“American Idol” producer hit with lawsuit
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Former employees have filed a class-action lawsuit against “American Idol” producer FremantleMedia North America.
The suit alleges that the company systematically overworked employees without paying the required overtime, falsified time cards and denied staffers meals and rest periods.
“There’s no Hollywood glamour for the below-the-line people who work on ‘American Idol’ and other reality shows who are grossly underpaid, worked 24/7 and receive no rest or meal breaks and no health coverage — contrary to California labor laws, ” said the plaintiffs’ attorney Jonathan Biddle.
THE new “Judges’ Save” rule that gives “American Idol” judges a one-time-only veto over America’s vote got its first full-blown test this week.
And it passed with flying colors, despite not being used to save a contestant.
“The Judges’ Save is creating an enormously raw moment on the show, ” Fox exec Mike Darnell told Ryan Seacrest on his LA radio show yesterday morning, “better than we had imagined.
More Idol Headlines after the JUMP…
Alexis Grace: ‘It Just Wasn’t My Night’
In the semifinals, Simon Cowell compared her to Kelly Clarkson. He called her a dark horse. One to watch. Alexis Grace seemed to be cruising toward a solid spot in the American Idol season 8 competition. But then the petite powerhouse vocalist performed Dolly Parton’s ”Jolene.” And just like that, she was sent packing. Here’s what the single mom from Memphis had to say about her premature departure.
President Obama Compares Washington, D.C. To ‹American Idol
President Barack Obama appearance on …The Tonight Show Thursday was memorable for many reasons, including the way he compared life in Washington, D.C. to being on …American Idol ‘ with everyone being Simon!
American Idol Shows How Not-Fixed It Is With Meanest-Ever Elimination
Well, if the rumors were true, and American Idol is fixed and producers had been secretly pulling for an Alexis-Danny finale, alas, they won’t get their wish. Not only was Alexis Grace voted off last night without being rescued, but Idol offed her in what was surely one of the most brutal dismissals in the show’s history.
We figured the new “Judges’ Save” rule would make these results-shows ugly, but Ryan Seacreast and the judges seemingly went out of their way last night to make things even more unpleasant than necessary.
“American Idol” Throws The Conspiracy Theorists Off The Scent
One day after word had surfaced that someone was going around saying that the Final Four for this season of American Idol was already a lock’ and that said pool would consist of Danny “I Love My Dead Wife And Jesus” Gokey, Adam “Jake Shears” Lambert, Lil “J.” Rounds, and Alexis “Like Christina Aguilera But Somehow Even Smaller” Grace’ one of those four got booted from the show. The mom Alexis Grace, whose awkward but not awful version of “Jolene”on Tuesday night was bookended by an interview in which she was forced to talk about fallout from a judges’ tiff and a strangely quiet, sullen reaction when her own singing got critiqued, was last night’s victim, meaning that she won’t be going on the tour this summer, nor will she be belting out Motown songs next week.
Which ‘American Idol’ rivals have the best shot to win awards?
Let’s forget for a moment who has the best shot to win “American Idol.” Who among the live show participants has the best chance to go on and contend for the top showbiz awards?
Remember that Jennifer Hudson only came in seventh place in Season 3, but went on win the Oscar, Golden Globe, SAG, Critics Choice, BAFTA and New York Film Critics Circle awards for her performance in “Dreamgirls” as well as best R&B album at the recent Grammys for her debut disc “Jennifer Hudson.”
Season 3 champ Fantasia recorded a R&B duet with Hudson ‘ “I’m His Only Woman” ‘ that contended at those Grammys. Fantasia earned four Grammy nominations in 2006 for her first album (“Free Yourself”) and three more in 2008 for her second (“Fantasia”). She has three Billboard Awards, including the prize for top-selling single of 2004 (“I Believe”).
Advice to the American Idol Top 10
If you tuned in last night — and before the overnight ratings are even announced, I’m thinking that a lot of you did (taping Lost, like I did) — you know now that we are down to the American Idol Top 10. These are the ten who will be touring the country doing American Idol concerts later this year and one of these contestants will be the next big AI winner. The next Kelly or Carrie or Clay (oh, wait, he didn’t win).
So, who has the best chance and what does he or she have to do to get to the winner’s circle? I’ve a prescription for each one of them — free, unsolicited advice based on how the judges’ view them and, more importantly, how the American public might be rating them.
‘American Idol’ stars light up Motown
It’s not the first time somebody walked wide-eyed into the little house, hoping to walk out a big star.
And Thursday certainly wasn’t the first time Berry Gordy Jr. sensed the rush of young vitality and ageless dreams, ready to be channeled into something that makes the world sing along.
