Friday, July 31, 2009

Idol News Roundup - 7/31/09

Kris Allen talks today's music scene and Chick-Fil-A with the Charlotte Observer.

He says he feels like pop music "is definitely not going my way" with artists such as Lady Gaga dominating the scene. "I'm not gonna get up there and do, like, an electro-beat kind of song. But hopefully, people can appreciate what I do as well. I just think that it was nice that (the show this year) wasn't all about how good you can sing. It was about what kind of recording artist you're going to be, and how well you're going to do in that respect." On feeling pressure to be a superstar, he says, "I don't see it like that. I see it as a chance to get out there. Now, because we were on the show, we're getting the chance to do what we want to do. Whether you're as big as someone like Lady Gaga, or whether your CD doesn't do amazingly, but you're still playing gigs and making music – at least we were given the opportunity."

And he talks about seeing Chick-Fil-A in San Diego. "I hadn't seen one in California yet, so I kind of freaked out a little bit. This one just popped up out of nowhere. I think (fellow Idol) Matt (Giraud) said, 'I've never been to Chick-fil-A.' I was like, 'What's wrong with you?' Ah, it was so good."

Adam Lambert talks with Out & About Nashville about not expecting to be embraced as he was in the south and other conservative areas. He says, "There had been areas in my head that I thought were more conservative areas, and the support has been unbelievable. So far in the South, I’ve found the fans have been wilder than they were in California. I mean... people are really enthusiastic and passionate down here. It’s kind of all hitting me all at once, that it’s universal, and that means a lot to me. That means I did something right, and I’m really happy about that."

Belated review and photos of the Tulsa and Little Rock concerts from Tulsa Today. They called the show "lively and engaging".

Brooke White talks technology (Twitter, iPhones, Wii) in a video interview with She tells the story about how she was performing "Let It Be" when her cell phone that has an upbeat song as her ring-tone went off.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

SYTYCD Finalists Chosen

Amerikur has spoken, and the finalists for So You Think You Can Dance Season 5 are Jeanine Mason, Brandon Bryant, Kayla Rodomski and Evan Kasprzak. Falling just short of the finale were Melissa Sandvig and Ade Obayomi.

The show started with a Broadway number choreographed by Tyce Diorio with the six dancers as clowns, dancing to, naturally, "Send In The Clowns" by Judy Collins. The literal-ness (lol is that even a word) of it made me think Nappy Tabs did the choreography. Even though I have an irrational fear of clowns, it was a nice piece and ended with all of the dancers climbing back into their box, leaving Evan standing alone outside (hmm ... foreshadowing?).

The girls were brought out first to receive the news. The first to make the finale was ... Jeanine. Yay!

Interspersed throughout the show were performances of the four Emmy-nominated dances this year. Jessica and Will came back to do their Adam/Eve dance that Tyce choreographed. Will is sporting some short dreads now and still has a smokin' body. They did the lighting so much better last year. This was too brightly-lit.

With Jeanine safe, Cat brought the guys out to pick the first male finalist. That person was ... Brandon! Yes! All is right in the world. But why is Mary the only one standing? Grrrr ... Good for her, though, for calling Mia and Lil C out for ridiculously not wanting him in the Top 20.

Twitch and Katee returned to do the door dance to "Mercy" by Duffy, choreographed by Mia Michaels. I think this was better than the first time! And they reminded me again how awesome last season was, and how not awesome this year is. Then Joshua and Chelsie performed their Argentine Tango that Dmitry Chaplin choreographed. And now I know how Will got his new braids - he stole Joshua's hair!

America's Best Dance Crew season 1 winners Jabbawockeez danced to "Freak-A-Zoid" by Midnight Star. They are seriously amazing. Ridiculously so. And I think it's great that SYTYCD isn't being snobby and elitist and that they actually acknowledge and mention other dance shows.

Chelsie danced again, this time with Mark, on "Bleeding Love", choreographed by Tabitha & Napoleon. And Chelsie looks a lot older now than a year ago. She doesn't look so much like Mark's daughter. When I saw the tour last year, Chelsie kicked the briefcase so hard it flew off stage. This time she kicked it so hard it flew open and possibly broke. LOL.

The four not called to safety first reprised their solos (making it appear as if they were bottom 2. Not sure I like that), and then Sean Paul sang "So Fine" with some lame backup dancers.

And then the final results. The last two in the finals were Kayla (to her surprise ... she looked SO sad before Cat said her name) and Evan. Original couple Melissa and Ade went out at Top 6, just as Chelsie and Mark did a year ago. And on her way out, Melissa wanted to point out that she DID do hip-hop this year, but it was in a group number. Hmm ... been browsing the message boards and blogs, have we, Melisser?

I have a feeling Evan is going to win. This four-person finale has got to cause major vote splitting, and Evan's the only non-contemporary dancer in the bunch and probably has a huge fanbase of dedicated voters. But then again, I was so sure Travis would win Season 2 because a) he was great, b) he killed it in the finale, and c) I thought Benji, Heidi and Donyelle shared the same fans. But Benji won. And in Season 3, I thought Lacey would win because she'd never been in the bottom before (like Evan), but she came in fourth. And last season, I thought Twitch could have won due to Katee/Joshua vote-splitting, but Joshua won. So I still have hope that Brandon or Jeanine can win this thing! That is the only acceptable outcome as far as I'm concerned!

Idol News Roundup - 7/30/09

The Morning Call talks to David Cook about his current tour. It's a really good read because Cook is so level-headed with such a good perspective on things.

About a follow-up CD, he says he has no plans for it yet but plans to get really immersed in it after this tour cycle. "With this band, the first tour, I think we really wanted to really solidify ourselves on the road and be a band," he said. "I'm always trying to think a little bit ahead, but not so much so I'm not enjoying the present."

About not performing "Time Of My Life" anymore, he says, "Well, you know, I've never been big a big proponent of looking back too much. And 'Time of My Life,' it's a great song, and obviously it meant amazing things for me. It was a nice time between the end of 'Idol' and when the record came out. But it's just not me, and I want to come and represent myself and this band accurately to an audience in hopes that I stick around for a while."

On Kris Allen and Adam Lambert: "I think both of them are just great guys. I mean, obviously words apart stylistically, but I think they're both good representatives for the show. I love Kris for what he represents -- Kris is just a dude, man, he wants to play music, and at the core, I think that's what 'Idol' is about, in my opinion. But then you look at Adam and I love that Adam pushes the envelope, 'cause I think that opens more doors for somebody in the future to come down and maybe open a few more doors. I think that's always the right way to go. I love how they complement each other."

Cook says he isn't concerned with being identified with Idol. "I think it came from where it came from and I have a great relationship with everybody on 'Idol.' People seem to have a tendency to put things in boxes and put titles and labels on everything. It's just exhausting to try and keep up. So for me, if they want to call me David Cook, if they want to call me 'American Idol David Cook,' if they want to call me 'That jerk David Cook,' I mean, I guess as long as they're talking about me, I'm alright."

Newsday conducted a Q&A with Jordin Sparks, who said that if she could choose one song from her album for someone to listen to, it would be "Faith", which she co-wrote. She sold me. Her description of how the song came about made me get teary: "We wrote that four days before the [presidential] inauguration, and it was one of those things. And we were thinking about everything going on in the world and our economy and how there's a sense of hopelessness around for a lot of people. And I was thinking about one of my best friends who passed away two years ago - thinking, [what] if I was the person to tell her, 'It's going to be OK,' and keep her head up, and that she's got people that love her - if she would still be here?"

Lil Rounds talked to Memphis paper Tri-State Defender prior to her hometown show and said, "I am so happy to be home in Memphis. Every city I have been hitting has been giving me rave reviews, so I definitely cannot wait to go out here for Memphis."

Megan Joy chats with Lyndsey Parker from Yahoo Music's Reality Rocks, telling her she wants to make a few different types of albums - alternative jazz, children's music, hip-hop and some bluegrass. Interesting. I can see the alternative jazz, the children's music, and the bluegrass, but hip-hop?! Perhaps after Jamie Foxx calls Kris Allen, he can dial up Megan too?

