Sunday, January 31, 2010

Idols Attend Clive Davis' Pre-Grammy Party

American Idol was well-represented at Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammy party Saturday night in Beverly Hills. Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Hudson performed, and Kris Allen, Adam Lambert, Allison Iraheta, Kara DioGuardi, Randy Jackson and Ryan Seacrest were all in attendance.

Kris was interviewed from inside the party on the Grammy's live feed by this big fail whale of a reporter, who had earlier pretty much interrupted an interview he was doing on the red carpet with another media outlet, which resulted in this WTF look. When she finally did talk to him inside, Kris busted her for her roving eye while he was talking. It's pretty hilarious. The whole interview was classic. Before the clip started in this video below, Kris snarked about his invitation to the party: "Me and Clive are good buddies. He texted me and was all 'You know what, Kris? I don't think this party would be anything without you." LOL



A few pics to start, from AP:






Click below for more photos:

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Whataya Want From Me New #1 On VH1 Countdown

For the third straight week, an American Idol alum has the No. 1 video on the VH1 Top 20 Countdown. This week it's Adam Lambert, with his video for "Whataya Want From Me". Adam's video moved up 10 spots from No. 11, where it debuted last week.

Nice little birthday present for Adam!

Last week's No. 1, Kris Allen's "Live Like We're Dying", is No. 4 this week. The No. 1 video from two weeks ago, Daughtry's "Life After You", is No. 3. Also in the Top 10 was Carrie Underwood's "Cowboy Casanova" at No. 9.

The countdown airs again on Saturday at 9 am ET/PT, Sunday at 8 am ET/PT and Tuesday at 9 am ET/PT.

To vote on the Vh1 Top 20 Countdown, visit VH1.com.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Concert Dates For Kris, Adam, Allison



New concert dates have surfaced for Kris Allen, Adam Lambert and Allison Iraheta.

Kris and Allison head to Wichita, Kansas on Mar. 18 for Channel 96.3's Spring Fling with Iyaz, Kevin Rudolf and one other artist to be named at a later time. The original article that had this info got pulled (it was probably posted prematurely), but the show is taking place at the Hartman Arena at 7:30 pm. Tickets go on sale Feb. 6 and range in price from $21-35. Allison was also recently added to the 93.3 FLZ show that Kris is doing on Feb. 13 - the Meet Ball. I kid you not.

In addition, Allison is performing on Feb. 8 at Q92 in Canton, Ohio. Tickets can only be won through the radio station.

Kris heads out to Asia soon for what looks to be at least four shows now - 2 in the Philippines and 1 in Singapore that was reported earlier, and now there is talk of something going down in Malaysia. No details yet, just some posts on Facebook from Klubbkidd.com that Kris will be there Monday.

Adam is performing at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on Feb. 27 at 8 pm. Tickets for that show go on sale at the casino box office and online on Friday, Jan. 29 and range in price from $39-79.

Kradison will be performing together in New York City on Feb. 12 for the Idols Rock My Town contest winners.

Carrie Underwood To Sing National Anthem At Super Bowl

NFC Championship Game: Carolina Panthers v Seattle Seahawks
As anticipated, Carrie Underwood was announced as the National Anthem singer at Super Bowl XLIV in Miami on Feb. 7.

Carrie is the third consecutive Idol to perform the National Anthem at the Super Bowl, following in the footsteps of Jordin Sparks (2008) and Jennifer Hudson (2009).

The Who will be performing at halftime. They have said they will perform a mashup of hits - "A bit of ‘Baba O’Riley,’ a bit of ‘Pinball Wizard,’ a bit of the close of ‘Tommy,’ a bit of ‘Who Are You,’ and a bit of ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again.’"

Matt Giraud Duet Available For Purchase Now

Matt Giraud's duet with Anna Wilson, "You Don't Know Me" is available for purchase now at digital outlets.

Direct links to purchase:
iTunes
Amazon.com

Seriously, it's really good.

AI9 Dallas Auditions

Texas is home to original Idol Kelly Clarkson, and while we have yet to see anyone of her caliber just yet (in my opinion, of course), the Dallas auditions did bring a good guest judge in Neil Patrick Harris (but also a mute and useless guest judge in Joe Jonas), a Season 1 blast from the past, an original song that name-checked William Hung, a former child actor turned wannabe dominatrix, and only four bad auditions!

Gold Tickets:
Lloyd Thomas, 29 (Dallas, TX) - "Overjoyed" by Stevie Wonder (Amazon)
*I'm surprised he made it through considering he totally butchered the words. I didn't think he was good or unique enough to ignore those lyric mess-ups. Yet, Simon said it was his favorite audition of the day, and Randy gave him a billion percent yes. His personality is A+, though. I totally giggled when he said, "Get out of here, Simon. You better leave right now." Lloyd's like a hybrid of Ruben Studdard and Ricky Smith.

Kimberly Carver, 26 (Denton, TX) - original song
*She has a good, strong voice, but I was more on Simon's side - I didn't see anything current about her.

