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Archive for March, 2011

Motown suggestions for the top 11

MotownMotown is a well-picked field in “Idol” annals even when it wasn’t a specific theme. But it’s still a wonderful library and not every song has been picked over. (Please avoid “Superstition,” though.) I’ll throw some suggestions for each singer.  Here are some right now. I’ll add some more later if I have time.

1. Scott McCreery –  This is going to be one of the tougher challenges for Scotty to date given his penchant for exclusively country songs. I’d love to hear him do a deep-throated version of “Three Times a Lady” by the Commodores.
2. Pia Toscano – A bit like Kat McPhee, her singing style is not terribly modern. Going Motown probably won’t help her. Maybe she should try something a bit more upbeat and move around the stage. “Heatwave” Martha & the Vandellas (Kimberley Locke did a good job with this one in 2003.); “Don’t Leave Me This Way” Thelma Houston.
3. James Durbin –He likes his rock and he’ll rev it up to 11 when he can. He could do a great job of the Red Hot Chilli …

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Season 5’s Lisa Tucker cast on Atlanta-based ‘Vampire Diaries;’ Frenchie Davis on ‘The Voice’!

lisa_tuckerLisa Tucker, who finished 10th on “American Idol” season 5, has been cast for an upcoming role on the CW’s “The Vampire Diaries,” which is shot here in Atlanta, according to Zap2it.com.

Tucker, 21, has nabbed a few small roles over the years on shows such “The O.C.” in 2006, “Zoey 101″ in 2007-08 and  “The Game” in 2009.  On “The Vampire Diaries,” she plays Greta Martin, Lukas’ sister and a witch. She’s set to be on at least two starting April 21 but may last up to four episodes, the story said.

According to a previous Zap2it.com story, Klaus has “been holding Greta captive as he tries to find a new way to break the sun and moon curse — at least, that’s what Luka and Dr. Martin believe.”

-And who would have thunk NBC would recycle “Idol” contestants? During Thursday’s taping on upcoming  “The Voice,” Frenchie Davis, famously dumped season two for racy photos online before making it to the finals and then had a big career on Broadway, was picked by Christina Aguilera,

Continue reading Season 5’s Lisa Tucker cast on Atlanta-based ‘Vampire Diaries;’ Frenchie Davis on ‘The Voice’! »

Jennifer Hudson blows the roof off the W Hotel

Jennifer Hudson at the W Hotel Midtown March 17, 2012. PHOTO CREDITS: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Jennifer Hudson at the W Hotel Midtown at a V-103 event sponsored by Hennessy Black. March 17, 2012. PHOTO CREDITS: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Jennifer Hudson nearly blew the roof off the W Hotel last night for a V-103 promotional Soul Sessions concert before a few hundred rapt fans.

Besides sampling songs from her upcoming album “I Remember Me” including her first single “Where You At,” her 40-minute set included her hit “Spotlight” from her first album and the song that she will be fated to sing the rest of her life from “Dreamgirls”: “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going.” It’s a warm-up for folks who have purchased tickets for her appearance at Chastain Park Ampthitheatre July 2.

As anyone who has seen her lately, she has lost a ton of weight and looks far better than she did three years ago when she did a similar Soul Sessions for V-103 at a club at Underground Atlanta. And she sounded solid as always. She never missed a beat while wading into the crowd for two …

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Theme next week: Motown! Sugarland and Jennifer Hudson on results show

Jennifer Hudson arrives before the 83rd Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Jennifer Hudson arrives before the 83rd Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

So much for all this talk of avoiding genre-only themes. The classic Motown theme is back. It was the very first theme for the top 10 season one.

It was also the theme two seasons ago when the season 8 crew flew to Detroit to meet Berry Gordy. That was the night Adam Lambert sang “Tracks of My Tears” with an Elvis look, Danny Gokey worked “People Get Ready” and Allison Iraheta got the pimp spot with “Papa Was A Rolling Stone.”

And it should be fun to see Scotty McCreery stretch himself. We’ll look early next week to see what Motown tunes might work for him.

Atlanta’s Sugarland makes an “Idol” debut Thursday while Jennifer Hudson (photos and video from last night forthcoming!) will perform on the results show next Thursday.

For nostalgia’s sake, here is Kelly Clarkson on Motown night season one. And no,  she didn’t sing “Natural …

Continue reading Theme next week: Motown! Sugarland and Jennifer Hudson on results show »

Who’s out on ‘American Idol’ top 12?

AMERICAN IDOL: Karen Rodriguez performs on AMERICAN IDOL Wednesday, March 16 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/T) on FOX. CR: Ray Mickshaw / FOX.

Karen Rodriguez's outfit did not help her cause Wednesday night. CR: Ray Mickshaw / FOX.

Karen Rodriguez leaving

  • Yes! Justice served.
  • No. It should have been Haley
  • No. It should have been Naimi
  • No. It should have been someone else (besides the three mentioned above)

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I missed the results show live tonight to see Jennifer Hudson blow the roof off the W Hotel tonight. More tomorrow on that.

It sounds like I didn’t miss much. Karen Rodriguez is out. Sure, she got in as one of the top 10 via votes but she wasn’t able to build a bigger fan base the past two weeks. “Pageant-bot” was her nickname on this blog.

