American Idol Headlines for 12/21/11

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Simon Cowell sees changes afoot for ‘X Factor’

Creator and judge Simon Cowell, whose U.K. version is a top-rated hit, acknowledges overstating early expectations. Before the premiere, the former Idol judge had said he’d be disappointed with less than 20 million.

“It didn’t get the numbers I predicted,” he says now. “I’m not going to lie and say I’m thrilled. But I’ve also learned a lesson that you can’t be too cocky, and it may take a few years. You’ve got to earn the right to those numbers.”

Read more at USA Today

New Music: Lil Twist – ‘The Golden Child’ [Mixtape]

Young Money’s rising star Lil Twist goes up to bat with his DJ Ill Will-hosted mixtape The Golden Child. Lil Wayne’s protégé calls on Lex Luger, Chris Richardson, Khalil, and Jae Millz for the 15 tracks, available as a free download. Twist’s YMCMB debut Don’t Get It Twisted is slated to drop in early 2012 with appearances from Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Busta Rhymes.

Download: Lil Twist – The Golden Child

Read more at Rap-Up

Diana DeGarmo’s Young Love

Millions of Americans first got to hear Diana DeGarmo on season three of FOX’s American Idol, where she was the show’s first-runner up, and since then, theater audiences have been treated to her powerful vocals and superb acting in such shows as Hair, The Toxic Avenger, 9 to 5, and Hairspray. These days, she’s back on TV — showing off very different sides of her acting and vocal abilities — as aspiring singer Angelina Veniziano on CBS’ top-rated daytime drama The Young and the Restless. TheaterMania recently caught up with DeGarmo about her new gig.

Read more at TheatreMania

Jennifer Lopez & Marc Anthony in Q’Viva! – Univision Trailer – 2011.12.20

J.Lo Introduces Her New Beau to Idol Judges at Dinner

The dancer joined Lopez and her fellow Idol judges (as well as host Ryan Seacrest) in Las Vegas Monday night for dinner at Crystals’ Social House restaurant after a taping of their hit Fox show.

Dining on Kobe steak and yellowtail jalapeno, along with a bottle of Caymus Cabernet, “[Lopez and Smart] cuddled up next to one another, exchanging a few small kisses during the dinner,” a source told PEOPLE. Adds the source: “They were all very sweet.”

Read more at People

Landau says next album to be mostly original songs

Landau Murphy rose to fame earlier this year by performing Frank Sinatra cover tunes on the NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” but the Logan native says he plans to switch up his sound soon.

“My next CD will be all originals, except for a few,” he said.

Although he became famous by singing American Songbook standards, Murphy said he appreciates all kinds of music, including rock, R&B, gospel and country.

“I do just about anything,” he said.

Read more at the Charleston Daily Mail

‘X Factor’ Final Three: THR Experts Make Their Picks

The X Factor finale is less than 24 hours away, but going into its last round, even after three months of competition, there is still no clear winner as each of the final three — Melanie Amaro, 19, Josh Krajcik, 30, and Chris Rene, 28 — offers something completely different.
our editor recommends

What to make of this toss-up? An argument, for one, so THR gathered music editor Shirley Halperin, Live Feed writer-reporter Jethro Nededog and Idol Worship blogger Michele Angermiller for their individual takes on who will win X Factor’s inaugural season.

Read more at THR

Cover Story: Why Marc Anthony Wants Jennifer Lopez to “Suffer”

After what appeared to be a fairly civilized July split following seven years of marriage, things between Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony are getting seriously ugly, multiple insiders tell the new Us Weekly, out now.

The catalyst? Lopez’s newfound love with Casper Smart, a 24-year-old backup dancer who’s already getting along swimmingly with Max and Emme, Lopez’s 3-year-old twins with Anthony, 43.

When the Latin crooner spotted photos of Lopez and Smart bonding with his son and daughter during a Thanksgiving vacation in Kauai, Hawaii, he “hit the roof,” one source says. “It caused a huge blowup.”

Read more at US Magazine

‘X Factor’ moms tell all

“X Factor” finalist Chris Rene was once so deep into his drug addiction that he tried to leap from a moving car on a busy freeway.

