Idol Headlines for 9/6/14

2014 Industry Dance Awards & Benefit Show Honoring Nigel Lythgoe Live From the AVALON Hollywood on Wednesday, September 10th – LOS ANGELES, CA–(Marketwired – Sep 5, 2014) – The largest celebration of dance returns! The 3rd Annual 2014 Industry Dance Awards is coming to the AVALON Hollywood on Wednesday, September 10, 2014! Created to honor the artistic achievements and contributions of dancers, choreographers and others who have elevated the medium in popular culture, this year’s ceremony will feature awards, performances, appearances and presentations by some of Entertainment’s biggest stars including Nigel Lythgoe, Paula Abdul, Adam Shankman, Mary Murphy, Joe Tremaine, Kenny Ortega, Twitch & Allison Holker, Napoleon & Tabitha, and many others! – Read more at MarketWired

AARP Crowns Two Boomer Superstars in San Diego – Julien Hernandez, 60, and Ka Wright, 51, tied AARP’s Boomer Superstar contest in San Diego Friday night, each winning $5,000 and an audition with music label 19 Recordings.”Dream the possibilities,” Hernandez told a rockin’ audience of Ideas@50+ attendees. “I’m living proof.” The winners, both singers since their youth, were chosen from five finalists who performed at the San Diego Convention Center by a panel of judges that included AARP ambassador and Grammy winner Emilio Estefan, Grammy winner Patti Austin and 2006 American Idol winner Taylor Hicks. Austin and Hicks also performed and American Idol judge Randy Jackson was a lively emcee for a night of fun. – Read more at AARP.org

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Race between Aiken, Ellmers for 2nd District heating up – The race between “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken and GOP incumbent Rep. Renee Ellmers for the 2nd Congressional District is heating up. The Senate race between House Speaker Thom Tillis and Sen. Kay Hagan has over shadowed the campaigns of Ellmers and Aiken so far. Ads about the Senate race have been all over televisions in the state fewer ads exists from Aiken and Ellmers. Aiken said he expects the number of ads to increase now that Labor Day has passed. He said he has been meeting with and listening to the voters in the district. Aiken stressed the importance of funding and maintaining Fort Bragg. The post faces the loss of the 440th airlift wing. “This is an opportunity to send a message to Washington that says, ‘We’re not OK with people who just listen to what their party leaders tell them to do,’” Aiken said. “I don’t care if you are Republican or Democrat, just listening to what your party leaders tell you to do and not doing what’s right for the people in your district is unacceptable.” – Read more at WNCN

About mj santilli 33680 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, 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!

64 Comments

  1. James Durbin has been removed from the artist roster on Wind-Up Records. There was wide speculation a few weeks ago that he had been dropped after leaving a cryptic message on
    Facebook.

  2. Well, yeah, tweets/FBs about considering making new music way early in a low-selling album-cycle, plus cryptic comments about grabbing amazing opportunities, usually equals “parted ways with label.”

    This became inevitable once it turned out that Wind-Up’s cunning plan for turning him into a radio star (kissing off such progress as he’d made in the rock crowd) had no practical implementation behind it.

    He’ll find himself a direction. He’s got better management now, and he certainly doesn’t suffer from lack of energy.

  3. Well, their plan to turn him into a HAC/pop artist was a big fail and it seems like he really doesn’t fit into the direction Wind-Up is trying to go now, so this isn’t much of a surprise. James has got a new manager who handles rock acts, which is a positive move. He still has the support of some of the rock music media, which will help, as well. I don’t know if he’ll be able to find a label to sign with, but I figure he’ll go back to trying to be a true rock artist and I think he’ll be okay even if he puts out music independently. He should be able to tour consistently, anyway.

  4. Interestingly, Candice Glover is featured on Interscope’s roster but Caleb Johnson isnt. Hmm…

  5. Johnson’s never been on Interscope’s artist page, though, so we can’t watch it for signs that he’s been dropped. #gnashesteeth

    ETA: I figure his entire career with Interscope will have taken place between two web site updates.

  6. Since Testify has probably already sold at least 75% of what it ever will this side of the cutout bin, I’m wondering if Interscope will wait until S14 is over – per the usual label schedule for cutting Idols loose – or expedite the process in Caleb’s case.

