‘American Idol’ picks finalists, and they’re a diverse dozen
One school of Idol thought holds that we could skip the whole three-month ritual of the finals and just mail teen heartthrob David Archuleta the American Idol crown right now.
Another school says hold on now, Carly Smithson is the best female pop singer the show’s uncovered since Kelly Clarkson, so don’t count her out.
Other, smaller schools hold out hope for rockers David Cook and Michael Johns, or fresh-scrubbed folkie Brooke White.
‘Idol”s David Hernandez breaks silence on stripper reports: “I’m here to sing”
American Idol contestant David Hernandez has finally broken his silence on press reports that he performed nude, reportedly for a “mostly male” clientele, at a Phoenix, Arizona, strip club called Dick’s Cabaret. “You know, honestly, I’m here to sing, ” Hernandez told EW.com at the Idol Top 12 party in West Hollywood on March 6. The singer appeared cool-headed and relaxed, despite the controversy. “I think America’s judging us all off of our voices right now. Obviously they were, because I’m still in the Top 12, thank God.
American Idol made $63 million for 19 Entertainment in 2007, up from $47 million in 2006
The American Idol franchise made $63, 212, 000 for its parent company 19 Entertainment last year, up from $47, 211, 000 in 2006, according to an SEC filing made by 19 parent company, CKX.
The show actually earned $83, 859, 000 in 2007, but had expenses of $20, 647, 000. In 2006, though, the total revenue was $67, 710, 000, with expenses of $20, 499, 000 for a total of $47, 211, 000. (These numbers dont count revenues the show brings in for other companies, such as Fox.)
From the Idol contestants who have become recording artists under 19 Entertainment control, the company made $27, 056, 000 in 2007 and $18, 231, 000 in 2006.
More Idol Headlines After the Jump…
‘Idol’ producers choose new director
The producers have voted, and John Pritchett has made the cut as the new director of “American Idol.”
Pritchett replaces longtime “American Idol” helmer Bruce Gowers, who departed the smash Fox competish late last month (Daily Variety, Feb. 22).
Pritchett is no stranger to the show, having served as technical director on “Idol.” He had worked closely with Gowers in handling the show, which programs more live broadcasts than any other primetime series.
“He’s phenomenal, ” said one “Idol” insider. “He knows the show well.”
Clive Davis urges singers to stop writing songs
Music mogul Clive Davis, who has launched stars like Whitney Houston and Alicia Keys, said singers who are signed for their vocals should focus on what they do best and not feel pressured to write their own songs.
Davis, chairman and chief executive officer of the BMG Label Group, said he has seen many entertainers lose their careers by not concentrating on finding hit songs — no matter who they are written by.
“The odds are always against you, ” Davis, 75, told the Billboard Music and Money Symposium on Thursday. “You have got to go over the best material, and that should win out, not withstanding any track record. I don’t care how many number ones you have written in the past, have you written a new No. 1?”
‘American Idol”s Top 12 Celebrate
America voted — 12 were sent home — now, the competition for the next singing sensation begins in earnest as the Top 12 will compete to see who will become the next “American Idol.”
But first, ET’s KEVIN FRAZIER was at a party to celebrate the occasion with judges SIMON COWELL, RANDY JACKSON and PAULA ABDUL, as well as host RYAN SEACREST — and the Top 12 — held at WOLFGANG PUCK’s restaurant in the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, CA!
TV Guide Parties with the Top 12
As the sun set Thursday on Los Angeles, it left behind a streaky pink sky … and only 12 Idols remaining this season. While the contestants heard vote counts and left the stage, TV Guide’s Top 12 party was getting underway at a rooftop venue. Inside the event, cameras queued up, lights were bright and publicists, crew members and press buzzed about, eyeing the congratulatory cupcakes adorned with each Idol’s photo.
Suddenly, the contestants burst into the room, cameras started snapping and the party had officially begun. The mood was exuberant, the energy electric. TVGuide.com was there to congratulate the contestants, find out what they loved best and feared most about the show ‘ plus, of course, share some laughs and cake with the new top dogs of the season.
