Shocking elimination leaves ‹Idol crowd booing
On “Idol Gives Back” week, the voters showed no charity toward one of the stronger men in the competition. The audience didn’t just send in more than $60 million in donations to worthy causes, they also sent Michael Johns home in the first shocker of the season.
Johns sang Aerosmith’s “Dream On” on Tuesday, and it wasn’t his strongest performance. Nevertheless, it was good enough that it was a bit of a surprise that he was in the bottom three, alongside usual suspects Syesha Mercado and Carly Smithson.
‘American Idol’ recap: Shock and awe
But holy cravats, Ryan! We were caught off guard by one of the first big surprises of the season (and no, I’m not counting David Archuleta’s Lennon-McCartney lyric botching, which the cynic inside me still maintains was a ploy for votes). Despite relentless producer pimping and a pair of bulging muscles the size of David A.’s head, Michael Johns drew the lowest number of votes and was sent home to rethink his fashion choices.
American Idol: The Top 7 Revealed
This is a big week for American Idol. We have three episodes; the performance and results shows sandwiched around the two-and-a-half hour “Idol Gives Back” star-studded spectacular that aired last night. Finally we have the results show — but will they pull the same thing as last year and nobody goes home?
Rocker Shocker as ‘American Idol’ cuts to Seven
After taking a night off for Miley Cyrus Gives Back, American Idol returns on Thursday (April 10) for what we’re promised will be an elimination episode. How many plugs for charitable giving will we get beforehand? Here’s the website, in case you’ve forgotten. Now on to the recap…
American Idol: Neckerchief Noose
Well, yeah. Boy was I wrong. I fell into the magical Seacrestian trap and somehow made myself believe that no one would be going home tonight. People told me I was crazy. STiVo told me that next week only seven contestants would be singing. Seacrest said it would be …business as usual. I thought he was just being coy, and would be all, …Ha, ha! Just kidding! Everyone coming back for bluegrass week or whatever. My ‹Crest-dar has been down all season. Damn you, little faux hawked man.
Idol Tracker: Johns but not forgotten
We knew this could happen. When every new twelve is introduced, we meet our new champions knowing that for all but one, their lives on this stage will be short, and one day very soon, the end will come; without warning, Angel of Death Seacrest will take each in his icy embrace.
But somehow, even knowing the day must come doesnt make it any easier.
Tonight, in the Idoldome, America said goodbye to Michael Johns, the Duende From Down Under, one time favorite to win it all. Perhaps the most charismatic male candidate ever to step foot in the Idoldome, the most musically adventurous of any remaining candidate met a premature end this evening; the journey ending at the number eight slot for the soulful Australian crooner.
Michael Johns: If you needed our help, why didn’t you just ask?
And so, after such a shocking ouster, an inevitable question remains: why? Why was Michael Johns ejected from the Idoldome when he was a fixture in many “Idol” forecasters Top Three lists? Why was Michael Johns eliminated on a week when his performance was nowhere near the worst of the evening? In other words, why him? Why now? Why ever?
All along, Michael has been a strong individual and a consistent performer. In fact, he hasn’t had a single weak moment in the time we’ve known him — and that was his undoing. America thought Michael didn’t need their help. And so they focused on the others.
“American Idol” Gives Michael Johns Back…So I’ll Take Him!
Seriously, people…what were you thinking?
Behind me, Ruben Studdard is still celebrating Michael Johns back to Georgia, or to Australia, or to a microphone placed on the sun porch of my condo if he so chooses. And I guess America has spoken. They’re speaking gibberish. But they’ve spoken.
I just can’t believe that voters thought that his gorgeous, dynamic “Dream On” was the worst performance on Tuesday. That may have been David Cook, and gracious knows he’s my favorite. But based on Tuesday’s performances, David C. was the weakest, and he wasn’t even in the bottom three. If you guys didn’t hear how good it was, then I respect you and disagree.
On the Scene: ‘Idol Gives Back, ‘ part deux
And then, the show begins. We in the audience are suddenly in the dark, watching a pre-taped Ryan introduce the show from the Kodak Theater. Then come the Idols, singing while the So You Think You Can Dance kids do their thing. I’m having a surreal moment, as members of my live audience scream and whoop it up for the pre-taped segment. It’s like when you go the movies, and at the end, everybody claps. I’ve never understood that. They can’t hear you.