  7. I think other than P2, Interscope will soon clear its house of all things Idol and forget this sorted mess

  8. Crystal Bowersox Promises EP Cover Art was revealed on pledgemusic, she made it herself all out of tiny pins
    Crystal Bowersox @crystalbowersox
    Promises EP + Acoustic Tour update: EP Art is Finally Here! http://bit.ly/1qBSp7L @PledgeMusic #rock

  9. But has the damage been done. I lost interest when they embarked on the new direction and I was a big-time diehard

  10. Hey, I was the one joking that Interscope dropped him on the Monday following the end of the Idol tour! Since they’re still uploading stuff to his Vevo channel, apparently not…

    The only reason not to do it soonest is that nobody can find his phone number to tell him. Given his limited prospects, I think he’d be better off with fewer fingers in the pie. What the label wants and understands has nothing to do with what’s actually a realistic option for him.

  11. This cover falls into the same category as Angie’s, don’t quite know what it means.

  12. This shouldnt be much of a surprise to anyone. When he started posting cryptic messages a while back then asking for feedback on an acoustic album, then throwing the blame on Wind-up for not letting him rock enough I figured yep DROPPED. Blaming the label is always one of the first things they do for what went wrong.

  13. That’s different, isn’t it? Interesting idea to make it with pins.

    I’m not sure how it connects to Crystal’s music though

  14. In Durbin’s case, blaming the label is highly justified. He had an album’s worth of rock music recorded when the label changed A&R head, sold its back catalog for quick cash, and decided his future was as a pop-driven cash cow. Then it turned out that Wind-Up had no ability to market him to HAC or pop radio effectively (and very little idea what qualified as a viable pop album). The head of the label appeared to devote more energy to writing songs for (and producing) P2’s sophomore album than to seeing that the right thing was done for his own roster of artists.

    This particular management of Wind-Up has ended up enmeshed in law suits (with Amy Lee), running a roster of low-selling acts, and generally chasing its own ass in circles because it can’t find it with both hands.

    I usually am somewhat of a label apologist because labels can be quite helpful and sensible about being commercial, plus they have ins to get things like radio play… but Wind-Up went from being an effective indie rock label to being as much use as a potato, if a potato lay around having grandiose ideas it couldn’t execute.

  15. So we have crystal-headed (at least in the sense of “looking crystalline”) pins making Crystal’s head… in which she is literally pinned down with Promises?

    Sounds good to me.

  16. The schedule for cutting Idols loose might be because of the time on the contract, if the contracts start in May, they would also end in May. They might also want to keep them on so they could try to promote them during the time Idol is on. Though, I could see them having an out clause where they would no longer have to support an Idol at all if they wanted. I could see this might happen because of sales and the backlash against Caleb.

  17. The schedule for cutting Idols loose might be because of the time on the contract, if the contracts start in May, they would also end in May.

    Nope, not how record-label contracts work. The label has a maximum number of months for picking up the next option after the artist has delivered commercially viable masters for the prior album. (So, Johnson’s team delivered the masters in July, and therefore Interscope would have until probably next July to make up its mind.) There is no minimum time frame.

    We actually know that Idols aren’t on some kind of special calendar-timed, rather than option-timed, contract, as most are not dropped the following May, but at random other times. Reinhart was dropped in the fall after her spring album release. Lambert left 19R and RCA at different times, neither of them May. Cook parted ways probably in March, certainly before the calendar had come ’round to the date of his win again. Sanchez disappeared from Interscope’s roster in a winter month.

    It’s more that you’re usually safe until the season after yours has finished, than that the actual ways-parting happens in May.

  18. And Lauren/Scotty. In addition to Mercury Nashville, they are with Interscope. Not sure why since they aren’t crossover.

  19. Candice will be cut before Caleb, only because she’s been on their roster longer. But they could let both go at the same time. Regardless, it will happen at some point.

  20. Initially it was done because Jimmy Iovine was the main person over their records. It’s the same arrangement that 19 had with Clive Davis.

  21. Will your single be a prelude to an entire album?

    That is the current plan. It depends on what the record label wants to do. Assuming that the single goes well enough. They don’t have ridiculous expectations. It doesn’t have to be a number one hit but as long as it has some success and they feel good about it, I think there is a good chance that they will go forward with a whole album.

    The important takeaway here is that Republic does not guarantee an album to the winner of The Voice, but wants to see some commercial viability from a single first.

    I thought that’s the direction they were going with Jermaine Paul (who never got an album after his single flopped), but then Tessanne Chin went straight to album with no serious attempt at a test single or even a lead single.

    This is the practical way to handle singing show winners — see if they have an actual post-show buying audience or can build one through normal channels, and go to album only if the answer is “yes.” (That’s not a slam on Kaufman, who can certainly interpret a song and seems pleasant enough — it’s just where the market has gone.)

  22. Interesting. From that interview it sounds like he’s not guaranteed an album, just a single.

  23. I just wish that the single would be his own song. If you’re a 38 y.o. man getting one shot, you might as well rise or fall on your own material.

  24. To me this seems different than with Jermaine Paul. His single was released in November 2012 and I see an interview from December 2012 where he was talking about how the album was already recorded (included one track that featured Stevie Wonder on harmonica). The record label did not use the single as test and then dump him … it seems more like they ignored him after the single went nowhere while stopping him from doing anything else with the album.

    Is Josh Kaufman even going to have the chance to record more than just the single?

    For Tessanne Chin, I wonder if the fact that the album was available for pre-order as soon as she won has something to do with the label actually pushing an album out.

  25. ” Wind-Up went from being an effective indie rock label to being as much use as a potato, if a potato lay around having grandiose ideas it couldn’t execute.”

    I know it isn’t really funny – but this mind picture of Wattenburg laying about as Mr. Potato Head without the attachable hands is hard to shake.

    Turns out the answer to all those questions about would the Label’s A&R guy really sabotage Durbin was “yes, yes, they really were just that stupid.” And even though the fool they put in charge has been kicked sideways to publishing, the damage has been done. Wind Up is Messed Up. IMO.

  26. Isn’t she already cut? I thought she posted recently about recording without label influence….maybe the website hasn’t been updated yet

  27. I was away yesterday and just saw this now, but as I followed the saga of album #2, this comes as really no surprise. All I can say is I would love to hear the rock, James Michael produced version of that album from 2012 that Tom Lee (former WU A&R) hated so much he made James redo the album.

    Something intriguing I noticed this morning, however.
    James was scheduled to sit in with The White Album Ensemble last night for a few songs but apparently “contractual agreements” prevented his sitting in with them. (He sang with them a few times while with WU so I don’t think they had anything to do with it.)

    https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10154550455650442&id=339747645441

    So who or what has James signed with recently that prevented him from singing a few Beatles songs at an appearance that he announced a few weeks ago, but had to bow out a just few days before? Hmm…

  28. Lauren is in the process of making an album. So she seems safe at least until the album is released.

  29. Hasn’t the poor girl been “making an album” for over a year? I fear the label may be stringing her along.

  30. I think Lauren has just been forgotten about, she’s probably going to be dropped.

  31. According to her, she’s trying to find “the right sound for radio & herself.” Apparently, her & her family says news about the album is coming soon. So I’m thinking that a single is at least going to be released soon.

  32. It might not have anything to do with him signing with a label, though. It could have to do with the venue. There are clauses in contracts that keep artists from appearing at different venues within a certain miles of each other for a certain # of months. Although if this was a charity event, it would be strange if that clause was invoked. Or maybe he really did sign to sing with Foreigner and they don’t want him to sing Beatles songs :) Or maybe something was wrong with the contract itself. Or maybe his management didn’t want him to do this gig for some reason and they just made up a reason (although that’s unlikely).

    Honestly, I don’t know why anyone James had a contract with would care if he sat in with a group to sing a few cover songs for a charity event. So this is strange.

  33. I think this cover totally connects to Crystal’s music. Doesn’t she have kind of a folky sound? This looks like a handcrafted piece of folk art.

  34. Not necessarily. That album was originally supposed to be released last November. The label could simply drop Lauren without ever releasing it. This stuff happens all the time.

    For example, look at the situation with RCA and Jordin Sparks’ 3rd album. That has dragged on for more than 3 years now.

  35. I think we’ve learned not to automatically believe to what an artist or his/her family says. It’s what the label says that counts.

