David Cook on arranging songs, fighting the ‘smug’ label, and baiting cougars!
David Cook fans, the wait is over! In part 1 of his Idolatry interview with Jessica Shaw and me, the reigning American Idol champ admits he “put a wall up” for the first two weeks of the season 7 semifinals; in part 2, he gives a detailed breakdown of how he came up with his fantastic arrangement of Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby”; and in part 3 (after the jump), the rocker dude discusses his transformation from average guy to world-class cougar bait! (Check back tomorrow for two more Cookie interview segments, plus our chat with Syesha Mercado!)
‘Idol’ winner Cook reaps 940, 000 downloads
Up Close: David Cook is in the House!
(this interview uses the reader questions posted from fans)
Rockwall rolls out red carpet for Jason Castro
The usually quiet suburb of Rockwall became a hyperactive screamfest Thursday as thousands of Jason Castro fans came to watch the city’s favorite son give his homecoming performance.
Teenage girls were nearly reduced to tears when they saw Mr. Castro and his signature brown dreadlocks.
“Oh my gosh! I touched his hair, ” squealed 16-year-old Jennifer Walthall.
Jennifer participated in Mr. Castro’s free concert parade with her fellow cheerleaders from Rockwall High School.
SEEN ON SCENE:
Michael Johns, a finalist this season on “American Idol, ” was at the Wicker Park hotspot the Fifty/50 on West Division after singing the national anthem at the Cubs-Dodgers game earlier Tuesday.
Don’t Sell Out Like ‘American Idol’
Well, at least the right David won.
Although Fox’s American Idol got a lot wrong this year, and suffered a much-discussed ratings hit in the process, it nevertheless got the most important thing right: the singing.
And that is no small thing. From a business perspective, if your business is bringing the top new talent to the fore, then you best do that. The last two years, the winners were the forgettable Jordin Sparks and the gimmicky Taylor Hicks, which meant that Idol simply was not delivering on what it was supposed to do.
But this year, offering up such strong contestants as the Davids, Syesha Mercado and (my favorite) Michael Johns created a much stronger show.
Q&A: Brooke White
From smiles to tears and everything in between, Brooke White was one of the most emotionally charismatic finalists on “American Idol” this season. Billboard chatted with the Arizona native about her musical background and her dreams post-“AI.”
Q: Perhaps more than any other contestant in seven seasons, you have not been afraid to reveal your emotions on camera. Do you consider yourself to be a very open person?
A: To a fault. It’s challenging for me because when you’re so vulnerable; it’s difficult to have thick skin. Sometimes you feel like you have no protection around you. It’s just out there for everyone to see and feel and that can be hard, especially on this show where we have 30+ million viewers.
David Archuleta Defends Dad
(CBS) “American Idol” runner-up David Archuleta says his father is a “great guy” and keeps the 17-year-old crooner grounded — as opposed to being the overbearing, classic stage dad numerous press reports have described him as.
Reports surfaced as the “Idol” competition was drawing to a close that producers had taken away Jeff Archuleta’s backstage pass to get him out of their hair.
But, on The Early Show Thursday, David told co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez his father is “a great guy. And I really appreciate his support and all my family’s support. You know, he’s given great advice, but he’s let me do my own thing. And it’s been great to have him there, just reminding me to keep grounded and remember what’s important.”
Exclusive Clip: Anna Faris and Emma Stone in the House Bunny
In …The House Bunny, Anna Faris plays a Playboy Playmate who tossed out of Hugh mansion because she hit the age ceiling (at a spry mid-twenties). With nowhere to go, she snags a gig as house mother for a local sorority where she proceeds to empower her female flock to become cool and hip and happening.
In the clip below, watch her in action along with co-star Emma Stone (Superbad), and then catch the film in theaters on August 22. And dont forget to tune in at 7:30pm EST on Sunday, June 1 to see the girls (which includes Katharine McPhee) walk the MTV Movie Awards red carpet.
Country Stars are Good Sports
Country artists can get competitive about their chart positions ‘ who doesn’t want a No. 1 record? ‘ but theyre also prone to turn it up a notch in the field of sports. At least some of them. And a number of artists are taking part in a range of sports and cooking challenges during the CMA Music Festival June 5-8.
Mel Tillis, Jamie ONeal, Phil Stacey, Steve Azar and Emerson Drive Brad Mates are among the stars wholl roll up their sleeves in several competitions. Also putting themselves on the line are GAC hosts Mark Wills, Storme Warren and Suzanne Alexander.
