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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, October 30, 2007

Blake's First Single Arrives!


It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for—or at least the one I’ve been waiting for…

Blake Lewis’ first single hit radio today. It’s called “Break Anotha.”
Blake wrote the song with Ryan Tedder of One Republic (“Apologize”). So, no surprise, it’s got a bit of a Justin Timberlake feel—but that’s not a bad thing. In fact, I love it.

You can hear it for yourself here. Be sure to let me know what you think.

By the way, the release date of Blake’s album, “Audio Day Dream,” has been pushed back to December 4th…

Time to Find Out if Clay's Smarter Than a Fifth Grader


This Thursday, Clay Aiken will be a contestant on a special two-hour “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?”

You can go here now to see an outtake of Clay dueting with one of the students and explaining why host Jeff Foxworthy was robbed of his Snickers bar…

“Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” airs Thursday, November 1st at 8 p.m. on FOX…

"Idol" Continues to "Give Back"


The money from “Idol Gives Back” is still funneling down to the charities. Five charities working in Africa received $6 million each.
“IGB” raised over $75 million.

And fans are still continuing to help as well. After Melinda’s trip to Zambia in June, her fans, the Backup Singers, started giving her bed nets (to fight malaria) at tour stops instead of flowers…

Carrie Romance Report


Here’s the latest on Carrie Underwood and Chace Crawford…

Chace told “OK!” “We’re just hanging, having a good time, dating around. It’s good.”

One of Chace’s “Gossip Girl” co-stars told “People” they are a cute couple…

Is Kat Getting Married?


This week’s “Us Weekly” reports that 23-year-old Katharine McPhee and her 42-year-old boyfriend Nick Cokas are getting married in February at a Beverly Hills estate.

“Us” earlier reported that Cokas proposed in March, but the couple kept it a secret because Kat’s family wanted her to focus on her career.

Katharine is currently involved in three films: “I Know What Boys Like,” produced by Adam Sandler, and indies “The Last Caller” and “Success”…

It Just Keeps Getting Worse For "Band"


The numbers just keep going downhill for “The Next Great American Band”…

Friday’s episode—the first voting round—had 2.87 million viewers. That’s 700,000 less than its premiere.

As I said in the comments on my last “Band” post, if this were anything other than a reality show from the producers of “Idol,” FOX would have pulled the plug by now…

Monday, October 29, 2007

"The Next Great American Band": Maybe I Just Don't Understand

Apparently I don’t understand the point of “The Next Great American Band.”

I thought the show was looking for a band that could produce a hit record. But apparently it’s looking for a band that can put on a good show—whether the singing is good or not.

That was made pretty clear several times Friday night during the judges’ comments. And Dicko confirmed it when he told the lead singer of The Muggs that this wasn’t “Idol” and that he didn’t have to be a great singer for his band to do well.

Of course, Dicko also told The Hatch that they needed to jam a little less if they were going to be a pop band.

Maybe they don’t understand the point either…

For me, though, a great band is one that can put on a good show AND can sing. Maybe that’s why I just can’t get into this show…

However, as promised, I rated the bands’ performances for you. This week, they performed a song written by Bob Dylan and an original they wrote themselves.

Here’s the rundown…

Denver and the Mile High Orchestra: “Freight Train Blues” and “One Time Show”
The band has a great sound, but Denver, the lead singer has no charisma—even when he played an instrument. John and Sheila liked it, but Dicko said they needed a more modern presentation. I give them a B.

The Hatch: “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” and “Stretch Out the Time”
Sean, with his good looks, is a good frontman with lots of stage presence, but “Stretch” did nothing to showcase his voice and sounded a lot more like noise. John didn’t like the lack of hook on the original while Sheila loved it and didn’t like the cover. Dicko said they needed to practice more. I was pretty disappointed. C.

