Idol Headlines for 9/30/08

Jennifer Hudson’s debut album is not worth the wait

Now, after an inexplicable and unconscionable delay in this accelerated era of five-second attention spans, Hudson finally has delivered her self-titled major-label debut, which arrives in stores today. Sad to say, not only is it not worth the wait, but in typical …American Idol fashion, it an overworked, overwrought, shamelessly pandering piece of pop product unworthy of her considerable talents and largely devoid of the personality that made us love her in the first place.

Sun Times

Kellie Pickler

Things kick off with the mighty message song, Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful, in which Pickler bolsters the self-esteem of young girls to stand up against the pressures of their peers and designer labels (more on that later). It’s a home run, catchy and positive. Pickler channels Dolly Parton, not so much in sound as in style. She thrives at those crossroads between funny and sexy, charmingly naive, not dumb, and wraps it up with real singing talent. No wonder even Simon liked her.

Country Standard Time

More Idol Headlines after the JUMP…

Jennifer Hudson gets back to music with debut CD

The disc is meant to bridge the gap between both sides of her career, recast the movie starlet as a hip R&B diva with pop-crossover potential.

The transition largely works, thanks to a stable of A-list collaborators ‘  StarGate, Timbaland, the Underdogs, Robin Thicke, Diane Warren ‘  who surround the singer with silky beats that showcase her soaring voice. First single Spotlight (written by Ne-Yo) is a glossy, elegant introduction hooked on a jangly, galloping beat and its infectious “Is that you? Is that you?” chorus.

It’s obvious that Hudson’s church-honed pipes, which can shake rafters at full tilt, are being reined in here for mass consumption. But Hudson’s voice is so rich, so capable of expressing joy and pain, that it makes even the lesser material (My Heart, Can’t Stop the Rain, Invisible) worthy of a listen.

Jennifer Hudson’s Prime Time

You blew it, America.

Four years ago, the democratic process went awry and you voted for the wrong candidate.

I refer, of course, to the third season of “American Idol, ” during which you — the voting public — somehow didn’t see fit to promote the occasionally brilliant R&B singer Jennifer Hudson into the upper-echelon of the Top 12.

Oops on you.

Washington Post

“Spotlight” On Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson, the former “American Idol” contestant, rose to stardom in 2006 with her big-screen debut in the box office hit “Dreamgirls.”

The first-time actress Hudson won an Academy Award for her supporting role in the film. This summer, she appeared in the big-screen hit “Sex and the City” and she appears in the upcoming film “The Life of Bees.”

With a promising film career, Hudson’s singing career appeared to be on the back burner. But not anymore.

CBS News

She is telling you she’s here to stay

But never mind that “Jennifer Hudson, ” out today, is a sometimes illogical jumble that hopscotches from gritty urban soul to glossy adult contemporary pop to the song that clinched her the little gold statue – “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going.” Hudson ties it all together with her titanic vocal prowess and emotional conviction. The Chicago native owns the strong material and elevates the weak. And if she can’t save a dreadful duet with T-Pain, then blame the king of Auto-Tune, not the divine Miss H.

The message is definitely mixed

Pickler stretches out her sophomore effort (in stores today), co-writing half of the album’s 10 songs and, she says in the accompanying press materials, injecting more input into the song selection and arrangements than she had on 2006’s “Small Town Girl.”

There are individual moments of accomplishment, but the album is like a Whitman Sampler, with a sweet tidbit for listeners in pretty much any stage of a romantic relationship, leading to a fairly scattered emotional palette.

LA Times

Music Review: Kellie Pickler comes of age as an artist on new self-titled CD

The blonde North Carolina native may not have the vocal range or force of fellow “American Idol” contestant (and eventual winner) Carrie Underwood. But Pickler’s down-home personality has made her a fan favorite, and her debut CD, “Small Town Girl, ” went gold without any singles cracking the country Top 10.

Pickler co-wrote five of her new songs, including three of its best. “Rocks Instead Of Rice” crosses the sassy, spurned woman narratives of Loretta Lynn with the witty cattiness of the “Sex and the City” principles picking apart a rival across the room.

Baltimore Sun

Carrie Underwood Music Made Into Lullabies

Ten of Carrie Underwood’s hits have been made into lullabies for the upcoming release of the next installment in the Hushabye Baby series. Lullaby Renditions of Carrie Underwood will be released on November 18th.

American Idol Alum LaKisha Jones to Wed

Jones, 28, plans to wear an Alfred Angelo strapless gown, Neil Lane diamond earrings, bracelet and necklace, on loan from The Platinum Guild, and Stuart Weitzman shoes adorned with the couple’s initials in Swarovski crystals, the site reports.

The wedding theme is Old Hollywood — so both bride and groom will wear white and the bridal party will be dressed in black.

US Magazine

Hollywood stars still struggle with coming out

When asked if he had heard the news about Aiken announcement, Bryan Batt replied, …What news? An openly gay actor who plays the closeted gay character Salvatore Romano on the Emmy-winning …Mad Men, Batt was indicating that he doesnt believe in Santa, either.

