WGA targets ‘American Idol’ Guild kicks off Truth Tour to organize reality
After taking a post-strike hiatus, the Writers Guild of America is renewing its push to organize reality shows by targeting “American Idol.”
It’s kicking off the Truth Tour with a Wednesday morning press conference at WGA headquarters followed by the staging of an alternative version of “American Idol” the next day in San Francisco outside the Cow Palace, where “American Idol” is holding auditions for next season.
The WGA had no official comment about the events, but it began notifying strike supporters this week of the Truth Tour plans. It said the news conference will feature speeches from California politicians, keynote celebrities and guild leaders (with free T-shirts given out to all attendees).
Tour Update: Kristy Lee and Carly on Missing Their Men
It’s been barely over a week since the American Idol tour got underway, but life on the road is already presenting its shining moments and its tougher aspects for the top ten singers. Two of the Idols, Kristy Lee Cook and Carly Smithson, talked to TVGuide.com about the mixed bag of hitting the road all summer long.
One of the main challenges so far, each confided, is staying connected to their main squeezes. Kristy Lee, who got engaged during Season 7, said she hasn’t seen her man at all. “I get to see him on the 10th, but I don’t know if he’s going to any of the other shows, ” she lamented, adding, “It’s tough. We’ve had a few ‘moments, ‘ because he doesn’t understand what’s going on, but he’s starting to get the picture when I’m like, ‘I can’t handle this!’ But he’s getting the picture that he needs to be supportive. He’s starting to come around.”
Kristy Lee Cook of Oregon performs in Portland
Oregon’s own Kristy Lee Cook comes home Friday night with some rowdy friends: her nine fellow “American Idol” finalists (including this year’s winner, David Cook).
Before Friday’s “American Idols Live!” concert at the Rose Garden arena, we caught up with the pride of Selma, Ore., by phone. Needless to say, Cook has had her hands full in the wake of her “Idol” time. She’s touring; spending days off recording an album to be released by 19 Recordings and Arista Nashville; and planning her wedding to fiance Andrew Dobner, owner of a Grants Pass landscape maintenance company.
“It’s been kind of a whirlwind, ” says Cook, 24. “But I’m looking forward to going to Portland. Oregon’s a very supportive state, and I’m real excited to get back.”
‘Idol’ worship puzzles Cook
When David Cook found out he had passed his initial audition for …American Idol and would advance to compete on the hit television series, he wasnt happy and full of anticipation.
Cook felt uncomfortable.
It was the same feeling that nearly kept him from auditioning in the first place. Cook came to the audition in Omaha, Neb., to provide moral support for his brother, Andrew, who was trying out for the show. Cook only auditioned after he was prodded into doing so by his brother and his mother, who was also there.
…We were in the same audition group in the first round, and I was the only one out of the group that made it, Cook said in a recent phone interview. …So yeah, it was a little awkward. I made it a point, as soon as I got out of the arena, I said to him if you dont want me to do this, I wont. And his response, this kind of speaks to his character, he said if you dont do it, Ill kick your (butt).
American Idols Live will play the Tacoma Dome
Don’t tell me ‘ you’ve been holding your breath in anticipation of the Idols Live tour ever since David Cook was crowned the American Idol back in May.
Well, time to breathe.
Yep, the touring show American Idols Live started late last month and comes to the Tacoma Dome Saturday, and The Seattle Times will be there, with live posts and photos on seattletimes.com Saturday afternoon and during the concert, and with arts writer Misha Berson’s concert review online Sunday morning, then printed in NWLife on Monday.
Arco crowd shows Sacramento is ‘American Idol’ stronghold
Call it what you will, but the 2008 American Idols Live! tour simply is this: three-plus hours of major squealing – and not just from the tweens and teens.
The Season 7 Top 10 “Idols” were greeted by a raucous crowd of more than 10, 000 fans Wednesday night at Arco Arena and, judging by some of their comments, Sacramento might have been the most appreciative city yet on their tour stop, which might explain why some of the other reviews of the show have been less than stellar.
But let’s be honest: The concert isn’t so much a look at what fans can expect in the future from these guys and gals, but more of a “valentine, ” if you will, for all the support during the show’s run.
‘Idols’ lovin’ the tour
Yesterday, a few hours before the “American Idols Live!” show hit the stage at Arco Arena, local media (including The Bee) got a chance to chat with five of the Top 10 finalists – one-on-one.
The tour offers this opportunity at every stop, but they don’t tell you ahead of time who you’ll be interviewing.
The five we got were great! Keep in mind, they’re only a little over a week into a two-month-plus nationwide tour. So the energy and enthusiasm hasn’t worn off.
And, even though the “Idols” arrived in Sacramento under miserable conditions – with the intense heat and smoke – some of them made it outside before getting hair and makeup to sign autographs and greet the more than 200 fans who patiently waited in a baking parking lot for the buses to arrive!
Here’s what the five I had the privilege of chatting with had to say:
American Idol concert; what you missed.
