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Archive for July, 2011

Clay Aiken guest stars July 24 on ‘Drop Dead Diva’

AP photo

AP photo

“Drop Dead Diva” in a mere three seasons has become a guest star mecca, mostly of the gay-friendly variety. Liza Minnelli. Paula Abdul. Rosie O’Donnell. Tim Gunn. Wendy Williams. Kathy Griffin is coming up soon.

In an upcoming July 24th episode featuring a lesbian high school couple fighting to be part of a high school prom, the Lifetime show throws in its first former “American Idol” contestants: Clay Aiken.

Aiken did a spot on “Scrubs” a few years back but hasn’t done too much acting over the years. In this case, he plays a marketing executive who marries a mail-order bride. He is a witness in a case involving one of the recurrent characters on the show. There is no singing. I just screened it. He did a perfectly fine job.

Deliberately, the producers (including a fellow Class of 1991 Princetonian Josh Berman) added other well-known openly gay actors. Wanda Sykes is hilarious as a sardonic judge. Lance Bass plays a commercial director. Amanda Bearse (”Married…With …

Continue reading Clay Aiken guest stars July 24 on ‘Drop Dead Diva’ »

Sorry, Kara: Bravo’s non hit ‘Platinum Hit’ bumped to Friday nights

Jewel and Kara DioGuardi's show is a certain candidate for cancellation after this season given its tepid ratings. CREDIT: Bravo
Jewel and Kara DioGuardi’s show is a certain candidate for cancellation after this season given its tepid ratings. CREDIT: Bravo

I’ve enjoyed “Platinum Hit” for what it’s worth. But clearly not many others are. The show, which features Jewel and “Idol” refugee judge Kara DioGuardi, has been drawing fewer and fewer viewers each week since its debut.

On June 27, the last time it aired on Monday, the show drew a mere 397,000 viewers.

That is far less than any of Bravo’s “Real Housewives” shows and even fewer than its “Project Runway” ripoff “Fashion Show.”

So Bravo, instead of canceling it outright, is burying it at 8 p.m. Fridays. I have it on DVR so  I’ll keep tracking it. What do you think went wrong with this show?

I have found both Kara and Jewel a bit chilly but not repulsive. A handful of the contestants have shown enough personality to be passably memorable, including Jes Hudack and Jackie Tohn, the two former “Idol’ contestants. Mr. Eye Roller Nick Nittoli is the …

Continue reading Sorry, Kara: Bravo’s non hit ‘Platinum Hit’ bumped to Friday nights »

Pia Toscano signs a deal, releases single July 12, ‘Idols Live’ debuts in Utah

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Pia Toscano. CREDIT: AP

In a first, a non-winner on “American Idol” will sing an original song on the “Idols Live!” tour. Yes, it’s ninth place finisher Pia Toscano, the pretty gal with a great voice and almost no stagecraft.

She also signed a deal with Interscope Records.

The “Idols Live” tour started last night in Utah.

Toscano is the first solo singer after a group sing with the women.  This is different from the past when the 10th place finisher usually performs first. (There are 11 this year, too). Toscano, according to Idol Chatter, sang Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind” and Rihanna’s “California King Bed” with Stefano Langone.

Later, she also sang “This Time,” her new single which drops July 12, on the tour.

If you want to be totally spoiled before the sold-out Gwinnett Arena show July 26, the entire set list is here. This show includes far more duets and group sings than most previous years. And you’ll get to hear Scotty McCreery sing that entire Josh Turner song …

Continue reading Pia Toscano signs a deal, releases single July 12, ‘Idols Live’ debuts in Utah »

‘Rock of Ages’ far more fun than you’d think

Constantine Maroulis, as Drew, with Elicia MacKenzie, who plays Sherrie. PHOTO CREDITS: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Constantine Maroulis, as Drew, with Elicia MacKenzie, who plays Sherrie. PHOTO CREDITS: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

I like American cheese. It’s comforting and consistently tasty, if not exactly challenging to the palate.

That’s probably why “Rock of Ages” goes down so well. The song list includes tunes from Night Ranger, Warrant, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar and yes, of course, Journey.  For people in their 30s and 40s, this is childhood redux.

And the role of Drew was tailor-made for Constantine Maroulis, the cheesy rocker archetype from season four of “American Idol.” (The real rocker in the group that year? Runner-up Bo Bice.)

constantine singing

Drew is dorky and sweet but has rock-n-roll aspirations. He works barback at the Bourbon Room, a 1980s dive bar in Los Angeles on the Sunset Strip. There, he meets Sherrie, a small-town girl straight out of that Journey song “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” A narrator, tongue firmly in cheek, provides the play by play. The writers keep things light and …

Continue reading ‘Rock of Ages’ far more fun than you’d think »

Elliott Yamin coming to Smith’s Olde Bar Sept. 25; William Hung still getting work!

Elliott Yamin - Gather Round

Elliott Yamin is making his first-ever solo stop in Atlanta five years after his appearance on “Idol.” He’ll be at Smith’s Olde Bar on Sept. 25. Tix are $15, $18 day of show.

I’m going to be on vacation out of the country that day, unfortunately, but I’ll try to at least talk to him by phone again before then.

Yamin, who finished third season five, released an album in Japan not too long ago and should have a new release here in the States by the time the tour starts.

