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Archive for July, 2010

Ellen DeGeneres off ‘Idol’ after one season; Kara DioGardi out, too? Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler look to be in

I could start a new blog entry but the news is big enough for me to just re-do this and update as we go along at least for now.

ellenEllen DeGeneres has decided to leave “American Idol” after one season, Fox said in a press release sent to me at 7:59 p.m. Thursday night. Deadline Hollywood says singer and actress Jennifer Lopez is set to take over.

TMZ at 2:33 a.m. EST this morning reports that Kara DioGuardi is out, too, replaced by Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. Broadcasting and Cable said at 3:30 p.m. EST that Lopez’s contract is done and Tyler’s is nearly so. There’s no official word yet from Fox.

If this is the case, it appears “Idol” is going back to three judges, which is great news for virtually all of us. Four judges cramped the show with too many “me, too” opinions, wasting valuable time.

Ellen DeGeneres leaving “Idol” after one season

  • It was one season too many!
  • Too bad. I enjoyed her jokes

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Randy Jackson is the only original …

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Diana DeGarmo gets another theater gig: the national tour of ‘9 to 5: The Musical, coming to Atlanta Sept. 28-Oct. 3

credit: Broadway World

credit: Broadway World

Former Snellville gal and season 3 runner-up Diana DeGarmo has easily been the most successful “Idol” contestant when it comes to theater work so far. She’s performed in more than a half dozen Broadway, off Broadway and national shows over the past five-plus years.

Now the 23 year old has signed on with “9 to 5: The Musical” for a national tour. She will play Miss Doralee Rhodes, the Dolly Parton role from the 1980 movie. It launches September in Nashville, where she has a residence. The musical then moves to Atlanta’s Fox Theatre from Sept. 28 to Oct. 3. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster for $27.85 to $72.05.

Her resume now includes “Hairspray,” “Brooklyn: The Musical,” “Oz the Musical,” “Back to Bacharach and David,” “The Toxic Avenger” and most recently, “Hair” (photo, left) with Ace Young.

Her powerful voice is perfect for theater and clearly, she can handle the rigors.

Since she’s coming to Atlanta for a live performance for the first time in …

Continue reading Diana DeGarmo gets another theater gig: the national tour of ‘9 to 5: The Musical, coming to Atlanta Sept. 28-Oct. 3 »

‘So You Think You Can Dance’ coming to Gwinnett Sept. 27, no go from Elton John and Justin Timberlake

The annual “So You Think You Can Dance” victory tour hits Gwinnett Arena in Duluth Sept. 27.  Tickets go on sale Friday at Ticketmaster.

I haven’t really followed the show this year but there seem to have been a flurry of injuries, more than normal. And most of the women got voted off quickly, for better or worse.

CREDIT: AP

CREDIT: AP

- And not surprisingly, reps from Elton John and Justin Timberlake have said no to judging “Idol.” Ugh. Please, “Idol” producers: give us an answer already! This speculation is starting to get old fast. Another one: Jessica Simpson. Please, God. No! No! No!

-News reports say about 6,000 people showed up to the New Orleans auditions. That’s a big drop off from Nashville (16,000) and Milwaukee (10,000).

- I’m prepping to go to “Idols Live” on Sunday. I won’t know which four “Idol’ contestants will show up in the media room at 3 p.m. but if you have any questions for any particular “Idol,” please pass them …

Continue reading ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ coming to Gwinnett Sept. 27, no go from Elton John and Justin Timberlake »

Could Nigel Lythgoe be returning to ‘Idol’?

Nigel-Lythgoe-740634-795620Since “So You Think You Can Dance” judge/creator Nigel Lythgoe left his executive producer role on “Idol” two years ago, the show has had serious problems staying on time and this past year seemed to rely too much on “whoever is hot today” artists to bolster the results show.

Now there is talk he may return as an executive producer, according to Hollywood Reporter. The Wrap says he will only be a CKX rep, whatever that means. I’m not sure what his powers will be if that’s the case.

Either way, this could be good news for the aging show. Lythgoe has always frowned upon the four-judge panel, which has slowed up the show and takes time away from the contestants.  He told a reporter in April he’d start over.

“I would replace the entire judging panel,” Lythgoe tells Zap2it. “I don’t think it really works replacing one person. They don’t have a great deal of chemistry at the moment. Ryan [Seacrest] and Simon have fallen out. It’s uncomfortable to watch. Ellen [DeGeneres] hasn’t …

Continue reading Could Nigel Lythgoe be returning to ‘Idol’? »

‘Idol’ contestant accuses show of anti-gay discrimination

ian_benardo2_320

CORRECTION (July 27): Bernardo’s complaint is actually asking for $300 million, not $300,000. Yes, there was an extra three zeroes there in the complaint. My bad!

Former “Idol” contestant Ian Bernardo today faxed the Atlanta Journal Constitution (and presumably others) informing us that he had filed a complaint in New York’s Division of Human Rights office against the producers of “American Idol” for illegal workplace discrimination.

In 2006, he performed Laura Branigan’s “Gloria” during auditions. He was horrible. I don’t even remember the guy four years after the fact.

He showed up on the Simon Cowell finale “Idol” show this past May on stage with Dane Cook and a bunch of other “Idol” misfits. The lawsuit said he was encouraged to stir things up so he grabbed the mike and talked directly to Simon. Producers cut to commercials. It looked kind of staged to me but he did manage to keep the mike away from Tatiana Del Toro, which was quite a feat.

