Jordin Sparks on the road to recovery
Ailing American Idol winner, Jordin Sparks of Glendale, may be singing again as early as next week.
That’s the word from Jordin’s mother.
Jordin and her family were in Glendale Saturday night to honor her father, Phillippi Sparks. The former NFL cornerback received an award for excellence from Glendale Community College. Sparks is a 1989 GCC graduate and member of the school’s 1988 championship team.
His daughter Jordin, who’s been recovering from vocal cord problems, was there to help him celebrate.
Fixing Idol Ratings
I got my grubby little fingers on an online market research survey Fox put into play last week, and its execs are looking at every aspect of how to plug this ratings leak. The network has been doing online polling for three years because it is cheap and easy, but now the stakes are getting higher as viewership gets lower.
…Were not in denial, Fox scheduling chief Preston Beckman told me. …It still the biggest show on TV, but that doesnt mean there are things we cant do. The feedback from this year youll probably see on the show next year.
The online survey asks basic questions like whether viewers like the show more or less than last year. But it is the specific questions that indicate where the network is targeting change.
Beckman told me months ago that Fox is looking at tweaking Idol early stages next year, so that is nothing new. Therefore, the questions about the length and the tone of the auditions and subsequent Hollywood round are unsurprising.
But one question in the survey gives clues about one route they may be considering. The question asks, …Suppose the first few weeks of American Idol started in Hollywood with flashbacks of the auditions; would that increase or decrease your enjoyment of American Idol?
Upcoming ‘Idol’ new releases
American Idol 7 is coming down to the wire, and soon, there’ll be a whole new crop of alumni releasing new music. In the meantime, Idols from previous seasons are getting ready to launch new CDs, hoping that Idol magic will translate into CD sales.
Who among the Final Five will win the Idol crown?
Archuleta has impressed with his preternaturally mature-sounding voice; he has a remarkably reedy timbre for someone who looks so young.
He’s not new to this, though: he won the Junior Singers competition on Star Search when he was just 12.
Predicting ‘American Idol’ outcome is tricky business
Go figure. The ousting last week of Carly Smithson, one of the strongest singers in this season’s “American Idol” competition, makes about as much sense as other deplorable early “Idol” exits (Jennifer Hudson and Chris Daughtry, for example).
It just goes to show: Forecasting who will and who won’t be expelled from the Fox ratings juggernaut week to week is a fickle business, at best. Voting often is based on the whims of sympathy (Brooke White, who this week forgot the lyrics), crushes (Jason Castro, whose performance this week was called a “train wreck” by judge Randy Jackson) and other factors, not always in sync with who may be the most talented singer.
That said, we all have our opinions, including me. Here are my predictions, though dubiously cast, of how the Top 5 — perhaps the most fascinating crew in the show’s history — should shake out.
‹Idol an oasis of clean amid a cesspool on TV
This is not an easy admission to make, but Ill do it anyway. The one cant-miss, required-viewing television show in the Sheehan household every week is …American Idol.
Our family in the past two years has planned Tuesday and Wednesday nights in the springtime around this pop-culture phenomenon for several reasons, not the least being that it provides incentive for our kids to finish their homework before 8 p.m., under the threat of missing their favorite show. But the most pertinent is that …Idol is the one show weve found that appeals to all four of us, from age 9 to the old geezer in the tribe, namely me. It is also about the only post-dinnertime TV show where something graphic or disturbing to young children doesnt pop up without notice.
‘American Idol’: Murray’s singing sensation David Archuleta
Not everyone knew David Archuleta could sing. Not like America knows now.
On a parched June day in 2006 before the 17-year-old “American Idol” phenom became a household name, David and dozens of other teens were on their way home from an LDS Church youth conference in Martin’s Cove, Wyo., when friends started pestering him to sing.
“He was being bashful. He said, ‘No, I haven’t warmed up, ‘ ” youth leader Julie Lundberg remembered. “They were giving him all kinds of crap. I said, ‘They’re not going to leave you alone until you sing.’ ”
David finally relented, grabbing a microphone from the bus driver, and his airy voice resounded through the static-filled intercom system. He sang Robbie Williams’ hit song, “Angels, ” the same inspirational ballad he would later perform on “Idol.”