Light of Doom: “All Along the Watchtower” and “Eye of the Storm”
I really wanted this band to do well, but they went hard core metal and it just didn’t work for me. However, the audience adored them. John loved it, Sheila cautioned them about execution and Dicko said he was spooked by what he called “Children of the corn with guitars.” Both Sheila and Dicko told them to put their shirts on since they’re only 13. I give them a C, but only because I think they’re a great story.

The Likes of You: “Blowin’ In the Wind” and “Love and Gravity”
I was sold on this group after they told me their lead singer, Geoff Byrd, once toured with Hall and Oates. But their cover was outstanding with a Five for Fighting feel. The original was solid too with a Fine Young Cannibals sound. John cautioned Geoff to cut back on the falsetto, Sheila criticized him for slightly missing the final big note, and Dicko said he needed convinced that they were a band and not just a way for Geoff to further his solo career. Geoff admitted that was his original plan, but said that now they are a true band. I really liked them. A

Rocket: “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” and “Mean To You”
Punk rock is not really my thing, but I can handle it if it sounds decent. This didn’t, since Lauren, the lead singer, just doesn’t have the voice. John and Dicko both agreed with me that Lauren needs some work, but Sheila loved both songs and said their original should be on the radio now. I have no idea what radio station she listens to. C-.

Cliff Wagner and the Old No. 7: “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” and “Old Fire”
If bluegrass is your thing, then you’d really like these guys, as they are good. John and Sheila liked them, but Dicko didn’t like the cover. I’m not a big bluegrass fan, but these guys are talented. B.

The Muggs: “Meet Me in the Morning” and “Slow Curve”
This was the band most suited to play Bob Dylan, but Dan, the lead singer, didn’t really hit all the notes and the original showcased his guitar playing more than his singing. All three judges loved them with Dicko telling Dan to embrace the fact that he’s not a great singer. They’re such good musicians, with such a great story, it’s hard not to like them. B.

The Clark Brothers: “Maggie’s Farm” and “Billy the Kid”
They’re good-looking, extremely talented musicians with tight harmonies and good songwriting skills. What’s not to love? John and Sheila agreed with me, but Dicko didn’t like the cover. Whatever…A+.

Tres Bien!: “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and “Easy to Love Me”
John and Dicko were both concerned that they were too 60s, but I like the retro sound. Sheila told them they needed to work on their musicianship. B.

Franklin Bridge: “Tangled Up In Blue” and “Incredible”
This is the band Dicko said set the bar at the auditions and they do have great musicianship. My problem is that they’re wasting a beautiful R&B voice by adding a bunch of guitar solos. John loved them, as did Dicko—although he thought the Dylan song was over-arranged (I liked it, I just wish they would’ve stuck with it.). But Sheila gave them a standing ovation and predicted them as the winner. When Dicko asked if the other bands should just go home, she said yes. B-.

Don’t worry. She changed her mind later…

Dot Dot Dot: “Like a Rolling Stone” and “Another Stupid Love Song”
They probably have the best frontman in Adam, who I would describe as Pete Wentz meets Adam Levine, but I thought he concentrated too much on jumping around and not enough on his vocals, and Dicko agreed. John said they mangled the cover and he criticized the original for a bad chorus. Sheila didn’t like the cover either. It was the original I had problems with. C-.

Sixwire: “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Good to be Back”
They stuck pretty close to the original for the cover, adding only a country feel. And they performed the best original of the night with their audition song. I think “Good” could play on country radio right now and John agreed it was a hit. Dicko called them “fabulous” and the “housewives’ choice” and Sheila said she might have to change her mind about the winner. Maybe there’s some Paula in her after all. I like these guys a lot. A.

Continuing its breakneck pace, the show will eliminate two bands based on this week’s audience votes, leaving only 10 next week to perform the songs of Elton John and Bernie Taupin, his longtime songwriting partner.