Erica Rhodes, 23 (Irving, TX) - "Free Your Mind" by En Vogue (Amazon)
*Erica is a former child actor who was on Barney & Friends and wants to to show that she's not a kid anymore. So she dressed up as a dominatrix and brandished a whip to her audition. Oh brother. I HATED this whole gimmick, and I don't believe that this is what she's all about as an artist. It's so put-on and playing dress up to me.

Dave Pittman, 27 (Mountaine Home, AR) - "Bring It On Home To Me" by Sam Cooke (Amazon)
*Dave has Tourette's Syndrome. And call me evil, but I want him to get to at least the voting rounds because I want to see TPTB and Ryan Seacrest get worried about what he might do on a live show. This could be awesome.

Todrick Hall, 24 (Arlington, TX) - original song
*Todrick made up a song that incorporated the judges, auditioning and William Hung. And he sang/wrote it in such a way that it wasn't totally cringe-worthy and stupid. It actually sounded like a real song.

Dawntoya Thomason, 27 (Dallas, TX) - "Blue" by LeAnn Rimes

Stephanie Daulong, 20 (Austin, TX) - ??

Maegan Wright, 20 (Richardson, TX) - "To Make You Feel My Love" by Garth Brooks/Adele (Amazon)
*I don't usually like to make such comparisons, but this was one of my favorites last year, and Kris Allen does this way better.

Christian Spear, 16 (Houston, TX) - "All I Can Do Is Cry" by Etta James (Amazon)
*The girl has a nice voice, but she displayed her finger while singing the line "on her finger he placed a ring". UGH. That was nauseating.

Reject Pile:
Julie Kevelighan - "Black Velvet" by Allanah Myles/"Over The Rainbow" by Judy Garland/"Something To Talk About" by Bonnie Raitt
*I totally remember her from Season 1. She sang "Lady Marmalade" and Simon told her to get a lawyer and sue her singing teacher. Classic Simon moment that still stands as one of his all-time best critiques. It's too bad he didn't remember her; it could have been another awesome moment.
Dexter Ward - "If I Ever Fall In Love" by Shai
Vanessa Johnston - "At Last" by Etta James
Unnamed bad audition - "Kiss A Girl" by Keith Urban

Miscellaneous Music:
Welcome To Texas: "God Bless Texas" by Little Texas (Amazon)
Reject montage - "Breathe" by Taylor Swift (iTunes | Amazon)
Gold Ticket Winners - "Party In The USA" by Miley Cyrus (iTunes | Amazon)
Joe Jonas intro - "Burnin' Up" by The Jonas Brothers (Amazon)
Todrick Hall Gold Ticket - "Hollywood Swinging" by Kool & The Gang (Amazon)
Vanessa Johnston intro - "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper (Amazon)
Christian Spear intro - "Footprints In The Sand" by Leona Lewis (iTunes | Amazon)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Allison Iraheta KIIS-FM In-Studio Performance

Allison Iraheta was a guest on Jojo Wright's radio show on KIIS-FM in Los Angeles this week and gave fantastic acoustic performances of Friday I'll Be Over You/Just Like You, Scars and Don't Waste The Pretty.

Let's hope that this appearance here leads to KIIS actually adding her song to its playlist! Friday I'll Be Over U has seen some gains in airplay this week

Audio from the show is from Alliholics.

Part 1 (w/ FIBOU/JLY):


Part 2 (Scars/DWTP):


Part 3 (rapid-fire questions):

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

AI9 Los Angeles Auditions

The Los Angeles auditions of American Idol 9 brought us guest judges Avril Lavigne and Katy Perry, some over the top sob stories, Crying Girl, a bunch of lousy auditions, a group of guys who were labeled Adam Lambert wannabes that included Jason Castro's brother and one of Adam's friends, and one hell of a one-liner from Katy Perry to Kara DioGuardi that pretty much salvaged this episode.

A total of 27 gold tickets were given out in Los Angeles, and we only saw five. Lovely. Instead, we get a segment about people jackin' Adam Lambert's style at the auditions. First of all, Adam's look isn't totally original. Second of all, Adam's friend Cassidy Haley and Jason Castro's brother Michael, who were both shown in this segment, are most definitely not trying to be Adam. We also get Crying Girl Ashley Ferl doing what she is most known for - crying after being cut.

Two of the five successful auditions that were actually shown got the major sob story edit, and I'm pretty much over it and having adverse reactions to them when they go even slightly over the top. Katy Perry seems to be sick of them as well. While Kara went on and on about Justin Guarini hair-alike Chris Golightly having a great story (he's a foster child) and gushing over him like he was going to win the competition, you could feel Katy's eyes rolling to the back of her head. I know mine were. Chris has a pretty good voice, but it most definitely did not blow me away, KARA. Katy's response to her was A++++: "This is not a Lifetime movie, sweetie." OH SNAP! And ILU, Katy Perry! Please replace Simon next year so that we have someone to put Kara in her place! (and to also keep you too busy to record. Ahem.)

