Idol Headlines for 01/04/09

How Simon Cowell helped take us from meritocracy to mediocrity in a decade

In its review of the decade broadcast on New Year’s Eve, the BBC cut from footage of those planes smashing into the Twin Towers to a man called Will Young winning the original incarnation of The X Factor — as if these two crimes against humanity were equal in their devastation.

They are not, of course, although there are similarities. The mastermind behind each atrocity remains at large, planning new miseries for the rest of us. Both have become so familiar to us through their evil intent that they have made cameo appearances in popular American cartoon programmes — Osama Bin Laden in South Park and Simon Cowell in The Simpsons. Bin Laden cannot be found while Cowell cannot be avoided.

Times Online

Idol airplay: It’s beginning to look less like Christmas

Come Wednesday, when we see how much music sales fell through the floor the week after Christmas, everybody can take a little solace in the fact that their favorite new singles picked up quite a bit of airplay as holiday tunes started vacating the charts.

Kelly Clarkson’s Already Gone, of course, remains atop USA TODAY’s Mediabase-powered Hot AC chart, and in the Top 10 at AC and Top 40, making it an easy Number One on our American Idol airplay chart.

USA Today

More Idol Headlines after the JUMP…

American Idol’s Jason Castro Marries in Texas

Jason Castro is a married man, according to tweets from guests at his wedding Saturday.

The 22-year-old dreadlocked singer-songwriter, who finished fourth on Season 7 of American Idol, wed girlfriend Mandy Mayhall in his hometown near Dallas.

“Yesterday I married the girl of my dreams, ” he tweeteed Sunday. “It couldn’t have been more perfect! Now, honeymoooon!!! :)”


Katharine McPhee is having more fun as a blond

In 2006, Katharine McPhee was Adam Lambert minus the black nail polish — a California-bred contestant who made it all the way to the final two on “American Idol” and lost (to Taylor Hicks). Three years later, signed to Verve as a newly bleached blond, the Sherman Oaks native is set to release her second album, “Unbroken, ” a metaphor for McPhee’s own undeterred will and a back-to-basics approach to pop music.

While working on “Unbroken, ” you took co-writing retreats down to Nashville. What is it about that city that inspires good songs?

LA Times

Katharine McPhee, Ke$ha kick off 2010 with sturdy new albums

Maybe all she had to do was go blonde.

Ever since she was runner-up on the fifth season of American Idol, ” and probably for a long time before that, the camera-friendly Katharine McPhee has had no problem getting attention.

Turning that attention into a serious recording career has been another story.

Her major label debut from 2007 was pretty much a yawner, despite a No. 2 single, and despite a marketing campaign that heavily emphasized her looks. But with a new label – the jazz bastion Verve Records – and the aforementioned switch from brunette to blonde, the singer sounds like she’s got a whole lot more going for her the second time around.

Traveling with the Stars: Katharine McPhee

Singer Katharine McPhee, the American Idol Season Five runner-up, releases her sophomore album, Unbroken, on Jan. 5. She’s on the go with appearances scheduled on The Tonight Showwith Conan O’Brien on Jan. 4, Live!with Regis and Kelly on Jan. 6 and Today on Jan. 8. She shares her travel highlights and tips with Kelly Carter for USA TODAY.

USA Today

Underwood, Fisher worked fast to spread engagement news

Carrie Underwood says she and fiance Mike Fisher knew they had to work fast to tell friends and family about their engagement if they wanted to be the ones to let them know.

“The night it happened we had to call everybody quickly because we knew the news would get out pretty quick and within two hours someone had texted Mike and it was like, ‘Yeah, your little secret is out, ‘” Carrie told an Ottawa radio station Saturday.

USA Today

Underwood braces for trials of long-distance engagement

“The first few years are going to be difficult with his job, ” she said. “You know, he’s stationed here and it seems that this past year when I’ve had time off they’ve had away games, so I’ve been really lucky over the holidays that they’ve been at home.”