  36. The way it was made might, but the image itself doesn’t invoke folk music to me. The face looks more like a theatre performer

  37. It make sense as long as they release a single that is actually relevant to the current music industry and then they push the song to radio and promote the artist well. If they just throw the single out there and do nothing with it, then it’s likely going to be a waste of time.

    Josh is my favorite winner of The Voice so I have my fingers crossed for him, but I can’t say I’m optimistic about how he’ll get promoted.

  38. I agree to not usually believe the artist or their family because they might not know they’re going to be dropped. But I’m also saying this due to the label. UMG Nashville is usually ok with giving an artist “a try” by releasing their EP/album & if it doesn’t go well dropping them later. There’s artists on the label recently which were supposed to have an album released & had their 1st singles off the album not reach Top 50 & had bad sales. The label still released their EP’s/albums.

  39. Yeah, the whole thing is strange. It’s not like he had another gig scheduled somewhere else, he was home yesterday. And so last minute, like someone just told him he couldn’t.

    My guess? I don’t think there’s any new label involved, I think the problem was covering the Beatles (for whatever reason) if he has indeed signed on to be someone else’s frontman.

  40. Yes but Lauren released “Barefoot and Buckwild” back in May 2013. It was promoted as the first single off her sophomore album. That was more than a year ago. The song tanked and all of a sudden Lauren went back into the studio to work on an album that was supposed to have been released last November.

    That’s never a good sign when the label scraps an album and makes the artist go back into the studio. She hadn’t made great strides in terms of breaking into country radio to begin with, but whatever momentum she might have had has now totally disappeared. Even if the label does release a 2nd album, she’s basically going to be starting almost from scratch, and I don’t know if the label will make much of an effort with it. She’s basically been passed by a bunch of other young female country artists all looking for radio play.

  41. Is there a clown version of Mr. P H for such an occasion? And loved this…”generally chasing its own ass in circles because it can’t find it with both hands.” Humor helps. W/O any real indication/explanation of what has happened, what’s next and who did what, etc. I didn’t find it worth backstepping later on about something he hasn’t even addressed.

    He’s showing humor also in the past cple days w/a video of one of the radio guys taking a shot at singing one of his songs to him from on Idol to introduce him—James facial take on it hilarious. A “VERY heavenly picture of him he found w/all clouds & heavenly rays–he posted it w/ “Wow thanks @Pint……., I think?” and a picture of pregnant Heidi showing it off, Hunter w/thumbs down it appears & their pup—it’s posted w/”You are my Sunshine. My only Sunshine @H……”.

    The reason for not doing the appearance Sat you know must have been tough because he likely would have loved to be part of it.

  42. I’m not seeing any really positive signs. Since “Barefoot and Buckwild” dropped in the spring of last year and didn’t do much, there hasn’t been a lot of noise from Lauren’s corner. Her performance schedule is empty now as it has mostly been for about a year. If there are big plans for an album release, where’s the single? It seems they would be doing something to keep her in the public’s mind.

  43. I do agree even if the label releases another album Lauren will be starting from scratch. It’s been too long & she had little success on radio. I’m not saying she does well if there is a sophomore album. Even if another album is released with the label, it’s an uphill climb due to many factors.

    IMO she should keep working on her songwriting. If she can get other artists to cut her songs she wrote (like Kacey Musgraves), it can give her a better chance at a solo career.

  44. True, but the assumption with a “test single” strategy is that the label makes a real effort because they want a real test.

    If all Republic wants to do is satisfy the contract at minimum effort, a single still makes more sense from the label’s POV.

    We’ve seen with Chin that getting the album as an entitlement doesn’t create sales. I see why fans want the album to be required, but if there aren’t enough of them to make it worth the label’s while…

  45. To top things off, the performance schedule on Lauren’s website has been mostly empty for the past year.

  46. I think it works – the hat is folk-funky – like her. The whole concept has a quirky edge – which she displays in her music too.

    Also – I would be drawn to that CD in a second at a store rack.

  47. Good Marketing research, and an interesting gambit – black on yellow is the single biggest attention getting color combination for text in the advertising world – her team is using it for the graphics – and I think the cover will get noticed. IDK if it will get purchased – but that won’t be because of a nondescript CD cover. This one pops!

