What Simon Cowell gave up for ‘X Factor’
Simon Cowell turned down $100 million to stay at “American Idol, ” a source told Page Six, and he now wants to hire music mogul Tommy Mottola as a judge on his new show, “The X Factor.”
But Cowell insists there are no hard feelings over his leaving to bring over his British smash-hit, “X Factor” in 2011. He told us, “If I thought it would lead to the death of ‘Idol, ‘ I genuinely wouldn’t have done it. We are sure that ‘Idol’ will continue successfully.
“Everyone seemed quite cool about it, ” Cowell said.
Simon Fuller launches new TV boyband search
Music mogul Simon Fuller has teamed up with celebrity blogger Perez Hilton to create a new TV boyband.
The former Spice Girls manager wants the new show, titled Boy Band, to find a group “for the next generation”.
In a post on his website, Hilton said: “We are looking for the best, brightest and boldest!”
Fuller and Hilton will be joined by pop music tour director Jamie King, who was behind Britney Spear’s 2009 Circus Tour and Madonna’s Sticky and Sweet tour.
Potential boyband stars aged between 13 and 21 are asked to upload their audition tapes to the show’s website.
‘American Idol’: Simon Fuller moves on, Nigel Lythgoe gets a title
Simon Fuller, who created the “Idol” format, is leaving 19 Entertainment (which produces the series) to start his own company. Former “Idol” executive producer and current “So You Think You Can Dance” judge/producer Nigel Lythgoe has been named chairman of BAFTA’s L.A. branch.
Fuller had mounted an effort to buy 19’s parent company, CKX, but instead opted to break off. He’ll still consult with CKX, which has an option to invest in the new venture.
Adam Lambert Dreams of Acting on ‘Gossip Girl, ‘ ‘True Blood’
Listen up, Chace Crawford: You hold Adam Lambert’s happiness in your hands. Last season’s ‘American Idol’ runner-up tells PopEater that he wants to appear on ‘Gossip Girl, ‘ not wholly due to, but partially because of, a little crush. “As long as I can do a scene opposite Chace Crawford, I’d be happy, ” he says. “I just want a couple moments where I can just look and be like, ‘Hmmmm.’ Just some eye contact and I’ll be really happy.”
While you won’t be able to catch him on these shows just yet, come back to AOL Music on January 28 to watch Adam Lambert’s AOL Sessions.
More Idol Headlines after the JUMP…
Elton John Has No ‘Idol’ Time
No matter that Elton John is perfect for taking Simon Cowell’s bitchy British seat on “American Idol” — we’re told the Rocket Man will not be landing an “Idol” contract.
We’re told Elton’s schedule is way too packed to bash amateur singers — so a golden ticket to Hollywood is out of the question.
Can Idol Still Churn Out Stars? Time Will Tell
With a rush of publicity over the departure of Simon Cowell, American Idol returned this week for a ninth season, promising once again to introduce the next batch of fresh-faced pop stars.
But when it comes to how well those winners and finalists will ultimately fare in the music marketplace, stardom is far from a sure thing, as sales figures from Nielsen SoundScan show.
Idol’s Skiiboski — Dirtiest Ice Cream Man Ever
Before the rambling, the hair carving and the misspelled shirts, Skiiboski from last night’s “American Idol” was trying to make a name for himself by turning the skill set of an ice cream man into a giant scoop of sexual innuendo.
Don’t worry folks, you’ll see him again in Hollywood … if only briefly.
Skiiboski from ‘Idol’ — The Many Mug Shots
Skiiboski from last night’s “American Idol” is used to being in front of judges — because the guy has been arrested as many times as DMX … almost.
TMZ has obtained Antonio “Skiiboski” Wheeler’s five mug shots from his arrests in Florida — which according to Skiiboski’s inmate history report from the Orange County Corrections Department, occurred between March of 2005 and December of 2009.
Civil rights veteran becomes Internet sensation
For Platt, the song was just another one of his causes. He said Thursday that he and his civil rights colleagues sacrificed too much for today’s youth to walk around with sagging pants.
Platt – his black jeans securely fastened – proudly showed off black and white photographs of himself alongside civil rights icons Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Congressman John Lewis, and pointed to plaques from city and state officials recognizing his social justice work as a dedicated foot soldier with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
Platt, who worked to elect President Barack Obama, is still an activist, and can frequently be seen in downtown Atlanta holding signs protesting foreclosures, war, violence, racism and “any wicked things that take place.”
