Bucky Covington will go on his first USO tour in a couple weeks. On Feb. 15, just after he returns from The American Idol Experience events in Orlando, Fla., Bucky will take off for USO visits to Kosovo, Germany and the Netherlands. Aside from a brief trip to Jamaica, it’ll Bucky’s his first trip outside the States.
American Idol: Melinda Doolittle Releases Her First CD
You cant help but love Melinda Doolittle! She was the soul singing sweetheart contestant, who finished as the third place finalist on American Idol 6. Prior to her appearance on American Idol , Melinda Doolittle worked as a professional back-up singer for a number of big time singing sensations such as Michael McDonald, Kirk Franklin, Aaron Neville, BeBe and CeCe Winans, Alabama, Jonny Lang, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, and Anointed to name a few. Now Melinda Doolittle is stepping into the limelight with the release of her first CD recorded by Hi Fi Recordings!
Melinda Doolittle: The track-by-track review
As often as I can, Im going to try to continue an Idol Chatter tradition Ken Barnes started: The track-by-track album review. (You can read my capsule review for the paper here.)
With Melinda Doolittle Coming Back to You, there a good chance Ive previously heard all but one or two of the songs sung by other artists. I dont know whether I just wasnt paying attention, didnt listen to them much or Melinda changed the arrangements so dramatically that I dont recognize them, but I remember only a few of them. I havent gone back and listened to the others. Youre welcome to do that and post your comparisons.
More Idol Headlines after the JUMP…
Melinda Doolittle’s Coming Back
This former backup singer has come a long way since auditioning for “American Idol’s” sixth season — not only did she finally step onto center stage, but she’s been working hard to stay there. Tomorrow will see the release of her first post-“Idol” album, called “Coming Back to You” and if the lead single below is any indication, we’ll all be coming back for more.
Which cities love our Idols?
Last week, as part of my Salt Lake City auditions blogging, I mentioned that the Utah city gives Idols more airplay than any other city. That true historically, it was true two weeks ago, and it the case again this week.
Ill have more airplay chart info later today, but I thought youd enjoy seeing which cities hear Idols the most on the radio. The following list combines all the airplay for every Idol contestant on any radio station in the market, from last Monday through Sunday. Don’t suppose it’s any surprise that three of the top five were audition cities this year.
This week’s Idol airplay chart
As expected, Kelly Clarkson’s My Life Would Suck Without You continues its meteoric rise, easily outdistancing David Cook’s Light On to take over the top spot on this week’s Idol airplay chart. Get used to have Kelly at Number One: With Cook’s single having pretty much peaked, nothing else is even close to My Life Would Suck Without You, in terms of the number of spins.
Most of the rest of the Top 10 stays the same from last week, though Carrie Underwood’s I Told You So edges past Jennifer Hudson’s Spotlight to claim the 10th spot.
Top 36 American Idol 8 contestants revealed
For the next two weeks, American Idol 8 will narrow the group of contestants the judges sent to Hollywood down to the show first-ever top 36. But because the Hollywood round already taped, and because the series has a difficult time keeping its secrets, those identities of those semi-finalists have been published online.
A list of the top 36 was published by Vote for the Worst, which says it verified it with notorious Idol spoiler JoesPlace, who helped by …checking out the Legitimacy of the source and facts. And is there any better evidence than capital L legitimacy?
Add Jonny Lang’s sister to ‘Idol’ mix
Four Minnesotans, including a sister of blues prodigy Jonny Lang, advanced out of last year’s auditions for the current season of “American Idol.”
The Fox show’s website says that Jesse Langseth is among the competitors on the eighth season of the talent search show. Various “spoiler” websites list her and another Minnesota woman as among the final 36 competing to be America’s next “Idol.” The other two, apparently, have not been so lucky.
Brave Actress Survives Uwe Boll Movie, Becomes American Idol Finalist
We’ve heard some rough hard-luck stories over American Idol’s previous seven seasons ‘ ones involving broken families, record-label tomfoolery, terminal illness, and worse ‘ but this is a first. The list of Idol’s 36 eighth-season finalists leaked on Friday and on it is Jessica Tohn, an actress whose career appears to have miraculously survived an Uwe Boll movie. Tohn played the role of Faith, a terrorist-killing coffee-shop barista, in Boll’s recent Postal (nominated for three 2008 Razzies!). Her continued willingness to show her face in public and on television is truly an inspiration, and almost makes up for both the Jason Mraz song she auditioned with and the fact that she is completely irritating. See her Idol tryout, plus her acting skills in Postal, after the jump!
