Report: ‹Idol to make changes in 2009
“American Idol” will have several changes to its format when it debuts in mid-January, according to an internal Fox memo posted online.
The memo reveals that for its semifinal round, “American Idol 8” will have 36 instead of 24 contestants; the audition episodes will be reduced while the pre-semifinal Hollywood round episodes will be increased; the wild card round will return, giving eliminated contestants the chance to compete for one of the top 12 finalist spots; the show’s focus on “bad singers” will be minimized; and …Idol Gives Back, the show’s charity telethon, will not air this year.
“American Idol” Reality Check
Our “American Idol” spies tell us Season 8 is going to look more like “Big Brother” than a true singing competition.
We’re told producers have decided to show how the contestants interact with each other off the stage. They will show a lot more “behind the scenes” than ever before. But here’s the problem — the show is a cash cow and they’ve already taken time out of the singing competition for more commercials. Now they’re going to take even more time out for the whole “bitch-you-stole-my-blouse” thing.
And we’re now told firmly the new, fourth judge is not there to replace Paula. Producers think four is the magic number. The downside — when one or two judges tell contestants they suck, is it overkill to hear it from four?
More Idol Headlines after the JUMP…
Kristy Lee Cook Sings a Carrie Underwood Song
Just as I was getting into Kristy Lee Cook, her record label confirmed to Country Aircheck that they were parting ways with the American Idol alum. Her short six-month stint with Arista is over. And that too bad because I heard her on playing a little acoustic set on Sirius radio last week and really, really liked it. Especially this one song, …Not Tonight, which Carrie Underwood wrote. I know. How weird to have one Idol writing for another. Underwood wrote that tune with Brett James and Chris Lindsey and it my guess that when James started producing Cook album, maybe he snagged whatever songs Underwood wasnt going to use.
David Cook Rumored to Propose to Kimberly Caldwell
Dating Kimberly Caldwell for nearly seven months, David Cook reportedly is planning to propose to her during the holidays. The “American Idol” winner is claimed to have been looking for the perfect ring to be given to his leading lady.
Per Star magazine, David is keen to present Kimberly with an extravagant 2-carat diamond and platinum ring from Tiffany’s when he pops the question. The gem, still according to Star, costs $54, 000.
“He’s not used to spending that kind of money on jewelry, so he needs to give it some thought, ” so read a quote in this week’s issue of Star. At press time, there hasn’t any comment from David, Kimberly, or their people concerning the engagement report.
Where Will David Cook Ring in 2009?
David Cook is going to Sin City for New Year’s, and he’s bringing Scott Weiland with him.
The American Idol champ and Stone Temple Pilots rocker will perform at Fox’s New Year’s Eve Live special at The Mirage in Las Vegas, the network announced.
Spike Feresten, of Talkshow with Spike Feresten fame, and Hole in the Wall’s Mark Thompson will co-host the show from the Las Vegas strip before the celebration moves to New York City for the time-honored ball drop.
After the clocks strike 12, the party will shift back to The Mirage, where daredevil Robbie Knievel will attempt to clear a 200-foot jump over the Mirage Volcano. The death-defying act will mark the 41st anniversary of his father Evel Knievel’s jump at Caesars Palace.
Other celebrities and musical acts partaking in the festivities are to be announced.
Kellie Pickler Takes Taylor Swift Approach
Taylor Swift has rather famously seeded her career with songs she wrote about guys who broke her heart, so when Kellie Pickler went through her own breakup during 2007, Taylor suggested they write a song about it.
That song, “Best Days Of Your Life, ” is Kellie latest single.
“I remember when I sat down with Taylor, ” Kellie told Dial-Global. “I had [gone] through a bad breakup and was going through a lot of emotions and feelings ‘ hurt and anger and pissed off … all these different feelings. I was just pouring my heart out, and she was like, ‘Let’s write about it.’ So she pulled out her guitar, and we got on the back of her bus, and she started strumming away, and we just wrote this smash.”
Long Island Radio Show to Host First Guest Kimberley Locke
(Long Island, N.Y.) You loved her on American Idol and on Celebrity Fit Club on VH1, and now shell be joining us to talk about her new Christmas Album. ¦and well catch up with her and see what other cool stuff is going down in her world.
Dont miss this exciting show which will be held on Monday, Dec. 15th @9pm Eastern Time.
Listen in at WGBB 1240AM NY or on the web at: www.am1240wgbb.com
Paula’s Big Whoop
Instead of dancing, which her fellow “American Idol” judge covered in “Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew, ” the former choreographer will go further into her roots to host a show with every bit as complicated a title, “RAH! Paula Abdul’s Cheerleading Bowl.”
Abdul, a former Laker Girl, hosts and coaches in the show she created and executive produced.
In it, squads from the University of Arizona, University of Hawaii, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, University of Mondana and the University of Miami at Ohio will compete “in the ultimate cheerleading competition, ” according to an MTV press release.
“RAH!” is planned as a one shot 90 minute special airing at noon Saturday Jan. 3 with judges that include “Bring It On” choreographer Hi-Hat, UMass Dartmouth coach Scott Bouchard and New Jersey Nets dancer Brenna Kliger.
Rising High: Carrie Underwood is the next big crossover superstar
Singer Carrie Underwood tries to be modest about her success since winning …American Idol in 2005, but there’s no denying that she has the total package of talent, looks, attitude and songs needed to become a crossover superstar like Shania Twain.
Despite selling nearly 11 million albums in her short post-…Idol career, Underwood makes a believable case that she isn’t obsessed with entering the orbit realm of Twain, who used sexy looks, sassy attitude and a slick country-pop sound to go global in the mid-’90s.
