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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.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Auditions Day Six: Miami Yipes

Is it Hollywood week yet?

Alright, I will admit we did get some entertainment tonight, but still..

Here are my thoughts...

Okay, if you’re going to do a “Miami Vice” open, you need to go all the way. That means nothing less than Ryan in a white jacket and pastel shirt…

Belching? Good to see Shannon (“Cry Baby”) has a skill to fall back on. I was really surprised to see that she couldn’t sing. Who was judging those singing contests she won?...

Wow! Simon is in a bad mood! I liked Robbie (“Simple Kind of Man”). But Fiesta String? I’ve never heard it called that before…

Okay, I missed the graphic. How old was Ghaleb (“You Sang to Me”)? I guess he was young enough…

Now, tonight, I have to wonder about Paula…as Simon did…

Was that the first time someone sang to Randy (Corliss, “Take Five”)? Corliss and Britney (“My Guy”) were a lot of fun. Wonder if their friendship will make it through Hollywood?...

A friend of mine just told me he thinks they could end up like Sanjaya and his sister with one crying and the other consoling…

I wasn’t all that impressed with Suzanne (“I Can’t Make You Love Me”). I’ll just have to take the judges’ word for it…

Yes, I know that Jasmine Trias is huge in the Phillipines, but come on! They couldn’t even pick a moment from “Idol” where she was singing on key…

So Simon liked Suzanne, but he thought Raniele (“Natural Woman”) was a hotel singer? I’m with Paula. What?!...

Syesha’s rendition of “Freedom” was the highest version of that song I’ve ever heard. But even though he said he didn’t like it, Simon said yes. She’s got to stop that run stuff, though…

Do you get the impression Simon has somewhere else to be?

“Unfaithful” by Rihanna (Ilsy). Great choice for an audition song…

Okay, I’m surprised. I thought Richard (“God Bless the Broken Road”) would be able to sing…

“American Juniors”? I’m sure that’s a show the producers would rather forget. Hadn’t you?...

But doesn’t Julie (“Me and Bobby McGee”) act just like a child star who’s always had her way? I agree that her performance was not the best, but I thought her voice was as good as some of the others they sent through. That rejection was based completely on personality. She was better when she was 12, wasn’t she?...

Did you see how Simon was almost protecting Paula from Brandon (“I’ll Make Love to You”)? He almost had a voice, if he wasn’t such a jerk. Was that supposed to be funny? Why did they even include that one?...

Only 17 people made it. Yipes! I thought Charleston was supposed to be the worst…

Tuesday, it’s ATL, baby…

The Paula Haters Come Out of the Woodwork

What is up with all of the Paula Abdul haters today?

Yes, I mentioned Paula’s hiccup in my post about last night’s auditions because I thought it was funny, not because I thought she was drunk.

Apparently, I’m one of the few bloggers out there who didn’t make that connection. Several blogs are talking about how “drunk Paula is back.”

So every time someone hiccups it means they’re drunk? Wow! I must be drunk all of the time then…

I’m sorry, but I just didn’t see any evidence. Yes, she looked tired, but who knows how long she had to sit on the plane (And if you’ve seen “Hey Paula!” you know she doesn’t sleep on planes very well, especially if her assistants pack the wrong clothes.).

One of the blogs I read referred to her looking at one point like she was asleep. I was practically asleep watching the show myself! I can’t imagine what it was like being there live…

Paula is also getting a lot of flack for her pre-taped Super Bowl pre-game segment. Apparently, the video will be Paula performing in front of an audience (Reports say it was taped January 27th.). The official word from FOX is that the last-minute decision to include Paula kept them from having time to do a live performance. But “OK!” magazine is reporting that Paula is too nervous to do a live performance and her people are too concerned about what might happen.

SO?! I said that weeks ago when I told you it would probably be on tape because of the commercial I heard JANUARY 7TH! Why is everyone acting like this is big news? No one would be making a big deal out of this if it hadn’t been for those reports that Paula was going to sing at halftime, which—I’m sorry, Mike—was just Ausiello taking a giant shot in the dark (Tom Petty was announced as the halftime act months ago.). Of course, she’s nervous. She hasn’t released any new material in over a decade. I would be nervous too!

And the hubbub over a hiccup just proves her point…

Personally, I think it would be better if they just premiered the video (which features Randy, Ryan and Simon), but that bad choice doesn’t warrant all the crap she’s getting this week…

I don’t mean to sound like the president of the Paula Abdul fan club, but I think everyone just needs to back off. The song is really good and I would love to see Paula make a comeback.

Obviously, there are a lot of people who don’t agree…

By the way, you can see a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the actual music video here.

Seacrest’s Sexy Smile


Ryan Seacrest was voted the sexiest smile by Victoria’s Secret for their 2008 What Is Sexy? List.

The entire list—which includes Eva Mendes, Josh Holloway (“Lost”) and Victoria Beckham—will be announced on an hour-long special February 9th on E!

Care to guess the production company behind the special? That’s right. Ryan Seacrest Productions.

However, a Victoria’s Secret spokeswoman says that the list was put together before E! committed to the special and that Ryan was “an easy choice” after he attended a Victoria’s Secret fashion show in November.

It’s no surprise that Victoria’s Secret is already getting flack over this one, but you know I can’t disagree with them…

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Auditions Day Five: Zzzzzz…

I thought Omaha seemed like a possibly boring choice, but I didn’t want to pre-judge.

But after watching, I think I was right.

There were some interesting moments, and some strange moments, but nothing terribly entertaining…

Anyone else sensing a pattern here?

Here are my thoughts…

You have to love Chris’ (“Since U Been Gone”) response to Simon telling him he could do the red carpet for his FOX affiliate, however I fear that Simon has set a dangerous precedent. Clever for Chris to suggest that, wasn’t it? …

Oh, Jason (“When You Say Nothing At All”), I was trying to send you the words (I know it was on tape, but still.). I really liked him, so I’m glad they let him through…

Wow, look at Ryan’s muscles!...

At least Ryan (and Paula) had the guts to arm wrestle Rachel (“Tell My Heart to Stop Crying”)…

Poor Ryan. When Sarah (that weird song) said “put your hands behind your back,” why did he do it? She could have crushed him…

Poor Samantha (“I Don’t Know Why”). She was totally thrown off by Ryan at the judges’ table. So what was that about anyway? I get the feeling there was stuff going on between Ryan and the judges that we didn’t see. Why else would he feel the need to stick up for Sarah?

Maybe she threatened to put him in a headlock…

And how about Simon saying that it would be awful to judge with Ryan? Ouch!...