Culture Vulture: ‘Idol’ saw the Utah it wanted to see
Didn’t Utah look good on “American Idol” last week?
Viewers across America saw the Wasatch Mountains sitting majestically behind Simon, Paula, Randy and the new girl. They saw plenty of blue skies and natural wonders. And they heard about Utah’s musical heritage as the home to David Archuleta and “High School Musical.” (Not everybody can be Motown.)
Yes, the overarching message of last week’s “American Idol” episode, shot last summer and fall when thousands auditioned in Salt Lake City, was that Utah is loaded with natural beauty and homegrown talent.
But the show’s producers, intentionally or not, reinforced these four common stereotypes about Utahns:
‘American Idol’ Report Card
American IdolThe “American Idol” auditions are over, and we’re that much closer to finding out which Hollywood hopefuls will make it to the Top 36 and get the chance to perform for a shot at the Top 12. But before this year’s graduating class of performers is picked, we’d like to take a look back at the past seven seasons of the show and see which Idols (and runners up) have had the most success on and off the AI stage.
12 singers stand out during ‘American Idol’ auditions
American Idol audition shows are like the NFL scouting combine: Both gauge raw talent and potential, but neither reliably predicts future success.
Though it’s tempting to write off this crop based on some dull audition shows, all Idol needs is a dozen quality acts. Maybe just nine, since Vote for the Worst needs somebody to promote. And Season 8 has the makings of a solid, if not spectacular, class.
Jennifer Hudson Triumphs at the Super Bowl
Her presence and performance at the Super Bowl earned the 2006 Oscar winner (“Dreamgirls”) rave reviews and could put her in the running for the Emmy Award for best individual performance in a variety special, if ruled eligible by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The extraordinary circumstances of her appearance might prove to be akin to Bette Midler winning that same Emmy in 1992 for singing Grammy record of the year “Wind Beneath My Wings” to Johnny Carson upon his retirement from “The Tonight Show.” If ruled ineligible because this was a TV sports show, Hudson might still emerge a winner at the separate Sports Emmys.
Idol runner’up attracts crowd at Swamp Restaurant
Screams of …I love you came from an audience of about 300 people as David Archuleta took the stage at The Swamp Restaurant Monday afternoon.
Archuleta, the 18’year’old American Idol Season 7 runner’up, performed …Crush and …A Little Too Not Over You as part of KISS 105.3 concert series.
KISS 105.3 chose The Swamp because it is a traditional Gainesville restaurant and a staple in the city, said KISS employee Christian Chase.
Archuleta was scheduled to sing on the front porch of the University Avenue restaurant, but because of the rain it was moved to the second story back porch.
Fans line up to see ‘Idol’ star
Nearly 300 fans of David Archuleta, the seventh season “American Idol” runner-up, braved the rain and chilly temperatures Monday for a chance to see the 18-year-old Utah resident at The Swamp Restaurant.
Archuleta performed a couple of songs from his new self-titled album, answered questions from fans and signed autographs for about an hour and a half as part of the Kiss 105.3 Acoustic Concert Series.
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Jennifer Hudson ‘lip syncs’ the national anthem: How dare she…do what so many others have done?!
I don’t know about your Super Bowl party, PopWatchers, but at the one I was at, it took my friend Meagan about five seconds to point out that Jennifer Hudson was not singing “The Star Spangled Banner” live. (Producer Rickey Minor confirmed to the Associated Press that Hudson sang to a backing track at his request.) For the record, it took readers of Michael Slezak’s rave review of J. Hud’s take on the national anthem about 28 minutes to point out the Oscar winner was singing to a backing track, and then y’all were off to the races, some calling the decision disappointing, some wondering what the big deal is. I pretty much side with the latter camp. Unlike Bruce Springsteen, who did sing live during his halftime show, J. Hud was out there by herself, and with a song as deliberately paced and aggressively melodic as “The Star Spangled Banner, ” the echoes bouncing through that stadium would’ve been all kinds of distracting.
