Update on Luke Menard
Luke Menard has a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving, as he is now cancer-free and feeling better than he has in years.
Having received twelve rounds of chemotherapy, there are no cancerous cells detected in Luke’s body. Unfortunately, the hard part isn’t necessarily over, as he is now set to receive radiation treatments once a day, five times a week, for the next month as a preventative measure.
While most people in the midst of chemotherapy treatments would probably slow down, this was not the case for Luke. Wanting to strike while the AI iron was hot, Luke drove to Nashville in between chemo treatments to begin working on a solo album in the Christian Contemporary genre. While his family thought he was crazy for doing this, Luke’s doctor gave him the “all clear” for the Nashville trips, and so Luke continued to do so until he recorded about half of an album. Toward the end of the treatments, it simply became too difficult to manage. However, Luke is not deterred. In fact, he is hoping to move to Nashville in January or February in order to shop the album around to several labels. Interestingly enough, he worked with season six’s Chris Sligh, as Chris is enjoying success in the Christian music realm himself. Luke says the album is very piano-driven and has a kind of a “British pop” feel to it.
Fox Cooks Up First ‹Idol Promo With Show Winner
For the first time, Fox is using a former …American Idol to promote a new season of its monster hit.
Reigning …Idol David Cook has filmed a promotional spot for the show that will begin airing this week, Fox marketing chief Joe Earley told TVWeek.
Mr. Earley said the ad begins with the singer about to go on-stage to perform his new single, …Light On. After rewinding through images of his current life’ limos, parties, paparazzi’ Mr. Cook is seen lying in bed, dreaming about how his …Idol voyage began.
Viewers then see clips from Mr. Cook appearances on the show, including …Idol judge Paula Abdul asking him, …Are you the next ‹American Idol?
…He then steps on-stage, and when he starts singing, you get that rush, Mr. Earley said.
The spot with Mr. Cook is one of several Fox is planning to air over the holiday weekend as it gears up promotion for the Jan. 13 return of …Idol.
DWTS’ Derek Hough and Warren Sapp: No Rumble!
Dancing With the Stars’ Derek Hough and Warren Sapp exchanged words during rehearsals for Tuesday’s finale – but not blows. TMZ.com reported that Sapp threw Hough against a wall after getting into a fight when the former NFL star arrived late to rehearsals. But an on-set source tells Usmagazine.com, “They are friends, and it got blown way out of proportion.” Asked about tension, Sapp told Us, “Ask Derek, ” before talking away. But Lance Bass told Us that though he heard Sapp punched Hough, “that is definitely not a possibility, no way!
“It was probably a 30-second fight, ” he added. “I don’t know, things happen.”
More Idol Headlines after the Jump…
Radio Suffering Through Worst Year Since 1954
Like pretty much every other industry during a recession (except maybe the alcohol and fast food sectors), terrestrial radio is seeing record declines in 2008, with the entire industry having its worst year financially since 1954. Revenues are off seven percent from last year numbers, and 2008 marks the eighth consecutive struggling year for the industry. To put things in perspective, things havent been this bad since the main attraction beaming to antennas was The Lone Ranger and Joseph McCarthy hearings against supposed Communists and the Dodgers were still in Brooklyn. Things are somewhat more optimistic in the small markets, where radio has seen their revenues grow by 0.6% over the last 20 months. In the bigger markets, however, the market has lost 4 percent of revenue monthly. One cant fully blame satellite radio for the downturn, as SiriusXM has its own struggles as its stock currently hovers at the 17 cents mark at press time.
LONG ‘TIME’: David Cook’s reign on the Adult Contemporary chart with “The Time of My Life” (19/RCA) has gone into double digits, making him one of 15 solo male artists to rule this survey for 10 weeks or more since the chart began in 1961.
Cook is the only male artist to have a song advance to No. 1 on the AC chart in 2008. The last song by a solo male to top this survey was Josh Groban’s “I’ll Be Home for Christmas, ” which began a three-week stay on the throne the week of Dec. 22, 2007.
Beyonce’s ‘Fierce’ Debut Leads Pre-Turkey Day Chart
Nickelback’s “Dark Horse” trots in at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 this week with 326, 000. That’s actually slightly more than what its last set, 2005’s “All the Right Reasons, ” began with (325, 000) when it landed at No. 1 . . . “American Idol” winner David Cook sees his self-titled freshman album start at No. 3 with 280, 000. “Idol” runner-up David Archuleta slips 2-11 with his eponymous debut. In its second week, the album shifted 66, 000 (down 64%).
David Archuleta Massacres David Cook on Albums Chart
The numbers are in! Last Wednesday, rightful American Idol winner David Archuleta posted first-week sales of 183, 000 for his masterful debut record David Archuleta, landing the coveted No. 2 position on the Billboard 200. This morning it was announced that David Cook, Archuleta’s balder, pitchier nemesis, managed to unload 280, 000 copies of his new CD last week, which was only good enough for an abysmal No. 3 placement on today’s chart ‘ embarrassing! Better luck next time, Cook!