MTV Shows

Bernado in the suit …

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Carrie Underwood garners her 10th No. 1 country hit with ‘Undo It’

imagesWith fewer than five years under her belt as a signed country artist, recently betrothed Carrie Underwood this week roped in her 10th No. 1 country hit with “Undo It.”

Her incredible chart run began in 2005 with “Jesus, Take the Wheel.” Her next single “Don’t Forget To Remember Me” peaked at No. 2. Then she had a run of six in a row: “Before He Cheats,” “Wasted,” “So  Small,” “All American Girl,” “Last Name” and the ballad “Just a Dream.”

The next one, a duet with Randy Travis, broke her mini-streak and peaked at No. 2. But her third album “Play On” has generated three No. 1 songs so far in a row: “Cowboy Casanova,” “Temporary Home “and now “Undo It. ”

Of the ten No. 1 Carrie Underwood songs, which one do you like the most?

  • Undo It
  • Temporary Home
  • So Small
  • Wasted
  • Before He Cheats
  • All-American Girl
  • Cowboy Casanova
  • Jesus, Take the Wheel
  • Last Name
  • Just a Dream

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Every official single sent to country radio has …

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Idol touts turnout of first two ‘Idol’ audition sites

CREDIT: AP

CREDIT: AP

“American Idol” hasn’t had much to cheer about the past year. Lackluster contestants and declining ratings don’t make great press releases.

But the show released one yesterday touting the 26,000 people who showed up for auditions in Nashville (16,000, see photo to the right) and Milwaukee (10,000). Last year, a bit more than 9,000 showed up to Atlanta.

“The numbers of people turning up to the American Idol auditions in Nashville and Milwaukee have been incredible,” said show creator Simon Fuller, in a release. “These attendance figures are significantly up on the last few years, and there is clearly renewed excitement and interest in the show, which is great to see.”

Perhaps the change in age requirement to 15 from 16 drew more people. (The upper end remains 28.) The show producers are now readying New Orleans as the next audition site for season ten.

The judges – Randy Jackson, Ellen DeGeneres, Kara DioGuardi and a person to be named later – are expected …

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Chris Isaak and Harry Connick Jr. frontrunners for Simon Cowell’s spot

harry-connick-jr-your-songs

According to Hollywood Reporter, singers Harry Connick Jr. and Chris Isaak are in the running to replace Simon Cowell on “American Idol.”

After Connick appeared this year as a guest mentor, he quickly became a front runner for Cowell’s spot. The 42-year-old Grammy-winning crooner with New Orleans roots was witty, honest and helpful to the contestants and injected life into what was often a lackluster season. He has musical credibility and chops. He can act. He’s well respected within the music industry. It just comes down to whether he wants it and how much “Idol” is willing to pay him.

Coincidentally, in the outtake moments “Idol” showed, Connick at one point is talking to Casey James’ mom and jokingly says, “He thought I was Chris Isaak!” He is truly hliarious.

Chris Isaak, 54, is another good looking dude with a deep voice. He’s a lesser known quantity for “Idol.” I don’t think he’s ever guest judged or mentored on the show though Wikipedia says he appeared on …

Continue reading Chris Isaak and Harry Connick Jr. frontrunners for Simon Cowell’s spot »

Clay Aiken answers fan questions

6a00e54ede41cc88330120a7e1f0f9970b-320wiClay Aiken,  in Atlanta to tape some pledge drops for Georgia Public Broadcasting Tuesday, gave me a few minutes to talk about his career and answer some fan questions.

Aiken, who came out with an album of standards in June called “Tried and True,” is also prepping for his one-month concert tour with Ruben Studdard that kicks off in Asheville, N.C. Friday.  He said the two will be on stage the entire time and do a “Sonny and Cher” type variety show.  He didn’t want to reveal what he was going to sing but it’d be fair to say he’ll definitely do a few from his most recent album.

The show’s first leg does not come to Atlanta but he hopes to include the city, presuming a second leg is in the offing in the fall.

The focus on standards, he said, wasn’t a deliberate effort to re-brand himself away from pop. It’s simply something he likes to do and is comfortable with. In other words, he is working the Michael Buble/Harry Connick Jr. route, a perfect venue for public broadcasting. …

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Ruben Studdard’s biography on TV One’s ‘Life After’

I just spoke with Clay Aiken at Georgia Public Broadcasting and will post that video either later today or tomorrow.

300.studdard.ruben.062408

First up: last night’s TV One special about Ruben Studdard for its series “Life After.” There are no major revelations but it’s a pleasant 30-minute journey through his life.

The half hour starts at Princeton elementary school in Birmingham. “I was always within an earshot of a whupping,” he said, since his grandma Hattie Williams’ home was down the street. He recalls daydreaming and getting in trouble for singing at his desk. “He sang all the time: sing sing sing,” she said.

He began singing at age three at pre-school at the Shady Grove Baptist Church. “He was very disruptive in class,” his brother Kevin said.

“He told us he’d be a star someday,” Hattie said.

He was on football as well as sing in three choirs. He didn’t want to go to college. He wanted to go to Atlanta and get signed. He got a football scholarship at Alabama A&M University but decided to focus …

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