‘American Idol’ Hopeful Jermaine Sellers Began Recording At Age 14
Toward the end of Wednesday night’s “American Idol, ” Randy Jackson called it: Self-described “church boy” Jermaine Sellers was the biggest talent the judges had encountered so far in season nine.
Though the “Idol” hopeful has only just come to the public’s attention after his breakout appearance on Wednesday’s show, Sellers has been quietly recording music since his early teenage years. He makes his living as a church singer and maintains a MySpace page with a selection of original R&B tunes.
Family excited to watch Winner native Mallorie Haley perform on ‘American Idol’
Her fans have seen Winner native Mallorie Haley sing for area events, then open for concerts across the nation and now audition on national television.
On Wednesday night, the nation saw the 20-year-old singer, now living in Nashville, make it through an important round of the “American Idol” TV singing auditions during the show’s ninth season premiere.
It was an exciting night Wednesday in the Haley household in rural Winner as friends and family gathered to see whether the 20-year-old performer would be shown singing her way to the show’s next level in Hollywood.
OK!’s Idol Round Table: Former Finalists Dish on Week 1
Of the more than a million people across the country who have auditioned for American Idol, only a few dozen know what it’s truly like to live the Idol life. And that’s why OKmagazine.com brings you Idol Round Table, where former finalists Mikalah Gordon, Anoop Desai, Diana DeGarmo and Megan Joy — and some special guests — will share their insider insights on the new season.
This week, the Round Table discusses early front-runners, Paula Abdul’s absence and whether or not AI can survive the departure of Simon Cowell.
Adam Lambert Shows Off His Many Sides In ‘Whataya Want From Me’ Video
That seems to be the message behind the music video for Lambert’s “Whataya Want From Me, ” which premiered on VH1 on Friday morning (January 15).
The brand-new clip showcases the glam rocker in a sparse industrial apartment. But instead of the “glittery alien from Planet Fierce” persona we’ve come to expect from the showman, we’re seeing an emotionally raw and exhausted man, uncomfortable in a cold, new-looking home and torn between the different roles he’s forced to play in his very public life.
‘American Idol’: Kara DioGuardi on ‘Pants on the Ground, ‘ Ellen’s entrance and Simon’s exit
Hollywood Week is happening right now. How’s it going with Ellen so far?
It’s been a really easy adjustment. Ellen has a natural ability for judging. She can be very heartwarming and at times critical and she’s so funny, but she knows a lot about music. I was very impressed with her, she knows more than people think. I think she’s going to be a fantastic judge. She’ll comment on someone’s stage presence or that they should’ve done more with the melody or something about their guitar. I’m very, very impressed with her.
Can you comment on the talent? Drop any names?
[laughs] I can’t name any names, but I can tell you that the women are competing for the title of “American Idol” this year. Last year there was a deficit of really good women, but there’s a lot more of them this year that are really strong. It could be the Year of the Woman. Girl Idol.
American Idol: Taylor Hicks on Ellen, Simon and the New Season
FOUR YEARS AGO, Taylor Hicks rode a wave of support from a dedicated group of fans to a win in a competitive “American Idol” season that included contenders like Katharine McPhee, Elliott Yamin, Chris Daughtry and Kellie Pickler, who’ve all gone on to some measure of professional success.
He released his second album last March, and he’s currently touring the country as the Teen Angel in a national production of the musical “Grease.”
I talked with the Soul Patrol sovereign ahead of “Grease’s” stop at D.C.’s National Theatre in February. I’ll have more on that in a couple of weeks. But here are some of Hicks’ thoughts on “Idol’s” recent judging changes and an activity contestants should steer clear of during the show’s run.
‘Idol’ singer Anoop Desai making album in Nashville
I’ve heard from a few of you that you spotted Anoop Desai at the Red Door in Midtown recently, and I’ve since learned from several Anoop Snoops that he’s making a pop album here in Nashville.
Anoop is collaborating with, among others, Nashville pop singer Josh Hoge, who has worked with several American Idol alums, including Elliot Yamin (Wait for You).
Anoop and Josh did two songs together “in the Ne-Yo vibe, ” Josh says.
Anoop will come back to Nashville to finish the album, which should be out this spring.
