Who is your Entertainer of the Year?
For me, the first half of the entertainment year was defined by the David Cook-David Archuleta showdown on American Idol. Even thought my heart belonged to Carly Smithson and Jason Castro, it was the two Davids who gave us an epic, fan-mobilizing, household-dividing battle on par with Federer vs. Nadal, Coke vs. Pepsi, even chocolate vs. vanilla. And despite a million and one roadblocks from the show’s producers, the scruffy Midwestern rocker and the puppy-eyed teenage belter managed to make Idol’s seventh season a wildly addictive, and ultimately satisfying, viewing experience.
David Cook: On the scene at his ‘Light On’ video shoot
With his single “Light On” just starting to impact radio, and a debut album expected to chart big when it’s released next month, is it any wonder David Cook would need a venue the size of a football field for his first video? On Oct. 16, the reigning American Idol and his newly assembled band (pictured, left to right: Neal Tiemann, lead guitar; Joey Clement, bass; Kyle Peek, drums; Cook, vocals/guitar; Andy Skib, keyboards/guitar) took to the field at L.A. Valley College to film a performance clip for “Light On.”
Nigerian Songwriter/Producer Dapo Torimiro ”Quickly” Breaks Onto the R&B/Pop Music Scene With Hot New Songs for John Legend, Brandy and David Archuleta
Los AngeleYou probably haven’t heard of Nigerian-born songwriter/producer Dapo Torimiro, but that is about to change with the recent placement of high-profile singles on various top R&B/pop artists’ albums. The album release dates fall within weeks of each other, but Torimiro’s first break is placing the song ”Quickly” on five-time Grammy winner John Legend’s third studio album, EVOLVER, which will hit the streets on October 28. Featuring multi-platinum-selling artist Brandy, ”Quickly” has received early industry buzz as not only an inspired, sleek duet featuring R&B/pop music’s leading artists, but also as one of the album’s stand-out gems. Later this Fall 2008, Torimiro will also enjoy credit for other upcoming tracks, including ”Running” on David Archuleta’s self-titled debut album (11/11/08)
More Idol Headlines after the JUMP…
Have we reached the Idol saturation point?
I’m not sure what triggered this idea, and I make no claims of originality for it, but it is worth exploring, I think. There are 82 former Idol finalists, the vast majority of them still floating in some corner of the public eye (or should that be cornea?). The sales and download figures for the Davids, Jordin, Daughtry, Carrie, et al., certainly show we haven’t reached the point of no return, but have we instead reached the point of diminishing returns?
More Details Unfold for David Archuleta’s Debut
Sources who claim they are close to the action are starting to release details on tracks included on American Idol runner-up David Archuleta’s upcoming debut album. One of the tracks, “A Little Too Not Over You, ” has been leaked onto the Internet. Check it out below.
Archies beat the sunrise to meet their favorite “American Idol”
Before the sun came up this morning, dozens of girls and their mothers staked out a place in line, hoping to meet their “American Idol” favorite, runner-up David Archuleta, at the 106.1 KISS-FM office downtown.
Archuleta fans (dubbed “Archies” or “Arch Angels”) waited in the cold starting as early as 4:30 a.m., hours before the “meet and greet.” One pair even traveled from Oregon ‘ only to have their cab get into an accident on the way there from the hotel.
Obama On SNL?
(Update: A rep for the show calls the rumor “totally untrue” but, to be fair, rumors of the Palin appearance were initially denied. SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels told the Chicago Tribune last week, “I think, sooner or later, everyone will come through” before the election. So note the question mark in the headline, and proceed accordingly.)
Barack Obama to Meet David Cook on ‹SNL
Right-wing pundits have long charged that if America were to face a crisis under a Barack Obama administration, the Democratic presidential hopeful’s purportedly untested mettle and executive inexperience would become a liability. In a likely effort to prove that he can perform under pressure, the Illinois senator has allegedly signed on to guest on the November 1’s Saturday Night Live, the very same episode on which wrong-note-slinging American Idol winner David Cook will appear as the musical guest. If Obama can withstand the pitchiness without running from Rockefeller Center screaming and covering his ears, it is our firm belief that he will win the presidency.
