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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Archive for May, 2009

5/19: American Idol top 2 recap – Kris Allen vs. Adam Lambert

Bottom line: who SHOULD win “American Idol”?

  • Adam Lambert
  • Kris Allen

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As is often the case when the race is this tight, I’m not sure either contestant sealed the deal or screwed themselves. They both performed well given what they had. Indeed, Kris Allen was given a laid-back song by Simon Fuller that may have been too laid back while Adam Lambert got to go big on Sam Cooke in the key second performance.

I am at a loss over who will win this. Honest. Both have earned the crown for different reasons. Adam has simply been stupendously out there and comfortable on the stage. Kris kind of snuck up on and improved steadily, keeping us interested in what he was going to do.

And who WILL win “American Idol”?

  • Kris Allen
  • Adam Lambert

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But alas, I must make a prediction. Going last helps a bit and Kris, winning the coin toss, knew that. So I’m sticking with the prediction I gave USA Today here:

Continue reading 5/19: American Idol top 2 recap – Kris Allen vs. Adam Lambert »

5/19: The print story about Idol with Linny quoted

Here’s the print story I wrote today:

TV PREVIEW

“American Idol”

8-9 p.m. today and 8-10 p.m. Wednesday on Fox.

“American Idol,” in its eighth season, tweaked a few elements to keep things fresh. The show added a fourth judge, rejiggered its semifinal round and added a “save” element.

But what really matters is the talent. And this year was packed with quality singers and performers.

“There were no Sanjayas this year” in the top 13, said David Bloomberg, who has run the Web site Foxesonidol.com since Season 1. “Nobody really stuck around longer than they should have. As a whole, I enjoyed the season.”

“Idol,” whose final week airs tonight and Wednesday, is not immune to age. Ratings are down about 7 percent this year and more than 15 percent off its peak in Season 5. Among younger viewers, the drop is even sharper.

But it remains America’s No. 1 show by a wide margin, with a weekly average of 24 million viewers.

The final two contestants make for an intriguing contrast. Adam …

Continue reading 5/19: The print story about Idol with Linny quoted »

5/18: Justin Guarini handicaps the final two

Sorry. I had to write that Idol “print” story which quotes Linny. I’ll post it in the morning. Then I had to prep for an interview with Larry King (who ironically is not known to prep for HIS interviews.). And then I talked to Mark Burnett, who is shilling a new TNT show “Wedding Day,” which has elements of “Extreme Makeover” and every upbeat makeover show in history. Yes, the man who created “Survivor” and “The Apprentice” has gone all soft on us. (Then again, he also recently executive produced an MTV show called “Bully Beatdown.”)

Phew! Now I’m finally getting to the interview I did with season one runner up and TV Guide “Idol Tonight” host Justin Guarini last Thursday to handicap the race this week. This was for the aforementioned print story. Here are some of his thoughts:

“This season lived up to the preseason hype,” he said. “We had a really fantastic show with arguably the best top 5 in Idol history. I’m looking forward to what looks to be a very close finale. I’m …

Continue reading 5/18: Justin Guarini handicaps the final two »

5/16: Finale details leaking out

MJ has gotten a few names of acts showing up on the “Idol” finale, including Lionel Richie, Carlos Santana, Cyndi Lauper, Queen Latifah, Black Eyed Peas and Keith Urban. Carrie Underwood and David Cook are set to perform, too.

What is your favorite Adam Lambert performance this season so far?

  • (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
  • Black or White
  • Ring of Fire
  • The Tracks of My Tears
  • Play That Funky Music
  • Mad World
  • Born to Be Wild
  • If I Can’t Have You
  • Feeling Good
  • Whole Lotta Love
  • One
  • Crying

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Kris Allen and Adam Lambert will perform their favorite song, a Simon Fuller pick and the coronation song. We can only hope the coronation song is tolerable.

What is your favorite Kris Allen performance this year so far?

  • Man in the Mirror
  • Remember the Time
  • To Make You Feel My Love
  • How Sweet It Is
  • Ain’t No Sunshine
  • All She Wants to Do is Dance
  • Falling Slowly
  • She Works Hard for the Money
  • The …

Continue reading 5/16: Finale details leaking out »

5/15: A study on Idol pimping

This is usually a slow day so I held off before I reported this fun nugget:

Folks at What Not To Sing did an extensive study to see what impact early pimping in January has on how far a contestant goes later on. We all know intrinsically that this helps contestants. Now here’s the proof.

They split folks into big pimpin’ promotion (Fantasia, Daughtry, Archuleta), audition-only (Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, David Cook) and late/no exposure (Kelly Clarkson, Bo Bice).

Promotional Piece contestants are, on average, 20.2% more likely to advance each and every week than those in the Late/No Exposure group, given comparable performances. Similarly, Audition-only contestants are 14.0% more likely to advance each week than those who did not have their audition aired.

And here’s the kicker:

Year in and year out, one of the most widely-requested changes to American Idol is for the producers to show the backstory of every semifinalist. The Idolsphere practically gets on their hands and …

Continue reading 5/15: A study on Idol pimping »

5/14: Danny Gokey exit interview, explaining Simon’s “big ding dong” reference

I got on the line at 1:02 p.m. EST for the Danny Gokey interview, which was so popular that by 1:34 p.m. when it ended, I didn’t get to ask a question. Danny did tend to answer fairly lengthily and sincerely.

Who is your favorite third place contestant of all time?

