Has ‘American Idol’ Lost Its Mojo?
Anne Charity hosts a weekly “Idol” party in her Williamsburg, Va., home.
“We’re a regular group of six, ” said Charity, a linguistics professor. “We like [Idol contestant] David Cook, because he’s got that rock thing going on.”
Lachter, 29, and Charity, 32, are in the heart of a demographic that television executives and advertisers love to court. But these days, that sought-after group of Idol watchers is shrinking: It’s been widely reported that ratings for the Fox Network show are down this season, with a steeper decline among viewers age 18 to 49.
The show has also seen a drop in donations garnered by its “Idol Gives Back” event. Last year, Idol’s charity show raised $70 million within a week. This year, two weeks after this month’s “Idol Gives Back, ” the total hit just $65 million.
The numbers are leading both “Idol” fans and foes to ask the same question: Is the seven-year ratings juggernaut on its way out?
The answer, according to critics and television industry watchers who spoke to ABC News, is a resounding “no.”
It OK to ask him to take the wheel but not necessarily vote-getting to shout his name in song in a way that suggests that you might be kind of pissed off at him. It a lesson Carly learns the hard way as the six are whittled to five ¦
The Top 5 Get Candid with American Idol.com
Sure, you’ve formed your opinions on which Idols sing their way into your hearts, but do you really know what makes them tick? americanidol.com had the opportunity to sit down with the Top 5 Idols and chat. Brooke White opens about her emotional journey, David Archuleta explains what his experience is like as the youngest Idol of the season, David Cook talks about his theory on the key to success, Jason Castro explains how he just tries to be himself, and Syesha Mercado gives us the scoop on what she really thinks of Simon!
Make sure to check out each interview below:
¢Viewers question the phone voting system’s validity when the popular Tamyra Gray is voted off before Nikki McKibbin.
¢Semi-finalist Delano Cagnolatti lied about his age after making the finals (he was 29, not 23 as claimed) and is disqualified
¢After being voted off the show, finalist Jim Verraros claims that, while a contestant, producers told him to shut down his website, which revealed that he is gay.
Seeking Closure with Carly Smithson
Letting go is hard to do. Thursday night, I talked with Carly Smithson by phone from the “Tonight Show” dressing room, hoping that she could put things in perspective. And indeed she did. The transcript of our conversation follows.
Q: How are you today?
C: Im good. Thank you.
Q: So what has today been like for you?
C: Very strange. Just exhausting. It’s very strange coming off of the Idol bubble down to the ground and I guess going out to the real world and experiencing that.
David Cook’s Pre-Idol Music Pulled from Another Site
KANSAS CITY, MO. — After being pulled from Amazon.com, American Idol contestant David Cook’s pre-Idol music has been pulled from yet another online music site.
After topping the Amazon.com mp3 charts, Cook’s CD, “Analog Heart, ” was pulled from the Amazon website on Tuesday. FOXNews.com reported on Friday that the folks from American Idol pulled Cook’s CD.
Jason Castro’s Wacky Gift
Jason Castro was having a rough week, and the dreadheads knew it. The loyal fan club, whose website daydreamingboy.com includes downloadable Support Jason fliers, watched Jason get slaughtered for his rendition of …Memory and then learned from their sources in the Castro camp that he was coping with a mix of exhaustion and fever chills to boot.
So what were the devoted fans to do when their Idol was suffering from a high temperature and low morale? Why, send presents, of course. …Were always trying to think of things we can do to lift his spirits, explained Christalle Baxter, known to her fellow dreadheads as …dreadhead No. 1201.
Concerned that a gift of flowers could worsen Jason illness by aggravating his allergies, the dreadheads settled on balloons. Christalle set up a Paypal account, and it wasnt long before the donations poured in.
Castro_gallery_190_2 In the end, the dreadheads collected $450 and ordered seven bouquets of balloons from Planet Florist in Westwood. According to Paul Psai, a designer at the florist, it took three cars to transport all the balloons. …It was the biggest order that we ever had.