Valley Resident Spends A Motown Evening With American Idol Star
Love him or hate him, there can be no denying that Sanjaya Malakar was American Idol most talked about contestant ever. With his boyish appeal, beaming smile, and ever-changing hairstyles, including the infamous ponyhawk, he simultaneously managed to charm, fascinate, and repel viewers in a way no other contestant on the show has done before or since.
But what has Sanjaya been up to lately? Well, if youve kept up with the news on last year Idol alumni at all, you may be aware of a few things’ that he has moved to LA to pursue a career in music and film; that there is a rumored TV variety show in the works with his sister Shyamali. Or maybe youve caught his recent hosting gig on the TV Guide channel Idol Stars: Where Are They Now?
Underwood shows no signs of slowing down
Little things in life can seem so insignificant, but have enormous ramifications.
An unknown Oklahoma college student was so busy balancing her schedule, she didn’t want to make the long drive to St. Louis to compete in the preliminary stages of American Idol. The odds of advancing were astronomical and the thought of an all-night drive and sleeping in the car wasn’t very appealing.
Music fans throughout the world are thankful Carrie Underwood made a bold commitment to pursue her musical ambitions, despite major obstacles and overwhelming odds. She made the marathon dash to the heart of Cardinal country at the last minute and earned a trip to Hollywood, where she proceeded to blow away the field in capturing the season five title in 2005.
Tom Cruise, Will Smith Join The List Of MTV Movie Awards Presenters
Will Smith will join previously announced presenters Will Ferrell, Sarah Jessica Parker, Lindsay Lohan, Steve Carell, Robert Downey Jr., Seth Rogen and more at the 17th annual MTV Movie Awards, broadcast live this year from the Gibson Amphitheatre on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET. Smith’s “Hancock” co-star, Charlize Theron, will also be handing out a Golden Popcorn.
Also joining the fun are Rainn Wilson, Anna Faris, Katharine McPhee, Megan Fox, Brendan Fraser, Danny McBride, Liv Tyler, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jennifer Hudson, who will present awards to a talented group of nominees, led this year by “Superbad, ” “Juno, ” “Transformers, ” “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” and “Enchanted.”
Paula and J.T. are Still On!
Despite rumors that they’d broken up, all was comfy cozy between Paula Abdul and J.T. Torregiani on May 19, when the two celebrated his birthday at Beso restaurant in Hollywood.
J.T., who co-owns Beso with Eva Longoria Parker and chef Todd English, was snuggling and cuddling with the Idol judge. “When Paula arrived, J.T. had an ear-to-ear smile, and they hugged for a long time before she planted a kiss on his lips, ” a witness tells OK!.
Country singer enjoying the coattails ride of ‘American Idol’
Remember Bucky Covington from season five of ”American Idol?” The guy with the shoulder-length blond hair who sang his way to the No. 8 spot?
He’s got a few hits under his belt now and is heading to mid-Michigan this summer to perform at the WKCQ Wam Bam Country Jam at 8 p.m. Aug. 12.
Bucky Covington promises his concert, which also features country hitmaker Craig Morgan, will deliver fans no disappointments.
”It’s a great variety, ” he said, praising the hard work of his band. ”We put on a really wide-open show.”
The 30-year-old artist will sing hits like ”A Different World” and ”It’s Good to Be Us” as well as some cover tunes.
More ‘Sex’ appeal: Starry-eyed Jennifer Hudson becomes one of the girls
Jennifer Hudson was hooked by her homework.
“I watched every single one of them, and I still carry the DVDs around. I mean, …..it’s addictive, ” the Academy Award winner said of the 94 episodes of HBO’s “Sex and the City.” Not a big TV watcher, she wasn’t a fan until faced with the prospect of joining the movie as Louise, a 25-year-old from St. Louis hired as Carrie Bradshaw’s assistant.
“At first, I started off just researching my part and then before I knew it, I was just watching it for pleasure. Like, what happened next? And I’m calling my sister, because she’s a huge fan.”
In fact, Hudson now thinks of herself as a Charlotte — “wholesome, traditional” — with a touch of Miranda, “very independent and strong.”
So You Think You Can Dance: Salt Lake City and Dallas Auditions
There were a lot of dancers in these two cities so we’re not going to necessarily touch on all of them or we might be here all day. If I miss someone then you can assume that means they didn’t impress me enough one way or the other. But feel free to chime in with your comments on them or anything else about the new season unfolding before our anxious little eyes. Little Sabra is going down, so to speak. Will we see the new champion tonight?