I was a little worried that Angelica (“Power of Love”) wasn’t going to make it—even with her sappy story. Nothing like putting her dad on the spot, though, Ryan…

That “sinister Goth rocker” looked like Cyndi Lauper…

I thought David (“Livin’ On a Prayer”) said he was a rocker. That was really pretty and that sweater looked more like Blake than Chris Daughtry…

I thought I was scary when I hiccupped. What was that sound Paula made?...

There’s something about Leo (“A Song For You”) I really like. His voice sounds a lot like Elliott, but there’s something about his personality…

So, 19 people moved on to Hollywood from Omaha. And tomorrow, it’s Miami…

“The Happy Hickster”?

This month’s “New York” magazine has an interesting interview with Clay Aiken. But I’m not sure it will make too many Claymates happy…

It’s called “The Happy Hickster” and the opening sentence reads, “Clay Aiken sounds like Tootsie, looks like Opie, and hates to go out after dark. How will he ever survive New York?”

Tootsie? Opie? Yikes…

But the magazine doesn’t stop there. When it quotes Clay, it spells the words the way he says them, as in “Oh, ahm not even talkin’ about today.”

But if you can get past that (and it’s a little hard), there are actually some interesting insights which lead me to believe even more strongly that Clay could be my best friend…if he would just call me…

Clay said he gained 30 pounds while taking Paxil for anxiety, but lost it when he stopped taking it…

He’s pretty lonely in New York, but he doesn’t have any interest in dating right now…

Clay hopes that “Spamalot” will expand his fan base…

At the end of the article, the writer declares Clay “promosexual,” meaning he’s “married to his brand…his celebrity, self-promotion.”

Hmmm…

You can read the entire article here

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Real Story on Paula’s Comeback

I’m going to show a great deal of restraint here and not e-mail Michael Ausiello and tell him he was wrong and I was right.

I’ll just tell you…

No, Paula Abdul will not be performing during the Super Bowl halftime show. We will, however, see a taped segment of Paula and Randy during FOX’s pre-game show.

Ryan Seacrest, who will be manning FOX’s Super Bowl red carpet, told the “New York Daily News” that Randy will be dancing in the segment with a routine choreographed by Paula, while Paula performs.

What Ryan didn’t say is if the pre-taped segment is actually the video for the single, “Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow.” My guess is that it will be.

FOX’s Super Bowl coverage begins Sunday, February 3rd at 2 p.m…

By the way, you can now download “Dance” from iTunes…

Interesting…

Thursday morning, I received an e-mail survey from FOX asking my opinion about this season of “Idol.”

The survey asked whether I was more excited about this season than previous seasons and it asked my opinions on the judges and Ryan.

It also asked me about “Moment of Truth,” but I didn’t get to see those questions since I said I didn’t watch it.

This kind of survey usually means that the network is contemplating some sort of changes. But I can’t imagine that’s the case this time. So it may have just been a case of using “Idol” to ask about “Truth.”

I did, however, make sure to express my opinions on the pros invading the competition in the fill-in section. As I said before, I think it’s possible that Carly and others could be eliminated if the backlash is too strong…

The survey also asked about the Idol website and YouTube, so I’m guessing they are considering all their video options for this year’s performances…

Controlling the Claymates


Remember how I said I was concerned how the Claymates would respond to seeing Clay Aiken in “Spamalot”?

Apparently, Clay was too…

The “New York Daily News” reported that Clay posted a message online to the Claymates to ask them to behave during the show. “This is not my show. If it was I would have no problem.” Clay also reminded his fans of how important it is not to take pictures during the show.

People who were in attendance at Clay’s debut Friday night said the message did not stop “rousing cheers” when Clay stepped onstage.

The Great White Way will never be the same…

Constantine Tries Not to “Forget the Lyrics”

Last week, Constantine Maroulis taped an episode of “Don’t Forget the Lyrics,” the FOX game show hosted by Wayne Brady.

Constantine will be playing for charity. No airdate has been announced, but I’m sure it will be part of a big “Idol” promotional push…

Meanwhile, Constantine said on his MySpace page that he has been offered an “on camera position” with FOX. He did not elaborate as to whether the job is with the network or a FOX affiliate…

Remembering ‘Blow Your Mind”

Here’s more on the whole Carly controversy…

According to “USA Today,” Carly’s CD, “Ultimate High” eventually sold 2400 copies…

The more I think about it, I’m pretty sure that one of the XM Radio channels played Carly’s single, “I’m Gonna Blow Your Mind” quite a bit.

I remember listening to it whenever it came on because it was a catchy tune and I used to get a kick out of the silly lyrics (At one point she refers to “a place where the sun don’t shine.”). But I never would have guessed it was by a teenager.

What was MCA thinking?

However, this just reinforces my belief that Carly should not get a second chance through “Idol.”

And even if she has made it to the semifinals, as VotefortheWorst.com suggests, because that hasn’t been announced, there is still time for “Idol” to do the right thing.

But then maybe “Idol” is waiting for us to do that…

More Former Idol Contestants Make Music Available

Addiction Records and Rocket Science are teaming up to offer four albums featuring former “Idol” contestants exclusively through Wal-Mart and iTunes…

Each album will feature four alumni doing three songs each. And I should note that not all of the contestants were actually finalists…

According to “USA Today,” volume one will be available February 5th and feature Jon Peter Lewis (Season 3), Stevie Scott (Season 5), Ryan Starr (Season 1) and A.J. Tabaldo (Season 6).

Volume two is scheduled for release March 4th and contains songs from Alaina Alexander (Season 6), Rudy Cardenas (Season 6), Patrick Hall (Season 5) and Gedeon McKinney (Season 5).

So what do you think? Is this too much or are you excited to hear from these contestants again?

And if you could pick who goes on the next two volumes, who would you choose?

“Idol” Finalists Go Slow Churned for a Special CD

Edy’s/Dreyer’s Ice Cream will be offering a CD featuring eight past “Idol” finalists.

The CD will be offered from February to May and will be free with the purchase of two slow churned ice cream products.

The eight former finalists are: Constantine Maroulis, Kimberly Caldwell, Anthony Federov, Nadia Turner, Mandisa, George Huff, Justin Guarini and Chris Richardson.

Notice that the CD cover—if it is the final version—does not feature the words “American Idol” anywhere on it…

Also notice that Melinda Doolittle, who is a major part of this year’s Edy’s/Dreyer’s “Idol” campaign (along with Chris Richardson) is not on the CD…

I’m hoping to get more information soon from Dreyer’s PR people and I’ll pass it along when I do…

Daughtry Hits the “Stage”

Daughtry will perform on PBS’s “Soundstage” this week.