The other Lifetime movie edit went to Andrew Garcia, whose dad was in Hispanic gangs and didn't want his son to go down the same path. Papa Garcia weeped during his interview. Bonus points for Andrew! So Andrew auditioned in Kris Allen attire (a plaid shirt that looks like Kris' favorite plaid shirt and a newsboy cap that looks like the one Kris wore to his first audition) with Danny Gokey glasses and some Matt Giraud-like soul. I am very confused by this. Andrew did some really cool things with his song, but the Kris/Danny/Matt thing is trippin' me out.

Jim Ranger has a little Kris Allen profile going as well. He's married and is a church leader. He is also originally from Arkansas (Little Rock), says Cale Mills on twitter. Cale's former band performed with Jim in shows back in Arkansas. Jim also had a judge be all "concerned" about his marital status and personal life, which is utterly ridiculous. Seriously, Avril?? Don't front and use a stupid-ass excuse about not thinking he can do all of that plus Idol. First of all, it's just a ticket to Hollywood. Not a golden invitation to be in the Top 12. Second of all, hi, your reigning American Idol was a married worship leader. He handled all of that just fine. Just tell him you don't think he'll make it because his image isn't good enough. You might be called a bitch for saying it, but at least you'll be an honest bitch.

The only other two highlighted Hollywood-bound contestants tonight were Mary Powers and Tasha Layton. Mary is a rock mom to an 8 year-old girl who loves Simon Cowell. She may not anymore after Simon called her mom "cliched". Simon was dead-on, though. Tasha sang a Joss Stone song and reminded me of Ryan Starr without the skank. I dunno. I'm just not seeing either of them being big factors on this show.

Gold Tickets:
Jim Ranger, 27 (Bakersfield, CA) - "Drive" by Jim Ranger
Mary Powers, 28 (Burbank, CA) - "Love Is A Battlefield" by Pat Benatar
Andrew Garcia, 23 (Moreno Valley, CA) - "Sunday Morning" by Maroon 5
Tasha Layton, 26 (Granada Hills, CA) - "Baby Baby Baby" by Joss Stone
Chris Golightly, 25 (Los Angeles, CA) - "Stand By Me" by Ben E. King

Reject Pile:
Neil Goldstein - "Rock And Roll Dreams Come True" by Meatloaf
*He's totally putting on a show with this intro. So fake. That became obvious when he "ironically" forgot the lyrics after singing "Remember everything that I told you."
Jayson Wilson - "All By Myself" by Eric Carmen
Jesse Chang - "Kung Fu Fighting" by Carl Douglas
Martin Perez - "So What" by Pink
Damien Lefavor - "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" by The Righteous Brothers
A.J. Mendoza - "Cult Of Personality" by Living Colour
*He claims he sent Adam Lambert a demo and that Adam "had nothing but fantastic things to say" about his voice. Um, Adam either has crappy taste, is too nice to say otherwise or A.J. is totally lying.
Austin Fullmer - "Surrender" by Cheap Trick
Jason Green - "I Touch Myself" by Divinyls

Miscellaneous Music:
Welcome to Los Angeles - "Tik Tok" by Ke$ha
Avril Lavigne intro - "Complicated" by Avril Lavigne
Mary Powers gold ticket - "Call Me" by Blondie
Adam Lambert montage - "We Are The Champions" by Queen (sung by Adam)
Katy Perry Intro - "I Kissed A Girl" by Katy Perry
Helicopter entrance - A-Team theme
Rejection montage - "I Want You To Want Me" by Cheap Trick
Andrew Garcia gold ticket - "Life After You" by Daughtry
Tasha Layton gold ticket - "Oh Happy Day"
Katy/Kara fight montage - "Hot And Cold" by Katy Perry
Chris Golightly gold ticket - "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus

Listen To Matt Giraud's Duet With Anna Wilson

Matt Giraud's duet of the country classic "You Don't Know Me" with jazz singer Anna Wilson, and the song is now being streamed at AnnaWilson.com.

You can preorder the single now on Amazon.com, which says it will be available on Jan. 28 (everywhere else has indicated a Jan. 29 release date). It will be included on Anna Wilson's upcoming album, Countrypolitan Duets. They will perform the duet at Matt's Jan. 29 concert at Forest Hills Fine Arts Center in Grand Rapids.

Matt sounds AMAZING on this song. I'm not surprised at how good he sounds in the studio, though. A slew of his AI studio tracks were amongst my favorites this past season (seriously, So Small and You Found Me ... so freakin' good). And I will continue to say this until it actually happens: How is he not signed?!?! #signMattGiraud.

Michael Jackson This Is It DVD Release Event

Best Buy hosted a DVD release event for Michael Jackson's This Is It in Culver City and New York. I happened to be having dinner where the Culver City event was taking place, so I stuck around for the screening of the DVD, which they played on a huge TV screen inside the mall.

