I’m on vacation this week so these are pre-written items so you guys can talk amongst yourselves.
I saw several “Idol” alums live this year, plus the usual “Idols Live” tour. And I interviewed several of them by phone and face to face. Here are my top 10 most notable “Idol” moments with links to the original blog entries:
- Carrie Underwood live was probably the highlight of my year. She really blew me away in late October at the Gwinnett Arena, proving to all of us why she won season four and has been such a success since then. She even made a trip on a pickup truck elevated above the crowd work.
- Adam Lambert live. He also proved to me why he’s so popular, selling out mid-sized arenas world wide. In September, at the decidedly un-rock-like venue of the Atlanta Symphony Hall, he gave the incredibly enthusiastic crowd a solid 70-minute theatrical performance, sounding smooth and commanding the stage with panache.
- I caused Anoop Desai a few problems in October. He was in town for a BMI music showcase and I interviewed him by phone. But there was a quote that was misconstrued by Lambert fans. He was genuinely upset when he called me at 7 a.m. in the morning the next day. An excerpt from the blog:
I asked him what his brand is: “It’s smart. It’s intelligent. I’m a gentleman. My music is real. It talks about life and situations I can relate to. You’re never going to hear me singing a song like Kesha or Adam [Lambert.] That’s not my lane. My lane is smart and hip. It’s hooky, it’ s catchy. I want to appeal to simple universal characteristics we all want, which is love.”
UPDATE @ 7:21 AM Friday: Apparently, some Adam Lambert fans had gotten a hold of this and thought Anoop was implying that Adam’s music is not smart or hip or hooky or catchy. That was not what he meant at all. He called me this morning to make that clear. I knew he was simply saying that his style is different from Adam’s, that’s all. Nothing more than that.
- Clay Aiken face to face. When Aiken was visiting Georgia Public Broadcasting for a fund drive, he spent a few minutes talking to me. I decided to solicit questions from his most dedicated fans. I got a sense he has a love-hate relationship with said rabid fans. And he skirted my attempt at a personal question. See for yourself:
- Fantasia live. Last month, I caught Fantasia at the Fox Theatre before a huge crowd of mostly African-American women. She actually put together a thematic, visually enticing show with multiple costume changes and plenty of Fantasia spunk. Naturally, you either embrace her or hate her but there’s no doubt, she is a personality.
- Diana DeGarmo in “9 to 5.” The former Snellville gal has had the most successful theater career of any “Idol” alum. And she proved why she’s so good at it in September, fully embodying Dolly Parton’s feisty Doralee Rhodes part.
- Katharine McPhee at Children’s Healthcare at Egleston. Last month, I met the season five runner up for the first time before her Lenox Square tree lighting performance, and she was nothing but sweet and polite. Better yet, she’ll be back to Atlanta next year for an ABC Family film. And she sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” to this little girl (though it was actually a request from her mom.)
- Ryan Seacrest one on one at the Ronald McDonald House near Emory. For the second year in a row, Ryan came by the Ronald McDonald House before hosting a gala for the non-profit organization. I got to meet his sister, see his parents and his girlfriend. He easily swatted away any questions about Julianne Hough when I talked to him.
- Danny Gokey live. Gokey, an early favorite to win season eight, came in third and decided (surprisingly) to go into country music. He’s had a couple of minor hits. I saw him at a Best Buy in March.