Live from the Idoldome: The country battle lines
The countryÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s red state/blue state mentality cut a fault line across the Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œAmerican IdolÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ stage Tuesday night as Grand OleÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ Opry night tested the 11 remaining singersÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ reverence for the most traditional of American genres Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’- country music.
Many performers no doubt delighted Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œIdolÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢sÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ red state voters by kneeling at the altar of country standards; but others tempted the wrath of down home audiences with shocking re-interpretations that promised to please the bluer ends of the Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œIdolÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ spectrum. But in the end, it was those who performed between the two colors that seemed to carry the day.
More Idol Headlines after the JUMP…
Phil Stacey blog: Who was ready for the Opry?
Anyone familiar with my work knows that I am a big fan of country music. So it should come as no surprise that I was incredibly excited to hear Lil Rounds, Danny Gokey and all the others battle it out with songs from the Grand Ole Opry.
I have been incredibly honored to perform several times this past year at the Grand Ole Opry. As Vince Gill told me the first time I approached the Opry platform, the exact same excitement rushes through your veins no matter how many times you take the stage.
WeÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢re Live-Blogging The Top 11 Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‹American IdolÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ Performances!
Forget St. PatrickÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s Day, happy Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œAmerican IdolÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ day! ItÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s my favorite time of the week – live-blogging Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œAmerican Idol!Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ ¨Ãƒâ€š Tonight Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œIdolÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ is celebrating the timeless tunes of the Grand Ole Opry, and when I say Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œtimelessÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ I mean old. Like, real old. Like Melinda Doolittle old. (Heard her debut album yet? SheÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s got mad soulÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ ¦for a sixty year old.)Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ ¨Okay, not fair. Contemporary artists like Carrie Underwood, Randy Travis and Brad Paisley are all considered Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œOpry Stars,Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ so no matter how Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œIdolÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ tries to disguise it, tonight is basically Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œCountry Night.Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬
Last weekÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s double elimination was bittersweet. On one hand we trimmed the fat of Jasmine Murray, who was so boring I fell asleep writing this sentence, and Jorge Nunez, who I boldly predicted would win Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œIdolÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ this season. Ha! My fortune-telling technique is as bad as Lauren ConradÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s. (Watch last nightÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œDetoxÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ to figure out what IÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢m talking about. Shameless plug.)
‘American Idol’ recap: ‘Opry’-tunity knocks!
I’ve got a hideously early flight to catch on Wednesday morning, and so all day long I’ve been telling myself: ”No dilly-dallying tonight, Slezak! No Google image searches for galloping ponies. No pre-ordering Allison Iraheta performances off iTunes. No disrupting Annie Barrett with IMs asking her how far along she is with her Dancing With the Stars TV Watch. Focus on your writing. Give a run-down of the Grand Ole Opry Night performances Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’ in order of preference Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’ hit the save button, finish packing, and try to get some sleep!”
Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‹IdolÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ judges come down hard on favorites
On Wednesday, the New York Daily News reported the rumor that the Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œIdolÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ judges and producers have already decided on their favorite choices, and are going to make sure that Lil Rounds, Alexis Grace, Adam Lambert and Danny Gokey make the final four.
ItÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s doubtful thatÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s true, because the show would have so little to gain and so much to lose by doing so, but it doesnÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t take someone wearing a tinfoil hat to wonder if the judges saw the story and decided to be more critical of the quartet on TuesdayÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s Grand Ole Opry night, just to be on the safe side.
My Adam Lambert Obsession
I was always obsessed with American Idol, since I wanted to be a rock star but possessed not an ounce of the required talent. Then I swore it off when two lesser talents defeated the phenomenal Melinda Doolittle and I threw the television against the wall, which at least forced me to buy a new flat screen. But a friend emailed me Adam Lambert’s performances of the Stones’ “Satisfaction” and Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” and my obsession is back. Somebody help me.
Danny Gokey’s Glasses American Idol Contestant Has Large Collection of Eyewear
WITI-TV, MILWAUKEE – If you’ve been watching American Idol at all, you know there’s a lot of buzz about Danny Gokey. The Milwaukee native has a great singing voice, but Beverly Taylor tells you there’s something else about him getting a lot of attention.
‘Idolatry’: Jorge Nunez on ‘Idol’ subtitles; Jasmine Murray on Bikini Girl
The first two evicted members of American Idol’s top 13 stopped by Idolatry HQ yesterday afternoon to talk about their experiences on our nation’s favorite televised talent competition. Jasmine Murray was as poised and polished as she appears on TV. Jorge NuÃƒÆ’ ±ez was as charming as you’d expect. And while neither one would dish which remaining contestant they’re hoping/expecting to take the season 8 crown — sorry guys, I don’t buy that you’re both rooting for all 11 equally! — they did spill a few interesting little beans of info. I asked Jorge about the way Idol’s producers subtitled his brother (despite the fact that the guy spoke perfectly intelligible English) and what really brought him to tears after his semifinal performance. Jasmine, meanwhile, revealed why she didn’t sing a Rihanna track for Wild Card Week (even though Kara DioGuardi specifically asked her to do so) and how she kept her head above drama during Bikini Girl’s Hollywood Week meltdown. Press play below — Jorge is up first; Jasmine’s segment automatically plays afterward — and enjoy!
Jacko on ‘Idol’?!
Will the King of Pop make an appearance on the King of Reality TV competitions? “Extra” went to the source for the answer — Mr. Simon Cowell! Plus, which contestant is the tough judge rooting for?
‘American Idol’ keeps the faith
After “American Idol” finalist Kris Allen first stepped onto the stage of the Fox singing competition, the 23-year-old college student later confided in his pastor that feeling the warm stage lights and seeing the eager audience looking up at him reminded him of only one thing: going to church.
Two weeks into the finals, and religion is playing a big role for Allen and many other singers this season on the popular show. More than half of the remaining 11 finalists have regularly performed at places of worship. Three of those six contestants Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’ including Allen Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’ have worked as worship leaders at their respective churches back home.
‘American Idol’ Christianity Story Gets Heated Reaction – ‘What does their faith have to do with singing?’ one commenter asks.
We learned two things about “American Idol” fans last week when we ran a story on how this year’s show features more Christian-affiliated finalists than ever before: Most of you don’t care what religion a singer is as long as they’re good, and the rest of you think even pointing out religion on “Idol” is “absolutely outrageous.”
Hundreds of comments flooded MTV.com and other sites that re-posted the story, and they ran the gamut from “good job!” to, well, not so good job. (Comments have been edited for grammar, clarity and length.)
Carrie Underwood Now Acussed Of Supporting Domestic Terrorism
After announcing that she would be donating a portion of the profits from sales of her new song, a version of MÃƒÆ’ ¶tley CrÃƒÆ’ ¼eÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s Home Sweet Home, to The Humane Society of the United States, pro-hunting groups came out of the woods to condemn the decision.
We first heard from Rick Story, vice president of the U.S. SportsmenÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s Alliance, who called the HSUS a Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œradical organization that seeks to end hunting and other responsible uses of animals in America.Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ Now, a new article on American Daily under the category of Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œTerrorismÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ is claiming that Underwood and American Idol are directly funding domestic terrorism.
Can these people fall any further down the proverbial rabbit hole?
Motley Crue And Carrie Underwood To Team Up In The Future?
The rest of us may have been surprised when Carrie Underwood covered the CrÃƒÆ’ ¼e classic, “Home Sweet Home,” for “American Idol,” but Sixx wasn’t. The bassist told the magazine that he was almost featured on the song alongside the country superstar Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’ and despite their musical differences, he’d love to work with Underwood in the future.
“I think we both want to write songs together. She writes pop songs and I think I’m a pop songwriter, however the songs are performed.”
Bay Haven Idols
Students at bay Haven Charter Academy got a special treat Tuesday morning as a couple of American Idol Finalists, Melinda Dolittle and Phil Stacey paid a visit to the school.
The two entertained the students with a brief performance and later made an appearance on the schoolÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s TV station as well as taking time out to sign a few autographs.
‘American Idol’ launching trading card line
LOS ANGELES (AP) Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’ “American Idol” fans will soon be able to trade Carrie Underwoods for Danny Gokeys.
“Idol” production company FremantleMedia and trading card publisher Upper Deck are launching a new line of trading cards featuring images of past and current contestants as well as the judges and host of the Fox singing competition. The 138-card line is set to debut April 21.