After the screening ended (they stopped at "The Way You Make Me Feel", I think), DJs from Power 106 had people come up on the mini round stage they had set up to dance to some Michael Jackson songs. Most of the audience were people who I think were there to perform, so there were some good dancers who went up on stage, including some b-boys, pop-lockers, tappers, a Lindy Hop couple who did some crazy stunts, and one guy who did like a triple spin, figure-skater style, into the splits. My personal favorite was an old man who looked to be in his 70's who was gettin' down with the get down. He came up on stage with two younger women, and they had a full-on dance routine. It was amazing. I have cell phone video of it from afar, and if I ever figure out how to upload it somewhere, I'll add it here later.

After the dance party with the audience, they brought out one of the tour's choreographers, Stacy Walker, who spoke briefly, and six tour dancers, who danced to an old-school Michael song and then to "The Drill." And then it looked like the whole thing was pretty much over until midnight when the DVD went on sale, and most of the people started leaving, so I went home. Turns out they did do what I guess was an attempt at a flash mob performance, but theirs sure doesn't look anything like the Philippines prison one that was recently released.

I had fun, but it seemed pretty disorganized and very much under-promoted. I didn't hear about it at all, and I live a mile from the location. The screening left little to be desired. They didn't set up any seats, so most people were standing or sitting on the floor on the first level looking up at the big screen on the second level. The sound wasn't great either, so we couldn't hear anything but the music, really. And then it ended prematurely.

The DVD, on the other hand, looks awesome. The concert would have been AMAZING ("Smooth Criminal", in particular, would have been pretty epic. And Orianthi ... that chick can shred!)

If you want to purchase the DVD, you can get it on Blu-Ray or regular DVD at Amazon.com. The Blu-Ray version allegedly has more footage or more content than the regular DVD.

Danny Gokey Music Video Released

Danny Gokey's music video for "My Best Days Are Ahead Of Me" was released Monday in a two-day exclusive window at AmericanIdol.com. It's a nice video filled with positive messages that really fit the song.

I think the video is directed by Wes Edwards (not 100% sure, but based on this behind-the-scenes video, it sure looks like it). Edwards directed Jason Aldean's "Amarillo Sky", which was a Best Video nominee at the 2007 ACMAs.

You can watch Danny's video here:

Monday, January 25, 2010

Ice Dancing Champs Davis/White Skate To David Cook's Billie Jean

2010 U.S. Ice Dancing Champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White skated to David Cook's version of "Billie Jean" in their exhibition performance at Sunday's Champions Gala. Ice dancing is my least favorite of the figure skating disciplines, but this routine was really great. The speed on that spin they did at the end of the routine was breathtaking.



At the end of their performance, the commentator talks about their Phantom of the Opera free dance, calling it "iconic". I missed that competition, so I looked it up just now. Holy. Crap. Their lifts are insane! I came into the U.S. Championships more of a Tanith Belbin/Ben Agosto fan, but I may be hopping on the Davis/White train now.

Here's video from that performance:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Kris Allen To Help Out In Haiti

In an interview with B97 in New Orleans before the NFC Championship game, Kris Allen announced that he was going to Haiti to help out with relief efforts. He said he was originally going to do Friday's telethon but got "hooked up" with an opportunity to GO to Haiti instead to help out. (Idol Gives Back, perhaps?)

This kind of humanitarian work is nothing new to Kris. He made many similar trips before he even auditioned for American Idol, traveling to places such as Thailand, South Africa, Morocco (where he got so sick he almost died), Mozambique, Spain and Burma for missionary work. When he was in Thailand visiting a refugee camp, he famously gave up his new, expensive guitar because their guitar was missing pegs, couldn't tune and wasn't compatible with the amps.

Here's audio from the interview, courtesy thisistaks:

Jordin, Kris Sing National Anthem Today At NFL Games

Idol winners Jordin Sparks and Kris Allen sing the national anthem at today's AFC and NFC Championship Games, respectively.

Jordin is first up at the AFC Championship game vs. the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts in Indianapolis. The game is on CBS at 3 pm ET/Noon PT. Kris is singing at the NFC Championship game in New Orleans, where the Saints are hosting the Minnesota Vikings. That game is on FOX at 6:30 pm ET/3:30 pm PT.

ETA: Here are their performances:

Jordin Sparks (courtesy MJs Big Blog):

Kris Allen:


Turns out that one of the top Google Trends shortly after Kris' national anthem was "Chris Allen" and "Chris Allen American Idol". So for those of you who are coming across this through that, you probably don't know that Kris has a CD out. You may have heard his first single - it's almost Top 20 on Pop radio right now, and it's Top 10 on HAC. It's called "Live Like We're Dying". You can buy it at iTunes or Amazon.com. :)

Hope For Haiti Now Benefit Album Available

A benefit album of live performances from Friday night's Hope For Haiti telecast is now available at iTunes and Amazon.com.