Arco arena is known for having the loudest fans in the NBA. It is also know for having a horrible sound system for concerts. It was especial laud, harsh and shrilly for the American Idol concert on Wednesday, July 9th. The over baring base drum amplifier drowned out the rest of the band. We know there was a band because we saw them but we rarely heard what they were playing. You not only heard the base but felt it, even in the far reaches of the stadium. If you have ever pulled up to a stop light with a car next you that had the windows down with extremely heavy base amplifiers and speakers that pounded through the pavement up into your car and actually made your car pulsate. That is what the sound was in Arco. The poor sound quality was not limited to the band. Some of performers sounded shrilly.
Brooke White looking forward to ‘American Idols’ tour
Brooke White was tying up loose ends before she embarked on the “American Idols Live” tour.
“I have to take sufficient things with me, but not too much, ” White said during a mobile phone call from Van Nuys, Calif. “I personally feel the tour is going to be exciting. But I have some things to do before I take off.”
The tour, which is in Salt Lake City Monday and Tuesday, runs through the middle of September. White thinks being away that long requires some mental adjustments.
“The other day I was able to paint my living room, ” she said. “And I cleaned the house. I did laundry. It And I got to go to church.”
Keep a Child Alive: The Black Ball UK
Alicia Keys at the first UK-based Keep a Child Alive Black Ball on Thursday in London St John, Smith Square. The event featured performances from Alicia, Adele, Annie Lennox, and the Marley brothers. Jennifer Hudson also attended (photo below).
LETTING FREEDOM RING: Phil Stacey’s proud to sing about the red, white and blue
Phil Stacey is one of those rare beings who gets creative when he’s tired.
“For some reason, I think better, ” he says.
That’s how he came up with “Old Glory, ” a patriotic tune that was released to radio stations on July 4.
“I wrote it a few years ago, when I was at a naval station in Jacksonville, Fla., ” Stacey says. “It was 1 a.m., and I saw a frigate, which is a big ship, that had an American flag on it.”
Has-Beens Doing Things
Remember Mikalah Gordon? No? I don’t blame you. She was on “American Idol” at some point. She wore an obscenely short skirt (or maybe it was a tube top pulled too low) to the “Gone Country” panel. She’ll be appearing on the second season of the show, alongside the forgotten NSYNC-er Chris Kirkpatrick. Yeah, he’s the one that didn’t come out of the closet, doesn’t host a whole bunch of singing shows, is not ALLEGEDLY dating “Gossip Girl’s” Chace Crawford and isn’t Justin Timberlake.
American Idol’s Ace Young Set To Release Debut CD July 15
Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Ace Young will release his self titled debut CD, Ace Young on July 15, on Pazzo Music. The first single off the album, “Addicted”” is now available on iTunes.
The album, Ace’s first, took over 16 months to record. It took Ace from Los Angeles to New York, Florida, Nashville and Stockholm, Sweden. Says Ace “I’ve taken my time because I realized how important it is to make sure it’s right, true to me and up to my level of expectation. I only get one chance to tell my fans who I am.”
Shocker–Simon Cowell Most Obnoxious Celeb
Is it really a surprise? Simon Cowell, the king of mean judge on U.S. TV talent show …American Idol, was voted Hollywood most obnoxious celebrity in a pop culture poll conducted by Parade magazine website, Parade.com.
Cowell, known for acidic comments aimed at contestants on the show after their performance has been less than adequate, topped the list followed by real estate mogul turned reality TV star Donald Trump, …Hell Kitchen cook Gordon Ramsay and …The Hills star Spencer Pratt, in that order.
Future Sonny and Chers are out there
It’s an idea so unlikely, so bizarre, and so ill-advised that 48 hours after the news initially leaked, I still can’t quite wrap my head around it.
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Ozzy Osbourne will soon embrace his inner Sonny and Cher.
This week, Fox announced that it would pick up six episodes of a new television series starring the rock icon, his wife, Sharon, and children Jack and Kelly. Here’s the kicker — it’s a variety show.
Here are my picks for acts that could pull off the variety show format:
KELLIE PICKLER: I interviewed Ms. Pickler a couple of months ago. Unfortunately, I think her 15 minutes are nearly up. She might be able to extend them to a half-hour by playing up her naive-but-charming persona and her winning way around lightweight country.
US Idol: Can Jordin Conquer UK?
America’s answer to Leona Lewis is in the UK. She’s called Jordin Sparks and hopes to be as big here as Leona has become in the United States.
And she’s got a chance too – just like Leona, Sparks is a Pop Idol winner.
Jordin won American Idol – the US version of Simon Cowell’s show – in May 2007 at just 17 years old. Since then her career in America has rocketed. Now, she needs to break the UK.
“It’s going pretty well I think.” she told Sky News. “We’ve been having a really good time here. Things have been busy. My schedule’s been packed, but I’ve gotten a really good response so far. It’s been good.”
Bringing It Home: LaKisha Jones’ repertoire expands beyond ballads
Longtime fans of Flint native and “American Idol” finalist LaKisha Jones can expect a few surprises when the vocalist returns home this weekend.