Top 36 semifinalist Ju'Not Joyner did an online chat with AI Now yesterday and claimed that American Idol is fixed. He said, "The producers know who they want and they slant it to reflect that. They fix it in a way that makes you surprised but it's still manipulated."

GET OUT! I HAD NO IDEA. You mean the producers play favorites and give people they want to do well pimp spots and have the judges use their comments to guide the audience to vote the way they want? WHAT?! LOL duh.

One thing that Ju'Not said that I did not agree with was, "Think about it...ADAM, ADAM, ADAM then...Kris....SURPRISE SMITHCHES!!!!" There is no way in hell that the producers rigged it for Kris to win. This is the guy who performed in the death spot almost every week (my phone bill is very familiar with the number 1-866-IDOLS02) and had 10 seconds of airtime prior to the semifinals. And he was up against two guys who were told they'd be in the finale during the first week of live shows. If anything, Kris winning proves that the show isn't rigged. No one saw him coming, least of all the producers.

Anyway, Ju'Not also said that he was basically cut loose because they viewed him as a trouble-maker for questioning the contracts they were making the contestants sign. He said, "We all had one lawyer and a few hours to go over the details of about 6 or 7 contracts, that we didn't even get a copy of...and we didn't get an opportunity to send to an outside attorney...and if we didn't sign, we couldn't be on the show...So, naturally I wanted to know what I was signing, and I asked good questions (my fiancee is an attorney). I guess that makes me a 'troublemaker' which is complete BS and has nothing to do with my talent."

On the Idol judges watch front, E! Online reports that Kara DioGuardi is returning next season (and will not be paid nearly as well as the other judges), and Paula Abdul confirmed on Twitter that she is "trying to work out details of how I can return to Idol. Your support & encouragement means so much to me. I hope you understand I can only return to Idol if the deal is fair. Whatever happens with Idol, I love you guys and am so happy we have this way to stay in touch."

Fox29 in West Palm Beach has a video interview with Kris, Matt Giraud and Danny Gokey. Kris tells the story of asking Brian May for an autograph at the finale. Brian May signed his name and just wrote "Kill". So Kris said, "Okay. I will kill. For Brian May." Matt does a little Simon Cowell impression and talks about the save. Danny says that being on Idol was therapeutic after his wife's death and "really brought feeling healing to me." (thanks for the correction! That makes more sense.)

Video Of The Day - Mattress Dominoes

Mattress company Bensons for Beds attempts the world mattress dominoes record. What really cracked me up was each person's little scream/shriek as their mattress fell, especially towards the end:

Same Old Dances On SYTYCD Top 6 Show

This week's So You Think You Can Dance will determine who will be in the finale next week at the Kodak Theater. The pairings were mixed up again, but each dancer still got at least one repeat dance (or in Kayla's case her fourth contemporary/jazz dance, and in Jeanine's case, her third Nappy Tabs hip-hop). Which begs the question - where are all the choreographers this year and why do we keep getting the same dances?! No Krump, no Mambo, no Salsa, no West Coast Swing, no Lindy Hop, no Country Two-Step. Actually, that last one is a good thing. :)

Guys Group Dance - "True Romance" by She Wants Revenge, choreographed by Sonya Tayeh
They were really in sync in this routine, and some of those tumbling and turning moves are really hard to get in sync.

Jeanine/Ade - Samba, "Lovegame" by Lady Gaga, choreographed by Louis Van Amstel
I thought this was awkward, especially the samba rolls, and more cha cha than samba. Ade, especially, looked all kinds of wrong here. His sexy was more cheesy, and it looked especially odd next to Jeanine's smoldering faces. Ade's posture and stance were odd as well.

Kayla solo - "You Found Me" by The Fray
Another bland solo by Kayla. Her solos leave me so cold. And they're pretty predictable as well.

Melissa/Evan - Broadway, "Get Me To The Church On Time" from My Fair Lady, by Matt Dusk, choreographed by Tyce Diorio
I'm sorry - I couldn't get past Evan's grandpa sock suspenders. These two have personality to spare, though, and that's great for Broadway numbers.

Ade solo - "18th Floor Balcony" by Blue October
Another good song choice by Ade and one of his best solos. Less trick-laden, but yet just as impressive, just in a different way. His spins were more in control than ever.

Kayla/Brandon - Contemporary, "All I Want" by Ahn Trio, choreographed by Stacey Tookey
This was the best dance of the night, and their emotive ability really stood out to me. They are both under 20 years old, but they danced this so maturely, especially for their age.

Melissa solo - "I Put A Spell On You" by Nina Simone
Melissa was trying to put a spell on the audience to hide the fact that there wasn't a whole lotta dancing there.

Jeanine/Ade - Hip-Hop, "Move (If You Wanna)" by MIMS, choreographed by Tabitha & Napoleon
The dance is about being evicted. So naturally, the song used is called "Move", and there are boxes used as props (with sad faces drawn on them). Oh, Nappy Tabs. Never change. This is Jeanine's third hip-hop this season, and Nigel was going on about how amazing it is that she can dance out of her genre. Dude, it's hip-hop, not Quickstep.

Brandon solo - "O'Fortuna (from Carmina Burana)" by Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg & Kurt Prestel
The fact that he's already done this in auditions, took away what should have been a ZOMG moment. It still was a little bit, but the wow factor was diminished because I've seen it before. But still ... amazing. He is a POWERHOUSE. The judges gave him a standing ovation, and Nigel even commented (they're not supposed to for solos) that it was one of the best solos they've ever seen on the show. I'd have to agree.

Melissa/Evan - Quickstep, "As Long As I'm Singin'" by The Brian Setzer Orchestra, choreographed by Louis Van Amstel
Another piece that plays to Evan's personality. This was better than I was expecting, but despite their attempts to mask Evan's shortness, Melissa still dwarfed him, and I outwardly cringed when he did the death spiral because I feared he would drop her. Glad he didn't.

Jeanine solo - "Feedback" by Janet Jackson
This was probably the best solo of the night amongst the girls, but also her weakest so far this year. I was underwhelmed.

Evan solo - "Lady Is A Tramp" by Sammy Davis Jr.
Much better than last week's solo. Loved the turns at the end. He's great in his own style but not so much in others.

Kayla/Brandon - Disco, "Dance (Disco Heat)" by Sylvester, choreographed by Doriana Sanchez
Doriana throws everything but the kitchen sink into her disco routines, and she keeps upping the ante with each subsequent routine. It's just trick, trick, trick, dance, trick, trick, trick. Kayla just looks so awkward whenever she's doing these fun numbers. It seems so unnatural! And they should never put her in white. Nigel went WAY overboard with that jig he did.

Girls' Group Dance - "Kick It (Stereoheroes Remix)" by Nina Martine, choreographed by Sonya Tayeh
Superhero dance. Very cool concept, but those costumes were half cute (at the top), half heinous (at the bottom). I liked the makeup. And I am still trying to figure out what the heck Lil C was trying to say. Mary singled out Kayla, and she was certainly good, but so was Jeanine. I noticed that Melissa was hidden in the back. Again.

Who should go?
Melissa and Evan

Who will go?
Melissa and Ade

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Idol Tour Reviews - Sunrise

The Palm Beach Post has one of my favorite reviews of the tour so far. The writer, Leslie Gray Streeter, disputes the notion that this is the Adam Lambert and nine others tour. Or, as she amusingly called it, "Adam and the Pussycats. Adam Jackson and the Jackson Nine." LOL. Streeter says, "Theater vet, certified rock screamer and sensitive songsmith Lambert created a electrified, leather-bound, sexually-charged chemistry that none of the other Idols could match. The thing is, that doesn’t make the others, particularly impressive, smokey-voiced rock pixie Allison Iraheta, acoustic, chill Kris Allen and surprisingly satisfying former piano bar employee Matt Giraud, bad. They’re just different performers."

THANK YOU. Word. Word. And word.

