Shopping, social vibe bring Syesha home
Sarasota might be Syesha Mercado’s hometown, but Miami is the American Idol finalist’s home, baby.
”It’s the entire vibe. The minute I step off the plane — oh, my gosh! — I can feel the humidity and that’s so good for my vocal cords. It’s the weather. The people. Just everything, ” Mercado, 21, said on a pal’s cellphone while tooling around South Beach on Tuesday afternoon. She’s in town for some fan meet-‘n’-greets (Wednesday she did Hallandale Beach’s Gulfstream), a Deco Drive taping at WSVN-Fox 7 and some chill time before rehearsals begin Sunday for this summer’s Idols Tour.
Not Everyone Can Be Chris Daughtry
A seventh season of American Idol has ended, and more than a week later, all I’m still hearing around the ol’ Yahoo! watercooler is, “Oh, it’s no big deal if David Archuleta/Michael Johns/Syesha Mercado/Chikezie/insert-runner-up’s-name-here did not win. Surely they’ll be offered record deals and become huge stars anyway. It doesnt matter who wins!”
Well, you know…people were saying the same thing about Vonzell Solomon after season 3.
Yes, sometimes it does matter who wins. Because not every runner-up can be the next Jennifer Hudson or Chris Daughtry. Some of them just become the next Scott Savol or Anthony Federov, never to be heard from again.
Bra-fitting specialists hold keys to a treasured chest
If you got it, flaunt it. At least that seems to be the mantra for Jennifer Hudson, who’s been accompanied by her best “girls” on the red carpet lately. At the “Sex and the City” premiere last week in New York, Hudson showed off her ample cleavage in a deep scoop-necked gold metallic mini. So scoop-necked, in fact, that her shiny black push-up bra became part of the ensemble.
Bra-as-outerwear is becoming a trend for Hudson, who had her girls on display again at the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday in a sweetheart-necked tight white dress with help from a very visible pink lacy bra.
Jennifer Hudson talks ‹Sex
Though Hudson only finished seventh, many still consider her to be the most talented person ever to enter the competition.
So, it was no surprise when she brought down the house delivering a spirited rendition of …And I Am Telling You Im Not Going as Effie White in the screen adaptation of the Broadway musical, …Dreamgirls.
Based on the strength of that Oscar-winning performance, she was signed to play Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) assistant, Louise, in …Sex and the City, a character writer/director Michael Patrick King created with Hudson specifically in mind.
On the musical front, her yet-to-be-titled debut CD is set to be released by Arista Records in the fall, although her first single, …Spotlight, was leaked on May 16, and can be found online.
Alicia Keys finds herself in ‘a really good space’
When she made her bow in 2001, the R&B singer-songwriter did so casually dressed and behind a piano when many of her peers were up singing and dancing, often in suggestive attire.
Did you give any tips to Jordin Sparks when she joined your tour, after her vocal cord scare? “Carry lots of lozenges” or something?
(Laughs) You know, Jordin is a really, really great girl who loves singing and music with all of her being. And as long as you love it with all of your heart, like her, everything else will take care of itself.
So, seriously, as the veteran on the bill, you didn’t offer any advice about maintaining her voice?
To tell you the truth, I am really, finally learning how to do those things myself — like just this past February.
‘Fox on Faith’ podcast available
NEW YORK (BP)–A new podcast from Fox News Radio provides in-depth coverage of religious stories that have not necessarily been addressed by the network’s mainstream reporting.
“Fox on Faith, ” hosted by former Baptist Press assistant editor Todd Starnes, launched in April and is updated every other week at foxnewsradio.com. The goal of the podcast, which offers a free subscription, is to explore how faith intersects the public arena.
Starnes also interviewed American Idol’s Jason Castro about his faith in Jesus for the podcast.
“My faith is how I get through every day, ” said Castro, who attends Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall, Texas.
The former reality show contestant said he grew up at the church and played guitar during the worship services.
Positive outlook a plus in Menard’s next battle
“American Idol” fans, especially those in Greater Lafayette, received a shock a couple weeks ago when it was announced that Luke Menard was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer that attacks the immune system.
The disease is very serious but treatable. A story in the Chicago Tribune said it has a survival rate of 90 to 95 percent.
And if anyone can beat cancer, it would be Menard.
During the crazed winter when it was announced that not one, not two, but three “American Idol” contestants in the top-24 had or still have Greater Lafayette ties, I was able to interview Menard on a few occasions. While Amanda Overmyer and Amy Davis were genuine talents and gracious during their interviews, I sensed an overwhelming positive attitude in Menard, not just in his singing but in life itself.
An ‘Idol’ and a ‘Gentleman’: Opening acts for Alicia Keys are ‘American Idol’ winner Jordin Sparks and Ne-Yo
For Jordin Sparks, winning “American Idol’s” sixth season has been a lesson in strength.
