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Archive for August, 2011

The Ryan Seacrest interview on CBS Sunday Morning

ryan-Seacrest-closeup-225x300

CBS Sunday Morning did a nice piece on Ryan Seacrest today. MJ was kind enough to provide the video,which is below.

He was not a good-looking kid and Seacrest teasingly asks his mom Connie why that is. She said she’d pack him healthy lunches but then he’d swap them out for cupcakes. There are some great photos of him, including one when he worked at Star 94, his first real gig.

“It is not my goal to be controversial,” Seacrest said. “I wake up every day thinking, ‘Let’s be vanilla.’ ”

He invests in a half-dozen restaurants. He finally talks a bit about Julianne Hough, however general. “She’s an amazing woman. She has completely made me a better person. She has helped balance my life. My life had been all work all the time. For the first time, there are going to be units of my week and units of my day that will be devoted to a relationship and not just work.”

Do the jokes bother him? “I’m not bothered at all by being the butt of any jokes,” he said. When asked about the gay …

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CBS Sunday Morning profiling Ryan Seacrest; Fantasia not coming to Atlanta this weekend

Continue reading CBS Sunday Morning profiling Ryan Seacrest; Fantasia not coming to Atlanta this weekend »

‘Idol’ in Savannah for auditions; Michael Johns at Tin Roof Cantina Saturday

Steven Tyler, Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez began season 11 judging yesterday in Savannah. The original auditions were done 89 miles up the road in Charleston, S.C. Why they moved this portion of the auditions to Savannah? Don’t know.

Video and photos of Ryan Seacrest were taken by the Savannah Morning News.

There will be a press conference today at the Hyatt hotel with the judges and Seacrest.

- A few years ago, Michael Johns from season 7 spent time in Buckhead playing at venues such as Tin Roof Cantina. Though Tin Roof is in a different location now off North Druid Hills and Briarcliff, he plans to stop by and play a few tunes for old time’s sake this Saturday. This was also the location where his friends held viewing parties while he was on the show in 2008.  Johns now lives in Los Angeles. He emailed me and said he should be there by 10 p.m. I plan to stop by and say hey.

Continue reading ‘Idol’ in Savannah for auditions; Michael Johns at Tin Roof Cantina Saturday »

Okay, now it’s official: Jennifer Lopez back on ‘Idol’

f528e554er-lopez-apGod knows what Jennifer Lopez and her attorneys were demanding that kept “Idol” from finishing her deal with them. But deadline.com, a very reliable source, says it’s finally a done deal after seemingly months of wrangling. I have lost count how many times I have reported this!

It had to be done soon because the trio is set to be in Savannah later this week for the first of seven city audition sites for season 11. Sure, the original first-round auditions were in Charleston but for some reason, they decided to move the next round to Savannah. Why I have no clue. There’s a press conference scheduled Thursday.

First-round auditions for the seventh city, Houston, begins next week but the first six are already in the can. As veterans of “Idol” know, the first round and the rounds which involve the judges are separate. They pare down the 6,000 to 12,000 folks to maybe 100 to 150 per city for J. Lo, Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler to watch. Then “Idol” gives the illusion in January …

Continue reading Okay, now it’s official: Jennifer Lopez back on ‘Idol’ »

Nigel Lythgoe responds to Adam Levine’s critiques about openly gay contestants

CREDIT: Fox

CREDIT: Fox

Nigel Lythgoe responded to Entertainment Weekly to Adam Levine’s critique of “American Idol” not ever noting whether a contestant is gay or not.

You probably saw NBC’s The Voice judge Adam Levine saying Idol should show openly gay contestants. What do you think of that and could that change next season?
NL: To be frank, I didn’t understand why we’re talking about contestants being gay or not gay. I don’t go into my dentist and say, “Are you gay?” I don’t say to contestants on So You Think You Can Dance, “Are you gay?” What does it got to do with me? What does it got to do with anybody? When does privacy stop in this country? If somebody wants to say they’re gay, it’s up to them. You don’t expect us to turn around and say, “Are you gay?” Why would we do that? — “By the way, he’s a Catholic and he supports Obama and here’s his sexuality” — what does that have anything to do with singing talent? Maybe it does for Adam …

Continue reading Nigel Lythgoe responds to Adam Levine’s critiques about openly gay contestants »

‘The Voice’ judge Adam Levine slams ‘Idol’ for not saying when contestants are gay

Adam Levine PHOTO: AP

Adam Levine PHOTO: AP

“American Idol” has had its share of gay contestants over the years: R.J. Helton, Clay Aiken, Jim Verraros, Adam Lambert.

None officially “came out” until after the show was over and the show itself has never stated a person being gay in its back story packages. Lambert was out before “Idol” but never said so or would confirm anything while on the show. Was that his own choice or the producers? Lambert has always said it was his but there has always been suspicions otherwise.

“The Voice,” on the other hand, didn’t hide the fact some of its contestants were gay, including two finalists, Beverly McClellan and Vicci Martinez.

Judge Adam Levine told the Advocate he was befuddled by all this:

“What’s always p***ed me off about Idol is wanting to mask that, for that to go unspoken,” he tells the mag. “C’mon. You can’t be publicly gay? At this point? On a singing competition? Give me a …

Continue reading ‘The Voice’ judge Adam Levine slams ‘Idol’ for not saying when contestants are gay »

Adam Lambert wins an ‘Equality’ award

AP photo

AP photo

Adam Lambert enjoyed time on the red carpet at two events over the weekend. First, he won a Los Angeles Equality Award.

“I just want to say, I auditioned for ‘American Idol’ because i love to sing and perform,” Lambert said. “That’s what my intention was. Soon after ‘American Idol,’ all of a sudden I was famous.”

“At first, it was intimidating,” he said. “I made some missteps along the way. I may have said some stupid things or didn’t say the right thing. But the past couple of years, I recognized my responsibility as a gay man in the public eye. That’s something that I’m really thankful. As a teenager, growing up struggling with my identity, I had nobody to look up to except ‘Will and Grace.’ Now I recognize the opportunity to be a f*** weird f**. I own that phrase. I’m weird and I love it. I was a theater kid who was playing dress up. For someone to be in the public eye and be proud of who they are, I realize that this was my chance for me to do that for other …

Continue reading Adam Lambert wins an ‘Equality’ award »

Kellie Pickler has acting debut on ‘90210′

CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Kellie Pickler will play a country singer on the CW’s ‘90210′ in the season debut next month, according to TV Line.

She’ll play Sally, the country-singing cousin of Austin (Justin Deeley).

This is not much of a stretch for her. She’ll sing “Tough,” her current single, which is at No. 33 on the Mediabase 24/7 and struggling to break out of the middle range. That seems to be the pattern with all her singles, even the one which featured Taylor Swift.

- Yes, there’s another music competition show called “Karaoke Battle USA” that debuts on ABC tonight at 9 p.m. I bet viewership will be pitiful but I’ll DVR it anyway.  Last week, Kara DioGuardi’s failed “Platinum Hit” ended with very few viewers. I watched. I liked Sonjae, the winner. She will get some work in this business. So will runner-up Scotty.

Continue reading Kellie Pickler has acting debut on ‘90210′ »

Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina set album release dates in October

Lauren at Ryan Seacrest's The Voice at Children's Healthcare of Egleston last month. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Lauren at Ryan Seacrest's The Voice at Children's Healthcare of Egleston last month. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Scotty McCreery’s album “Clear as Day” comes out October 4.

And per tradition, runner-up Lauren Alaina’s first album called “Wildflower” comes out a week later.

Poor Lauren. First a blown vocal cord in May, a sprained ankle last month and now bronchitis. She has to bow out of tonight’s “Idols Live” tour in Baltimore due to bronchitis and may have to skip the “Good Morning America” appearance in New York City tomorrow.

Here’s Lauren’s comments about her new album via email:

I am so excited to tell you that my new album is called Wildflower and it comes out Oct. 11 on Mercury Nashville/19 Recordings/Interscope. I have always dreamed of making an album and I can’t believe it’s actually happening. It’s because of the fans who voted for me on American Idol that I am here, so I am dedicating this album to you. I hope you love it!

Wildflower is the perfect name for …

Continue reading Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina set album release dates in October »

Pia Toscano’s video for ‘This Time’

I know I posted Lauren and Scotty’s videos. So here is Pia’s, belatedly. If you like staring at her, this video features her face front and center, on the beach, in a meadow, in front of a storage door and on a city street.

- And in the story that won’t end, J. Lo still has not signed her dang contract yet, despite what Nigel told Ryan Wednesday. Just give her that $10,000 per show clothing allowance and move on! (I just made that up but I presume there are some petty absurdities going on between lawyers right now.)

- MJ has the stats: Idols Live sold out five MORE concerts the first week of August in Milwaukee, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Rosemont, Ill. and Detroit. Go “Idols Live”!

Continue reading Pia Toscano’s video for ‘This Time’ »