Just for fun, I actually voted once each for The Likes of You, The Clark Brothers and Sixwire. I was a little disappointed that the recorded phone message only told me what number band I was voting for and not the name (like “Idol”). And no, I had no problems getting through…

So did any of you watch? Do you agree or disagree with my grades?

Feel free to post a comment or send me an e-mail at hdstaytuned@hotmail.com...

My apologies...

So a late arrival back into town and some other stuff prevented me from updating my blog when I promised.

Later tonight, I'll have my take on "The Next Great American Band" performances. Honest...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

This Weekend...

Since I have to go out of town this weekend, I planned to do my post about the "Next Great American Band" last night right after the show.

But before I could do that, I fell asleep. Coincidence? I think not...

I'll have my grades for all of the bands and tell you who I voted for (Yes, I actually voted.) Sunday night.

See you then!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

"The Next Great American Band": What's Really Missing


So I figured out what's missing from "The Next Great American Band"...

Ratings...

“Band” averaged 3.57 million viewers, finishing fifth in its timeslot.

So much for FOX finding another “Idol” jackpot.

Remember that “Band” airs again Friday at 8 p.m. with a two-hour episode…

Carrie and Jennifer Get Set to Rock the Movies


Carrie Underwood will follow up her performance on “Fashion Rocks” with a performance on “Movies Rock,” a tribute to movies from the same people, magazine publisher, Conde Nast.

Jennifer Hudson, another “Fashion Rocks” participant, is also scheduled to perform.

“Movies Rock” airs December 7th on CBS…

Kellie and Carrie Get Set for the CMAs

Kellie Pickler has been added to the list of performers at the 41st Annual CMA Awards.

Carrie Underwood is also scheduled to perform.

The CMAs air November 7th at 8 p.m. on ABC…

Monday, October 22, 2007

Carrie CD Review: "Carnival" Isn't All That Much Fun


In her “EW” interview, Carrie was adamant that she is a country artist. And that comes through loud and clear from the opening note of her new album, “Carnival Ride.”

But if that opening number doesn’t convince you, the story-filled songs and Carrie’s twangy voice will. In fact, at times, Carrie tries a little too hard to remind us she’s a country artist.

And when she’s not doing that, she’s trying WAY too hard to remind us of her powerhouse voice…

The first track, “Flat On the Floor,” is pure country with even a little bit of a bluegrass feel. But the lyrics aren’t all that great and Carrie’s vocal goes a tad over the top…

“All-American Girl” is the first of the story songs. This one is the story of a girl who wraps men around her finger—first her dad and then her quarterback boyfriend. It’s not a very strong story, though, and once again, Carrie’s vocals are too much…

I was finally to the point where I almost liked “So Small.” But as the third track on this CD, it comes off as grating after all the other over-the-top vocals…

“Just a Dream,” another story song, will no doubt be a #1 smash. It’s the story of a wife whose military husband doesn’t come home. It’s a tough one to swallow, but it’s pretty and I think it will really resonate…

“Get Out of This Town” is pretty much just filler material, but it’s nice to hear Carrie tone it down…

“Crazy Dreams” is the first real toe-tapper on the CD. It’s got a good beat and fun lyrics…

“I Know You Won’t” starts out as a strong slow ballad, but then it disintegrates into Carrie banging that voice over our head again. It probably would have worked a little better if it had more lyrics than just, “You said you’d call, but I know you won’t.” It’s almost like the songwriters just got tired…

“Last Name” could be the “Before He Cheats” of this CD. Just like “Cheats,” I find it hard to believe Carrie as the song’s main character—a girl who gets drunk and ends up with a strange guy—but the song is so catchy, you can look over it. It does, however, repeat the chorus one time too many…

“You Won’t Find This” is the strongest song on the CD. It’s got a catchy chorus and Carrie shows some welcome restraint…

“I Told You So” is a cover of a Randy Travis song. Carrie plays it pretty close to the original and it’s a good song for her…

“The More Boys I Meet” starts out really strong with a really good beat and a catchy chorus. Then Carrie gets to the point—“The more boys I meet, the more I love my dog”—and it falls flat as a pancake. I realize it’s supposed to be funny, but it just doesn’t work for me…

“Twisted” has a nice original sound, but suffers a little without a catchy chorus…

The CD concludes with “Wheel of the World,” a moody slow ballad. I can’t really hear it as a single, but it’s a good song and a good finish to the CD…

So what’s the bottom line here? Do I like it or not?

