Idol Headlines for 12/13/07

Today Idol headlines after the jump ¦

The Reliable Source
McPhee Gets Star Treatment, and That’s Not Good

Katharine McPhee unexpectedly got the Hollywood paparazzi treatment during her stop in D.C. Sunday night. After taping TNT’s “Christmas in Washington, ” the “American Idol” runner-up and her fiance, Nick Cokas, had a nasty run-in with two photographers when the tired 23-year-old refused to pose for pictures. The photogs stalked the couple outside Marcel’s restaurant — causing them to leave via the back door — and then followed them to the Four Seasons.

Things came to a head at the entrance of the luxury hotel, where we’re told the two men called McPhee a rude name and taunted her with a warning that footage of the couple would show up on celebrity gossip Web site Cokas lost his temper and shoved one of the men, according to a witness, and an upset McPhee threw a few very unladylike words their way.

No footage has surfaced of the very un-Washington-like altercation, which means someone: (a) forgot to turn the camera on or (b) is still trying to sell the tape. Stay tuned.

Washington Post

Interview: American Idol’s Blake Lewis Talks Potty Humor, Natalie Portman

American Idol runner-up Blake Lewis wowed as many people as he annoyed on the country’s favorite talent show with his radical, beat box-laden revamps of hits including Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name.” Now, the 311-repping 26-year-old is trying to create some smashes of his own with his surprisingly solid debut album, Audio Day Dream, which features Prince-style freak outs (“She’s Makin’ Me Lose It”), synth-heavy ’80s-style love jams (“End of the World”) and even some funky hip-hop (“Know Her Name”). Needless to say, it’s a far cry from your typical cookie-cutter post-Idol CD. Last week, we managed to get the spiky-haired heartthrob on the phone and asked him about Carrie Underwood’s sexiness, his favorite rappers and a certain profane online video …


Gone Country Cast Announced

John Rich from Big & Rich, schools a motley crew of mainstream celebrities including R&B and reality TV star Bobby Brown, Twisted Sister front man Dee Snider, American Idol finalist and Broadway star Diana DeGarmo, Marsha Brady herself Maureen McCormick and others on the fine art of country crooning and living in the CMT series GONE COUNTRY.

This seven-episode series takes seven established performers from every realm of the entertainment and music industries and immerses them in all things country for a chance to break out as the next big country superstar. GONE COUNTRY premieres with a special one-hour episode on Friday, January 25 at 8:00 p.m. ‘ 9:00 p.m., ET/PT. Respective episodes will be half-hour shows; with the series finale running one-hour on Friday, March 7……….


Aiken offers ho-ho-hum holiday show

It is the rarest of announcements displayed on a Mohegan Sun Arena marquee: “Tickets Still Available.”

Clay Aiken is out on his annual “Joyful Noise” Christmas tour and he brought the show to the Connecticut casino on Sunday night. Aiken, employing a small band to back a full orchestra, performed for just over 60 minutes.

Because of the venue (one of the best concert spots in New England), and the attached entertainment playground (the casino), shows at the arena are almost always sold out. There were plenty of good seats available all around the hall for Aiken’s show.

Given Kelly Clarkson’s recent touring troubles (her tour had to be scrapped and re-configured for smaller venues due to poor ticket sales), one might conclude that the bloom has come off the rose for past “American Idol” stars………………..


Groban Goes Grinch on Blake Lewis

Blake Lewis can’t jingle Josh Groban’s bells.

The beatboxer became the second Idol star in three weeks to have a debut on the weekly pop chart, but neither he nor season-six champ Jordin Sparks were able to make Groban break a sweat. The crooner’s holiday offering, Noà «l, spent its third straight week at number one, selling another 581, 000 copies for the week ended Sunday, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Groban is now tied with the King himself, Elvis Presley, for the most consecutive weeks atop the chart with a Christmas album. Furthermore, when Noà «l hit number one in its seventh week, it became the first Christmas album in 13 years to top the charts…….


American Idol Paris Bennett to perform at Play

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Out & About

Dr. Drew Willing To Be Sierra’s Advocate

Celebrity addictions specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky ‘ famous for his preppy attire, wire-rimmed glasses and scholarly answers to difficult questions ‘ said he is willing to come to Tampa to advocate for fallen “American Idol” contestant Jessica Sierra.

Before her Dec. 1 arrest, Sierra had completed taping for a new VH1 show “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.” The reality show is expected to air in January.

Her next court date is Dec. 20.

“I have made myself available, ” Pinsky told The Tampa Tribune this afternoon. “If I can get her to a therapeutic environment, court-ordered, it would be a good thing for her.”

Sierra has remained jailed since her arrest.

Pinsky said he is still discussing with Sierra’s attorney, John Fitzgibbons, whether his help is necessary……….

Is Ramirez Aiken to Make a Return to Broadway?