“A few years ago, Chris and I were driving around looking at Christmas lights, and all of a sudden his behavior started becoming very erratic,” his mother Joni tells The Post.

“He started saying things that made no sense. He grabbed my cell phone and began punching numbers erratically.”

Read more at the New York Post

“Glee” Star Lindsay Pearce Set for Limited Run of Jason Robert Brown’s The Last 5 Years

Lindsay Pearce, a finalist on Oxygen’s “The Glee Project” and the newest cast member of Fox’s hit show “Glee,” will star in the UnderMotion Production Corporation’s upcoming production of Jason Robert Brown’s The Last 5 Years.

Directed by Chris Berry with musical direction by Charles Barksdale, performances are scheduled for Jan. 6-8, 2012, at the Brauntex Theatre in New Braunfels, TX.

Read more at Playbill

Glee’s Naya Rivera Named New Proactiv Spokesperson

The 24-year-old turned to Proactiv’s acne products to clear up her complexion, and now she’s the brand’s new spokesperson.

“The makeup artist on the set of Glee gave it to me and I kept it using it because I knew it worked for other people,” she says. “I really wanted to work with Proactiv because the products really helped me.”

Read more at US

 
  • tomr

    Simon’s WAY past “you can’t be too cocky!”

  • Anonymous

    Oh Simon I don’t think you will ever learn to “not be too cocky”. It’s in your DNA. LOL

  • Anonymous

    ” This may also have something to do with the fact that Chris Rene is easy on
    the eyes, with or without the hat, but beyond the good looks”

    Wow, women’s standards are getting lower and lower as the years goes by.

  • http://twitter.com/HaleysShindig ShreddingHalien

    Congrats, MJ, on getting quoted in USAToday:) And you’re absolutely right, Simon needs to fix that crapfest of a show. I was looking forward to it earlier in the year and I think I’ve watched all of an hour of it because it was so over done. 

  • windmills

    Tanya Tucker talks about her current favorites:

    When the conversation turns to today’s crop of country artists, Tanya admits she has her favorites. “Carrie Underwood does a great job and is really doing everything right,” she says. “I really like Eric Church a lot. He’s a really good singer and he’s cute, so that works. Keith Urban has a real different sound. I like it. I like his very first record. It’s one of my favorites.”

  • http://twitter.com/Sassycatz Sassycatz

    The problem is, if you take all the advice people are giving about the X-Factor such as, stop focusing so much on the judges; tone down or eliminate all the background noise, the dancers, the lights and the glitz; stop harping on the prize money; don’t allow such young contestants; forget groups because people can’t relate to them; etc…. Well, you have American Idol. LOL!  Almost everything that X-Factor does to try and differentiate itself is, basically, what many people seem to dislike about it. So … why do we have this show, now?

  • Tess

    On the money, Sassycatz.  There is zero need for X-Factor.  At its best it is a poor imitation of Idol and at its worst it is attempting to show Simon as hip and innovative and forward thinking…all things the man is definitely NOT.  

  • Trina

    None of the guys on XF were especially good looking but considering whats left Chris has more hearthrob potential than Josh. If Chris got his teeth fixed IMO he would be very cute.

  • http://twitter.com/tinawinabina Tinawina

    LOL! I think we are seeing a larger scale version of what happens to the contestants on these shows when stuff is not clicking. All people really know is what they see is not working, and they try to figure out why. Resulting opinions are all over the place and sometimes contradictory. If you listen to them all, your individuality will be lost. So how do you know what’s good advice and what’s not? But that’s Simon’s problem. Heh.

  • Karen C

    I think the difference is that American Idol has evolved into something more than Pop Idol did in the UK.  We have seen contestants with a lot of originality that were really able to show themselves as artists on the show. 

    The other thing is that the UK version doesn’t have a 5 million dollar prize, and groups are much more popular in the UK, they are doing very well on the pop charts.  Also, the  contestants have to be 16 and over to be on the show, so that might be part of the difference also.

    The only difference that I think is good in the US version is to have the over 30s. It seems that on the UK version, most are treated as a joke, but they were taken much more seriously on the US version. I think that is where the X Factor could differentiate itself. 

    But other than that, I do agree that in order to be more popular in the US they would have to have it be more like American Idol.