I want to say I do, but I just can’t…

As you guys know, I am not a country music fan. And since this one is purely country, I probably started out with a negative opinion from the get-go.

And “Carnival Ride” doesn’t really do a lot to change my mind. I like Carrie and I think she’s got a great voice, but not every song needs a really high note that you hold forever.

Plus, the songwriting just doesn’t measure up this time around. Since I don’t have the songwriting credits, I don’t know how much of that I can blame on Carrie, but I have a sneaking suspicion it’s quite a bit.

I admire her, though, for sticking to her guns and going straight country with this one—even though it will probably mean a loss of fans.

And yes, that probably includes me, since I won’t be adding this one to my collection…

You can hear “Carnival Ride” for yourself here. Be sure to let me know what you think…

Sunday, October 21, 2007

"The Next Great American Band": Something's Missing

It’s no big surprise that “The Next Great American Band” would follow the “Idol” formula pretty closely.

However, there was just something missing from Friday’s premiere. But what it was, I just can’t put my finger on…

Maybe it was because a show searching for the next great American band is being hosted by a guy from New Zealand…

Maybe it was because they did the auditions in the 110 degree desert heat with the waiting contestants and their families on a boat (What was the point of that anyway?)…

Maybe it was because the “mean” judge, Ian “Dicko” Dickson wasn’t nearly as clever as Simon Cowell. Or because the “nice” judge, Sheila E.—though often misguided—was way more eloquent than Paula Abdul…

Or maybe it was because the show just moved so fast. I’ve often complained that “Idol” spends way too much time with the rejects, so it’s surprising that I thought this show needed a few more just to spice it up a little. We did get some behind-the-scenes stuff, but I would’ve liked to have seen more from the boat. That had to be interesting…

Yet somehow at the end of the episode, I was on the verge of tears, moved by the story of Dayton, Ohio band, Northmont. The audition was the band’s last shot as one member decided it was time to quit and return to New Zealand to be with his family. Ward, the lead singer, was outstanding, but the rest of the band just didn’t measure up. The judges decided to give the band another chance and after a lot of yelling and practicing, they returned to the stage. But again, the band let Ward down. After telling Ward that he was one of the best lead singers in the competition and with other musicians he would be the frontrunner, Dicko voted no. Sheila voted yes, but John Rzeznik couldn’t let them pass. The band sadly got back on the bus.

But while I was trying to compose myself, the show stepped on the gas again and with one simple sentence explaining that the judges looked at the bands again, they announced the 12 finalists that we will be voting on beginning next week.

I told you they moved fast. Fortunately, I had a tape in the VCR so I could tape the announcement since they’re not even listed on the show’s website.

So, here are the finalists and what I can tell you about them (which isn’t much)…

Tres Bien, a new wave band
Light of Doom, an amazingly talented heavy metal band made up of 12 and 13-year-olds that Dicko said no to (and John nearly said no to as well) because he didn’t think they could sell records
Dot Dot Dot
Cliff Wagner and the Old No. 7, a bluegrass band. When Dicko challenged them to do a more contemporary cover, they did “Like a Virgin.”

