Idol Headlines for 12/14/09

A hard homecoming? Jennifer Hudson visits Chicago for Christmas special

We all know what Jennifer Hudson can do, and she’ll no doubt do just that in her first, hourlong television special, “Jennifer Hudson: I’ll Be Home for Christmas, ” which airs Monday.

ABC didn’t offer a preview of the special but did pass along three snippets: Hudson lip-syncing a gospeled-up “Silent Night, ” while seated (rather oddly) alone in the bow of a boat passing under Chicago River bridges; Hudson in personable, girl-next-door mode ushering the cameras into her high school, Dunbar Vocational Career Academy on the South Side, and Hudson singing “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful” a cappella in front of a fireplace with four other women whom she eventually blows out of the room.

Chicago Tribune

Lambert, Bieber, Meester Reflect on 2009 Backstage at Jingle Ball

Adam Lambert, who was hand to introduce Swift, shared that his biggest fear of the moment was people not continuing to buy his music, and waxed on the perfectly timed release of his second single ‘Whataya Want From Me, ‘  co-written by Pink and Max Martin: ‘Now it’s so appropriate’ ¦ the best lyric in the song is, ‘Yeah I’m a freak, but thanks for loving me, you’re doing it perfectly.’ ‘ 

More Headlines after the JUMP…

Jennifer Hudson Gets into the Christmas Spirit with New Holiday Special

Jennifer Hudson has plenty of reasons to celebrate this holiday season after another banner year for the singer-actress. After Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew were tragically murdered in October 2008, she made a triumphant return to the spotlight in 2009. This past year, Hudson added Grammy winner to her resume, performed at the Super Bowl and toured the country for the first time. On top of her professional accomplishments, Hudson and fianc David Otunga welcomed their first child, David Daniel Otunga Jr., in August. As the Oscar winner prepares for her first Christmas as a mother, Hudson, 28, will also star in her first ever Christmas special ‘” Jennifer Hudson: I’ll Be Home for Christmas ‘” Monday at 8/7c on ABC. The self-proclaimed “Christmas fanatic” talked with about returning to her hometown of Chicago, one of her favorite holiday traditions and how she plans to top herself in 2010.

TV Guide

Reality Show Alums Set to Dazzle in DREAMGIRLS

The sheer popularity of reality TV talent competitions, such as ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and ‘American Idol’ is no longer undermined: these shows have proven to be global platforms capable of launching emerging talent to millions of living rooms across the world. But while the foray into everyday water-cooler talk may be fleeting for many contestants, some find a niche to showcase their talent elsewhere, namely the stage.

Reality show alums Syesha Mercado (who garnered third-place in ‘Americal Idol’) and Shane Sparks (a hip-hop choreographer with ‘So You Think You Can Dance’) are both part of the national touring production of ‘Dreamgirls’ which opens Wednesday in Baltimore. Mercado will play Deena, a character based on the life of Supremes singer Diana Ross. Sparks, while admittedly reluctant to become involved with a Broadway show, is the co-choreographer for the production. While neither had experience in musical theatre, director Robert Longbottom was determined to give Mercado and Sparks a fair chance.

Broadway World

Adam Lambert manages no controversy, mucho swag at Z100 Jingle Ball

After a Band-Aid appearance on “The View, ” Adam Lambert appears to be slowly recovering from his AMA crotch-thrusting debacle.

Over the weekend, Glammy hit Z100’s Jingle Ball, where he shook hands and scored holiday gifts at On 3 Production’s H&M Artist Gift Lounge backstage at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

LA Times

Sometimes it works out just fine to be second best

Susan Boyle/ Adam Lambert

They may have finished as runners-up, but Boyle and Lambert decisively hogged the headlines during their respective TV talent shows. They also went on to produce albums that dominated the sales charts. Remind us in a few years or so to find out what the dance group Diversity and mellow rocker Kris Allen are up to.


