Taylor Hicks reups with ‘Grease’
“Americal Idol” winner Taylor Hicks has reupped his contract with the national tour of “Grease, ” with the performer now appearing on the road with the show through the 2009-10 season.
Hicks, who plays the cameo role of Teen Angel in the tuner, has played in the tour since it went out in December. He also had a stint in the Broadway incarnation, which shuttered in January.
“Grease” will make stops this spring in San Diego, L.A., San Francisco and Portland, among other cities.
Idol Worship: Jason Mraz On “I’m Yours” Group Number
Jason Mraz: “When watching it, I felt like I woke up from a dream, disoriented, and the TV was still on, playing a movie-musical Id never seen ‘ a mash-up between Xanadu, Saved by the Bell, and Grease 2. But dont get me wrong, I am honored to play a role in this festival of enthusiasm. And Im always open to hearing new interpretations as it gives me renewal, offering new suggestions for my own live take on it. I love how the ladies held lengthy whole notes through the end choruses. Im likely to start doing that. Ill also ask more of my band members to start singing, because I love the group participation, although our audiences do a keen job at singing louder than we do. ”
More Idol Headlines after the JUMP…
Photos: WGA Protests American Idol
American Idol: Bring Back Tatiana!
When yesterday we called for the immediate dismissal of American Idol’s Tatiana Del Toro, we didn’t want it to be like this. We knew that last night only three contestants could make it through to the top twelve, but, naturally, we figured if Tatiana went home, that meant deserving contestants Danny Gokey, Alexis Grace, and Anoop Desai would advance. Sadly, we were only two-thirds right.
American Idol First Results: Danny Gokey Advances! But Nooo. . . Tatiana’s Sent Home?
I’d been waiting all day for the first results show of the season, because an entire hour of fluff, recaps, dramatic musings by Ryan, and group singing are all I live for. So first last night we got the judges’ commenting on the initial round of the semi-finals–and all pretty much agree it was so-so. Kara says a few stood out: Stevie Wright and Casey Carlson in particular. I love when Biatch Kara tells it like it is. Then they go into an extended joke about judging one another’s “performance” “after the show”; apparently Kara is the new love interest for Simon–or so the producers would like us to believe. Until now, dutiful Paula always carried that burden with a few raunchy sex jokes thrown in every now and then. Here’s hoping this all leads to a catfight.
‘American Idol’ winner performs at UW-EC
As performers were being axed from the eighth season of the hit reality TV show “American Idol” on Fox Wednesday night, seventh season Idol winner David Cook was preparing to take the stage at UW-Eau Claire.
But Cook wasn’t prepping to play for a crowd of thousands in Zorn Arena. It was no matter that the men’s Blugolds basketball team already had that location secured.
Lines form to see Syesha sing at her home place
PALMETTO ‘ An hour before a fund-raising concert featuring …American Idol star Syesha Mercado was to begin, lines formed at the Manatee Convention and Civic Center.
…Everyone has welcomed me back with open arms. It really good to be here, she said at the center a couple hours before the show.
Tyler Perry Wants Jennifer Hudson to Star in His Film
Tyler Perry hopes Jennifer Hudson will continue performing ‘ and even star in a film he wrote specifically for her.
“I just wrote a movie for her that I’m really excited about, ” the filmmaker, 39, told PEOPLE Wednesday’s New York City premiere of Madea Goes to Jail, which opens to the public Friday. “I’m hoping she’ll be able to do it.”
FIRST LOOK: Katharine McPhee on CSI: NY
Katharine McPhee guest stars on an upcoming episode of CSI: NY playing ‘ what else ‘ a singer, and PEOPLE has an exclusive sneak peek. The American Idol Season 5 runner-up is pictured alongside the show’s star, Gary Sinise, at the Feb. 18 shoot on the CBS Radford Lot in Studio City, Calif. McPhee, 24, takes on the role of a crime victim who resorts to murder as revenge. The episode is set to air in mid-April on CBS. ‘ Marisa Laudadio
Caught! Keanu Reeves Shaves It, Works It
Kara DioGuardi, skipping out on her AI duties to hit a recording studio in Burbank. The songstress did have a job before Idol, folks. Another musician there said our girl Kar was even more “real and down to earth” than she seems on the tube but is much “edgier” in person. Guess edgy doesn’t go with the “normal” persona American Idol is trying to pitch us with DioGuardi. After a long day in the studio, K said she couldn’t wait to get a much-needed drink. Another girl who is supposedly staying away from the nastyass booze is ¦
‘Ain’t Misbehavin” is jazzy way to spend the night
There’s no mistake who the star of “Ain’t Misbehavin” °” is ¦ it’s the music.
The national tour, which plays at Kingsbury Hall until Feb. 22, stars “American Idol” ‘s Ruben Studdard, Trenyce Cobbins and Frenchie Davis, who had an understudy on opening night due to an illness. (There’s no word on when she’ll return.)
A revue of the music of Thomas “Fats” Waller (with a few other notables thrown in), “Ain’t Misbehavin” °” features more than 30 songs and is mainly a vehicle to showcase and salute a great American musical era.
Kellie, Kid Rock, Chuck: Beyond the Music
Kellie Pickler had a front-row seat right next to Paris Hilton during a show this week at Fashion Week in New York. Paris and Kellie were both sending text messages during the event, according to The New York Daily News, and Kellie was invited to Paris birthday party at the trendy Manhattan celeb hangout Butter. Kellie was so “fashion”-ably late that she never arrived at Butter.