The Hatch, fronted by Sean, who Sheila was entranced by (In her defense, he is cute.)
Franklin Bridge, an R & B band which Dicko said had set the bar
Denver and the Mile High Orchestra, a big band

The Clark Brothers, three brothers—Austin, Adam and Ashley—who got their start in tent revivals. They wowed the judges with a rock version of “This Little Light of Mine.”
The Muggs, a rock trio, whose bass player plays bass on a keyboard after suffering a stroke




Sixwire, a great country band that was once signed to a major label
The Likes of You
Rocket, a female rock band

One of the bands that were told they were going to the next round—and received a lot of camera time—the Zombie Bazooka Patrol did not make the final cut. I’m guessing the producers decided that a band dressed as zombies singing about the joys of being undead was not what they were looking for. They were good, though…

Now all 12 bands will perform on the show next week. At some point they will be expected to tackle different genres, but I don’t know when that will happen.

I’m willing to give this one another episode before I make a final decision, so come back next week for my reviews of the performances…

“The Next Great American Band” airs Friday with another two-hour episode at 8 p.m. on FOX…

A Merry Elliott Christmas


You can now pick up Elliott’s Christmas CD, “Sounds of the Season: The Elliott Yamin Holiday Collection” exclusively at Target.

Songs include “This Christmas,” “Little Drummer Boy,” “Merry Christmas, Baby,” “The Christmas Song,” “Jingle Bells,” “A Very Merry Christmas,” “Let’s Be Naughty (And Save Santa the Trip),” and “Warm Me Up.”

Because the CD is tied in with NBC, I would look for Elliott to be a major participant in NBC’s Christmas programming…

A Frank Interview From Carrie…

When Kelly Clarkson released her CD a few months back, we got plenty of frank interviews.

Now it may be Carrie Underwood’s turn…

In this week’s “Entertainment Weekly” cover story, Carrie talks about haters, the pressure on her second CD, and even what happened with the quarterback of America’s team…

And because I read the magazines so you don’t have to, here are some of the highlights…

“Carnival Ride” is a country record with no pop songs like “Some Hearts” had. Carrie said, “I want to be a country artist in a country world with country fans”…

About the scrutiny over this CD, Carrie said, “I’ve learned this, that haters wanna hate. You could sing a song perfectly, you could write the songs perfectly, and some people are absolutely going to hate you”…

On her critics: “You can call me ‘not country’ until your face is blue, but I sing country music…Every single person in the music industry knows if they had a chance like [“Idol”], they’d take it. And I’m sorry, anybody who says I took a shortcut, they are insane. We didn’t take the easy way; if anything we took a more difficult way. It was just unconventional, therefore it must be wrong”…

Carrie also revealed that Arista wanted her to record pop versions of some of the country tracks on “Some Hearts,” but she said no. “I didn’t have to put my foot down, thank goodness. I hate it when country artists do that…It’s like, ‘All right, it’s not good enough for everybody this way, so let’s change it to make it good enough.’”

When the interviewer points out to Carrie that when Shania Twain did that, it made her a superstar, Carrie responds, “I liked the original country version. On all the ones that she redid.” When asked if she was worried when “Before He Cheats” became a pop hit, Carrie said she wasn’t because “we didn’t change the song”…

I absolutely agree with her and I applaud her stand (Clearly, she was right.). The haters are just going to have to get over themselves…

So what was the deal with Carrie and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who escorted her to the ACM Awards? Carrie swears they were never a couple. “At one point, it seemed like that’s where it was headed, but point blank, he is about football. I don’t know if it’s that I’m not quite his type or whatever, but I don’t think he’s at the point in his life where he would be willing to sacrifice football. He hated so much that people thought that he was paying more attention to me and that was causing him not to do well.”

I’m afraid that’s what happens, Carrie, when you try to date the quarterback of a Jerry Jones-owned team…

By the way, the “New York Post” has reported that Carrie is now getting cozy with Chace Crawford, who plays Nate on “Gossip Girl”…

Don’t forget that Carrie’s CD, “Carnival Ride” hits stores this Tuesday. You can pick up a special edition CD/DVD with four acoustic songs and interviews with Carrie and her producer exclusively at Target…

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Has It Really Come To This?