American Idol Hopeful David Archuleta Speaks Out on Dad, Crushes
Forget David vs. Goliath – the real competition on American Idol these days is David Cook vs. David Archuleta. The two Davids are the far and away favorites to win the competition and many believe that the rest of the weeks winding down to the finals are nothing more than a formality. Most pundits believe Jason Castro and the two ladies, Syesha Mercado and Brooke White will all drop off the show one by one for the David vs. David finals.
In Touch Weekly has an interview this week where they were able to pin down David Archuleta and ask him some questions about everything from rooming with his dad while on Idol, and all of the screaming tweens that love the 17-year old singer.
Oh Lordy: Did Carly Smithson get Voted off for Blasphemy?
File this under “probably not surprising, but still kind of a bummer”: There are rumblings on the American Idol boards that Carly Smithson was eliminated this week because she angered the Bible Belt by singing “Superstar” from Jesus Christ Superstar, given that the song is sung by Judas and the play itself, as Tim Rice said in its program, has as its central idea “Christ seen through the eyes of Judas, with Christ as a man, not as a god.” (Wait, doesn’t this mean they should also be peevish with Andrew Lloyd Webber, who wrote the damn thing and who told Carly to switch up her song choice from something more ballady and Celine-like?) Given that Kristy Lee Cook pretty much saved her bland, off-key ass for multiple weeks thanks to goodwill from her performance of “God Bless The USA, ” this theory is kinda plausible, and this americanidol.com post by FightinIRISHIowan would further bear it out:
Clay Aiken says sexuality no concern to most
LOS ANGELES – Clay Aiken has no interest in taking his love life public.
During a promotional appearance for his upcoming album, …On My Way Here, and his Broadway show …Spamalot, the …American Idol Season 2 runner-up told …The Billy Bush Show it only the media who cares whether he is gay or straight.
…I think for the most part, I really think that people dont care, honestly, Clay told Billy Bush. …I think that the press … people like that care more than anybody else does.
…I think for the most part, people dont want to have that type of stuff pushed, people who are living in Omaha or in Charlotte or wherever, he said. …They dont want stuff like that pushed in their face, I dont think that necessary and that also not what Im here for. I mean I went on ‹Idol to be a singer, I went on ‹Idol to be an entertainer and that what my priority is.
Welcome to Billy’s Bistro
Thursday, Apr 24, 2008
Billy talks with Clay Aiken about his new recordings, how life has been since “American Idol”. Billy plays “One My Way Here” from the new record.
Carrie Underwood Breaks Down During Atlanta Show
Carrie Underwood had an emotional moment during her concert with Keith Urban at The Arena At Gwinnett Center outside of Atlanta on Thursday.
During a performance of “Don’t Forget to Remember Me, ” from her album Some Hearts, the country chanteuse broke down into tears in the middle of the song’s second chorus. According to an audience member, the singer cried through several lines of the song ‘ then attempted to tackle the chorus but broke down again.
According to a rep for Underwood, the emotional song was inspired by the singer’s mother ‘ and leaving home. In it, she sings: “Hey Momma … tell Me-maw that I miss her/ Yeah, I should give her a call/ And make sure you tell Daddy that I’m still his little girl.”
Carrie Underwood, Faith Hill at CMA fest
Alan Jackson, Dwight Yoakam, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Randy Travis, Trace Adkins, Kenny Rogers, Montgomery Genrtry and Billy Ray Cyrus are some of the country musicians scheduled to perform at Nightly Concerts on the Vault Concert Stages at LP Field in downtown Nashville, TN during the 2008 CMA Music Festival from June 5-8. Additional artists will be announced soon; surprise guests have also become a hallmark of the festival
Tickets go on sale this weekend for the individual shows of the 37th annual festival and cost $40 for reserved seats on the lower and club levels and $30 for general admission (plus applicable handling fees) in the upper deck of LP Field. Traditionally limited to attendees with four-day ticket packages, individual daily tickets will be available for the first time to the truTV Fan Fair Hall in the Nashville Convention Center on June 7-8. Tickets cost $20 per day, plus applicable handling fees.
Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood Sizzle as Tour Winds Down
A reality talent show winner from a small town in Oklahoma and a once-struggling musician from down under joined forces in January to embark on a co-headlining tour. One sold-out show after another led Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban to the Atlanta area on Thursday night (April 24) to begin the last weekend of their Love Pain & the Whole Crazy Carnival Ride tour.
The tour continues Friday for a second night at Duluth’s Gwinnett Center before closing Saturday in Lexington, Ky.
Kicking off Thursday’s show with a countdown on the screen followed by quick images of the “All-American Girl, ” Underwood emerged onstage dressed in head-to-toe black, complete with knee-high boots. Greeting the already-standing crowd, she immediately cranked out a couple of album cuts and her big hit, “Wasted.”
Underwood’s Body Issues
Country star Carrie Underwood is so paranoid about gaining weight, she keeps a strict food diary in a bid to keep herself slim.
The singer admits that her obsession borders on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Underwood often thinks of herself as ugly and refuses to leave the house without makeup. And she admits to following strict guidelines when it comes to her diet to make her feel better about herself.
Jon Peter Lewis after American Idol
It definitely has been a slow week for me with red carpet events. I did the Asian Excellence Awards last Wednesday so I’m sorting through those pics to see what I can post for you to view.
As part of Nielsen Entertainment News Wire, I work in the same office as my sister publication Billboard Magazine and Radio & Record. Every so often we have special musical guests perform for us. Yesterday was a real treat as Jon Peter Lewis from “American Idol’s” Season Three came by to perform his new single and a few songs from his new album. Along with Jon was his bassist Austin Nicholsen to give us a sampling of what’s to come from Mr. Lewis.
Ex-‘Idol’ Phil Stacey not country enough
…PHIL STACEY BY PHIL STACEY. Speaking of …American Idol, there sure are a lot of ¦ how should I say this gently? A lot of LOSERS who have gone on to successful music careers in spite of getting kicked off the …Idol stage.
Another ex-…American Idol wannabe hitting the shelves is Phil Stacey. Yep, Phil Stacey. Remember him from season six? I dont, either, and Stacey new self-titled CD is every bit as forgettable as his few weeks of glory on the show.
I hope that doesnt sound mean on my part, but Im just being honest here.
Idol Phil Stacey Set for Debut
American Idol Phil Stacey is going to be very busy getting ready for his Country Music album debut. The Season 6 finalist is releasing his self-titled debut album on Tuesday, April 29th.
To promote his first CD, the Country Music star will be appearing on NBC Today Show the day before for a live performance. After that, Phil will be doing various TV and radio interviews and promotions, including Fox Business and Good Day New York.
Stewart still searching for Talladega win
Sunday’s race will mark Earnhardt’s 300th Sprint Cup Series start. Talladega has been his most successful track on the circuit, with five of his 17 wins coming here. He won consecutive races here from October 2001 to April 2003.
American Idol Taylor Hicks, the American Idol season five winner, will sing the National Anthem on Sunday.
Toby Lightman will perform a three-song set on the pre-race stage before the race.
President Bush visits Connecticut events in Hartford, Kent
HARTFORD (AP) ‘ President Bush brought an “American Idol” finalist to a Hartford youth organization Friday to talk about malaria awareness.
Later, he planned to attend a GOP fundraiser in Kent.
Bush arrived Friday morning to visit the Northwest Boys and Girls Club in Hartford, where he discussed Malaria Awareness Day. He was joined by “American Idol” finalist Melinda Doolittle, who has done work for the cause.
“A great issue to advance is saving people’s lives and that’s what we’re celebrating today, ” he said.
He was greeted at Bradley International Airport by Gov. M. Jodi Rell, Kevin Eberly Jr., a 17-year-old student at Wooster School in Danbury, and Joe Lapenta, who has spent 68 years working with the Boys & Girls Club in Hartford.
Paula Abdul talks about making it in Hollywood
Paula Abdul has talked about her Laker Girl days to surviving a plane crash in the latest Extra interview.