More about Kris: "Starting with his winningly creative 'Heartless,' he impressed not only with a better-than-the-original 'Bright Lights' but a chant-worthy, arm-waving take on The Killers’ 'All These Things That I’ve Done' that amped the energy of the crowd to as close as Kris Allen comes to a frenzy. This is a not a frenzied man. He’s chill. He’s relaxed. He’s not in a hurry, because he’s having too good a time, and he’s hoping you do, too."

And about Allison and Matt: "Besides the finalists, the two standouts were 17-year-old Iraheta, whose command of her voice, a by-now overdone cover (Heart’s 'Barracuda') and an audience continues to make me want to verify her birth certificate, and Giraud, who unfortunately became dismissed during the season as a Justin Timberlake wanna-be. Fie. Not true. He’d already proved he’s a competent piano man, so his 'Georgia' was no surprise. But when he delivered a flawless “Hard To Handle” with effortless flights of phrasing and a crazy, Billy Joel-at-a-rave keys pounding session, it was a revelation. Somebody put this kid on a supporting tour as a solo act, now."

I was almost bracing myself for the Miami Herald review, knowing that Idol writer Howard Cohen had a massive hate-on for Kris for most of the season (he hated "Falling Slowly" and "She Works Hard For The Money" for crying out loud), but I was pleasantly surprised with his review. Cohen's favorite on Idol was Adam, the "undisputed star" who gave a "stellar" performance. Cohen was not pleased when Adam lost in the finale. However, he was still able to review the concert without letting his feelings about that cloud his judgment, saying that "in his warm fuzzy and still ambitious way, Kris was likable and helped make this a night of slick musical entertainment you could leave feeling good about."

Cohen had a mostly favorable impression about the whole show, calling it "the best and most entertaining Idol tour to date" due to its lack of train wrecks. "Everyone, from the lower rung who performed in the night's first half, to the top finalists, upped their game and performed with confidence." He said Michael Sarver was "in decent voice"; Megan Joy was "close to tolerable"; Scott MacIntyre "sang better live Wednesday than he ever did during the competition"; Lil Rounds "sounded more in tune than we'd heard from her before" on her first two songs; Anoop Desai "can sing ballads, like his opening Always on My Mind, as well as anyone"; Matt Giraud was like a young Billy Joel and "the night's biggest surprise"; Allison Iraheta was "fantastic" and "sounds like she's smoked a carton of cigarettes while on an all-night bender singing Joplin records and The Rose soundtrack"; and Danny Gokey "sang them well enough, moved with more agility than he displayed on TV".

Sunrise Idol Interviews

The Palm Beach Post has some early pre-show interviews with Danny Gokey, Matt Giraud and Scott MacIntyre. They are promising more later after the show, including interviews with Kris Allen, Lil Rounds and Megan Joy (6 people available today? That's different).

Megan and Lil talked a little about their kids. Megan said she's looking into modeling and acting. She also said that she "never expected people to understand where I’m coming from. I would have loved to have done some slower songs on the show that were (better) for my voice. That would have been nice to show everybody." Lil was asked about the judges contradicting themselves, saying they wanted one thing from her and then criticizing her the next week for doing it. She said, "They would say 'We didn’t what was going on with you,' and contradict themselves quite a bit. They would switch it up on me. But in my heart, I knew I had to realize that I was doing my best…I have had fans come up and say 'I did not agree with the judges AT ALL.' They kept telling me I wasn’t being true to myself, when I thought I was always giving it that R&B (vibe). I think they wanted me to be more pop. (In the end), you can never lose sight of who you are."

Someone please get Danny some PR help. This little comment he made here is bound to generate some interesting responses:

Q: You obviously shared some personal things about yourself on the show (Danny’s wife died not long before his audition), things that some writers and bloggers felt free to expound on, because they were out there and they could interpret them any way they wanted. Did that…

A: Did that bother me? It bothered me big time. People who tend to be like that don’t go anywhere in life, because they’re not happy and they want to get someone else, to make someone else unhappy. I can’t focus on that.

Huh. I'm actually a generally happy person with a good life. But thanks for setting me straight, Danny, and cluing me in on what a shitty life I have because I had an opinion about someone who willingly went on a reality tv competition and willingly put his backstory out there to be discussed. I think I should just go cut myself now.

The writer seemed to come into the interview thinking Danny was arrogant (I'm not sure where that came from, though. I never got that perception. Clueless maybe, but not arrogant), but after she talked to him, she said he "seemed pretty nice" and was "fairly down to earth and humble".

In Scott and Matt's interview, the writer noted that Scott "is now sporting facial hair and is shockingly Abercrombie-ish. He could totally play The Hot Sight Impaired New Teacher on a very special episode of '90210: You Girls Should Eat A Cheeseburger.')" and that Matt "reminds me of my younger boy cousins, who say inappropriate things because they know it gets a laugh". Matt seems to have David Archuleta syndrome - singing a lot while talking. That's really cute. In a three-minute interview, he sang a little bit of Britney Spears' "Slave 4 U" and the "Human Nature" ad lib at the bridge. Too bad there's no video. He'd probably get fined for that, though. Matt also said that one of the best things about touring for him is "when the crowd goes wild when I do 'Hard To Handle.' I never thought I would get that reaction from a crowd. I used to work at a piano bar and nobody was even listening, because they were all wasted. 'Hello? I’m singing over here! I killed that song!'

Idol News Roundup - 7/29/09

The Arkansas Leader talks to hometown boy Kris Allen before the Little Rock show.

Kris talked with Rodney Ho from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The funniest part of the whole thing is the accompanying photo of Kris with Allison Iraheta making the most hilarious face in the background (see left). In the interview, Kris was asked if it's intimidating to follow Adam in the concert, and he replied, "It’s not intimidating. Like on the show, we’re completely different artists." He was also asked why he was "holding out on us" on the show by not utilizing his lower register as he does on "All These Things That I've Done", and he said, "I don’t know! I mean, 'American Idol,' you have to be singing as high as you (can). That’s how the show goes." And when asked if being the dark horse helped him, he said, "Yah. America is so ADD. They push one thing, then they get tired of it. I’m not saying that happened. [It's clear he added that disclaimer so we wouldn't immediately think, 'Danny!' even if we did...] For me, that’s kind of the way I roll anyways. I’m pretty low key. If you like me, you do, if you don’t, that’s fine. I hope people like me. I’m not trying to please everyone. It wasn’t about me trying to be showy. Really. I didn’t pick my self to win. I didn’t even pick myself to be in the top 12!"

A Kris/No Boundaries mention at the end of this piece on "Bests" from the Arkansas Times.
Video interview with Kris in Tulsa by NewsOK. Kris says he's really happy with his set (I'll bet!) and that he hopes Paula stays on Idol.

The Victoria Advocate talked to Anoop Desai in Los Angeles. Like others before, he noted that touring is much less stressful than performing on the show. He also talks about the fans, saying, "It's always going to be gratifying anytime a large group of people cares about what you're doing. I'm lucky that I have very dedicated fans. It's been great." When asked what kinds of gifts fans give them, Anoops says, "A lot of people bring us survival stuff: Tide pens, Purel and stuff like that. A lot of people will draw pictures of us, photo collages ... Things we would appreciate." (LOL I wonder how much they really appreciate drawn pictures)

Adam Lambert talked to the Tampa Tribune prior to last night's show and offered up this description of his upcoming album: "It will be a diverse collection of pop, rock, jazz, blues, ballads and everything." That makes me a little nervous. Too all over the place and not cohesive. Adam also said that he doesn't want to go the Broadway route right now. "Now I want to be me. I don't want to play a character. I want to see where the music takes me."

Ryan Tedder responds to the "Already Gone"/"Halo" controversy, saying in a statement:

"Already Gone" is one of the best songs I've written or produced since "Bleeding Love" and stands tall on its own merits apart from "Halo."

They are two entirely different songs conceptually, melodically, & lyrically and I would never try to dupe an artist such as Kelly Clarkson or Beyoncé into recording over the same musical track, the idea is both hurtful & absurd.

I think when people hear "Already Gone" they will hear what I hear - one of the greatest female vocalists on earth giving her most haunting and heart-breaking performance on a song she helped write.

