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Archive for 2011

‘Idol’ coverage moves to ‘Radio & TV Talk’

In case you are just getting back into “Idol,” this blog is now dormant.

“American Idol” and related coverage has moved to my “Radio and TV Talk” blog.

There is a dedicated page where you can track “Idol” in a more specific way. Most of the regulars who stick around off season are already there.

Please join us at our new home!

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

Continue reading ‘Idol’ coverage moves to ‘Radio & TV Talk’ »

‘Idol’ coverage moving, not ending

The original "Idol' logo circa 2002

The original "Idol' logo circa 2002

In February, 2005, as season four of “American Idol” launched, the AJC was seeking interesting blog topics. An editor thought “Idol” as the No. 1 show in America would work. She asked me to handle it since I’d already been covering the show since its inception in 2002.

At first, I did so, reluctantly. I already had another blog covering radio. But once I started writing recaps of the show, I realized that this could be fun. It was more free-form writing than I was used to. Little by little, people started joining in the conversation. Even after Carrie Underwood won, I decided to keep the blog going in the off season. That first summer and fall,  I felt like I was pretty much writing to myself.

But 2006 came and the blog blossomed, coinciding with what was the peak year of “Idol” popularity. Credit the likes of Chris Daughtry, Kellie Pickler, Katharine McPhee, Elliott Yamin and the winner, Taylor Hicks.  I was finding my own “Idol” voice as …

Continue reading ‘Idol’ coverage moving, not ending »

Kelly Clarkson performs ‘Mr. Know It All’ on Leno

Kelly Clarkson on Jay Leno looks great all glammed up. And sounds amazing, as always:

The song is now at No. 27 on the Mediabase top 40 charts in its second full week.

Continue reading Kelly Clarkson performs ‘Mr. Know It All’ on Leno »

The “Idols Live” tour wraps in the Phillipines

Thia Megia and Scotty McCreery show up at a “TRL”-type show in the Phillipines called “Eat Bulaga.”

- The same week as “The X Factor” debuting, “Idol” has its final audition city in East Rutherford, N.J. this week.

- Oh, did I forget to say “The X Factor” is debuting Wednesday?

- On “Glee,” Quinn goes “bad’ by getting a Ryan Seacrest tattoo on her lower back. Huh?

Continue reading The “Idols Live” tour wraps in the Phillipines »

‘X Factor’ gives press the first episode

simon cowell

Fox made the first two hours available for the media a few days ahead of time. I just finished it. There are probably no major surprises per se. We know the format well. There are auditions mixed with a few back stories. The editing is a bit looser than “Idol.” They tend to let singers go significantly longer than on “Idol,” which is a good thing when the singers are good. The cinematography, I think, is sharper and slicker than the work done on “Idol.”

Simon Cowell is engaged, at least, in a way we haven’t seen since the early years of “Idol.” He better be. He’s the creator! It’s comforting to see Paula Abdul and Simon together again. But folks seeking crazy Paula will be disappointed, at least in this first episode.

I really like L.A. Reid. He’s serious, as befits a record executive, but also carries real weight, too, given his pedigree. When he name drops, it’s for real (compared to, say, Randy Jackson.) He can get into the performances, too.

Nicole Scherzinger? Redundant, …

Continue reading ‘X Factor’ gives press the first episode »

‘American Idol’ loses Emmy again for best reality competition program… to ‘Amazing Race’

‘The Amazing Race’ returned to its crown of glory with its eighth Emmy for best reality competition program. The category has been around nine years. Last year, Bravo’s “Top Chef” upset “Race” for one year.

“American Idol”? Lost again. It’s been nominated every year since the category was created.

Sorry, Nigel!

Continue reading ‘American Idol’ loses Emmy again for best reality competition program… to ‘Amazing Race’ »

Trenyce starring in Michael Jackson tribute in London’s West End

Trenyce, in a promo photo when she did the musical "Dreamgirls"

Trenyce, in a promo photo when she did the musical "Dreamgirls"

Trenyce, who has done quite a bit of theater since season two of ‘Idol,” is the female lead in “Thriller Live,” a musical tribute to Michael Jackson in London’s West End.

