Johns, Smithson rock Chicago
Michael Johns and Carly Smithson performed for the first time since being kicked off …American Idol on Saturday.
The pair made duets out of U2 …One and Sam & Dave …Hold on, Im Coming. They knocked them out of the park, especially the second tune.
Johns seems to have a natural star quality. He engaged the audience very well, and both songs fit right into his bluesy sort of style.
Smithson was more subdued working the audience, but she got the pipes. Her voice alone got the crowd behind her.
American Idol: A big week for Jason Castro
If Rockwall’s favorite son makes it to the final three this week on American Idol, he’ll be returning to Texas in a big way. Our resident JC expert Dawn Redig has already posted some of the specifics, but keep an eye on the Go Blog and neighborsgo.com in the coming days for more details.
Updated Vegas Odds for American Idol, Hell’s Kitchen and Dancing With the Stars
Though most American Idol watchers in our unscientific survey agree that the American Idol winner will be …one of the two Davids, a popular prediction site suggests that long shot Syesho Mercado may beat the betting odds.
DialIdol.com often accurate software indicates that Syesha Mercado at 50/1 is gaining momentum and could stun co-favorites David Archuleta and David Cook, both who are now 20/21. The other finalist, Jason Castro checks in at 25/1.
Live TV still shines in an on-demand world
Snapshots from the world of live TV in recent weeks:
American Idol judge Paula Abdul, looking dazed and confused, critiques a song yet to be sung by contestant Jason Castro. Painfully awkward hardly starts to describe the moment.
Another contestant, Brooke White, forgets the lyrics to a big, loud ballad and brings the orchestra to a crashing halt by turning to the conductor and saying, “I’m sorry.”
Chilean film star Cristian de la Fuente blows out a tendon in his arm and, with a grimace on his face, stops dead in his tracks while doing the samba on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.
Forget the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination and the war in Iraq, no topic last week was more discussed in the blogosphere than Abdul’s Tuesday-night goof on live TV before 24 million viewers. A night earlier, de la Fuente’s real-time injury in front of 18 million fans was all the buzz.
The real deal on reality TV, and why TV as we know it may be about to change forever
nterestingly – and disturbingly, for anyone who appreciates good TV comedy and drama – four of the five top programs on TV that week were reality series, with American Idol and Dancing with the Stars leading the field. Hell’s Kitchen, normally summer fill-in for the Fox network scored 11 million viewers, enough to land it in the top 20 that week, thanks in large part to its cushy post-Idol time period on Fox.
What does this all mean? No one is going to lose interest in good stories, well told – not completely, anyway. But it does suggest the writers’ strike had incalculable unintended consequences, not the least of which is fewer jobs for writers.
David Cook’s homecoming to include a concert
A parade in honor of one of Blue Springs most famous natives is planned for the “American Idol” hopeful Friday – if he isn’t voted off the show.
And for Debbie Whisler, president of the Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce, that means one important fact.
“People need to vote, ” Whisler said. “Vote early and vote often.”
The parade is set to begin at 3 p.m. Friday at Moreland School Road and Adams Diary Parkway. The route goes north to Ryan Road – the back entrance to Cook’s alma mater, Blue Springs South High School.
Inside the Larry Stewart Memorial Stadium, Cook will receive a key to the city and other gifts from hometown supporters. After a brief presentation headed by Mayor Carson Ross, Cook will perform a few songs acoustically.
Country: Phil Stacey
Apparently, it’s not necessary to win, place or even show on “American Idol” to score a recording contract from one of Music City’s big-time labels. After finishing sixth in “Idol’s” sixth season, Phil Stacey signed on to Lyric Street Records. His self-titled debut is the pedestrian result.
On the surface, Stacey has the goods to make a brisk dash for stardom. He’s a pastor’s son, a U.S. Navy veteran and a family man with two young daughters, and he sports a ruggedly wholesome face that’s perfect for video. But his voice, pleasant yet lacking character, is not strong enough to compensate for the weak material provided by Nashville’s professional tunesmiths.
An ‘Idol’ moment, or career?
A little more than a year ago, I wrote a story for The Eagle outlining onetime Wichitan Phil Stacey’s post-“American Idol” prospects.
At the time, Stacey — a 1997 Northwest High School graduate — had just cracked the top 10 on “Idol, ” ensuring him a spot on last summer’s nationwide “Idol” tour.
Stacey’s career could go in a lot of different directions, I wrote. He could win the whole thing. He could be eliminated and still release a successful album. He could land some sort of television hosting gig or get a spot in a Broadway play. Or he could simply fade into oblivion.
“No matter the outcome, ” I wrote in the story’s final line, “Phil almost certainly has a Wichita River Festival invitation in his future.”
I was kidding!
Yet, here we are, a year later. Phil Stacey has just released his first album — an impressive collection of country-pop songs recorded by Lyric Street Records, the same label that claims Rascal Flatts.
UPI NewsTrack Entertainment News
Kellie Pickler says she excited about performing for students at a Georgia high school whose text-messaging won them a concert by the “American Idol” finalist.
Thanks to 500, 000 text messages from students at Etowah High School in Cherokee County during a 10-day period, the school will receive a visit from the popular “Idol” singer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Thursday.
The free concert was part of a contest held by Atlanta radio station WKHX-FM. Pickler said she was excited to hear how dedicated her fans were to winning the promotion.
Clay Aiken finally has a record (sort of) of his own
When it comes to Clay Aiken, you certainly can’t tell from 2003’s “Measure of a Man, ” a CD released just five months after he lost to Ruben Studdard on “American Idol.”
“When that first album came out, the music on it was predetermined before ‘Idol’ was even done, ” said Aiken, who has a new recording due this week. “At the time, I was just so excited that I had this opportunity, I was like, ‘I’ll sing “The Crawdad Song” if you want me to!’ ”
Aiken didn’t write any of the songs on “Measure, ” but his cooing delivery made him an even bigger star in the adult contemporary world. And after sporadic touring, it was time to cut another record ‘ this one a holiday CD. “Merry Christmas With Love” was released a year after “Measure, ” and six weeks later it reached platinum status.
It goes without saying that selling a million copies of a holiday record is uncommon territory, the kind typically reserved for Kenny G and Celine Dion. Then again, Aiken fits in nicely with that crowd.
Underwood a little awed by the ‘oohs, ahhs’
It felt like the onset of a diva moment: a darkened Tucson Arena illuminated by the blue-red flicker of cell phones.
The crowd of 7, 000 scanned the stage, then the catwalk jutting out a good 25 yards.
Where was she coming from?
As her band of twentysomething players lit into the opening chords of the rocking pop-country song “Flat On the Floor, ” Carrie Underwood emerged from beneath the catwalk, nearest the stage.
The screams and applause were so loud you could barely hear her sing: “I’m flat on the floor / With my head down low / Where the sky can’t rain on me anymore.”
Betting with the stars
“American Idol” winner Taylor Hicks: “My buddy, I think his plane got hit by lightning. So when he hit the ground and I said, ‘Well, I guess we’re going to have to put some money on Smooth Air because that’s what you need going on, ‘” Hicks said at the Grand Gala VIP Reception, held at the downtown Marriott. His other pick: Denis of Cork. “My trying out for American Idol was a longshort, so I’m into longshot winners for sure.’