Jennifer Hudson’s Return to the Spotlight
I can exclusively tell you that Ms. Hudson will return to the stage for the first time since her horrific family tragedy at next month’s Super Bowl.
The Grammy-nominated songbird will sing the national anthem before the big gridiron game on Feb. 1 in Tampa, Fla.
“She certainly can nail it, ‘” a source just told me. “She proved it at the Democratic National Convention.”
Abdul declares loyalty to `Idol, ‘ denies criticism
Paula Abdul, declaring her loyalty to “American Idol, ” denied criticizing the Fox TV series over airtime given to an alleged stalker.
“I am a big fan of the show. I am blessed to be on the show. It’s the greatest show on television all around the world and … a gazillion people would love to be in my shoes, ” Abdul said at a meeting Tuesday of the Television Critics Association.
In December, Abdul told Barbara Walters in a radio interview that the Fox network and “Idol” producers knew that Paula Goodspeed had stalked her but allowed the woman to audition anyway.
Pressed about it Tuesday, Abdul denied saying “anything disparaging about `American Idol’ at all” or complaining to producers about Goodspeed.
When a reporter pointed out that Abdul was quoted as saying she had warned producers about the woman, Abdul replied: “Well, that is true. But that’s that. I can’t talk about it anymore. It’s an ongoing police investigation.”
‹Idol sues over ‹Stripper Idol contest
AUSTIN – …American Idol wants an Austin strip club to take it off. The company that owns the popular television show sued in federal court to stop the weekly …Stripper Idol contest at Palazio Men Club. FremantleMedia North America also wants to seize Palazio profits from the amateur stripping contest.
In its lawsuit against Palazio, FremantleMedia calls …Stripper Idol a trademark violation that could mislead the public to think the TV show sponsors the event, The Dallas Morning News reported in Tuesday editions.
More Idol Headlines after the JUMP…
‘American Idol’ Recap: Welcome Back!
In my twisted mind, the typical American Idol audition episode is the reality-show equivalent of The Silence of the Lambs, but instead of human victims, cherished selections from the American songbook are left screaming for mercy down in the basement pit. And, of course, subbing for Jodie Foster’s Clarice Starling, the upstart agent with the West Virginia twang and a mind for crime, we get Simon Cowell, the seen-it-all record exec with the uppity British accent and a weakness for shameless chicks who are as short on talent as they are on clothing.
Tonight’s eighth season premiere, though, played more like Lambs whittled down for a primetime network viewing audience. Gone (thankfully) were the gory and gratuitous moments ‘ the gleefully unflinching mockery of folks with obvious physical, mental, and emotional woes ‘ that often made Idol’s opening weeks a chore for those of us who are more interested in discovering the next Jennifer Hudson than, say, William Hung 2.0. But just because the judges picked (mostly) on egos close to their own size didn’t mean there weren’t plenty of moments tonight that had me scrambling to shield my eyes with my hands.
Phil Stacey blog: Season 8 is off with a bang
Philstaceycdcover This was a strong start for Season 8. I loved the recap, which usually feels forced, and the new judge makes perfect sense. Paula is known for critiquing appearances; Randy listens for musicality; and Simon looks for marketability. It seems fitting that they would bring in a song person, since song selection is probably the biggest factor in “American Idol.” Im surprised theyve waited this long. Hooray for Kara DioGaurdi, who will forever be known as the other judge. And she can SAANNNGGG!
Luck (along with a month and several other rounds) plays a big part in getting through to see the judges. However, things to watch for are people who are very casually dressed and dont take their auditions too seriously. This is how we found today Idol superstars, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and David Cook to name a few.
Season 8 begins: The 20 real rules of ‘Idol’ auditions
At long last, the tears of Idol Nation through a long, cold off-season can stop. Season 8 is here. And once again, the gang heads off on the audition tour -‘ searching for the face in the crowd that will walk in the footsteps of Cook, Archuleta, Underwood, Daughtry, Sparks, Barrino, Clarkson and Scarnato.
For all of them, it began with a brief, terrifying moment before the judges. Below are the Secret 20, the real rules for any singer looking for a ticket to Hollywood from the big four.
A Few Predictions Regarding The Imminent Season Premiere Of “American Idol”
Surely your DVRs are set for the premiere of American Idol tonight (yeah, yeah, the suits at Fox always claim that the televised pop competition is “DVR-proof, ” but the initial wave of bloated audition episodes, in which backstories mingle with back-stabbing, were seemingly designed for the new-wave VCRs). What will happen this season, when pop music is becoming ever more of an afterthought and people are more apt to stay away from network TV than ever before? I gaze into my crystal ball (it shines just like Phil Stacey’s head!) and envision a few scenarios for this season after the jump.
Our ‹American Idol Wish List
…American Idol revs up again tonight with a two-hour season premiere. While the producers have made a big deal about changes theyve made to the show, such as the return of wild-card picks and the addition of new judge Kara DioGuardi, there always room for improvement.
So here our wish list for …Idol season eight:
PopWrap’s 10 Best “Idol” Performances
There are a few things you can count on every January – breaking New Year’s resolutions faster than you made them, becoming a whiter shade of pale and trying in vain to fight the lure of “American Idol.” Tonight marks the eighth season premiere, which means we’re in for about 6 weeks worth of auditions from crap-tastic singers and people solely looking to be on TV, with just a hint of talent sprinkled through.
So I thought this was the perfect moment to reflect on the past and reminisce about the talent that has come before, which has made “Idol” the most important TV talent show ever. Sorry “Star Search.” Here are my completely scientific selections for the 10 best “American Idol” performances ever, culled together from the last seven seasons. Think of them as something to cling to as the pitchy dawgs test our resolve over the next month and a half. Just keep repeating — the talent is coming, the talent is coming!
American Idol is Back!
‹American Idol is back, as Season 8 premieres tonight! David Archuleta, Season 7 runner-up, told me in an interview last night he cant wait to tune in!
Archuleta hinted that he might be interested in returning to the show as a mentor, because he knows just how the contestants feel. He also says Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks inspired him during his run on the show.
FOX News crews in Los Angeles interviewed judge Randy Jackson last night. He says he saw great talents in Salt Lake City, Kansas City and in Puerto Rico. Plus, the new fourth judge, Kara DioGuardi, stopped by FOX News headquarters in New York last week to give us a sneak peek at the show. She told us about one of the hopefuls well see on tonight premiere.
I Hate You, ‘American Idol’! You’ve Ruined Everything!
Whining (It’s not fair! The judges don’t know what they’re *#!&@-ing talking about!) is a core mode of expression on “American Idol.” So in that spirit, on the eve of the show’s eighth-season premiere, let’s take a moment to whine melodramatically about the collateral damage this TV juggernaut has inflicted on American culture:
What New Scandal Will New ‘Idol’ Season Bring?
The scandals that have erupted nearly every season since “American Idol” premiered in 2002 have not made a dent in the popularity of the top-rated singing contest reality show.
American Idol Scandals
With its eighth season set to start tonight, “Idol” is expected to easily maintain its No. 1 status.
“Any show that’s watched by this many people and involves a competition is going to have controversy, ” Jim Hibberd, a senior reporter for The Hollywood Reporter, told ABCNews.com. “It tends to help ‘Idol’ more than hurt it.”
JUDGE NO. 4 FALLS FLAT
And unless you live in Fallujah, you know that the new judge, the aptly named Kara DioGuardi, which roughly transliterates into “Beloved God Watches, ” watched the wretched, the desperate, the talented and the massively untalented strut their stuff along with the three sitting judges better known to most Americans than any three Supreme Court justices.
Now filling a fourth chair that wasn’t empty – or even there – for the previous seven very successful seasons is not an easy chair to fill – but it’s what new boss Ken Warwick, who presided over the first season of Britain’s four-judge version of “American Idol, ” called “X Factor, ” wanted. Or maybe he just needed to fix what wasn’t broke so he could make his mark.
TCA Press Tour: Paula Abdul dishes and dodges
One of the most surprising things that happened at the Fox TCA press tour panel for “American Idol” is that judge Paula Abdul actually showed up. In years past, Abdul has been a last-minute no-show, frustrating the TV press to no end.
