‘American Idol’ top 10 hit the road to stardom
It’s just past 1 p.m. when a convoy of unmarked luxury tour buses pulls up to Allstate Arena, disgorging 10 American Idol finalists in search of a career.
A big hiss from the coach door. Into the wilting humidity steps Chikezie Eze, who raises a weary eyebrow in greeting. Behind him is Ramiele Malubay, lugging luggage that’s almost as tall as she is. “I feel like Santa Claus, ” she groans.
Michael Johns has a spring in his step, but it’s deceiving. “I can’t sleep on this thing. I keep thinking it’s going to crash, ” he says.
Brooke White frowns as she looks down at her white pants. Big spot. “Oh, well, ” she says, sighing, striding toward the arena’s backstage entrance. Then she looks back. Big smile. “Welcome to madness.”
The Byrds posed the musical question 40 years ago: So you want to be a rock ‘n’ roll star?
What’s next for Idol’s top 10?
On rare breaks from the Idols Live tour, Archuleta wings it back to Los Angeles to work on an album, expected out by year’s end. He’s one of three Season 7 Idols who have signed deals with American Idol producers 19 Entertainment. “It will be poppy, more appropriate for my age than maybe some of the songs I had to do on Idol, ” says Archuleta, who is recording for 19 on Jive. He says his father is meeting with potential managers.
Cook also spends any spare time back in L.A., working on his debut album with 19/RCA Records. It should arrive in late 2008.
“My focus right now is to keep an eye on my body, stay healthy, and make sure my voice stays strong, ” says Cook, who also recently signed a deal to promote Sketchers sneakers. “All I can say about any of this attention is that I’m incredibly flattered.”
Idols Live: Behind the Scenes
More Idol Headlines After the JUMP…
Battle of Davids a draw on ‘Idol’ tour
Two months after it ended its seventh season, “American Idol’s” most burning question was revisited Thursday at Joe Louis Arena: Did America choose the right David?
On this night, it was a toss-up. Though winner David Cook elicited the most cheers from the audience — a largely teenage and young adult crew that filled the lower bowl and half of the arena’s upper deck — it was David Archuleta who was the most stirring vocally, throwing down on a moving rendition of Robbie Williams’ “Angels” and gracefully moving through his mash-up of “Stand By Me” and Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls.”
Cook was solid too, but was less impressive than his competitor-come-ally. Cook — shaven to look unshaven, in true rock-and-roll style — took on grungy, dirge-laden versions of Lionel Richie’s “Hello” and Michael Jackson-by-way-of-Chris Cornell’s “Billie Jean, ” but the songs were less effective than they were on the show, when they were fresh. Meanwhile, his version of “My Hero, ” the Foo Fighters’ rousing modern rock fight song, was distant and too clean-cut, and lacked the danger and raw energy Dave Grohl brings to the cut.
‘Idol’ tour wins over Detroit crowd
It was a big old mutual love fest at the Joe Louis Arena Thursday night as the top 10 American Idol finishers from the season that wrapped up in May brought their thank-you tour to Detroit, performing before thousands of screaming fans.
But of course the crowd gave their loudest cheers to the two Davids ‘ winner David Cook and runner-up David Archuleta.
And the Idols gave the love back.
…Detroit Rock City! Cook shouted to the crowd, eliciting huge cheers. …I can see how you guys won the cup here, referring to the Detroit Red Wings recent Stanley Cup Championship win.
A talk with 4 of the ‘Idol’ performers
DAVID COOK, the winner:
On how his new record, due to drop in November, will differ from his first CD, …Analog Heart.
…That record was written at a specific time of my life, with a specific genre and style in mind. I dont think Im going to completely meander away from that. But I definitely want there to be a progression.
On his involvement in the writing process of the new CD:
…I am involved ¦ as much as I possibly can be. I always want to write as much as I can. If I could write the whole record by myself, I would totally do it. Weve done quite a few co-writes, which has actually been really fun for me. It allowed me to delve into different aspects of songwriting I didnt know I was capable of doing. I think in that regard, this will easily be the strongest record Ive ever done.
Idol’ hopeful skips work to register
By about 2 p.m. Thursday, a handful of American Idol hopefuls were registering every 15 to 20 minutes for a chance to perform for Idol judges Friday.
Amber Loustaunau, 23, of Mesa, took the day off work to avoid the crowds that are expected to gather at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale on Friday.
Loustaunau, who planned to sing either When You Say Nothing at All, by Allison Krauss, or Hero, by Mariah Carey, said if she won, she would use the prize money to help people and animal shelters.
Registration for auditions began at 6 a.m. Wednesday and will continue through 5 a.m. Friday. Auditions begin at 6 a.m. Friday.
Singers trickle in on 2nd day of ‘Idol’ event
The second day of registration for American Idol auditions was predictably slower than the first day, as is the case in most cities. Many of the day’s hopefuls drove in from California, New Mexico and Nevada.
Some, like Sonny and Troy Fonseca, came farther. The father-son duo drove 20 hours from San Benito, Texas, a city that took a little grief Wednesday from Hurricane Dolly.
The same day Troy, 16, registered to audition, he learned his house had been hit by the storm.
“The house is a mess, ” said Sonny Fonseca, 59.
Big E slates stars galore
WEST SPRINGFIELD – The entertainment lineup for this year’s Big E will have American Idol fans humming “This is My Now, ” other music-lovers dreaming of the Black Eyed Peas, and still others basking in the retro-glow of the most popular TV band put together in the’60s.
