‘American Idol’: Burning Questions Answered!
How big is the list of songs the contestants get to choose from?
BYRD: Well, it depends on the genre. It narrows down when there’s a theme. I’ve never counted, but, for instance, [with this week’s] songs, [from the Lennon-McCartney songbook], there’s only 25 to choose from.
How is Lennon/McCartney week shaking out for the contestants?
BYRD: It’s quite interesting for them, because a lot of them don’t know those songs. It’s hard for a contestant when they know four Beatles songs and all four are taken. I’ve had that happen. It becomes extra work.
Let’s hear it for the boys in this year’s ‘Idol’ competition
David Archuleta, 17, the youngest of American Idol’s top 12 singers, is the early favorite of online betting sites and Idol watchers, leading a strong male contingent many say is capable of reversing last year’s dominance by women.
The Season 7 field, which kicks off the finals round tonight (Fox, 8 ET/PT) with the John Lennon-Paul McCartney songbook, is considered better than its predecessor, with more than a half-dozen singers being mentioned as possible successors to Jordin Sparks, who was 17 when she became the youngest Idol last year.
“This is not a one-horse race, ” says executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, who calls this the best top 12 ever. “When Yoko Ono calls up and says things like, ‘Please tell David Archuleta I loved him singing Imagine, ‘ and Lionel Richie (said he) loved David Cook doing Hello, you know you’ve got a good bunch.”
Critics don’t go as far as Lythgoe, but they praise the field’s depth, which could lead to the kind of strong competition necessary to hold onto viewers.
More Idol Headlines After the Jump…
‘American Idol’ Judges Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson Say David Archuleta Doesn’t Have Contest Wrapped Up Yet
That much was obvious when we caught up with the dynamic duo backstage at “TRL, ” because they immediately took issue with something we wrote about “Idol” late last month ‘ namely that baby-face crooner David Archuleta had all but wrapped the competition up, based on the strength of his cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine.” (Check out MTV News’ trip to Archuleta’s hometown.)
Not so fast, they cautioned. Things aren’t over yet ‘ not by a long shot (which was a bummer to hear, because we totally had Archuleta in our newsroom “Idol” pool). And if you think you had the competition figured out by now, well, you haven’t seen anything yet.
“He’s in the leader’s role right now, for sure, but also there are some other talented boys too. Jason Castro did [Leonard Cohen’s] ‘Hallelujah, ‘ last week. There’s David Cook too, ” Jackson said. “And on the girls’ side, there’s Carly [Smithson], there’s Brooke [White]. They’re coming on. It’s too early to tell. You got to keep an open mind, America.”
Formula for ‹Idol: Popular yet Predictable
…American Idol is down to 12 finalists, and among them are all the archetypes of seasons past. There is the perky blond cowgirl, her hair now straightened and her outfits looking to be straight from the mall; the soulful crooner who channels Luther Vandross supremely; the rocker gal who has to fight against lapsing into a Janis Joplin imitation; and the budding teenybopper now stylized to attract an older audience.
In this, the seventh season of the biggest show on television, it says a lot that one of the most intriguing mysteries this year revolves around what the look will be for the show new stage set, to be unveiled Tuesday night on Fox.
‘Idol’ Power: The Top 12
Jason Castro and Brooke White are going strong on Michael Slezak’s weekly ranking, while Kristy Lee Cook struggles — see where the others fit in, and then vote for your favorite.
Weighing the notes on ‹Idol final 12
“American Idol” has its 12 finalists, and each has a theoretical chance of winning. In practice, however, there’s a clear division between the contestants who have a chance of winning and those who are mostly around because FOX and the “Idol” advertisers want the show to end in May instead of April, meaning the producers need more people to be voted off in the meantime.
Here’s a look at where each of the finalists stands.
American Idol Power Rankings: The Top 12
Now it’s getting a bit more interesting, and a lot more serious ‘ American Idol’s final 12. As the party got started Thursday night, TVGuide.com began polling you on your current pick to win this whole enchilada. Here’s how it netted out:
American Idol contestant Michael Johns dreamed of fame
As Johns prepares to perform to US Idol audience of millions tomorrow, Marina Del Basso of local production company Vogue Entertainment remembers his first audition as a Perth teenager.
…When he came to that very first audition he told me he would be famous, she said.
…I actually said to him ‹you could be with (your) talent.
Now aged 29, Johns was one of thirty hopefuls accepted by American Idol judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson from a crowd of 12, 000 in San Diego.
He is one of 12 remaining contestants.
Randy Jackson goes all Quincy Jones on his debut release
Randy Jackson, the “American Idol” judge and music industry veteran, goes all Quincy Jones on his debut release for his new label imprint, bringing together an impressive array of talents from different genres for a pop throwdown. Guests include Mariah Carey, Richie Sambora, Travis Tritt, and Keb’ Mo’. The breakout track is Paula Abdul’s limp return into the spotlight, “Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow.” It’s a throwback, breathy dance-pop tune that evaporates upon listening.
Now Simon Cowell shows off in his $1million Bugatti Veyron sports car
X Factor boss Simon Cowell is certainly not shy about splashing the cash, as the music mogul was seen zipping around Los Angeles in a $1million ( £600, 000) runaround.
Simon was seen tooling around town in his Bugatti Veyron, the world’s most expensive and fastest street-legal car.