I actually wish this was a joke, but sadly it’s not…

In January, CMT will premiere “Gone Country,” a reality competition in which celebrities will be tutored by John Rich (Big & Rich) in the ways of country music. The contestants will live together in a Nashville mansion for two weeks as they compete in challenges involving the country music lifestyle.

One of the contestants will be Diana DeGarmo, who you may recall was the runner-up to Fantasia in season three of “Idol.”

Has it really come to this for her? I thought she was carving out a pretty good Broadway career for herself. Does she really need the humiliation of living in a mansion with Bobby Brown and Dee Snider of Twisted Sister?

The other contestants will be Carnie Wilson, Julio Iglesias Jr., Maureen McCormick (“The Brady Bunch”) and Sisqo…

The "Ride" Kicks Into High Gear for Carrie

In an interview with “USA Today,” Carrie talked about the songwriting retreat for her new album, “Carnival Ride,” which hits stores Tuesday…

For three days in February, she and a dozen Nashville song writers holed up in the Ryman Auditorium, the former home of the Grand Ole Opry. Each morning the songwriters broke into groups of two or three to write in the dressing rooms. Carrie would team up with partners, but would also go from room to room to check on the writers’ progress and offer suggestions. In the evenings, the writers would record demos of that day’s songs on the stage with Carrie’s producer, Mark Bright.

A similar retreat for “Some Hearts” produced three songs that made the CD, but this one only produced one, “Twisted.” But Carrie said the retreat did serve its larger purpose of getting her better acquainted with the writers, who account for 11 of the 13 songs on the CD. Carrie also co-wrote several of the tracks, including the first single, “So Small”…

Meanwhile the promotional blitz is about to kick into high gear. Here’s the confirmed appearances:

Tuesday, October 23rd—“Good Morning America,” “GAC Nights”
Wednesday, October 24th—“Live with Regis and Kelly”
Friday, October 26th—“CBS Early Show”
Monday, October 29th—“The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”
Monday, November 5th—“Ellen”
Wednesday, November 7th—“CMA Awards”
Tuesday, November 13th—“The Late Show with David Letterman”

Clay Heads for Broadway

The Claymates are making travel plans already, as Clay Aiken is hitting Broadway next year…

Clay will join the cast of “Monty Python’s Spamalot” January 18th playing Sir Robin, one of the lead characters.

The musical’s director, Mike Nichols, said in a statement, “Clay Aiken is amazing beyond that glorious voice. Turns out he is an excellent comic actor and a master of character.”

No doubt this will be an excellent ticket sales opportunity for the show. I just hope they know what they’ve gotten themselves into with the Claymates. Hopefully they can find a way to control them.

This is also an excellent opportunity for Clay since it’s a major role in a Tony Award-winning musical. I’ve never seen “Spamalot,” so I’ll have to leave it to my pal Chuck to tell me if he thinks Clay can pull this one off.

By the way, the role of Sir Robin was originated by Emmy Award winner David Hyde-Pierce, who received a Tony nomination for his work. YIKES!

Clay is scheduled to appear through May 4, 2008…

Friday, October 19, 2007

Tonight's Spin-Off Premiere

Tonight, FOX premieres the "Idol" spin-off, "The Next Great American Band."

I'm waiting to see it first before I decide how much of this blog to devote to it. But I'll definitely have some kind of post after tonight's premiere.

"The Next Great American Band" premieres with a two-hour episode tonight (Friday) at 8 on FOX...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Idol Tour Gets Fined

The Idols Live Tour was fined this week for violating child labor laws…

The New York State Department fined 19 Touring LLC $5000 for failing to secure the proper permits so the tour could be monitored for labor law compliance.

