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‘Idol’ bits: a thinly veiled fictional account of ‘Idol,’ Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert, Fantasia, Carrie Underwood

elimination-night---final-cover---hi-res-3_4_r560Last month, I received an advance copy of a book titled “Elimination Night” about a fictional “Project Icon” show that may or may not be a satire of “Idol.” It appears to have been written by someone who worked on “Idol” (thus, the “Anonymous” author name) during season 10, when Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler joined the judges’ panel. The characters are thinly veiled versions of the real thing with dumber names.  Wayne Shortline, the host, sounds suspiciously like workaholic Ryan Seacrest. Bibi Vasquez is a bit like an egomaniacal Lopez. Joey Lovecraft is the crazy fictional take on Tyler. Nigel Crowther left “Project Icon’ for his own TV show “The Talent Machine.” Paging Simon Cowell? Leonard Braitwaite masequerades as a cruel version of Nigel Lythgoe.

Naturally, we don’t know exactly what is based on truth and what is purely made up, which is the point of these books. Inspire intrigue. I have yet to read its nearly 300 pages, save for the first few pages. If I have some time (hah! In my dreams!), I’ll get through it and give you my thoughts. The book comes out January 8.

USA talks to folks who have written books about “Idol” (such as Shirley Halperin) to get their thoughts on “Elimination Night.” As someone who was told (numerous times over the years) I should have written a book about “Idol,” Shirley confirmed what I suspected: “You might think it’s such a big TV show that you’re going to cash in and do a book and sell a million. But from my own experience, Idol books don’t sell that great.”

***

Fantasia could use a publicist. She released a statement last week (or rant) about life that includes a statement that could be construed as anti-gay marriage. Then she got all huffy when people complained. She did so via more Instagram statements that could have used a spellcheck or grammar fix. Feel free to read the details here – or not.

***

Kelly Clarkson credits portion control, her fiance and a bit more exercise to losing 30 pounds last year. But she’s realistic: she said she could easily gain it all right back.

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Carrie Underwood has finally sold her original modest post “Idol” 3,000 square foot home for $372,500 in Nashville. She has long since moved on up. She now lives in a $3.2 million custom-build mansion.

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Adam Lambert, a “Les Miz” fan, felt the fact the film went with actors to sing raw and unvarnished took away from the power of the score at times. This relatively mild critique attracted a lot of attention.

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We are a mere 12 days from season 12 launch of “Idol.” Yes. I have been covering this show for half my adult life.  Nigel Lythgoe, in an interview with Hollywood Reporter, was not happy that the video leaked last fall of new judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj fighting. He said this was not purposely, that if that were the case, he would have done so closer to launch date. He said he has no plans to aggrandize the rivalry on the actual show.  I have an open mind about the judges’ panel. Let’s watch before we judge the judges, so to speak.

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55 comments Add your comment

Pitchy

January 4th, 2013
11:15 am

First…I already know I will not be reading this book.

1st mate

January 4th, 2013
11:45 am

WOW, Rodney, spell check or grammar fix??? Glass house?

Rodney Ho

January 4th, 2013
11:53 am

@1st mate. She’s even worse than I am and yes, I make my fair share of spelling/grammar errs in my haste to post stuff.

JTesla

January 4th, 2013
12:09 pm

I went to that Fantasia link, look at the picture of her and then google images of DJ Ruby Rhod from The Fifth Element. Same person right?

Thanks for all the news Rodney, I’ll pass on the book.

Sam-A

January 4th, 2013
12:40 pm

Oh, lordy! That video thing to the right of this blog just had some thing with caption “Kanye and Kim to settle in Atlanta”. Aren’t we being punished enough with the “”"real”"” housewives of Atlanta???? We do not need more trashy people in the spotlight making ATL look like a garbage dump full of clowns!

Sam-A

January 4th, 2013
12:42 pm

RoHo: Any way you can find out if Phillipx2 gets any of the extremely lucrative profits from all the multitude of commercials playing “Home” – the number seems to grow by the day, and now they’re also using the vocals, not just the music. If he gets any decent royalties from radio play (constant) and the commercials/movies using the song, he’s a very rich (and lucky) fella.