Clive Party Is On!
Everyone in the music biz can breathe a sigh of relief: Clive Davis annual Grammy party is a ‹go!
When the Sony buyout of BMG forced Davis into his new emeritus role, many people in the music biz fretted that the famed mogul annual Grammy party would be no more.
What a relief! This year, Davis should have his usual raft of Grammy nominees including Alicia Keys, Leona Lewis, Jennifer Hudson, and Gavin DeGraw, and that just for starters. It would have been a huge buzz kill not to have had the festivities to celebrate these artists and others. One advantage to the new deal: Davis can invite non Sony BMG artists to perform.
Clay Aiken Announces Winning Writer of His Official Bio
His latest accomplishment is the announcement of the winner of the “Write Clay’s Playbill Biography Contest, ” which provided members of the singer’s fan club the opportunity to pen his official bio for program of the Tony-winning musical.
And the winner is: Jo-Anne Lopez of Carlsbad, Calif. Her publication-worthy prose (which takes into consideration the musical spoof’s humorous reference to Finland):
Tiki Barber, Terry Bradshaw, Chris Daughtry and Charlie Villanueva Top the List of Nation’s Favorite Bald Celebrities
Bald is definitely beautiful as Tiki Barber, Terry Bradshaw, Chris Daughtry and Charlie Villanueva top the list of favorite celebrities in EAGLE(TM) Snacks’ THE BALD AND THE BEAUTIFUL(TM) Sweepstakes. Thousands of Americans entered their nominations in phase one of the competition and the four finalists will now go head-to-head to earn top honors as the Nation’s most beautiful, bald entertainer. Live consumer voting to select a winner will commence now through November 6, 2008. Voters can visit the EAGLE(TM) Snacks Web site, http://www.enjoyeagle.com, and vote to see their favorite celebrity named the inaugural winner of THE BALD AND THE BEAUTIFUL(TM) Sweepstakes. Their entries also will qualify them for a chance to win not only delicious EAGLE(TM) Snacks’ products, but also a fun family getaway for four!
PLAYBILL.COM’S CUE & A: Constantine Maroulis
Constantine Maroulis ‘ who stars in the new Off-Broadway musical Rock of Ages ‘ fills out Playbill.com’s questionnaire with random facts, backstage trivia and pop culture tidbits.
The new mall in town: Tanger Outlet
The 59-year-old CEO of Tanger Outlet Centers, the newest of which will open in Deer Park tomorrow, clearly has good timing. Tanger Outlets at The Arches – (yup, lots of architectural arches – 800, 000 or so square feet modeled after a stucco Tuscan village complete with a fountain-cum-skating rink and a 16-screen Cineplex) debuts with about 70 stores (more to follow) as the Dow tanks, and the economy is pretty darn close to being the worst in history. But Tanger’s hoping that deep discounts and a special environment will trump economic woes.
We hear “American Idol” Jordin Sparks will sign autographs at 4 p.m. Friday, while bands Cheap Trick, the Gin Blossoms, Southside Johnny and LI rocker act The Nancy Atlas Project will perform.
John Rich and Big Kenny: Big & Rich Taking A Break, But Only From Each Other
Country star John Rich reports he and Big Kenny (Alphin) are taking a break from their group Big & Rich — but fans can expect new music next year. “We’ve done three Big & Rich albums right in a row with no breaks so we decided to take a break off of the road and out of the studio. I don’t know of any other artists out there that have worked as hard as we have the last five years and not taken a break.”
Fortunately for him, Rich has a lot to fall back on, including producing, which he has been doing a lot this year. “Jewel’s album came out, which I produced. It’s a really creative record that debuted at number one on the sales chart. I just produced a track for Kenny Rogers for his 50th anniversary album. To produce something on Kenny Rogers is like a lifetime achievement award for a record producer, ” he gushes. “I actually just produced two tracks on Ruben Studdard’s new record. I got to dabble with a little bit of R&B and give it a little country flair.
