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Archive for February, 2009

2/27: Press conference with Allison Iraheta, Kris Allen & Adam Lambert

Idol had a press conference at 4 p.m. EST today for each of the contestants who made it through last night. (Ratings last night on a Thursday vs. “Survivor” suffered accordingly, at about 20.7 million. “Survivor” and “Ugly Betty” also took ratings hits.)

Allison Iraheta was up first. She’s only 16 years old and it showed. I didn’t learn much beyond the fact she’s Latino and grew up singing Spanish and English. She said she was not intimidated by the fact Carrie Underwood and others had sung “Alone” by Heart before. I asked her if she was a natural redhead. Of course, she’s not. She did say she just wanted to be a redhead but admitted that she might change her mind in two months and go purple. Ah… to be 16!

Adam Lambert was far more engaging and articulate, but he’s much older, too. I asked him if they were singing to backing tracks or a live band. He said a live band hidden behind a wall. He had no clue why “Idol” chose …

Continue reading 2/27: Press conference with Allison Iraheta, Kris Allen & Adam Lambert »

2/26: American Idol recap, results show: Allison Iraheta, Adam Lambert & Kris Allen!

I was at a screening for the very funny film “I Love You Man” so I missed the results show.

Unfortunately, my DVR didn’t tape the results show so I really didn’t see it at all. Fortunately, Linny and Lara both texted me the results during the movie.

The results included two non-surprises: Allison Iraheta and Adam Lambert. And in a bit of a shocker, Kris Allen was the third one. I would have expected Megan, Matt B. or even Jesse. If I can scrounge up some footage, I’ll write some more.

Who will make the wildcard? I’m sure Nick won’t make it but I wouldn’t be surprised if Megan and Jesse got another shot. The tricky ones are Jasmine and Matt G. Both were highly touted before Wednesday but screwed up. Do they even deserve another shot?

Continue reading 2/26: American Idol recap, results show: Allison Iraheta, Adam Lambert & Kris Allen! »

2/26: Jennifer Hudson on Oprah Friday, Feb. 27, Paula Abdul says her judge comments out of context

Jennifer Hudson may be using Oprah Winfrey for her first interview since the deaths of her mom, brother and niece. For now, she’s scheduled to sing “If It Isn’t Love” on Friday, according to her Web site.

A deluxe version of her album is out on iTunes, too, which includes her “Star Spangled Banner” from the Super Bowl. Her Grammy performance is included, too.

-Paula Abdul complained to OK magazine about how Kara DioGuardi’s presence has disrupted the flow of the show.

“It takes up so much time for each of us to give our opinion that it slows down the pace of the show,” she says.

She also said her contract is up this year and hints she might want to do other things.

Kara DioGuardi responded quickly in a statement, saying she was disappointed Paula didn’t come to her first about her concerns. But then on the Insider, she said her comments were referring to “guest judges,” not Kara.

“It is unfortunate that a quote of mine was taken completely out of context today,” says Paula. …

Continue reading 2/26: Jennifer Hudson on Oprah Friday, Feb. 27, Paula Abdul says her judge comments out of context »

2/25: American Idol recap, second 12 of 36

This (ridiculous dramatic pause) is the American Idol recap!

A horrible start! More bad song choices! Too many runs! An alter ego! Cutesy body wiggling! And Adam Lambert being over the top but yet remains the anointed one.

Overall, nobody really wowed me but there were some very good performances and three definitively awful ones. Two of them were favorites (Matt Giraud, Jasmine Murray) who collapsed.

My prediction of the top 3: Adam Lambert (12), Allison Iraheta (5), Jesse Langseth (9)

Folks who have a shot: Megan (7), Kris (6) and Nick (4)

Very outside shot: Kai (10), Matt B. (8)

Folks who have zero shot: Mishavonna (11), Jeanine (3), Jasmine (1), Matt G. (2)

(I’m making these predictions without looking at dialidol.com, which shows hot blonde Megan far ahead of my “Bette Davis Eyes” favorite Jesse, who may have to settle for a wild card shot.)

My order of how I liked’em, which may not remotely resemble yours: 1 -Jesse Langseth 2- Allison Iraheta 3-Kris Allen 4- Megan Joy …

Continue reading 2/25: American Idol recap, second 12 of 36 »

2/25: Wild-card show may include folks not from the top 36, Taylor Hicks new album preview

Good news, Jamar Rogers fans: the producers may bring back folks who missed the cut in the top 36 for the wild-card round. This is how Carmen Rasmussen came back in season two. I will attach a poll of folks you might want to see again (pick more than one if you like)

In USA Today, Simon Cowell admitted the first week of semifinals came in a “bit flat” and expects better performances down the road.

Overall, Cowell is happy with Season 8, saying changes to the semifinal structure, including the return of judges’ wild-card picks, will yield better finalists. In next Thursday’s wild-card round, the judges bring back eight or nine singers — not necessarily just from the semifinals — and pick three to round out the Top 12. “I think when we put the 12 together, there will be more personality, more interest and just more diversity,” says Cowell, who wouldn’t specify standouts

Who should “Idol” bring to the wild card show who wasn’t in the top 36?