  • Season one: Nikki McKibbin
  • Season two: Kimberley Locke
  • Season three: Jasmine Trias
  • Season four: Vonzell Solomon
  • Season five: Elliott Yamin
  • Season six: Melinda Doolittle
  • Season seven: Syesha Mercado
  • Season eight: Danny Gokey

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He was serious most of the time but very thoughtful, very sincere, very nice, pretty much what you saw on the show. And he said he actually prepared himself to leave. He sensed it. I wanted to ask him if he felt Kris’ “Heartless” helped get him enough votes to beat him but nobody asked him that on this phone press conference.

Danny said the scream was a big mistake and even hurt his vocal cord. “My voice was still kind of sore this …

Continue reading 5/14: Danny Gokey exit interview, explaining Simon’s “big ding dong” reference »

5/13: American Idol recap, top 3 results – see who got nixed

Bye-bye Danny Gokey! (And they went late AGAIN.)

It’s a Kris Allen/Adam Lambert showdown instead of the long-expected Danny-Adam combo.

Was America right booting Danny Gokey now?

  • Yes. Danny was good but Kris simply outshone him Tuesday night.
  • No! Danny earned a spot in the top 2 over Adam or Kris. Shame!

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Kris and his incredible “Heartless” helped oust Danny Gokey, who I expected early on to win. A bit of a surprise but given how strong Kris has been lately, not THAT much of a surprise. And people in our unscientific poll felt Danny SHOULD go home. (Perhaps that Aerosmith scream last week did him in.)

We can quickly handicap a Kris/Adam showdown. As noted in the past blog entry, I think Danny’s fans will more likely gravitate toward Kris, making him the favorite. Who woulda thunk it? Kris was not a favorite going into the top 36 and even as we entered the top 10, he was a dark horse. But he kept surprising us with interesting takes …

Continue reading 5/13: American Idol recap, top 3 results – see who got nixed »

5/13: Mid-day report – Adam Lambert not in the finals? It’s possible!

This may be the tightest top 3 voting situation in “Idol” history. The conventional wisdom had been an Adam Lambert-Danny Gokey showdown seemingly for months. But Kris Allen threw a monkey wrench last night with an impressive take on “Heartless” by Kanye West.

What has been your favorite top 3 ever on “Idol”?

  • Season one (Kelly Clarkson, Justin Guarini, Nikki McKibbin)
  • Season two (Ruben Studdard, Clay Aiken, Kimberley Locke)
  • Season three (Fantasia, Diana DeGarmo, Jasmine Trias)
  • Season four (Carrie Underwood, Bo Bice, Vonzell Solomon)
  • Season five (Taylor Hicks, Kat McPhee, Elliott Yamin)
  • Season six (Jordin Sparks, Blake Lewis, Melinda Doolittle)
  • Season seven (David Cook, David Archuleta, Syesha Mercado)
  • Season eight (Kris Allen, Danny Gokey, Adam Lambert)

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And will the pimping by Kara and Paula for Adam hurt him in the end, as Simon implied (or tried to prevent with his warnings)? Hard to say.

Adam is a bit like …

Continue reading 5/13: Mid-day report – Adam Lambert not in the finals? It’s possible! »

5/12: American Idol recap – top 3

As expected, this very strong final three lived up to its billing. It was a fun night with plenty of vocal fireworks. Nobody really sucked and I’ve had to judge this based on very high standards.

Who SHOULD go home? Ugh. Do I have to pick? Okay. Kris Allen. Sorry.

Who SHOULD go home among the top 3?

  • Adam Lambert
  • Danny Gokey
  • Kris Allen

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Who WILL go home? It’s going to be close but again, Kris.

Who will be in the bottom two: Kris and Adam

Dialidol shows it’s too close to call and an incredibly tight race among all three. That’s great for all three.

1- Kris’ “Heartless” 2- Danny’s “Dance Little Sister” 3- Adam’s “One” 4- Danny’s “You Are So Beautiful 5- Adam’s “Crying” 6 – Kris’ “Apologize”

An aside: why they put the Idol Gives Back story with Carrie Underwood on in the middle of the performance show was befuddling. That appears to have been ideal for a Wednesday night segment. Fox did say the show was going four minutes long. …

Continue reading 5/12: American Idol recap – top 3 »

5/12: Simon Cowell thinks Adam Lambert will win, Carrie Underwood No. 1 again, Danny Gokey video

Simon Cowell told Oprah he now thinks Adam Lambert has it in the bag.

But I still think the scenerios don’t guarantee that. If Kris Allen goes home this week, you have to wonder if his fans will more likely gravitate toward Danny Gokey. And vice versa. Allison’s fans? Who will they vote for? They might be more inclined to go for Adam so that might keep him around this week.

We’re now at the point where the performances don’t matter as much, I’d fathom. It’s now all about fan bases. Will Adam’s pull him through? We shall see.

The oddsmakers still have it Adam big time. If you bet $3 for Adam, you’ll get $1 back on the most part.

-Carrie Underwood’s “I Told You So” actually went No. 1. I didn’t think it would. It’s not one of her better songs and its climb was kind of slow up the charts. Go figure! This is her 7th No. 1 hit in a row after “Before He Cheats,” “Wasted,” “So Small,” “All-American Girl,” “Last Name” and “Just a Dream.” Amazing!

Other songs on the country chart: …

Continue reading 5/12: Simon Cowell thinks Adam Lambert will win, Carrie Underwood No. 1 again, Danny Gokey video »