  • Mateja Praznik

    It looks like X Factor duets leaked:
    LovinLife!! @URBANMUSIC999 Reply

    @PerezHilton Melanie & Aretha Franklin Respect/Think Remix, Josh
    & U2 I Still haven’t found, Chris & Nicki Minaj Young Homie/
    Last Chance

  • TBTW

    MJ – totally agree about the lack of BUZZ… just saw an interview of people in line for the X Factor Finals in LA and they couldn’t even name a favorite!  Imagine that happening on Idol.  I have been watching XF but I really don’t care who wins. 

  • Anonymous

    It looks like X Factor duets leaked:
    LovinLife!! @URBANMUSIC999 Reply

    @PerezHilton Melanie & Aretha Franklin Respect/Think Remix, Josh
    & U2 I Still haven’t found, Chris & Nicki Minaj Young Homie/
    Last Chance

    …That just looks like some fans random guesses. I don’t think Aretha is in good health.

  • Anonymous

    Who the hell is UrbanMusic999 and why should we believe his random tweets? Is he a reliable spoiler or just a crackpot spreading rumors?

    Frankly, I’m dubious about the U2/Josh duet.

  • Mateja Praznik

    I have no idea who is this person.
    https://twitter.com/URBANMUSIC999

    But he is also the source of that rumor about winner’s song.

  • Anonymous

    For me, the only one who could be a “hearththrob” was Brennin Hunt and they didn’t let him through lol.
    But in all fairness, there weren’t a lot of good looking guys in Idol and The Voice either, but at least people on those two shows could sing :P

  • Tess

    If U2 was going to be on the X-Factor Simon would have used that months ago as promo for his project.  I don’t think Simon has that kind of clout.

  • http://twitter.com/Sassycatz Sassycatz

    This is probably unfair, and I’m not consciously aware of holding anyone else to these standards, but what bugs me most about Simon Cowell — and affects my enjoyment of his show — is that his interest in power, money, and self-aggrandizement over his genuine interest in finding and developing new talent seems so much more blatant than those running other talent type shows.

    Now, we haven’t heard or seen much of Simon Fuller over the years to judge him similarly, but we have seen Nigel. And, although he’s mostly behind the scenes on American Idol, when it comes to his dancing show, I have no difficulty whatsoever in believing that Nigel genuinely KNOWS, LOVES, and ENJOYS dance and discovering new dancers. *That* makes me appreciate him and his show more, even though I am way less invested in dancing as opposed to singing talent. So, this is what keeps me lukewarm when it comes to Cowell. I have no problem believing that the entire reason behind his launching X-Factor here or in the U.K. is because he just wants to be the big dog with the big money and he couldn’t care less if you juggle, sing, dance, swallow swords, nor whether you are just a novelty act or a genuine potential artist with promise for a notable career.

    It’s my feeling that the impetus behind Cowell’s involvement in entertainment is solely about his own gain and not because he loves developing talent. Just the fact that he sat on a panel judging singers for 9 years and yet seemed to have such a puddle deep knowledge of music, a lack of appreciation for anything not pop-diva-ish and — most amusingly — a shameless lack of appreciation of creativity demonstrated by his blatant rip-off of other young artists’ moments, since he can’t seem to trust in the creativity of those he supposedly mentors or come up with his own ideas. Well … it’s just hard to suspend even a smidgeon of my cynicism and go with the flow as I am able to do with Idol and with So You Think You Can Dance. *And* that’s extremely important when you are purportedly selling dreams and hopes and opportunities as well as just pure “entertainment” for the sake of it.

    I want my P.T. Barnum to be a little less transparent.

  • Anonymous

    I agree completely with you opinion of Simon Cowell.

  • Anonymous

    Javstwtr (Javier Colon)
    Hey guys! My new Video for “As Long As We Got Love” is finally here!! Check it out and let me know what you think. 
    http://blog.music.aol.com/2011/12/21/javier-colon-as-long-as-we-got-love-video/?a_dgi=aolshare_facebook

  • http://twitter.com/tinawinabina Tinawina

    **stands up**

    **slow clap to Sassycatz***

    You just nailed Simon to a tee. Well done.