The 20-song collection is just $7.99, and all proceeds will go to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, Oxfam America, Partners in Health, Red Cross, UNICEF, United Nations World Food Programme, and Yele Haiti Foundation. In addition, all proceeds from the special studio version of "Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)" by Jay-Z, Bono, the Edge, and Rihanna will go to Partners in Health.

Included in the album is Jennifer Hudson's "Let It Be". Here's video of the performance:


Another favorite was Justin Timberlake/Matt Morris doing "Hallelujah":

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Live Like We're Dying #1 On VH1's Top 20 Countdown



Kris Allen now has a No. 1 video to his credit. This week, his music video for "Live Like We're Dying" hit No. 1 on the Vh1 Top 20 Countdown, moving up four spots from its previous peak of No. 5 a week ago.

Other Idols on the countdown are Chris Daughtry with Daughtry's "Life After You" at No. 2 (it was No. 1 last week), Carrie Underwood with "Cowboy Casanova" at No. 8, and Adam Lambert, debuting at No. 11 with "Whataya Want From Me."

The first airing of the Vh1 Top 20 Countdown just ended on the East Coast. West Coasters can catch it at 3 am PT. It airs again on Saturday at 9 am ET/PT, Sunday at 8 am ET/PT and Tuesday at 9 am ET/PT.

To vote on the Vh1 Top 20 Countdown, visit VH1.com.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Video Of The Day - Snow Patrol's Set The Fire To The Third Bar

If you've been paying attention to the iTunes singles charts lately, you might have seen the song "Set The Fire To The Third Bar" by Snow Patrol & Martha Wainwright coming out of nowhere to move into the Top 20. The song is a good 3-4 years old - it came out on the same album as "Chasing Cars" (Eyes Open), which was released in 2006.

After being used in the Dear John trailer, the song's sales skyrocketed. And since it was never released as a single in the U.S., I've gotta believe that it's all from people seeing the trailer and going "What is that song? I must have it." Ahem. Guilty as charged; I bought it the first time I saw the trailer.

If you want to add it to your music collection, click here: Amazon.com | iTunes

Here's the official music video, which was made in 2006:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Kris Allen Heading To Asia In February

Kris Allen will be performing in the Philippines and Singapore in February. For the two gigs in the Philippines on Feb. 5 and Feb. 6, Kris will be performing with America's Best Dance Crew Season 1 champions JabbaWockeeZ and singing group Boyce Avenue.

The Feb. 5 concert is in Cebu City at SM Cebu North Annex Parking, and the Feb. 6 concert is in Manila at McKinley Hill Fort Bonifacio.

The Singapore date was just recently added. Kris will perform at the Zirca Nightclub on Feb. 10.

Kris' travel schedule looks pretty insane. After the Singapore show, he will be flying to New York City for the Feb. 12 Ryan Rock My Town concert with Adam Lambert and Allison Iraheta. That show will take place at the Highline Ballroom, which has a capacity of 700. Expect insanity to take place in there. I've got my popcorn handy.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Vevo 24s - Kris Allen

Vevo's original series 24 is "invading the personal space of an artist for a day". Its first victim is Kris Allen. Vevo goes behind the scenes of his American Idol promo shoot and a late-night band rehearsal.

The video is embedded below, but because of the size and formatting, it's probably best to watch it on the Vevo website.

AI9 Chicago Auditions

To introduce the Chicago auditions, they showed President Obama's victory speech and had auditioners chant "Yes We Can". If by "Yes We Can" they mean yes, we can give you a mediocre audition show, then ok.

Only 13 people out of 12,000 people got gold tickets, and of the eight they actually showed, I probably would have only given 3 or 4 of them.

Gold Tickets:
Katelyn Epperly, 19 (West Des Moines, IA) - "Syrup and Honey" by Duffy
*In the pre-package, she shares her boo-hoo story, which is that her parents just got divorced, and this audition is the first performance she's done where they both haven't been there. And when she goes in to face the firing squad, they ask her why she's auditioning, and she tells them that she's auditioning because she has a lot of family problems at home. Oh lord. As Randy said, "What are you doing here?" Seriously. It's American Idol. Not American Therapy. And her mother is totally living vicariously through her. I'm already a big DNW with this. She has a good voice, though.

Charity Vance, 16 (Little Rock, AR) - "Summertime" from Porgy & Bess
*She did some really cool and interesting things with that song, but I can see her tone possibly grating down the line. I'm not sure that I see her making it past Hollywood. Plus, I think Idol is afraid of Arkansas messing up their plans for the Chosen Ones.

Angela Martin, 28 (Chicago, IL) - "Just Fine" by Mary J. Blige
*This poor girl. I feel like the universe is telling her she should not make it on American Idol. Every time she auditions, something bad happens to her or her family. This year, her mom went missing around Christmas time. If Angela sticks with it, I hope she does well. She has certainly been through enough. AND she's fantastic, and current-sounding. I've always liked her.