I challenge people to listen and form their own opinions.

I listened. And my opinion is still that you're a hack who recycles all the freaking time. Every song you wrote on Kelly's album sounds like something else you wrote.

Nigel Lythgoe tells Newsday that Idol should keep Paula Abdul, saying, "I would hopefully believe they will continue negotiations and secure her talent. I think she’s an important part of the historic chemistry that is Simon, Paula and Randy, and it’s a wonderful chemistry ..."

Idol Tour Reviews - Tampa

It was a wild night in Tampa at the Idol concert, where fans threw whips, handcuffs, flowers and lord knows what else during the last three sets, but none of that was mentioned in any of the newspaper reviews.

But I'm not exactly sure that the reviewers were really paying too much attention to the show because the Tampa Bay Tribune writer said that Kris Allen sang "No Boundaries", and the writer from the St. Petersburg Times basically just tried to be snarky/witty and didn't really offer up many opinions on their actual performances.

The St. Petersburg "review" did get in a good description of Megan Joy's rat-nest hair (poor Megan needs to have a few words with the hairstylists), calling it a "frizzy blond tuft of Brillo on her melon. Think Phyllis Diller meets Willie Aames (Eight is Enough years)", but I didn't really get some of the other lines. Like what does this mean? "Clairvoyant guess: Adam Lambert loathes stools, dry ice and Mad World."

The Tampa Bay Trib was more coherent but half of it read more as a "this is what they sang" review. He did note that Adam "electrified screaming fans" and that Kris Allen "got his share of ear-splitting screams and howls - as did the other finalists when they took the stage." He also said that Kris was "impressive" on "Bright Lights"; that Allison Iraheta "soared" on "Cry Baby", was "scorching" on "Barracuda" and that "Slow Ride" made you want more from her and Adam; and that Danny Gokey "poured his heart and soul into songs that wowed his fans."

And if you're looking for the most fan-girly review ever (and that includes some of the fan-girl reviews I've read at fansites), look no further than Creative Loafing, which really is a real newspaper. The title of the review is "I just breathed the same air as Adam Lambert, an American Idol concert review", so that kind of tells you what you need to know. It's amusing at times (like her description of Danny Gokey coming before Adam: "Putting that guy before Adam Lambert is like giving me a deli tray and then telling me that there is a filet mignon encrusted in diamonds and surrounded by rainbows on the way. Nobody gives a crap about the deli tray, you know what I mean?"), but I really dislike what she said about Megan Joy, being proud of starting a rumor that she's "sporting a baby bump". Yeah, really skinny women like to hear that they've got a pooch. Ugh. And about Kris, she said "that Kris Allen kid sang some songs, he wore plaid and he played an acoustic guitar and he shouldn’t have won, whatever, I’m over it." Yeah. Sure you are.

Ryan Star At SLS Hotel

I was one of the lucky Tweeters to win tickets to see Ryan Star in a special show at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills on Tuesday. Although Ryan has been touring around the country all year with David Cook, their idea of "around the country" did not include the West Coast. So I never got to see those two together, and Tuesday was the first time I had seen Ryan perform in three years, I think.

And he's as awesome as ever. Accompanying himself on acoustic guitar in the Garden Terrace of the hotel, he sang "Brand New Day", "Right Now", "Last Train Home", "11:59", "Somebody's Son" and "Breathe". Three concerts over three years, and still no "Losing Your Memory" for me yet. Sigh. Oh! I forgot to mention that at the end of "Somebody's Son", he added a few lines of "Barbie Girl", sung acoustic rock style. Bwahaha. That was great.

Ryan's got a bunch of shows coming up. Check him out if you can. He puts on a great show, even if it's just six songs. And he has an EP out on iTunes now in advance of his upcoming album, 11:59.

Here's 11:59 (which has been my favorite Ryan Star tune since I first heard it a few days after he wrote it three years ago):

And Right Now:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Video Of The Day - William Shatner Reads Sarah Palin's Farewell Speech

From Late Night with Conan O'Brien, here is William Shatner reciting Sarah Palin's rambling, WTF-is-she-talking-about farewell speech as if poetry:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Kris Allen Alice 107.7 Interview, Performance

Here is another Arkansas radio station interview and performance from Kris Allen, this time with Alice 107.7. You can download the interview and performance of Heartless at their website on the right side of the page, under Podcasting.

Topics on hand included when the album is coming out (hopefully before Thanksgiving) and if "Heartless" will be on it ("we'll see"); if Jamie Foxx has called him yet (not yet); random people in Arkansas with six degrees of separation coming up to Kris saying stuff like "my sister's mom's aunt works with your mom" and Kris not knowing what to say to that (he just said "Okay ... thanks"); if the Adam Lambert is a diva rumor is true ("People want to think he is a diva, and he is NOT at all. He is a ridiculously nice person.").

And Kris had to do a little back-pedaling when talking about what constitutes a cougar. He started to tell his story about the woman who kissed him and stuck her tongue in his mouth, describing her as an older woman "around 30s, 40s". The male DJ, DC, asked if she was a cougar, and Kris replied that she might have been a cougar, prompting the female DJ, Heather, to interrupt and ask what age constitutes a cougar. Kris said, "30s, 35 to 60s". Heather was aghast, saying, "I'm a cougar?!". Kris and DC tried to explain, saying at least a 10-year age gap since Kris is 24. As Heather was aghast at the notion, Kris back-pedaled, saying, "Anyways ... ANYWAYS. You're not a cougar, Heather, because you don't ACT like a cougar. It's like a lifestyle. It's not just an age." LOL!!!

Kris was also asked if he's ever trashed a hotel (no). Upon hearing that the Jonas Brother recently trashed a hotel for the first time, Kris said, "If the Jonas Brothers are going to do it, I might have to do it to the next place. Watch out. WATCH OUT, Memphis!"

Idol Tour Reviews - Memphis

Here's the review of the Idol concert in Memphis, Lil Rounds' hometown, from the Commercial Appeal.

The comments about Lil's performance here are a bit lost, though, as the review has caused a bit of a stir amongst the Glamberts (65+ comments worth of a stir). The author, Christopher Blank, wrote that Adam Lambert is "the best showman, for sure, in a Judas-Priest-meets-Liberace studded leather jacket with tails. But at some point, his shrieking becomes self-indulgent and irritating. Adam Lambert is all about Adam Lambert." Kris Allen, meanwhile, was called "the wholesome Arkansas boy" who "earnestly covered songs by The Killers, Bill Withers, Matchbox 20 and The Beatles, brought something for everyone, of every age. No wonder he won. He plays for the true 'American Idol' demographic."

Most of the comments piled on Blank for what was perceived to be homophobic biases, but I thought the Liberace comment was about the jacket, not Adam himself, because Liberace IS known for his jackets with tails. Of course, I didn't know at the time that Judas Priest's lead singer is gay, so knowing that now, I can kind of see why those conclusions were made. Blank did respond in the comments section about the Liberace/Judas Priest comments, saying, "I don't believe there's anything homophobic or condescending about comparing Adam's costume choice (a diamond-studded leather biker jacket with the tails of a concert pianist) to the dungeon-leather getups of Rob Halford and the rhinestoned flamboyance of the pianist Liberace, two performers with distinctive styles that appear to mesh in Adam's outfit."

He also stood by his comments about Adam's voice being "all over the place" and stated that he "careened around the melodies ('Whole Lotta Love,' whole lotta screaming!), even when the lyrics didn't call for it. And no, he wasn't consistently pitch perfect either. Sorry, he wasn't. Great performer, yes. Great vocal performance, no." He also noted that Kris "played a spectacular though conservative set. He was consistent. He was the apparent bandleader. He focused on the sound and arrangements more than the pomp and circumstance. Will I buy Kris Allen's album? We'll wait and see what this guy can do in the studio. I'm more interested in Adam's stuff, personally."