Simon Cowell’s ‘X-Factor’ threatened by radical Muslim Omar Bakri
A terror alert has rocked Simon Cowell’s UK series, “X-Factor.”
Producers on the “American Idol”-like talent show have increased security after Islamic radical cleric Omar Bakri took issue with the show’s support of injured British troops through its single “Hero, ” according to Britain’s Sun newspaper.
SIMON COWELL – COWELL’S X FACTOR SECURITY STEPPED UP
Music mogul SIMON COWELL has had his security on British reality TV show THE X FACTOR stepped up after the programme came under fire from Islamist extremists.
The talent contest was recently rapped by outspoken Islamist preacher Omar Bakri Muhammad, currently in Lebanon, who posted a rant on a Muslim website after the show’s finalists recorded a charity single to raise money for injured British troops.
‘Dancing With the Stars’: Swingtown
I wonder if, a few years ago, Warren Sapp could have imagined that a sexy Australian dancer babe would one day chirp at him to ”Do the hustle!” ‘ you know, instead of a gnarly coaching staff barking gruffly at him in unison to, like, literally hustle. I bet he’d have retired a lot sooner. Last night, Dancing With the Stars introduced four new dances ‘ the hustle, the West Coast swing, the salsa, and the jitterbug ‘ to the ballroom. DANCMSTR Len Goodman had warned us last week that the judges would be emphasizing performance over technique. That was nice for them, but with only a half-baked explanation of the new dances from DANCMSTR, involving the footwork-unspecific terms ”oooooooooooh” and ”zowie wowie, ” we viewers didn’t really know what we were looking at, or for, with these performances. (Then again, honestly ¦do we ever?)
Lance Bass Laughs Off DWTS Spill
Lance Bass isn’t bothered that he slipped while performing the West Coast Swing on Monday’s Dancing With the Stars.
“I am so used to falling on stage that it doesn’t even faze me anymore, ” he told Usmagazine.com after the show. “I’ve had 10 years of falling down, so I’ve done a lot of worse than that!”
Monday Dancing: What You Didnt See
Lip Service: Maurice Greene and Cheryl Burke wowed the crowd and the judges with a saucy salsa performance that earned them their highest score of the season. …I wanted to come out and own the dance because the judges felt I wasnt owning my dances and taking charge, said Greene, explaining why he threw a smooch in the judges direction during his dance number. …That was when I just looked at them, blew them a kiss to tell them Im in control with this. I got this!
‘Dancing With the Stars’: Back to the Future
On last night’s Dancing With the Stars results show, the ever-subtle Samantha Harris warned, ”Someone is in for a maaaaaaaaaajor disappointment.” She meant Toni Braxton, but she may as well have been talking about us viewers, as we settled in for yet another hour of fluffy, at one point vaguely ”futuristic, ” filler. Not to mention, I’m sure many of you are disappointed Cloris Leachman gets to stick around instead of Toni. It’s laughable, really, which is the chief reason Cloris is still in: She makes people chuckle. More power to her; we all know the show’s not really about ballroom talent. On a positive note, Dancing With the Stars will forever be known as the one who literally unbroke Toni Braxton’s heart. You heard her. She can breathe again! Probably because she’s no longer walking around in a beaded fringe bikini.
‘Dancing With the Stars’: The West Coast swing, the hustle, the salsa and the jitterbug
When you have a show that attracts 20 million or more viewers, like …Dancing With the Stars does, youre probably presented with a conundrum: How do you keep the show fresh (so that the 20 million viewers wont get bored) while not messing with whatever it is that makes all those people watch so devotedly in the first place? I suppose adding Cloris Leachman to the cast is one tactic. Another is tinkering with the dancing, which is what we saw Monday night, when each couple was assigned one of four completely new dance styles: the West Coast swing, the hustle, the salsa or the jitterbug. Because eight couples remained in contention, this meant that each dance was performed by two couples, back to back for ease of comparison.