John Park, 20 (Northbrook, IL) - "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know" by Donny Hathaway
*Could John be the first Asian-American dude to make the finals (not counting Indian-Americans Anoop Desai and Sanjaya Malakar)? Can he go where AJ Tabaldo, Paul Kim, Sway Penala and Jordan Segundo could not go before? We'll see. He has a nice, deep and rich voice. However, the unfortunate stench of William Hung still looms in the air when it comes to Asian-American males on TV. There's still so much stereotyping going on. Just look at the surprise the judges expressed over his voice. I feel like they expected him to come in sounding either really feminine or with a really thick accent. On the other hand, guest judge Shania Twain WAS all over John like Kara used to be all over Matt Giraud: "You have a beautiful bottom end. You have nice lips. You have a nice tone down there ... you have a good head." Down, Cougar! Down!

Paige Dechausse, 21 (Morris, IL) - "A Change Is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke
*She almost died from an asthma attack while she was singing. She survived! And can sing great! It's an Anthony Fedorov/David Archuleta-like miracle! SO not surprised that Randy was weak and easily swayed. I thought she was just average and, as Randy pointed out, pitchy.

Justin Ray, 20 (Marysville, IN)
Keith Semple, 27 (Hanover Park, IL) - "Heaven" by Bryan Adams
Marcus Jones, 18 (Gary, IN) - "I'll Be" by Edwin McCain

Reject Pile:
Amy Lang - "Dr. Feelgood" by Aretha Franklin
*The "boob-boxer" would have been the female Norman Gentle if she had gotten through.
Unnamed bad auditioners - "Hero" by Mariah Carey, "It's Not Unusual" by Tom Jones
Curley Newbern - "A Woman's Worth" by Maxwell
*High-pitched and non-melodic. Eeek.
Allanah Halbert - "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston
*The judges tried to give her a manageable key to sing in, and she would/could not get it. Probably because she wasn't paying any attention. Space cadet.
Brian Krause - "Tiptoe Through The Tulips" by Tiny Tim
*He claims that audition was not a joke, and he also claims that he used to sing for the troops and was told not to sing in uniform. I somehow do not believe a word he says.
Harold Davis - "Nice and Slow" by Usher
*Poor guy. He wasn't terrible, so there was not a real reason to show that audition other than the fact that he cried. Grrr, Idol.
Chantelle Graczkowski - "The First Cut Is The Deepest" by Sheryl Crow

Miscellaneous Music:
Welcome to Chicago - "My Kind Of Town (Chicago Is)" by Frank Sinatra
Shania Twain introduction - "Man I Feel Like A Woman" by Shania Twain
Katelyn Epperly gold ticket - "Miss California" by Jack's Mannequin
Family/friends show support - "Growing Pains Theme Song"
Charity Vance gold ticket - "I'm Shakin'" by Rooney
Bad auditions - "Razzle Dazzle" from Chicago
Angela Martin gold ticket - "If This Isn't Love" by Jennifer Hudson
Bad audition montage - "That Don't Impress Me Much" by Shania Twain, "Nobody's Supposed To Be Here" by Deborah Cox

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Adam Lambert Sings For Oprah And The Deaf

Adam Lambert (and Susan Boyle) performed and interviewed on the Oprah Winfrey Show today.

Adam sang his current single "Whataya Want From Me" for TV and the Pokemon soundtrack-sounding "If I Had You" for Oprah's website. There must have been some deaf folks in the audience because he was mimeing the lyrics of "If I Had You" on more than one occasion. Check him out at 0:15 on the line "black color liner" and 1:25 on "stripper heels" and "Maserati". There's also some prime action while he sings the terms "wild side" and "blow my mind".

"If I Had You":


No mimeing on "Whataya Want From Me":


BTW - Oprah? Queen Glambert. She cooed at him during his interview and rather passionately/enthusiastically sang along to both of his performances, as if she were auditioning for American Idol back in Season 2 or something.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Live Like We're Dying Covered By A Cappella Group

An a cappella group from Ithaca College - Ithacappella - did a really cool a cappella version of Kris Allen's "Live Like We're Dying". Check it out!



The video description on YouTube says that Ryan Seacrest Productions asked them to send in some videos with their "Pants on the Ground" video, so they chose this and "Fireflies". Not sure what Seacrest is planning on doing with them, but a cappella groups are all the rage now, so hopefully they get some good exposure from it.

Video Of The Day - Martin Luther King Tribute/U2 & John Legend

To help celebrate and honor Martin Luther King Day, here's are two great tribute videos from the History Channel:

U2's "Pride (In the Name of Love)"


John Legend's gorgeous cover of the same song

One More Chance To (Legally) Win Kradison Concert Tickets

For those of you who don't actually within 50 miles of New York and want to go to the Kris Allen, Adam Lambert, Allison Iraheta concert on February 12 in New York City, here's your chance to win two tickets plus airfare and accommodations, courtesy Stubhub and Ryan Seacrest. Visit RyanSeacrest.com to fill out ONE (1) entry form to win.