And it’s time for the first commercial break. Our audience is left sitting in the dark. Not even Corey the Warm-Up Guy to entertain us. This leads to audience members competing in “Who can scream the loudest” as they proclaim their love for David, Carly, Jason and the rest. My section really prefers Chikezie. Since there’s nothing else going on, the Idols wave and smile, responding to the screams. It’s got to be a bit weird for them, seeing as how they’re all just sitting around onstage behind desks like they’re waiting for English class to start.
‘Idol Gives Back’: For one night only, our Idols relax
Attending tonight’s “Idol” taping was different for two reasons. First off, the show was longer than usual. Second, since the majority of the “Idol Gives Back” special had been filmed at the Kodak Theatre on Sunday, tonight’s in-studio audience would spend most of the evening watching pre-recorded segments. The “Idol” contestants had only a few segments left to tape this evening; easy scenes, by “Idol” standards, in which the contestants answered phones or sang as an ensemble.
Would the audience grow restless under the circumstances? Would they come to the theater expecting a live taping and feel let down by what turned out to be a group viewing party instead? The producers seemed unsure. “Please stay for the whole two and a half hours, ” implored one usher before the show began. “This audience gets to see the show before anybody else on the West Coast, ” another pointed out in an attempt at consolation.
“Idol Gives Back” Gives us Controversy and Takes up Way too Much Space on Our DVR
I’ll confess: Thanks to a demanding blogging schedule and something resembling a vague sense of dread, I still haven’t watched all of “Idol Gives Back” yet. It was long’ and that was before it ran overtime! (Seriously, a pretaped television program running over? Why not just start it at 7, and pre-empt that awful TMZ show?) But I have gone around the Web looking for reactions to and highlights from last night’s episode, which raised $22 million during its runtime, and I found quite a few’ from virulent reactions to the religious overtones to eye-rolling at Robin Williams trotting out Russian jokes for the 5, 486th time. A few selected clips and rants after the jump.
‘American Idol’ In 60 Seconds
MTV News’ ‘Idol’ expert Jim Cantiello boils down a week’s worth of stunning performances, pitchy notes and shocking eliminations to a bite-size minute.
Memo to Robin Williams: Please, make it stop!
The lameness, that is. I’m talking, of course, about his abysmal cameo on last night’s Idol Gives Back special, where he played the “Russian Idol, ” complete with a pathetic attempt at an Eastern European accent and some embarrassing “in my country” gags. The random user who added it to YouTube (below) titled it “VERY FUNNY Robin Williams On American Idol Gives Back 2008, ” which makes me wonder if this person is actually Robin Williams. Let me put this in the simplest terms possible: Mediocre Borat impressions from people who are not Sacha Baron Cohen are not funny anymore! (For that matter, neither are Brokeback jokes like the one Williams snuck in there ‘ though apparently the studio audience loved that line, which probably says something about the maturity level of the people who show up for an Idol taping.) After forcing myself to endure that laughless slog again for this post, I’m feeling like I need some serious charity myself. Don’t you?
Idol Gives Back loses 6 million Idol viewers and is down 35 percent from last year
A large chunk of American Idol 7 viewers werent interested in the show fundraiser telethon and parade of taped celebrity appearances that aired last night.
Just 17.5 million viewers watched, …down significantly from April 25 last year, when ‹Idol Gives Back earned ¦ 26.9 million viewers overall, a 35% drop, Variety reports, noting that …the show took a big hit from its inaugural a year ago, falling 34% in the 18-49 demo.
Interestingly, more people tuned in last year for the telethon than watched this week performance. Tuesday episode was watched by 23.9 million viewers, compared to 26.9 million who watched Idol Gives Back last year.
Idol Gives Back ratings naysayers lack context
According to Fast National estimates from Nielsen, Idol Gives Back averaged just under 17.6 million primetime viewers and a 6.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic. Airing last April 25, Idol Gives Back averaged 26.9 million viewers and a 10.2 demo. The ratings were the lowest for any Idol telecast since 2005’s “Worst Auditions” special.
