the auditions, Ryan said the show is not losing its popularity, citing that more people showed up in Philadelphia than ever before. About the talent, he said, “We always see many more contestants that suck compared to those that are great. It’s part of the process. You only need to find one superstar and 12 great ones to fight for it. It’s not hard to find talent.”

I’m not so sure about that one…

If anyone else is hearing any news about the auditions (or event went to one), please pass it on by posting a comment or e-mailing me at hdstaytuned@hotmail.com…

Chart News: Carrie Takes a "Small" Slip and a Big Jump

Here’s some “Idol” chart news for you…

Elliott falls a notch to #14 with “Wait For You.” I would really like to see this one in the top 10…

Over on the Hot Country Songs chart, Kelly and Reba fall two spots to #4 and look much less likely to hit #1…

Carrie slips two notches on the country chart, but “So Small” is tearing up the Hot 100, shooting from #93 to #17 in only its third week after selling 71,000 downloads. It’s the third biggest jump of the year…

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Carrie "Rocks" Fashion Week


Carrie Underwood will perform on "Fashion Rocks!" the TV special devoted to "the special relationship between music and fashion."

"Fashion Rocks!" airs Friday, September 7th at 9 p.m. on CBS...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Ace Performs For Jerry's Kids

Ace Young was among the performers on the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon Monday. He did a medley of his single “Scattered” and Aerosmith’s “Dream On.”

They introduced Ace as an S-Curve recording artist and said his album would be out in the fall. I haven’t gotten any confirmation from S-Curve on this, but I’ll keep trying.

In the meantime, you can watch Ace’s performance here…

Bucky Returns to Chillicothe

Bucky Covington will make a return visit to Chillicothe October 14th. Hopefully, it will be better weather for him...

Last month’s performance at the Ross County Fair was cancelled after heavy rains damaged some of the sound equipment. But Bucky still went into the grandstand and did an acoustic set.

His October performance will be at Ohio University.

And don’t forget that Bucky will be in Ashland as part of Poage Landing Days Saturday, September 15th. He is scheduled to take the 16th Street Stage from 9:45-10:30 p.m.

And yes, that is the same night as the Idols concert, which really stinks for those of us who would’ve gone to both…

Randy Does Motown


He did country, now he’s going Motown…

Randy Jackson is producing the new CD from Boyz II Men, “Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville USA,” which will feature covers of several Motown hits, as well as an a cappella version of their smash hit, “End of the Road.”

Ironically, Motown was the Boyz record label for most of their career, but this CD will be on Decca. The CD will hit stores November 13th…

Is the Idol Tour Already a Failure?

We are just a little over a week away from the Idols Live Tour stop in Huntington. But already, the tour as a whole has been deemed a failure…

“USA Today” took a look at the first 30 of the 57 shows scheduled. Here’s what they found:

There were no sellouts during those 30 shows and only one of them topped 93% capacity (the show in Jordin’s hometown of Glendale, Arizona). Last year at this point, 17 were sellouts and another 10 topped 93%...

14 of the shows were below 60% capacity, with the lowest at 38.9% in Birmingham, Alabama (the home of Ruben Studdard, Taylor Hicks and Bo Bice). Last year, the lowest-capacity figure in the first 30 shows was 89.3%...

In 2005, 11 of the first 29 shows were sellouts and another four topped 93%...

And here’s another difference. In 2005, tickets averaged $44.47, 2006 tour prices averaged $53.27. This year’s tickets average $60.45, a 13% hike.

Gary Bongiovanni, editor of touring trade publication “Pollstar,” told “USA Today,” “Percentage-wise, that is a pretty healthy jump in the average ticket price. In the first six months of the year, the average price for the top 100 touring acts had only gone up 50 cents. Maybe the ticket price was creeping up a little too high for that audience.”

You think?

As I’ve said before, the folks at 19 got cocky and thought that because last year’s tour was such a success that this one would be too, so they raised prices. But they made a major miscalculation. This year’s group is not as good.

As former “Variety” music editor Don Waller told “USA,” “It was bad casting.”

Personally, I hope this year’s tour teaches 19 two important lessons: Get better contestants AND let us get to know them so we can vote for them…

Kelly Kicks Off the NFL


Kelly Clarkson will be one of the performers during NFL Kickoff 2007, along with Faith Hill, Hinder and John Mellencamp.

“NFL Kickoff 2007” airs Thursday, September 6th at 8 p.m. on NBC…

"Band" Gets Ready to Rock

The newest attempt at an “Idol” spin-off has chosen its judges and host.

John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls, Sheila E. and Australian TV personality Ian “Dicko” Dickson (“Australian Idol,” pictured left) will serve as judges for “The Next Great American Band.” Dominic Bowden of “New Zealand Idol” (pictured right) will host.

The judges will narrow down the bands to 10 semifinalists who will perform weekly in front of a live studio audience. Viewers will vote and the results will be announced at the beginning of the following episode.

The bands will perform either originals or covers of “varied styles,” according to a FOX press release. The final three groups will compete in the season finale for a contract with 19 Recordings.

“Band” premieres Friday, October 19th on FOX…

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Tour is Back On!

Good news for Kelly Clarkson fans. The tour is back on!

Kelly’s “My December” tour will begin October 10th in Verona, NY, and then will make stops in 22 other cities, before wrapping up in Nashville December 3rd. Kelly has scrapped an arena tour for a more intimate theater one.

The bad news for Kelly Clarkson fans is that none of those theaters are anywhere close to the Tri-State, which is a shame considering the two beautiful places that we have available for her in Huntington and Ashland. Oh well.

If you happened to buy tickets to her first tour, you can get a special Ticketmaster code for your tickets to this one at www.kellyclarkson.com...

Monday, September 3, 2007

Carrie Gets Set For a "Carnival Ride"

Carrie Underwood's new CD will be called "Carnival Ride" and will hit stores October 23rd.

Based on a report in "Billboard," it looks like the CD will lean more toward "Jesus, Take the Wheel" than "Before He Cheats"...

In addition to her current single, "So Small," the CD will include "Wheel of the World" about how no one knows God's plan for their life and "Just a Dream," which tells the story of a woman dealing with the death of her soldier fiance. The CD will also include a remake of Randy Travis' "I Told You So."
Carrie told "Billboard" she was much more involved with the songwriting and song selection on this CD.

More than likely, there will be no tour for the album until next year...

More on Blake's Album...

In a recent interview, Blake told “Entertainment Weekly” more about his debut album…

Blake plans to call it “ADD (Audio Day Dream).” He told “EW” that it’s his “Michael Jackson ‘Bad’ album, in the sense that every track on that album is pop music but every single track is totally different than the next.”

One song you will not find on the CD is “You Give Love a Bad Name.” Blake said he had fun with it on “Idol,” but for the CD he’d “rather have all completely originals, unless it was some very avant-garde cover that no one knows…” They’re also making a documentary of the recording process for a DVD they plan to release with the CD.

Blake said that every single idea he has for the CD, “the company is in love with.”

The CD is scheduled for a December release on Arista/19 Recordings…