Year after year, ‘Idolâ€™ has a Southern accent
Some American Idolâ€ watchers were shocked in May when Kris Allen was crowned the winner of American Idolâ€™sâ€ eighth season, beating out the flamboyant, creative Adam Lambert, who’d long been considered a favorite to win.
Yet in a way, the decision was unsurprising. Allen is from Arkansas; Lambert is from California. When it comes to American Idol, â€ hailing from the South is as important as talent â€” something to consider when placing bets on who will win the ninth season of Idol, â€ which kicks off on Fox on Jan. 12.
Here it is…right on time…the first “why are all Idol winners southern” article of the new season. Sure to be followed by more…
Katharine McPhee’s ‘Unbroken’: Track-by-track
Katharine McPhee’s fans certainly have had to be patient for her sophomore album, Unbroken, which originally was scheduled for a November release. Coming out the first week of the new year, however, should get the now-blonde Season 5 runner-up more attention from the media and Unbroken a better debut spot on the charts. A track-by-track review of the long-awaited second set follows.
More Idol Headlines after the JUMP…
‘American Idol’s’ Katharine McPhee remains ‘Unbroken’
At 22, Katharine McPhee was the runner-up on the fifth season of “American Idol” and very quickly released her self-titled debut album. Because, as she says, coming out of “Idol, ” the contestants have very little time to decide exactly what they’re going to do.
Three years later, McPhee’s sophomore album “Unbroken” gave her take more time and be more involved in the process. The end product is a quirky, more folk-y offering to go with her new sassy blonde ‘do, in a genre that Katharine tells Zap2it she “can really build off of for her next project.”
Billboard CD reviews: Susan Boyle, Adam Lambert, Kris Allen, Katharine McPhee
ARTIST: KATHARINE MCPHEE
ALBUM: UNBROKEN (Verve Forecast)
Searching, one presumes, for a bit of the post-pop respectability that fellow singer/actor Mandy Moore has found of late, former “American Idol” contestant Katharine McPhee tapped John Alagia (who oversaw Moore’s 2007 album, “Wild Hope”) to produce the bulk of her sophomore release, “Unbroken.” It’s a good match. McPhee sounds much more comfortable amid Alagia’s rootsy settings than she did surrounded by the shiny R&B beats of her self-titled debut, much of which was helmed by former Timbaland protege Danja. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, given the success she had on “Idol, ” where she sang material like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree.” McPhee takes co-writing credit on about half of the set’s 13 tracks, but plenty of pros crop up as well. Among them are “Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi, who helped pen jangly lead single “Had It All, ” and Paula Cole’s cerebral soulfulness informs the title cut.
28 Top Tunes from ‘Idol’ Grads
Our playlist pulls together awesome songs recorded by favorites from the show’s first eight seasons.
Adam Lambert Wins Weight Battle
Adam Lambert courted controversy with his lascivious performance on the American Music Awards, but in high school, sexyâ€ was the last adjective he wouldâ€™ve expected to describe him.
I lost probably about forty pounds about ten years ago, â€ the American Idol runner-up, 27, tells me. When I was in high school, I had bad eating habits. I ate a bunch of crap â€“ a bunch of fast food and stuff. I learned more about whatâ€™s healthy and whatâ€™s not healthy. I used a little bit of self-control.â€
Taylor Swift, Sacha Baron Cohen Among The Stars Expected At Peopleâ€™s Choice Awards
The people who watch TV shows, buy movie tickets and follow their favorite artists online get to call the shots during the first show of Hollywoodâ€™s awards season: the Peopleâ€™s Choice Awards.
The awards will be presented Wednesday at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles and will air live on CBS (9 p.m. EST). Topping the nominees are vampire tales The Twilight Saga: New Moonâ€ and HBOâ€™s True Blood.â€
Fans cast more than 60 million votes to choose the winners in 30 categories including favorite action star, favorite on-screen team, favorite music collaboration and favorite animal show.
Host Queen Latifah is set to welcome celebrities including Taylor Swift, Sacha Baron Cohen, Sandra Bullock, Steve Carell, Carrie Underwood, Hugh Jackman and LL Cool J to the two-hour show.
Kellie Pickler Hits The Treadmill After Cheesy Holiday
Kellie Pickler is reuniting with her treadmill after a bit of overindulging over the holidays. She admits to us that the piece of exercise equipment has been serving another purpose in her household, but that’s all about the change. “I am now going to turn my treadmill into a treadmill instead of a clothes rack. Right now, it’s like holding all of my towels and clothes. I just hang stuff over the arm thing, so, yeah, I’m bad!”
