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Archive for June, 2011

‘The Voice’ auditions set, including Atlanta August 5-6

The-Voice-2-Casting-Flyer

NBC fished around for quality contestants for the first season of “The Voice.” For season two, they are doing some casting calls and even has an “audition tool.”

Carson Daly explains here and you can try out, too! Or you can register here for dates in Chicago, New York, Nashville, Orlando, Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Atlanta (August 5-6).

There is even a “rating” for pitch and tone, kind of like karaoke games. I wouldn’t even dare to try! I’m afraid to see how badly I’d do!

- Julianne Hough, in an interview with parade.com,  says she and Ryan Seacrest make a “good team.” Details? None. But this is one of the few times I’ve seen her even acknowledge the relationship. Seacrest himself stays mum.

- Two former “Idol” contestants are on “Platinum Hit.” One, sweet Jes Hudak from season five (she made into Hollywood) is falling for an engineer who has shown songwriting prowess named Johnny. Loquacious Jackie Tohn, who made it to the top 36 from season eight, is a more …

Continue reading ‘The Voice’ auditions set, including Atlanta August 5-6 »

Interview with Anthony Fedorov, starring in ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ at Fox Theatre June 21-26

2249149anthony_8x10_headshotSeason four of “American Idol” is best remembered for generating the show’s most successful artist to date: Carrie Underwood.

That’s not an easy comparison for the rest of the class. But several have found a home in theater, including Tony-nominated Constantine Maroulis and fourth place finisher Anthony Fedorov, who is starring in a week-long production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at the Fox Theatre starting June 21

On ”Idol,” Fedorov was known for crooning ballads as well as a riveting back story: as a child, he had a tracheotomy that almost robbed him of speech. Nowadays, his powerful pipes serve him well on the big stage. Over the past two years, he has become a popular go-to person as the lead in “Joseph” productions from Seattle to Boston to Japan. “I guess they can’t find anybody better!” he joked.

The Andrew Lloyd Weber musical, developed in the early 1970s and a popular option for school productions worldwide ever since, follows the …

Continue reading Interview with Anthony Fedorov, starring in ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ at Fox Theatre June 21-26 »

‘Idol’ audition dates; Ryan Seacrest rumors about replacing Regis

The specific dates for the 11th edition of “American Idol” auditions are now set:

- St. Louis June 28

- Portland, OR July 2

- San Diego, July 15

- Charleston, S.C., July 22

- Denver, July 29

- Houston, August 26

There appear to be no changes in qualifications, with contestants from 15 to 28 years old.

- According to MJ, The Wall Street Journal said Ryan Seacrest has been floated as a possibility to replace Regis Philbin. Really? Where would he find the time? It sounds unlikely.

- I was supposed to meet up with Paris Bennett yesterday at the “Real Men Can Cook” charity event at the Atlanta Civic Center, where I was a judge. But her flight from some gig she had in the Caribbean was late and she arrived at 5:45 p.m., long after I had left the event, which was set to end at 6 p.m. The publicist said she sang three songs.

- Nigel Lythgoe accidentally posted his cel phone number on Twitter instead of “direct messaging” someone. Sure beats what happened to Anthony …

Continue reading ‘Idol’ audition dates; Ryan Seacrest rumors about replacing Regis »

Fantasia sings ‘Idol’ coronation song ‘I Believe’ to Ron Clark Academy

Fantasia made a surprise appearance at the Ferst Center for the Ron Clark Academy graduation. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Fantasia made a surprise appearance at the Ferst Center for the Ron Clark Academy graduation. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Five years ago, I covered “The Ron Clark Story” on TNT starring Matthew Perry. It was based on the true story of Ron Clark, a North Carolina boy who landed a teaching job in New York City and found a way to touch the kids. He eventually wrote a book outlining his philosophies on teaching. Oprah Winfrey put him on the show and even recommended to him he use the monies for bigger and better things.

That led to the Ron Clark Academy in South Atlanta, an incubator of sorts where he teaches about 80 students but also brings in thousands of teachers a year from around the world to see his practices in action. The work is rigorous but the atmosphere is nurturing. He’ll even teach kids songs to help them learn. And he’s a ball of energy, with a tendency to jump on tables to prove his points. He and fellow educator Kim Bearden raised millions from individuals, …

Continue reading Fantasia sings ‘Idol’ coronation song ‘I Believe’ to Ron Clark Academy »

Christina Aguilera paid $225,000 per hour on ‘The Voice’

AP photo of Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera

AP photo of Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera

The Hollywood Reporter has an in-depth story about how NBC turned “The Voice” into its first big hit in years. It’s worth a read.

The show costs $2.3 million an hour to produce, which is pretty darn high. Nearly 10 % of that cost is paying Christina Aguilera, who the story says is paid $225,000 an hour. Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton get paid $75,000 each per hour, still pretty darn good pay.

When the next season launches, all four coaches are expected to be back, and de Mol says he envisions five to six audition episodes (up from only two this year). Telegdy is eager to build the backstories of the contestants and depict more of the coaching process in longer “battle round” episodes. And if all continues to go well, NBC hopes to have two installments of Voice — one in the fall and one in the spring — for the 2012-13 season.

While she came across fairly well during the taped auditions, she has been far more …

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Paris Bennett coming to ‘Real Men Cook’ charity event June 19; two free tickets to Fox Theatre 6/21 ‘Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’

CREDIT: Real Men Cook handout

CREDIT: Real Men Cook handout

Paris Bennett, season five “Idol” finalist who lived briefly in Fayetteville years ago and has family here, is going to sing a couple of songs at this Sunday’s 22nd annual “Real Men Cook” charity event set at the Atlanta Civic Center from 3 to 6 p.m.