- And in one of the most surprising turns, William Hung, seven years after his notorious time on “Idol,” still manages to get gigs. I’m not sure he can generate the appearance fees he did back in 2005 but here he is at a minor-league baseball game.  I’m also not sure if he has ever gotten the joke. Based on this video, he has  not gotten much better as a singer either.

Continue reading Elliott Yamin coming to Smith’s Olde Bar Sept. 25; William Hung still getting work! »

Mariah Carey mentor on ‘X Factor’?

Mariah Carey. CREDIT: AP

Mariah Carey. CREDIT: AP

When Simon Cowell spoke with me a couple months ago, he said he wanted Mariah Carey to be part of U.S. version of  “The X Factor,” though he wasn’t sure she’d be ideal as a judge. (With auditions starting this spring, the timing wouldn’t have worked anyway.)

But he is trying hard to find a place for her, possibly as a mentor, according to EW.com.

The show debuts Sept. 21. on Fox.

- Mandisa has tweeted that she will be doing “Minute With Mandisa” bits on Atlanta-based GMC TV at 7:10 a.m. and 8:40 a.m. starting today.

Continue reading Mariah Carey mentor on ‘X Factor’? »

Diana DeGarmo tonight at Lenox Square Mall for July 4th celebration

Diana DeGarmo's Twitter photo

Diana DeGarmo's Twitter photo

Just a reminder that Diana DeGarmo is performing tonight at Lenox Square Mall for free. She goes on at about 8:45 p.m.

DeGarmo will precede the massive fireworks display over the Macy’s.

If you want to watch it on TV instead, it will be on Channel 2. But since the station is obligated to air “The Bachelorette” tonight, it won’t air until 10 p.m.

Jordin Sparks will perform in D.C. tonight and you can see her on GPB at 8 p.m. on “A Capitol Fourth 2011.”

Jennifer Hudson will be at the New York City Macy’s fireworks display, which will air tonight (tape delayed) at 10 p.m. on 11 Alive.

And Crystal Bowersox will be at Centennial Olympic Park tonight before the fireworks there. You can watch her on 11 Alive at 9 p.m.

Continue reading Diana DeGarmo tonight at Lenox Square Mall for July 4th celebration »

Kevin Covais a recurring character on new ABC Family show ‘State of Georgia’cter

Kevin Covais plays a dorky scientist on "State of Georgia," the new ABC Family comedy starring Raven-Symone. CREDIT: ABC Family

Kevin Covais plays a dorky scientist on "State of Georgia," the new ABC Family comedy starring Raven-Symone. CREDIT: ABC Family

Kevin Covais, 22, who finished 11th season five, appears this Wednesday as a dorky scientist named Lewis on “State of Georgia,” the new ABC Family series starring Raven-Symone.

I’m sorry to say the show itself is not anything that’s going to set the world on fire in terms of humor but it’s nice to see Kevin get some work in the acting world, especially since he is hardly Patrick Dempsey material. His role is “recurring,” which means he’s not on every episode but on a few of them.

In case you miss it Wednesday at 8:30 p.m., he shows up in the second scene where Majandra Delfino, who plays Raven’s scientist best friend Jo, tells a group of “Big Bang” like guys that she’s leading a next generation Space Shuttle project. He says he should be the one leading it since he knows how to “naturally take over a room.” Plus, “my mom wrote [the professor] a …

Continue reading Kevin Covais a recurring character on new ABC Family show ‘State of Georgia’cter »

A talk with Bucky Covington, coming to Wild Bill’s Friday, July 1

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Bucky Covington was about to release his second album in 2009 when Lyric Street, his label, went kaput.

And in this day and age of shrinking fortunes in the record business, he has struggled to find another label. In an interview earlier this week, he said he’s getting close to a deal with a new label though he can’t say who yet. “It held me back more than a year,” he said. “It was frustrating. There was nothing I could do about it.”

In the interim, he makes most of his money touring, though he has only one full album under his belt. Fortunately, that album generated several modest hits (”I’ll Walk,” “It’s Good To Be Us,” “A Different World.”)  He’s also released three other singles, none which made the top 20.

With his income, he was able to afford to purchase a 90-acre farm outside of Nashville. Most of it is actually woodland and trails, not a farm with tomatoes and corn. He does mow six or seven acres of grass with a $9,000 lawn tractor. “Great thing about 90-acre farm …

Continue reading A talk with Bucky Covington, coming to Wild Bill’s Friday, July 1 »

Slow debut for David Cook’s second post-’Idol’ album ‘This Loud Morning’

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“If you hear this on the radio, then we’ve already said our last goodbye.”
- “The Last Goodbye.” David Cook

David Cook’s current single “The Last Goodbye,” released in April, is not being heard much on the radio.

It’s at No. 36 on the Mediabase 24/7 Hot AC chart and wasn’t even pitched to top 40. (Not even half the stations in the Hot AC genre are spinning it.) This isn’t helping album sales. Estimated first-week sales of his latest album “This Loud Morning” are set to be around 40,000, according to estimates from HitsDailyDouble.

Even with reduced expectations in this day and age for album sales and the shine of “Idol” long gone, Cook’s dropoff is rather severe. He sold 280,000 copies the first week of his self-titled first post-’Idol” album in 2008.

The music business is harsh, isn’t it? What do you think of “The Last Goodbye”? While it isn’t terribly original, it’s passably catchy and rather pop-rockish. …

Continue reading Slow debut for David Cook’s second post-’Idol’ album ‘This Loud Morning’ »