Jones, who considers herself a ballad singer first and foremost, has kept busy in the recording studio this year, expanding her sound when not busy with live shows and Broadway engagements. She’ll showcase her new direction at Perani Arena on Saturday, as part of the fourth annual “Bringing It Home” festival.
Jones’ set will feature tunes from her forthcoming full-length album, an as-yet-untitled opus she hopes to release at the end of August.
Simple Plan, Blake Lewis, Candlebox, Eve 6 and more take over downtown Modesto for the annual evening megaconcert
Take eight stages, mix them in over more than a dozen city blocks and fill them with some 50 bands and you have a recipe for Xcitement.
The ninth annual Xclamation Festival — X-Fest for short — brings hot acts to the hot streets of downtown Modesto on July 19 for a nightlong outdoor music festival.
Headlining this year’s event will be “American Idol” runner-up Blake Lewis and Canadian pop punkers Simple Plan.
Mohegan Sun is kicking off “Live Idols, ” featuring former “American Idol” contestants on some Tuesdays.
“Live Idols” will go on for about half an hour at 7 p.m. on the concourse serving The Shops at Mohegan Sun, followed by an autograph session. Ace Young from season five appears on July 15. On Aug. 5, it’s Sanjaya.
Intel Launches PC.com
A simply named Web site is helping simplify using and buying a PC or laptop. Intel has created PC.com, an educational site that offers tips and advice for consumers who may find the PC world a bit too complex. PC.com is a single online destination to explore, learn and ask questions about computer technology and purchasing options. PC.com includes how-to articles, educational videos and expert advice. The site also features a …Celebrity Techover video series with Hollywood celebs. The first video posted stars Paula Abdul showing her how to make technology approachable, fashionable and fun.
Is ‘American Idol’ canceling its Louisville auditions?
It was as tense as the finale of …American Idol when word began to circulate yesterday that America favorite TV show might not make its announced September visit to Louisville.
But it turned out to be as much a disclaimer as a false alarm.
…Idol auditions in Louisville were announced June 26, with open auditions July 21 at Freedom Hall and invitation-only auditions slated for early September.
…The September date is not officially canceled by Fremantle (Media, ‹American Idol co-producer and licensor) or Fox Network, David Jewell, creative director at WDRB-FOX 41, said yesterday, …but all dates and auditions are subject to change and cancellation.
The Green Picture: Simon Says Get Your Pet Fixed
Simon Cowell wants you to get your dog and cat fixed. For a listing of your local spay and neuter clinics visit 1888pets911.org. Now go do it already!
SYTYCD: Nigel Just Bucked His Pants
Last night episode of So You Think You Can Dance had us traveling the world and realizing that the judges are going to start nit-picking the crap out of this elite group of dancers. This is the last week before they switch up partners, and so pretty soon I think it will be clear who, individually, our top picks are to win. Host Cat Deeley looked utterly Stevie Nicksy last night, and the guest judge was a shoulder-exposed (scandalous) Mia Michaels.
The highlight of the evening for me was definitely the Bollywood dance performed by Katee and Joshua. It was the first time the show ever had a Bollywood routine, and I think it definitely wont be the last.
‘So You Think You Can Dance’: Thrills and Chills
It was three steps forward, two steps back on last night’s So You Think You Can Dance. (It was really only a matter of time before I hauled out that hoary old clichÃƒÆ’ © for a lead, but Smirkelstiltskin, my snark demon, is giving me the ol’ stink eye for it all the same. Apologies.) For all the routines that melted sex appeal all over the screen (hel-loooooo Will’s chest and Gev’s hips!), there were routines that just sat there like two-year-old freezer-burned ice cream (good-byyyyye Comfort and Thayne!). Cat Deeley not only looked stunning ‘ and without a single sartorial reference to Broadway or 1920s Belgium ‘ but, heavens to Murgatroid, she also brought the funny; the judges, on the other hand, brought the lechery, inconsistency, and wide-brimmed hats. And although the show finally introduced new alumni choreographers (Pasha and Anya) who know from showshopping numbers, and a new genre (Bollywood) that pretty much stopped the show, we were also subjected to yet another tangled mess of quickstepping that threatened to bring the show to a screeching halt.
‘So You Think You Can Dance’: No big surprises here
We’re almost to the point where the SYTYCD dancers split up and I fear for little Gev because some of the remaining girls could possibly carry him around in their pockets. Based on last night’s performances, I think there were 3 couples who did 2 very good dances: Chelsea & Mark, Courtney & Gev and Katee & Joshua. That makes my personal Bottom 3 Comfort & Thayne, Will & Jessica and Kherington & Twitch. I will say that Kherington and Twitch have been strong prior to this week and should be safe. Will is an amazing dancer and I don’t think Jessica quite keeps up with him, but Comfort and Thayne have been over-matched. I actually think last week Comfort only stayed because Kourtni is too tall to partner with Thayne. But let’s see how right I am…
Meet the Canadian Idol top 10
After weeks of gruelling auditions and emotional elimination rounds, the Canadian Idol Season 6 finalists have been decided. Host Ben Mulroney announced Wednesday night the two women and eight men from across Canada moving on to the show’s top 10.
Here are the Canadian Idol top 10: