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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.

Friday, June 26, 2009

"Idol" Pays Tribute to the King of Pop

FOX and “American Idol” will pay tribute to Michael Jackson by re-airing the Top 13 episode featuring the music of Michael Jackson…

I just wish that Michael had been able to appear in this episode…

If you’ve forgotten, here’s what you’ll hear:

Lil Rounds - “The Way You Make Me Feel”
Scott MacIntyre - “Keep the Faith”
Danny Gokey - “PYT”
Michael Sarver - “You Are Not Alone”
Jasmine Murray - “I’ll Be There”
Kris Allen - “Remember the Time”
Allison Iraheta - “Give in to Me”
Anoop Desai - “Beat It”
Jorge Nunez - “Never Can Say Goodbye”
Megan Joy - “Rockin’ Robin”
Adam Lambert - “Black or White”
Matt Giraud - “Human Nature”
Alexis Grace - “Dirty Diana”

No word on whether anything new has been filmed to add to the show.

I think this is a wonderful gesture, but I’m not sure how much of an honor it is to MJ’s memory to hear Megan do “Rockin’ Robin.” However, I do think it is a definite tribute to hear Allison do “Give In to Me.” Can’t believe that song never cracked the Top 40…

The two-hour episode will re-air Monday, June 29th at 8 p.m. on FOX…

Monday, June 22, 2009

We Are The Fallen Are "Alive"

Today, We Are The Fallen had a press conference to introduce their new song, “Bury Me Alive.”

You can get a free download of the song by registering at the band’s website.

Because there was such an overwhelming response to the offer, the band is also streaming the song on its MySpace page.

Take a listen and let me know what you think. It’s very Evanescence…and I mean that as a compliment…

Photo Credit: SKH Music

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Season 8 CD: Good Choices?

After taking a few seasons off, “Idol” is once again releasing a compilation CD.

And has the exclusive first look at the tracklist:

1. Kris Allen, "No Boundaries"
2. Danny Gokey, "Stand By Me"
3. Allison Iraheta, "I Can't Make You Love Me"
4. Matt Giraud, "Human Nature"
5. Adam Lambert, "Mad World"
6. Kris Allen, "She Works Hard for the Money"
7. Lil Rounds, "I Surrender"
8. Scott MacIntyre, "Just The Way You Are"
9. Michael Sarver, "You Are Not Alone"
10. Megan Corkrey, "Walkin' After Midnight"
11. Anoop Desai, "Always On My Mind"
12. Adam Lambert, "No Boundaries"

I’ve got to say, as far as these compilations go, this one’s pretty weak. I appreciate the choice of “Money” for Kris, and I like Adam's version of "Boundaries" getting some love, but “Love” for Allison? And “Stand” for Danny? And “Nature” over “Part-Time Lover” for Matt?

The CD will be sold exclusively at Wal-Mart beginning June 30th…

What do you guys think of the choices?
Photo Credit:

New Music From Adam Lambert This Summer?

Adam Lambert’s album on 19/RCA won’t be released until the fall, but fans will get some new music from him this summer thanks to an opportunistic record label…

HiFi Recordings announced Friday that it will release “On With the Show,” an album of material that Adam recorded in 2007 and 2008 before his time on “Idol,” in conjunction with Wilshire Records.

HiFi has made the first single, “Want,” available on its website.

Adam released a statement on Friday, saying, “Back in 2005 when I was a struggling artist, I was hired as a studio singer to lend my vocals to tracks written by someone else. I was broke at the time and this was my chance to make a few bucks, so I jumped at the opportunity to record for my first time in a professional studio. The work I did back then in no way reflects the music I am currently in the studio working on. I'm thrilled to be working with some of today's hottest songwriters and producers and can't wait for people to hear what my music really sounds like.”

