Posted by – December 29, 2010
Easily one of the most memorable performances in American Idol history came late in Season 8 when Adam Lambert absolutely killed Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”. I can still hear that guitar screaming.
To say Lambert was a bit controversial might be the understatement of the century, but to deny his talent would be an outright lie. The guy showed the world he could perform and in his post-Idol career he has demonstrated what we saw during Season 8 was no fluke ormirage. Adam might not be the guy you would want your daughter to bring home for dinner, but you wouldn’t mind if she brought home his music.
Lambert wound up runner-up to Kris Allen in 2008, and both have rightly enjoyed success since that season. But it was Lambert who put an exclamation point on Season 8 and created a nationwide buzz.
Here’s my picks for the all-time runner-up finishers from Idol’s first nine seasons:
1. Adam Lambert, Season 8.
2. Clay Aiken, Season 2. (Aiken will always have a soft spot in the hearts of long-time Idol watchers. It was his season-long duel with Ruben Studdard that put the program over the top among American viewers and eventually created a worldwide phenomenon.)
3. Crystal Bowersox, Season 9. (She could ultimately end up as the biggest star of the three, if her mainstream appeal can be maintained for an extended period.)
Posted by – December 29, 2010
Can you feel it starting to build? That old American Idol momentum heading into a new season is beginning to surface.
And apparently, I’m not alone in feeling that way. There’s at least one other person out there whose gut feeling is we might me in for a monster season of our favorite show. Jen Harper, who is the editor at BuddyTV.com, penned the following thoughts after being privy to some audition footage. After reading her thoughts, I can’t wait until Jan. 19.
Here are some excerpts from Harper’s piece: “Oh, Steven Tyler. You had me at, ‘Well hellfire, save matches, (bleep) a duck and see what hatches!’ I just watched the 23-minute audition footage Fox released from season 10 of American Idol, and that little partially bleeped quip — delivered by new judge Steven Tyler after a Hollywood hopeful knocked ‘em dead in the audition room — is only part of why this season of Idol could be a lot better than we had anticipated.
“The Aerosmith front man is a wild one and attractive in that rock-star, just-don’t-examine-his-face-too-closely way, and Jennifer Lopez is charming, adorable, sweet, honest and super-hot (love seeing all the different hairstyles, makeup looks and ensembles for each audition day … and both are a welcome addition to the formerly stale-feeling judges table. Even old Randy Jackson seems all shiny and new again (maybe playing second fiddle to Simon Cowell for all those years was holding him back).
“I really didn’t expect to be on board with this season of American Idol, with its myriad attempts to gussy itself up … but I actually found myself smiling, laughing, bopping along and jaw-popping my way through the 23-minute audition reel.
“A few highlights:
- Steven Tyler’s inability to restrain himself from joining the contestants in song (which are totally welcome — who doesn’t want to hear his screechy rock-star, “Yeeeeaaaaah” as backup?!), backing them on drums, er, desk banging and grooving along to the tunes with his eyes closed.
- Jennifer Lopez crying real J-Lo tears during a contestant’s rendition of Carrie Underwood’s “Temporary Home.” She’s a cryer! And a hugger! Which I love. She’s like a more coherent Paula Abdul for a new generation.
- Steven Tyler’s flirt fest with one of the rocker-girl-looking contestants who takes on his song “Dream On”: “You look like you could be one of my …” “Friends, she could be one of your friends,” finishes Randy.
- I can’t reveal info about the fate of the contestants, but I can tell you that skatting and entering the audition room in pairs are no longer the kiss of death on our new and improved Idol.”
Posted by – December 28, 2010
American Idol host Ryan Seacrest will be one of two New Year’s Eve hosts for ABC.
Dick Clark and Seacrest will host from New York beginning at 9 p.m. (CT) on Friday and will be joined by Times Square correspondent Jenny McCarthy. Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas returns to host the Los Angeles party portions of the specials.
New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys will perform together live from Times Square on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2011.” They join previously announced acts Ke$ha and Taio Cruz in Times Square, plus Los Angeles-based performers including Jennifer Hudson, Willow Smith, Ne-Yo, Avril Lavigne, Drake, Jason Derulo, La Roux, Mike Posner, Natasha Bedingfield, Far East Movement and Train.
Posted by – December 28, 2010
Here is some more information gathered from a variety of sources that I have found to be reliable in recent years:
• When this season’s American Idol wannabes are trimmed to 40 they will take part in a “Sing For Your Life” competition, but what is unknown at this time is if this round will actually cut the top 40 down to 12, 15 or 20. What is known is that during this round contestants choose one song to sing. They can choose from the Idol approved song list, pick another song not on the list and hope that it gets approval, or they can sing an original song.
• There will be no band or back-up singers. The contestants can choose to sing it a capella or with one instrument. They can play the instrument themselves or have someone else play it for them. They will not get to pick who plays the instrument.
• Also, and this has not been confirmed, but it appears three contestants will be added to the eventual top 12 as wild cards.
Posted by – December 27, 2010
Forbes recently released its top 20 earning Hollywood personalities for the year. A pair of former American Idol judges made the list with Simon Cowell at No. 11 and Ellen DeGeneres at No. 17.
Simon lost out on some sort of tiebreaker to Dr. Phil, or he would have been in the top 10. Simon should have little trouble cracking the top 10 in 2011 following the debut of his new show X Factor.
FORBES TOP 20
1. Oprah Winfrey, $315 million
2. James Cameron, $210 million
3. Tyler Perry, $125 million
4. Michael Bay, $120 million
5. Tiger Woods, $105 million
6. Jerry Bruckheimer, $100 million
7. Steven Spielberg, $100 million
8. George Lucas, $95 million
9. Beyonce Knowles, $87 million
10. Dr. Phil, $80 million
11. Simon Cowell, $80 million
12. Jerry Seinfeld, $75 million
13. Britney Spears, $64 million
14. Lady Gaga, $62 million
15. Madonna, $58 million
16. Sandra Bullock, $56 million
17. Ellen DeGeneres, $55 million
18. Miley Cyrus, $48 million
19. Taylor Swift, $45 million
20. Judge Judy Sheindlin, $45 million
Posted by – December 27, 2010
Former American Idol judge Paula Abdul will be joined by choreographer and singer at the judges’ table on her new CBS show Live to Dance, which debuts in January.
Choreographer Travis Payne and singer Kimberly Wyatt will team with Abdul to form the judging trio, while Andrew Günsberg is set to host.
Günsberg previously hosted Australian Idol. Payne was an associate director and choreographer on This is It. And Wyatt — from the Pussycat Dolls — served as a judge on the U.K. series Got to Dance, which Live is based on.
Formerly called Got to Dance, CBS describes the series as broadcast television’s first all-ages, all-genres dance series. The different acts will compete for a panel of judges, and viewers will eventually get to vote for their favorite dancers during the semifinal and final rounds.
Abdul was a judge on Idol for its first seven seasons.
Posted by – December 25, 2010
I imagine when we look back on American Idol in another decade or so, I think we’ll take note of Season 8 as one of the finest pools of talent in the history of the show, at least among the high-end finalists.
Kris Allen was the winner that year in a memorable showdown with Adam Lambert, followed by third-place Danny Gokey a fourth-place Allison Iraheta. Not a bad final four, eh?
It was Gokey who seemed to dominate that season until Lambert and (somewhat surprisingly) Allen emerged in the closing weeks as the fans’ favorites. Gokey’s personality, wacky glasses and appealing, raspy voice made him an early season favorite in 2009. Gokey has enjoyed marginal post-Idol success, but should eventually enjoy a satisfying career in either an adult contemporary or country format.
Here’s my choices for the top No. 3 finishers over the first nine seasons of Idol:
1. Danny Gokey, Season 8.
2. Kimberly Locke, Season 2.
3. Syesha Mercado, Season 7.
Too good not to mention: Elliott Yamin, Casey James.
Posted by – December 23, 2010
This portion of the all-time American Idol countdown was one of the elements I was especially looking forward to tackling, and will easily be the most controversial when it comes to selecting a final top three of fourth-place finishers.
Allison Iraheta, Chris Daughtry, Jason Castro, Tamyra Gray and LaToya London lead a sparkling cast of fourth-place finishers. Looking back through Idol history, no other position featured as many legitimate talents as those who finished No. 4.
I lean toward Iraheta — barely — over Daughtry, even though there is no commercial comparison, at least yet. Iraheta is still young (18) while Daughtry (30) is a grizzled veteran in terms of the music world. Iraheta’s gutsy, raspy, Janis Joplin-esque vocals have the potential to carry her to superstardom in the right surroundings.
Daughtry is already a proven star who I think has peaked. Iraheta has yet to begin her ascent.
Her’s my final order for the No. 4 finishers:
1. Allison Iraheta, Season 8
2. Chris Daughtry, Season 5. (One of my favorite all-time Idol performances is Daughtry’s “Suspicious Minds.”)
3. Tamyra Gray, Season 1.
Too good not to mention: Jason Castro, Season 7; LaToya London, Season 3.
Posted by – December 20, 2010
If anything else was needed to justify the bevy of changes in the look and format of American Idol for Season 10, this news should punctuate those decisions. The top two finishers from last season — Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox — are struggling at the cash register, in term of sales concerning their debut CDs.
The combined opening-week counts from the CDs from Bowersox and DeWyze will be much lower than any prior Idol one-two punch, according to a report in the New York Post.
Bowersox, last season’s runner-up on American Idol, is poised to eclipse show winner DeWyze in first-week album sales. But that’s not really saying a whole lot.
Bowersox’s inaugural CD, “Farmer’s Daughter,” sold 45,000-50,000 copies its first day. That eclipses the opening-day sales of DeWyze’s “Live it Up,” which sold 39,000 copies its first day earlier this fall — and, if projections hold true, means it will easily pass DeWyze’s opening-week sales, according to headlineplanet.com. But again, that’s not saying a whole lot.
The format that produced these two as champion and runner-up was obviously flawed, and has been of a couple of seasons.
We’ll see what kind of impact — and effect — the “new” Idol will have starting Jan. 19
Posted by – December 18, 2010
Here’s a shot we’ll be getting used to this season. Host Ryan Seacrest looks over American Idol judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson.