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Archive for August, 2010

Casey James near deal with Sony Nashville; Fantasia denies break-up role; David Archuleta’s ‘Something ‘Bout Love’

Casey James at "Idols Live" in Duluth August 1, 2010. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Casey James at "Idols Live" in Duluth August 1, 2010. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

In its final year with “Idol,” Sony currently has the option to sign any of the top 12 contestants for “American Idol,” at least for a little while longer. Last year, Sony BMG labels signed the top 4 contestants. This year, besides the winner Lee DeWyze and runner-up Crystal Bowersox, Sony Nashville is about to sign third place finished Casey James, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Country has been the most consistent genre for “Idol” alums, including Josh Gracin, Bucky Covington and Sony Nashville label folks such as Danny Gokey, Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler. (Kristy Lee Cook? Not so much.)

James is arguably more talented and more charismatic than Bucky Covington so you never know. Given the right songs and he could be a Nashville darling.

- Fantasia, via her manager, denies she broke up the Cook marriage:

“Fantasia is certain that she is not responsible for the deterioration of …

Continue reading Casey James near deal with Sony Nashville; Fantasia denies break-up role; David Archuleta’s ‘Something ‘Bout Love’ »

Fantasia accused of illicit affair; Tim Urban interview

tasia_1_top2The wife of Antwuan Cook has accused him of having an adulterous affair with Fantasia, according to a custody lawsuit filed last week in North Carolina, reports WCNC-TV.

Paula Cook, who is seeking custody of the couple’s two young children, claims they even created sex tapes.

Rumors of Cook and Fantasia having the affair have been floating around for months. The complain is linked on the TV station website as well.

I have a feeling this won’t be addressed in VH1’s second season of “Fantasia For Real” debuting Sept. 19. We’ll see.

- In less salacious news, “American Idol” won the Teen Choice award for best reality program last night. Ryan Seacrest won for best host and Lee DeWyze won for best male reality star. (Did the fact it aired on Fox have anything to do with it?) Choice American Idol alum? David Archuleta.

- And here’s the fifth interview I did at the “American Idols Live” tour last Sunday. I spoke with Tim Urban about his career path and his hair (of course.) And …

Continue reading Fantasia accused of illicit affair; Tim Urban interview »

A category that stumped ‘Jeopardy’ contestants

What are the names of various contestants from “American Idol” (except Fantasia?)

Thanks, Dave, from Vote for the Worst for this one, from a July 28 episode.

Continue reading A category that stumped ‘Jeopardy’ contestants »

‘Fantasia For Real’ back Sept. 19 on VH1 and get a free Bo Bice song! Casey James interview

fantasia-for-real

Although “Fantasia For Real” was not a blockbuster hit for VH1 and lost quite a bit of steam throughout its first run, the network is giving it a second chance.

Fantasia’s Twitter page just announced the news that her reality show will be back Sept. 19.

Her single “Bittersweet” just peaked at No. 14 on the Mediabase hip-hop charts and is slipping off.

-And if you’re a fan of Bo Bice, People.com is offering a free download of his song “Different Shades of Blue” here.

-I’ll save my final “Idols Live” interview with Tim Urban for Monday. Here is the Casey James interview I did. There are rumors out there that Sony Nashville is about to sign him to a record deal. Good for him!

I kind of indirectly imply he’s not a great singer here by focusing so much on his guitar work, but I don’t think he took it too badly. He also asked me about the 15 year old eligibility thing and commented after I stopped the video that it was clear I wasn’t a big fan by the face I made. I think he also …

Continue reading ‘Fantasia For Real’ back Sept. 19 on VH1 and get a free Bo Bice song! Casey James interview »

‘Idol’ alums may find new job outlet: cruise ships

ryndamx-inset-communitySimon Cowell’s favorite early insult to  contestants was: “That sounded like a cruise ship performance.”

Well, now some of those former “Idol” alums can live out that dream via Holland America Cruises, according to this USA Today story.

“With this new approach we’ve focused on getting top-notch performers, and you’ll see more faces from Broadway, American Idol and other well-known performance outlets gracing our stage,” executive vice president Richard Meadows says. “We’re looking to share meaningful entertainment experiences with our guests.”

Whose careers are at a point where this might be a viable option?  I’m thinking anybody who doesn’t seem to be doing much in the public eye lately, along the lines of R.J. Helton, Gina Glocksen, Haley Scarnato or Lisa Tucker. (Oops. Earlier, I wrote Lisa Taylor!)

Continue reading ‘Idol’ alums may find new job outlet: cruise ships »

Nigel still wants Paula, dubs Randy a ‘Barnacle;’ plus, the Aaron Kelly interview

lythgoe_nigel_02Nigel Lythgoe, perhaps feeling nostalgic, still wants Paula Abdul back on “Idol.” But given her obligations to CBS’s new dance show, that’s highly unlikely.