She’s been off the radar for a long time. I have no idea what she’s been up to since she had her baby a couple years ago. Hopefully, I’ll get to ask her Sunday.

Tickets are available at ticket outlets throughout Atlanta or online at www.realmencook.com or www.ticketannex.com. Prices are $20 in advance for adults, $25 at the door; $10 in advance for kids, $15 at the door.

Among the charities that will benefit include The Lead Foundation, which provides training and leadership for youth, and STAND Inc.,a program assisting men in re-entry into society after imprisonment.

I’m one of the so-called “celebrity” judges. Last year, Ruben Studdard participated in the event. Don “D.C.” Curry is hosting.

From the …

Continue reading Paris Bennett coming to ‘Real Men Cook’ charity event June 19; two free tickets to Fox Theatre 6/21 ‘Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ »

Scotty McCreery’s ‘I Love You This Big’ enters country top 30

Scotty-McCreery-I-Love-You-This-Big

Scotty McCreery’s first single “I Love You This Big,” in its third week, has doubled its spins and is now at No. 26 on the Mediabase 24/7 country chart.

The single has sold 288,000 download tracks so far.

The Bull spun it 12 times this past week. Kicks spun it seven times. Nearly every country station spun it at least once this past week so program directors are giving it a chance, even if many are skeptical of his future.

Lauren Alaina’s “Like My Mother Does” was only spun on 47 out of 131 country stations measured by Mediabase 24/7 and is ranked No. 57 on the country chart. Both Kicks and the Bull are spinning it about once a day.

And in other news:

- Taylor Hicks, Bo Bice and Kellie Pickler were part of a Birmingham fundraiser for tornado victims that raised more than $1 million.

- If you follow “So You Think You Can Dance,” Atlanta’s Mitchell Kelly was injured last night and could be eliminated tonight. Melanie Moore of Marietta looks like an early favorite, someone Nigel …

Continue reading Scotty McCreery’s ‘I Love You This Big’ enters country top 30 »

‘The Voice’ recap: live show with Team Adam Levine, Team Cee Lo Green

Vicci Martinez is one of the likely top 8 finishers. CREDIT: NBC

Vicci Martinez is one of the likely top 8 finishers. CREDIT: NBC

This week, we hear Team Adam Levine and Team Cee Lo Green and find out who got the most votes from America from the other two teams.

Team Christina AguileraBeverly McClellan, the bald lesbian rocker, is through! That’s well deserved. She has heart and soul to spare. “I”m shaking in my shoes right now,” she said. Of the remaining three, Christina has to pick among Racquel (a wee young), Elise (weakest of the group) and Frenchie. Not surprisingly, former “Idol” Frenchie Davis earned her spot through to the final eight.

Team Blake Shelton: Dia Frampton, who pulled out an impressive “Heartless” last week, got the most votes. That leaves Blake with a tough decision among Patrick (a bit bland in the country vein), Jared (the older rocker and my favorite of the final three) and Xenia (interesting voice, still working on her stage presence). Blake opted to choose the woman with the most potential, teenager Xenia.

My …

Continue reading ‘The Voice’ recap: live show with Team Adam Levine, Team Cee Lo Green »

Forbes places Carrie Underwood No. 19 as wealthiest under-30 celebrities

AP photo

AP photo

On a list peppered with tennis and basketball stars, “Twilight” actors and pop stars, Carrie Underwood comes in at No. 19 of the Forbes top 20 celebrity earners for those under the age of 30.

Underwood, who is in Australia to promote her film “Soul Surfer,”  earned an estimated $15 million from her tour and the movie. She has ten No. 1 country hits and is now considered the most successful “Idol” alum to date.

Tops on the list was Lady Gaga ($90 million) and very occasional Atlantan Justin Bieber ($53 million). LeBron James of the Miami Heat, who is licking his wounds this week, came in No. 3 with tennis star Roger Federer at No. 4. Check out the list here though it’s set up to maximize page views, not convenience.

- Newt Gingrich during the presidential debate last night was asked “Idol” or “Dancing With the Stars.” He picked “Idol.”  I guess that’s a better question than “Boxers or briefs.”

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, rho@ajc.com, …

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You want an ‘Idol’ alum for your party? Here are some rates

Kelly at May's Coca Cola 150th anniversary celebration at Centennial Olympic Park where she was paid very very well. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Kelly at May's Coca Cola 150th anniversary celebration at Centennial Olympic Park where she was paid very very well. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

MJ found Begy Booking International’s rates for hiring an “American Idol” contestant out for an event. She said they may be out of date and can’t vouch for their accuracy but it’s not surprising you’d need a pretty deep wallet to book Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson.

When Kellie Carrie Fan and I were trying to figure out how much Coca Cola a few weeks ago had been paid for Kelly Clarkson to show up to sing 10 songs at Centennial Olympic Park, we figured it was definitely in the low six figures.  We were likely low if this site is accurate because it says her asking price starts at breathtaking $350,000. Lee what’s his face? A relative bargain starting at $15,000.

I am presuming these are for private and corporate events and involves actual singing, not just merely showing up and taking pictures or singing autographs.

We Are The …

Continue reading You want an ‘Idol’ alum for your party? Here are some rates »