The energy that used to pour out of Motown came pouring back in Thursday morning, as “American Idol” brought its cast, crew and heaps of buzz to the Motown Historical Museum. For Detroit, the real heroes showed up a half-hour later, when Gordy and best friend Smokey Robinson arrived at the house on West Grand Boulevard to coach the show’s finalists through Motown classics.
‘American Idol’ contestants arrive in Detroit
DETROIT ‘ The road to potential stardom for “American Idol” finalists led them to Motown’s famed Hitsville USA.
The contestants on the popular Fox singing competition came to Studio A ‘ the room at the Motown Historical Museum that once served as Motown Records hit-making factory. They worked with label founder Berry Gordy Jr. and singer Smokey Robinson on the Motown classics, and to film segments that will air on the show next Wednesday.
Among the hopefuls was Michigan native Matt Giraud, a 23-year-old dueling piano player from Kalamazoo.
American Idol Finalists Party in Motown – Matt Giraud Shows them Around?
Adam Lambert, Anoop Desai, Scott MacIntyre, Allison Iraheta, Kris Allen, Matt Giraud and the other finalists were in Detroit today filming segments with legendary music exec Berry Gordy Jr. — and Smokey Robinson!
Man, how cool is that; getting to hang out with Smokey Robinson, who’s up there with Bob Dylan in terms of having written a bunch of classic songs that either he sang himself, or became famous with someone else singing them. Like “Tears of a Clown, ” “The Way You Do the Things You Do, ” and “My Girl.”
American Idol Makers Want to Boot BitTorrent Users Off the Internet
And you thought Simon Cowell was mean: American Idol head honcho Tony Cohen wants to cut off your Internet access if youre downloading his show. Cohen, CEO of the UK-based Idol production company FremantleMedia, told the audience of the Changing Media Summit in London today that he supports so-called …three strikes plans to disconnect repeat infringers from the Net, according to PaidContent UK.
The three strikes approach has many proponents within the music industry, and it fits in nicely with FremantleMedia approach to date. The company has been pretty stingy with licensing Idol videos online, forcing sites like YouTube to remove or mute videos of Idol performances. Even Hulu, which is partially owned by the American Idol TV network FOX, has been left in the cold. Cohen apparently has other plans for the …Idol franchise: He told his audience in London that users should pay up to watch streams of the show.
American Idol’s Megan Joy has a Porn Counterpart
Uh-oh. Maybe American Idol top 10-er Megan Joy Corkrey was too quick to lose her last name and go by just Megan Joy.
See, there is another cute, young blonde who goes by the same first two names in the entertainment industry…the adult entertainment industry.
That’s right. Porn star Megan Joy has appeared in dozens of triple-X films including, get this, Desperate Housewhores 7, Sorority Sex Kittens: Kappa Kappa Sex and Cheerleader Auditions 6.
Tour Tracker: David Cook, Rod Stewart and 50 Cent & Fall Out Boy
David Cook American Idol victory parade adds more shows to its Spring run of universities; Rod Stewart goes out on tour (sadly, without the Faces) and 50 Cent reveals what dates hell be opening for Fall Out Boy. The itineraries for all three treks are after the jump ¦
Clarkson returns to form with new CD
I really wanted to like Kelly Clarkson’s last album.
I admired how she told her record company that she was in control and she was going to make the album she wanted to make. She was going to give it a darker, more artistic feel.
She did all that, but it didn’t really work for her. As much as I wanted her to succeed in her artistic explorations I had to admit that Kelly Clarkson is not cut out to be a dark, rocker girl. She’s a power-pop princess and few do it as well as her.
So as much as I might not want to admit it, I’m glad to see Clarkson back doing what she does best: catchy, melodic, powerful and beautiful pop music.
Album Reviews: The Distance by Taylor Hicks
Refusing to commit to a location is Taylor Hicks’ M.O. on The Distance. The salt-and-pepper haired winner of American Idol, Season Five, has parted ways with J and Arista, the labels that handle the recording contracts of theIdols, but that hasn’t razzled, shaken or knocked Hicks off his game. The husky crooner dabbles in pop, blues, country, soul, gospel, Latin and classic rock throughout the whole of The Distance. He’s even a balladeer commenting on the Iraq War on the album. By avoiding the trappings of “genre-fication, ” Hicks is able to be everything to everyone and that’s the cultural touchstone upon which American Idol is able to succeed.
Cops Drunk Chicks and Taylor Hicks
The drama started after Taylor’s show at the Roxy — which the “American Idol” WINNER(?) performed in front of an audience of people who got their tickets for free because nobody would pay actual money for them.
The cops came, the cops helped a drunk chick, and then the cops got back in their car, flipped on the sirens and chased after something else. It was super intense, but we only caught bits of it … because, for some completely unknown reason, our guy thought keeping the camera on Taylor Hicks would provide better material.
