All 7 ‘Idol’ Winners Gather To Open Disney Attraction
LAKE BUENA VISTA – For the first time, all seven “American Idol” champs were together on one stage Thursday night for the kickoff of the new American Idol Experience attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park.
“This is like a high school reunion for Idols, ” said David Cook, who teamed up with Carrie Underwood for a duet at a private premiere party attended by media and invited guests.
Also taking the stage in the 1, 000-seat Idol Experience Theater were Jordin Sparks, Taylor Hicks, Fantasia Barrino, Ruben Studdard and the first Idol, Kelly Clarkson.
They were all given silver commemorative trophies modeled after microphones.
“This is a lot of fun for us to be together at one time, ” Underwood said.
Ryan Seacrest Says Show ‘Didn’t Want to Risk’ Joanna Pacitti Staying on ‘American Idol’
Now “Idol” host Ryan Seacrest confirms to FOXNews.com that the controversial singer’s ties may have been a factor in her dismisal.
…The producers do the background checks right around [the] Hollywood [round], ” Seacrest said. “When they see something that stands out, they have to address it. And they saw something, and there was apparently some sort of a link that, somewhere along the line, could be construed as one that close to the competition, and they didnt want to risk it.”
Seacrest, who was attending the opening of the new American Idol Experience themed section at Disneyworld, said it was a shame that Pacitti had to be disqualified after she had made the show’s first big cut.
“It a sad thing to have to tell a contestant they cant compete, ” he said. “But we have to play by our rules.
More Idol Headlines after the JUMP…
‘American Idol’ ‘ Meet The Top 36, Twitter-ized
Last night, after much deliberation (and some gratuitous mansion-ing) “American Idol” narrowed the seemingly endless field of contestants down to the Top 36. There were some shocking cuts (Jamal!), and some improbable choices (Norman Gentle?!?! Tatiana?!?!) along the way, but at least now we know just who will be in the running for the big shiny recording contract.
The Case Against Kara DioGuardi
Last night, Kara DioGuardi ‘ the new American Idol judge, a pop songwriter who worked with artists from CÃƒÆ’ ©line Dion to Britney Spears ‘ did not devote the usual amount of time to commenting on performances, because the episode, of course, was devoted to revealing the 36 semi-semifinal contestants. That might be why we found her so bearable.
Over the past few weeks, DioGuardi revealed herself to be a big fun sponge; her weirdly insecure and stiff manner overshadows the other judges endearing wackiness.
…American Idol Without Bikini Girl: Can Tatiana Del Toro Bring the Drama?
Season eight of American Idol kicked off with a tabloid-ready scandal: Bikini Girl. Katrina Darrell, the 20-year-old bathing-suit clad hopeful who deigned to kiss Ryan Seacrest and verbally joust with Kara DioGuardi. …I have nothing against bikini girl, it just more when people come into that room I want them to be serious ‘ I want them to be there for the right reason, DioGuardi tells Rolling Stone (without noting the exception the show seems to have made for the very un-serious Norman Gentle, who made the Top 36 last night). …But you know what? She a smart girl. She used what she had and got a lot of attention. No one said she was dumb, she just not a great singer. I guess when I see someone like bikini girl, I know how hard it is to be at the top of your game and what it takes.
‘American Idol’ contestant Nick/Norman Gentle: Not the one we want; probably the one we deserve
I’m just gonna come out and say it: I am happy the American Idol judges put shiny-shirt-n-shorts creature Nick/Norman through to the Top 36. Because you know he’s just a sweet, shy kid (pictured, out of character) who dreamed up that persona while he was completely loaded one night, and his buddies were like, “DUDE YOU SHOULD SO TRY AND GET ON AMERICAN IDOL HEH HEH HEH [bong hit], ” and so he did. And he pulled it off. And it wasn’t even that hard to pull it off, because the Idol producers love drama, and they love watching us out here in Teevee Land get all indignant about how they’re ruining the integrity of the “singing competition, ” when it was never really a “singing competition” with any integrity in the first place. We should all stop kidding ourselves. Nick/Norman has shown us the light, and done so brilliantly.
At Disney, it’s a small ‘Idol’ world after all
The event: Disney World rolls out the carpet ‘ in American Idol blue ‘ at a Thursday night kickoff for the theme park’s Idol simulation.
The theater: The Idol Experience set is a near ringer for the real deal. “It’s creepy, ” says Carrie Underwood. One difference: No stage-side stairs, which David Cook discovered during a rehearsal misstep.
“American Idol”: David Archuleta plays judge, raves over “Idol Experience” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
David Archuleta turned judge Thursday morning and raved over the American Idol Experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
“It’s really cool, ” last season’s runner-up told me. “It’s amazing how they replicated the stage. It brings back memories when you’re up there onstage.”
