A Conversation with Carrie Underwood
With her wavy blond hair, button nose, and pearly smile, Carrie Underwood, 24, looks like she just stepped off the cover of a 1980s Sweet Valley High paperback. Raised on a farm in tiny Checotah, Oklahoma, she went to Northeastern State University, where she studied journalism and became a sorority girl. Given her All-American background, the last thing you’d expect this Southern sweetheart to be is surprising. Which is exactly why it was so fun to see her belt out a cheesy rock ballad during the fourth season of Idol and strut out on stage at the 2006 American Music Awards wearing what looked like a shredded prom dress with a pair of shorts. But the most striking thing about Underwood has to be those killer pipes.
Idol in TV Guide
In a cover story for next week TV Guide, Simon admitted that season six was a letdown. …Last year just wasnt good enough, he said. Even Paula said, …I dont remember hardly anyone (from) last year. Ken Warwick: …There was not quite the buzz or magic. We all knew that, eh?
Paula and Simon repeat that it going to be a stronger season than last year. That wouldnt seem like too tough of a stretch. Simon also says he hates contestants who are not in it to win it all. (Blake said he didnt care if he won or not. Chris Sligh said he was happy to make it on tour by landing in the top 10.)
More Idol Headlines After the Jump
Tucsonan describes hot, brutal auditions for ‘American Idol’
While thousands of Tucsonans headed to San Diego for a little fun in the sun last summer, Star Bello was on a quest for fame and fortune. In late July, Bello, along with her sister, mother and grandmother, packed into her boyfriend’s truck and drove to the coast, where Bello auditioned for Season 7 of “American Idol” at Qualcomm Stadium.
The 19-year-old caregiver, who grew up singing in church groups with her mom, didn’t make it to Hollywood, but she had plenty to say about the three-ring circus audition process.
Paula Abdul kicks off ‹Idol with a meltdown
With only a week to go before the new season of …American Idol, little things like airport meltdowns from judges ‘ specifically Paula Abdul ‘ become very newsworthy.
…She had an insane nervous breakdown that lasted 10 minutes, a tipster told Radaronline.com of a scene at the Continental Airlines terminal at LAX over the holidays.
…One minute she was hyperventilating and on the verge of passing out; the next she was yelling into her cell phone in this deep, rage-filled ‹Poltergeist voice. She kept screaming three names over and over ‘ Michael, Sidney and Leslie. Everyone was staring at her, but she didnt care.
Another ‘Idol’ Exit: McPhee Leaves RCA
Katharine McPhee has joined fellow “American Idol” contestants Taylor Hicks and Ruben Studdard as former members of the Sony BMG family. The artist has parted ways with RCA after a solitary album, a 2007 self-titled affair that debuted at No. 2 on The Billboard 200.
A label source confirmed McPhee’s departure, which was first reported by Entertainment Weekly.
McPhee struggled to connect with a wide audience with her debut, which was led by the single “Over It.” That track topped out at No. 22 on Billboard’s Top 40 Mainstream chart and No. 29 on the Hot 100. The album has sold just 366, 000 units in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Radiohead Nudges Blige From Atop Album Chart
Further down the chart, Elliott Yamin’s “Sounds of the Season” EP, a Target exclusive, rockets 123-32 after selling 23, 000 units. The set was sold at a bargain basement price last week as part of a promotion for similarly titled projects. KT Tunstall’s installment re-enters the chart at No. 92 after a 176% gain to 10, 000.
‘Dancing with the Stars, ‘ Chris Daughtry win People’s Choice Awards
Dancing with the Stars and American Idol fifth-season finalist Chris Daughtry were both honored during last night’s pre-taped broadcast of the 34th annual People’s Choice Awards on CBS.
The Idol fifth-season third-place finisher saw his band Daughtry win the award for Favorite Rock Song with “Home, ” a ballad that served as background music for Idol sixth-season eliminations. “Home” defeated “Hey There Delilah” by Plain White T’s and “Makes Me Wonder” by Maroon 5.
“We’re very, very honored to be accepting this award from the people, ” said Daughtry, who received the award via satellite with his fellow band mates. “You’re the reason we do what we do and why we’re able to do what we do, so thank you very much.”