The program will air beginning Thursday, January 31st Times vary according to your area, so check your local listings…

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Auditions Day Four: "What evs"

Maybe I’m just getting bored with the auditions already, but I couldn’t help but sum up tonight’s episode with the words of one auditioner…

“What evs”…

Here are my thoughts on tonight’s auditions in Charleston, South Carolina…

The black Clay Aiken? Yeah, okay. And what is up with Simon dissing Clay all the time? Rashard (“I Can’t Make You Love Me”) actually did have a voice. He just needs to cool it…

Wow! Charleston is definitely a dramatic place. With some work, DeAnn (“Fancy”) might actually be able to sing…

Awww, love via “Idol” message boards (Michelle and Randy, “She’s More”)…

Who else was stunned when Michelle and Jeffrey (“I’m Your Angel”) could actually sing? Kudos to Simon for not splitting them up…

Okay, Oliver’s wife is WAY too calm riding in that car while in labor…

Loved that chick’s new lyrics for “Before He Cheats”…

“What evs”? Sorry, never heard that one. But Amy (“Reflection”) had a pretty voice. Randy’s right about the “mad potential,” but I think Simon’s right about the “annoying” too…

Notice that Simon didn’t vote on London (“Good Morning Heartache”). I’m guessing he would’ve said no…

Funny that Lindsey’s more nervous about her audition than flying in Iraq…

The big guns? That’s putting it mildly with Aretha (“I Have Nothing”). Loved the judges’ reactions to her “assets.” She did actually start out okay, but then…

Yes, Oliver (“Get Here”) made it, but unfortunately he bombed the audition (Did anyone else feel tricked?). However, could someone tell me how Allison and Emma got sent home from the hospital so quickly?...

23 people made it to Hollywood and now we move on to Omaha, Nebraska. And according to the previews, for the first time this season, we get Paula-less auditions, which are always fun…

Should Carly Get a Second Chance?

When Carly Smithson said on last night’s “Idol” that she had everything right in front of her and lost it, she wasn’t just talking about the trip to Hollywood she lost two years ago…

Yes, Carly Smithson is Carly Hennessy, whose debut album was such a failure it was a feature story in the “Wall Street Journal.”

I read the “WSJ” article and it’s pretty clear that Carly got a raw deal from MCA, her producers and her management. But should she get a second chance?

Here, courtesy of “WSJ,” is her story…

Carly was a child star in Ireland (She released an album at age 10.) and in 1999, she and her father came to Los Angeles to try and score a record deal. She was signed by MCA, whose president wanted to start her off as a teen pop singer (a la Britney Spears) and then develop her into a Celine Dion.

Carly and her producer, Steve Dorff, spent three months (while Carly lived on MCA’s dime) recording the album. But no one (except Dorff, who felt it was the best use of her talent) was happy with the result because it was “too serious” for the teen audience.

Because he was under pressure to create a new star, the MCA president decided to rerecord the album from scratch. Gregg Alexander, who had worked with Geri Halliwell (Spice Girls) and others, was brought on to produce four songs. Danielle Brisebois, a songwriter who had never produced an album before, was hired to produce the rest.

In April 2001, before the album was finished, MCA decided to release her first single, “I’m Gonna Blow Your Mind.” But the song was about a certain activity that Bill Clinton became known for (This is a family blog, so that’s all the description I’m going to give you.), which kept it from getting exposure on the popular teen outlets like Radio Disney. MCA felt it was her catchiest song, though, so they spent $250,000 on a video of Carly in a disco jumping around with friends in pajamas. The video was quickly shelved after it didn’t catch on.

Because it was too mature for top 40 radio and too pop for adult top 40 radio, the single didn’t catch on either. MCA brought in an additional manager to help out, got Carly a Canadian modeling contract, sent her on a press tour, and released a second single, “Beautiful You.”

By this time, MCA’s total investment in the album was nearly $2.2 million.

“Beautiful You” received less airplay than “Mind” and retailers, who were leery after overstocking Carly’s two singles, only bought 10,000 copies of Carly’s CD.

The CD, “Ultimate High,” was released in November 2001. Three months later, when “WSJ” wrote the article, it had sold only 378 copies.

The article ends with Carly headed back to Ireland after MCA decided to move her back (i.e. stop paying for her apartment and car) and release the CD in Europe. “This album is going to be huge,” she said. “I won’t stop until it is.”

Obviously, she changed her mind…

Apparently, Carly did experience some success in her native Ireland with “Mind” and its new, sexier video, which you can see below. But clearly, it was not enough success to keep her from returning to the states.

So, again, I ask, does she deserve a second chance?

Me, I believe she does. However, I don’t think that chance should come via “Idol.”

“Idol” is for undiscovered talent, not people who were discovered and then mismanaged. If Simon Cowell feels so strongly about her (In 2005, he said she was as good as Kelly Clarkson.), he should just sign her.

Votefortheworst.com is calling Carly a “plant” and a “ringer” to ensure that the show has talent. I’m not sure about that, but it does bother me that the show is trying to portray her as an undiscovered talent.

What do you think?

By the way, I encourage all of you to read the “WSJ” article here. Even though it’s from 2002, it gives a very interesting look into the music industry, which may explain why it’s in so much trouble now…

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Auditions Day Three: Keep On Singing

After all of the hype Randy gave San Diego, I was expecting to be blown away by someone on tonight’s episode. But it didn’t happen.

And I think Renaldo just set the bar too high for the bad auditions…

Here are my thoughts as the show unfolded…

So we started with someone even Simon called “obnoxious” (Tetiana, “Someone to Watch Over Me”)? Yipes!...

Now here’s our sappy story! A single dad (Perrie, “I’ll Make Love to You”). I think he’ll be a major player. And did his little boy just say, “What’s up, Randy?”…

If you’ve forgotten, Michael (“I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”) is one of the alleged ringers. His band, The Rising, was signed to Madonna’s Maverick Records in 2003. Personally, I wasn’t that impressed…

You just knew that the Mariah Carey superfan (Valerie, “Against All Odds”) was going to be bad. I loved Simon’s reaction…

Apparently, Christopher’s (“Greatest Love of All”) plan was to just keep on singing. And he wasn’t alone tonight…

By the way, does Ryan have security with him?...

Samantha (“Til You Come Back to Me”) was really good. I think Simon has a crush—but not nearly as strong as hers (and her sister’s) for him…

If Blake’s (“Stand By Me”) mom really wants him to be the next American Idol, why did she let him dress up like the Statue of Liberty two years ago?...

I thought the judges said San Diego was the best. They turned away everyone in an entire hour?...

Alberto’s “Live” was not nearly as catchy as Renaldo’s “We Are All Brothers,” was it?...

I was worried that David (“Waiting On the World to Change”) wouldn’t be able to sing. I have a feeling that lyric forgetfulness will come back to haunt him in Hollywood…

I don’t know if Carly Smithson (“I’m Every Woman”) is the ringer everyone’s been talking about or not. The reports have mentioned an Irish singer named Carly Hennessy, who had a six-album deal with MCA. Personally, I wasn’t that impressed and I definitely wouldn’t have given her a six-album deal…

In all, thirty people made it through, which is the most of any city we’ve seen. And tomorrow, we go to South Carolina…

The Sanjaya and Shyamali Show?