“It was cool. It was dead silence on the bus, ” Lundberg said. “It’s like they all went, ‘Wow!’ ”
Getting to know America Top 5
Cook: Cutting his rock chops in gritty clubs
Beneath the shaggy hair and mild-mannered demeanor of “American Idol” contestant David Cook is a seasoned musician who’s rocked his way through the gritty club scene in America’s heartland.
The 25-year-old native of Blue Springs, Mo., brought his aspiring music career to Tulsa two years ago after graduating from Central Missouri State University with a degree in graphic design. But despite a college degree and even a few career opportunities, Cook’s friends and band mates from Tulsa say there’s nothing Cook would rather be doing than performing and making music.
“He’s the real thing, ” said Jeff Martinson, the owner of the Blank Slate complex of clubs in downtown Tulsa’s Blue Dome district, where Cook bartended and enjoyed a flourishing musical career before landing a spot on the Fox Television program.
Clay Aiken doing it his “Way” with new album
NEW YORK (Billboard) – During its six previous seasons, TV juggernaut “American Idol” has launched countless music careers — but the caveat is maintaining staying power.
Season-two runner-up continues to beat the odds. He is gearing up for the May 6 release of “On My Way Here” (RCA), his first album of original material since his 2003 double-platinum debut, “Measure of a Man.”
In between, he released the platinum-certified “Merry Christmas With Love” in 2004, and the gold-certified covers album “A Thousand Different Ways” in 2006.
In May, he’ll wrap a five-month Broadway stint in the Tony Award-lauded musical comedy “Spamalot.”
Kid Rock wins big, Jill Jack bows out and Muggs win Rock Detroit Music Award
One surprising moment came near the end of the night, when the Muggs were honored as the year’s best rock band. The band, who began playing together eight years ago, has had its share of ups and downs. Bassist Tony Denardo suffered a stroke in 2001, which left him partially paralyzed, but after a lot of physical therapy and a switch to keyboards, he and his band made it back to the stage, and even onto Fox’s reality competition show “The Next Great American Band.”
Talent ‘Pool’s shallow end
We’re in Blackpool, the spiritual home of Britain’s Got Talent. Naturally, it’s not going well (it never does for the first 45 minutes).
Scowling Cowell is sporting his traditional “why am I here?” frown and Amanda Holden has come to doubt her belief that “this year’s winner could be from Blackpool”.
Piers Morgan, meanwhile, waits patiently for the opportunity to trot out his weekly “that was absolutely brilliant”.
Sadly, amid a haze of useless losers who are sad rather than funny, we’re seeing nothing but absolute s**t. And Piers is forced to concede: “The quality of acts, it’s like the end of the pier.”
So what’s new?
Most of the BGT wannabes are so hopeless you wish they would go to the end of the pier – and then carry on walking.
Idol Boss Talks Shocking Exits, Sliding Ratings
The Britweek Launch, held Thursday night at the home of the Consul General, was a little like a ball: Nearly everyone, including the five American Idol contestants had a curfew’ but forget the Midnight curfew like Cinderella had ‘ the AI gang had to be out by 8:30!
American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe has no such gag order, however, and gave us his thoughts on Carly’s shocking early ejection the night before. “I was very sad, ” he admitted. “I think Carly is extremely talented, a brilliant voice. I was sorry to lose Michael and I was certainly sorry to lose Carly.” He dismissed the idea that Michael, an Australian, and Carly, who is Irish, were ousted due to having been born abroad. Carly was in the top four last week, ” he pointed out. “Most times, America votes for the best performance of the night. I think this week, we saw America getting behind people they’ve supported over a series of weeks.”
He expects more shockers to come, since everyone left is a strong contender. “This is the season that everybody said David Archuleta’s won and now here we are going, ‘Ooh, what’s happening?'”