So if you’re Variety or Broadcasting & Cable, you just barf up those two sets of figures and talk about a ratings decline of more than a third and it becomes the latest in the long line of “American Idol Ratings Are Down!” stories that have been proliferating all season long, stories that are really only relevant if you ignore overall drops in network television viewership this spring and you just happen to figure that FOX is miserable about the fate of a show that still remains the most watched on television by a whopping margin.
Jordin Sparks Joins Lauren Conrad for Avon
Avon signed Jordin Sparks as the new Chief Inspirational Officer for Mark, the brand’s teen-targeted line. Lauren Conrad also promoted the brand, though Avon never gave her a title that included the word “inspiration.” [WWD]
Full Line-Ups For Green Apple Festivals
Earth Day Network & Green Apple Festival have announced another round of artists joining the eight free simultaneous Earth Day celebrations in landmark parks across the country on Sunday, April 20th.
New names include Jordin Sparks (performing the National Anthem in DC), O.A.R. (performing an acoustic set in DC), the Roots (who will be joined by will.i.am, Ne-Yo, Doug E. Fresh, Talib Kweli and Chrisette Michele in DC), The Bacon Brothers (NYC), Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart with Phish’s Jon Fishman (San Fransisco), and Escalera (with pro-skateboard legends Danny Way and Bob Burnquist in LA).
‘Idol’ alum Elliott Yamin roots for Archuleta
Add a former American Idol top three finalist to the fast-growing list of Archie devotees. Season 5’s Elliott Yamin told EW.com at last night’s ASCAP Pop Music Awards that he’s rooting for young David Archuleta to take the crown this year. “It would be really cool to see a young kid like him win, ” he said. “I really love his songs, and musically, he’s very talented. He plays the guitar, piano… it’s nice to see [Idol] bringing out the creative sides of those kids.” As for the other male contenders? “No one’s really impressed me this season, ” Yamin maintains. “David Cook is okay, Michael Johns is alright, but it’s anybody’s game at this point.”
Dr. Luke May Have An Advanced Degree in Plagarism
Last year, “Since U Been Gone” writer and pop song technician Dr. Luke got in a bit of hot water for interpolating a bit of the Rubinoos’ “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend into Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” without letting the powerpop band know. Now the Arizona rock outfit The Asphalt is alleging that Luke took the hook of their song “Tonight” and reappropriated it for Daughtry’s “Feels Like Tonight, ” and hearing the choruses back-to-back makes one think that either they’re 100% right, or Dr. Luke is so locked into hitmaker mode these days that he can only write punched-up versions of already-existing songs’ choruses. [YouTube]
Star-Studded Line-Up for Dove Awards Announced
American Idol ® previous finalists Phil Stacey, Mandisa and Chris Sligh; Dove Award Female Vocalist of the Year Natalie Grant with country icon Wynonna, 19 Recordings/Jive Recording Artist Jordin Sparks; Ricky Skaggs and The Whites and Point Of Grace with Cindy Morgan are the latest performers added to the increasingly luminous line-up for the 39th Annual GMA Dove Awards telecast, according to the Gospel Music Association (GMA) and Gospel Music Channel (GMC).
Gospel and Christian music’s biggest night of the year will take place live on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 in Nashville at the Grand Ole Opry House and will be broadcast live nationwide on the Gospel Music Channel television network from 8 ‘ 10 p.m. (ET). The Dove Awards will also be broadcast live on XM Satellite Radio on XM 32 “The Message.”
Carrie Underwood is a country music star, but she’s got a backup in case this singing thing doesn’t work
If Carrie Underwood hadn’t decided on a whim to drive from Oklahoma to St. Louis to try out for “American Idol” in 2005, she likely would have gone on to a career as a television newscaster instead.
The 25-year-old was in her senior year as a broadcast journalism major at Northeastern State University. And although performing was something she enjoyed, she wasn’t exactly pushing a singing career.
“I’m a practical person, I’m a thinker. I’m not the type of person who would pack up and move to Tennessee in hopes of getting a record deal, ” she said by telephone from a tour stop in Grand Rapids, Mich. “That’s just not how I operate at all. So it was just kind of blind luck that I stumbled into ‘American Idol’ because I wouldn’t have pursued seriously a music career any other way.”
Is Paula beauty routine getting in way of love?
