Idol Headlines for 1/29/08

Phil’s Pages: The first installment

Let’s start out the week with the inaugural installment of Phil’s Pages, wherein Season 6 finalist Phil Stacey kicks off a series of first-person accounts of his new, post-Idol career.

Hi! Phil Stacey here, you might remember me from the last season of American Idol. So much has happened in the last few months. It seems like it gone by so quickly.

The American Idol tour finished in late September. In October, I ended my active-duty Navy stint and ended up joining the Navy Reserve. I also relocated my family from Florida to Nashville, which was really cool. As much as I loved Florida, I didnt have any family anywhere near me. My mom and dad live in Nashville, and so do my brother and sister-in-law, and now we get to all see each other a lot.

You might have also heard that I signed a record deal with Lyric Street Records and have my first CD coming out on April 15. I met the folks from the record label while I was on tour and we talked about the possibility of cutting a record. After the tour, we decided to go ahead and do it.

Idol Chatter

American Idol support group

Leesa Bellesi threw her hands up in the air and prayed: “Here I am Lord, send me to the backstage of American Idol.”

She was watching Season 5 of the ultra-popular television show in her Laguna Beach home at the time.

It was her calling, she thought, “to minister to the needs of the people on that show.”

Several weeks later, out of the blue, a pretty girl named Katharine McPhee walked into Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena where Leesa’s husband, Denny, founder of Coast Hills Community Church in Aliso Viejo, was serving as the interim teaching pastor. Katharine asked Leesa and Denny to pray for her ‘ as she was about to go into seclusion for American Idol.

After so many Idol encounters, Leesa is launching a website, on Feb. 14, the day after the top 24 are announced, to offer them spiritual encouragement and financial support as they sing for votes and a shot at a life-changing record deal.

“I think it’s great, ” says Sligh, who last week flew from Nashville, where he is recording a Christian rock album, to stay a few days at the Leesa’s mobile home getaway overlooking the oceanfront Montage Resort in Laguna Beach. “To have people who are willing to come to you financially when you’re in that position; It is a struggle.”


‘American Idol’ producer likes mining Texas talent

“There are some weird and wonderful people here, ” says American Idol producer/director Nigel Lythgoe, explaining why Texas has become such a breeding ground for real-people casting calls. And Dallas in particular holds a special spot for Mr. Lythgoe, who not only brought the Idol auditions here in August, but was back in town earlier this month to hold tryouts for his other hit show, So You Think You Can Dance, at Southern Methodist University.

Dallas News

American Idol shows signs of being watchable this time around

The song remains the same as American Idol’s ghoul train pulls into Omaha, Nebraska, tonight. The same bum notes, the same hound-dog wailing, the same hit parade from Simon Cowell — the grand delusion springs eternal.

And yet, something is different this time. The genuine contenders appear to be sharper, more mature and more genuinely talented than in seasons past.

American Idol Smoke and Mirrors Continue

The above clip shows the American Idol audition of Kyle Reinneck, the Jake Shears-gone-demonic auditioner whose performance of “Never Again” sent him packing during the Dallas audition episode two weeks ago. Or does it? If Reinneck is to be believed, the clip above is actually the product of some creative editing, and the judges’ nasty comments about his weirdo stage presence are all in reference to his performance of a different song! Oh man, is this going to inspire some Zapruder-like scrutiny.


American Idol: Songs That Need the Old Heave-Ho

After seven years and about 3.5 million episodes, we …American Idol faithful have heard it all from …Like a Virgin to …Let My Peepllllllll Gooooo. In many cases weve heard the song over and over ad nauseum. It time to retire some of the old stand-bys. Like ¦


Jason Rich keeps faith in God, looks to ‘American Idol’ for fame

Christian singer/songwriter Jason Rich, a 21-year-old from Dike, wasted no time in adding ?2008 American Idol contestant? to his biography.

Tuesday night’s episode of the hit talent contest on the Fox network will feature auditions in Omaha, Neb., that were held in August 2007. Viewers may get to see footage of Rich, who sang a country song, Keith Whitley?s ?When You Say Nothing At All.?

During the auditions, he was followed by an Idol camera crew for four hours as he worked on his girlfriend?s dad?s farm, something he does on a part-time basis. Such attention is usually a sign the show will feature Rich in some sort of profile segment. Rich was one of 20 contestants in Omaha to receive one of the show?s famous ?golden tickets, ? usually seen being waved above a singer?s head just before they?re smothered in a group hug.

Des Moines Register

‘American Idol’ contestant from Chicago helps put spotlight on rare disease

When a 26-year-old Chicagoan recently moved on to the next round of “American Idol, ” she was furthering more than her musical ambitions.

The popular show recently opened its seventh season featuring a video clip of Angela Martin and her 8-year-old daughter with Rett syndrome, raising awareness about a little-known genetic disorder.

“The e-mail started flying in as soon as the show was over, ” said Chuck Curley, director of the International Rett Syndrome Research Foundation and a father of a 12-year-old with the condition. “This is a huge moment for us.”

Chicago Tribune

Larionov sisters might be on ‘Idol’

Listen up, fans of “American Idol” or Red Wings hockey or both.

There’s a chance tonight’s “Idol” episode — about the audition round in Omaha, Neb. — could contain a glimpse of Alyonka, 20, and Diana Larionov, 17, daughters of former Detroit Red Wings great Igor Larionov.

Although all things “Idol” are kept as secretive as possible, there’s been some Web buzz about the Larionov girls auditioning for the show.

You’ll have to watch to find out what happens. Little is known for sure, aside from a few brief comments dropped by their proud dad.

Last fall, during an interview with WXYZ-TV (Channel 7), Igor Larionov said his daughters were in Omaha trying out for “Idol” and waiting for final word from the judges.

Carly of American Idol

The past of one of the contestants on this season finally confirmed entrants on …American Idol has been the rage of some blogs for months.

Carly Smithson, who qualified during the San Diego auditions (aired last week on the show), is in fact Carly Hennessy, probably the most notorious singer to ever sell fewer than 400 CDs for a major label.

About six years ago, the Wall Street Journal focused on Hennessy as everything that was wrong with the music industry. (The original story is reproduced here.)

The one-sentence version of the story, from my point of view: A young attractive woman with a decent voice is run through a wringer by advisers and suits, and the resulting …product fails to strike a chord with listeners during a downturn in CD sales.

Herald Review

Admire tries ‘American Idol’

“American Idol” fans soon may learn what many Siouxlanders already know: 17-year-old Katie Admire is very, very talented.

“She can do anything she sets her mind to, ” says Diana Wooley, director of education at the Lamb School. “She should be able to go in a number of directions.”

Admire, though, is currently in the hunt for that elusive “Idol” title. The Sergeant Bluff-Luton High School homecoming queen auditioned last summer in Omaha and, according to sources, won one of the “golden tickets” to a second round. Beyond that? No one’s talking.

The popular talent show, in fact, is so secretive officials won’t even say what night an Admire audition may appear. Tonight, though, the Fox series is slated to spotlight its Omaha visit.

Sioux City Journal

Tulsan may be among ‘American Idol’ finalists

A Tulsa music scene regular also may be headed to Hollywood for “American Idol.”

David Cook, a singer/songwriter with an indie solo album, “Analog Heart, ” will be shown in Tuesday’s “American Idol” episode featuring auditions from Omaha, Neb.

Tulsa World

Guadalupe homework program gets ‘American Idol’ grant

The Thunderbirds-Guadalupe Branch of Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley has received a $25, 000 grant from American Idol to be used for its Power Hour program.

Power Hour targets youngsters 6 to 12 by providing opportunities for them to work on their homework and receive tutoring.

The money, received this past fall, was part of the “Idol Gives Back” telethon last season that raised more than $70 million.

The one-time grant of $25, 000 will help Thunderbirds-Guadalupe cover training expenses, staffing, food, prizes/incentives, equipment, transportation and program supplies for the program, which runs Mondays through Thursdays. Another East Valley club, the Gila River Branch in Sacaton, also received an Idol grant.

Starr Report

Jackson doesn’t mince any words when it comes to former “American Idol” contestants whose albums have tanked following their initial success on the show. “Once you graduate high school you can’t blame the high school, ” Jackson tells AOL Television. “The truth really is [that] it’s up to them to make amazing records. If they don’t make amazing records… you know, the business kinda catches up with them.”