According to the “Daily News,” the violation was discovered by a curious labor department staffer who searched for the permits because she knew that Jordin and Sanjaya were only 17…

Daughtry, Carrie and Fantasia Get AMA Love

The American Music Award nominations were announced this week and “Idol” is well represented…

Daughtry is nominated for three awards: Favorite Album, Favorite Adult Contemporary Music Artist, and Favorite Breakthrough Artist…

Carrie Underwood is nominated for two awards: Favorite Country Female Artist and Favorite Country Album…

Fantasia is nominated for Favorite Soul/Rhythm and Blues Female Artist…

For the first time, the winners will be determined by online voting. You can vote here until November 2nd. The winners will be announced Sunday, November 18th on ABC…

Bo Sees "The Light"

Carrie isn’t the only Idol who’s releasing a CD on October 23rd…

Bo Bice will release his second CD, “See the Light” on an independent label. The CD is being described as southern rock and it actually features a few of the Bo-written tracks from the deluxe version of his first CD. You can pre-order it now at http://www.walmart.com/ and http://www.bobice.com/.

I’ve heard clips of the songs and it’s definitely harder-edged, but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing in Bo’s case. There just seems to be a bit of inconsistency between the styles of each song. You can hear for yourself at Bo’s website

Carrie Gets Set for the “Ride”


The Carrie Underwood hype machine is getting ready to kick into high gear…

Carrie will perform live on “Good Morning America” Tuesday, October 23rd, the day her new CD, “Carnival Ride,” hits stores.

“GMA” airs 7-9 a.m. on ABC…

Friday, October 5, 2007

This Weekend

This Sunday is my fiance's birthday, so I'll be spending time with him and away from the computer this weekend.

Have a good one and I'll catch up with you next week...

This Week's Chart News

This week, Jordin Sparks’ “Tattoo” is the top debut on the Billboard Hot 100. It clocks in at #58.

Remember that Jordin’s CD is due November 20th…

Also on the Billboard charts, Kimberley Locke continues her success on the Adult Contemporary chart as “Band of Gold” moves up to #15…

Carrie Underwood’s “So Small” inches up another notch to #9 on the Hot Country Songs Chart…

"Maybe next time he'll think..."

If you see Kellie Pickler roaming around Nashville with a Louisville Slugger, Jordin Tootoo better watch out…

Kellie and Jordin had been dating since early this year, but at a recent concert in Michigan, Kellie told the crowd that Jordin had cheated on her, so her theme song now is “Before He Cheats.” Kellie also joked that she hoped his teeth were knocked out during that night’s game (Jordin plays for the NHL’s Nashville Predators.).

But when Kellie sang “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You,” she broke down in tears…

I smell a new song and big trouble for Jordin, don’t you?

Clay Makes an Appearance In Support of Jenna Bush


Clay Aiken made an appearance this week at the book party for Jenna Bush’s new book, “Ana’s Story: A Journey of Hope.” Proceeds from the books sales will benefit UNICEF, of which Clay is an ambassador…

Paula Goes After Bravo


In a recent interview with “USA Today,” Paula Abdul went after the people behind her Bravo reality show, “Hey Paula”…

Paula said the show “falsely portrayed her as an unstable, hysterical, demanding diva.” She goes on to say she had no editing approval so “they’d put a camera on me when I got wind that my dog was in a coma, and they’d make it (seem) like it was about hair and makeup.”

Boy, she really does live in a delusional world, doesn’t she?

As you guys know, I watched every episode of “Hey Paula” but the final one (which was a clip show), and I never saw any evidence of the editing she’s talking about. What I saw was someone who went into hysterics because her hair and makeup people couldn’t get through a snowstorm. What I saw was someone who told a decorator to do her thing and then totally reneged on the deal when she didn’t like it.

In other words, what I saw was an unstable, hysterical, demanding diva. There was no false portrayal there.

Paula also said she felt “double-crossed” when producers talked her into addressing her infamous “Idol” press junket disaster, because it “only made matters worse.” Could that be because the truth blew her little two cities in two different ears alibi right out of the water?