“The ‘American Idol’ brand has always been really strong in the interactive space,” said Nora Wong, FremantleMedia senior manager of consumer products. “With the trading cards, it’s an old school way of interacting with the fans. It’s another form of expression for the fans to demonstrate their connection with the show and collect their favorites.”
Six special cards autographed by past “Idols” will be randomly slipped into the five-card packs. Regular cards will feature rejected hopefuls such as William Hung and Nick Mitchell, past winners like Ruben Studdard and David Cook, and popular finalists including Adam Lambert and Jennifer Hudson.
Kellie Pickler Well-Heeled in Las Vegas
March 17, 2009 Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’ Kellie Pickler took part last month in the nominations announcement for this yearÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s Academy of Country Music Awards”, slated for April 5 in Las Vegas.
Despite the cityÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s reputation, she doesnÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t plan to kick up her red-high heels in the casinos.
“When I go to Vegas, I donÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t go to the slot machines,” she says. “I donÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t gamble because IÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢m not wasting my money.”
That doesnÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t mean she wonÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t be spending some.
“IÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢m gonna invest my money in something I can wear,” she insists. “ThatÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s one of my favorite places to go because I get the best shoes when IÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢m in Vegas. That or in New York, but we donÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t have an awards show in New York, so Vegas is just as good.”
Voting is underway for the ACMÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s Entertainer of the Year award. Fans can cast a ballot for Brad Paisley, George Strait, Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney or Carrie Underwood at www.voteACM.com.
Live Review: David Archuleta in Tempe, AZ
“American Idol” runner-up David Archuleta [ tickets ] is a changed man. Long gone is the tentative Boy Scout who seemed unsure of himself on the television show and during his subsequent North American tour with the rest of the Top 10 finalists. That outing, along with his current club jaunt–which hit Tempe, AZ’s Marquee Theatre on Monday (March 16)–have allowed him to come into his own as a performer.
At the Marquee show, Archuleta showed a new side, rocking to the chorus of “A Little Too Not Over You,” pointing at the audience of mostly pre-teen girls and bending down to shake hands with some of them. When the “American Idols Live” tour kicked off in Glendale, AZ, last summer, he merely stayed put, mostly behind a piano.
After a set by Irish rocker Leslie Roy, Archuleta burst on stage to screams, signs and flashbulbs to sing “Touch My Hand.” He bounced to the beat and waved to his crowd of screaming girls, who no doubt were hoarse by night’s end.
VIDEO: Idol Confessions with Elliott Yamin
Season 5’s Elliott Yamin sings from his latest album and talks about livin’ the dream after “Idol.”
Where Are They Now?
Keep clicking to find out where your fave “Idol” contestants have gone!
Ruben Studdard shoots ‘Together’ video in Nashville
Ruben Studdard spent yesterday in Nashville shooting a video for his single Together at the new nightclub Fuse.
Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œI do a performance in the club, and youÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ll see these two workers here that have a relationship,Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ says American IdolÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s second-season winner, who makes the single available as a download today. Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œIt goes through the complexities of whatÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s going on with them.Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬
Taylor Hicks Tickets — Totally Worthless
It’s not a charity show, it’s not a fundraiser … Taylor Hicks concert tickets have now been reduced to a whopping $0.00 — and it still hasn’t sold out.
The season five “American Idol” winner was originally scheduled to perform at The Roxy on Sunset tomorrow night — for $36.50 a ticket. But in the last few hours, a bunch of tickets wound up on goldstar.com — a website which claims to offer ticket discounts because, “Not every show sells out, so instead of letting seats go empty, venues list them with us to sell to our members.”
Now, instead of offering the usual half-price discount, Hicks tix are being given away for nothing … nada .. zip … zilch … except an $8.75 service fee.
GMA’s Reigning Female Vocalist Of The Year, Natalie Grant Brings The ‘Make It Matter Tour’ To Multiple Cities This Spring
GMA’s reigning three-time Female Vocalist of the Year and Curb recording artist, Natalie Grant, will hit the road this week for her spring “Make It Matter Tour.” Sponsored by The Revolve Tour, HearItFirst.com and Grant’s Home Foundation, the tour will also feature American Idol finalist and Brash recording artist Chris Sligh, Word recording artist Meredith Andrews, and will introduce new recording artist Evan Milby.