It's a little ironic that by getting pissy about the review, they got the reviewer to expound on it with more reasons why he thought Adam didn't sound good that night. Be careful what you wish for, I guess? And Jesus H. Roman - it's so tiring to read the same old comments from the same couple of fantards (and you all know who I am talking about - one has something to do with the number between seven and nine) who go onto every article ever written about Adam and/or Kris, good or bad, to bash Kris in the comments sections. We heard you the first 1,000 times already.

The other performers were given brief comments. Blank said "beefy" Michael Sarver "should switch to country music". Megan Joy's "voice is made for smooth jazz", and Scott MacIntyre "should open a piano bar with his name on it". Local girl Lil Rounds, whose songs were "nicely rendered", was called "the risk-taker" on the show for picking songs by Celine Dion and Bette Midler (LOL WUT?! I guess, but none of those risks were good risks!). And Anoop Desai, Matt Giraud, Allison Iraheta, and Danny Gokey "each had one or two numbers that stuck out, but none, it seemed, with the interesting rearrangements that got them points for artistry on the television show."

The Leaf-Chronicle has a late review from a staff blogger who went to the show specifically to see Adam. He called Adam "almost the David Bowie of this generation. He's different, he's talented, and he's unapologetic about being himself. That's something you have to admire." And although he admits to having "hard feelings" against Kris for winning, he was able to say, "the dude is talented." Danny "had some serious energy and a great message for all the dreamers in the audience", while Allison was "oozing rock girl" and "has some serious Janis Joplin pipes." The writer was "blown away" by Matt, who he described as "like The Fray's Isaac Slade and Coldplay's Chris Martin mixed in with a little bit of Ray Charles." Anoop "gave me chills with his powerful voice, his ability to sustain some kickin' notes and his endless energy". Lil "didn't do too bad" at singing "Single Ladies". Scott did a better version of "A Thousand Miles" than Vanessa Carlton. He liked Megan's caw-ing but said she wore more makeup than Bozo the Clown. :( And the next time Michael Sarver wants to throw himself a pity party on Twitter, someone should tweet him this: "If Michael Sarver had performed on the show as well as he did in Memphis, we may have been looking at a different top three contestants. Man, he tore that stage up!"

And some pre-show press with Lil Rounds from the Commercial Appeal and Fox Memphis - Part 1 and Part 2, with some show footage.

In the Commercial Appeal, Lil had this to say about being on Idol:

Q: Some of the reviews you've gotten have remarked that you seem a lot more relaxed and confident on stage than you did on the show. Was "American Idol" a trying experience for you?

A: It was a good experience for me. It was just by the time you finish singing a song and you've given your all and felt like you put everything you had out there, then to have the judges go like: Well, not so much for me. That was OK, or that was this or that. And you put your heart into it, and you're putting your best out there. It's just kind of hard, week after week, to keep getting shot down. I think that's what I was battling with the most on the show. ...

But getting out here on tour is totally different because I don't have to worry about any judges saying anything to me. I have confidence in my set. I get up there and sing my songs and the crowd is able to be left with whatever thought they had in their minds in the first place. If they thought I did a great job, then bet on that. I did a great job. I don't have to worry about nobody coming behind me and going: Well, all right or not so much for me. It is a bit more relaxing.

Kris Allen Interview And Performance With B-98.5

Kris Allen did an interview with B-98.5 in Arkansas the morning of the Little Rock concert. That interview, along with his acoustic performance of "Heartless" is now available for download on the station's website.

The "Heartless" performance is done a little differently than we've heard before, and it's amazing. Kris also talks about his Twitter convo with Matt Giraud about state abbreviations (Matt is in the bunk above him as they were Tweeting each other), how he chose the Killers' song (he had done the song before and it's a good crowd interaction song), and how they not forget what city they're in each night. When asked what he misses while being on the road, Kris has a little Freudian slip and says "More than anything, you miss having a normal wife. I mean life." Bwahaha.

Kris also mentions at the end (in his announcer voice lol) that he is doing a "Live in the Vineyard" performance in Napa in November with Chris Daughtry. It's a private event for contest winners.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Kris Allen - Arkansas Concert Videos

Check back for updates on Kris Allen Arkansas video. I will post as I find.

Closer-up video of intro + Heartless (he looks so happy!):

All These Things That I Have Done:

Ain't No Sunshine, Hey Jude, end of Don't Stop Believing:

More of the end of Don't Stop Believing. Matt and Allison bow down to Kris, who lingered at the back of the stage longer than normal before leaving:

"Woo Pig Sooie!":

Arkansas going bonkers during Kris' intro:

Massive photo gallery from Arkansas Online

Pre-Show Media

From the Log Cabin Democrat, Kris talks about life on the road, getting used to the "crazy fans" who just want to touch him ("It's strange," he says), and making a home in Arkansas rather than LA or New York. He also describes his album as "kind of a pop-rock feel with a little bit of something else."

From KARK4 News: Story on Kris performing in his hometown (Video and text transcript). Anoop Desai said, "Kris is like one of my best friends on the tour and I am really proud of him. I mean, this show sold out in like two hours, so it just goes to show how much he's loved here." And Kris talked about what his album will be like: "You know I would say a pop rock with a little bit of soul, and something else, its going to be different but I think people will like it though."

From Fox 16, video from press junket with Kris, Allison Iraheta, Michael Sarver, Scott MacIntyre):

And look what is #1 on Twitter's Trending Topics (to which Kris Tweeted "Also...I'm a lil scared that I am beating Harry Potter. Hope there are no magic spells coming my way to hex me. Please no voodoo Harry."):

Arkansas Goes Hog Wild Over Kris Allen

Kris Allen's hometown concert in Little Rock just ended, and Arkansas went absolutely buh-zonkers when he came out to perform. Listening to it on the cell-cast (thanks,!) was truly amazing. The ovation was so loud and so prolonged - probably a good 3-4 minutes. I'm so happy for him.

Michael Sarver tweeted about it:

The love that Kris just got from this crowd had me moved to tears. I have never heard anything like it. Congrats Kris u deserve it bro.

The crowd sustained the loudest scream I have ever heard for several min and at times it intesified just when u thought it couldn't. Amazing

Later I will post a video of the moment.

Arkansas you were amazing tonight. You touched our hearts tonight with your love and the way u cheered for Kris was my favorite moment of the tour and it had nothing to do with me which was the best part cause I got to witness it. You guys rocked tonight.

Anoop Desai said the same:

The crowd here just gave their hometown boy, Kris, the loudest ovation ever

And from drummer Aaron Spears:

Tonight's show was by far the absolute greatest!!! The people showed every Idol so much love!!! I think I even saw a We Love The Band sign..

Stay tuned for video. I will be stalking YouTube like a hawk for all of the Kris videos and will post it. The word on Twitter is that Kris cried. Awww.

ETA: Kris' Tweet after the show: words to say about tonight. Will remember this for the rest of my life. The love you guys showed me was unmatched. Thank you.

Style Media Group Idol Interviews

Just came across this blog from Style Media Group about the press session from the Sacramento tour stop. The writer talked to Kris Allen, Danny Gokey, Matt Giraud, Lil Rounds and Scott MacIntyre.

Kris revealed that his dream job would be a professional football player (and what position would that be, Pocket Idol? Punter? Long snapper? hehe). The writer described her reaction to Kris coming over: "He and his magical smile walked over, shook my hand and sat down. For a brief moment, I found myself a bit nervous, with flashbacks to age five when I saw New Kids on the Block with my big sister, and age 14 when it was N’SYNC. My anxiety quickly settled as I realized how laid-back Kris was."

Danny was described as having "a 'realness' about him that is evident by his warm smile and soft handshake." He talked about his late wife, as it was approaching the one-year anniversary of her death. "He glowed as he told me of her love for children and the foundation he has begun in her honor,"

Matt was very friendly with the writer and they even became Twitter friends. He said that if he could collaborate with any Idol contestant from any season, it would be Jennifer Hudson.

Lil talked a little about missing her kids and talking to them via Skype and also about what she does to prepare her voice.