Since the HiFi website says Adam co-wrote many of these songs and that they were recorded in 2007-2008, it is in conflict with Adam’s statement. So who’s telling the truth here? I don’t know. But I do know that this is a pretty awkward situation for Adam. I feel pretty sorry for him…

Photo Credit: Frank Micelotta/FOX

Carly Smithson Gets Ready to Rock

Carly Smithson may have faded from the spotlight after her “Idol” run, but she is about to come back into it in a big way…

Carly will make her debut as the lead singer of the new group We Are The Fallen at a press conference Monday. We Are The Fallen also features three of the four original members of Evanescence: Ben Moody, John LeCompt and Rocky Gray. The group is rounded out by Marty O’Brien who has toured with Disturbed and Kelly Clarkson.

Beginning tomorrow, their debut single, “Bury Me Alive,” will be available to download for free at

According to a report at, We Are The Fallen will tour in September and will release “songs in small doses every few months.”

I’ll have more on this after the official announcement tomorrow…

Photo Credit: SKH Music

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Carrie and Kellie Get Shut Out at the CMTs

So can anyone remember the last time Carrie Underwood was shut out at an awards show?

Me neither…

But it happened at last night’s CMT Music Awards. Carrie lost the only award she was nominated for, Video of the Year, to Taylor Swift. In fact, I don’t even think she was there…

Kellie Pickler also lost to Taylor Swift for Female Video of the Year…

You can see Kellie’s performance of “Best Days of Your Life” here. You’ll notice she performed without Taylor Swift, but that’s probably because Swift performed three other times during the show…

Congratulations, Bo!

Congratulations to Bo Bice and his wife Caroline who are expecting their third child in January.

According to, Bo made the announcement during a fan club gathering in Nashville Friday night.

The new addition will join Aidan Michael, 3 ½, and Caleb James, 9 months. Bo and Caroline have been married four years.
Photo Credit: Randee Radcliff/

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cool New Music From Blake Lewis

Here’s a look at Blake Lewis performing “Rapture of Love,” a song that might make his new CD from Tommy Boy Records scheduled to drop in October…

Ryan Star Brings the "Last Train Home" to Digital Outlets

For those of you who became Ryan Star fans while watching him open for David Cook, I’ve got good news for you…

The “Last Train Home” EP is now available on all digital music outlets. The EP has four excellent tracks: “Last Train Home,” “Right Now,” “This Could Be the Year,” and “Brand New Day.” You also get the “Train” and “Now” videos.

Ryan recently received a BMI Television Award, which honors the composers of music featured in the past year’s top-rated prime-time network television series. He won the award for “Brand New Day,” the theme to FOX’s outstanding drama, “Lie to Me.”

Ryan’s full-length CD, “11:59,” will be available later this year…

Photo Credit: Atlantic Records

Is Kara Definitely Coming Back?

RadarOnline is reporting exclusively that all four judges will return to “Idol” next season…

The website says, “Paula and Kara are still in negotiations on the fine points of their contracts which sources believe will be finalized in the next few weeks. A formal announcement is still at least a month away.”

I’m still going to hold out hope. How about you guys?

Photo Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

Is Danny Gokey Going Country?

For those of you wondering what is up with Danny Gokey and a record deal, here’s some news courtesy of MJ’s Big Blog…

FOX6 News in Milwaukee reported that Danny will be meeting with 19 Recordings and Sony Nashville.

Yes, that’s right, Nashville…

You’ll remember that in his “Idol” exit interviews, he said he wanted to do a Latin-flavored R&B album. Maybe he’s starting to think that country may be more his thing. But I just don’t see it…

Photo Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

Carrie and Kellie Vie for CMT Awards

The CMT Music Awards are tonight and the two Idol leading ladies of country are both nominated…

Somewhat surprisingly, Carrie Underwood is only up for one award, Video of the Year, for “Just a Dream.” However, Roman White, who directed “Dream” and Carrie’s videos for “All American-Girl” and “Last Name” is nominated for Director of the Year. White also directed Phil Stacey’s “If You Didn’t Love Me.”