‘American Idol’ Alum Sanjaya Malakar Reaches Out To Stevie Wonder, Calls Danny Noriega ‘Unique’
It’s been nearly a year since Sanjaya Malakar was given the boot by the “American Idol” voting faithful, but that hasn’t dissuaded last season’s hirsute underdog ‘ who managed to stay in the competition for nine startling weeks, a run helped along by the likes of shock jock Howard Stern ‘ from following his dreams.
Malakar told MTV News over the weekend that he’s been keeping busy since the cut writing music with his sister, Shyamali, and meeting with producers to discuss the album he’d like to record in the very near future. And if he had his way, he’d pull in at least one big name for an epic R&B collaboration.
Sierra headed back to rehab
Jessica Sierra returned to a Hillsborough County courtroom Monday to resolve a problem with her probation transfer to California, where she is receiving drug treatment at a rehab facility.
California probation officials say Florida violated an interstate compact by allowing Sierra, 22, to go to California without prior approval from probation officials there.
The one-time American Idol finalist flew back to Florida so she can process the paperwork from here before returning.
John Fitzgibbons, Sierra’s attorney, told Hillsborough Circuit Judge Daniel Perry that a compromise between California and Florida officials had been reached.
Diana DeGarmo Encourages Youth Volunteers
Diana DeGarmo will be the honorary spokesperson for Global Youth Service Day, the largest volunteering event in the world. The three-day event, held April 25-27, is co-sponsored by CMT One Country and Youth Service America. DeGarmo is a former American Idol runner-up who starred in the CMT series, Gone Country.
Rock Reality Show Gone Country Season Finale Shocker
The Honky-Tonkin Highlights: Diana DeGarmo, who was criticized by Rich last episode for being …too Aguilera, belts out a countrified version of her song, turning her into the favorite to win this thing. …That was frighteningly good, Rich says. But DeGarmo has one more hill to climb: Mt. Bobby Brown. Despite a pre-performance diet of Grey Goose-on-the-rocks, Brown brings the house down with his rousing performance, reminding the viewers at home that before he became a walking punch line, he was once a talented performer.
John Rich wrangles everybody back at his mansion to go over his grading criteria and ultimately pick the winner. And the winner of Gone Country, who will be given the opportunity to record a song with John Rich, is ¦ Julio! What an upset! The man who got the least camera time, the least back story, slept through all the competitions and who admitted he had the worst shot of winning ends up winning, as Rich decides he wants to mine the lucrative …Latinos who buy country music market.
Air Canada Centre, Toronto – March 10, 2008
The big-voiced, bald-headed and side-burned American Idol contestant Chris Daughtry, a fourth-place runner-up on Season Five, opened the evening up with a nine-song, 45-minute-set with his four-piece band Daughtry.
And while the appeal of his middle-of-the-road rock music is lost on my ears he’s obviously doing something right given he had the best-selling album of last year in the U.S. even if he hasn’t been nearly as successful in Canada.
Case in point: Just before Over You, Daughtry asked who knew it.
“I want to hear you sing!” he said. “You ever do that Toronto? Are you with us?”
Eventually, the crowd came around but it was the next song, Home, that drew the biggest response of the evening.
American Idol’s Pickler and Covington at Country Radio Seminar
We spotted former “American Idol” contestant and country hunk Bucky Covington exchanging pleasantries with ’90s country star Doug Stone outside the Renaissance Hotel, which is connected to the Nashville Convention Center.
Country Music’s New Faces Win Over Radio Crowd
Spotlighting the already proven talents of Taylor Swift, Jake Owen, Luke Bryan, Jason Michael Carroll and Bucky Covington, the New Faces show Friday night (March 7) was a resounding demonstration that country music is still in good hands.
The event, which capped the 39th annual Country Radio Seminar, was held in a hangar-size banquet hall at the Nashville Convention Center before an audience of several hundred radio and music industry people. Some in the crowd slipped away soon after dinner, hoping to avoid an approaching snowstorm. But most stayed on through the last song.
Q&A: Tour with Urban suits Underwood quite well
The Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Carnival Ride Tour coming to Sacramento on Wednesday will have a stage big enough for two, as in two headlining acts.
Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban are a potent country music mix, and they’ll share the spotlight at Arco Arena.
I recently caught up with Underwood, 24, as the tour, which started in mid-February, was wending its way back East.
We chatted about taking to the highway, her sort-of-new album, “Carnival Ride, ” and, of course, all things “American Idol.” Got your tickets? Then here’s what to expect.
‘Idol’ hopefuls coming to region
Hundreds of young “American Idol” hopefuls will head to the hills beginning June 15 to train at Idol Camp at Pali Mountain Retreat and Conference Center.
“This association with `American Idol’ will benefit the Inland Empire. It will bring fame to the area and will raise awareness about our beautiful mountain community not only to the Inland Empire and Southern California but nationally and internationally, ” Arrowhead Chamber of Commerce President Lewis Murray said at a town hall meeting Monday night at the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa.
Monday’s meeting was held to raise community awareness and solicit support for the exclusive agreement between Pali Entertainment, `American Idol’ officials from FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment and the Lake Arrowhead Chamber of Commerce. The agreement will be signed later this week.
The latest: An American Idol show has been added for Peoria’s regular-season finale on April 12.
Justin Guarini, Kimberley Caldwell and Gina Glocksen will sign autographs from 6-8 p.m. during that game, then each will perform two songs in a post-game concert.