David Cook Soars to the Top of the Charts
…Light On, ” the first single from the album, has been dominating the AOL Top 40 Songs chart at #1 for the past 6 weeks and is currently #1 on the ClearChannel On Demand Chart. It was also the #1 gainer at adult radio and debuted as the breakout track on this week American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest. In late September, …Light On premiered on AOL Music pop culture news site, PopEater.com, receiving over 1 million plays in less than week.
The ClearChannel premiere of the Wayne Isham directed …Light On video became their best performing video premiere ahead of Linkin Park, The Eagles and Ne-Yo.
The American Idol single …The Time Of My Life (which is featured as a bonus track on David Cook) has reached platinum status with over 1 million tracks sold.
Exclusive: David Archuleta Reveals His Second Single
For all you hardcore David Archuleta fans out there, here a quick scoop before Thanksgiving. I met up with David and his incredibly sweet mother, Lupe Archuleta, just yesterday’check out our matching scarf action in this photo!’and the pop star revealed that …Touch My Hand will no longer be his next single, as many outlets have been reporting:
Teen Takeover! The Year’s Hottest (and Youngest) Stars
Though he was the runner-up to American Idol season 7 winner David Cook, the quiet teen with the big voice has a rabid fan base ‘ dubbing themselves “Archies.” “It’s pretty cool, ” says the singer, who recently released his self-titled debut album and first single, “Crush””. “People put the time and effort into making signs for you with your name and pictures on it! I do appreciate it.”
25 Best Celeb Quotes This Year
“I just want to say, it’s not bad to wear a promise ring, because not everyone, guy or girl, wants to be a slut.”
‘ Jordin Sparks, addressing the night’s digs about the Jonas Brothers and their promise rings, while presenting at the MTV Video Music Awards
PEP: Ramiele Malubay will arrive in RP Dec 12
Filipinos avidly watched American Idol Season 7 to monitor the progress of the 20-year-old singer Ramiele Malubay. Being the seventh Fil-Am to enter the Top 24 of American Idol, she earned the support of her kababayans but she was cut from the competition last April 2008.
Ramiele was born in Saudi Arabia to Filipino parents but she grew up in Miramar, Florida. Her father is Roger Malubay, a native of Polilio, Quezon province, while her mother is Alicia Macrowon, who worked in Saudi Arabia. When Ramiele arrives in the Philippines on December 12, she plans to visit Polilio and be familiar with her father’s hometown.
The AI finalist used to sing as the front act of performers such as Kuh Ledesma and Martin Nievera during American tours but this time, she will topbill the concert dubbed as The Idol Experience: Ogie Sings with the Idols.
The two-night concert will take place at the Aliw Theater in Pasay City on December 20 and 21.
MUSIC REVIEW: “David Cook”
Fans of …American Idol will be all too familiar with David Cook, and that includes me, a staunch supporter almost from his first audition last season. His voice is silky smooth in the mid- to lower registers, at times gritty but always very emotional and moving. His song choices during the season ranged from controversial at worst to outright inspired on the good days, but the common thread in his selections was his ability to showcase his vocal gift in the most inspired of ways.
Now fast-forward to the release of his first post-…Idol CD, and frankly I am left wondering at which point did Mr. Cook lose his ability to choose the best vehicle for his impressive vocal delivery? The songs here serve as nothing more than vague attempts to get his voice heard, and unfortunately ‘ and all too frequently ‘ serve as more of a means of vocal suppression.
Taylor Hicks Takes His (Broadway) Show on the Road
It’s been quite a year for Taylor Hicks. After mutually splitting with his record company, Arista, in January, the former American Idol champ took his career into his own hands by starting his own label, Modern Whomp Records, and taking a little music breather to get into acting. And no, there was no From Justin to Kelly monstrosity. Hicks made his Broadway debut in Grease as Teen Angel, the one (role) that he wanted and loved so much that he’s joining the musical on a nationwide tour. Before the festivities kick off Dec. 2, the man behind the Soul Patrol chatted with TVGuide.com about jump-starting his acting career, his upcoming, as-yet-untitled album and why he loves working overtime.
Ruben Studdard Havin’ fun ‘Misbehavin”
Ruben Studdard is back in the studio and back on the road.
The road will take the second-season American Idol winner to Akron’s E.J. Thomas Hall beginning Tuesday, where he will perform in Ain’t Misbehavin’, the musical collecting the songs of the legendary Thomas ”Fats” Waller.
Running through Dec. 4, the production also features former Idol contestants Frenchie Davis and Trenyce Cobbins.
Studdard is a fan of both singers. Asked in a recent telephone interview about his favorite moments in the show, he mentioned his duet with Davis on Honeysuckle Rose and Cobbins’ rendition of Keepin’ Out of Mischief Now. Asked about any of his own, he somewhat reluctantly settled on Your Feet’s Too Big.
Ruben Studdard tackles “Ain’t Misbehavin'” at TheDow in Saginaw
It’s not every day that you find a true “American Idol” taking on an American legend.