Emphasis on the one, people. I know a lot of you out there entered more than once and voted for a city you didn't live anywhere near to get that concert in New York City, thereby disqualifying yourself from winning tickets. And I firmly believe THAT is the reason why it is taking so long for them to notify the winners - because they had to weed through a ton of fraudulent entries. So do everyone a favor and only enter once like the rules say. Not once from all 25 emails that you created to vote for NYC (or Little Rock, for that matter). ONE ENTRY. That is all. It spells it out clearly in the official rules (as did the other contest that no one seemed to read the rules for).

The winner of this contest (btw - non-U.S. residents, kids under 13, employees and families of employees of the sponsors and radio stations that air Seacrest's show, Hawaiians and Alaskans are screwed, as usual) will win airfare for two (2) provided by Orbitz, two (2) nights hotel accommodations at W New York – Times Square, and two (2) tickets to the concert on February 12, 2010 at a secret location.

Good luck!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Idolatry Season 9 Premiere


One of the best things about American Idol is the coverage of the show from the likes of Michael Slezak and Jim Cantiello. Slezak's web series Idolatry is pure genius, and the first episode of Season 9 premiered late last night. The introduction alone is brilliant, particularly if you watched any episodes last season.

There are lots of Season 8 shoutouts, and Allison Iraheta gets a nice plug for her album.

Click here to watch this week's seven-part Idolatry, which also features a 3-part interview with Fantasia Barrino at the end.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Official Whataya Want From Me Music Video

Here's high-quality, non-watermarked video of Adam Lambert's "Whataya Want From Me". You can click on the full screen option to the left of the volume control for optimum viewing. Once again, kudos on the cinematography; it's beautifully shot.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Raising The Roof With Kris Allen

Kris Allen is a big goofball. And we love him for it. Watch him raise the roof at the CES Convention in Las Vegas last week. The 3-D glasses only aid in the goofiness (they filmed this performance in 3-D). Don't miss the karate kick at 1:23.



And for even more presh, check out his outtakes from a video for his website that apparently never saw the light of day. DING!

Danny Gokey CD Tracklisting Revealed

The tracklisting for Danny Gokey's upcoming CD My Best Days was revealed on his website.

The 10-song CD will be released on Mar. 2, but you can pre-order the CD either at his official store ($13.98 gets you an instant download of "My Best Days Are Ahead Of Me" plus the CD with an autographed CD booklet) or at Amazon.com.

The tracklisting is:
1. My Best Days Are Ahead Of Me
2. Like That's A Bad Thing
3. I Still Believe
4. Tiny Life
5. Get Away
6. It's Only
7. Life On Ya
8. Crazy Not To
9. Be Somebody
10. I Will Not Say Goodbye

Adam Lambert Whataya Want From Me Video Leaked

The full-length video of Adam Lambert's "Whataya Want From Me" leaked a day early on YouTube. This was uploaded by TheXclusiveLeaks:



The non-watermarked version will likely be available on Adam's website and on VH1 sometime tomorrow.

AI9 Atlanta Auditions

Episode 2 of American Idol Season 9 brought us Atlanta auditions with guest judge Mary J. Blige. But this episode is going to be remembered solely for one thing - General Larry Pratt's "Pants On The Ground".

As soon as the 62 year-old's audition aired, he became an instant sensation, joining the ranks of William Hung and the "You Are My Brother" guy. Pants on the Ground immediately became a trending topic on Twitter. Even part of the URL to the YouTube video of his audition made the trending topics list. This guy is going to be performing in the finale. Guaranteed. And you know what? After reading this from USA Today, I hope he takes advantage of all the notoriety he is getting right now, because it turns out that he's a civil rights hero.

Here's the video of Larry Pratt lookin' like a fool with his pants on the ground:


As for the rest of the show, well it was all pretty much overshadowed by the General (and by the usage of Allison Iraheta and Kris Allen songs during the show), but we'll recap nonetheless.

Gold tickets:
Keia Johnson, 26 (Memphis, TN) - "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine
*I think I need to hear more from her. Right now, I'm not quite feeling it, and I'm putting her in the loud is the new good category.

Miriam Lemnouni, 25 (Atlanta, GA) - "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus
*Fodder. And she looks like she's trying too hard to look younger.

Noel Reese, 16 (Sophia, NC) - "I Have Nothing" by Whitney Houston
*Good pipes but also fodder.

Tisha Holland, 18 (Riverdale, GA) - "Impossible" by Christina Aguilera
*Judges say best they've seen today. Based on the people they showed ahead of her, I'd agree. She's the most interesting so far tonight.

Jermaine Sellers, 26 (Joliet, IL) - "One Of Us" by Joan Osborne
*Very interesting song choice and arrangement. He's great! Good male R&B singers seem too few and far between on Idol. I would love it if he went far.