Paula said she was asked to do a second season, but she refused. I find that really hard to believe considering the lousy timeslots and rare repeat viewings Bravo gave it (and Bravo repeats EVERYTHING). I think they knew the show was bad—mostly because Paula didn’t open up enough of her life to the cameras.

Could that be because she was afraid they would see her as an unstable, hysterical, demanding diva?

Paula said she is in talks with other networks for a new show, but she wants to do it the “right way” and on her own terms. I've seen enough Bravo reality shows to know that they always do it the right way. They just had the wrong subject this time...

By the way, in the same interview, Paula said she wants to have a child in the next two years. If fertility options don’t work for her, she plans to adopt.

Is anyone else really frightened?...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Smitty Teams Up With Another Idol

It appears that Michael W. Smith is turning into quite the “American Idol” superfan…

Melinda Doolittle will open for Smitty on his Christmas tour, “It’s a Wonderful Christmas,” which kicks off November 29th.

For those of you wondering why Smitty wouldn’t have asked Jordin Sparks, who was a backup singer on his previous Christmas tour, I can answer that for you in one word—19. 19 Entertainment owns Jordin now, so she is absolutely not available.

The fact that Melinda is available, however, leads me to believe that 19 is not going to sign her. Maybe Smitty will…

Unfortunately, as of now, the tour is not scheduled to make a stop anywhere close to the Tri-State…

Image courtesy of michaelwsmith.com

Monday, October 1, 2007

Simon the Hero?

Simon Cowell’s criticism can sometimes be hard for contestants to hear. But one contestant was glad to hear it because it saved her life.

During an audition episode of “The X-Factor,” Simon noted there was something strange in the voice of 46-year-old Jacqui Gray. He advised her to go to the doctor.

When she did, she was diagnosed with a potentially fatal lung disease. Grey credits Simon and his fellow judge, Sharon Osbourne, with saving her life.

As if Simon didn’t have a big enough head already. Now he’s a hero?...

Anwar Head for the Great White Way


Remember Anwar Robinson, the music teacher from season four? He’s joining the touring cast of “Rent.”


Anwar will play Tom Collins beginning October 15th in York, Pennsylvania…

LaKisha Heads for Broadway

LaKisha Jones is headed for Broadway.

Beginning December 19th, LaKisha will play the Church Soloist in “The Color Purple” (which is currently starring Fantasia). The Church Soloist opens the show with the gospel number, “Mysterious Ways.”

Beginning January 9th, LaKisha will play the Church Soloist at all evening performances and Sofia at all matinees. Chaka Khan will play Sofia at the evening performances.

By the way, Fantasia’s last performance as Celie is January 6th…

Bucky's New Music Video

Last Tuesday, Bucky shot his new music video for “It’s Good to Be Us” at Balance MotoX in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

The video features freestyle motocross riders doing stunts while Bucky gives a live performance on the track. Freestyle Motocross champion Kenny Bartram makes a cameo.

The video was directed by Trey Fanjoy, who directed “A Different World.”

The fine folks at Lyric Street sent me this picture of Bucky at the shoot…

Seacrest Teams Up With the Hoff

Ryan Seacrest’s newest E! reality show, “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” premieres October 14th, but Ryan is already working on his first scripted show.

“Tales of the Hoff” will follow a fictional international star as he struggles with his career and in the dating world after a divorce. David Hasselhoff will star and executive produce with Seacrest.

Since the show is clearly inspired by the Hoff’s real life, insiders are saying it has a “Curb Your Enthusiasm” feel. The project came out of conversations Hoff had with friends about how his life could inspire a TV show.

No premiere date has been set.

You can write your own jokes for this one...

Relive Ruben Vs. Clay


“American Idol Rewind” is now reliving season two.

Ruben is hosting, while Clay is narrating.

You can see “Rewind” Sundays at 8 p.m. on WGN…

My apologies...

My busy week turned into a crazy weekend which turned into a hectic morning, so I apologize for not posting all of the things I said I would. They’re still coming…