Hollywood Reporter talked to her.

THR: You’re the only American lead in the show. Lots of Idols have starred on Broadway or have done national tours in the U.S. How did you find yourself in London?

Trenyce: The opportunity first came up a while ago when I was doing Ain’t Misbehavin’ with Ruben Studdard and Frenchie Davis, but at the time I was committed to that show. A year later I was asked again to do Thriller Live but my manager wasn’t happy about sending me away when we were focused on me getting work in the States, so I passed. In June 2010 I was asked again and this time the casting director convinced me it was a good idea and would give me the chance to see the world and establish myself as an artist in another country, …

Continue reading Trenyce starring in Michael Jackson tribute in London’s West End »

Simon Cowell promotes ‘X Factor’ yet again: he’s ‘psyched’ to be back on the air again

'X Factor,' here they come on Sept. 21! CREDIT: Fox

'X Factor,' here they come on Sept. 21! CREDIT: Fox

Finally, “The X Factor” is near.

Simon Cowell announced he was leaving ‘Idol” and starting the  U.S. version of “X Factor” in the spring of 2010. The tease has been going on so long, it’s hard to believe the actual show is a mere six days away! (Wednesday, Sept. 21, to be exact)

He did yet another press conference with plebes like me on Tuesday. Here are some of the highlights. Sadly, not all the questions were terribly smart but that’s how these press conferences go.

Isn’t it ironic? Asked what he’d think if “Idol” won an Emmy this year, he said he’d find it “funny” and then joke that he’d claim victory for it since an Emmy can sometimes be perceived as a lifetime achievement award.

Nerves? “It’s good nerves. I’m really psyched. We’re going to do something like a film premiere in a cinema. It’s brilliant.” [I guess they were having some sort of red carpet event like a movie.]

Will they encourage different versions of famous …

Continue reading Simon Cowell promotes ‘X Factor’ yet again: he’s ‘psyched’ to be back on the air again »

E!News: Pia Toscano breaks up with Mark Ballas

Pia Toscano is working on her album right now  CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Pia Toscano is working on her album right now CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

E! News reports that Pia Toscano has broken up with “Dancing With the Stars’ dancer Mark Ballas.

The report did not say why. The two started dating while she was on “Idol.” The two shows were shot in adjoining studios so that’s how the pair crossed paths.

- I was part of the Simon Cowell press conference yesterday. I haven’t had time to summarize it but I did ask him what songs he never wants to hear again. You’d be surprised by a couple of his choices.

- On a Hub reality show “Majors & Minors,” Jordin Sparks and Adam Lambert have stopped by to mentor. Now, Jennifer Hudson is next.

- Nigel Lythgoe now has his own production company and is working on projects with Alice Cooper, Pussycat Doll found Robin Antin and relationship expert Dr. Laura Berman.

Continue reading E!News: Pia Toscano breaks up with Mark Ballas »

Diana DeGarmo nabs regular role on ‘The Young and the Restless’

CREDIT: Her Facebook fan page

CREDIT: Her Facebook fan page

Diana DeGarmo, fresh off a year-long starring role on the national tour of “9 to 5,” has found a potentially longer gig as a regular cast member of the top soap opera around, CBS’s “The Young and the Restless.”

Sure, soaps are a dying breed but this one has been No. 1 for years and is guaranteed on CBS through at least 2013. So if viewers like her character, Diana could have a long-term gig.

TV Guide broke the news and DeGarmo confirmed it yesterday in a Tweet.  They say she is going to play Angelina, the daughter of a Jersey mob boss. So after working a Dolly Parton accent for “9 to 5,” she’ll now be honing her Jersey lilt. Boning up on “Jersey Shore” reruns should help!

Continue reading Diana DeGarmo nabs regular role on ‘The Young and the Restless’ »