Sara Ramirez’s rep is shooting down rumors that the Grey Anatomy star is headed back to Broadway.

Sources in New York City had been telling me Ramirez was considering using some of her time off during the current writers’ strike to return to Spamalot, the nearly three-year-old hit musical inspired by the classic 1975 feature film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Ramirez earned a 2005 Tony Award for her work in the show as the Lady of the Lake.

At the same time, I was told Ms. Ramirez had expressed some reservations about American Idol wannabe and Broadway virgin Clay Aiken joining the cast in January as Sir Robin. Aiken gig runs from Jan. 18 to May 4. The role was originated by David Hyde Pierce………..


Josh Gracin: Just Shoot Me

Josh Gracin will offer fans who attend his concerts something special beginning in 2008. The singer has announced that fans will be allowed to videotape his entire show for themselves, and can then upload the videos to his website and trade them with other fans.
Josh says that because each of his shows is different this will give fans the opportunity to hear different songs from the other concerts.

The former American Idol contestant also plans to post a set list for each concert in 2008 to make it easier for fans to find particular songs they want to download.

Country Hound

Koz brings ‘A Smooth Jazz Christmas’ to Pechanga

….Tonight’s performance will be a little different than his first holiday season tour. He will also perform music from a motion picture theme album recently released. Moreover, the show will include special guests such as bassist Wayman Tisdale and former “American Idol” contestant Kimberley Locke…..


Keeping in Local: The Renaissance Hollywood Hotel Gives Back

Christmas is coming early this year, with Hollywood showing the world it knows just how to celebrate right. And no one been more center stage than the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel.

On Sunday, November 25th, the annual Hollywood Santa Parade marched its way down the world-famous Hollywood Boulevard for its 76th consecutive year, delighting the thousands of children (and adults) in attendance. Even with Santa Clause waving and reindeer trotting, it was hard to miss the major star power that showed up to celebrate, such as the reigning Queen of R&B, Mary J. Blige, the cast of Disney mega-popular High School Musical 2, and American Idol finalist Eliot Yamin. All the celebrities, including Santa were hosted at the Renaissance hotel near Kodak Theater, the home for the parade official Green Room………..

LA dBusiness News

Counting Down to American Idol: Where Are They Now?

They say that “almost” only counts in horseshoes and hand-grenades.

And also, apparently, in American Idol. You don’t have to be an A.I. winner to hit it big these days. Just ask Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson or American Music Award winner Chris Daughtry. Both are finding fame despite not having reached the pinnacle of FOX’s hit reality show.

So, as I wait for the next season of Idol, that got me wondering what last year’s Idol-ites are up to. (Okay, actually my editor at asked me to find out.)

Here’s a quick look:

More News

…. They will also be in the Liberty Bowl halftime show, which will be headlined by American Idol winner Taylor Hicks…..

The Times-Tribune

Music Notes

Jordin Sparks / Jordin Sparks
Let me be clear ¦ Jordin Sparks was not among my favorites during the last cycle of American Idol. In fact Sparks win inspired me to once again vow to never watch another season of America favorite talent competition, a feeling that was only confirmed by the release of the tepid first single …Tattoo from Miss Sparks highly unanticipated debut recording. So imagine my surprise when I listened the American Idol champ self-titled first album and found myself honestly thinking it wasnt half bad……

……More importantly, these tracks along with others like …No Air, a duet with Chris Brown, even manage to give the 17-year-old chanteuse a healthy and much needed dose of personality. If that same personality actually came across in her live performances, Sparks might be on track to become a superstar, rather than the poorest selling American Idol of all time behind Taylor Hicks (he won the season before, in case you forgot)……….

Blake Lewis / Audio Day Dream

He may have lost the American Idol competition, but Blake Lewis may well win the proverbial race in the long run. In stark contrast to Jordin Sparks, Blake Lewis has personality and attitude in spades, and both shine through on his debut recording, Audio Day Dream…..

……To put it plainly, Blake Lewis is a star ¦ a big, big star. Audio Day Dream is a monument to his breaking talent. Dont be fooled by the title. This is an album filled with the kind of bombastic assault that you should do anything but sleep on…….


Strictly gets Spiced up

THE SPICE Girls are to perform on this week’s Strictly Come Dancing show – in a snub to Simon Cowell.

Victoria, Geri and Mel C will sing alongside dancing show supremos Emma Bunton and Mel B.

It’s a real victory for the BBC show who snatched the reunited band’s services from the clutches of ITV rival The X Factor.

And it proves that tensions still simmer between the two Simons – Fuller, who is behind the Spice reunion and X Factor head honcho Cowell……..

The Sun

Chill out at the Jam

….The show features MercyMe, BarlowGirl, Skillet and Mandisa from “American Idol, ” and will be hosted by NewSong. Also included in the lineup is guest speaker Tony Nolan and the Real Encounter’s Xtreme BMX/skate team….