Jim, this one’s for you man…

Get ready, ladies and gentlemen, for the return of Sanjaya!

The “New York Post” has reported that Sanjaya Malakar and his sister Shyamali are in talks to headline their own variety TV show, “The Sanjaya and Shyamali Show.” The show would feature singing, dancing and comedy. The “Post” reported that the duo is currently in negotiations with MTV and are planning to film a pilot in the spring.

Sanjaya was reportedly at the famous Groundlings Theater last weekend casting improv actors for the show.

But that’s not all! Sanjaya’s manager told the “Post” that he is in rehearsals for his debut album. He’s working with vocal coach Seth Riggs (Kelly Clarkson, Faith Hill) to lay down some preliminary tracks as we speak…

Phil’s Release Date Is Set


The fine folks at Lyric Street Records sent me a press release to let me know the release date for Phil Stacey’s debut CD.

The CD will hit shelves April 15th.

The album is produced by Grammy Award winner Wayne Kirkpatrick.
Photo courtesy of Lyric Street Records

Monday, January 21, 2008

Clay Vs. “Newsweek”?

Chris Daughtry is not the only Idol catching flack for an interview…

Clay Aiken is taking a little heat from “Newsweek” after he refused to answer certain questions during an interview about “Spamalot.”

The questions Clay wouldn’t answer pertained to the Kelly Ripa incident and the altercation he had with a woman on a plane. Clay told the reporter, “I thought ‘Newsweek’ would be more reputable. I’m surprised…It’s not the ‘National Enquirer.’ I’d hate to have a job where I had to be rude to people.”

Clay told “Entertainment Tonight,” “There are so many other things in the world that are more important. ‘Newsweek’ usually does hard news. I think it’s the press that cares about dirt, so that’s what they print.”

One interesting tidbit we did get from the “Newsweek” interview is that Clay has had Depends thrown onstage that say, “Your older fans love you too”…

Clay also told “ET” that he hasn’t watched “Idol” in three years. “It stresses me out so much. I compare it to high school. I needed college to understand and know what I know now. Most people wouldn’t be where they are if it weren’t for their education. I see ‘Idol’ in the same way and I wouldn’t be where I am without it, but I don’t still go to my high school football games.”

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Clay? I just know we could be really good friends because I can totally relate to where he’s coming from…

As for his refusal to answer certain questions, can you blame him? He thinks he’s doing an interview about his Broadway debut, but instead the reporter only wants to know about things that happened a year ago that people just need to get over…

Wait! Does that mean I should get over my grudge against Kelly Ripa?...

Chris’ Words Get Used Against Him

In a previous post, I told you about Chris Daughtry’s interview with RollingStone.com in which he said “Idol” was “in decline.”

Remember that he said he was sure his words would be used against him? He couldn’t have been more right…

After word spread across the Internet about Chris’ comments, an “Idol” producer contacted “Rolling Stone” and told them that Chris had “called to apologize.” Chris said he was “misquoted or taken out of context.”

Chris even posted a message on his website in which he said that the interview didn’t show all the good things he said about the show. “I was never trying to diss the show or bite the hand that fed me so to speak. I was simply giving my input on what I think would spice the show up a bit.”

The website post then gives a link to RollingStone.com, which has posted the transcript and audio from the interview.

The only problem is the transcript (and audio) do not help Chris build his case. Though I wouldn’t say Chris completely dissed the show, he didn’t really say that much good about it either.

I would look for Daughtry to make an appearance on “Idol” later this season to help smooth things over…

You can check out the full interview for yourself here

Idols’ Country Cousin Steps Up

Idol’s country cousin will get a higher profile this summer…

“Nashville Star” will move to NBC for its sixth season. Auditions will begin next month.

No word on who will host…

Alexis Gets a Makeover

Alexis Cohen, the foul-mouthed contestant from the Philadelphia auditions, is already reaping some benefits from her “performance”…

Last week, she got a makeover courtesy of “Extra,” including a new hairdo by David Evangelista.

Next stop, actressing…

“2 Worlds” Collide


Kelly Clarkson and Reba McEntire opened their “2 Worlds 2 Voices” tour last week in Dayton to rave reviews.

Comedian Melissa Peterman, who played Barbra Jean on “Reba,” was the opening act before the duo opened the show with a cover of The Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams.” The duo closed with Reba’s 1991 hit, “Fancy.”

The 15-date tour concludes February 16th in Kansas City…

Diana Does “Country”

Those of you who have been reading my “Idol” writings since season three know that I like Diana DeGarmo. In fact, I have her CD and it’s not bad.

So it pains me that she is going the reality show route, especially since I thought she was doing so well on Broadway.

Diana will be one of the contestants on “Gone Country,” which premieres Friday at 8 p.m. on CMT. “Country” is a reality show hosted by John Rich in which seven performers live the country life in a Nashville mansion and compete in hopes of winning the chance at a country music career.

In all honesty, I think Diana’s got a great shot. I just hate that it’s come to this for her…

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Paula's Dancing "Like There's No Tomorrow"

Paula Abdul debuted her new single on Ryan Seacrest’s morning radio show Friday.

So how is it? I’ve listened to a clip of it and I really like it; but personally, I think Paula’s a little too old to be singing a song about trying to catch a cute guy’s attention.

You can check it out for yourself here

You can also watch Paula and Randy introduce the song in Ryan’s studio here.



Be sure to let me know what you think…

"Let go and let God"

So does it say something bad about me that I’ve taken my new life motto from Clay Aiken?

But I really don’t know any other words that would apply to my life any better right now…

“Let go and let God.”

I wanted to take a minute and thank everyone that has contacted me with their thoughts and prayers for my mother. Most of you I don’t even know, so it was wonderful to discover that there are so many people out there who really care.

I REALLY wish I could share some good news with you, but unfortunately, I can’t, as the prognosis is not good. But as I always like to say, everything happens for a reason and someday we’ll know the reason for this.

In the meantime, I hope you will all help keep me distracted by continuing to read my blogs and share your comments.

I know that’s what she would want to…

Friday, January 18, 2008

Are Pros Taking Over "Idol"?

We haven’t even made it to the voting stages yet, and VotefortheWorst.com is already stirring up trouble…

The website has posted a list they claim to be this year’s top 50 (and no, I haven’t looked). In that list, they have found 13 contestants with some professional music experience.

Tops on that list is Kristy Lee Cook, who we saw Tuesday in Phladelphia. Cook was once signed to Arista Nashville and represented by LeAnn Rimes’ former manager, Marty Rendelmann. She also had a deal with Britney Spears’ production company, according to MTV, and Britney was even set to appear in one of Cook’s videos (It never happened.).

Also on that list is Irish singer Carly Hennessy, who I don’t think we’ve seen yet. She had a six-album deal with MCA and was even the focus of a “Wall Street Journal” article detailing the cost of breaking a new pop singer (The label spent an estimated $2.2 million on her album which sold less than 400 copies.). One of the producers she worked with was a producer who worked with the Spice Girls, who, of course, are managed by “Idol” guru Simon Fuller.

Michael Johns is from Australia and was once the lead singer of The Rising, a band that was signed to Madonna’s Maverick Records in 2003.

And Jermaine Paul was actually signed to J Records and appeared on a duet with Alicia Keys that won a Grammy (One website reports he has dropped out of the competition.).

So what is going on here? Is “Idol” running out of talent to discover? Are these all just people looking for second chances? Or are they, as VotefortheWorst.com suggests, plants to keep “Idol” from experiencing a “Vote for the Worst takeover”?

What do you think? Does it bother you that these contestants already have professional experience?...

UPDATE: Add Kady Malloy (the Britney imitator that ripped out "Unchained Melody") to the list of semi-pros. Malloy had an album available for download on Amie Street, an independent album seller. The site has now posted a note that her CD had to be removed from the site because she is a contestant on "Idol." One blog commenter suggested that Simon coaxed her into a better performance because she was meant to be a ringer...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Funniest Audition in Seven Seasons?

So I went into work this morning, walked up to a friend and said, “I want you to know that you are my brother.”

But she didn’t get it because she hadn’t seen “Idol” last night. So we called it up on YouTube and watched all seven minutes of it.

And after hearing her laugh hysterically, it only confirmed for me that Renaldo Lapuz’s audition was one of the funniest I’ve seen in the seven seasons of the show. I usually don’t laugh at the costumed auditions that they plug for the entire show, but this one was special.

But did anyone else notice that the more he sang, the more in tune he got?

I was a little disappointed to discover, however, that Renaldo is 44, making him completely ineligible for the competition anyway.

However, I think he’ll have the last laugh because I feel quite certain there are record companies fighting over him as we speak.

If you missed it, you can check it out here.

Auditions Day Two: “We Are Brothers Forever”

Okay, so you guys had to know I’d be late with this recap. I mean, after all, Wednesday is “Project Runway”night.

So here are my thoughts on last night’s show, as I wrote them down while watching…

Is it just me, or is Taylor Hicks missing from the opening credits?...

Why do I think that most of the people watching completely missed the “Dallas” opening credits references?...

Wow! They are REALLY going for the heartstrings this year, aren’t they? A former meth addict? I have a feeling we’ll see Jessica (“I’ll Stand By You”) later. But where were those “pitchy problems” Randy was talking about? I didn’t hear them…

Couldn’t you see Paul (“Wait For You”) on a stage somewhere? And I loved Simon’s impersonation…

What in the world was that guy and girl singing?...

That stuff between Bruce (“Ain’t No Sunshine”) and his dad might have been sweet if it wasn’t so creepy. And they passed? I liked him…

I think Simon’s got a crush on that chick who did Gladys Knight…

I was scared by Brandon (“Rich Girl”) until he ripped out the Hall and Oates. But he needs to stop it with the fingernail peeling—or at least saving them…

Kayla (“Piece of My Heart”) should join a Janis Joplin tribute show. I thought she sang a lot like her. But what was Simon doing letting her through? I guess he wanted to spice things up a little…

So why didn’t Katie (the Britney voice imitator) just start with “Unchained Melody”? I mean, that is Simon’s favorite song and she nailed it…

Why did Douglas’ song (“Livin’ On a Prayer”) sound like he was yawning? And what in the world was that second song? These are the auditions that make me squirm…

Okay, forget Angela (“Baby Love”). Her husband, Chad, was GORGEOUS! They should’ve asked if he could sing…

Kyle (“Somebody to Love”) could actually sing better than I thought he’d be able to. But I didn’t think he was good enough to impress Simon. I think Simon’s hoping he’s another Clay...

And speaking of Clay, what was up with Simon dissing him for changing his look? Does Simon actually think he would have gotten as far as he did without doing that?...

What is up with everybody getting song titles wrong this year?...

I think I just picked my early favorite. Colton Swon. I like his voice and his look, but he needs some more eye contact with me…

I’m glad they let Drew (George Strait) through. He’ll be fun…

Kyle (“Never Again”) actually works with kids? Yikes…

Poor Nina (“Run to You”). She’s all nervous and she has to stand there and listen to the judges fight before she can sing. But Simon said no? She’s gorgeous!...

Renaldo (“We Are Brothers Forever”) really shouldn’t have been funny. But yet he was. I think he could be the next William Hung with that song. I dare you to go to bed tonight without humming it…

But Simon as “Heaven’s Chosen”? That’s a little scary…

24 people made it through to Hollywood from Big D. And now we head to the city the judges have called the best, San Diego…

But just remember, “I am your brother…”

Clay’s New CD: “Desired by him”

As Clay prepares for his Broadway debut Friday in “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” Claymates will be happy to know he is still working on a new CD…

Clay told AmericanIdol.com that while his last CD was “something that was desired by others” (read that as Clive), this CD is music that is “desired by him .” It’s also the first time one producer is doing his entire CD, which means the album will be “consistent in its sound and its message to his fans.”

Clay is hoping for a May release…

Meanwhile, Clay is enjoying his experience with “Spamalot,” even though it’s “kickin’ [his] butt” and he hopes that he can someday pursue his very own daytime talk show…

I hope that one too, Clay. I think you’d be fantastic…

Blake: “I’m going to work this record.”

Tuesday on “The View,” Blake discussed the hard times in the music industry.

“The record industry’s tough right now. EMI’s laying off a lot of their people. It’s just a tough industry right now with digital mediums.”

But Blake said he’s not giving up. “I’m going to work this record. Hopefully, I’ll get another one.”

Blake, sweetheart, if you’re reading this, release another single NOW!

Blake also told the ladies that he couldn’t watch the “Idol” auditions. “I really can’t watch or listen to people sing off-key. That’s really like kryptonite to me”…

Brooke’s “Rock Star” Past

It seems that Brooke, who Tuesday night Simon promised to turn to the dark side, has tried this singing contest thing before…

Last summer, Brooke made it to the final five of “The Next Big Rock Star,” a contest by Los Angeles radio station Star 98.7 and Ironworks, the record label created by Jude Cole and Kiefer Sutherland.

Needless to say, she didn’t win, but isn’t it amazing that little miss “I’ve never watched a rated R movie” made it that far in a rock star contest?