Girl hopes ‘Idol’ contestant can bring magic to Hamburg
HAMBURG – Ten-year-old Dakota Lang hopes to rejuvenate Hamburg’s annual celebration by bringing the American Idol contestant and country star singer Bucky Covington.
“My vision is to make our hometown Popcorn Day great again, ” Dakota said.
Dakota became a fan of Covington during “American Idol’s” fifth season. He was in the top 12 and finished eighth. Covington released his self-titled debut album in 2007 and has been touring the country.
Dakota first saw Covington perform live at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo., where Dakota and her mother, Judy, met the singer backstage.
“I liked him a lot, ” Dakota said. “He is fun to be with and comfortable to be around.”
Having traveled to 14 concerts, Dakota has not only formed a friendship with Covington but also his band.
American Idol’s Constantine Maroulis to perform at Toms River library
Ocean County Library will host Constantine Maroulis, the singer who helped make American Idol’s season four (2005) so memorable, at the Toms River branch, 101 Washington St., 7 p.m. Saturday Feb. 14.
Maroulis, 33, grew up in Wyckoff, NJ and graduated from the Boston Conservatory of Music, Boston.
His delivery of the Queen classic …Bohemian Rhapsody catapulted his career and caught the attention of Brian May, Queen’s lead guitar player. May personally asked Maroulis to sing the song on the …Killer Queen tribute CD.
Several of Maroulis’s performances can be viewed on www.youtube.com
Bid ¦ Before He Cheats
Sometime between now and Thursday (Feb. 5), you need to think long and hard about how much you love Carrie Underwood. Because the handwritten lyrics of her 2007 megahit, …Before He Cheats, are on eBay and open for bidding. They arent cheap ($580 as of this blogging), but I think this is one of those fan must-haves. Underwood didnt autograph the lyrics, but songwriters Josh Kear and Chris Tompkins did.
Paula Abdul’s Insight into ‘Idol’
“American Idol” judge Paula Abdul reveals what it’s really like inside the show’s audition room.
“The kids and the back stories are pretty amazing, ” Paul says of this seasons “Idol” contestants. “You’re going to get even more attached to them.”
ET caught up with Abdul at the Dare to Bare Your Skin challenge where she came out to support an initiative that encourages women to feel more confident in their own skin.
Here she opened up about what she thought of the audition of nephew to Donny and Marie Osmond, David, as well as the audition of a former Broadway Annie star.
ABC to reveal ‘Dancing with the Stars’ eighth-season cast February 8
Dancing with the Stars aficionados will soon learn which celebrities will be waltzing into primetime for the show’s upcoming eighth season.
ABC has revealed it will announce Dancing with the Stars’ eighth-season celebrity cast during the network’s primetime programming block on February 8.
“Wanna know who’s dancing this season? Sunday, we’re dropping names all night long, ” the network teased a commercial that aired during its daytime programming on Monday.
So You Think You Can Dance auditions
FOX’s popular summer reality show So You Think You Can Dance is gearing up for season 5. And if you think you can dance, get those dancing shoes ready!
Producers are holding auditions starting Tuesday in Miami. If you can’t make it to Miami, there’ll be more in Los Angeles, Denver, Memphis and Seattle throughout February and March.
The Memphis auditions will be Wednesday March 18th at the Memphis Orpheum Theater. Contestants must bring their own music and be between the ages of 18 and 30. Producers expect long lines so come prepared and bring plenty of snacks and water!
Dancing’s Karina Smirnoff Feeling “Great” After Surgery
Turns out Karina Smirnoff’s most recent engagement involved scalpels and anesthesia.
The newly betrothed Dancing With the Stars pro is on the mend after undergoing knee surgery, she confirmed Monday to E! News.
“I feel great, ” Smirnoff says. “I’m walking around easily, doing my physical therapy. The doc did an amazing job and said that I should be 100 percent by February 10th.”
She says that she injured her knee on the Dancing With the Stars tour and an MRI showed a torn meniscus.