Tours wont carry Carrie home ‘ yet
Underwood teams with Josh Turner, Keith Urban for separate tours
If you want to see Carrie Underwood in either of her two national tours this winter or spring, a road trip might be in order.
Starting in February, Underwood will launch the Carnival Ride Tour, with special guest Josh Turner.
That tour will intertwine with her co-headlining tour with Keith Urban. That tour, the Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Carnival Ride Tour, launches Jan. 31 in Uncasville, Conn.
Medical Experts Rap Network, say no, no, no to Voyeristic Therapy
VH1 unscripted reality show about drug and alcohol rehabilitation could leave viewers with a bad buzz, according to some members of Boston medical community.
In …Celebrity Rehab (Thursday night at 10), Dr. Drew Pinsky, a celeb-friendly addiction expert, attempts to lead Brigitte Nielsen, Joanie …Chyna Laurer, Jeff Conaway, Daniel Baldwin, Mary Carey, Jessica Sierra, Jaimee Foxworth and Seth …Shifty Binzer down the path to sobriety on national television.
…Im not sure that is a good idea, said John Kelly, associate director of the Center for Addiction Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.
…My gut feeling is it (the presence of cameras) may create a set of false circumstances that may unduly change the subjects behavior, Kelly said.
INQUIRER EXCLUSIVE ‹American Idol 08
MANILA, Philippines’ The search for the next …American Idol resumes as Season 7 starts airing next week. But the sailing may not be as smooth as before.
Aside from the ratings dip last season, there was the lackluster debut of albums by eventual winner Jordin Sparks and runner-up Blake Lewis. These have raised concerns that AI may have peaked and thus, the show could further spiral down in popularity. (See related story below.)
This year edition also has to confront the ongoing strike against the networks by the Writers Guild of America.
But in a recent conference call, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe seemed undaunted by said kinks. He told members of the international press’ including only the Inquirer for the Philippines’ that, as long as there strong talent on the show, AI would continue to win audiences.
Expect the unexpected this year
MANILA, Philippines’ Surprises are in store in the seventh season of the reality talent search …American Idol, which has moved from ABC 5 to QTV 11 for its local broadcast.
QTV is airing AI two-night premiere on Jan. 16 and 17 at 6 p.m., with replays that same night and in the weekends. QTV mother station, GMA 7, will air the local version, …Pinoy Idol, in April.
In an exclusive interview, Joey Abacan, GMA 7 vice president for program management, described AI as the Kapuso network …biggest acquisition.
American Idol – The search for the next winner begins Tuesday
For American Idol fans, the wait is finally over.
Season 7 of the Fox powerhouse kicks off Tuesday and will keep America guessing until the finale in late May.
It all starts with auditions, a chance to see the good, the bad and the truly ugly.
Listen, the first shows have provided some of the most entertaining moments in …American Idol history.
Remember how William Hung parlayed his rendition of Ricky Martin …She Bangs into a performance that had the whole world talking? Or that red-haired guy last year who left us all speechless with his version of …Bohemian Rhapsody?
It used to be when people started to embarrass themselves, wed quickly change the channel. But now viewers cant get enough and thanks to YouTube and other sites on the Internet, those auditions end up preserved forever. So much for 15 minutes of fame.
American Idol Deserves to be Idolized for Its Legacy
Less than a week and counting until the next season of American Idol. Whew, just in time! I need my Idol fix.
But it seems like every time I tell someone I’m excited about the start of the next season, I’m met with sighs, rolling eyes, and an occasional “Whatever, dude.”
It’s becoming fashionable to bash A.I. these days. I can’t say I’m totally surprised. The show has started to slip into a comfort zone of sorts. I mean, on more than one occasion last season, I thought Simon was being mean just for the sake of it. He has obviously embraced his character. And Paula Abdul has gone from being cute and quirky to obnoxious, bizarre and possibly alcohol-impaired.
Still, you can’t deny what American Idol has done for reality TV. The same way Survivor is the grandfather of countless “vote-you-out-of-the-tribe” type reality programs, Idol has spawned its own genre within a genre. Just think of all the current talent competition shows that owe their very existence to American Idol.