That’s right. The entertainers who will perform during the Sept. 12-28 run of the Big E include Jordin Sparks, Fergie and Micky Dolenz.
The organizers of New England’s six-state fair on Thursday announced the variety of acts that will appear on stage.
Clay Aiken Reaches Out to Kenyan Children
Clay Aiken is just weeks away from becoming a dad, so it’s only fitting that the singer and UNICEF ambassador is blogging about children’s issues.
Aiken, 29, recently visited Somalia and Kenya, and has been blogging about the trip on the UNICEF Web site.
In his final posting, Aiken writes how violence during the country’s election earlier this year left thousands of children homeless. And even though the unrest has decreased, many of the kids have not returned to their schools.
Clay Aiken Blogs For UNICEF
UNICEF Ambassador Clay Aiken recently visited the East African countries of Somalia and Kenya, where UNICEF provides children with health care, education, nutrition, clean water and sanitation.
The 29-year-old American Idol alum has written a series of blogs about his experience in the field.
Here a snippet of one of Clay blog posts: …Getting children back to school is vital for their protection, and helps build a sense of normalcy in their lives. The re-establishment of schools in the most difficult circumstances is a testament to the commitment of UNICEF and to Kenyans. Many displaced parents told UNICEF that getting their children back to school was their top priority.
Carrie Underwood Helps the Homeless
Though she enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame, Carrie Underwood is still all about remembering where she came from and taking good care of her family.
The American Idol princess was spotted treating a few family members to a swanky lunch out in Beverly Hills at Il Fornaio restaurant before heading over to the North Face store to pick up some outdoor items. Carrie even stopped to help out the homeless along the way.
Flint’s own LaKisha Jones to highlight Hurley’s big 100th celebration
An old brass microscope and a hand-cranked chair used to deliver babies are just two of the items doctors relied on when Hurley Medical Center first opened its doors on Dec. 18, 1908.
They’ll be a few of the medical antiquities on display during the HurleyFest Innovation Festival, celebrating the hospital’s 100th anniversary on Aug. 2.
One of Hurley’s best-known human “creations” will also be on hand — American Idol favorite LaKisha Jones, who was born at Hurley Jan. 13, 1980.
“LaKisha is a wonderful part of our history as a Hurley-born baby so we’re just thrilled to have her with us, ” said Hurley public relations director Ilene Cantor.
The equivalent of three complete seven-man groups had been members by the time the group received a lifetime achievement award from the Hawai’i Academy of Recording Arts in 2007. Today, the original Society of Seven is now based in Las Vegas while their protege group, the Society of Seven – Las Vegas, is in its seventh year as headliners at the Outrigger. Ruivivar knows what works – in a Waikiki showroom or a Vegas lounge – so there no surprises, and only a minor miscue or two, as the SOS-LV welcomes “American Idol” finalist Jasmine Trias as a “guest artist” through July 31.
The guys – William Daquioag, Mike DeGuzman, Jonathan Kaina, Glenn Miyashiro, Richard Natto, John Salvatera and Freddy Von Paraz – are as tight and self-sufficient of an act as always. Trias fits in nicely in several segments.
So You Think You Can Dance Top 6
I am shocked. Will’s Samba this week completely blew me away, as did his slow Hip Hop. As did his solo. He hasn’t done a thing this season that hasn’t been excellent. I really thought it was going to be Twitch to go, though I have to admit I got a bit teary-eyed when he got so emotional. Wow.
Well, regarding what ended up being his last dances on the show, I felt Will’s the best Ballet-trained dancer I’ve ever seen Samba. Better than my favorite Contemporary guy from last season, Danny Tidwell, I have to admit.
Destination ‘So You Think You Can Dance’: It sure ain’t rigged
Some people lost their faith in the American public when George W. Bush was elected president. But not my friend Melissa. Melissa lost faith in the American public tonight, when a majority vote sent “So You Think You Can Dance”-hero Will Wingfield packing.
After seeing the carnage first-hand an the “Dance” studio this evening, I was afraid to call Melissa. After dodging two of her calls, however, I received a text message I could not ignore: “Call me or die.” And so I did. Over the course of the forty-two minute, four-second phone conversation that then ensued, I tried to calm Melissa down, reminding her that after all, this was the search for “America’s favorite dancer, ” not “America’s best dancer, ” and that even if Will was the best dancer on the show, he still had to connect with the general public in order to win the competition.
Check out the Emmy nominees for Best Choreography
Usually, I set my DVR to record an awards show, start in an hour or so late, and fast-forward all of the long-winded, boring blah blah blah to get to the good stuff. For the Emmys? Best actor, actress, supporting, best comedy, best drama, and…scene! This year, though, I’m making sure to pay attention to the Outstanding Choreography category — since the five nominees include some spectacular routines from High School Musical 2, Dancing With the Stars, and So You Think You Can Dance.
Canadian Idol: Wake up, Canada!!
Look Canada, I hate to have to write you this letter, but I fear where this is going.
You have to start getting your stuff together when it comes to who you are going to eliminate on Canadian Idol.
I can almost — almost — forgive you for getting rid of my pick, Omar Lunan, before the Top 10. Likewise, I can see why you got rid of Adam Castelli, but voting out Katherine St-Laurent this past week was the last straw.
Look, I know that real talent, or the ability to carry a career beyond a couple singles, is not a pre-requisite to becoming the Canadian Idol. Which is why, I am sure, Theo Tams will not be crowned the Idol as he is arguably the most talented of the bunch.