Kellie Pickler is up for Female Video of the Year for “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful.” The video’s director, Denton Flanigan, is also up for Director of the Year.

The winners were chosen by the fans in an online vote at and via text message, except for Video of the Year, which will be chosen via online and text voting during the ceremony. The final four nominees will be announced at the beginning of the show.

Only Kellie is scheduled to perform this year. Randy Jackson will be a presenter…

The CMT Music Awards air tonight (Tuesday) at 8 on CMT...

Photo Credit: Andrew Eccles/Arista Nashville & BNA Nashville

Friday, June 12, 2009

Is Sanjaya Finding Love in the Jungle?

I gave Sanjaya Malakar a hard time for going on “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here,” but it might turn out to be a good thing for him after all…

Sanjaya is getting a lot of positive comments about his performance on the show. And now, he might be getting a girlfriend…

The Internet is abuzz with talk about a possible love connection between Sanjaya and Holly Montag, Heidi’s sister.

Take a look. I love that Sanjaya is wearing a shirt with his phone number on it…

Cougars for Adam Lambert?

I had to share this blog with you. It’s about how cougars love Adam Lambert…

You can read it here.

The Idols Choose Their Tour Colors

So according to their Twitter pages, several of the Idols are choosing colors for their fans to wear when they come to the shows on the tour…

For Anoop Desai, it’s Carolina blue, of course…

For Scott MacIntyre, it’s red…

For Matt Giraud, it’s black and white with fedoras…

And Danny Gokey is thinking about purple since it was his wife’s favorite color and it stands for royalty…

The Idols are now in rehearsals for the tour, which kicks off next month…

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Follow Me On Twitter...

I neglected it for a little while, but now I am back on Twitter.

If you're a tweeter, you can follow me by clicking here.

See you there!

Michael Johns CD Review: The Return of Pure Soul

During my first listen to Michael Johns’ new CD, “Hold Back My Heart,” I actually stopped it about halfway through. Here we go again, I thought. Another “Idol” CD I’m going to have to say something bad about…

But apparently, I was just in an off mood that day, because Johns’ debut effort is actually quite good if you’re into old soul—and you guys know that I am.

The CD kicks off with his current single, “Heart On My Sleeve,” which all AC—and Top 40—stations should be playing right now. It’s that good. The slightly mournful chorus is gorgeous.

Johns throws in a good cover of “To Love Somebody,” but the CD is strongest when he does his own thing. It’s clear from listening to the CD that we never really heard the real Michael Johns on “American Idol,” so I’m glad we get to hear him now.

The CD is pure soul with catchy beats and strong horn arrangements. “Little Bear” is a real standout with its James Brown meets 70s Motown sound. In fact, I hear a lot of Motown in the CD, and I mean that as a huge compliment.

I’m not sure I would’ve predicted Johns making an R&B/soul CD, but I’m certainly glad he did. It’s the kind of music they just don’t make anymore.

Thank goodness Johns did…

“Hold Back My Heart” hits stores and online outlets Tuesday, June 23rd…

Photo Credit:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Signings Continue With Allison is reporting exclusively that 19 Recordings has signed Allison Iraheta and that her music will be licensed to Jive Records.

I’m thrilled about the news, but I think it’s interesting that the rocker is going to Jive, as opposed to RCA…

You can see’s story here.

Photo Credit: Chris Cuffaro/FOX

Can "Idol" Fans Handle Adam's Truth?

No sooner had the news broken that Adam had signed a record deal when “Rolling Stone” released information on its upcoming cover story in which Adam finally answers everyone’s questions (Yes, he’s gay.).

And a few questions no one was asking…

According to a report from the Associated Press, Adam says he was inspired to audition after having a “psychedelic experience” that involved “certain funguses.” Adam also admits to having used ecstasy.