Scott said he would want to collaborate with Carrie Underwood because he has "always had a heart for country music". AND he said he would love to write a song for the Jonas Brothers. Huh. I found his description to be interesting and kind of what I was thinking as well from reading all the interviews. She said his answers were "calculated and distinct" and she also linked to his MySpace. I've noticed that from other interviews he's done, which makes me think that he specifically asked them to put that link in. But the funny thing is that she spelled it wrong, and it went to an invalid page. LOL!

Kris Allen Schools Matt Giraud Via Twitter

More Twitter shenanigans from the Idols last night. As they were driving to Little Rock from Tulsa, Matt Giraud Tweeted:

"Great show. Great fans. It's gonna be awesome playing the home state of Kris 2mor, AK It's gonna be quite a night. Were all excited! G'night".

Kris Allen replied a few minutes later:
"@MGiraudOfficial um...don't know how to say this but....AK is Alaska."

Matt responded with:
"Ha ha ha. Adam totally told me that was right earlier!!!! Laughing in my bunk! Ha ha sorry. AR!!!!!"

Michael Sarver joined in on the act, Tweeting:
"@MGiraudOfficial now that's funny."

And then Matt chimed in again with:
"@KrisAllen4Real wait you're not from Alaska???.....oh"

What makes this all even funnier is that they're pretty much on top of each other on the bus doing this. And I wouldn't be surprised if Adam set Matt up with that wrong abbreviation. HAHAHA!

They got to AR (not AK), early this morning, and Matt posted the photo above, with a caption of:
"Oooooooooooh I see. : \"

Idol Tour Reviews - Tulsa

Tulsa World recapped more so than reviewed and said that Kris Allen and Adam Lambert "drew the biggest cheers — but their sets could not have been more different. Allen played stripped-down, soulful versions of pop and rock favorites, while Lambert played a sexed-up set of metal-infused, artsy glam rock."

The newspaper also noted that some fans wore "We (heart) Kradam" shirts and that "Allison Iraheta and Danny Gokey caused plenty of frenzy among the crowd, too."

There are also a few quotes from Kris from a pre-concert interview, where he says he was thinking music was going to end up being a side gig. "I never really expected this to happen. That's why I was going to college," he said.

What might be more entertaining than the article itself is the comments section, where someone got pissy at the writer for her "bias towards Kris and your obvious prejudice towards Adam" because she didn't say that Adam was "WORLDS BEYOND" everyone else. Then she called the writer deaf and blind. LOL!!!! Wut?!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Jim Cantiello Idol Interviews

Here are a bunch of fun interviews of the Idols during the LA stop of the tour from one of my two favorite American Idol reporters, MTV's Jim Cantiello (EW's Michael Slezak is the other).

Anoop Desai - Part 1 - Jim asks Anoop what the secret is to a good "air grind"

Anoop Desai - Part 2 - Jim gives him a tshirt with Anoop's shoe size on it (10.5 if you're curious). Apparently Anoop's shoe size reveal caused a huge stir with his fans. Is that even that big?!

Allison Iraheta - Allison talks about her album and says she wouldn't mind bills being thrown at her instead of underwear, and Jim requests that she does a song on her album called "It's not like I'm cutting myself." Ha!

Danny Gokey - Part 1 - Danny talks about doing country music

Danny Gokey - Part 2 - Danny wants the fanwars between his fans and Adam fans to stop. And no one listens, judging by the comments section on the MTV page. Sad.

Kris Allen - This was linked earlier, but Kris snarking on MTV not playing music is just too funny to not mention again

Matt Giraud - Matt messed with the "creepers" and joined in with the Glamberts who were waiting for/stalking Adam at the hotel. Heh.

Adam Lambert - Adam talks about his album and fusing a bunch of different genres

Groupies at the buses - Talking to and snarking at the fantards waiting outside the buses

Video Of The Day - Wedding Entrance Dance

Oh my gosh, this must have been the coolest wedding EVER! The whole wedding party danced down the aisle to Chris Brown's "Forever":

It's really interesting to read the YouTube comments. Some people are very offended that this happened in a church. What do you all think? Is that offensive to you? Or is it more offensive that they used music from a woman-beater?

Kris Allen Interviews

As the Idol tour heads to the South, Arkansas native Kris Allen is getting a lot of face time with the media. Expect a bunch more tomorrow when the tour hits Little Rock. Here's the latest from yesterday and today.

This video Q&A with Balitang America on The Filipino Channel is possibly the best interview with Kris from the road that we've seen so far. The interviewer, Yong Chavez, is obviously a fan, and she asked fresh and interesting questions. For instance, she asked if "Heartless" is going to be a single on his new album as rumored (he seemed surprised by the question and tried to be evasive but did say "we've been toying with something like that"). She also asked him if he could re-record a song from Brand New Shoes, which one would it be ("Wipe It Away"! Gawd, yes, please do! I love that song so much). He also talks about wanting to participate in Idol Gives Back and do humanitarian work and does some hilarious impressions of Adam Lambert's high-pitched singing and Allison Iraheta's "T-Rex arm" (see picture above).

Watch the interview here:

There are also other interviews with Matt Giraud, Lil Rounds, Scott MacIntyre and Danny Gokey on her website.

Sync Weekly in Arkansas spent 10 minutes with Kris over the phone in Ontario last weekend and posted a transcript of the full interview. Some highlights:

Sync: Talk a little bit about the process of replacing “No Boundaries” with The Killers’ “All These Things That I’ve Done”? Which is a great song, by the way. What was kind of the decision-making process behind that move?

Kris: You know we did the first show, and I think the tour director came up to me and was just like, he was like, “What if we changed the ‘No Boundaries’ to something else?” Because the set just kind of took a dive after the first song, you know? Which I didn’t want that, and I don’t think anyone else wanted that from me. So I thought of actually doing The Killers song. And they were like, “Okay, let’s try it out.” It just worked out great. It’s a song everyone can sing-along with, and it’s good. It’s really good.

Sync: You’re the last one on stage of a three-hour show. While the show is going what are you doing while the others are up there performing? Are you watching from the wings? Are you getting ready?

Kris: Sometimes I try to peek my head out there and watch the show, but a lot of times like when you peek your head out the fans will see you so they won’t watch the actual show so I’ll walk away because I don’t want to be a distraction during someone else’s thing.

Sync: That leads me to my next question. The Verizon Arena show will be your homecoming show. What’s your thought process now as you approach that show?

Kris: It’s crazy. The day the tickets went on sale my brother called me and said, “You know what? The show sold out in like a couple of hours.” And I was like, “Are you serious?” I know it’s not just me, but we sold out Verizon Arena. That’s crazy to think about. I’m so excited cause I’m just so excited to go home. It’s going to be nice to be back in central Arkansas. Seeing family and friends. When you go back home you just feel that love. That’ll be good.

Sync: You’re signed to 19 Recordings. What’s the plan for the album? Who are some of the songwriters you’re working with? What’s the musical direction?

Kris: I feel like it’s going to be kind of what I did on the show. Probably a little bit different, a little bit of a surprise. Definitely the pop rock genre, I guess. I don’t know where to put it, but it’ll be somewhere in there. I worked with a guy from The Fray, and I’m working with him again. And some different people as well. Just some different songwriters. And we’re set up to work with some really cool people pretty soon. I’m really excited about it. Things are looking up and up.

The Oklahoman has a story on Kris in advance of tonight's concert in Tulsa. He talks a little bit about the album, saying, "Yeah, I think a lot of people put me in that ‘singer-songwriter’ genre, but I don’t see myself strictly in that. I guess I’m kind of versatile, and being on the show opened me up to that. I don’t know if I ever surprised myself, but some of the stuff that comes out is surprising."

Tulsa World has a quickie story with tidbits on Kris, Matt, Danny, Lil and Megan Joy, who they interviewed before tonight's show.

Gokey: Lost his iPod on a recent flight between tour stops. Instead of trying to make a quick buck on eBay and selling it, the kind person who found it called his charity (Sophia's Heart Foundation) and offered to return it. And his collection of designer eyeglasses is not getting any smaller.

Lil: So petite, elfin and sweet in person. She'd love to duet with Beyonce - and may be working on a project with another top 10 favorite, Anoop Desai. Stay tuned.

