‹Idol’s emotional focus will highlight Abdul
When …American Idol returns to television Jan. 13, the show will be …more real and …intimate, and …raw, according to Mike Darnell, Fox president of alternative programming.
What does this mean exactly? …It going back to letting the kids be more emotional and seeing more of their reality, were going to allow the public to see a little more of their emotional state, Darnell said in an interview with TV Week.
While further details of any retooling remain scant, one source close to the show adds that the emotional focus will play to Paula Abdul strengths.
…Last year there was very little of the Paula that we knew from earlier seasons, said the source. …Seeing the innocent side of these contestants really gets to her. She feels for their mistakes.
Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors to Honor Ryan Seacrest & John Bendheim at Annual ‘Road To A Cure’ Gala
Media entrepreneur, television and radio host Ryan Seacrest and real estate investor and philanthropist John Bendheim will be honored by the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors at their annual “Road To A Cure” Gala, December 2, 2008, at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel. Rick Powell, Chairman of the Board of Governors, co-chairs the event with Debbee Klein Schwartz, Aaron Kaplan and Fran Solomon. The “Road To A Cure” Gala is sponsored by Lexus, which has donated a 2009 Lexus LS 600h L hybrid luxury sedan for an opportunity drawing during the event. Oscar-winner Lionel Richie and David Archuleta will perform; Larry King will host.
More Idol Headlines after the JUMP…
David Archuleta Has A Heart of Hope
American Idol alum David Archuleta will lend his voice to the Holiday of Hope Tree Lighting this Saturday, December 6th, benefiting One Heartland, an organization committed to improving the lives of children impacted by HIV/AIDS.
The 17-year-old musician will join host Ellen K from 102.7 KIIS FM and brothers Kyle and Christopher Massey at the star-studded event. Kids are invited to get creative by decorating an ornament, button or holiday cookie at the Ralph Decoration Station.
There will also be a VIP Pre-Reception for guests who donate $100 or more to One Heartland website and will include a private performance by David as well as the opportunity to mix and mingle with celebrity guests in attendance at the event
Hear Michael Johns New Song!
“I wrote ‘Another Christmas’ in 2006, ” Michael said. “I had not been a home for an Australian Christmas for eight years. I was supposed to go home but my new visa didn’t come through in time. I was so homesick and upset, I woke up around 3 am, went into the living room and this song just came out. I showed my wife in the morning and she was brought to tears.”
Since then he’s become quite close with Nancy, whose mother recently passed away after a long battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), and she convinced Michael to rerecord the song. He then surprised Nancy by dedicating all of the funds raised to the Muscular Dystrophy Association (a non-profit organization of which she is a national vice president) in honor of her late mother Betty. MDA is the World Leader in ALS research, funding approximately $16 million of ALS Research in 2008.
LISTEN: Idol’s Michael Johns ‘Another Christmas’
Former American Idol contestant Michael Johns will release his latest song, “Another Christmas, ” on iTunes Dec. 9 ‘ and PEOPLE.com has an early listen.
The Australian singer will donate proceeds from the song’s sale to fight Lou Gehrig’s disease. He credits his friendship with Access Hollywood’s Nancy O’Dell, whose mother Betty passed away in June after battling the disease, with raising his awareness of the illness and touching his heart.
Grammy countdown: Carrie, Sugarland and country album front-runners
Will the Grammys get a little more country this year? Grammy observers may recall there’s been a bit of drama between Nashville and the Recording Academy the past few years.
Last year, Vince Gill was the only album of the year nominee not to perform on the telecast. While the country veteran was a visible presence at the awards, he did turn down the performance scenarios offered to him, reported to be a brief medley with Brad Paisley.
Some in the Nashville community took it as a slight. The previous year, Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts were paired up, and it was argued that country artists weren’t being given any showcase performance slots. The Recording Academy president even went to Nashville after the 2007 Grammys to calm nerves.
Clay Aiken to be featured on E! Hollywood Story 12/12,
*CLAY AIKEN: THE E! TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY PREMIERES FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12 AT 9PM ET/PT ON E! *
One-Hour Special Uncovers The Inside Story Of The Quirky American Idol Rise To Super-Stardom And Recent Revelations About His Personal Life
This revealing episode features an exclusive interview with former Army Green Beret John Paulus, who claims he was romantically involved with Clay for one night in 2006. There is also a new interview with Clay number-one fan, comedian Kathy Griffin, who explains why she was afraid she would run into Clay after joking about him during her act. Other new interviews include: actor/director Terrence Mann, who directed Clay in regional theater when he was just starting out; Rickey Smith, a finalist with Clay on …American Idol, who gives his opinion on Clay performance on the show as well as on him becoming a proud father; Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLADD) President Neil Guiliano, who comments on Clay recent controversial announcement; and several devoted Clay fans at a performance of his Broadway show, …Spamalot.
Grease Tour, with “American Idol” Winner Hicks, Kicks Off Dec. 2 in RI
The national tour of the fifties-themed musical Grease, based on the current Broadway production at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, launches Dec. 2 at the Providence Performing Arts Center in Providence, RI.
“American Idol” winner Taylor Hicks, who played a summer stint as Teen Angel in the Broadway company of Grease, now reprises that role for audiences across the country.
Taylor Hicks greases the skids of his career
Taylor Hicks Broadway debut was an uplifting experience, the R&B-belting American Idol winner says.
…My debut was not actually on a Broadway stage; it was in an ice cream cone 40 feet above it!
Hicks and the rest of the cast of the touring production of Grease start their national tour with a six-night run at the Providence Performing Arts Center beginning tonight, and during a break in rehearsals Hicks, who will play Teen Angel, says that he not only enjoyed the experience but says that the gig is another way of staying …a working musician.
ABC 6 Sits Down with American Idol Taylor Hicks
From American Idol to his new production of Grease, Taylor Hicks has put together an impressive resume. ABC 6 sits down with him for an interview…
Carrie Underwood Sets Limits
Dec. 1, 2008 ‘ Not that long ago, Carrie Underwood was a college student who took a shot at expanding her place in the world by trying out for “American Idol.” It famously changed the trajectory of her life, turning her into a superstar in a matter of months.
One of the benefits of the celebrity she attained is the possibility of once again expanding her place in the world ‘ this time by adding movie work to her recording career ‘ and it something she does think about. But she wont go crazy with it, even if she does end up in a film.
“We had a lot of offers for different roles, but my schedule is full, ” she told The Wisconsin State Journal. “If something came up that sounds like fun, I would do it. Not a huge role; I probably can’t act. Maybe something little and fun.”
Kristy Lee Cook In Elle Magazine
Kristy Lee Cook is featured in the December issue of Elle magazine. The American Idol alum appears in an article titled “A New Reality” with other Idol favorites including David Cook, Ramiele Malubay, David Archuleta and Carly Smithson. Cook models outfits from Gucci and Oscar de la Renta.
In other news, the video for Cook’s new single “15 Minutes of Shame” debuted in the top five on GAC’s fan-voted Top 20 Country Countdown. Cook, who says that she can identify with the lyrics of the song, states: “I had a great time shooting the video. I got to pick the cast, the guy and the girl, and I brought a lot of the past into the video. Not everything is exactly what happened, but a lot of things, like the vehicles and the personality of the characters were kind of close, so that was fun!”
“American Idol”: The Anemic Audition Turnout Takes Its Toll
The American Idol franchise has been flailing, with gently deflating ratings and fewer people showing up for the audition cattle calls, so the powers that be over at 19 Entertainment have decided to go the “sexy” route in their first round of ads for Season Eight, with a tone-deaf girl who’s apparently making up for her bikini’s lack of coverage with extra attitude. And yes, she emerges from the audition room with a golden ticket, although it’s unclear whether or not she’s being invited to the Hollywood round or to a job fair held by a nearby Hooters. This ad, which should blend in with the beer commercials during Fox’s NFL games nicely, is being paired with a spot glorifying David Cook’s victory in May’ the first time an Idol winner has been featured in ads for an upcoming season, and a study in how one’s image can be whipped into shape during the course of a few months. (Although dude seriously needs to tone down the eyeliner.) Maybe there’s hope (and some clothes) for you yet, Bikini Girl!
10 Gifts for an American Idol Fan
What you should be buying that American Idol fan you know and love so well
Review: “American Stars In Concert for the Holidays!”
EL PASO – There were no judges to insult them or call their voices “pitchy.”
In fact, with maybe 700 people – less than half the house – in attendance Monday night at the Plaza Theatre, it felt like there weren’t many people to call them much of anything.
But displaying the kind of drive and determination that landed them on that ratings juggernaut known as “American Idol” and is keeping them going after that, the four young, former “Idol” finalists soldiered on in a mostly bland show with the generic name “American Stars In Concert for the Holidays!” (the original “Idols in Concert” was a little catchier but may not have been officially sanctioned by the TV show).
Brooke Burke Breaks ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Casting News?
ET goes holiday shopping with newly minted “Dancing with the Stars” champ Brooke Burke, and she has potential breaking news about who may be part of next season’s cast!
“I heard Paula Abdul might be doing it, ” Brooke tells ET. “I don’t know if it’s true or not. She’s a dancer though — it’s so unfair!” She also says she’d like to see such stars as Oscar De La Hoya and Ryan Seacrest give it a whirl.
“It hasn’t quite hit me yet, ” she adds about her “DWTS” victory with pro partner Derek Hough. “I think I’m going to start going through withdrawal soon, but right now it’s just all about resting.”