Idol Headlines for 1/16/08

”American Idol” Premiere: Touchy-Philly

Late Tuesday afternoon, about two hours before the season premiere of American Idol, I put on my workout gear and running shoes and dragged myself to the gym. I know this sounds like odd preparation for the sedentary task of watching TV (and then sitting in front of a computer and writing about watching TV), but the Idol season can be long and unforgiving, and when there’s a chance the soundtrack to your day job might include Haley Scarnato warbling ”Turn the Beat Around, ” physical stamina is a must.

So anyhow, as I plugged away on the treadmill, trying to ignore my exhaustion by focusing on my special (and by special, I mean Fantasia-heavy) ”Idol workout mix, ” something occurred to me: The start of the Idol season is a lot like recommitting oneself to fitness excellence after seven months of sloth.

American Idol’s Overdog Status

I’ve written about this before, but it really is sort of amazing that American Idol has managed to maintain its position as TV’s number-one show at a time when the music business falls apart more every month and music itself has become a smaller niche in the pop-cultural universe. The people clogging stadiums to audition for the show are only sort of competing to become actual famous singers these days; I’d have to imagine that the lure of instant TV ubiquity is just as powerful. The new season of American Idol starts tonight, and this season will be an interesting one because it’s coming right as the show is starting to show a few chinks in its armor.

Village Voice

American Idol: Philadelphia Auditions (season premiere)

What strike? An American Idol two-night four-hour extravaganza with no real competitive programming on opposite it? Sounds pretty status quo, though I’m sure FOX doesn’t mind the almost complete lack of original scripted programming on the dial. My obsession with the Idol started because my wife wanted to see all those terrible singers the FOX hype machine paraded on our TV screens before the first season. It’s had me ever since. Kelly, Ruben, Fantasia, Carrie, Taylor, Jordin and … Let’s roll up our sleeves and get this thing started so we can find out!

TV Squad

‹Idol night one puts focus on the positive

As the seventh season of …American Idol kicked off with a two-hour recap of the Philadelphia auditions, producers got their first chance to prove that the mistakes of last season would not be repeated. Among other tweaks, viewers were promised more focus on the talented singers in the audition shows to develop the rooting interests that draw an audience and wreak havoc with phone traffic.

So far, so good.

…Idol gave the top singers a little more airtime on Tuesday, beginning with the first singer of the season. Joey Catalano came through the door with an inspirational story about how hed lost more than 200 pounds.


San Diego talent may shine on ‘Idol’

What goes up is supposed to come down, but as it begins its seventh season today, the mighty …American Idol could be more buoyant than ever. And if the show does as well as expected, some of the credit may go to the auditions held in July at Qualcomm Stadium.
…I don’t really want to name names, because it always looks like I’m favoring people. But in general, the really interesting (contestants) and probably the stars of the season will come out of San Diego, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said of the auditions, which drew an estimated 12, 000 …Idol hopefuls to the stadium.

…You can never really tell because you don’t know how people are going to grow, but it was a really, really good audition there.

Sign on San Diego

Robbie Seay Band gets its chance to Rise

Local singer Robbie Seay says he would “give anything” to sing like Ruben Studdard.

“Are you kidding me? What a voice, ” Seay says. He says the second season of American Idol, which Studdard won, “was my favorite season of all.”

The Houston-based Robbie Seay Band leads worship at Ecclesia, a “Holistic Missional Christian Community” on Taft. But the band’s music is being heard by millions on TV. In December, Fox began airing Idol teaser commercials featuring Rise, the first track on the band’s rousing Give Yourself Away disc.

American Idol Returning for Season 7

American Idol, for all its success, is not above tinkering — especially after last year’s revolving door of celebrity mentors and Sanjaya Malakar’s improbable run.

Not too much tinkering, though. Why mess with a trusty formula?

The Fox ratings superpower returns for its seventh season on Tuesday and will doubtless dominate January through May as it did last year and the year before that. It could even attract a bigger audience in 2008, thanks to the Hollywood writers’ strike.