USO Entertainer Kellie Pickler Upstaged in Persian Gulf
Hey, isn’t Kellie Pickler supposed to be the one entertaining the troops? The country crooner was slightly upstaged by Spc. Zacari Pytleski, who joined her onstage during her song “Red High Heels” on Wednesday in the Persian Gulf.
Kellie, along with Jamey Johnson and Randy Houser kicked off 2010 with the USO Tour to the Persian Gulf to bring country music to the front lines. The trio will spend time with different combat outposts in the area, perform and pose for photos with the troops. This is Kellieâ€™s third USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour.
Katharine McPhee Turns Singer-Songwriter for CD
In the relatively short time Katharine McPhee has been on the scene she’s had a variety of different personas.
Katharine McPhee, the fresh-faced “American Idol” runner-up of 2006 with the big voice. The diva with the long auburn locks and gowns to match. The pop singer. And, now, the blonde folky recording artist who tells stories through her songs with her new album, “Unbroken, ” in stores now. The singer says this record is a true representation of who she is.
The 25-year-old McPhee talked recently about her new music, surviving the “Idol” ride and finding her voice.
Fantasia Barrino: ‘For Real’ Reality Show Is a Hit for VH1
The Jan. 11 premiere of ‘American Idol’ winner Fantasia Barrino’s new reality show, ‘Fantasia For Real, ‘ debuted strong numbers for VH1.
According to a network spokesperson, the “docu-series” scored a 1.4 P18-49 rating and brought in 2.3 million total viewers. It was also the #2 non-sports original cable series for the day.
Jason Castro: The Reality Rocks Interview, Pt. 1
No matter what he accomplishes later in life, season 7 American Idol fourth runner-up Jason Castro will go down in history (and possibly in Trivial Pursuit: The American Idol Edition) as the first semi-finalist to perform with a musical instrument on the show. And that’s quite an accomplishment in and of itself. Until season 7, AI contestants were not allowed to play instruments, so the majority of competitors fells squarely into Mariah/Celine/Whitney diva territory. But in season 7, singer-songwriter musician types like Jason Castro, Brooke White, and David Cook changed the Idol game–bringing a new credibility to the show, broadening its fanbase and genre span, and paving the way for the likes of season 8’s Kris Allen and Matt Giraud. In many ways, Jason Castro was an Idol pioneer.
‘Idol’ Creator to Staff: Simon’s Knockin’ Us Off
The guy who created “American Idol
” wrote a letter to his AI staff announcing Simon Cowell’s departure from the show — but in between compliments, Simon Fuller slipped in an ego shot at his number one judge.
In the letter, distributed on the same day Cowell made his big announcement, Fuller congratulated Simon for moving on to his new show “The X Factor” — but reminded everyone that it will be “in the same vein as ‘Idol.'”
Translation — he’s knockin’ us off.
Elliott Yamin goes from ‘American Idol’ to real world
“I’ll be back this year for (the charity special) “Idol Gives Back” on the ground in Angola, ” Yamin says. He and Fantasia Barrino distributed malaria nets there in 2008 as part of the “Idol Gives Back” team.
Yamin’s career is in his own hands now, and most of the time, he’s focused on spreading the word about his latest disc, “Fight for Love, ” a collection of emotional pop and R&B songs.
“It’s about being in and out of love, living without love, fighting for love, ” he says. “The album takes you on a journey through the ups and downs of love.”
Deets on Clay Aiken’s New Album
We have a feeling he’s leaning towards pleasing an older demographicâ€¦
Clay Aiken’s upcoming album on his new record label Decca Records is set to be released this coming summer.
He’s not going in the pop music direction but taking on romantic classic songs from the ’50s and ’60s. Tracks include “Moon River, ” “What Kind Of Fool Am I?, ” “Mack the Knife, ” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”
Adam Lambert’s ‘Whataya Want From Me’ video: Whataya think of it?