“I still love Paula,” Lythgoe told Variety. “She’s signed to CBS, probably exclusively, but I’d recommend we have her in a heartbeat.”

Lythgoe’s deal was finalized earlier this week to return as an executive producer for the show and Fox officially announced the news this morning. Co-executive producers Ken Warwick and Cecile Frot-Coutaz, who have also been there from the beginning, have no choice but to bring him back in the fold. Given the criticisms the show has faced the two years minus Lythgoe, I’m sure they interpret this as a rebuke of their own abilities to run the show without him.

In retrospect, do you miss Paula on the judge’s panel

  • Yes, no matter what!
  • Yes, given what the replacements fed us
  • Nope. Never had, never will.

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He shot down ideas of him being a judge but …

Continue reading Nigel still wants Paula, dubs Randy a ‘Barnacle;’ plus, the Aaron Kelly interview »

What does Mr. Vote For the Worst think of all the changes?

Sanjaya helped  put VoteFortheWorst.com on the map

Sanjaya helped put VoteFortheWorst.com on the map

I write a column for the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s print edition each Monday. For next week, I’ve decided to write about “Idol” given all the speculation. So what if it’s off season? I have to write about something each week. Anyway, I queried Dave Della Terza, the man behind VoteFortheWorst.com. He knows I wasn’t a fan  of his site when they first came out but have become an avid convert. The way they point out the absurdities and inanities of “Idol” worked especially well for a painful season like this past one.

Anyway, here’s the Q&A via email verbatim:

With all the speculation and changes going on with “Idol,” I was wondering what your thoughts are about all that’s going on.

I am glad there’s an Idol shakeup. It’s been a long time coming. The show was failing miserably and the producers finally get that they need to change things or season 10 will be the last. I don’t think the show is doing enough though. Idol needs …

Continue reading What does Mr. Vote For the Worst think of all the changes? »

Crystal Bowersox and I talk diabetes, ‘Pants on the Ground’ guy still alive

Crrystal-emoting

In the second of five interviews I did Sunday at the “Idols Live” tour at Gwinnett Arena, here is runner-up Crystal Bowersox.

For a non-diabetic, the first three minutes of this interview might be 100% befuddling but Crystal and I bonded over our insulin pumps and issues of boluses and blood sugar levels. She has the same brand pump as me, just the newer version and also has a relatively new set up where her blood sugar is monitored all the time. We eventually get around to talking music and the tour and such, too, so for the rest of you not on a pump, not all is lost!

And Larry Platt, the man behind “Pants on the Ground,” debunked rumors he was dead.

Continue reading Crystal Bowersox and I talk diabetes, ‘Pants on the Ground’ guy still alive »

‘American Idol’ drops Sony for Universal Music Group in distribution deal, Adam Lambert snubbed by VMAs

UNIVERSAL_MUSIC_GROUP-logo-67DF6E303C-seeklogo.com

In a change that won’t matter to most readers but might impact some “Idol” alums, “Idol” has dropped its nine-season distribution deal with Sony Music in favor of Universal Music Group starting season 10, according to the Los Angeles Times. Sony BMG, with labels such as Jive and RCA, has handled all the winners and runners up over the years, plus a few choice others such as Danny Gokey and Kellie Pickler. (Sony had right of first refusal for the top 12 artists for a short period of time each year.)

Some of the more successful artists are still with Sony BMG such as Jordin Sparks, Carrie Underwood, Daughtry and David Cook, but many who didn’t achieve long-term album success such as Taylor Hicks and Justin Guarini were dropped.

I can’t say the timing is good for Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox, both of whom will still be tied with Sony. How much energy will Sony put into those two artists now? Will they treat them and other alums any differently now?

Album sales have dropped …

Continue reading ‘American Idol’ drops Sony for Universal Music Group in distribution deal, Adam Lambert snubbed by VMAs »

Another big audition city in the New York area; Steven Tyler all but confirms his arrival on ‘Idol’

The Meadowlands in New Jersey has drawn more than 17,000 people for auditions, one of the bigger turnouts in recent years and more than the 16,000 in Nashville. Sure, the show is losing viewership, but all this press about who will replace Simon Cowell and the lowering the eligibility age, I suspect, has fueled the pool of people who want to be on the show. Another factor: only six audition cities this year instead of the usual seven. That means folks may be traveling more to get to sites.

So with Nashville (16,000), Milwaukee (10,000) and New Orleans (6,000) on top of the Meadowlands, we have 49,000 people try out so far. There are two more cities to go: San Francisco and Austin.

CREDIT: AP

CREDIT: AP

-Steven Tyler has all but confirmed he’s joining “Idol.” On Kidd Kraddock in the Morning, a syndicated show, he promises to be upfront: “I would be honest to the ones that think they have it, and I would be truthful in the sense that if, to those that have it, they don’t have it yet …

Continue reading Another big audition city in the New York area; Steven Tyler all but confirms his arrival on ‘Idol’ »