Kicking-off March 19 in Columbus, Ohio, the “Make It Matter Tour” is slated to hit St. Louis; Baltimore; Indianapolis; Omaha, Nebraska; Elkhart, Indiana; and Asheville, North Carolina, among other cities before concluding April 26 in Martinsburg, West Virginia. One of the most noteworthy tours in Christian music this season, the March 22 stop in Waukesha, Wisconsin, is already sold-out.
Update: Clay Aiken to appear on 30 Rock
The Claymates are definitely in for a special treat as it was confirmed on Clay Aiken’s website that he will be appearing on the season finale of 30 Rock, slated for May 14th. Not sure what his role will be, but I’m betting that it has something to do with being related to Jack McBrayer’s character, Kenneth.
Clay is known for his quit wit and comedic timing. He just finished his second stint on Broadway’s Spamalot in January and fans are anxiously awaiting his return to the spotlight.
Belinda Carlisle Go-Gos home on Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‹DancingÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢
A change of pacing: One of the advantages of the new Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œdance-offÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ format is that the show moved much more briskly through the dancers who were safe. By little more than halfway through the show, they had whittled it down to five, and then to two who might go home and would participate in a Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œdance-offÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ to try to improve their judgesÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ scores: Belinda Carlisle and Steve Wozniak. This meant less time spent on glowing red lights and drawn-out announcements and throbbing drumbeats just to get to the final two. It also meant not too much false suspense over whether, for instance, Melissa Rycroft was going to be eliminated.
Carrie Ann Inaba blogs ‘DWTS,’ week 2
Tonight, despite the very sad departure of Belinda Carlisle (whose music I am a huge fan of — I used to choreograph numbers in my dance class to “Circle in the Sand”), I have never laughed so hard. When Bruno held up his paddle backwards, it was so funny to me. I’ve held up the wrong paddle once before, for Tia Carrere when she danced with Maks. I had to hold up an “IÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢m sorry” paddle the next night. It was so embarrassing, but we laughed about it, and tonight, we laughed again. We are like family up there, the three of us.
Contestants Talk Strategy Backstage at ‘Dancing With the Stars’
ET is behind the scenes with the contestants after week two of “Dancing With the Stars”, find out how they felt about their performances and what they are planning to do to kick it up a notch in the weeks to come.
Julianne Hough tells ET about her plans to get Chuck Wicks more involved in their routine based on the judges’ suggestions.
“The criticism is so harsh this year,” Julianne says. “We’re still fifth position which is still a good place to be, there’s still room to grow. Next week they said they want to see more him dancing so I think I’m going to sit on a stool for the first half of the dance. I’m just gonna sit, he’s going to dance and do his thing.”
DWTS’ Belinda Carlise: “My Spirit Isn’t Crushed” After Being Booted
Belinda Carlise, the first contestant to be eliminated off the new season of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, isn’t sad she got the boot.
“My spirit isn’t crushed. I’m fine. Totally fine,” she said on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
‘American Idol’: On the scene at the Top 11 performance night — special appearance by Carrie Underwood!
There were barely any celebrities in the audience at last night’s American Idol Grand Ole Opry show — other than Randy Travis, in fact, I only counted Rich Sommer, i.e. the adorable bespectacled ad man in Mad Men. But that didn’t really matter, because pretty much the biggest current bold faced name at Fox was in the house: That would be Peter Rice, the newly announced head of the network (and the man behind Fox Searchlight’s improbable top-grossing Oscar darlings Sideways, Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, and Slumdog Millionaire). When I entered the Idol stage at CBS Television City, Rice was up at the judges’ table, getting a tour of the Thunderdome by Fox’s head of reality TV, Mike Darnell, like a newly crowned sovereign overseeing the most valuable duchy in his kingdom. And then, dear readers, Mr. Rice took his seat across the aisle from me. I know insider scoop about Fox executives isn’t exactly top dollar info for most Idol fans, but you gotta understand, watching the show next to Rice was a bit like getting to sit next to (mixed metaphor alert!) a Roman emperor taking in his first gladiator brawl at the coliseum. Would Peterus Ricerus give a thumbs up to Adam Lambert, or would he perhaps throw his favor to the likes of Michael Sarver?