NY Post

Midday Update

Carrie Underwood adds more March and April shows. Look for Ms. Underwood in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Ontario, Indiana and Michigan in March, Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan in April.


Jordin Sparks, father share spotlight

Phillippi Sparks’ No. 22 New York Giants jersey may finally make it onto a Super Bowl playing field.

The local football legend and Maryvale High School graduate slipped on and off the Giants’ roster between the team’s last two Super Bowl appearances: a 1991 victory against the Buffalo Bills and a 2001 loss against the Baltimore Ravens.

Though Phillippi never felt Super Bowl grass beneath his feet, his daughter, 2007 American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, will when she sings the national anthem before the Giants vs. New England Patriots showdown Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium.


Clay Aiken: I’m Not Justin Timberlake

Asked if his reputation as, well, the kind of kid who’d be the last one picked for the school sports team might hinder his social life, Aiken says, “Let’s not fool ourselves. … There are people like Justin Timberlake, males who are cool on radio right now, and then there’s me. If I heard myself in a dance club? If I went into a dance club ‘ which I never do ‘ and I heard Clay Aiken come on, I’d roll my eyes and get out.”


Clay Aiken Is the Ron Paul of the Entertainment World

The sleepy comments pages of have exploded in the past 24 hours thanks to a single, indefatigable force: the power of Claymates. Anyone who has ever written anything about Clay Aiken knows that he is the Ron Paul of the entertainment world: Like Paul, Aiken is followed by a cadre of fans that will tirelessly seek out anything written about the man and instantly, and overwhelmingly, respond. (This innocuous Quote Machine from back in July, featuring Aiken, was the subject of the most e-mails Vulture’s ever received about a single post.)

So it should be no surprise that since Ariel Levy’s fascinating profile of Aiken in the current issue of New York was posted online last night, it has already accumulated 104 comments, and counting. Some are from appreciative Claymates thanking Levy for writing such a thoughtful piece; most are from crazy Claymates with a bone to pick. Nearly all of them include digressions in which the writers loudly proclaim their everlasting love for Clay. A collection of the most passionate, after the jump.


Clay Aiken on Romantic Relationships: I Don’t Have Any Desire

Clay Aiken sat down with the new issue of New York Magazine to promote his run in Broadway’s Spamalot. But Aiken ended up on a tangent about his personal life, saying he has no sex life and no desire. He has refused to talk about it in the past, and recently got in a spat with Newsweek when they tried to ask about it.

Let’s not fool ourselves, ” he says with his eyebrows up in his arch, queeny way. “The truth is? There are people like Justin Timberlake, males who are cool on radio right now, and then there’s me. If I heard myself in a dance club? If I went into a dance club–which I never do–and I heard Clay Aiken come on, I’d roll my eyes and get out. But you know what? I’m fine with being kind of vanilla! It’s oh-kye!” In his book, Aiken says that it’s not just clubs but also bars he dislikes: “The only reason people go to bars is to get drunk and have sex. To me, bars are what hell is like.”He imagines his social life here will be “nonexistent, really. I’m not a nighttime person.” He does not plan on dating, and he is not involved with anyone. “Heck, no, ” he says. “My dogs.” He has never had a romantic relationship with anyone, unless you count the girls he took to dances back in high school in Raleigh. “I just don’t have an interest in … any of that at all. I have got too much on my plate, ” he says. “I’d rather focus on one thing and do that when I can devote time to it, and right now, I just don’t have any desire.”

Huffington Post

Sex Tape Starring AMERICAN IDOL ® Finalist Jessica Sierra to Be Released January 30th As She Undergoes Rehab in California

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–While former AMERICAN IDOL ® finalist Jessica Sierra completes her current rehab in nearby Pasadena, Vivid Entertainment, the world leading adult film studio, will release a steamy sex tape starring the troubled singer.

“Jessica Sierra Superstar” will go on sale January 30th in retail stores nationwide and online at

“It an exceptionally explicit series of vignettes both solo and with Charles “C” Youngblood a man she met at a Hooters bar in Tampa. The tape also reveals much about the personality of Jessica and gives some insight that would be helpful for anyone curious as to how she has arrived at her current situation in life, ” according to Steven Hirsch, co-chairman of Vivid Entertainment.


About mj santilli 34829 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!