Down to the final 12 on ‹American Idol
Getting voted off on …American Idol is never a fun experience, but the last of the three semifinal rounds is always particularly cruel. Each of the four contestants voted off the show on Thursday was one week away from being one of the 12 finalists. They came within a few moments of a huge chance to develop a fan base, and then had it snatched away while hearing Simon Cowell talk about how they really werent all that good anyway.
American Idol: Top 12 Revealed
Thank god it’s the end of three-times-a-week Idol. Tonight, we lost four more contestants to the ether and said hello to our Top 12. It’s been a long road coming, and while I can’t say I agree 100% with the Top 12, I will agree that most of the contestants in it deserve to be there.
Honestly, I think the Idol team accomplished their goal of creating the most talented Top 12 in Idol history.
Recap: ‘American Idol’ Reaches its Top 12
Thank heavens for American Idol and the interruption it offers from wall-to-wall coverage of Brett Favre’s retirement. In my book, he was maybe the ninth or 10th best quarterback in NFL history and only the seventh or eighth best There’s Something About Mary star. Does that deserve three days of non-stop ESPN coverage? Really? I mean, maybe if he’d been making his living as a stripper at gay clubs in Phoenix… So anyway, who will be eliminated on Thursday (March 6) night in the final Idol cuts before the Top 12?
”American Idol”: Rough Cut
Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together one last time for the self-proclaimed second-rate Whitney Houston, the first-rate Britney Spears impersonator, the obnoxious(ish) teenager who generated more (intentional) laughs than the rest of the top 24 combined, and some dude who’s been whining incessantly on my TV screen for the last three weeks.
Were they the right ones to go home? In two instances, the answer is a clear-cut and resounding ”Oh, hell, yeah!” In fact, the case could be made that Kady Malloy and Luke Menard both lasted a week or two beyond where their talent levels should’ve carried them.
It’s OK if practic doesn’t always make perfect By Carmen Rasmusen
For “American Idol” contestants, singing on live TV takes them to a whole new level of performance.
It’s not enough to sing a song they may have just learned well, they also have to perform well, portray the right kind of emotion for the camera and a room filled with strangers, remember the lyrics, stand out from the crowd and be different yet remain true to themselves.
Not to mention, of course, they must win over the judges and millions of fans. Sound tough? You have no idea. I’ll never forget my first performance in “Idol.” I was so worried about being “perfect” that I psyched myself out and performed poorly.
American Idol Week Three: Hallelujah and Bullsh*t
If you’re still on the fence about whether you should be watching American Idol, this would’ve been a pretty great week to start. In the two hours of singing-competition shows that have run on Fox primetime this week, we’ve been treated to exactly one great performance and then two hours and fifty-eight minutes (commercials included) of mind-boggling trainwreck f**kery, which is pretty much all you can ask for from this show.
Carly Smithson Continues to Win Hearts and Minds of Internet Savvy Idol Fans Everywhere
My increasing–yet still grudging!–affection for Carly Smithson increased a little just now, when I found out that while other contestants said in their latest Idol questionnaires that their favorite moments of the show were their admission to the top 24 (Asia’h, who should enjoy it while she can) and Idol Gives Back (Luke, who… ugh), she selected as her favorite the night that Sanjaya Malakar got voted off last season. Say what you will about her past; Carly certainly knows how to rile up the bloggers and message-board posters who decried her eligibility because of the major-label flop she put out a few years back. And it’s kind of awesome. An example: There are 94 comments about Carly’s flippant answer on Idolwatcher haven/Fanjaya gathering-place rickey.org already, spurred on by the very-displeased site proprietor Rickey:
‘Idol’ Banter: ode to an Overmyer
Hey, …Idol dialers — if youre voting for Amanda Overmyer, can you drop me a line? Im really curious about her fan base. Overmyer is emerging as the biggest exception in …Idol history, a contestant who continues to succeed despite her refusal (and in some ways, inability) to fit within the show parameters. She had her rough moments — let not mention Kansas — but tonight she applied her sandpaper voice to a Joan Jett rave-up and won everyone over, even Simon. Even then, his lavish praise brought only a half-smile to her deliciously deadpan face. It would be way too …Idol for Amanda to act like she cares what the judges think.
Danny & David: Scandal? What Scandal?!
Sources close to Danny tell TMZ that Noriega is unfazed by all the media attention his video rants are getting. We’re told it’s a non-issue for the 18-year-old and he chalks it up to just being young. Yeah, but what’s his excuse for this week’s purple extensions?!