In …Extra brand new interview with Paula Abdul airing today, the American Idol judge opened up about overcoming all odds including a near fatal plane crash, countless failed dance auditions and finally making it big in Hollywood.
…I am the quintessential role model for never giving up, she declared.
Singer hoping to prove Cowell wrong
SHE certainly has the wow factor ‘ but it seems TV hopeful Jodie Prenger didn’t have the X Factor.
The Blackpool star of BBC’s I’d Do Anything has revealed she was turned down for Simon Cowell’s rival reality show because of her weight.
While Jodie, 28, currently cuts a curvaceous size 14 the Blackpool lass once topped 18 stone and was a size 24 when she faced the acerbic music guru.
“Basically they liked me, but Simon said I was too big, ” said Jodie who believes she missed out in numerous auditions in the past because of the way she looked.
“I knew it was my weight, I didn’t look like a pop star.”
Britain’s Got Talent: The escapologist who can’t escape, a Bhangra Michael Jackson and, yup, more cute kids
It’s week three of Simon Cowell’s and his fellow judges quest to find Britain’s brightest act and the judges visit the home of variety and end of pier acts, Blackpool, for the first time ever.
Judge Cowell said: “I’m excited, Blackpool is our version of Las Vegas, it has to be brilliant.”
For George Sampson, 14, it’s second time lucky. Last year the 14-year-old from Warrington wowed the Judges with his unique street-dancing, but just missed out on a place in the semi-finals.
4/26: Phil Stacey interview, ratings, Carly Smithson fallout
Im in D.C. this weekend visiting friends so this will probably have to tide you over until Monday.
Phil Stacey, the Navy family man and …Idol finalist last year, always struck me as an aw-shucks nice guy without a terribly distinctive persona despite his bald head and decent vocal prowess. But he did have a real passion for country music while on the show.
ET Talks to Carly Smithson About her ‘Idol’ Exit
On Tuesday night, CARLY SMITHSON sang “Jesus Christ Superstar” at the behest of this week’s “American Idol” mentor ANDREW LLOYD WEBER. She had originally planned to sing “All I Ask of You, ” but the legendary Broadway composer convinced her that with her powerful voice, she needed to do the bigger song. It turned out to be her swan song, but Carly tells ET she has no regrets.
“My greatest experience was to be able to sing to so many people every week — and getting to work with such a great crew and the band was amazing, ” Carly tells ET. “It is such a great platform to launch your career. Everything about it was amazing.”
Kristy Lee Cook discusses her ‘Idol’ strategy
She refused to be pigeonholed as this season’s Haley Scarnato, and instead fought back with smart song choices and sly stage antics. Now, Kristy Lee Cook drops by the Idolatry cubicles and explains how she did it. Check out part 1 (below) and parts 2 and 3 (after the jump).
Paula Abdul on the Injury that Almost Took Her Voice
She’s been knocked down more times than she cares to remember, and now Hollywood’s resident comeback kid, Paula Abdul, is sharing her harrowing journey exclusively with “Extra.”
“I was born premature, ” Paula reveals. “Almost three months, just under three pounds with a broken windpipe and my lungs a complete mess.”
Paula fought her way from fast food jobs and high school musicals to the famous LA Forum floor, getting her big break as a Lakers girl in 1981.
It’s Andrew Lloyd Webber’s fault Carly was cut
Okay, well maybe. Certainly he talked Carly out of her original song choice of The Phantom of the Opera’s “All I Ask of You” and into the more controversial “Superstar, ” from Jesus Christ Superstar. The New York Times reports that Carly Smithson’s song choice may have spelled her doom from American Idol this past week. Many fans were none too pleased with her performing that particular number, sounding off online against the singer.
Surely Webber recalls the furor the album and subsequent stage production of Jesus Christ Superstar wrought from some religious groups when it first came out. While, as the Times piece indicates, the sensitivity over its controversial nature has waned in the passing decades, it has not died out. Just as many say Kristy Lee Cook’s rendering of “God Bless the USA” rallied a certain sect of the population to vote for her and keep her around longer, it’s certainly possible that Carly’s “Jesus Christ Superstar” had the exact opposite effect.