  • Jamar Rogers

Continue reading 2/25: Wild-card show may include folks not from the top 36, Taylor Hicks new album preview »

2/24: Chris Sligh up for Dove Song of the Year

Chris Sligh from season six has had some success in the Christian field and the Christian Dove Awards has rewarded him with a Song of the Year nomination for “Empty Me.” He’s also up for New Artist of the Year. Mandisa was also nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year. (Her second album is out next month.)

Check out Ruben Studdard’s “Together” song. It’s a love ballad, of course. Ruben is sticking to his strength. His album “Love Is” comes out in May.

A status update of Kelly Clarkson’s “My Life Will Suck Without You” on the top 40 charts. The song is up to 7 from 8 last week, with 1,000 more spins than a week before and about 2,000 spins behind the No. 1 song “Circus” by Britney Spears. This means I expect she’ll hit No. 1 in two or three weeks at this pace.

Of the first 9 who didn’t make it last week, who should make it on the wild card show? (Pick up to four)

  • Anoop “Dawg” Desai
  • Casey “Wink, wink, nudge, nudge” Carlson
  • Ann Marie “Boring as all Get Out” …

Continue reading 2/24: Chris Sligh up for Dove Song of the Year »

2/23: Is Danny Gokey being overly groomed for the big stage?

We haven’t even seen 24 of the 36 semifinalists live and it already appears Danny Gokey is going to go far in this competition.

He’s got the three things “Idol’ producers salivate over: likable personality, a heartwarming back story (his wife Sophia had just died!) and decent chops. You can win with only two of those but three makes him irresistible.

On Thursday, he said she died so recently after suffering from a chronic heart condition, he can’t help but talk about her and he has no control over what the producers do. (Fair enough to me) He told reporters last week he will lighten things up during the competition.

Personally, I don’t think he is deliberately milking his story. I think it’s the producers working it (e.g. focusing on the photo of him and his wife Danny’s brother in law held up last week). At the same time, I don’t think his back story alone will get him much further. He’s going to have to rely on his personality and his vocal skills to get him into the top …

Continue reading 2/23: Is Danny Gokey being overly groomed for the big stage? »

2/20: Danny Gokey, Alexis Grace and Michael Sarver speak

Every week during the season, Fox PR sends out a notice asking for us to RSVP for phone press conferences. I did so on Feb. 13 for yesterday’s press conference with the first three in the top 12. Unfortunately, I never got a reminder notice because the PR person never got it. And since I was working frantically on a non-”Idol” story yesterday, it slipped my mind. This won’t happen again. Fortunately, they sent me the transcript for the press conference.

Fox also has not defined how the wildcard show will work in 13 days beyond saying the judges will pick the three. I’m guessing they will pick 12 but they might pick only 9 or 10 of the remaining 27.

Here are highlights:

First up is Alexis Grace:

Us magazine asked about being a mom and if she’s nervous juggling it with singing:

I am nervous. I mean any mom would be nervous because it’s their kid and they are so attached to their child. I mean that’s their …

Continue reading 2/20: Danny Gokey, Alexis Grace and Michael Sarver speak »

2/19: Kat McPhee gets guest role on CSI:NY, is Clay Aiken losing his RCA gig?

I’m late today with my “Idol” update. I had a page one story to work on about how recession resistant the movie business has been. But I’m done and checking out some “Idol” news:

-Clay Aiken may be losing his RCA deal. Nothing has been announced or confirmed but he is no longer included in RCA press releases and his press materials deleted from the RCA Web site. Not good signs. Given his last album did not do well at all, that wouldn’t be a surprise. MJ has more info.

-Early Wednesday ratings were 24.4 million and 8.9 ratings among 18-49 year old. There’s no direct comparison because last year, the first week, they had split the 12 gals on Tuesday, the 12 guys on Wednesday and the results on Thursday. Last year, the Wed. show drew 28.9 million and the Thursday show just 23.4 million. So depending on your point of view, ratings were down 16 percent or up 3 percent.

EW.com reports that following in the footsteps of Chris Daughtry, Kat McPhee nabs a guest role on “CSI:NY” as a …

Continue reading 2/19: Kat McPhee gets guest role on CSI:NY, is Clay Aiken losing his RCA gig? »

2/18: American Idol recap – Alexis Grace, Michael Sarver, Danny Gokey in

As expected, Alexis Grace and Danny Gokey make it in. And Michael Sarver snuck in ahead of Anoop dawg. Tatiana looks like she’s about to collapse as Gokey sings “Hero” again. (I can’t help but laugh maniacally at her as she cries and cries and cries and cries…)

Next week: the show is Wednesday and Thursday instead of Tuesday/Wednesday. Pres. Obama has scheduled his first “State of the Union” address next Tuesday at 9 p.m., which would be a major conflict with a two-hour “Idol.” “Bones” will have a special 8 p.m. showing that day. 

The performers for the second round of semifinals: Megan Corkrey, Kris Allen. Mishayonna Henson, Matt Breitzke, Allison Iraheta, Matt Giraud, Jasmine Murray, Kai Kalama, Adam Lambert. Jeanine Vailes, Nick “Normund” Mitchell and Jesse Langseth. The favored kids are the two Matts, Jasmine and Adam, while Nick has had the most airtime. Kai, Megan and Jesse have had a little bit of time. Cannon fodder: Allison and Jeanine. 

The group sing left me with …

Continue reading 2/18: American Idol recap – Alexis Grace, Michael Sarver, Danny Gokey in »