  • Anonymous

    The age of the contestant, Simon, you need to change that.  I never again want to see teenagers have meltdowns on national TV, that has never been part of my definition of entertainment.  Oh yeah, by the way, if I’m watching what’s hyped as a singing competition, I want all the contestants to actually sing.  Oh, and, if you let one person use their own material, you need to let everyone else do so.  There nothing that irks this American more than a contrived uneven playing field.

  • Anonymous

    Simon has always been about his ego & who would make him the most money. His interest in the actual contestants as individuals, let alone as artists, has been minimal, at best. 

    He also doesn’t seem to have much of a clue about what kind of musical artists the general US music buying public are interested in, but hey — at least he’s not alone in that :)

  • Anonymous

    LOL! I think we are seeing a larger scale version of what happens to the contestants on these shows when stuff is not clicking. All people really know is what they see is not working, and they try to figure out why. Resulting opinions are all over the place and sometimes contradictory. If you listen to them all, your individuality will be lost. So how do you know what’s good advice and what’s not? But that’s Simon’s problem. Heh.  

    This is true.  Most of the solutions just turn the XF into more of an American Idol clone.  The funny thing is the contributions that Simon made to how people perceive his show.  On AI, he treated those who put too much emphasis, or any emphasis, on the visual aspects of their performances, as if they were not as good as the people who were “just” singers.  He turned telling people that they are better off for Broadway into an insult.  Yet, now he wants us to see the same types of performers as legitimate pop stars.  It’s hard for people to make that adjustment after judging the contestants on certain attributes for ten years.

  • Anonymous

    “X-Factor mom tells all”… I was waiting for an exposure story  from a bitter stage mom, about what happens behind the curtain, but got Chris Rene background story instead :/ 

  • Anonymous

    American audiences prong to love a show like X-Factor already love AI.  It would have been hard to love such a similar show as much. 
    Then, by disrespecting Idol during his last few years as a judge and dissing Idol in promoting X-Factor, he alienated many Idol-lovers, and left some (including me) wishing for X-Factor to flat-out fail.

  • Anonymous

    LeeDeWyze:
    Goodnight everyone! This album is taking some time, it feels good to do things right. Thanks for all your support, love you guys!
    Wed 21 Dec 00:54

    ETA: Sound like early next year may not happen.  Do we have any clue who will be releasing his music?

  • Anonymous

    The problem with X Factor, in a nutshell, is that it lacks heart.  It’s cold as ice and may be a reflection of its creator’s steely ambitions, as Sassycatz described in her post.

    I don’t think it’s necessary for X Factor to be a clone of American Idol in order to be pleasant to watch. After all, I think The Voice managed that pretty well. They’ve got judges with teams who “compete” but the bickering isn’t mean-spirited. 

    However, I do think for competitive singing shows to be successful, we HAVE to ultimately care about the contestants.  Which means, more emphasis on THEM (this is something even the Voice is going to have to tweak) rather than the judges. We need reasons to care about them beyond what they’d do if they won the 5M dollar prize.

  • geekygirl

    well said, ITG.  The distinction is that Simon doesn’t know music, he knows the music INDUSTRY.  He likes the gimmick, the one hit wonders, the novelties, what will turn a fast buck.  We’ve seen it time and time again when he sabotages a singer with a fabulous voice, or a style he doesn’t like, to promote what he believes will make him money.  One Direction are adorable, but they cannot sing to save their lives.  Rebecca and Matt are far better singers, but Simon saw the gimmick and ran with it.  He hasn’t done anything for Matt the winner at all.   You listening US XFactor finalists?  I would love to read the fine print on the $5 million dollar contract.  I am cynical that the contestants aren’t getting $5 mill, just good for that amount invested to kickstart their career.  Like rebate vouchers that go towards your next purchase!

  • http://twitter.com/ljrTR LJR

    News –
    @BrainCancerCure: We’re leading the @crowdrise Mozilla Firefox Challenge! Thanks to David Cook and fans.

    regarding the xfactor discussion – seconding everything sassycatz & mj said.
    hope it doesn’t last the many years it would take to fix it. I think it is awful. and none of the 3 finalists would be an Idol winner.