But the new year brought Paula Abdul to the Universal Hilton for a panel that included new judge Kara DioGuardi, the executive producers and a few of the behind-the-scenes gurus, such as Deb Byrd and Miles Siggins. Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson did not attend.
First questions out of the gate were for Abdul, who in December did a radio interview with Barbara Walters and said that the woman who committed suicide outside of her home last year had been stalking her for almost 18 years. When the woman, Paula Goodspeed, showed up at “Idol” auditions, Abdul told Walters that she objected to producers, but they ignored her saying “they wanted the entertainment value.”
On Tuesday, Abdul, who was asked how she feels about the show now, denied confrontations with producers over what she brought up with Walters.
What has Fox done to our “American Idol”?
They warned us this season would be more aspirational, less cutthroat, in keeping with the times, but kicking off in Phoenix with Louie Armstrong singing “What a Wonderful World” over shots of judge Simon Cowell actually smiling, the traditional Weeping Winners reel — and a rainbow? Plus: shots of Simon winking. A shot of a huge man in a pink bunny suit picking Simon off the ground in a Big Bunny Hug. The treacle is running in rivers.
“I am the voice in the crowd that needs to be heard, ” some wannabe Idolette says to the camera.
American Idol chatter
If youre an …American Idol fan you would have loved sitting with me today. I got a chance to talk with Paula Abdul, Kara DioGuardi (the new judge), vocal coach Deb Byrd, make-up artist Mezhgan Hussainy and stylist Miles Siggins while participating in the Television Critics Association winter press tour.
In coming weeks, Ill give you the whole scoop. But, for now, listen to this: Paula picked David Cook to win last year. And, every year around this time, she writes the names of three contestants she think will make the finals. Then, she notarizes them, sends them to herself and has a moment of supreme satisfaction when she opens the envelope and discovers she right. She has an almost perfect track record. Only Chris Daughtry slipped by her. …I knew David Cook would win last year. Even over David Archuleta? Yup. …Even over David Archuleta.
Whitney Houston is Back, New CD in March Says Clive Davis
The music industry’s hottest party in town — Clive Davis’ Annual Pre-Grammy Party — is set to be the golden ticket this year, with word that Whitney Houston will start her official comeback at the bash.
Also performing will be Jazmine Sullivan, Leona Lewis, Kelly Clarkson and possibly (still rumored) Jennifer Hudson.
Kelly Clarkson Says “So What” To All That
ONE-LISTEN VERDICT: Kelly Clarkson’s “see, I can still be a popstar” public shaming comeback song does, as previously reported, have the strummed-guitar opening of her subculture-uniting megahit “Since U Been Gone.” But once that’s over, a robotic beat not dissimilar to that backing “I Kissed A Girl” and “So What” and too many other female-fronted pop hits of now takes over, and the brisk trail that beat blazes through the next 3:30 is so workmanlike, you can almost see Clive Davis standing over it, tapping his foot and checking his watch. There are some nice burbles of keyboard here and there, but honestly, would I be invested in this song at all if it wasn’t Clarkson singing it? Probably not. Does the music sound like it was a rough draft of “Who Knew” that was rejected for being too peppy? You bet.
Kelly Clarkson’s ‘My Life Would Suck Without You’ is released. And it rocks!
A few days ago we were tantalized by a 30-second clip of Kelly Clarkson’s new single, “My Life Would Suck Without You”, and now New York radio station z100.com (among other places) has the full version. And wow, does it deliver — it’s wilder than Drew Barrymore’s hair at the Golden Globes. “Suck” is a driving, pulsing, “get out of your chair and dance around the room pronto” anthem to love, contrition, and blissful co-dependence. As Kelly sings: “I know that I have issues, but you’re really messed up too/Either way I found out, I’m nothing without you”. Plus, there’s a totally kicking guitar solo. Check out the full song below and let us know what you think. Is it everything you want out of a Kelly Clarkson song? And for all of you conspiracy theorists out there, do you think her people planned to leak it on the same day that season 8 of American Idol debuts on Fox?
Snap Judgment: Kelly Clarkson’s ‘My Life Would Suck Without You’
File this one under “predictable”: Kelly Clarkson has returned from her Persephone-like journey across the pop-goth River Styx on the excellent but commercially disappointing album “My December” with a shiny, streamlined new cut meant to break the speed limit up the charts. Hear it for yourself on her YouTube page.