As far as David is concerned, sources close to the 24-year-old say that you wouldn’t know there was any scandal surrounding Hernandez based on his current behavior. We’re told David has maintained focus and channels all his energy into his music. Sources say David doesn’t appear upset and is very professional. People who have received lap dances from David probably consider him a pro too!
Carly Smithson’s ‘American Idol’ Viewing Party
While former bartender Carly Smithson hits the stage on “American Idol” in Hollywood, Access spends an evening with her admiring friends, fans, and co-workers at the Irish pub “The Field” in San Diego where she formerly worked.
Randy Jackson’s Music Club Vol. 1
Now Jackson has put all of his knowledge and expertise into his latest release, …Randy Jackson Music Club Volume One. The Music Club is an R&B album (with pop, rock, country and gospel influences) containing 12 over-polished songs from a wide range of artists: John Rich, KebMo, Bebe Winans, Jason Mraz. Jackson is listed as album producer but his actual involvement varies from track to track. For some songs he serves as both producer and studio musician, while others he seemingly has no involvement other than soliciting the track. Still, Music Club does showcase Jackson ability to produce (or choose) quality music, but the album also reveals why we know Jackson as an American Idol judge and not as a musician.
Paula Abdul Plotting Comeback Album
After re-launching her music career with an appearance on fellow “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson’s new album, Paula Abdul is getting busy on her first new album since 1995’s “Head Over Heels.”
The as-yet-untitled project will include remixes of Abdul’s best-known hits, plus a host of new songs. In addition, Abdul tells Billboard that Paul Oakenfold and Akon are preparing remixes of “Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow, ” her contribution to Jackson’s album. The artist has already chosen three new tracks to accompany the remixes.
Anthony’s daughter has pop at Simon
Singer songwriter Abigail Hopkins has apparently told Simon Cowell he should stop criticising X Factor contestants and get on the stage himself.
Abigail, the musician daughter of Hollywood giant Sir Anthony, reportedly called The X Factor’s “cattle market” cruel – and doubted the programme’s Mr Nasty would have the backbone to step up to the microphone himself.
Bon Jovi, Daughtry offer an ode to the ’80s
The concert began with former …American Idol star Daughtry and his same-named band. A year ago, Daughtry played for about 600 people at the South Side club Diesel, and while he went on to sell a million albums since, he didnt diverge from his tried-and-true formula of post-grunge, in the vein of Nickelback or Creed.
He got charisma, though, or maybe that sex appeal. And he came up with a clever and soon-to-be-often-imitated trick where he got the crowd to simultaneously snap photos with their cell phone cameras. He made fans wait precisely until the count of three, remarking, …Dont be premature, because nobody likes that.
‘Idol’ star performs at Gilbert home
It’s been quite the journey for American Idol finalist Melinda Doolittle, who finished third overall in last year’s competition.
With a new album scheduled to come out in June, the former professional back-up singer from Brentwood, Tenn., says she is happy to keep on singing.
Gilbert fans got a taste of the American Idol star Wednesday as Doolittle visited Bashas’on Val Vista and Queen Creek roads, where she signed autographs and posed for the camera as part of Dreyer’s Slow-Churned Light Ice Cream American Idol Tour.
Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban cross over to fans with hits from rock to country
This was officially a country show: Both performers have plenty of CMA statues at home.
But if there a chase to cut to in this story, it would be the encores, which were from another territory: One of the singers roared through a Guns N Roses song, the other led the crowd through a few bars of something Violent Femmes.
Underwood and Urban raise roof at Coliseum
Blonde country darling Carrie Underwood isn’t Dorothy, but she showed a Wichita audience Thursday that she “ain’t in Checotah anymore.”
The Oklahoma native performed with country royal Keith Urban in their “Love, Pain and the Whole Carnival Ride Tour” stop at the Kansas Coliseum.
As Underwood’s portion of the concert began, a large screen illuminating the stage depicted a desert scene complete with a rattlesnake. Then a woman’s silhouette appeared and morphed into a video of Underwood walking in the desert.