Underwood also has drawn comparisons to Faith Hill, Martina McBride and Reba McEntire, who, too, have used big talent and savvy marketing to cross over to pop and adult-contemporary radio and become household names far beyond Nashville’s orbit.
Carrie Underwood will wrap 2008 touring at the Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry, presented by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, will host the final Tuesday Night Opry of 2008 next week, Dec. 16, at the historic Ryman Auditorium. A one-hour portion of the show will be taped for broadcast Dec. 20 on Great American Country …Opry Live, according to a news release.
Among the performers confirmed for the show are Opry members Bill Anderson, Jimmy Dickens, Julianne Hough, Diamond Rio, Martina McBride and Oklahoma native Carrie Underwood.
Underwood, who was inducted as an Opry member this year, will wrap her …Carnival Ride Tour, her first headlining tour, on Saturday. Checotah favorite daughter has chosen to make the final Tuesday Night Opry her last live performance of 2008. She and the others on the show, will perform hits and Christmas songs.
Williams, Rock, Earnhardt headed to Iraq
Washington will ‘ briefly ‘ get some star power on Monday, when Kid Rock, Kellie Pickler, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Robin Williams stop by Andrews Air Force Base.
And it’s not just to check out the big planes: The group will leave Monday morning from AFB and head to Iraq Iraq as part of a United Service Organizations tour, where they will perform for the troops.
Anyone want to bet Williams gets inundated with requests to yell “Good morning, Vietnam!”???
Hey, Sony, leave those kids alone: Settlement in COPPA case
The largest COPPA settlement to date was handed down Thursday when Sony BMG agreed to pay out $1 million for having collected and used without parental consent personal information on tens of thousands of kids under 13.
The violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act involved 196 fan sites for musical acts such as Good Charlotte, Kelly Clarkson, Chris Brown, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. According to the US Federal Trade Commission complaint, Sony BMG’s sign-up process for viewing and participating in such sites required the user to enter their name, date of birth, email address, mobile phone number, gender, city, state, and country.
Cowell raises pressure on finalists
Simon Cowell said the pressure was on for the X Factor finalists to win the show, because in the current economic climate he cannot guarantee runners up a recording contract.
Asked if he was going to sign up any of the other contestants, he said: “I’m not going to make any decisions at this time. I think under the current climate I would say it was more important to win the show this year than any other year.
“Like every other business the record business is tougher than it was last year.”
Cowell said that this year’s finals was the most exciting so far. “It’s the most exciting final we’ve done. I genuinely can’t call it. It’s theirs to win on the night. That’s what the final should be about, all about their performance. I’m really looking forward to Saturday. I think it’s going to be a right old ding dong.”
Cowell: Winner “guaranteed” No. 1
Simon Cowell has claimed that the X Factor winner is “guaranteed” the Christmas number one.
The music mogul revealed that 500, 000 copies of winning single ‘Hallelujah’, originally recorded by Leonard Cohen, have already been ordered, despite the fact that the eventual version is yet to be revealed.
“It’s a classic pop song and they’ve all done three very different versions, ” he said of the show’s finalists JLS, Eoghan Quigg and Alexandra Burke.
“The advance orders have already been over 500, 000 units so I just cant see how anyone else can compete with that.”
Simon Cowell: I’m embarrassed about X Factor gagging clause
Simon Cowell has admitted to feeling embarrassed after news got out that X Factor finalists must sign a contract banning them from criticising him in public.
Details of the contract were leaked earlier this week, also revealing that the winner receives an advance of £150, 000, rather than the £1 million figure regularly bandied about on the show.
“It’s slightly embarrassing when any commercial contract goes out, ” Cowell said. “I wasn’t aware I was one of the clauses. You can’t be horrible about me? That’s probably the most useless clause in the history of contracts, because everybody does talk horribly about me, and you know what? I don’t care.
“It sounds ridiculously hypocritical for me to slate loads of people who come on the show and then say, ‘You have to be nice about Simon.'”
Susie Castillo to co-host ‘Superstars of Dance’ with Michael Flately
NBC has announced that Susie Castillo will join professional dancer Michael Flatley as the co-host of Superstars of Dance, a new international dance competition series the network will premiere on Sunday, January 4 at 9PM ET/PT.
Castillo, a former Miss USA, has previously served as a host for ABC Family’s America’s Prom Queen reality competition as well as MTV’s TRL and Big Ten programs. She’s also currently appearing in an acting role on TBS’ House of Payne sitcom.
Flately — the Lord of the Dance star who recently appeared as a guest judge on Dancing with the Stars — will serve as the host of Superstars of Dance, which will pit skilled dancers of various genres from different countries against each other.
Maksim Chmerkovskiy of “Dancing with the Stars” comments on the rumors that Steve-O may be a contestant on the next series
Maksim Chmerkovskiy of “Dancing with the Stars” at the AIM event at the Palomar Hotel in LA comments on the rumors that Steve-O from “Jackass” may be a contestant on the next series. Also, he tells us that athletes generally make better dancers than singers as they are used to the grueling training schedules. Lastly he says that after doing lots of pointless promotion for the show at various events it’s nice to attend one that he really believes in.
‹Dancing host joins Starlight fundraiser
As a kid, Tom Bergeron had a dream, and, no, it wasnt …I want to be an Emmy-award-winning television host when I grow up.
…My fantasy was to work at WBZ Radio because I would listen to Larry Glick and Dave Maynard and Carl DeSuze and people like that, said Bergeron, who grew up in Haverhill. …To get to work with them was really the big goal in my mind.
Then, TV happened ‘ sort of by accident.
…When I was doing radio in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in the early 80s, some people who worked in Boston television called and said, ‹Were doing some TV shows we think you might be good for. Would you like to come down and audition?