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Archive for August, 2009

Paula Abdul finally talks, Kara DioGuardi records “No Boundaries” herself, Katy Perry guest judging in Los Angeles

TV Guide finally got the “get,” the first post-”Idol” interview with Paula Abdul.

She was actually at a party in the Hollywood Hills for “Drop Dead Diva,” which films here in Peachtree City. Her first episode, the one I saw being taped a few weeks back, will air Sept. 13. She hasn’t closed the door on “Idol” based on her vague comments and she didn’t say if it was simply a money situation.

In fact, she tiptoes around in classic Paula style:

Is it just about the money?

It’s never…I stand on principle where many people stand on money. I’m a hard-working artist. I’ve lasted in this business for 23 years. And you can’t do that unless you are good at what you do. I believe in myself and you have to have your own self respect. And sometimes decisions are very difficult to make, but I’ve always believed that at the core I’m a survivor. There’s not one thing I’ve done that I’ve really set my mind to that I’ve failed at.

And about playing a faux judge on “Drop Dead Diva”:

It’s been …

Continue reading Paula Abdul finally talks, Kara DioGuardi records “No Boundaries” herself, Katy Perry guest judging in Los Angeles »

Kellie Pickler interview, opening for Taylor Swift at Gwinnett Arena Wednesday

When I did my first interview with Kellie Pickler three years ago, she was packing and rather distracted. It wasn’t a good interview. Her publicist told me later that she told Kellie that that wasn’t a good way to do a phone interview.

Since then, she’s been greatly improved, offering up amusing stories and commentary in her goofy, charming way.

This is my fourth time talking to her, maybe my fifth. After three years, I have to say she is definitely more refined. The result: fewer anecdotes, more platitudes. Then again, I probably didn’t ask the right questions to elicit better anecdotes. Anyway, she does sound happy — and busy as always.

“I’m young,” she said. “I’m going to hit it hard while I can.” She said she wants to be like Loretta Lynn, who is still touring in her 70s. “She might never quit doing it,” she said.

And despite the ditzy exterior, she seems to have a good head on her shoulders: “I want to prove to country radio and the fans and critics that I’m really here …

Continue reading Kellie Pickler interview, opening for Taylor Swift at Gwinnett Arena Wednesday »

Actress Kristin Chenoweth next Idol guest judge, Blake Lewis headlining Atlanta Pride

The next guest fill-in judge is Kristin Chenoweth, an actress and singer. Most recently, she had a starring role in the whimsical (but now cancelled) “Pushing Daisies” on ABC. She will show up in Orlando.

As People noted:

Chenoweth brings considerable vocal chops to the judges’ panel: An original cast member of the Broadway smash Wicked, she performed a solo sold out concert at the Metropolitan Opera House in 2007 and won a Tony award for her performance in the musical You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. –Lisa Ingrassia

She’s easily the least known of the guests so far. I have no clue if she’ll be any good or not.

Shockingly, not a single fresh Paula Abdul rumor this week.

And as we know, “Idol” is dead set on a fourth judge. Names thrown out (with absolutely no proof whether they were even approached) include Queen Latifah, Cyndi Lauper and Jody Watley.

-Both Bo Bice and Ace Young will be back on the Jerry Lewis MDA telethon Labor Day weekend. Yes, Jerry Lewis is still …

Continue reading Actress Kristin Chenoweth next Idol guest judge, Blake Lewis headlining Atlanta Pride »

Blake Lewis in tax trouble?

The Detroit News reports that season six runner up Blake Lewis owes $125,000 to the IRS. Though Lewis’ spokesman said it has been resolved, the publication has seen no lien release, indicating a paid debt. He joins Fantasia and Ruben Studdard when it comes to tax issues.

-Bucky Covington’s “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader” appearance is on Sept. 23 on CMT. His charity is the Arthritis Foundation.

-If you’re not a fan of Daughtry, you’ll get a kick out of this rather harsh review from the Oakland Tribune.

How many different ways are there to say the word boring? My thesaurus lists 24 synonyms.
That’s probably not enough to adequately describe Daughtry’s show on Thursday night at the Fillmore in San Francisco. So, I might have to look up some synonyms for bland as well.

-David Cook is doing a few cover songs on his tour including “Little Lies” by Fleetwood Mac, “Hot For Teacher” by Van Halen and Cutting Crew’s “(I Just) Died In Your Arms.” Someone really likes the ’80s, eh? …

Continue reading Blake Lewis in tax trouble? »

Atlanta’s Ne-Yo working with Carrie Underwood, who will co-host CMAs again; Neil Patrick Harris as guest judge

Atlanta R&B star Ne-Yo on Twitter last week noted he was working with Carrie Underwood in Nashville.

Speaking of Nashville, Danny Gokey, who would seem like a shoo in to go gospel/Christian, has told EW.com that he’s leaning country. The fact he’s singing two Rascal Flatts songs on tour is a clue.

AP photo of Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood from last year's CMAs.

AP photo of Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood from last year’s CMAs.

And speaking of Underwood, People reports she will be co-hosting the CMA Awards again with Brad Paisley.

“Last time,” remembers Paisley, “it was pretty late notice when we got word we were doing it, so we didn’t necessarily prepare the same way then as we will this time. This time we have more advance time.”

“I thought we did a good job,” Underwood says about last year’s show. “I wasn’t nervous about being asked back. But I was hoping they would ask us.” Adds Paisley: “I figured if they wanted us back they’d ask and if not, we’d get to sit and watch somebody else go through it.”