Pitchy

January 4th, 2013
12:43 pm

Atl doesn’t look like a garbage dump, just the side of town they may move to. :wink:

Deirdre

January 4th, 2013
12:51 pm

Not to start another Fantasia war(ok, maybe that’s not exactly true) but that woman is a frickin idiot!!!!! My suggestion is that she needs to stay off the booze or whatever substance she is abusing before she makes statements that will be seen by the general public.

Mercedes S.

January 4th, 2013
1:38 pm

Add Shirley Halperin (”Idol books don’t sell that great”) to the adverbially impaired.

Mercedes S.

January 4th, 2013
1:41 pm

And I want to read that book!

JTesla

January 4th, 2013
2:11 pm

For fun, Google “Fantasia and jumpsuit”.

Pitchy

January 4th, 2013
2:29 pm

JTesla, I never want to see that jumpsuit again. If it’s the one I think it is, she looks like grind up sausage!

Pitchy

January 4th, 2013
2:46 pm

I’m sorry, I was thinking catsuit, not jumpsuit!

JTesla

January 4th, 2013
2:51 pm

Same pictures Pitchy. Let’s get Idol started and get Fantasia back on the show!

Sam-A

January 4th, 2013
3:00 pm

JT: There’s a flash mob coming to beat you to a pulp for that last post of yours! BITE your…….tongue – you’ll really regret it if that happens!

Sam-A

January 4th, 2013
3:15 pm

We’ll all regret it – I couldn’t bear to see that creature live on a stage again! I’ve been hoping that part of my life was over forever.

Pitchy

January 4th, 2013
3:44 pm

People I used to enjoy listening to, but will turn the channel every time they sing is:

1. Aretha Franklin
2. Chaka Kahn
3. Fantasia.

All with unique voices, yet all have the same level of “shrill” while screaming, I mean, singing. It hurts.

Sam-A

January 4th, 2013
3:53 pm

Pitchy: I still like old Aretha songs (are there any new ones, really, though), but always detested F’s “voice”, and never a fan of Chaka Kahn. Now Gladys Knight – have always loved her!

Pitchy

January 4th, 2013
4:25 pm

Love old Aretha songs, all of them. Rocky Steady, baby! No new ones, just when she sings either at Inaugural Ball, or Christmas Parade, etc. She was on something last week I had to turn away from. I think it was GMA! Pure screeching.

Sam-A

January 4th, 2013
4:40 pm

Can’t tolerate that screetching!

Sam-A

January 4th, 2013
4:44 pm

Yet another crazy week nearly at an end! TGIF – have a good one all.

JTesla

January 4th, 2013
4:46 pm

Nah Sam, I’d love it, I enjoy seeing a hot mess. In her case a hot mess of a train wreck that’s been plowed over by a tornado.

Harriett

January 4th, 2013
4:54 pm

Time for me to run. Hope y’all have a great weekend.

G

January 4th, 2013
4:58 pm

By the looks of these comments on Fantasia…….I have some of those same intense feelings about pp and the whole wgwg trend on Idol. I get it.

Mercedes S.

January 4th, 2013
6:12 pm

wasnt there an older, heftier lady, also in a catsuit, singing with Fantasia?

Deirdre

January 4th, 2013
6:51 pm

WGWN1S Stands for “white guy with number 1 single”. The proof is in the numbers.

Actually, mj has posted an interview with Phil at a Canadian tv show and they gave him a t-shirt.

http://www.mjsbigblog.com/phillip-phillips-i-am-a-white-guy-and-i-do-play-guitar-video.htm

JTesla

January 4th, 2013
7:21 pm

Mercedes, not with her, she screeched and stomped with Joshua aka Mantasia. Later in the evening Chaka Kahn came out in an equally entertaining catsuit.

Mercedes S.

January 5th, 2013
9:21 am

Ah, Chaka Kahn; that was it. Brownish catsuit, and it was even worse, because at her age, Miss Chaka should know better (and be in possession of a good, three-way, full-length mirror).

I'm not Ho

January 7th, 2013
12:58 am

Headed to Taco Bell for the new Fantasia Burrito.

Total train wreck. Seriously. Her 15 minutes is long past…

Mercedes S.

January 7th, 2013
6:19 am

Early good morning!
With Rodney stuck in “reality” recaps and little hope of current Idol-bits, I’d like to recommend I book I started reading yesterday and can’t put down – “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes. Funny (dry, British humor), sad, romantic, with a heart-breaking death-or-life mission.

Deirdre

January 7th, 2013
7:54 am

Morning!

Thanks for the book recommendation, Mercedes.

So much is coming soon to my tv that I don’t know which way to turn. Downton Abbey started last night. Wasn’t it wonderful to spend a couple of hours with the Crawleys again? Splash starts its second season soon(the show everybody thinks of as a guilty pleasure) Looking forward to the changes(goodbye evil Ellis and songwriter scarves). Walking Dead will be back soon(and the Downton Abbey vs Walking Dead conundrum will begin) And, of course, our original reason for being here, American Idol begins next week!!!!!

1st mate

January 7th, 2013
8:08 am

PP looks like he needs a bath and shave. he looks dirty. Like the song, but dont like him.

Mike Rafone

January 7th, 2013
8:23 am

Rodney,
Put in a call to Nigel and see if he can give you a line on who they’ve already selected to be a winner. Since the thing is fixed from the get-go and all the performances are lip-synched, the only entertainment is how bad the auditiions are. This year the winner will be a black female to try and get back the demographics they are seeking.

Harriett

January 7th, 2013
8:25 am

Good morning!

We finally got my sister settled in the hospital. Hope it is uphill from here. Long wait.

D, I watched the return of Revenge last night. Mercedes, did you watch? I am looking forward to Deception. Also, I am just about caught up on the old episodes of Downton Abbey, so will know what y’all are talking about soon enough.

Deirdre

January 7th, 2013
8:44 am

Good news Harriett. Let’s hope the docs can find the best way to treat her.

Aw come on, Mike. You left out auto-tune! ;-)

I refuse to go into my annual lecture on FCC regulations about pre-ordained winners and rigged voting….yet! I’m sure I will get to it before too long. Those of you who have already read it a million times have my permission to skip it.

Sam-A

January 7th, 2013
9:16 am

Deirdre, for some of it, Sunday nights, it’s a quadrilogy (?) – “Downton”, “WD”, “Revenge” and “Mentalist” (not even mentioning that I’ve, sadly, sacrificed “Good Wife”, which is one of the best shows on tv)- if Comcast doesn’t get a DVR that can record 3 or 4 shows at once, I may be forced to switch to AT&T!

As I was totally exhausted last night, drowsing on the couch, I recorded “DA” and watched “Revenge”, which is a good thing, because I went to sleep in the first 20 mins of “Mentalist”.

Just trying to keep up with the tv schedules is totally exhausting. And I’ve been catching up on TNT with the first 3 seasons of “Castle”, which runs 3 episodes every Wed night 8-11:00, so Idol just causes a holocaust for me then as well. I need to retire, I don’t have time to watch all my taped shows ata night/weekends!

Mercedes S.

January 7th, 2013
9:18 am

Yes, Harriett, thanks for sharing good news. Have my Revenge to watch – I think, unless something went awry with recording of Revenge and Mentalist and watching DA. Stopped watching Mentalist this season since each recording got messed up thanks to late start due to sports event.

Since I’m sure Rodney has been inundated by screeners of new shows, I hope he’ll be able to take a break from all that “reality” stuff and let us know of worthwhile efforts out there.

Sam-A

January 7th, 2013
9:36 am

Harriett: Hoping your sister can find peace and rest, and some great counselling to help her toss off the depression and find new happiness in life. I’m sure both of you are exhausted dealing with it all.

JT: Have you always “loved” the big-topped, big-bottomed gals in the “sexy” jump suits, or was F your first crush in a jumpsuit? It is amazing what these women must see in their mirrors – and just how blind they must be to actually leave their closets in this garb. A thigh covered in cellulite and about 50 inches in diameter, swathed in a clingy, stretchy fabric affects me like ipicac does a baby – immediate nausea sets in.

shannon

January 7th, 2013
10:29 am

It’s funny the book cover shows a microphone with a cord – I do not remember how long it’s been since I’ve seen anyone use a microphone with a cord attached…

Deirdre

January 7th, 2013
11:31 am

Quoting Mariah Carey re the tiff with Nicki Minaj(from a Barbara Walters interview with thanks to mj);

“It felt like an unsafe work environment,” Carey said. “Anytime anybody’s reeling threats at somebody, you know, it’s not appropriate. I’m a professional. I’m not used to that type of environment.”

As a result, Carey said she hired more security.

“I just felt it was the appropriate thing to do,” she said. “Sitting there on the road with two babies, I’m not going to take any chances.”

Minaj has denied saying anything about a gun, calling the statement a “fabrication.” When ABC News asked her for comment for this story, her representative said “she’s said what she’s saying on this topic.”

“For all the drama, I hope it helps the show,” Carey said. “I think it’s a classic, classy show and it didn’t need this.”

JTesla

January 7th, 2013
11:53 am

Sam-A, part of the problem is that you know there is some guy somewhere who told those women “you look good in that”. Remember that when you are at the mall or someplace and you see someone dressed in a way that they really shouldn’t be dressed. Remember ladies, men lie when it comes to how you look in clothes. It’s a survival instinct.

Mercedes S.

January 7th, 2013
12:01 pm

JT, also, there are none as blind as those who don’t want to see what the mirror tells them.

DanJ

January 7th, 2013
1:31 pm

Well, I for one am now ready for Idol to begin. Trainwreck or not it should be entertaining. I took some time after XF to detox from singing shows. I’ll be the first to admit that both The Voice and X-Factor were only good…not great this past season. I’ll still take a horrible XF show over Honey Boo-Boo anyday. Pitchy I still love Aretha and Chaka although I don’t usually care for contestants who try to sing their songs. Whoever meantioned Glady’s Knight? Ditto love her a lot!

flats

January 7th, 2013
2:42 pm

Idol should be on like donkey kong this year.I heard its all new this go around with little suprises along the way.My wife has a countdown on the fridge on how many days left til it starts.She’s a hoot!

Sam-A

January 7th, 2013
2:44 pm

Me, Dan – Gladys is fabulous, and was great a few years ago as a mentor on “Idol”.

JT: You’d have to be totally blind and the dumbest person on earth to think you looked good at that size/weight in that kind of outfit! Of course, I think the 2nd half of that is pretty nearly on target!

G

January 7th, 2013
3:26 pm

DanJ – Ditto to your 1:31pm post. Gladys currently judges on Apollo Live! It works pretty much like the traditional “Showtime at the Apollo”, but with judge feedback.

I’m not THAT interested in the early auditions of Idol. Unlike The Voice, there’s nothing intriguing about many of the acts. In the past, Idol producers have been pretty strategic in who they let in the top 10-12. They seem to try and have a mix of varying gender, genre, and ethnicity. I wonder if they will continute to be versitile in terms of genre.

[...] And, as always, for all of your “Idol”-related news, check out Rodney Ho’s blog and his “Idol bits.” [...]

Sam-A

January 7th, 2013
3:41 pm

One of my biggest “Idol Blog” regrets is that I did NOT open the link to F in the split/torn jumpsuit. I just couldn’t stomach it – didn’t want to get sick at work. If anyone still has access to it, and can place it here, I think I finally might be able to face it – after all, I can watch zombies having their heads split open with hatchets while eating dinner from a tray in front of the tv – guess I could face that atrocity as well. “WD” has pretty much enured me to the ugliness and horror of life!

Mercedes S.

January 7th, 2013
6:38 pm

Sam-A – the ugliness of zombies having heads split open – that’s special effects. Fangtasia and other half-tonners in catsuits – that’ unedited REAL life.

Deirdre

January 7th, 2013
7:35 pm

So, Mr Atlanta comes to the house after work today because he is also a soccer coach here in PTC. He tells me he has a song running through his head all day and decides he wants to hear it. He’s got his ipad and he starts the song. It’s a song from Philx2’s new album. he says there’s about 3 songs on the album that he really likes. I’m standing there with my mouth hanging open cuz this is the first time he’s even acknowledged an Idol winner other than Kelly Clarkson. Then he mentions Dave Matthews.

I tell him that Phil’s detractors think he’s a cheap imitation of DM. Mr A. says no, Phil is potentially the new Dave Matthews. Dave Matthews(according to Mr A) is passe. It may be time for the new “Dave Matthews” and this guy(philx2) may be talented enough to pull it off.

You could knock me over with a feather!