And possibly in the category of too much information, Adam has this to say about Kris Allen, “I was like, ‘Oh, (bleep), they put me with the cute guy,’ Distracting! He's the one guy that I found attractive in the whole group on the show: nice, nonchalant, pretty and totally my type — except that he has a wife. I mean, he's open-minded and liberal, but he's definitely 100 percent straight.”

To paraphrase a line from “A Few Good Men,” I’m not sure that “Idol” fans can handle the truth…

The issue of “Rolling Stone” hits stands Friday. You can see the cover and more quotes from the article here.

Adam Signs on the Dotted Line

As I predicted yesterday, 19 Recordings announced today that it has signed Adam Lambert and licensed his music to RCA.

In the official press release, Adam said, “We are 100% on the same page and are all anxiously awaiting the start of the recordings. It's going to be ridiculous! Get Ready!!!”

Adam will record his album while he’s on the road with the Idols Live Tour…

Photo Credit: Chris Cuffaro/FOX

Monday, June 8, 2009

Kris Allen Sings the National Anthem

I’ve been slipping a little lately, so I missed telling you that Kris Allen would be singing the National Anthem at game two of the NBA Finals last night

Thankfully you can see it here. Other than the fact he milked it just a tad too much, it’s really good…

Kris Signs on the Dotted Line

19 Entertainment made it official today, announcing that it has signed Kris Allen and “licensed his recordings” to Jive Records.

In the official press release, Kris said, “Everyone's been asking me what it's going to sound like. It will be very similar to what you heard from me on the show -- definitely in the pop/rock genre.”

Jive has done well by Jordin Sparks and David Archuleta, so I think Kris will be okay.

I look for Adam Lambert to sign with 19 and RCA any day now…

Photo Credit: Chris Cuffaro/FOX

Constantine Rocks the Tonys

If you missed it last night, Constantine and the cast of “Rock of Ages” rocked the Tonys by wisely choosing the crowd pleaser, “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

Minus that uncomfortable exchange with Liza Minelli, the performance was pretty good…

You can watch it here…

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Tonys Reminder

Don’t forget that tonight you can see Constantine Maroulis and members of the cast of “Rock of Ages” perform with Poison on the Tony Awards.

Constantine is nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Musical and “Ages” is up for Outstanding Musical.

The Tonys air tonight (Sunday, June 7th) at 8 p.m. on CBS…

Thursday, June 4, 2009

"Rock of Ages" CD Review: A Great Platform for Constantine

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time at all, you know that I’m a big fan of Constantine Maroulis.

So I couldn’t be more thrilled that he’s now wowing audiences on Broadway in “Rock of Ages.” But sadly, a quick trip to New York to see the show is out of the question.

Thankfully for me—and all of the rest of us who can’t make the trip—we now have the Original Broadway Cast Recording, so I am finally able to confirm what I already knew. That Constantine was born to do this show…

For those of you unfamiliar with the premise, “Rock of Ages” tells the love story of Drew (Constantine), a small-time LA rocker, and Sherrie (Amy Spanger), a small-town girl who moves to LA for stardom. Although they seem destined from the beginning, circumstances keep them apart, including Sherrie’s fling with big-time rocker, Stacee (James Carpinello). The story, which takes place in 1987, is set to the classic hair band songs of the 80s.

Now it would be easy to write “Ages” off as cheesy, because I know it certainly sounds that way. But it’s actually quite clever. You don’t just get an 80s jukebox here, as the songs are actually used to move the plot. I smiled on more than one occasion at the great way many of the songs were used.

“We Built This City” becomes the anthem for people against tearing down a rock club. “Wanted Dead or Alive” becomes the perfect way to introduce Stacee. “I Want to Know What Love Is” gets turned on its head into a bit of a seduction number. “Harden My Heart” and “Shadows of the Night” are turned into a medley to create a major turning point for Sherrie. “High Enough,” a song I’m not a big fan of, gets turned into a sweeping goosebump-inducing duet. “I Hate Myself For Loving You” gets combined with “Heat of the Moment” to make a great back and forth between Sherrie and Stacee. “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” is turned into a classic group number. “The Search Is Over” is turned into a gorgeous duet. “Can’t Fight This Feeling” gets a twist that you just wouldn’t expect. Even “Don’t Stop Believin’” gets a new spin as the entire cast gets involved.