Allen: Is cute and has great taste in music, which is probably how he won America over (along with the talent thing). Loves Kings of Leon, and his sweet, adorable wife who he misses greatly on tour (the newlyweds one-year anniversary is in September).

Giraud: Totally the class clown and a hilarious cut-up. He confessed to sneaking outside to hang with fans on a tour stop in a different city, pretending he was just another crazed Adam Lambert fan trying to get pictures of Glambert getting
on the bus. Until they realized it was Matt and started taking pictures of him.

Megan: It's hard for a mom with a 2-year-old son to be on the road this much (she gets to see him every few weeks), but she's looking forward to being able to buy her own house for her and her son, Ryder, in Utah.

And an-depth interview with Kris' parents on THV:

No Reason To Celebrate On SYTYCD 100th Episode

They celebrated the 100th episode of So You Think You Can Dance last night, but there was no reason to celebrate after Janette Manrara and Jason Glover were unjustly eliminated from the competition.

Seriously, America?! Janette?! She had never even been in the bottom prior to being eliminated. And she was easily the most versatile female dancer in the group, perhaps even the most versatile PERIOD. She was amazing this week, but she was also burdened with a weak partner in Evan Kasprzak, who really is starting to wear out his welcome. He didn't even hit the bottom 2 after his awkward dancing and hat-dropping. He looks to be pretty unstoppable right now. Scary. And this is coming from someone who adored him in the beginning of the season. I'm hoping for a Danny Gokey-like boot coming the week after he should have been eliminated.

Jason had been flirting with elimination all season, so I suppose it was only a matter of time, but it's unfortunate that it came after three stellar performances. And being joined in the bottom 2 with first-time bottom-dweller Brandon Bryant?! That was just wrong.

I blame all of this on Tyce Diorio and his manipulative breast cancer dance. Melissa and Ade are great dancers, but they were in no way better than any of the four in the bottom 2 groups this week.

The great thing about this show, though, is that the non-winners seem to get as much work, if not more, than the winners. Just ask non-SYTYCD winners now on Dancing with the Stars Lacey Schwimmer, Chelsie Hightower and Dmitry Chaplin. Or choreographer extraordinaire Travis Wall. Or Fame co-star Kherington Payne. Or America's Best Dance Crew winners from Quest crew Hok, Dominic and Ryan.

As for the 100th episode celebration, it was great to see the Hok/Jamie Hummingbird dance and especially the Travis/Heidi bench dance, but they needed to make this a 2-hour show and bring back some other great routines, like Benji and Heidi's Black Mambo, Alison & Ivan's "Why" or umbrella dance, Lacey and Kameron's contemporary, the Dancey samba, Joshua and Katee's "No Air", Mark and Chelsie's "Bleeding Love" ... the list goes on. After Wade Robson joined the group (of who, I am not sure) on "Ramalama", we had the extra super special career-defining Katie Holmes performance. Which was ... so not worth the hype.

Nigel Lythgoe took Tweeters to task for criticizing Katie Holmes, saying:

Why hate on Katie? She's had no dance training and did this for publicity for the charity. Everyone lip synchs when they're dancing. MJ too.

I'm going to ban all the Katie haters. You make me sick. Your attitude stops 'stars' doing charity work. Understand why she did it CHILDREN

@brandonlk she's not in competition and she's not a dancer. She's a charity worker. Don't be ignorant!

I'm trying to figure out why Katie is being judged as a dancer. When a star throws out the opening pitch no-one says "ooh crap pitcher!"

Good point on the last one, but when she puts herself out there like that, viewers have a right to criticize.

Kelly Clarkson Rocks The OC Fair

I had the pleasure of seeing Kelly Clarkson last night at the OC Fair. She is AMAZING. And her concerts are so much fun. It was a big sing-along last night, especially when she sang her monster hits, like "Breakaway", "Since U Been Gone" and "My Life Would Suck Without You". For the latter two, the entire place was jumping up and down and singing at the top of their lungs.

They were even singing at the top of their lungs for the softer songs, like "Because Of You". Which ... really? On a song like that, if you can't sing like her, please don't try. The girls sitting behind me were practically shouting the song (out of tune) in my ear. That is not a shouty song, people! "Since U Been Gone"? Sure! Scream away. "Because Of You"? Not so much. Although I'm sure that most singers will say that having the audience singing to your songs has to be one of the best compliments.

BTW - Kelly said prior to singing this song that her record label didn't like the song until it became a hit. WTF?! Didn't the song get nominated for a Grammy?! Those RCA people - geniuses. Only not. Poor Kelly has been struggling with her label for a long time now. And then I read this article today that talks about how Ryan Tedder used the same backing tracks Beyonce's "Halo" that he used on "Already Gone", which he co-wrote with Kelly. "Halo" came out first, and Kelly fought with her label to not release "Already Gone" out of respect to Beyonce, but they still did.

Anyway, back to "Because of You". The camera didn't pick it up as much, thankfully for your ears, but you can hear Kelly (and crowd) singing here:

Kelly opened up her concert with a high-energy set that kept people on their feet from note one. And only a small pocket of people sat down more than halfway through the set when she sang a slow song. She mixed up her old mega-hits with songs from her current album, as well as some fantastic covers ("Some Guys Have All The Luck" by Rod Stewart, "Walkin' After Midnight" by Patsy Cline and "If" by Janet Jackson). Her older hits included "Miss Independent", "Walk Away", "Behind These Hazel Eyes" (acoustic!), and the aforementioned. Highlights from her current album included a rockin' "If I Can't Have You" and stunningly beautiful acoustic versions of "Cry" and "Already Gone". As far as the covers go, I loved all three of them, and I don't normally like that Rod Stewart song. I now have a monster list of songs I want to hear her record because she really can sing anything.

Here's "Already Gone":

Idol Tour Reviews - Dallas

From what I have been reading, it sounds like the crowd in Dallas was pretty wild and enthusiastic. Adam Lambert has been getting underwear tossed at him for a few concerts now, and now Kris Allen has joined the underwear club, as a fan threw boxers at him at the end of "Heartless".

As for the reviews, the Dallas Morning News offers up this review, which noted the contrasts between Danny Gokey's to Adam Lambert's to Kris Allen's sets, saying it went from a church revival to a bombastic PG-13 set to an understated set. Adam ("the one and only Adam Lambert", mind you) was described as having "unmatched talent". Kris "won the crowd over in his own understated way". The reviewer also made note of sorta-hometown boy Michael Sarver, for his "strong voice and personality"; Allison Iraheta, who evoked the "look and sound of a junior Kelly Clarkson"; and "especially Matt Giraud, whose piano-playing prowess and crowd-stirring charisma were special treats."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

How Does Kris Allen Really Feel About No Boundaries?

In an interview with Memphis radio station Q107, Kris Allen was asked about why he dropped "No Boundaries" from his concert set. He was diplomatic, saying the tour director and a bunch of people felt it was hurting the set, and so they replaced it with something more high-energy and crowd-pleasing. One of the DJs replied, "Let's be honest here, Kris. You kind of don't like that song very much, do you?" Kris' response? "I'm not gonna be honest!" BWAHAHAHAHA!

Love it when Snarky Kris comes out, like he did on MTV with his other BFF, Jim Cantiello. Jim asked Kris about his album, saying while pointing to the MTV microphone, "because we're MTV News and we report on MUSIC". Kris pointed back to the mic and said, "Are you sure about this?" with a laugh. After Jim said "Ouch", Kris looked into the camera with a devilish grin and said "YIKES!" Ha!

Video Of The Day - Chris Daughtry, Dane Cook Duet

Chris Daughtry and comedian Dane Cook teamed up for this TwitVid, a duet of the Growing Pains theme song. LOL!!!!:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Second Half Saves SYTYCD Top 8 Show

The first half of tonight's So You Think You Can Dance Top 8 show was a bust, but the second half saved it from being a complete disaster, with some memorable dances, including an emotional contemporary dance choreographed by Tyce Diorio and danced by Melissa and Ade that had the judging panel and audience sobbing.

