Headlines: Fifth Harmony, Tori Kelly Honored by Billboard

Tonight, Saturday Night Live features Chris Hemsworth as host and musical guest, Chance the Rapper.

Fifth Harmony & One Direction to Appear on ‘La Banda’ Finale – Fifth Harmony will perform live along with Pitbull and Wisin during Sunday night’s finale of music reality show La Banda on Univision. One Direction, as well as Simon Cowell, the reality guru behind the Latin boy-band contest, will make special video appearances. – Read more at Billboard

The Empire cast is traveling to Japan on a USO tour – Cookie is taking her boys on tour. Taraji P. Henson, Jussie Smollett, and Bryshere “Yazz” Gray are heading to Japan for their first-ever USO tour this December. – Read more at Entertainment Weekly

‘American Idol’: Harry Connick Jr. Teases Final Season – “The greatest thing about this group of 24 is that they’re more ready for this ‘Idol’ experience, I think, than some of the top 24s in the past. For example, there were some kids that we hoped would do well that petered out over the competition in previous years and we would put people through based on how well we thought they would do, which is a lot of pressure to put on somebody,” Connick said. “So this year we decided, ‘Look, let’s put people that we think are more suited to the competition, as opposed to super raw talent that’s not quite ready for this.’ So that’s a big difference and the 24 that we have are very good.” Pretty sure he said exactly the same thing before last season. I had to check the date on the article – Read more at Variety

‘American Idol’ Final Top 24 Unveiled at Private Event: ‘It’s the End of an Era,’ Harry Connick Jr. Says – While the final season of American Idol doesn’t kick off for another three-plus weeks, the top 24 contestants were unveiled at a private event at the iHeartMedia studio in Burbank, Calif., on Thursday. Idol judge Harry Connick Jr. was on hand to introduce the group along with some former Idol contestants, including last season’s Daniel Seavey and Rayvon Owen, season 7’s Brooke White and season 3’s Jon Peter Lewis. The Idol judge also shared that during the auditions, the female contestants were leaps and bounds better than the men, saying the judges were worried they would have a top 24 of just girls, but the guys stepped up at the last minute. Connick added that the field is now “going to be pretty balanced.” He adds: “We’re doing everything we can to make it a great year, but we did that last year, and it’s really up to the producers of the show to come up with things to make it unique, and I think they will.” – Read more at Billboard

Lady Gaga, Demi Lovato, Tori Kelly, Fifth Harmony & More Honored at “Billboard’s” Annual Women in Music Gala in NYC – Fifth Harmony was honored with the “Group of the Year” award, and on the red carpet, Ally Brooke Hernandez agreed that Lady Gaga is the perfect choice for the Woman of the Year title. “She is phenomenal,” Ally told ABC Radio. “I love everything that she’s done, from the jazz album Cheek to Cheek with Tony Bennett to being on American Horror Story, like, she has killed it. She stood up for what she believes in, she’s strong in it and she follows her passions in every single lane and she has completely, like, dominated this year” Tori Kelley was presented with the “Breakthrough” award by Empire’s Jussie Smollet, who told ABC Radio that she has “one of those timeless voices that you just gotta love.” Tori, who was just nominated for a Grammy on Monday, said she can barely take in all the great things that have happened to her this year. While Gaga was named Woman of the Year, Fifth Harmony’s Lauren Jauregui told ABC Radio that if it was up to her, the Women of the Year would be teen activist Malala Yousafzai, and Girls creator Lena Dunham. – Read more at ABCNewsRadio

With ‘American Idol’ Ending & One Direction Taking a Bow, Is the Simon Cowell Era Ending? – With American Idol kicking off its final season in January, and One Direction bowing at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 with what figures to be their swan-song studio album, we might be witness to the quiet end of a 21st-century pop phenomenon: the Simon Cowell Era. Welp…there are a lot of words in this article, but it never really makes its point – Read more at Billboard

Fox Pulls Plug on ‘Urban Cowboy’ Pilot – Fox is not going forward with its “Urban Cowboy” project. The network had ordered a pilot written and directed by Craig Brewer based on the 1980 film starring John Travolta. It decided not to move forward with the project after delivery of the pilot. Alfonso Herrera and Nathalie Kelley starred in the pilot as characters based on those played in the film — a romance set in the Houston honky-tonk world of mechanical bull riding — by Travolta and Debra Winger. American Idol 9 alum, Casey James was seen filming on set. His acting career will have to begin with another project. – Read more at The Wrap

The Voice’s Jordan Smith Was Almost ‘Moved to Tears’ After Beating Adele on the iTunes Charts – On Monday, Voice contestant Jordan Smith wowed America on the semi-finals of NBC’s hit singing competition show and subsequently knocked Adele out of the top spot on iTunes with his rendition of “Somebody to Love.” “I was actually on the red carpet doing press after the show. We were all checking the charts anyway just to see how everybody was doing,” Smith tells PEOPLE about finding out the big news. “I opened my phone and saw it and I almost was moved to tears. It was so incredible!” – Read more at People.com

Melanie Martinez Q&A: ‘Cry Baby,’ Future Plans & Lessons from ‘The Voice’ – You’re a creative person, and yet your story starts with The Voice, where you spent your time covering other people’s songs. Is it freeing, now, to be able to do your own thing? One hundred percent. That show was really frustrating for me, because as a songwriter, the best I could do was taking those songs and flipping them and trying to rearrange them as if I wrote them, [and] singing them as if I wrote them. That was the only way I could feel comfortable doing that, really. Afterwards was really hard for me. I kept pushing my own music and I kept writing. I’m very happy and very grateful that I have people who are supporting my original music now, who’ve been listening and watching all the music videos. It’s so nice to have that. It feels weird coming out of it. What did you learn from The Voice experience? I learned that it’s not real life. You get sucked into it. You believe it’s the only way to make your career when you’re in it. You think it’s the only way, and that’s not the truth at all. It’s the complete opposite. I think I’ve learned it’s much better to work on your art and work on who you are as an artist before trying to put yourself out there. I’m very, very grateful for that opportunity and that experience and all the friends that I made, most importantly. – Read more at fuse.tv

Danny Gokey finds hope, home in Christian music – Danny Gokey’s gritty, soulful vocals made him a standout during his run on the eighth season of “American Idol.” He also had a back story that was both compelling and heartbreaking: His wife, Sophia, died a few weeks before he auditioned for the program. “On the show, people got to see the gospel in action,” Gokey recalls. “We all face our stuff. We all go through difficulties. On the show, I was able to overcome a loss and people knew I was a Christian. – Read more at AZCentral

About mj santilli 33296 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!