Hmmm…

Thanks to my second favorite Canadian, RT, for the tip…

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Has "Idol" Lost Its Magic?

The ratings are in and…

Last night’s “Idol” premiere was its lowest-rated in four years.

The show was still seen by an average of 33.2 million people (which blew away the competition), but that’s down 11% from last year…

Many media outlets across the country were pretty hard on last night’s episode and Simon’s sudden case of nice had many writers perplexed.

Personally, I kind of liked it…

I honestly don’t think this is anything for the show to worry about since the ratings competition will continue to dwindle as the weeks wear on; but what do you guys think? Is this the year that the “Idol” phenomenon slips off the track?...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Auditions Day One: "Always Victorious"

Tonight, the fun begins as we visit the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia.

So, for the first time this season, here are my thoughts…

So I’m guessing those new opening credits will debut later because those were the same…

What is up with Randy’s goatee?...

So the show starts off with a feel-good story in Joey (“Sunday Morning”), who lost 204 pounds. It was a nice start and he’s got a nice voice…

How could the producers not let Alaa (“How Deep Is Your Love”) through? But how come his English was so much better when he was “singing”?

Melanie (“Unwritten”) really shouldn’t have told Simon she sang backup for Taylor Hicks. He wrote her off right then…

I have to admit I even laughed at James (“Go Down Moses”)…

With some lessons, Nick from Massilon (“Unchained Melody”) could actually have something…

I like Junot (“I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues”). He’s cool…

Jose ("Regresa a Mi") singing Il Divo. Nice trick…

I would’ve really liked it if Temptress (“And I Am Telling You”) could’ve actually been able to sing. That would’ve been a really great story. Kudos to the judges for how they handled it. I think I even saw Ryan crying. I know I did…

Is it just me or did Alexis’ (“Somebody to Love”) mom even seem disturbed by her? And what happened to “always victorious”? They were actually nice to her. And yeah, she’s a shoo-in to show up on the finale—if they get enough security…

Thank goodness Angela (“Signed, Sealed, Delivered”) could actually sing. She could be a big story…

And what was up with Simon saying that he couldn’t celebrate with other people when they got good news? What kind of cold place is England anyway?...

I had to turn down the volume for those first three auditions from day two. Holy cow!...

And what to say about Milo (“No Sex Allowed”)? Sadly, I think he actually thought he was doing a service to the country…

Kristy Lee Cook. What a great name for a country singer…

That sound you hear is the Princess Leia in the gold bikini fantasy being crushed for guys everywhere by the sight of Ben…

I hope Paula got a restraining order against Paul (“I’ll Just Stalk Her”)…

I guess Paula didn’t think Ben would actually go through with the waxing. I wonder if the “Idol” producers paid for it…

That’s the first time I’ve ever heard someone say they want to sell more records after they’re dead (Chris, “Follow Me”)…

What is up with all the “Star Wars” costumes? The scary thing is that with some serious work, Christina (“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me”) might actually be able to sing. And did you see her actual hair? It was pretty…

And remember Christina, as Tim Gunn says, you cannot change how you are perceived, you can only change how you are presented…

Somehow I don’t think Simon was kidding when he said he’d bring Brooke (“Like a Star”) to the dark side…

In all, 29 people went through to Hollywood. And as usual, we saw very few of them. But I do think we saw more than last year…

Tomorrow, we head to Big D…

Your thoughts on day one?...

Kat and Elliott Join Paula in Randy’s “Club”


Paula Abdul isn’t the only Idol-related artist on Randy Jackson’s new CD.

“Randy Jackson’s Music Club Vol. 1” will feature a duet between Katharine McPhee and Elliott Yamin called “Real Love.”

The first single will be Paula’s “Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow.”

The CD also features Jason Mraz, Joss Stone, Mariah Carey and Travis Tritt, among others.

“Club” hits stores March 11th…

Sour Grapes from Chris?


Could Chris Daughtry still have some sour grapes about his elimination from “Idol”?

In an interview with RollingStone.com, Chris said “American Idol” is “definitely lacking some credibility…It’s in a state of decline and if they don’t do something about it, it’s probably not gonna last too much longer.”

What’s the problem? According to Chris, “People get tired of seeing people that suck.”

Chris admitted that his comments would probably get him in trouble. “I’m sure that’ll be used against me, but that’s the truth you know?”

Daughtry is currently recording their second album…

Jessica’s Judge Lays Down the Law


Last week, a Tampa judge blasted Jessica Sierra for speaking to the media after she was released from jail.

Telling her “you are not a celebrity, you are a drug addict,” the judge ordered Jessica to stay 100 yards away from all cameras and microphones.

She will now spend one year in a California rehab facility in a deal brokered by Dr. Drew Pinsky.

You can see Dr. Drew’s first attempt at helping Jessica on “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” Thursdays at 10 p.m. on VH1…

K-Lo's New Man


“People” reports that Kimberley Locke has a new man in her life—her “Celebrity Fit Club” trainer Harvey E. Walden IV.

But since Walden is in the middle of a divorce, K-Lo is not calling him her boyfriend…

Ruben and Frenchie Get Set to Misbehave


The rumored Ruben and Frenchie team-up for an “Ain’t Misbehavin’” tour has been officially confirmed.

The tour will start November 14th and run through May 2009.

Ruben will most likely work on a new album and tour until then…

The "Jasmine Trio"


Check this out…

Jasmine Trias (who finished third in season three) is such a big star in the Philippines that the McDonald’s restaurants there offered a “Jasmine Trio.”

The Trio consisted of a strawberry float, fries and a promotional single she recorded just for McDonald’s.

Can’t say I saw that one coming…

The Deal With the Deals

“USA Today” has cleared up some confusion surrounding all of the lost record deals…

Taylor Hicks is no longer with Arista or 19, but Arista has an agreement to consider his new material.

Meanwhle, Ruben Studdard is no longer with J Records, but he is still with 19, who will make a new deal with a new label.

And according to a BMG rep, Kat left RCA to “concentrate on other entertainment activities”…

Kelly Gets the “Biography” Treatment


The Biography Channel will premiere a “Biography” episode on Kelly Clarkson Thursday, January 17th at 9 p.m.

The hour will follow Kelly’s rise from Texas waitress to “American Idol”…

Kat Tries to Make Some Cash


So you’ve just been dropped by your record label. What do you do next?

Well, if you’re Katharine McPhee, you try to milk the celebrity magazines out of five figures…

The “NY Daily News” reports that Kat was trying to sell photos from her wedding for $60,000.

The report said Kat was turned down by “People,” “In Touch,” and “OK!” but “Us” bit for “a greatly reduced” amount.

You may recall that Kat is marrying her longtime boyfriend, Nick Cokas, in February…

Let the Fun Begin!