Star Exclusive: American Idol Meltdown
While a new season of American Idol contestants steal the spotlight, Season 1 star Nikki McKibbin is struggling to hold on after a terrifying breakdown that left her strapped to a bed in the psych ward, Star can reveal exclusively.
Idol alum like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood have gone onto superstardom, but flame-haired Nikki has had only minor musical success, including the release of an album, Unleashed, last May. Things went from bad to worse when her mother died suddenly in August and Nikki was thrust into a tailspin which culminated in a shocking breakdown at her Fort Worth, Tex. home on Feb. 21.
‘Idol’ Tracker: The ladies’ closing arguments
And so the ladies have made their closing statements, their last attempts to warble their way into our consciousness and earn a slot in the finals have been recorded. The question for the female half now hangs in the air as ominous and unforgiving as a Simon Cowell dismissal: with an epic battle brewing on the boys side, the battle foretold in “Idol” scriptures between The Chosen One and the Duende From Down Under, between the incarnation of Idol sweetness and light and the embodiment of the show’s long squelched id — with this Armageddon beckoning on the horizon, are any of these girls equipped to play a role as it reaches its final stages or are all destined to serve as cannon fodder in the next six weeks?
‘American Idol’ Recap: Brooke White Brings ‘Battlefield’ Bliss; Kady Malloy Still A Robot
It was a relatively scandal-free week for the ladies, save for Amanda’s unearthed DUI arrest, but after last week’s performance, what she needed was an IV of quaaludes.
That’s not to imply that Amanda was last week’s sole catastrophe ‘ far from it, as this year’s crop of female talent proves to be the least “Idol”-ready in memory. Going into Wednesday night’s talent show – which, along with the boys’ Tuesday-night performances, determines who gets a place in the top 12 hierarchy ‘ one would have assumed it would be a call to arms to bring forth the inner cavalry and sing like there’s no tomorrow. Well, you know that old saying “When you assume …”
‘American Idol’: Eight Chicks on Embarrassment
On “American Idol” it’s the chicks’ turn to tackle songs from the ’80s — a decade judge Paula Abdul is reminded was big for her. The age reference would make most women working in TV very insecure, but Paula’s still sucking on whatever crazy juice she got into the previous night and prattles on merrily about all the great songs, the weird clothes and the pompom hairdos she takes credit for making popular.
Host Ryan Seacrest asks judge Simon Cowell who needs to step up tonight. “Everyone. No one’s safe.”
What follows is the worst night in “Idol” history.
Paula Steals the Show From Under the Girls’ Feet
Last night’s American Idol was something of a comedown after the Danny Noriega sass- and Jeff Buckley homage-filled episode on Tuesday; the eight remaining ladies in the competition turned in mostly OK work, with Kristy Lee Cook’s lozenged-up tongue and Paula Abdul’s antics providing the most spice during the evening. My rankings of the top 8 and picks for who’s going home after the jump.
Reality Check: Girls Outshine Boys on ‘Idol’
Despite the headlines, the big “Idol” news of the week wasn’t the revelation that David Hernandez spent three years as a stripper ‘ it was the evidence that David Archuleta doesn’t do everything perfectly.
Don’t get me wrong. He sang the heck out of Phil Collins’ “Another Day in Paradise” while managing to play the piano through the first half. And the piano somehow made him seem older than usual ‘ or at least less like the cherubic wonder boy with the perma-grin.
‘Idol’: Nadia Turner on the Top 8 Women’s Performances
You’re in the Coca-Cola room. All eight ladies are scattered in various areas, some attempting to fit in a small vocal warm-up, stretching, waving to family and friends in the audience, getting pep talks, or laughing with the staff. Some of us just sit in silence meditating on our upcoming performance. Some of us find ourselves remembering the friend who was eliminated the previous week. Our nerves are off the charts. ”If I don’t have the lyrics tonight, I will never have them.” Our vocal coach, Debra Byrd, comes in, gathers up her wandering sheep, and we sing a song she made up called ”It’s Ladies Night on American Idol.” It’s pretty catchy! This is Byrd’s way of shaking out the nerves and sneaking in a vocal warm-up at the same time. :) Nigel Lythgoe tornadoes in with words of vigor. It was this segment of the competition that I enjoyed the most. ”IT’S LADIES NIGHT ON AMERICAN IDOL.”