But that’s what will come Friday, Dec. 5, to Saginaw when “American Idol” winner Ruben Studdard takes on “Fats” Waller in the Tony Award-winning musical “Ain’t Misbehavin’.”
“The original director, Richard Maltby Jr., was a fan of mine, a fan of the ‘American Idol’ show, and he wanted me to join the cast, ” Studdard said, taking a break from tech-rehearsals to talk about his theatrical debut.
“I’ve always loved jazz, too; I’m a big fan of the Harlem renaissance and ‘Fats’ Waller. He’s a true legend.”
The New Man in Carrie Underwood Life? Elvis Presley
Stork. Phelps. Romo. So many men have been linked to Carrie Underwood, but this time, she really found her soulmate. Elvis Presley. Granted, he not living in the here and now. But they are so good together on his Elvis Presley Christmas Duets CD. The two sing …Ill Be Home for Christmas together. Underwood said singing …with Presley was very surreal, but that it felt like a good thing to do. …When Priscilla asks you to sing with Elvis, you do it, she told Entertainment Tonight. She added that she loves traditional Christmas songs like this one because of their ability to stand the test of time.
It’s only been three short years since her American Idol win helped launch country cutie Carrie Underwood into the realm of the megastar.
But that was all the time she needed to (twice) rack up multi-platinum album sales, nab a few high-profile Grammys and become the youngest performer ever inducted into the Grand Old Opry.
Most recently, the overachiever served as co-host of the 2008 Country Music Awards, where she won female vocalist of the year (her third in a row) while manning the podium with pal Brad Paisley.
And while most of us would consider a nomination cause enough for nervousness, Underwood swears the multi-tasking approach — she also performed her new hit Just a Dream as part of the telecast — actually made for a much smoother show.
Diana DeGarmo eagerly returns to country music
Diana DeGarmo, one of the top “American Idol” contestants during the Fox show’s third season, says she is excited and satisfied with the direction her career has taken since her time on the show.
DeGarmo, who will be performing with three other “Idol” finalists at a Christmas show Saturday, says she has been thrilled with her success so far, which includes her smash hit “Dreams, ” released after her season on the television show in 2004. Now, DeGarmo is returning to her main love, country music, and hoping to get a record deal soon.
Pan & Praise: Reba, Clarkson perform together at 1st Mariner Arena
Coming from country music most famous redhead, the lyric …I might have been born just plain white trash, but Fancy was my name! will give you goose bumps every time.
Reba, no last name necessary, closed her Baltimore show Saturday night with the crowd-pleasing …Fancy. The 1st Mariner Arena was the last stop on Reba …2 Worlds 2 Voices tour with Kelly Clarkson, the first …American Idol winner, who has sold 19 million records while progressing from a pop sound to a more rock-oriented style. Backed by an 11-piece band, the Queen of Country and Kelly added a second leg of their tour ‘ 24 additional shows from September through Saturday ‘ after selling out 15 markets from mid-January to mid-February.
Glockson to join up with Santa on stage
Santa Claus will not be the only celebrity making an appearance at Friday’s Hometown Holidays Electric Lights Parade in Downtown Naperville.
Former American Idol finalist and Naperville resident Gina Glocksen also will join the jolly old elf in helping Naperville officially kick off the holiday season.
“It is cool, ” Glocksen said. “Knowing people still want to see me is a huge deal. I want to be there for Naperville.”
NBC’s Midseason Plan Turns on Lights, Rests Heroes and Kicks Off New Dance
NBC’s midseason slate will bring viewers a largely revamped January, sidelining a handful of shows to make room for some new programming. Also on tap is a pair of Saturday Night Live specials.
The splashiest newcomer is So You Think You Can Dance boss Nigel Lythgoe’s Superstars of the Dance ‘ fancied as an internationally flavored “Olympic dance-off” and hosted by Michael Flatley ‘ which premieres Sunday, Jan. 9, before moving to Mondays. There, it will air for several weeks from 8 to 10 pm/ET, bumping both Chuck and Heroes (but only until February arrives).
Julianne Hough’s Last Dance?
Julianne Hough’s “Dancing” days may not be over just yet!
During last night’s big finale, Julianne told ET that she may have prematurely announced her departure from the hit show.
Although she made it to the final four this year, it was a tough run due to being diagnosed with endometriosis. The intense pain sent her to the hospital and she had to undergo an appendectomy just a little under a month ago. She triumphantly returned to the show but had said she was going to focus on her singing career.
Although she’s not a 100-percent sure, she says she may indeed be back next season!
Dancing With The Stars — Extended and Uncut!
ET has your in-depth look at all the backstage action at “Dancing With The Stars”!
“It was the most exciting, difficult, challenging three months of my life and to end that way was just amazing, ” big winner Brooke Burke tells our Thea Andrews.
But Warren Sapp was no sore loser! “I came in with nothing but my partner and willingness to learn and [Kym Johnson] molded me into something you all call a dancer!”
“There are no losers and to make this far makes me so happy, ” Lance Bass adds.