As you all well know, “American Idol” begins tonight…

But before we get there, let me give you some more scoop on what we’ll see in the coming weeks…

An hour will be added to the Hollywood Round. That’s good news since the contestants get second chances and they’re allowed to play instruments. The Hollywood Round has always been my favorite part, but it could be especially good this year…

The show will visit the finalists’ hometowns and interview family and friends earlier so we can get to know them quicker…

In addition to a new set, the show will have a new opening credits sequence. The theme song, however, will remain the same…

I honestly am not sure at this point how my posts will work during these first weeks, but just be patient. I’ll get them up at some point…

Let the fun begin!

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Scoop on Paula's Comeback


Of course, it would be my scoop hero, Michael Ausiello, that would give us the first details on Paula’s comeback.

According to Ausiello, Paula is “in talks” to actually perform during FOX’s Super Bowl telecast. Ausiello also reports that Paula is already in rehearsals for the video to the song which he is calling a “duet” with Randy Jackson. It will be the first single from his upcoming “Music Club Vol. 1” CD.

I love it when I’m right…

Since the FOX promos say that Paula and Randy are introducing the single, I was just guessing that they’d show the video. And I’m guessing that’s what they’ll still do if this performance thing doesn’t pan out.

Personally, I think the performance is a HUGE risk. Stick with the video, Paula. You always knew how to make those…

A Preview of Season 7...


This week’s “TV Guide” cover story is a preview of season seven.

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

Simon says it’s “the most talented bunch we’ve ever had.” Don’t they say that every year?...

Simon also says last year “just wasn’t good enough. I don’t remember hardly anyone [from] last year.” Don’t worry, Simon. I’m sure Jordin will be back to remind you as soon as she can…

San Diego was the strongest audition city…

There will be no fourth judges during auditions this year, much to Simon’s—and my—delight…

No one was cut during the first two days of Hollywood Week. Those who were deemed good enough went straight to the final Hollywood round, while the others were given a second chance. More Hollywood drama! Yea! Let’s just hope they actually show it this year…

There will be a new, bigger stage. Is that to wash out the stench of failure from “The Next Great American Band”? I really hope they don’t adopt all of those “Band” computer graphics…

Unfortunately, the article made no mention of Paula’s new single. What? I’m excited about that…

As if I have to remind you, “Idol” premieres Tuesday, January 15th at 8 p.m. on FOX…

Is Simon Ready to Move On?


In a conference call with reporters, Simon said he may leave “Idol” when his contract expires in two years.

“The public eventually are gonna get sick to death of me. Nine years is probably enough to inflict on anyone. Can the show exist without me? Absolutely. It would probably get better.”

I seriously doubt that…

Another Deal Bites the Dust


Add Katherine McPhee to the list of Idols no longer with the Sony BMG family.

An RCA rep told “Entertainment Weekly” that Kat “is going to record her next album on her own.”

“Katharine McPhee” has sold 366,000 copies, according to “Billboard.”

However, Kat may not have that much to worry about. “EW” reports that she is already in talks with another label. And she’ll make her film debut later this year in the Adam Sandler-produced “I Know What Boys Like” starring Anna Faris.

An RCA Music Group (which is part of Sony BMG) rep told “EW,” “After six seasons, we are proud of the eight artists on the roster who started their careers on the show. With respect to Taylor, we have an understanding that he will come back to us to play music once he’s finished writing his new material.”

Huh?

By the way, those eight artists are: Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken, Fantasia, Carrie Underwood, Daughtry, Kellie Pickler, Jordin Sparks, and Blake Lewis.

In an interview about the upcoming season, Simon Cowell said about all the lost deals, “It’s a reflection on the unpredictability of the record business. Fortunately, we got it right more than we got it wrong…There’s no scientific way to explain what happens. It’s a reality show and what happens at the end is also reality.”

About Jordin and Blake’s low sales, he said, “Am I surprised? Not particularly…The public decided it’s not necessarily what they wanted, so we have to try to do better this year”…

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Can Lyric Street Work Its Magic Again?

In season two of “American Idol,” the feel-good story of the year was Josh Gracin, a Marine who dealt not only with Simon’s harsh criticisms, but also with the possibility that he would have to quit the show and rejoin his unit. Josh’s forte was country, so he struggled with the theme nights. Josh finished fourth and I’m not sure anyone thought we’d hear from him again. But Lyric Street Records signed him and soon he cranked out two #1 songs and a great CD…

In season five, Bucky Covington was one of those contestants who lasted longer than he should have. His niche seemed to be country, but he pretty much struggled with all the themes. A record deal seemed like a slim chance at best. But Lyric Street signed Bucky and soon he recorded one of the best—if not the best—Idol albums ever…

Last season, the feel-good story of the year was Phil Stacey, a Navy man who missed his child’s birth to audition for “Idol.” Phil had a good strong voice, but he took too long to hit his stride and went out in a “Blaze of Glory.” He deserved a record deal, but 19 passed. However, Lyric Street signed him and Monday, Phil released his first single to country radio stations.

Can Lyric Street work its magic again? They’re off to a great start…

The song is called “If You Didn’t Love Me” and it’s a really strong debut single. In fact, Phil’s voice sounds so smooth, I thought I had clicked on the wrong thing. The producer, Wayne Kirkpatrick (Little Big Town), has clearly worked with Phil to straighten out his voice hiccups and bring his natural talent through.

You guys know I don’t like country, but I am looking forward to this one…

You can hear “Love” on YouTube here.

Be sure to let me know what you think…

Is Paula Making a Comeback?

If you were watching the BCS National Championship Game Monday night (Don’t even get me started on that one.), you saw FOX’s Super Bowl commercial which promised something rather interesting…

No, not Ryan Seacrest working the red carpet. That’s stupid…

No, not Jordin Sparks performing. We already know she’s singing the National Anthem.

I’m talking about Randy and Paula presenting Paula’s new single…

Woo-hoo!

I’m guessing that if Randy is helping her “present” it that he produced it. I’m wondering if this will be the lead single from the compilation CD that Randy plans to release in March…

First Ruben, Now Taylor

The carnage at J Records continues…

“Entertainment Weekly” is reporting (and “USA Today” has confirmed) that Taylor Hicks has been dropped from his label, J Records/19 Recordings.

A J rep told “EW,” “Taylor is going to record his next album on his own. He is no longer on the J Records roster.”

I’m guessing this means all that stuff about Taylor ticking off the label is true. I just thought they’d give him one more chance.

And yes, this makes me even more nervous about Blake…

Carrie Hits the Road Alone

Carrie Underwood will headline her own tour beginning in February.

The Carnival Ride Tour will hit 30 cities with special guest Josh Turner.

Carrie’s tour with Keith Urban kicks off January 31st…

Kelly and Reba Join Forces and Bands

When Kelly Clarkson and Reba McEntire’s “2 Worlds 2 Voices Tour” kicks off January 17th in Dayton, they’ll share more than a stage. They’ll also share a band.

Both of them will also stay on stage for the entire show (a la their “Crossroads” special) unless, as Reba told “Billboard,” Kelly’s “doing a song and I want to use the bathroom.”

Reba says the tour is something she and her husband/manager Narvel have been talking about for years with other artists, but have never been able to pull together until Kelly said yes.

You’ll recall that Kelly is now managed by Narvel as well…

Reba told “Billboard” that the tour could be extended if this “test run” goes well…

Jordin Goes Top 10

While I was away, Jordin Sparks hit the Billboard 200 Top 10 with “Tattoo” at #8.

Last week, the song fell to #10.

Not bad for a debut single from an album that’s barely selling…

If I was Jive, I would strike while the iron is hot and release Jordin’s duet with Chris Brown, “No Air,” which has been selling a lot of digital downloads. That song has #1 written all over it…

Friday, January 4, 2008

Mandisa Comes to Huntington!


Ladies and gentlemen, Mandisa is coming to Huntington!

The Winter Jam 2008 Tour Spectacular will hit the Big Sandy Superstore Arena March 13th at 7 p.m. with Mandisa, New Song, Barlow Girl, Mercy Me and more.

Tickets are $10 at the door, with no advance tickets sold. Doors open at 6 p.m.

For complete details, visit the tour website

Phil's Career Gets Underway


Phil Stacey’s new country music career begins Monday with the release of his debut single, “If You Didn’t Love Me.”

The song was co-written by Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts.

Phil says in a press release from the fine folks at Lyric Street that he’s excited to have this song as his first single because “it’s a great love song that everyone can relate to and I feel like it tells the story of my marriage.”

Phil’s CD is scheduled for release in April…

Disney Disses Daughtry


“Variety” reports that Disney commissioned Daughtry’s “Feels Like Tonight” for the end credits of “National Treasure: Book of Secrets.”

But if you’ve seen the movie, you know the song was cut at the last minute. Disney music chief Mitchell Leib said when they put the song with the movie, “it just felt wrong.”

“Feels Like Tonight” has been released as Daughtry’s next single anyway….

Did the Right "Band" Win?

So yesterday, I finally checked the Internet to find out who won “The Next Great American Band.”

So did the right band win?

Well, since it wasn’t Sixwire, I think you know what my answer to that question is…

However, I’m not really surprised with the results since it was clearly The Clark Brothers that the judges wanted all along.

But since I didn’t see the finale, could someone tell me what they actually won?

Speaking of The Clark Brothers, I was flipping through the channels and landed on a rerun of the Grand Ole Opry. As Carrie Underwood stiffly made her way through “Before He Cheats,” I noticed that the fiddle player bouncing behind her looked like a lot like Ashley Clark. After some searching, I discovered that, yes, Ashley did at one time play with Carrie.

Hmmmm…

Nigel: America “may have made a mistake”


In a recent interview, “Idol” executive producer Nigel Lythgoe was asked who his favorite Idol winner is. He wouldn’t pick, but he did make comments about each one.

He spoke highly of all the Idols, but he said voters “may have made a mistake” by not choosing Chris Daughtry in season five…

Interestingly, he said Ruben was probably mishandled by his label…

The Strike Expands "Idol"

Thanks to the writers’ strike, we’ll get a lot more “Idol” this year…

In addition to several 90-minute performance episodes in February and March, FOX is airing at least four episodes of “Idol” on Thursdays.

One of those will be on April 9th as part of “Idol Gives Back.” Instead of going through the whole “who’s going home” drama during the charity special, the elimination will be on Thursday.

The other Thursday shows are scheduled for February 21st and 28th and March 6th. No word on what those episodes will be…

Clive Gives Ruben the Boot


According to the “New York Post,” Ruben Studdard has been dropped by J Records. If true, he would be the first Idol winner dropped from a record company.

Ruben’s first CD, “Soulful,” went platinum and his second, the gospel CD, “I Need An Angel” also sold well. But his latest, 2006’s “The Return,” has sold only 235,000 copies.

As I told you in an earlier post, Ruben is reportedly going to star in a touring version of “Ain’t Misbehavin’” with Frenchie Davis…

Chris and Melinda Go "Slow-Churned"

Chris Richardson and Melinda Doolittle are this year’s official spokespersons for the Dryer’s/Edy’s “American Idol” ice cream promotion.

The promotion features a contest to win AI finale tickets or an ice cream party hosted by Chris or Melinda.

You can get more details here

Time to Give “Break Anotha” a Break

According to his official website, Blake Lewis is scheduled to perform on “The Tonight Show” tonight…

Since he just did it on FOX’s New Year’s Eve special, I’m sure he’ll perform “Break Anotha” tonight. But I really wish he wouldn’t…

The good thing about “Break” is that it’s not like anything else on the radio right now. The bad thing about “Break” is that it’s not like anything else on the radio right now so program directors aren’t coming anywhere near it. No radio play means no album sales and that is definitely bad news—especially when the album is so good.

You know that I like “Break,” but I think it may be too in your face for some people’s taste. And Blake’s headbanging live performances of it haven’t helped any. Any other song on the CD—with the exception of “She’s Makin’ Me Lose It”—would make a great single. I’m all for allowing singles to grow, but if Blake is going to have any kind of success, Arista/19 needs to drop “Break” and go with another song more suited for radio. I highly recommend either “How Many Words” or the sensational “I Got U.”

After MANY repeated listenings, I am more convinced than ever that his CD is one of the best ever released by an Idol. I just hope his label gives him the chance to live up to the star potential he’s showing…

“The Tonight Show” airs tonight at 11:35 p.m. on NBC. Remember that with the strike, bookings may change at the last minute…

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Keep On Writing...

Those of you who are longtime readers of my blogs know my mom. She’s the one who calls to remind me when Clay Aiken is going to be on TV. She called to congratulate me when Kiefer won his Emmy and she always tries to plan her phone calls around my TV watching—which after January can be kind of tricky. She never reads my blog, but then she doesn’t have to. If she wants to know what’s going on with her favorite shows she can just call and ask me or wait until I come home for a visit so we can talk about it around the dinner table.

If only real life tied up as neatly as those procedural crime dramas she loves so much…

As I type this, my mother remains critically ill in the hospital, where she’s been for the past two and a half weeks. I have to tell you I feel a little silly blogging right now since anything I could write about seems so unimportant. But I know she would want me to keep writing; and so I will—however sporadic my posts may be for a while.

And don’t be surprised if I throw in a few tidbits on those CBS crime dramas I never watch. I know my mom would appreciate it…