In 2006, Paula Abdul appeared on …Love Smart, a Dr. Phil special meant to help the …Idol judge find true love. The show didnt have immediate results, but in 2007 Abdul began quietly dating restaurateur JT Torregiani. Unfortunately for Abdul, it looks like that relationship might have run its course.
Teenage chorister melts Simon Cowell’s heart
A teenage choirboy who was bullied for his love of singing is being tipped as a future star after almost reducing Simon Cowell to tears on the new series of Britain’s Got Talent.
When the ITV show begins tomorrow night, viewers will see Andrew Johnston, 13, sing Pie Jesu, earning a standing ovation from the audience and even visibly moving the acid-tongued Cowell.
The schoolboy, who lives on a Carlisle council estate, became head chorister at the city’s cathedral in September. But while his voice invites inevitable comparisons with Aled Jones, his life so far has not been easy.
Simon Cowell rants at Leona Lewis’s Brits failure
Lewis, who hit the charts in Britain in December 2006 with her debut single ‹A Moment like This after winning the ITV talent show the X-Factor, has Cowell to thank for her superstar status after he propelled her into the limelight.
Cowell, still seething after his protÃƒÆ’ ©gÃƒÆ’ © was snubbed at the awards, said that the company tendeds to “sneer” at good British artists. He also insisted that the judges were snobbish about the singer X Factor background.
“This is the problem. People say: ‘Leona can’t be serious because she entered the X Factor.’ They sneer. It doesn’t matter where that artist came from.
Cowell: ‘I didn’t buy Leona a house’
Simon Cowell has denied reports that he bought a house in the US for Leona Lewis.
It was claimed last month that the music mogul has splashed out £2.5 million on an LA home for his protÃƒÆ’ ©gÃƒÆ’ ©.
He was rumoured to have made the purchase to reward the singer for her international success.
However, he told The Sun: “No! I didn’t buy her a house. If I did that I would be broke every time I had a hit.”
Carrie Underwood Seems Mechanical; Keith Urban is Engaging at 1st Mariner
Underwood opened the show, backed by a loud, eight-piece band that threatened to overwhelm her platinum pipes. Sashaying around the stage in a black minidress and vampish spike-heeled boots, the radiant Oklahoman and former American Idol invoked more of Pat Benatar than Shania Twain. She laced “Before He Cheats” with an appropriate amount of vocal venom. And she sustained plenty of high notes, especially on the slower numbers. But still something about Underwood’s hourlong performance felt mechanical.
Revelation Generation Music Festival Announces All-Star Lineup and Ticket Availability
FRENCHTOWN, Nj., April 11 /Christian Newswire/ — Revelation Generation, the annual outdoor Labor Day Weekend music festival at Revelation Farms in Frenchtown, NJ, today announced a powerhouse lineup for the fourth consecutive year of the concert, taking place August 29-30, 2008. This year’s acts span a host of genres including rock, pop, hip hop, alternative, and acoustic. Revelation Generation 2008 will feature three stages named for cities that have produced countless musical talents: the New York Stage which perennial fan-favorite, newsboys, returns to headline; the Philadelphia Stage headlined by metalcore juggernaut As I Lay Dying; and the newly-named Nashville Stage featuring Bethany Dillon. Steeply-discounted pre-sale tickets are also now available to fans at www.iTickets.com.
Revelation Generation kicks off on Friday night, August 29, with a trio of impressive acts including singer-songwriter Chris Tomlin, progressive rock band Leeland, and former American Idol finalist, Mandisa. To top off that lineup, newsboys front man, Paul Coleman, will emcee opening night.
‘American Idol’ McTwins: Some Familiar Faces Are Coming To A Happy Meal Near You
Eight new toys bear a resemblance to Syesha Mercado, Blake Lewis, Sanjaya Malakar and other recent ‘Idol’ faves.
How cool would it be to get your own action figure? Any actor who’s played a superhero knows that thrill, along with a few musicians, including Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance. Now some of our recent “American Idol” favorites are getting their own toys ‘ albeit in a roundabout way.
See, McDonald’s sent over their eight “American Idol” toys, hitting a Happy Meal near you as soon as Friday (April 11), and there was something very recognizable about them. The first similarity is that these eight “contestants, ” which showcase various music personalities and play a tune within their genre, will be duking it out for the title of America’s favorite Happy Meal toy at the same time the “Idol” season-seven crown is up for grabs.