Perhaps I am a bit heartless, but I'm kind of over these kinds of dances that are all about the sob story and less about the dancing. See Mia Michaels' Dead Dad Dance (Lacey and Neil, Season 3) and Jean-Marc Genereaux's "very special" waltzes with Twitch and Kherington and Asuka and Vitolio. It's a little bit emotionally manipulative. Having said that, though, some of those lifts and jumps that Melissa and Ade did were breathtaking. But they would have been just as breathtaking without the headscarf and the story.

Speaking of Heartless, I couldn't help but squeee at hearing Kris Allen's "Heartless" being used in Janette and Evan's rumba. Pocket Dancers dancing to Pocket Idol. How appropriate. The music wasn't a good fit for the dance (too slow), and I really wish Janette had danced it with someone else, but I won't complain about hearing Kris on TV again. :)

My favorite dance of the night was to another song done by an American Idol winner - Brandon and Jeanine's pop jazz to Jordin Sparks' "Battlefield". Wow that was one intense and hard-hitting routine, and except for one small part, they were doing some really intricate and tough synchronized moves. Brandon is pure power. He blows me away.

Kayla and Jason's Shane Sparks hip-hop had a cool zombie concept and some really cool moves, but Mia was on crack when she said it was Shane's best hip hop ever on the show. EVER?! Did Ivan and Alison's umbrella dance, Benji and Donyelle's "Booty in the Pants" dance, Sabra and Dominic's chair dance, and Lauren and Pasha's Transformer dance cease to exist? Bloody hell. (ETA: Oh, she said her favorite ever. But still ... )

So the second half dances were all better than the first half, with one exception - I preferred Kayla and Jason's Broadway number to "Mr. Monotony" to their zombie hip-hop. I could not take my eyes off Jason. He totally brought it in that dance and had oodles of charisma. He's really gone up in my estimation lately. In hindsight, perhaps it was Caitlin who dragged him down. The judges' OTT-ness when it comes to Kayla is really annoying me. Mia saying she could be huge on Broadway? Um, let's see how she sings first, mmmkay?

The other three first-half dances were dreadful. Evan and Janette's Sonya jazz was awkward thanks to Evan (Jeanette was awesome in it and showed some ridiculous lines). Brandon and Jeanine's waltz was awkward and had some really boring music and choreography. Melisa and Ade's cha cha was too slow and not danced very well by either. And can we talk about Ade's outfit? TRAGIC. The black fringe shirt with red pants was awful.

I enjoyed the solos more tonight than in past nights. Brandon's was INSANE. The straddle jump to splits made me gasp out loud, and his back-handsprings were so fast and weren't even traveling anywhere. That was sick. Jeanine's solo to "Let The Drummer Kick" was fantastic and fit so well with the music. Janette's solo was more on the contemporary side and a huge surprise. She really can do anything. Ade's solo was also very good, and he has really interesting music all the time (except for the Unchained Melody solo. Bleh). I liked Jason's music choice ("...Slowdance On The Inside), and he had some beautiful jumps. Kayla's solo was her typical same old thing, and she used the typical contemporary music that everyone (Imogen Heap). Evan's solo made me realize that Evan only does Evan well and that there's not a lot of variety there. And WTF at him dropping his hat?! Good heavens. He should have just left it there and picked it up more naturally than he did. I don't want to hate Evan, but if he stays and Brandon goes tomorrow ... grrr. And this is coming from someone who was a big Evan fan in the beginning.

Predictions for tomorrow: It should be Melissa and Evan, but I think it will be Kayla and Jason going home. Melissa's cancer dance will save her, and Evan's apparently huge fanbase will save him. Also tomorrow is the 100th episode, with some of the show's favorite dances, including Travis and Heidi's bench dance, and Ramalama with Wade Robson. I can't believe the show is only one hour.

And Ellen DeGeneres' guest judging stint? Awesome. I actually would've liked to see some more snark coming out of her, but she was still funny.

Dance/Music List:
Group dance - Choreographed by Travis Wall ("Let It Rock" by Kevin Rudolf)
Janette/Evan - Jazz, choreographed by Sonya Tayeh ("Move" (Metronomony Remix) by CSS)
Kayla solo - "The Moment I Said It" by Imogen Heap
Jeanine/Brandon - Waltz, choreographed by Hunter Johnson ("May It Be" by Hayley Westenra)
Jason solo - "...Slowdance On The Inside" by Taking Back Sunday
Melissa/Ade - Cha Cha Cha, choreographed by Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin ("Yeah" (Como Goza Mi Morena) by Chino Espinoza Y Los Duenos Del Son
Janette solo - "Seduces Me" by Celine Dion
Kayla/Jason - Broadway, choreographed by Tyce Diorio ("Mr. Monotony" (from Jerome Robbins Broadway) by Kim Criswell)
Ade solo - "Hater" from Various Productions Artist
Janette/Evan - Rumba, choreographed by Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin ("Heartless" by Kris Allen)
Melissa solo - "Heads Will Roll" by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Jeanine/Brandon - Pop/Jazz, choreographed by Laurie Ann Gibson ("Battlefield" by Jordin Sparks)
Evan solo - "Old Devil Moon" by Jamie Cullum
Jeanine solo - "Let The Drummer Kick" by Citizen Cope
Melissa/Ade - Contemporary, choreographed by Tyce Diorio ("This Woman's Work" by Maxwell)
Brandon solo - "Ain't Nothing Wrong With That" by Robert Randolph & the Family Band
Kayla/Jason - Hip Hop, choreographed by Shane Sparks ("They're Everywhere" by Izza Kizza)

SYTYCD Top 8 Spoilers

Check out spoilers from tonight's So You Think You Can Dance Top 8 performance show at MJ's Big Blog.

There is one routine in particular I cannot wait to see due to the music choice, which is from my favorite Idol. They missed the (sinking) boat earlier in the year with one of his songs but chose one this time around! Woo-hoo!

Idol Tour Reviews - Arizona

Just one that I could find, from the Arizona Republic, which called Danny Gokey "perhaps the night's most engaging performer" with "the potential to be a great showman".

The one who usually gets those comments is Adam Lambert, but the reviewer, Randy Cordova, felt Adam needed to rein it in a bit, calling "Whole Lotta Love" "manic" and saying his microphone stand antics "may have been a bit much for such a family-friendly show".

Anoop Desai and Scott MacIntyre were the only other two Idols to get mostly positive reviews. The reviewer, Randy Cordova, said Anoop "surprised with a lovely and powerful 'Always on my Mind'" and "commanded the stage with ease" and that Scott's "voice soared on the latter tune, and he projects a comfortable singer-songwriter vibe.

Cordova said Kris Allen "emerged as decidedly unflashy and low-key" with song choices that were "wildly unadventurous" (how can you be wildly unadventurous when you're doing an electric guitar solo to the Killers?!).

Allison Iraheta, in his eyes, "did virtually nothing to break out of the rocker-chick stereotype. She also didn't seem particularly comfortable speaking to the crowd, which doesn't bode well for a career as a front woman." (meh to that too. Aren't most people there to hear you sing, not speak?)

Michael Sarver and Lil Rounds got creamed in this review, with Cordova more or less suggesting they have no future in this business, and I guess Matt Giraud and Megan Joy should be glad he didn't mention them at all. Sarver seemed to take this review to heart, Tweeting about it and saying "Hey guys hope you had a great day today. I have except reading the horrible review I got from last nights show by a reporter." and "'Bland vocals and no future in recording'. Wow they don't know me very well."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kelly Clarkson To Perform On VH1 Divas

Kelly Clarkson will perform in a new "VH1 Divas" live concert event on Thursday, Sept. 17. The concert will be televised live on VH1 at 9 pm ET.

Joining Kelly on the show are what the press release described as "some of pop music's most talented female artists - Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Leona Lewis and Miley Cyrus.

Uhhhh, jigga what?! Miley Cyrus?!?!?! One of these things is not like the other ...

Oh lord. I guess I'll be flipping to Grey's Anatomy during that time.