Underwood said she and Fisher will pass good health onto their kids. “Mike and I will work out together. It’s just kind of fun and I just know that no matter what, we’ll both be around for a long time and we’ll teach our kids good, healthy habits.” She laughed at reports stating she wants five children.

“Kids are great. I don’t want them now. I couldn’t imagine. We have friends with four kids and I think ‘I admire you, but I don’t think so.’ ”

Calgary Sun

Following Susan Boyle’s rise to fame

I have a confession. I am a fan of reality TV shows. I pretend it is because my kids want to watch them, but secretly I’m hooked.

I clearly remember sitting down on Saturday 11 April to watch Britain’s Got Talent.

I, like every viewer outside of Blackburn, gawped as Susan Magdaleine Boyle walked onto the stage to face judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan.


Adam Lambert, shiny and fab for Gridlock 2009 — with a flashback to his Upright Cabaret gig on New Year’s Eve 2008

OK, so, Adam Lambert’s set at the Gridlock show on New Year’s Eve at Paramount Pictures wasn’t televised, but judging by the number of YouTube clips available, that didn’t really matter.

Adam, done up all “shiny and fabulous, ” sang 10 songs from his new album — the first time, he says, they did so many tunes from “For Your Entertainment.” The finale? Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love, ” which was a crowd pleaser when he was on “American Idol.”

What a difference a year makes? Lambert revealed, according to the L.A. Times review, that on New Year’s Eve 2008 he had also performed — as part of a cabaret just down the road on La Cienega Boulevard. (Check out that video, embedded after the jump.)

LA Times

Randy Jackson — Simon’s No Paula Abdul

Last night at Katsuya, we asked Randy about Cowell’s alleged departure — and he told us “Who said that? Don’t believe everything you read or hear dawg, that’s all I can tell ya.”


Another Fallen ‘Idol’: Katharine McPhee, ‘Unbroken’

IT HAS TO be tough to be just another pleasant voice in the ever-growing pool of former “American Idol” contestants.

It’s even tougher when you’re Katharine McPhee and in 2006 you were the runner-up in the “AI” season with (arguably) the greatest number of successful alums: besides winner Taylor Hicks, the show’s fifth season also produced Elliot Yamin, AMA winner Chris Daughtry and Taylor Swift tourmate Kellie Pickler.

McPhee did well enough on “Idol” to get her to the second-place slot, but her self-titled 2007 debut album never delivered the contemporary-pop hits that she seemed so capable of producing. She was dropped from RCA Records after its disappointing sales and moved to Verve Forecast for her new sophomore effort, “Unbroken.”

Express Night Out

Katharine McPhee to Simon Cowell: I Don’t Want to Hear It!

Katharine McPhee certainly shook things up a bit in 2009 by shedding her old long brunette look” and opting for a hot blonde crop. But one opinion on the look that the Idol” alum has no interest in hearing is that of Simon Cowell’s.

He hasn’t seen it yet and [I] wouldn’t really value or want to know his opinion about hair, ” McPhee told Tarts very bluntly at City of Hope’s 12 Stops at Christmas” event in Hollywood recently. I spent a year and a half working on the record and this (the new hair) was an expression of me figuring out what I wanted to do. I think it’s a phase so we’ll see how long it lasts for, but right now I’m having fun.”

FOX News

Five more questions with Katharine McPhee

Your season of Idol” had David Foster and Andrea Bocelli as mentors, both of whom you worked with after the show. Who do you think would make good mentors for season 9?
They should have Kelly Clarkson come back and be a mentor. She’s someone who has the success to back it up, and also the experience to understand what the contestants are going through. And I still think David Foster would be a great one to have back. He’s had such longevity in his career; I think it’s important to have that.

Do you keep in touch with Taylor Hicks?
I don’t, actually. Not because we don’t like each other, but we all had to change our numbers so many times and a lot of us lost touch. I keep in touch with Kellie Pickler and Chris Daughtry. I don’t know why I don’t keep in touch with Taylor. I like the guy.

LA Times

About mj santilli 34837 Articles
Founder and editor of, 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!