There’s no reason this song won’t be huge. “My Life Would Suck Without You, ” co-written and produced by absolute hit makers Dr. Luke and Max Martin, zooms forward from its guitar-plucky intro toward a cymbal-crashing climax without ever slowing down. There’s no time to question the empty calories delivered within those compressed, subtly Auto-Tuned vocals, which ride some sneakily accelerating high-fructose beats.
Kelly Clarkson’s New Single Sucks, No Qualifier Needed
The moment you have been waiting for all year has finally arrived: …My Life Would Suck Without You, the new single from Kelly Clarkson, leaked onto the internet today in versions ripped from various radio and online sources. While it might be un-American to question our American Idol, we have some issues to discuss with Ms. Clarkson and her handlers. Clive Davis, Reba McEntire and her husband, THIS MEANS YOU. In fact, Kelly, you might want to look away.
First off, this song just isnt very good. The production is overly synthetic and busy, like one of those bad remixes of a ballad one might hear on Z100. It sounds not only cheap ‘ is that a Casio conga drum-fill we hear? ‘ but desperate, an unbecoming look on a proper popstar. And how do those wishy-washy, uncertain lyrics add up to such an assured chorus? They dont, which is why it sounds unearned, inauthentic and cheesy.
Roy Yamaguchi and Jordin Sparks team up for charity during Super Bowl Super Week
The 2nd Annual Jordin Sparks Experience hosted by Roy Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine will be held Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009 as part of the Super Week for the Super Bowl festivities in Tampa. Jordin will join internationally acclaimed chef and James Beard Award Winner Roy Yamaguchi.
Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009, join Sparks, along with special guest, fellow Season Six American Idol fan-favorite Chris Richardson, Singer/Song Writer Christa Black, the Grace Family Church …iO Band, and others for The 2nd Annual Jordin Sparks Charity Concert on Wednesday, January 28th, at Grace Fam ily Church (5101 Van Dyke Road) in Lutz, Fla.
American Idol’s Diana DeGarmo On Reliving Her American Idol Moments on ‘Rewind’
Everyone remembers Diana DeGarmo as the 17-year-old with a powerhouse voice on Season 3 of American Idol. Although Diana lost to Fantasia Barrino in the finals, she landed on her feet and went on to release a successful album and star on Broadway.
Diana adamantly thanks AI for giving her her big break, and now she’s ready to speak out about all things Idol, including her current stint on American Idol Rewind.
“American Idol’s” Syesha will sing for anti-gang program
MANATEE – As …American Idol gears up for another run starting tonight, Manatee County School District officials announced Syesha Mercado, one of the show biggest stars last season and hometown favorite, will perform a benefit concert in Manatee next month.
Funds raised from the Feb. 19 concert at the Manatee Civic Center, dubbed …Follow Your Dreams, ” will go toward continuing the Amer-I-Can gang prevention and life skills program in Manatee schools, according Mercado sister Xtavia Bailey.
Bailey, an Amer-I-Can facilitator since the program inception in Manatee, said when she told her sister of the program funding problems, Mercado offered to do the concert. The event is sponsored by the Manatee Education Foundation.
A sneak peek at Disneyworld’s ‘American Idol’ Experience
It almost seems like the universe is working backwards — that “American Idol” should have started as a Disneyworld ride, then become a recording star, then a TV show. But after next month, the pieces will all be there. The folks at Disney have released the above video tour of the “Idol” attraction. Looks a lot more fun than Space Mountain from where I sit, perhaps on a par with Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.
‘Dance’ auditions coming to Miami
So, do you really think you can dance? If so, you might want to make sure youre in Miami on Feb. 3 when auditions begin for the fifth season of the Fox summer hit …So You Think You Can Dance.
Producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe and judge Mary Murphy will be among those assessing the new talent in Miami and four other cities — Los Angeles, Denver, Memphis and Seattle.
The Miami auditions will be held at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Knight Concert Hall, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami.
Registration begins at 8 a.m. at each venue, and those traveling to audition cities for tryouts are advised to plan to stay for at least two days after the initial audition in case of a callback.