But Nigel Lythgoe, an executive producer for the show, downplayed speculation that the lack of alternative programming as a result of the strike could equal more viewers for Idol.

”Everyone is sort of saying that there isn’t anything else on television to watch, ” Lythgoe told the Associated Press. “But the other networks are so intimidated by the most-watched show on American television that ”they don’t really schedule anything around Idol anyway.”

The Advocate

Fans offer ‘American Idol’ a reality check

Simon Cowell says “American Idol” will be much improved in its seventh season. The fans say it had better be — or else.

Even some of the most dedicated “Idol” worshippers grew disenchanted during last year’s lackluster Season 6, known more for a hair-raising curiosity than mind-blowing performers. And they claim fatigue is setting in, proof of which can be found in the poorly attended “Idol” summer tour and the unimpressive record sales of winner Jordin Sparks.

“I’m just not as superexcited about it as I have been in the past, says Annette Murtagh, 37, of El Cerrito, echoing the sentiments of many. “I think it’s beginning to run its course … but I’ll probably continue to watch out of loyalty.”

Mercury News

American Idol Returns for a 7th Season

Last year at the American Idol panel at the Museum of Television & Radio annual Paley Festival, moderator Pat Mitchell (who also happens to be the president and CEO of the Museum) recounted the show achievements to that point, noting that the sixth season had so far broken every record on the books and that there was nowhere to go but up. The only panelist to leap in with a contrary opinion was Simon Cowell, who laughingly told her not to say that, that there were plenty of opportunities for the Idol momentum to slow in the coming year. Time once again has proven the wisdom of our Simon, as after that March 1 panel the season ‘ which until that point had run like the smooth machine it usually is ‘ kind of haltingly sputtered its way to a half-hearted finale that drew a lot of viewers but excited few. This listless end to the sixth season was reflected in the sales of the two finalists ‘ teen winner Jordin Sparks and beat-boxing Blake Lewis ‘ whose records sank without a trace toward the end of last year, and that wasnt the only gloomy news in AmIdol land. Major labels cleaned house (as theyre wont to do) and jettisoned second season winner Ruben Studdard and both season five winner Taylor Hicks and his runner-up Katherine McPhee ‘ and this isnt even taking into account the disappointing returns on Kelly Clarkson third album My December or Fantasia Barrino second record.

All Music

Grand Blanc woman goes to next round on ‘American Idol’

The Flint area has another contestant “going to Hollywood” as part of the hit-TV, reality show “American Idol.”

Beth Stalker, 28, of Grand Blanc, was shown auditioning in Philadelphia on the season premiere of “American Idol” Tuesday. She got two out of three yes votes from the famous judges, which was enough to send her on to Hollywood and the next round of the competition. Flint native LaKisha Jones made it to the final four of last season’s “American Idol.”


Mich. woman outsings zany ‘American Idol’ array

he nation’s biggest geek parade — known more formally as the “American Idol” audition shows — began Tuesday night with a spectacular array of the misbegotten.

Fortunately, Beth Stalker, 28, of Grand Blanc wasn’t among the laughables. She became what appeared to be the only Michigander to emerge from the Philadelphia testing that was featured on the Fox network’s hit series Tuesday. Emcee Ryan Seacrest said 29 Philly hopefuls made it to the next audition in Hollywood.

But for those looking for the unusual and bizarre, it was a four-star night. Here are some of the night’s most bizarre entries:

‘Idol’ sponsors now paying $35 milCoca-Cola, Ford and AT&T are back again as the three main sponsors of Fox’s megahit “American Idol, ” forking over roughly $35 million each for the opportunity to be featured in America’s most watched TV show, as well as air commercials during “Idol, ” post online content and run off-air co-branded marketing programs.

The $35 million price tag is up slightly from the estimated $30 million the sponsors spent last season, but the advertisers are likely to get an even better return on their costly investment than they had hoped for. With the writers strike having shut down production on most original scripted programming, “Idol” — which premieres Tuesday night — is expected to be an even bigger ratings juggernaut than ever.

As far as this season’s integrations, Ford, Coca-Cola and AT&T will for the most part be repeating their in-show performances from years past, with a few new revisions in either content or products featured.

This year, Nestle announced an on-pack “Idol Elimination” game promotion offering fans the chance to win $1 million if they correctly choose who will be eliminated each week from the top 24 contestants. Specially marked packages of Nestle candy bars will feature a code that allows fans to play the game online at

There will also be a weekly elimination game in which fans can play for an opportunity to win one of 13 additional cash prizes ranging from $10, 000 to $50, 000.

Hollywood Reporter

Dreyer’s Slow Churned(R) Light Ice Cream Debuts Five New ‘American Idol’ Flavors

Ice cream lovers and Idol fans can vote for their favorite flavors at until May 31st. The winning Dreyer’s Slow Churned American Idol flavor will earn a permanent spot in the Slow Churned light ice cream line-up. Fans who cast a vote before April 29, 2008, will be entered for a chance to win a trip to the “American Idol” finale and other cool prizes.

To celebrate the new flavors, “American Idol” Season Six finalists Melinda Doolittle and Chris Richardson will be hitting the road on a 20-city U.S. tour to sample the flavors with fans and perform live, private living room concerts for one lucky winner during each of the tour stops which include Atlanta, GA; Bentonville, AK; Charlotte, NC; Cleveland, OH; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Hartford, CT; Houston, TX; Jacksonville, FL; Milwaukee, WI; Nashville, TN; Philadelphia, PA; Phoenix, AZ; Portland, OR; Sacramento, CA; San Diego, CA; Seattle, WA; St. Louis, MO; Tampa, FL; and Virginia Beach/Norfolk, VA. For more information on specific dates and appearances, please visit

“Life after ‘American Idol’ has been awesome, ” said Chris Richardson. “I’ll be traveling across the country this spring to enjoy Dreyer’s Slow Churned light ice cream with fans. I’m really looking forward to performing live for the contest winners.”

“I’m extremely grateful for the wonderful response from my fans since the show, ” said Melinda Doolittle. “I’m now working with Dreyer’s to launch its five new Slow Churned American Idol flavors, and looking forward to meeting fans across America to celebrate with ice cream.”

Why Idol Changed Radio . . . And Will Likely Continue To

One of the themes of this year’s spate of “American Idol” coverage has been the relative disappointment of the sixth season and its aftermath (finale ratings down, a disappointing tour, and a relatively soft opening week for Jordin Sparks) as well as the major label deaccession of earlier winners and contestants (Hicks, Studdard, and McPhee all gone).

A lot of that loses some of its potency in context. Season six was off slightly from a heavily boosted season five. Sparks album sold less in an environment where all albums were selling less. And ever since Justin Guarini, it had been pretty well established that not everybody touched by “Idol” was going to have hit records.

But even if the “Idol” machine had ground to a halt – and with Jordin Sparks’ second single and Daughtry’s fourth now in play – it clearly hasn’t, — the impact of “American Idol” at radio – and not just Top 40 radio – can’t be denied.

Edison Reasearch

Five most important ‘American Idol’ contestants ever!

…American Idol is a smash hit with television audiences around the world, and is a seemingly unstoppable force of nature. Since 2002, the show has created countless new stars, from Sanjaya Malakar to Clay Aiken. It been endlessly parodied and a constant of Wednesday morning water cooler conversations. However, despite the shows popularity, …Idol is sometimes overlooked for its star making power and influence in the music and entertainment industry. With that in mind, here a look at the five most important …Idol

Top 20 ‹Idol Contestants of All Time – The Complete List

I spent hours coming up with my list of the Top 20 …American Idol Contestants of All Time, and I have to say Im very happy with how it turned out.

I agonized over quite a few, with three of the longest deliberations involving:

-Should No. 2 be Carrie Underwood or Chris Daughtry? (Underwood; she sold more total albums and has a longer career.)
-Should No. 9 be Blake Lewis or Tamyra Gray? (Lewis; far more memorable and original.)
-Should No. 20 be Lisa Leuschner or Justin Guarini? (Leuschner; I have much more to say about her and she was only on briefly.)

One thing I realized just yesterday: The Top 10 are people who are instruments of change.

Remote Access

“American Idol”: Five things Idol got wrong

Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20, so might be a little unfair to criticize decisions made by the …American Idol powers that be that, in retrospect, appear at best misguided, or at worst, the conspiratorial workings of a tone-deaf music bureaucracy. But …Idol, which begins its seventh season tonight with its infamous beauty and buffoonery-filled auditions, is all about the voice of the people.

And this person, who gives five months of her life every year to the coverage, consideration and critiquing of everything …Idol has seen the judges champion maddeningly mediocre singers at the same time they were practically flinging one-way bus tickets at performers whose appeal was apparent to everyone but them. Taste, of course, is subjective. But I knew that the following five executive decisions were major boo-boos at the time they happened. That doesnt make me a genius, or clairvoyant. But it does, in this case, make me right.


How Would You Improve American Idol?

‘Tis the season for American Idol pundits (myself included) and fans (yes, you!) to come out of the woodwork and tell the show’s producers how to improve a ratings juggernaut that crushes everything in its path. You know they love us for it.

Alan Sepinwall from the Star Ledger makes a case that Idol would benefit from more screen-time parity for each semifinalist ‘  since the contestants who don’t get shown before voting gets underway (i.e., Stephanie Edwards, AJ Tabaldo) are put at a distinct disadvantage ‘  but producer Nigel Lythgoe has no intention of making that change, saying it’s his job to produce the best hour of television possible. “If they’re as boring as hell, I’m not going to show them, ” he says. “Once they do something that’s interesting or good and we believe are going to excite the public, then we’ll put them on.” This, of course, raises the question: If a singer is “boring as hell, ” why in the name of all that’s holy would he or she make the Top 24? Also, Nigel, great singing is never really “boring as hell.”


AI OD (American Idol Overdose): Ep 1 – Ranking the Idol seasons

On this Idol Eve, it only makes sense to reflect back on seasons past. The producers and judges of the show are certainly doing that, by telling us how much better this season is going to be than last season. But was Season Six the worst of the bunch? Both Season 5’s winner (Taylor Hicks) and runner up (Katharine McPhee) have been dropped from their labels, but S5 also brought us Chris Daughtry, who had the best-selling album of 2007. Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson are the two best-selling Idol winners, but where’s everyone else from those seasons?

TV Squad

‘American Idol’: Is Show Slowing Down As It Enters Seventh Season? Fans Will Be The Judge

These are the awkward teen years for “American Idol.” Still the most popular kid in class going into its seventh season, the TV talent show sprouted some unsightly blemishes last year, critics claim, and lost its focus by chasing after the cool kids and forgetting about its old friends, the contestants. And a series of ugly breakups has made it seem like the love affair with a handful of “Idol” alumni is, like, over.

It’s hard to knock a show that has been #1, crushing anything in its path for a “Seinfeld”-like six seasons running. But the once-untouchable “Idol” juggernaut is, by the admission of its own producers and most famous host, due for some retooling. And it couldn’t come at a better time, as two former “Idol” winners, Ruben Studdard and Taylor Hicks, recently announced splits from their Sony BMG label homes following disappointing album sales, and runner-up Katharine McPhee ended her major-label run after one poorly selling LP.

Which begs the question: Might the “Idol” engine finally be slowing down?

PremiereWatch: ‘American Idol’ Philadelphia auditions

On Jan. 15, the Idol Curtain descended over TV.

Follow me, dear readers, as I engage in a twisty analogy.

As World War II ended, the Allied forces — England and the United States mostly — greeted the Russians with decidedly mixed emotions.

On one hand, they were all, “Ummm… Thanks for holding ground at Leningrad, Stalin. That was mighty heroic and the loss of Russian life really went above and beyond.”

On the other hand, there was a healthy sense of “Ummm… Not to sound ungrateful, but if there’s any way you could avoid spreading Communism across all of Europe, we’d really appreciate that. But feel free to keep Poland.”


About mj santilli 34543 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!