…In this country, he said, …too many people worry about other people private lives.

Batt said that being out and gay has not affected his career. …Not that I know of, he said. …I was never really very closeted as a professional actor. It such a non-issue with me, my sexuality.


VIDEO: Idol Alum Constantine Really Wants to Act

Former Idol Constantine Maroulias tells Erin Fox that he’s working on a new play called Rock of Ages. But, more importantly, which David did he support? Cook or Archuleta?

TV Guide

CollegeOTR Exclusive: American Idol Runner-Up Blake Lewis Sits Down to Chat Before His Upcoming Tour

Now the beat-boxing Washington native is hustling for a comeback, kicking off a tour October 5th in New York City. Now associated with a new label and creating an album with a more cohesive musical sound, Lewis is ready to propel his career forward as an artist and producer.

With musical influences like Duran Duran, George Michael, BT, and Depeche Mode, Lewis describes the record he is currently working on as …synth-pop and said in an exclusive CollegeOTR interview, …Dance music is fun, and it finally becoming more respected. The remix of his single, …How Many Words, peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Chart.

College OTR

Bucky Covington and Chuck Wicks Announce CMA Broadcast Awards Finalists

When Bucky Covington and Chuck Wicks, two of Country Music’s brightest young stars, are assigned to announce the CMA Broadcast Award nominees, one thing is sure: Their performance will entertain as much as it informs.

Seconds after taking their positions behind two microphone stands at the Suite Level Club in the Sommet Center in Nashville during the CMA Awards nominees press conference Sept. 10, Wicks crouched down slightly to ask, over the speakers set up throughout the room, “Uh, Bucky? Why is your stand higher than mine?”

Covington laughed as he answered, “I think they’re trying to tell you something.”

Los Angeles Chronicle

Ending on a high note: Fair final act brings home the good times

Hillsdale, Mich. ‘ 

Country music singers Tracy Lawrence and Bucky Covington rocked the Grandstand Saturday night to 2, 360 cheering fans during their concert at the Hillsdale County Fair.

With an energetic opening, former American Idol contestant Covington revved up crowds during his 45-minute show.

The country singer joked that the best thing about traveling around the country was finding out, …there are rednecks everywhere!

Michael Johns tries luck as independent artist after Idol

Australian singer Michael Johns is carving out a career for himself as an independent artist after his elimination from American Idol.

The Perth-born 29-year-old, who is back in Australia for a brief visit, said he had spent just seven days at home since leaving the star-making US show in April.

Rather than being disappointed not to make it to the Idol grand final, Johns has been making the most of his exposure on the show.

…I went on that show not necessarily to win it but to absolutely get a career and find my fan base and Ive done that, Johns told AAP.


Wal-Mart upgrades could sting some music consumers

This morning, Boing Boing got hold of an e-mail from Wal-Mart that said the company was no longer going to support files with digital rights management (DRM), meaning any DRM-encoded files purchased from the Wal-Mart digital store would no longer be supported by the company. According to the e-mail obtained by Boing Boing, Wal-Mart states that it had been offering DRM-free music since February of this year. Any recent purchases are thereby safe (David Cook fans just let out a sigh of relief).

LA Times

‘Dancing With the Stars’: Beginners’ Lack

Paso night. Already?! Usually I need a few weeks to mentally and emotionally prepare for the high-quality HD pleasure of seeing half the Dancing With the Stars contestants sheathed in spangly pleather. I consider a lengthy list of factors, including but not limited to butt size, general stage presence, and those mysterious things the judges call ”lines.” I don’t even have to know what lines are to know that they’re important to the paso. I’m kidding. I know what lines are. You better not cross ’em! (What?)

Entertainment Weekly

‘Dancing with the Stars’: Bad singing, decent dancing

The judges were a little grumpy on tonight’s Dancing with the Stars. Maybe it’s because to fill the two hours we had to endure much longer interview segments with Samantha Harris and the couples. *shudder*

We’re told that tackling the Paso Doble and the Rumba this early on in the competition makes things super-duper difficult for our celebrities. Plus they only had three days to learn their routines which were told over and over and over and over ad infinitum. (Note: I couldn’t catch all the songs the first time through so I’ll add them later.)

Dancing With The Stars: Week 2

We’re back to the ballroom for week two, without Jeffrey Ross or Ted McGinley. Because of the extended opening week, the couples only had four days to learn either the rumba, or the paso doble. Asked what he was looking for, Len said that learning a new dance in four days is really tough. So, he was fearing the worst, but hoping for the best.

TV Squad

New Video: Inside Cody and Julianne’s Rehearsal!

All new video: What do dance partners Cody Linley and Julianne Hough have up their sleeves for Monday night’s episode of “Dancing with the Stars”? We’re taking you inside the “Hannah Montana” star and the two-time “Dancing” champ’s practice to find out!

Click to find out how Cody and Julianne are overcoming their pre-performance jitters and what they think about having to learn their routine in just three days!

ET Online

About mj santilli 34709 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!