  • http://twitter.com/Sassycatz Sassycatz

    Apparently, David Cook is also doing some charity fundraising this holiday season with the Girl Up/UN Foundation group to help those young girls he visited in Ethiopia during Season 9′s Idol Gives Back. With a donation, the first 25,000 people get a free download of his song, “We Believe.” (An email went out to his fans.)

  • Karen C

    MJ:

    We need reasons to care about them beyond what they’d do if they won the 5M dollar prize.

    I think this is the biggest problem with X factor, and really the Voice also.  Though, I think the problem with the Voice was more the shortened competing time, it was only a few weeks, and I think the more rounds of voting there are, the more fans get invested.

    The emphasis on winning the prize is part of what gives the show it’s coldness.  Even back to the auditions many of the contestants said what they wanted to do with them money.  But with American Idol, the contestants say they want to be your American Idol, to record music for the public. It’s a much warmer image than just trying to win money. 

  • Anonymous

    I’ve only watched X-Factor 1.5 times, which means I watched it once and turned it off halfway through the second time. But I will watch it tonight because I’m curious about who has made it this far and what they have to bring to the table. But, I will say, what turned me off was not so much the overproduction, although I hated that, but the judges competing and bickering. I don’t gaf about the judges, it’s about the contestants, and it really turned me off to see the judges playing games to try and “win.” Why don’t they just have an arm wrestling match? Seriously, it was like watching gladiator fights only with singers. Instead of having their gladiators fight, they had their gladiators sing, but it was still just a bet between the judges, and the singers were only necessary for them to win their own wars. Where is the discovering and nurturing talent in all of this? In America, we like to see the rags to riches story of a talented unknown whose dream comes true. We don’t care about some powerful judge winning a bet. Simon needs to figure out American culture if he wants a show that will go over well here. Although The Voice was a kinder, gentler version, it is still a total turn-off to me that the show’s judges saw their careers and sales skyrocket. Yes, that is true of JLo as well. But somehow you got the idea that the show was still about the contestants. The judges success was secondary on the show. The contestants were the center of it. 
    Anyway, I will see what I think about X-factor again tonight and see if I still hate it. And I’m curious about the contestants now since one of them will be the big prize winner. But in general, there are too many of these shows now and at least one of them needs to just go away. I didn’t watch a full episode of The Voice so I really know nothing about any of the top contestants. If they break through and I hear them on the radio I guess I will decide if I like them, along with most of the people in this country. Same with X-Factor. They will have to win me over. I have no plans to support any of them. 

  • Anonymous

    I tried to get into XF when it started, but it just left me cold and bored. I watched Cowell shower praise onto people he would never have passed through to the H’wood round on Idol. The talent just wasn’t all that great. I tuned in one night and saw somebody singing like crazy while Cowell sat alone on a sofa by a pool. WTF?

    Please tell me that Lyndsey Pearce is not going to be a permanent cast member on Glee. I couldn’t stand her on the Project.

  • http://twitter.com/ljrTR LJR

    was just about to post that, Sassy! David has mentioned the trip to Ethiopia a few times, and said it was part of the inspiration for his song “We Believe”. If there is another “Idol Gives Back” I hope he is involved. I’d almost bet on it.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Once I heard Simon tell Anderson Cooper in an interview that he’d rather own McDonald’s than a Michelin 3 star restaurant, and that he recorded and released a CD of WWE pro wrestlers “singing”, I knew that Simon was ALL about the $$$.  Quality means nothing, as long as it brings in $$$.

  • http://twitter.com/Sassycatz Sassycatz

    The talent just wasn’t all that great. I tuned in one night and saw somebody singing like crazy while Cowell sat alone on a sofa by a pool. WTF?

    *That* reminded me of a casting couch. Gave me the creeps.

  • mmb

    Yeah the judges homes round with Simon sprawled on a sofa by a pool while young women sang for him was cringe inducing – total dirty old man vibe. Especially with him leering at certain of the women over 18 ( thank god he wasn’t leering at Rachel or Drew)

  • Anonymous

    Here David Cook goes again and gives me another reason to respect him as a person.