Even though with the CD you can’t see what’s going on, it’s not long before you find yourself totally engrossed in the story. And the great cast does a fantastic job at sucking you in…

Rocking through all of it is the voice of Constantine, which was made to sing these songs. He’s eerily good on “Waiting For a Girl Like You,” but his big musical moment comes during “Oh Sherrie.” And he hits a note during “The Search Is Over”—one of my all-time faves—that totally took me by surprise. I have no idea about his acting since I haven’t seen the show, but his singing is definitely worthy of the Tony nomination he received.

In fact, if the Tonys were based on cleverness, there’s no way that “Ages” wouldn’t win. I have long thought it would be cool to take a bunch of my favorite songs, add some dialogue and turn it into some kind of musical. But there’s no way I could have done it as cleverly as this.

There will be some purists out there who don’t think their favorite songs belong in a Broadway musical, but I encourage you to have an open mind. I admit, I wrote it off as cheesy the first time I heard about it.

And honestly, some parts of it are cheesy. But they’re meant to be that way. I think it’s nice to hear something like this not take itself so seriously. The CD will definitely make you want to sing and dance along, as you’ll be totally into the music, even without all of the story.

It will also make all of you Constantine fans out there happy that he has truly found a great platform for his talent…

The “Rock of Ages” Original Broadway Cast Recording is available for download at iTunes and other digital sites now. The CD will hit stores July 7th…

Photo Credit: New Line Records

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Audition Dates Released

“American Idol” has released its audition dates for Season 9…

The show will head to Boston’s Gillette Stadium Sunday, June 14th, Atlanta’s Georgia Dome Thursday, June 18th, LA’s Rose Bowl Tuesday, June 30th, Orlando’s Amway Arena Thursday, July 9th, and Denver’s INVESCO Field Tuesday, July 14th.

Auditions will also take place in Chicago and Dallas, but those dates and locations have not been announced yet.

It will be interesting to see how many judges show up at the auditions…

Phil Stacey Steps "Into the Light"

Don’t forget that Phil Stacey will be in concert Friday, June 5th in Lucasville.

The concert is at Valley Middle School (393 Indian Drive in Lucasville). Doors open at 6 p.m. and the concert starts at 7 p.m.

Friday’s concert is free, but a love offering will be taken…

No doubt Phil will be singing some songs from his upcoming album, “Into the Light.” The CD, on Reunion Records, is scheduled to hit stores August 25th.

From the official press release from Reunion: “It should come as no surprise that Stacey—the son of a pastor, grandson of two pastors, and a one-time music minister himself—celebrates faith and family on Into the Light as he sings passionately about an unshakable and loving God. With legendary Christian music producer Brown Bannister (Amy Grant, Mandisa, Steven Curtis Chapman) at the helm, “Into the Light” artfully taps Stacey’s longtime love for the church and its most modern musical expressions.

I'll have much more on the album as the release date gets closer...

Photo Credit: Reunion Records

Monday, June 1, 2009

Kris and Adam Hit the Charts

Kris and Adam had a combined nine songs on the Billboard Hot 100 last week.

From the official FOX press release, they are:

No. 11: “No Boundaries,” Kris Allen
No. 16: “Heartless,” Kris Allen
No. 19: “Mad World,” Adam Lambert
No. 37: “Ain’t No Sunshine,” Kris Allen
No. 56: “A Change Is Gonna Come,” Adam Lambert
No. 66: “Apologize,” Kris Allen
No. 72: “No Boundaries,” Adam Lambert
No. 82: “One,” Adam Lambert
No. 94: “Falling Slowly,” Kris Allen