  48. Not wishing any ill to Lauren, but Danny Gokey had a go-ahead from RCA for a second album and was well into the process when it fell through. You never know what will happen although I would hope that Lauren’s label is treating her as a young developing artist.

  49. I’d guess that the show wouldn’t want it to be known during the next season’s airtime that the past year’s winner was dropped.

  50. I’ve been watching that and hoping for more shows. I really have to say I don’t understand…I would think she would have been hitting up fairs, honky tonks, anything she can find to keep herself in the public eye. Others write songs on the bus, why not her?

  51. girlygirl: Even if the label does release a 2nd album, she’s basically going to be starting almost from scratch, and I don’t know if the label will make much of an effort with it. She’s basically been passed by a bunch of other young female country artists all looking for radio play.

    I can’t agree that Lauren has been “passed by a bunch of other young female country artists all looking for radio play,” seeing as radio hasn’t sustained support any of said young female country acts. Kacey Musgraves is obviously the industry frontrunner by a mile and her next lead single is probably the only 1 out of the group that’s guaranteed initial radio attention. But others who’ve gotten t10 hits, like Jana Kramer and Cassadee, haven’t seen radio support for them extend past that 1 hit, at least not yet. Jana’s current lead single is struggling around the #40 mark 13 weeks into its run.

    From the UMG Nashville point of view, there are basically 6 solo females still on their roster, 5 other than Lauren. Shania is 1. Then there’s Kacey. Jennifer Nettles is another and the label gave up on radio for her album after the lead single eked out a t40 peak. Then you have Kelleigh Bannen (EMI Nashville) who is on her 3rd attempt to land a t40 single (2012’s Sorry On The Rocks peaked at #41, and 2014’s Famous peaked just inside the t50). She hasn’t gotten an album out yet. I’m rooting for her current single, “You Are What You Love,” I think she’s finally got a song (well, she cowrote this one) that feels like a hit and stands out a bit.

    Then there’s Mickey Guyton (Capitol Nashville), who got a standing ovation from country radio programmers at UMG’s prime CRS showcase at the Ryman in February 2013 when she performed “Better Than You Left Me,” and who STILL hasn’t released a single to radio over a 18 months later. She did a radio date recently, but it was a small Tennessee market station that doesn’t even report to Mediabase’s published panel. Last week, she did a performance run through the major digital/streaming services: Pandora, Itunes, Beats, Google Play, Rdio, plus Yahoo Music. There is still no sign she’ll be sent out on a regular radio tour with a single promoted to mainstream country radio. This is a gorgeous woman with a great voice and an excellent country song, plus an EP of solid mainstream country/pop tunes.

    UMG Nashville chairman/CEO Mike Dungan has mentioned how horrendous a climate it is for breaking new female talent at country in multiple media outlets, including The Tennessean and HDD. Incoming UMG Nashville president Cindy Mabe recently talked about how closed off country radio is to women and the need to develop other marketing partners for acts radio won’t play.

    Bottom line is UMG Nashville is painfully aware of how difficult a nut country radio is to crack for female acts. Giving Lauren time to find a hit is consistent with the time they’ve taken for other female acts the label believes in and it’s also a way to try to ride out the bro country wave (which may be subsiding some). Lauren still has a lot of name recognition going for her, and she has her publishing deal with Warner Chappell. Like ptebwwong says it would help her cause if she landed some cuts with other acts. But the deal also helps connect her with other writers for her own material too and means some of the development expenses are now being shared by her publisher.

    Things obviously aren’t ideal for Lauren now as far as getting new music out but I currently have no reason to think she’s going to be dropped by UMG Nashville. Maybe if the next single doesn’t pan out and Lauren is really anxious to get a full album out somehow, there’ll be a parting of ways. But the fact that there is this long period of time in between singles for Lauren isn’t unusual when looked at in context of UMG Nashville handling its other non-established female acts.

  52. But the social media feed on the site shows her mentioning live performances and appearances at various things at least once a month recently (I didn’t go back past June). So she is actually out there.

    Her official site seems not to have been updated at all since “Barefoot and Buckwild” was released — the teaser for that promises “big things coming” and then it’s the last news item. This is worse neglect than RCA did with Sparks’ site back when she was “finding the right sound for radio and herself” in a cycle of limbo.

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