Good memories? “They’re good and some interesting ones like — whoa! — it was just a really overwhelming experience, ” Archuleta said.
The American Idol Experience lets park guests audition and perform for a studio audience.
As for the show, Archuleta said the public and the press can put too much emphasis on winning. He placed second last season to victor David Cook.
“American Idol” David Cook displays his humor in Orlando visit
What’s life been like since winning “American Idol”?
“Nuts, ” David Cook told me Thursday. “I’m constantly amazed at all the cool stuff I get to do. Now the goal is to work as hard as I possibly can to make sure I keep to get doing that kind of stuff.”
Cook is in Orlando with all the other “American Idol” victors to help open “The American Idol Experience” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
“To be in that little fraternity is a huge honor, ” Cook said.
He is set to perform with “Idol” champ Carrie Underwood this evening at an invitation-only event. “Carrie has been one of my best kind of advisers through all this, ” Cook said. “She has been really good helping me avoid pitfalls.”
Here’s part of my interview with Cook:
I met Ruben Studdard, Sanjaya, and many more at Disney (photos!)
Ruben Studdard, Sanjaya, and many, many more Idol winners and celebrities mingled with the crowd at the American Idol after party at Disney Hollywood Studio Thursday night, and as you can see, I was right there in the thick of things. I was lucky enough to have a great spot for viewing the celebrity motorcade as it traveled down the VIP blue carpet and then to attend the American Idol Experience grand opening. Surprise, surprise…Ryan Seacrest and Paula Abdul both made a live appearance, as well as all seven Idol winners and tons of Idol celebrities. Better yet, Carrie Underwood and David Cook each did numbers, then serenaded us with a duet. I’ll have a full report and photos of that tomorrow, but meanwhile I wanted to share my own personal Idol moments with my readers.
Video: Largest-Ever Gathering of ‘American Idol’ Winners Joins in Premiere of Attraction at Walt Disney World
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (February 12, 2009) /PRNewswire/ ‘ With the largest-ever gathering of “American Idol” winners joining in the celebration, Walt Disney World Resort Thursday night raised the curtain on “The American Idol Experience, ” a new attraction capturing the energy and excitement of the hit TV show.
Thursday’s grand premiere, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, was attended by all seven winners of the series, from season-one winner Kelly Clarkson to season-seven champion David Cook. Joining Cook and Clarkson were Jordin Sparks (season six), Taylor Hicks (five), Carrie Underwood (four), Fantasia Barrino (three) and Ruben Studdard (two).
More than two dozen Idol stars ‘ winners and finalists from the first seven seasons ‘ plus judge Paula Abdul and TV show host Ryan Seacrest arrived by celebrity motorcade, rolling down Hollywood Boulevard to the cheers, applause and snapping cameras of Disney’s Hollywood Studios guests. Thursday’s gala had all the glamour of a Hollywood opening. Cook treated the supercharged audience with a performance of his popular hit, “Light On, ” and after Underwood performed her hit, “All-American Girl, ” the pair brought down the house by teaming up for a first-ever duet, singing “Go Your Own Way, ” the Fleetwood Mac hit. The premiere even had a “red carpet” ‘ except the carpet was appropriately blue in celebration of the “American Idol” color scheme.
‘American Idol’ runner-up to reign as krewe grand marshal
David Archuleta, runner-up in last year’s American Idol competition, will ride in Metairie’s Krewe of Caesar parade on Saturday as grand marshal.
Archuleta, who nearly won the popular Idol competition as a 17-year-old, continues a trend for Caesar.
“We try to get grand marshals that appeal to the younger set – to the kids, ” said Caesar Captain Bob Carnesi.
Love. Hugs. Peace.(TM) Movement Harnesses Power of Youth, Encourages Charitable Giving, Celebrates Volunteerism
David Archuleta and Others Lend Their Voices to the Campaign
A special song, “Let’s Talk About Love, ” was created to bring the Love. Hugs. Peace. movement to life and empower kids to spread the message of sharing and love. The song was written especially for Build-A-Bear Workshop by award-winning music producer, songwriter and CEO/CCO of DMI Music & Media Solutions, Tena Clark. The powerful song will become the anthem of the movement, embodying the spirit of love, peace and giving.
Acclaimed artist David Archuleta of American Idol fame is the first artist to join the movement. His version of the song is available beginning Feb. 14 through March 4. During this timeframe, Guests will receive the song download as a thank you for their $1 donation to Save the Children made either online at www.buildabear.com/lovehugspeace or at any of the participating Build-A-Bear Workshop stores.