Interview Bits: Christmas And Other Random Tidbits From David Archuleta’s Heart

David Archuleta is in a giving mood this season. The uber-talented 18-year-old singer treated his fans to ‘Christmas From The Heart, ‘  a beautiful album of his renditions of yuletide classics, and even an original song sure to become a holiday staple. He didn’t stop there, though. He’s now out on the road promoting the new album with a nation-wide tour.

His generous spirit rubbed off on us at Neon Limelight. We decided to put our interview with Archie in the hands of the people who know him the most ‘” the fans! But we didn’t want to just talk about the album or the tour. We wanted to give you guys a chance to get the answers to some of the most random questions you could think to ask. You came through with the questions, we came through with the answers!

Neon Limelight

‘Livin’ it up’ in Paws

Headliner Josh Gracin drew a crowd of more than 300 to the last CAB sponsored event before winter break.

The former ‘American Idol’  contestant came in fourth place in the show’s second season in 2003 and since then has carved out his own career as a country singer.

‘He was one of the best performers that we thought would draw the largest audience, ‘  Heather Kyler, a programming chair for CAB, said.

‘I definitely watched [‘American Idol’ ] season two, and I definitely remember he was my favorite because he was like the cutest one.’ 

The Tower Light

Barbara Eden, DWTS’ Dmitry Chaplin, Idol’s David Hernandez, et al. Set for Ballroom With a Twist at DuPon Theatre

Barbara Eden host the DuPont Theatre’s production of Ballroom with a Twist, to run January 19-24. Dancing With the Stars’ Louis van Amstel will direct and choreograph the production.

The show is an extravagant evening of dance, from ballroom to the hip-hop stylings, and song. The production will feature Dancing’s Dmitry Chaplin, as well as Jonathan Roberts and Anna Trebunskaya, along with an ensemble of 14 dancers from Dancing, So You Think You Can Dance and High School Musical. Vocals will be provided by American Idol alumni David Hernandez and Trenyce will provide the vocals.

Jennifer Lopez Gets a Do-Over on SYTYCD

Jennifer Lopez is taking a mulligan.

After a spill at the American Music Awards, the ‘Louboutins’  singer is teaming up again with So You Think You Can Dance choreographers Tabitha and Napoleon Dumo (known as Nappytabs) to do a holiday-themed number for the season finale of the show.

Although Lopez redeemed herself with a performance on Ellen, Tabitha says they’re not taking any chances this time.

‘We’re steering clear of some big jumps, ‘  Tabitha says. ‘I feel like we don’t have to be dangerous anymore ‘ ¦ Though I appreciated seeing guys with their shirts off personally ‘” [there will be] no sweaty backs, no shirtless guys. We’re going to have some classy looking guys.

The real X Factor winner – Simon Cowell

So, 18-year-old Joe McElderry ‘” or ‘Joe McElderberry’ , as he will always be called by confused elderly relatives ‘” won last night’s X Factor. As a pleasant, unassuming, white-toothed boy whose pop-cultural usefulness will span all the way from singing ‘sad’  ballads to singing ‘reflective’  ballads, McElderry wakes up today with a recording contract, instant fame, and an almost-certain Christmas No 1.

Of course, as we know, this is no guarantee of eternal future happiness. On the one hand, Leona Lewis, Alexandra Burke and JLS enjoy massive success and record sales. On the other hand, 2004 winner Steve Brookstein is currently playing Pizza Express in Maidstone. X Factor giveth, and X Factor taketh away.


Joe McElderry wins X Factor

In what was billed as the closest final in the history of the television talent show, McElderry beat call centre worker Olly Murs to the biggest prize in the music business.

But in the end he received a definitive 61 per cent of the vote.

In front of an estimated television audience of 20 million, the performing arts student from South Shields, Tyne and Wear, landed a £1 million recording deal and an all-but-guaranteed number one in the Christmas chart.


Joe McElderry wins X Factor with 61 per cent of the vote

In what was billed as the closest final in the history of the television talent show, McElderry beat call centre worker Olly Murs to the biggest prize in the music business.

In front of an estimated television audience of 20 million, the performing arts student from South Shields, Tyne and Wear, landed a £1 million recording deal and an all-but-guaranteed number one in the Christmas chart.

Simon Cowell on his career, X Factor and Susan Boyle

Life for Simon Cowell is pretty good – he is fabulously wealthy, Barack Obama drops his name, and Gordon Brown says he is an X Factor fan.

Although according to the prime minister, Business Secretary Peter Mandelson prefers the BBC’s rival Saturday night show Strictly Come Dancing – something which Cowell told me he found very funny.

In real life, Cowell is a much more thoughtful and engaging character than his television persona would suggest (not an uncommon occurrence).

Our interview was long in the negotiation, but remarkably obstacle-free once we entered the rather lovely Sony HQ where he has a suite of offices.

X Factor final: Joe wins, but it’s Cowell who has mastered the fickle arts

Last night at 9.16pm, three contrasting facial expressions told the story of the 2009 series of The X Factor: the lighthouse-bright smile of the winner, Joe McElderry, 18, almost guaranteed a hit single with his cover version of Miley Cyrus’s The Climb; and the inevitable regrets of the loser, 25-year-old Olly Murs, tempered by the thought that runners-up ‘ such as Jade Goody and Susan Boyle ‘ sometimes flourish more than victors.

Alongside them, Simon Cowell gave no reaction, but this should not be taken as lack of emotion. It’s simply that, either through luck or expenditure, he has an improbably tight face. But if Cowell could, he would be wearing a mouth-stretching grin this morning.

X Factor’s Simon Cowell wants to run election debates

X Factor judge Simon Cowell has said he wants to run a series of “prime time” TV debates on key political issues ahead of the next general election.

The music impresario told the BBC he wanted to create a “bear pit” atmosphere, with a live studio audience and viewers voting via telephone.

The debates could deal with subjects including capital punishment, the Afghan war and immigration, he added.

More than 10 million people voted for the Factor final on Sunday on ITV1.

Could Cowell spot a Springsteen?

Fifty years have elapsed since Simon Cowell’s favourite desert island disc ‘” Mack The Knife ‘” scaled the charts. It’s no surprise that so much of Cowell’s favourite music was made in the very infancy of rock’n’roll, less still that he has spent the last decade attempting to send the music industry reversing back there. At the heart of it all, Cowell is an A&R man, or Artists & Repertoire to use the old handle ‘” someone whose job, in his own words, is to ‘guess what’s going to be popular’ .


Simon Cowell’s lavish LA life

Even by the standards of his billionaire neighbours, Simon Cowell lives large in his home-away-from-home of Los Angeles. For example: he wasn’t content simply to buy a house on one of the most expensive streets in one of the most prestigious, celebrity-crammed enclaves of Beverly Hills. Oh no. Instead, he paid £6.4 million for a gated mansion only a few minutes’ drive from Rodeo Drive ‘” Jennifer Lopez sold it to him ‘” then knocked it down and rebuilt the place from scratch, to suit his own (alas, slightly cheesy) taste.

The total price-tag for the estimated 12, 000-square-foot Taj Cowell? No one can know for sure, but informed guesses put it at £16.4 million (that’s £2.7 million for each of its six bedrooms).



‘Idol’ winner Kris Allen to headline Fox New Year’s Eve show

Kris Allen doesn’t really expect the rest of the world to be like him.
He’s the quiet, casual one. ‘If my best friend was like me, we’d never have any fun, ‘  he said.

nstead, Allen keeps being in the midst of commotion. On Fox, he won ‘American Idol’  and will headline this year’s New Year’s Eve show; in real life, he’s been with:

‘ His wife Katy. They’ve been together ever since his junior year and her sophomore year in high school. ‘I’m pretty laidback and she’s kind of high-strung, ‘  he said. ‘We’re pretty much complete opposites.’ 

The Northwestern

About mj santilli 34837 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!