Jennifer Hudson is house-shopping
CHICAGO (WBBM) — A source close to the family of singer/actress Jennifer Hudson tells Newsradio 780 that Hudson has been house-shopping on Chicago’s North Side – and was scheduled to look at a piece of property that was in the news two-and-a-half years ago.
First came the report in the National Enquirer that Jennifer Hudson wants to sell the Englewood home where the family murders took place in 2008 – but that Jennifer’s sister Julia does not want to let go of the property.
A source close to the family tells Newsradio 780 that the report is true – and that Jennifer has been house-shopping on the Gold Coast and in River North.
Kelly Price, Ledisi Team For BET Celebration of Gospel
When BET premieres its anticipated 10th Anniversary Celebration of Gospel this month, a bevy of unique of performances will be seen, including a special performance from soulful singers Kelly Price and Ledisi.
Performing “How Great Thou Art, ” the “Friend of Mine” and “Alright” singers join a line up that includes Mother/Daughter duo Fantasia Barrino and Diane Barrino Barber performing “He’s Done Enough” and The Rance Allen Group performing a soulful rendition of “Something About the Name of Jesus”.
Dancing with the Stars’ Derek Hough to Partner with Kym Johnson in Broadway’s Burn the Floor January 8-10
Dancing with the Stars’ champion Derek Hough will make his Broadway debut in Burn the Floor at the Longacre Theatre, January 8-10. As previously announced, the Broadway production will close on January 10 and a world tour will begin in late February 2010, and include 30 U.S. cities.
The show is created, directed and choreographed by Jason Gilkison, and blends Latin and Ballroom dance. It was first conceived as a special performance at Sir Elton John’s 50th birthday celebration in 1997. Two years later, the show made its world premiere in the U.K., and it has since toured globally.
Hough will be partnered with Kym Johnson, who was this year’s professional champion on Dancing with the Stars, partnered with Donny Osmond. Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who has been partnering with Johnson in the Broadway show since November 27, will play his final performance on January 7. Additionally, Mary Murphy of FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance continues in the show through its final performance.
Cash Feenz jury selection under way
Attorneys will begin selecting a jury today in the first-degree murder trial of Kemar Johnston, one of 10 teens and young adults who are charged with killing a Cape Coral uncle and nephew in October 2006.
Johnston, 23, faces the death penalty if convicted of two counts each of first-degree murder, kidnapping and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
11:12 a.m. update
Former “American Idol” contestant Vonzell Solomon of Fort Myers was one of Johnston’s prospective jurors.
The 25-year-old singer and actress was dismissed from the panel after she told attorneys a person close to her has been killed and she has seen media coverage about the case.
She said hearing of the case made her cry and she wouldn’t be objective.
Remembering the oddest tunes of â€˜Idolâ€™
In eight seasons, American Idolâ€ has become synonymous with middle-of-the-road music, renowned for pumping out an inoffensive, flavorless slurry engineered to appeal to as many demographics of pop-music listeners as possible. In order to be the most popular show on television, it aims to be the blandest.
But it’s not all just an endless parade of Whitney Houston, Jason Mraz, Martina McBride and Stevie Wonder. Every now and then, something a bit more unexpected slips through the cracks. And so, with season 9 just around the corner, it’s helpful to remember some of the most peculiar song choices ever to grace Idol.â€
Nigel Lythgoe: ‘I’m still Nasty Nigel!’
Reality TV’s original judge from hell is sharpening his claws again! Nigel Lythgoe tells us more about So You Think You Can Dance.
Most people will remember you for your role as a judge on Popstars. Do you want to reclaim your crown as TV’s Mr Nasty from Simon Cowell?
“Well, I was Mr Nasty before Simon Cowell. But we don’t want to be mean just for the sake of it, we do it to try and help the dancers. But I will be mean if they canâ€™t take constructive criticism.”
What they’re saying about Katharine McPhee’s ‘Unbroken’
Ed Masley, The Arizona Republic: “Unbroken finds McPhee coming into her own as an artist, with co-writing credits on six of 13 songs, including a title track she wrote with Paula Cole.”
Mikael Wood, Billboard: “McPhee sounds much more comfortable amid [producer John] Alagia’s rootsy settings than she did surrounded by the shiny R&B beats of her self-titled debut.”