Beyonce, Hudson win Image Awards
LOS ANGELES (AP) ‘ It was a dreamy night for a couple of “Dreamgirls.” Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson both glided away with trophies Thursday and wowed the audience with individual performances during the 40th annual NAACP Image Awards.
Beyonce won the female artist category while Husdon picked up the new artist award. They costarred in the 2006 film “Dreamgirls.”
“This is where we come from, ” Hudson said, accepting the trophy. “So it’s always an honor to come home and feel welcome and to feel the love. I really cherish this and appreciate it.”
Image Awards Reflect on Hudson, Smith, BeyoncÃƒÆ’ ©, Bees and Payne
Jennifer Hudson’s ascension to stardom has been honored pretty much every step of the way.
The Oscar winner was somewhat anachronistically named Outstanding New Artist Thursday at the 40th NAACP Image Awards, which honors achievements by people of color in film, television, music and literature’ and which happened to this year be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the election of the United States’ first black president.
Let’s just say, it was quite the proud kudosfest.
“Now don’t start me to crying again, y’all, ” a visibly touched Hudson, who won her first Image Award for acting two years ago, told the standing ovation-prone audience. “Oh my God, it always feels like home coming here. Thank you all so much for all of your amazing support.”
Jennifer Hudson wins big at Image Awards
The movies “The Secret Life of Bees” and “Seven Pounds, ” the TV series “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” and “Grey’s Anatomy, ” the TV movie “A Raisin in the Sun” and recording artist Jennifer Hudson were among the big winners at the 40th annual NAACP Image Awards.
The awards show, which Fox broadcast Thursday night from Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium, gifted Hudson, who won a Grammy on Sunday night for R&B album of the year, with its awards for new artist, duo (for “I’m His Only Woman, ” featuring Fantasia) and album (for her self-titled “Jennifer Hudson”).
“This is where we come from, ” Hudson said accepting the new artist award. “So it’s always an honor to come home and feel welcome and to feel the love. I really cherish this and appreciate it.”
Carrie Underwood, Heidi Newfield React To Acm Nominations
Carrie Underwood’s Academy of Country Music Awards nomination for Entertainer of the Year marks the first time a female has been included in the category since the Dixie Chicks in 2000. The singer was also nominated for Top Female Vocalist and Video of The Year for “Just A Dream.”
Underwood said, “I am so humbled and blessed with the recognition of these nominations by my fellow artists and the country music community. My band, crew, and everyone on my team have worked so hard the past year with my first big tour, so the Entertainer nomination is especially rewarding for all of us. I think I’m still in shock!”
Mandisa Speaks To Women Worldwide About ‘Freedom’
GRAMMY ® nominee and American Idol finalist MANDISA is speaking truth and encouragement to women worldwide about the freedom she has experienced through her faith and incredible 70+lb weight loss in her upcoming sophomore release, FREEDOM, bowing on March 24th.
FREEDOM is the follow-up to Mandisa’s 2007 debut, TRUE BEAUTY, an album that created history by becoming the highest chart entry and the best-selling debut artist in the life of her label, Sparrow Records. It also became the only female debut to hit No. 1 in the 27-year history of Billboard’s Christian Retail Chart, received a GRAMMY ® nomination for “Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album, and her debut single “Only the World, ” hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot Single Sales chart.
Constantine Maroulis talks American Idol Rewind, season four
Season 4 of …American Idol Hollywood Week took Carrie Underwood, Bo Bice, Vonzell Solomon and Constantine Maroulis into the Top 24.
The performers all have had varying degrees of success since their reality moment.
Now, American Idol Rewind returns to unveil the 196 lucky contestants that made it through the grueling audition process to Hollywood Week on Saturday, February 28 (check local listings).
Maroulis, Kennedy & More In Winter Musical Theater Workshop
Broadway Artists Alliance, the dynamic not-for-profit educational organization that is quickly gaining a reputation for ensuring the future of great Broadway talent by bringing together Broadway artists and promising young performers, will present their annual Winter Musical Theatre Workshop February 14th through 16th. Their roster of Broadway special guest instructors is impressive and diverse, ranging from Constantine Maroulis to returning guest Lauren Kennedy.
Julianne Hough to Dish Tough Dancing Love to Chuck Wicks
Things are about to get serious between Julianne Hough and her beau, country star Chuck Wicks.
The real-life couple will be making a play for the mirror-ball trophy as partners on this season Dancing with the Stars’and the two-time DWTS champ isnt about to go easy on her sweetie when they hit the dancefloor.
…I might kick him in the butt a little harder than with my other partners! Hough, 20, tells PEOPLE. …Im definitely a ‹crack the whip type of person.