Even Taylor Hicks knew Taylor Hicks couldn’t compete with that.
Taylor Hicks all night long
Taylorhicks250 “American Idol” Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks put on a show at the Roxy Theatre on Wednesday night, performing a long set with energetic charisma, reminiscent of Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, who I saw play the same stage nearly seven years ago. With Candance Devine opening, the place was relatively full, despite the bumpy run-up the show had with free tickets being given away on goldstar.com. Hicks was scheduled to start at 10 p.m., and by 10:19 p.m. with no sight of him, fans began chanting “Taylor! Taylor! Taylor!” The curtain rose several minutes later.
He opened with “The Distance, ” the title track from his latest album, which was released March 10. Dressed in a black shirt, black blazer and jeans, Hicks looked slender and handsome onstage. With his “Soul Patrol” guitar strap, backing band of six and a fellow “Idol” alum, Season 7’s Michael Johns, in the crowd supporting him, Hicks was ready to party all night long.
Mandisa: True freedom found in God
Gospel performer Mandisa defines herself not by the world standards, but God, and said she has finally discovered what freedom means. Her sophomore album …Freedom, available on March 24, is a testimony to her struggles with food and deliverance from her addiction. After five weeks, the first single, …My Deliverer is number 16 on Billboard Christian Adult Contemporary chart. …Lose my Soul, her collaboration with Toby Mac and Kirk Franklin is at number eight.
Ex-‘Idol’ singer Mandisa is still the ‘total package’
If you’re a fan of the TV talent competition “American Idol, ” then you’ve heard the judges describe an artist as being the “total package.” One artist that description fits is “Idol” alumna Mandisa.
Mandisa exudes those characteristics – a great voice, image and humble attitude – on and off the stage. And she is becoming a great role model as she lives her faith through her music.
Since season five of “Idol, ” just three years ago, Mandisa has used her powerful voice to chill our souls and load our digital players with songs of joy and hope. She combines soul, gospel, funk, praise and worship and pop in a mixture I predict will stand the test of time. Her music can bring you to your feet in joy or down on your knees in prayer.
‘Idols’ on tour: 4 finalists to perform at AMT
Anyone who thinks “American Idol” is in the business of discovering new talent is terribly mistaken. And we have that from an inside source.
Phil Stacey, one of the final 10 contestants from season 6 of the popular show, says almost everyone who makes it to Hollywood has already been performing for years.
“A lot of people think that “American Idol” is the elevator to stardom, but it definitely is not, ” he says. But he concedes that it does take hopefuls to higher floors ‘ faster ‘ than they would have reached climbing the ladder rung by rung.
Catching up with Gina Glocksen
We chatted with Gina Glocksen, one of the pioneers of “American Idol’s” rocker girl category last week as she took a break from rehearsing for her 15-city American Stars in Concert tour.
Catching up with Chikezie
We chatted with Chikezie, one of the bright lights of “American Idol’s” Season 7, last week as he took a break from rehearsing for his 15-city American Stars in Concert tour.
Catching up with Melinda Doolittle
We chatted with “Idol” giant Melinda Doolittle last week as she took a break from rehearsing for her 15-city American Stars in Concert tour.
Catching up with Phil Stacey
We chatted with “Idol” great and L.A. Times blogger Phil Stacey last week as he took a break from rehearsing for his 15-city American Stars in Concert tour.
Society of Seven returns to Vegas
Finally! Society of Seven will return to the Las Vegas stage this spring with an added surprise. Season three “American Idol” finalist Jasmine Trias will join the Hawaiian-bred group April 10 to 12 when they take over the Suncoast Showroom.
“Suncoast is our favorite place in Las Vegas, and we’ve always wanted to perform in its showroom, ” said Tony Ruivivar of Society of Seven. “This engagement gives our local fans, who have supported us through the years, the chance to see us in a familiar and comfortable location close to home.”
Steve-O Talks About His Future On ‘Dancing With The Stars’
Thanks to Belinda Carlisle going home Steve-O has lived to dance another day on “Dancing With the Stars.” But, it’s been a rough ride so far for the MTV star, who in just his second week of dancing has already been injured.
“I’m gonna be fine, ” he told “Access Hollywood” regarding an injury he suffered before getting the chance to dance on the show Monday evening. Although he didn’t get a chance to dance ‘ and despite only receiving a 14-out-30 score from the judges based on a rehearsal performance ‘ Steve-O is still in the competition.
Melissa: ‘DWTS’ No Bed of Roses
The rose ceremonies during Jason Mesnick’s stint as “The Bachelor” were nerve-wracking for Melissa Rycroft — but nowhere near as scary as the dance-offs during “Dancing with the Stars”!
Rycroft confessed that the elimination format in “DWTS” is “definitely” more nerve-wracking than facing Jason and his limited number of roses.