“I’m still ultimately the same, but I feel a little older and stronger, which is an amazing thing, because I realize I can handle a lot more than I thought I could, ” Sparks said during a recent teleconference. “So, there’s a little bit of things that’s been thrown at me and it doesn’t affect me quite as much as I thought it would, so I’m a little stronger.”
Headline acts head to Toms River for festival
TOMS RIVER ‘ After a year’s absence, Toms River Fest returns in August to the campus of Toms River High School North. The headline acts: Carrie Underwood and Daughtry.
Ritacco and the producers said Thursday they are confident this year’s event ‘ cut from four days previously to two days and anchored by Underwood and Daughtry ‘ will be a success. Those entertainers are two of the best-selling artists over the past two years, and Daughtry’s performance last December at the Ritacco Center was the fastest act to sell out since the center opened, said Jon Vena, spokesman for Toms River Fest.
Wedding Singer’s Maroulis to Star in Jesus Christ Superstar
Constantine Maroulis ‘ the “American Idol” finalist who was seen in Broadway’s The Wedding Singer and Off-Broadway’s Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris ‘ will star in an upcoming production of Jesus Christ Superstar.
Maroulis, seen on the fourth season of Fox TV’s “American Idol, ” will portray Judas in the Premier Theatre Company’s production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical at the Henderson Theater in Lincroft, NJ. The cast will also feature Joseph Russo as Jesus. Russo has been seen nationwide as Freddie Mercury in the Queen tribute band, “Almost Queen, ” and has toured the world in productions of Hair.
Performances will begin at the New Jersey venue June 13 and continue through June 28. Mark Fleming produces and directs Superstar with co-direction by Jay Casale and music direction by Anthony D’Amato.
‘Idol’ reject dances with Halliwell
Geri Halliwell danced to Spice Girls hit ‘Wannabe’ with American Idol reject Chris Daughtry at this week’s Glamour Awards.
Halliwell, Emma Bunton and Melanie Brown picked up their best band award at the London ceremony on Tuesday, but both Victoria Beckham and Melanie Chisholm were absent.
Halliwell admitted she was close to being left alone on the dancefloor when the DJ played the group’s first big single.
“They played ‘Wannabe’ and I got left alone on the dancefloor like a wallflower, ” she told the Daily Mail.
“Fortunately someone from American Idol – Chris Daughtry – danced with me, thank God! So I wasn’t left alone during our song.”
Chris and Sarah Sligh
If you watched season six of American Idol, you probably remember Chris Sligh, the wisecracking contestant who gave judge Simon Cowell a run for his money. Though he didn’t win (Chris placed 10th), he participated in 2007’s Idol tour, is an Idol commentator for Entertainment Weekly online, and has just released his second album, Running Back to You. MP talked with Chris and Sarah, his wife of five years, about the impact American Idol has had on their marriage.
Was trying out for American Idol a joint decision?
Chris: It was my third time to try out’ the first two years I didn’t make it past the first round. So Sarah wasn’t exactly supportive in the beginning. But once I made it to [judges] Randy, Paula, and Simon, she jumped on board.
Sarah: At first I was like, “Aw, don’t do that.” There had been so many ups and downs in Chris’s career that it was really difficult to get onboard unless I felt it was actually going somewhere. I hated getting my hopes’ and his’ dashed. But I did think it would be a great jumping off point for his career.
Jessica Sierra won’t do ‘Celebrity Rehab 2’
TAMPA, FL — Former American Idol contestant has won’t be appearing in another edition of VH1’s Celebrity Rehab.
Sierra’a lawyer had filed a motion asking she be allowed to participate in a 2nd edition of the reality program, which follows the lives of several celebrities as they go through a rehab program run by TV personality Dr. Drew Pinsky.
This is despite the fact that after Sierra was granted probation for a 2nd time, a Hillsborough County judge ordered her to stay away from TV cameras while she completed her stint at a California rehab center.
So You Think You Can Dance: Milwaukee Auditions
All said, there were some pretty amazing talents in every style this year throughout the audition rounds, and there were so many dancers we haven’t seen yet. At the end of the audition rounds, I’ll give SYTYCD an “A” grade on giving us a good balance of the excellent and not-so-excellent. I didn’t have time to get bored with these audition rounds and I’m more than ready to start seeing these guys pair up and show us the goods, so to speak.
So how do you fill two hours with only one city to cover? You add some more auditions from the other cities, of course.
‘So You Think You Can Dance’: Midwestern Swing
‘We don’t have a lot of money. We just have our friends and our dancing.” What can I say, dear readers? It’s this kind of line ‘ delivered with simple sincerity and spirit by Philip Courter after witnessing his friend Yesenia Gomez’s year-long dream quashed by a bum knee ‘ that just gets my eyes all soggy no matter how many hair dryers my snark demon Smirkelstiltskin fires up to keep ’em tear free. You can scour through hour upon hour of America’s Next Top Models and America’s Got Talents, Shear Geniuses and Top Chefs, Project Runways and American Idols, and I doubt you’d be able to find a clean dozen moments that when added together equal the deeply felt heart in Yesenia and Philip’s auditions.