    @Girlup Whoa! @thedavidcook is giving FREE downloads of “We believe” to every person who donates to @GirlUp! bit.ly/tuIMtc

    ETA: AI is on top of things, they posted this last night. http://www.americanidol.com/news/view/pid/6165

  • djafan

    Today is David Archuleta’s last concert of his My Kind Of Christmas tour in Beaver Creek Colorado.

    Should be a good one.  Possible ustream.

  • Anonymous

    That should be an emotional concert.  Thanks for the info.

     David A. is mature beyond his years and a great role model for all of us.

  • Anonymous

    I cared SO MUCH about Haley last year. X Factor, well, no one really inspired me like that. 

  • http://twitter.com/ljrTR LJR

    Wordnerdarchie – that message from David Cook regarding the Girlup cause is a great find.  Thanks so very much for sharing that. 

  • Anonymous

    Woohoo!! Just read that Scotty will be performing at FOX Las Vegas Country New Year bash. He’s going to have a BUSY few days, I think he will be just returning from his Honduras trip.

  • iani

    “The talent just wasn’t all that great. I tuned in one night
    and saw somebody singing like crazy while Cowell sat alone on a sofa by a
    pool. WTF?”

    Exactly, the Cowellt has become ” For My Entertainment” selfish brat in X Factor, the only missing was the cocktail with a small umbrella in while in front of him the contestants were coming  one by one in weepy eyes to be selected for the next step of the show. And the adaptation for US show has been rushed  not to loose post AI momentum, plus the concept of putting together on the stage  all king of demographic with normal, natural evolution of personalities and uncontrolled hormones rush (see all the cries and emotional acts), garnished with mediocre dancers for mediocre performances, overall the show has been under level of mediocrity I think.

  • Anonymous

    Whatttt! Are u sure? Heeee Haw ,hope he can make it :)))

  • Anonymous
  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AGWO435FL6UN2ICRVTFLWRJZSA Lexie

    Scotty’s definitely scheduled to be there…wonder if he’ll fly straight from the Dominican Republic?  Wow, I’m glad he’s had this break…

    http://www.examiner.com/tv-in-national/toby-keith-pawn-stars-join-scotty-mccreery-at-fox-s-new-year-s-eve-bash

  • windmills

    So far the only “source” indicating Scotty will perform at the ACAs is an Examiner “article” (LOL) that took an ACA press release and used it for the New Year’s Eve show. There’s a reason MJ doesn’t ever use Examiner stuff as a source.

    Today’s New Year’s Eve show announcement from Fox said Toby Keith, Eli Young Band, Joe Nichols, and comedian Rodney Carrington will be performing. Here’s the PR

    From the way it’s worded I think they’re going to have Joe Nichols performing live and re-air the Eli Young Band and Toby Keith performances from the ACAs. I wouldn’t be surprised if they wound up reairing Scotty’s ACA performance on the show too, but they haven’t announced that at this time. 

  • whoisthatwoman

    There isn’t much money to win.  More like an advance against earnings, basically a draw with living expenses and food paid for while making a CD.

  • Leandro Cardim Da Silva

    Simon is so cocky that may he’ll not change anything just to to give the impression about how perfect his show is.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AGWO435FL6UN2ICRVTFLWRJZSA Lexie

    Well, okay, something to learn every day.  Had no idea that wasn’t a reputable source…now I know…

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the clarification.  However, will be happy to see Scotty’s ACA performance should it be reaired.

  • Anonymous

    The X Factor producers want viewers to answer a 20 minute long survey.  Questions include, do you look forward to seeing the fashions of Nicole and Paula each week.  LOL.

    To be fair, there are some good questions too.  https://twitter.com/TheXFactorUSA

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kat-Myers/100001011861766 Kat Myers

    Did I miss Drew’s signing?  www.drewofficial.com is now live.  

  • Kylee

    Its also borderline creepy when he would hug Rachel and Drew and laugh when they were safe.

  • Anonymous

    “The problem with X Factor, in a nutshell, is that it lacks heart.  It’s cold as ice and may be a reflection of its creator’s steely ambitions, as Sassycatz described in her post.”Exactly.

  • http://twitter.com/KariannHart Kariann Hart

    Maybe if Simon wasn’t in charge and they had better judges, I would have enjoyed the X-Factor.  It had potential to succeed, but Simon’s ego got in the way.