It’s probably folly to try to peek into the mind of an artist by watching one of his music videos, and yet the lovely new clip for Adam Lambert’s “Whataya Want From Me” plays out in such a personal-yet-enigmatic way, it’s hard not to imagine that the American Idol season 8 runner-up is feeling a little overwhelmed by all the change that’s come to his life in the last 12 months. Think about it: A little less than a year ago — Jan. 20, 2009, to be exact — Lambert caught our attention singing “Bohemian Rhapsody” during Idol’s San Francisco audition telecast. (If you’re a nostalgic sort, check out the recap of that episode here.) Since then, the guy has been a magnet for adulation, hateration, and controversy. His sexual orientation got discussed pretty much everywhere — even on The O’Reilly Factor! — before he came out as gay on the cover of Rolling Stone last summer. He got struck by flying sex toys on the subsequent Idols Live Tour. This fall, he was dissed by Out magazine for not being a hard-charging poster boy for the gay rights movement — at the exact same time he appeared on that magazine’s cover. And his sexually charged performance at the American Music Awards in November practically caused ABC to remove the first letter from its own corporate logo, paint it crimson red, and slap it on Adam’s chest. Lately, he’s had to ask his most rabid fans to dial back on organized request-line campaigns that have threatened to harm his relationship with radio.
Katharine McPhee Doesn’t Regret Eating Disorder Revelation
More than three years after Katharine McPhee went public with her struggle with bulimia, the former ‘American Idol’ runner-up tells PopEater she has no regrets about being so open, especially if word of how she overcame her battle could help others who suffer from eating disorders.
“They always say awareness is the number one thing to help other people, and it was sort of my story about how ‘Idol’ really gave me that step up to sort of overcome eating issues, ” Mcphee says. “It doesn’t bother me because it’s like a different person, like that person didn’t even exist anymore. So, no, I don’t have any regrets.”
Kara changes ‘Idol’ look
“American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi says she’s made a conscious decision to change her on-air look this season.
“I’m not sure I liked all my hairstyles or my makeup or my clothes [last season] — I’d look at it and go, ‘Oh my God, ’ ” DioGuardi said yesterday.
“I’m still experimenting and still getting it together, because I’d say the way I look in real life is not the way I look on the show, ” she said.
“Part of it is that I’m somebody who doesn’t wear a lot of makeup or do a lot with my hair . . . so it was hard to see myself all dolled up.
“I’m still making changes, ” she said. “I’m definitely trying to go more to a natural style, more rock-glam — just something that feels more like me.
GREASE National Tour Offers BC/EFA Concert in St. Louis, 1/18
The National Touring Cast of GREASE will offer a special concert cabaret to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids and Saint Louis Effort for AIDS. The concert, “One Night Only: a cabaret with the Broadway cast of GREASE” will take place at The Fox Hole in St. Louis on January 18th at 7:30pm. Select cast members will perform a series of songs for the benefit.
“American Idol” Season Five winner Taylor Hicks stars as “Teen Angel” in the current National Tour of GREASE. Taylor Hicks made his debut on Broadway in the role. He achieved widespread fame in 2006 as a contestant on the hugely successful FOX singing competition “American Idol.”
Mercado embraces role in fresh take on ‘Dreamgirls’
Syesha Mercado can relate in a personal way to Deena Jones, the 1960s girl-group singer she plays in the national touring company of “Dreamgirls, ” coming to the Cadillac Palace Theatre on Tuesday. Beautiful, hard-working and ambitious, Mercado, who was the top female finisher in the seventh season of “American Idol, ” has been working toward being a star since she was a child.
“For me, Deena represents a lot of things, ” Mercado said in a recent phone interview. “The messages of ‘Dreamgirls’ transcend their time. It’s not just a story of African-Americans trying to get their music out; it’s also about the relationships you have with your family, and the message that if you dream — and if you work at achieving that dream — it’s going to happen for you.”
Adam Lambert Says Idol Will Miss Simon Cowell
“The audience will definitely miss Simon, ” Lambert, 27, says. “The contestants will miss out on, like, really honest criticism. Sometimes it can be a little personal, and I know other contestants took it to heart sometimes and got really stressed out about what he would say. [But] I think that that’s important to making you a better performer … You’ve got to hear the good and the bad.”
But American Idol can survive without Cowell, according to Lambert, because the show isn’t about the cheeky British judge. “Ultimately, after the first couple weeks of auditions, the audience tunes in every week for the contestants, ” says Lambert, who performs his current song, “Whataya Want From Me, ” on Oprah. “[Audiences] grow fond of one or a couple of the people and they get behind them and they’re invested in them. And of course it’s great to hear … what’s Simon going to say. But we tune in to hear the contestants blossom or not.”