‹Idol back with clearer focus, little competition
In past years, …American Idol usually pulled more than 25 million viewers a night. This season, which begins Jan. 15 against competition ravaged by the seemingly never-ending writers strike, just imagine how high those numbers might climb.
Those heady possibilities were clearly on …Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe mind during a conference call with reporters last month.
…There will be very little else on, other than repeats, Lythgoe said.
While the dearth of competition bodes well for …Idol, there were signs last year that the juggernaut was losing steam. Ratings edged downward, and two former …Idol winners ‘ Ruben Studdard and Taylor Hicks ‘ were reportedly dropped by their record labels.
…Im not into jumping sharks on this program, Lythgoe said. …If we lost 50 percent of our audience tomorrow, wed still be the biggest show on television.
Good grief! It’s ‘Idol’ time again Changes aimed at boosting interest are not all good
Also, in a bizarre decision, “Idol” will put its mentor list on a diet, using fewer music celebs (or Jennifer Lopez) to shepherd the finalists, focusing instead on the novices’ personalities.
Perhaps I’m in the minority, but I’ll always be more interested in what Brian May of Queen, Gwen Stefani or, heck, even Peter Noone has to say than listening to some yokel from the heartland drone on Sparksabout how blessed he is to be on the show.
TRUST SIMON AFTER SIX SEASONS, ‘IDOL’ CONTESTANTS ARE STILL ARGUING
Cowell also had some advice for fallen star Britney Spears. “She’s welcome to call me anytime, ” he said. “It looks to me at the moment that she’s out of control, and she’s got to have someone in her life who she’s got to listen to.”
He revealed that “Idol” will have a new set and also that some contestants will get a chance to demonstrate talents other than singing.
“[The producers] tried a couple of bits and pieces in the Hollywood rounds having people play instruments, ” he said, “which wasn’t particularly a good thing or a bad thing.”
Ultimately, he said, “I don’t think it made too much difference.”
Simon says he’s always right
This year will be different, Cowell vows.
“On all these types of competitions you get great years, and you get not-so-great years. The good news is, from what we’ve seen of the audition shows, this is a much better season than last year. I think, personally, that this is one of the strongest years we’ve had in a long, long time. It is younger. I think the talent is more current. They’re more interesting as people. So, I’m going into this season a lot more optimistic certainly than I was last year.”
Of course, that’s what American Idol’s judges always say, right?
Not true, Cowell insists, with a flash of indignation.
Simon Cowell: It’s best ‘American Idol’
As for the notion that “American Idol” has lost some luster over the years, Cowell disagrees.
“It’s an incredible vehicle for people who want to be successful and under normal circumstances can’t get a record deal for some reason, ” Cowell said. “The idea of Carrie Underwood wandering around without a record deal is staggering. … You look at shows like ‘American Idol’ and ‘Dancing With the Stars, ‘ which I consider to be two of the superbrands, these two shows, in my mind, seem to be getting better over the years.”
Nows the Time to Pay Rent a Visit
For a musical theater brat growing up in the 90s, …Rent was at the center of everything. Jonathan Larson rock opera was a clarion call to outcasts everywhere to strike out into the great unknown and to look really cool doing it. …What You Own was our anthem, …La VieBoheme our cultural lexicon.
When it first hit Broadway, the show was something new, even though it was based on a century-old opera. With its racy content, rock vibe and plain-faced activism, …Rent broke through walls and ushered in a new era of musicals.
Nearly 12 years since it first hit Broadway and now in its seventh time through Boston, …Rent is a different beast. It toured the world, been turned into a movie and seen more celebrity castings than I care to count. But dulled though its edges may be by popularity, …Rent is still fun to watch.
Spirit of musical transcends time Rent is back, better than ever
All kidding aside, Rent is a fantastic whirlwind of a musical, with contemporary issues and nontraditional characters. The show demands high energy and emotion from its characters at nearly all times, and this cast delivers the goods. Every single member is extremely talented vocally, and interestingly, two of them are American and South African Idol alums. There is a lot of vocalization by the cast, and they all had the voices to do it well, though sometimes it came off as a little overdramatic. Most interesting was the part of Tom Collins being played by a tenor, Anwar Robinson, as the part is usually sang in a deep bass voice. This change added a unique dimension to this tour of the show.