She also worked that “ethnic-what-it-is-ness,” as Steven Tyler. That may have helped her to some extent but may have alienated others with her pushiness about it. Last night, she even took a boring Taylor Dayne song, did nothing interesting with it save for throwing in a few lines in Spanish.

Rodriguez was unable to shed much …

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Diana DeGarmo lands first movie role in Val Kilmer ‘Wyatt Earp’ Western

Diana DeGarmo on the red carpet last fall at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame dinner. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Diana DeGarmo on the red carpet last fall at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame dinner. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Snellville native Diana DeGarmo’s career has been focused primarily on theater in recent years, nabbing roles on Broadway and national touring groups.

But she has now jumped into film, landing her first role in a Val Kilmer western called “The First Ride of Wyatt Earp,” according to Variety. She will play the gal a young Wyatt Earp has his eye on.

Based on a true story, pic finds an elderly Earp sitting down with a reporter to reflect on the ride that made him a legend, when the young marshal rounded up a posse to track down the outlaw who mistakenly murdered the woman he loved.

Producers envision this as a “Young Guns” for a new generation. One of Kilmer’s more notable roles was Doc Holliday in 1993’s “Tombstone” back when his career was far more robust than it has been recently.

Continue reading Diana DeGarmo lands first movie role in Val Kilmer ‘Wyatt Earp’ Western »

Odds & ends: L.A. Reid on ‘X Factor’? Stefano Langone’s DUI, ‘Idol’ revenue

from islanddefjam.com

from islanddefjam.com

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Simon Cowell has signed on Island Def Jam chairman L.A. Reid (right, who used to work out of Atlanta many years ago) as an “X Factor” judge. No leaks yet on the other two judges.  I have no idea how good or bad he’d be as a judge.

- “American Idol” drew the highest ad rates last year, averaging $7.11 million per half hour in revenue, down 12 percent from 2009, according to Forbes. Still, that was far ahead of the 2nd most lucrative show, “Two and a Half Men.” ($2.89 million.)

- Preliminary Nielsen tatings last night: To show you how listenership changes by half hour, here’s last night’s breakdown:

8 p.m.: 19.28 mil 6.3/20

8:30 p.m.: 22.08 mil 7.4/22

9 p.m.: 23.26 mil 7.7/22

9:30 p.m.: 24.11 mil 8.2/22

Overall: 22.2 mil 7.4/22

Ratings are down 2 million from last week. You can partly blame daylight savings time, which depresses viewership, especially at the 8 p.m. hour. The ratings, compared to the top 12 a year ago, is …

Continue reading Odds & ends: L.A. Reid on ‘X Factor’? Stefano Langone’s DUI, ‘Idol’ revenue »

‘American Idol’ top 12 performance recap: first disappointing night of the year

Stefano Langone's "If You  Don't Know Me By Now" was one of the best of the night.    CR: Frank MIcelotta / FOX

Stefano Langone's "If You Don't Know Me By Now" was one of the best of the night. CR: Frank MIcelotta / FOX

Who were your top 3 favorite performances tonight? (pick up to 3)

  • Naima Adedapo
  • Casey Abrams
  • Stefano Langone
  • Pia Toscano
  • Karen Rodriguez
  • Scotty McCreery
  • James Durbin
  • Jacob Lusk
  • Lauren Alaina
  • Haley Reinhart
  • Thia Megia
  • Paul McDonald

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It was bound to happen. This may be an incredibly talented crew but the week-in-week-out pressure guarantees an off night will happen.

Tonight was an off night for most of the 12. The theme: songs from the year they were born.

It’s fair to say none of the performances will be considered seminal by season’s end with one possible exception. Stefano Langone, after a tough week, proved he can sing when given the right tune. If he makes it really far, this would be the week that helped him stick around awhile.

Otherwise, many of the early leaders didn’t give their …

Continue reading ‘American Idol’ top 12 performance recap: first disappointing night of the year »

‘American Idol’ live blogging top 12 performance show

Here’s the spot to live blog while “American Idol” airs live from 8 to 10 p.m. EST:

‘American Idol’ live blogging top 12 performance show

A recap will be posted later tonight.

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Kimberly Caldwell promotes her new album ‘Without Regret’ in Atlanta

Kimberly Caldwell visits Ryan Seacrest's The Voice multimedia studio at the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Emory March 9, 2011. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.om

Kimberly Caldwell visits Ryan Seacrest's The Voice multimedia studio at the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Emory March 9, 2011. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.om

Season 2 “Idol” contestant Kimberly Caldwell spent spent several years after the show as a host of various shows on the TV Guide Channel, including its “Idol” shows. She had a career.

But the itch to sing was always there. So when her contract was up last year, she decided to step off and pursue her music career.

Her first album “Without Regret” (Vanguard/Capitol is out April 19 and her pop-dance track “Desperate Girls and Stupid Boys” is getting airplay on 38 radio stations nationwide. It’s not a big hit yet, but it’s catchy.

She’s been doing a radio station tour to jimmy up some support and while in Atlanta last week stopped by Ryan Seacrest’s The Voice multimedia studio at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Emory, which is targeted to terminal and chronically ill kids.

“The ultimate goal of my life is to do an …

Continue reading Kimberly Caldwell promotes her new album ‘Without Regret’ in Atlanta »