Q&A with Melinda Doolittle
With the release of Coming Back to You, Melinda Doolittle completes the transition from backup singer to front woman. For her debut album, American Idol’s third-place finisher in Season 6 and producer Mike Mangini (best known for his work with Joss Stone) crafted an album that draws on classic R&B traditions and includes songs by the likes of Macy Gray, blues legend Robert Johnson and Tin Pan Alley great Sammy Cahn.
“We had so much fun doing it, ” says the 31-year-old singer, who returned to her home in Brentwood, Tenn., after her run on Idol. “I was hoping it was as much fun to listen to. Being able to work with Mike Mangini and have live instruments was an experience Ill never forget.”
Doolittle of ‘Idol’: Let me sing with Steven Tyler
NEW YORK ‘ When accomplished backup singer Melinda Doolittle auditioned for the sixth season of “American Idol, ” she told the judges she was there to “get over the fear of standing in front of people.”
On “Idol, ” Doolittle did more than learn to take the lead. She became a fan favorite and ended up in third place. Many said she should’ve won, including Simon Cowell.
Two years later, Doolittle is no longer anyone’s backup. Her first album “Coming Back to You” is in stores now.
In recent interview, the 31-year-old talked about her music, her “American Idol” background, and the “guilty pleasure” songs on her iPod.
Album Review: Freedom, Mandisa
Out from the American Idol shadows and into the forefront of modern gospel is Mandisa with her latest endeavor, Freedom. Freedom first single, …My Deliverer introduces us to this album as it a nice combination of pop, R&B, soul and rock with the chunky grooves, cranked up melodies and her voracious alto that soars out like an angel praising God as this track is almost like a party anthem, but is still suitable for a contemporary service. …How Much continued this runaway train of soft tones and chirping harmony from her backing vocalists as this cut is quite inspirational showering us with love.
‘Idol’ alum LaToya London in Toronto for ‘The Color Purple’ musical
TORONTO ‘ They were dubbed “the three divas” of “American Idol.”
Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia Barrino and LaToya London consistently brought down the house five years ago on Season Three, which Barrino ultimately won.
No crop of finalists since then has produced such a powerhouse female soul/R&B trio, surmises London, who is in Toronto playing Nettie in the smash touring production of “The Color Purple” musical.
“It just hasn’t, honestly, touched my season, I think. None of the seasons have, ” the singer-actress said Thursday in an interview.
Academy of Country Music Announces Events Surrounding the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards April 3-6, 2009 in Las Vegas
Julianne Hough, Toby Keith, Reba McEntire, Kellie Pickler, LeAnn Rimes, George Strait, Montgomery Gentry, Rascal Flatts & More Participate In ‘The Week Vegas Goes Country’
Divas Downtown on Fremont Street – Featuring performances by Julianne Hough, Kellie Pickler, and LeAnn Rimes, this free and open-to-the-public concert will begin at 6:30pm on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. Specific show times, additional performers and stage location to be announced at a later date.
Joan Baez talks ‘American Idol’: ‘You really can’t stop watching it once you start’
Nobody’s yet invited Joan Baez to be a voice coach on “American Idol, ” but one of the most celebrated singers of the last half century does have a word or two about the show. And as it happens, she sees it fairly regularly when she’s hanging out with her son and his family up in the Bay Area.
“My daughter-in-law loves that show, ” she told me during our recent chat in conjunction with her UCLA Live show tonight at Royce Hall. “It’s sort of funny … but you really can’t stop watching it once you start.”
“It all a little Hollywood in my thinking, ” she said. “It encourages the idea that you can get anything you want if you sing the right song at the right time; that the world will open for you. It’s hazardous suddenly to be thrown into the spotlight like that. It was hazardous for me, and at that time it was a much slower process.”
Fremantle picks up Original Prods.
FremantleMedia has landed a big catch in the nonscripted TV world.
The U.K.-based-FremantleMedia has laid out an estimated $50 million for a 75% stake in Original Prods., home of male-magnet cable hits such as “Deadliest Catch, ” “Ice Road Truckers” and “Ax Men.”
Deal calls for Original Prods. chief Thom Beers to continue as CEO of the shingle he founded in 1999. Beers, who owns the remaining 25% of Original, is known as a prolific creator and producer of reality-based shows focused on guy’s-guy occupations and pursuits such as deep-sea fishing, hazardous long-haul truck driving and logging.
X Factor searches for girlfriend for Simon Cowell
Executives for The X Factor are planning to create a programme to find a new love for Simon Cowell.
The 49-year-old has been a single man following his highly-publicised split from Terri Seymour in the autumn of 2008.
Show bosses plan to use The X Factor auditions to search for a potential new girlfriend for the music mogul, says the Star.
They will select suitable ladies to go on filmed dinner dates with the X Factor supremo and these will be shown on The Xtra Factor spin-off show.
Kara Dioguardi Doesn’t Watch or Read About ‘American Idol’
She’s the new judge on the block, but does Kara Dioguardi think she is doing well at the new gig? Well, she wouldn’t know ‘ she doesn’t listen to feedback.
“Well, I guess I hear it’s good. I try to not read too much because I don’t want to be affected by it and maintain my life. Im still writing and I work at a record label and a publishing company and I have my personal life, ” Dioguardi told Tarts at Friday’s MusicCares Pre-Grammy Dinner, adding that Simon Cowell is always “nice” to her and she wishes the now-infamous “Bikini Girl” the best with her future endeavors.
Speaking of bikini bods, it seems wannabe “Idols” need to accept being in shape is simply part of the package.