Underwood has won many many CMA …

Continue reading Atlanta’s Ne-Yo working with Carrie Underwood, who will co-host CMAs again; Neil Patrick Harris as guest judge »

New Katharine McPhee single, Paula Abdul hosting “VH1 Divas”

I had to throw a bone to JTesla after the photos of Joe Jonas and Clay Aiken the past week. Here’s a lovely shot of a blonde Kat McPhee. And here’s her song “Had It All.” It’s very pop, better than her only charting single “Over It” but does not have No. 1 written all over it.

Kat McPhee:

  • Blonde
  • Brunette

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- Paula Abdul’s first post-”Idol’ gig is hosting VH1’s “Divas Live” concert Sept. 17 featuring two “Idol” winners: Jordin Sparks (a new addition) and Kelly Clarkson. Others include Adele, Miley Cyrus and Leona Lewis.

-Phil Stacey has a new Christmas/gospel album out today. I guess the country thing didn’t work, try a different genre!

-No secrets where “Idol” held the Dallas auditions: the W Hotel. Yes, another W Hotel. The Dallas Morning News covered the hullabaloo as Joe Jonas arrived.

Continue reading New Katharine McPhee single, Paula Abdul hosting “VH1 Divas” »

Michael Johns to join David Foster & Friends tour at Fox Theatre in October

Season seven finalist and former Buckhead resident Michael Johns wasn’t going to make it to Atlanta on his tour with Brooke White. But he is joining David Foster & Friends for 10 dates — including October 28 at the Fox Theatre. \

Downside: tix ain’t cheap. They range from $57 to $127 before Tickemaster fees. Presale beings tomorrow. More details here.

Others joining David include Philip Bailey (”Easy Lover”) and Peter Cetera (formerly of Chicago).

Johns recently told E! Online that Paula Abdul deserves $20 million a year. That’s easy to say when it’s not your money!

-Mark your calendar. Kris Allen has pre-orders available for his first album on Amazon for a release date of November 17.

Continue reading Michael Johns to join David Foster & Friends tour at Fox Theatre in October »

Clay Aiken signs with Decca Records, Diana DeGarmo starts role on Broadway’s “Toxic Avenger”

Clay Aiken, who ended his RCA deal earlier this year after his last album sold poorly, has signed a new deal with Decca Records. It’s home to Boyz II Men, Andrea Bocelli, Celtic Thunder, Morrissey and Sting. Not bad company.

Let’s hope he can regain his mojo on the music front with his next album in 2010.

His charity foundation has been renamed National Inclusion Society (formerly Bubel/Aiken Foundation. It helps young people with special needs.

-Diana DeGarmo has started her stint on “Toxic Avengers” on Broadway. A sample Tweet:

finally in bed w/ the weenies after a mind blowing day… wow, Toxic Avenger, i am blessed to be working w/ all of you! Sarah’s home, baby!

And check her out as a blonde, blind librarian here.

-Here’s a great photo essay of Adam Lambert and Kris Allen on tour.

-Jordin Sparks, who skipped a recent opening date with the Jonas Brothers and will be joining a leg of the Britney Spears tour, will be at Philips Arena tomorrow to open for the bros. I am …

Continue reading Clay Aiken signs with Decca Records, Diana DeGarmo starts role on Broadway’s “Toxic Avenger” »

Paula Abdul’s manager says: no talks with “Idol”

The L.A. Times talked to Paula Abdul’s David Sonenberg about her future and he says “Idol” is not likely to be part of it.

Sonenberg said that there have been “no discussions whatsoever about ‘Idol,’ ” and added that while he would “never count anything out,” Abdul’s priorities are elsewhere.

The Times also says the Radaronline report of Fox focus groups to gauge interest in Abdul was false. It also refutes reports by Fox and MSNBC.com that a Paula return is increasingly likely. In other words, nobody seems to have the straight skinny on this.

So believe what you want to believe on this one until it really happens.

Sonenberg said a top priority is another TV gig. She has also been offered book deals, clothing lines and cosmetics brands.

-Anoop didn’t know who MJ was in this interview. MJ dubbed him “very polite, if a little prickly.” She got the “glare”! We also learn the “Idol” contracts end today and folks who are not signed up are free to do what they want starting …

Continue reading Paula Abdul’s manager says: no talks with “Idol” »

“Idol” still considering Paula Abdul’s price tag… via focus groups? Joe Jonas next guest judge

Radaronline reports that Fox is using focus groups to decide how much Paula Abdul is really worth to them.

And the latest guest judges? Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers is the next one in Dallas. There are talks about Kelly Clarkson doing a round, too. Recall that she did a mock “judging” of Randy Jackson season one during her first audition.

The L.A. Times and others have said “Idol” offered Abdul $5 million a year, a raise from her current $2 to $3 million but she wanted $10 million, comparable to Ryan Seacrest. “Idol” refused and she Tweeted earlier this month that it was over.

But since she has yet to commit to anything else yet, including “Dancing With the Stars,” it appears she is still willing to return at the right price.

Paula will not be seen in any of the early audition shows; that much is certain. The fourth judge for those outings will be the likes of Victoria Beckham, Mary J. Blige and Shania Twain. Although none of these guest judges is being considered as …

Continue reading “Idol” still considering Paula Abdul’s price tag… via focus groups? Joe Jonas next guest judge »