Vanessa Wolfe, 19 (Vonore, TN) - "Wagon Wheel" by Oak Crow Medicine Show
*She jumps bridges and got her dress at the dollar store. Wow, she's like the definition of country bumpkin, but at least she does stay true to herself. It's not my bag, though, so I can take her or leave her.

Holly Harden, 20 (Rockmart, GA) - "You Ain't Woman Enough To Take My Man" by Loretta Lynn
*Guitar girl is Kellie Pickler 2.0 but with a better voice and not as naturally funny.

Mallorie Haley, 20 (Winner, SD) - "Piece Of My Heart" by Janis Joplin
*I found her to be a bit overrated. She kind of sounds like Carrie Underwood singing this. But that isn't that much of an endorsement for me because I hated when Carrie did this song.

Antonio "Skii Bo Ski" Wheeler, 22 (Orlando, FL) - "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye
*He has a typo on his shirt. ROFL. He's totally SKEEVY, but he's not a bad singer. He totally makes Norman Gentle look dead serious, though.

Carmen Turner, 19 (Baxley, GA) - "Where Is Your Heart" by Kelly Clarkson
*How did she get through? Oh yeah, it's because she's blond and because they want to cause drama with her BFF Lauren.

Bryan Walker, 25 (Sevierville, TN) - "Superstar" by Ruben Studdard
*He's a police officer, looks 45 instead of 25, and has a good voice. Yeah, they're going to want to pimp him since he's not physically a threat to the female winner they want.

Reject pile:
Dewone Robinson - "Lady We're Not Together Anymore" (original song)
*If only he'd heed his own words: "It's over. It's over. It's over."

Christy Marie Agronow - "Love Is A Battlefield" by Pat Benatar
*Here's the 411, lady: Your personality is annoying and you overacted

Jesse Hamilton - "If Tomorrow Never Comes" by Garth Brooks
*OMG the cheap dramatization. That's terrible but I totally laughed.

Lathan Davenport - "Just To Hold You Once Again" by Mariah Carey
Hansel Enriquez - "Reflection" by Christina Aguilera
Blake Smith - "Oops I Did It Again" by Britney Spears

Lauren Sanders - "Only Hope" by Mandy Moore
*This is Carmen's friend. Carmen had survivor's guilt for making it instead of Lauren, but she should feel more guilty for letting Lauren go out there with that makeup.

Lamar Royal - "Kiss From A Rose" by Seal/"My Cherie Amour" by Stevie Wonder
*Whoah he is ANGRYYYYY. Did he seriously say Mary J. can't sing? Um, ok then.

Miscellaneous music:
Welcome to Atlanta - "Oh, Atlanta" by Bad Company
Mary J. Blige montage - "Be Without You" by Mary J. Blige
Keia Johnson gold ticket - "Pieces" by Allison Iraheta
Jermaine Sellers gold ticket - "I Gotta Feeling" by Black Eyed Peas
Vanessa Wolfe gold ticket - "So Small" by Carrie Underwood
Elevator rejection montage - "I'm Going Down" by Mary J. Blige
Guitar girl introduction - "Rock This Town" by The Stray Cates
Mallorie Haley gold ticket - "Before We Come Undone" by Kris Allen
Lauren/Carmen post-audition - "That's What Friends Are For" by Dionne & Friends
Bad auditions - "Can't Help Lovin' That Man", "Broken Wing" by Martina McBride

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

AI9 Boston Auditions

It seems like yesterday that American Idol Season 8 ended with Kris Allen's mouth agape and Jorge Nunez screwing up the ideal photo op by crowding next to Kris on the "perch of power" during the coronation song. But a lot has happened since Kris was named the American Idol. Jim Cantiello can give you a 60-second recap of the off-season if you like.

Idol has moved on without Paula Abdul and her seal clap, substituting her with Ellen DeGeneres, who will join the crew during Hollywood Week. For auditions, celebrity guest judges were used, starting with Victoria Beckham (aka Posh Spice, aka Mrs. David Beckham) in Boston. Posh was actually kind of sweet, which disappointed me. I wanted the Victoria who showed up on her reality show a few years back. That could have been hilarious.

I do have to say that Idol seems to be getting a little better at mixing in good and bad auditions. I was expecting to see mostly crap auditions, but they had a good amount of gold ticket auditions shown.

Gold tickets:
Maddy Curtis, 16 (Bluemont, VA) - sang Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen
*I liked her a lot! She sings with great control and maturity. A+ song choice too. Her family is all kinds of adorable, and I really admire her parents for what they've done in adopting those other Down's Syndrome kids.

Jennifer Hirsh, 22 (Manhattan, NY) - Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead from The Wizard of Oz
*Hated the song choice, but I liked the jazzy runs she made in it.

Claire Fuller, 23 (Philadelphia, PA) - To Be With You by Mr. Big
*Way overrated. Richard Rushfield is calling her the frontrunner. No way.

Jess Wolfe, 24 (Brooklyn, NY) - People Get Ready by The Impressions
*Now this one I can get behind. I really like her voice. I'm not sure I see her as the winner or even a finalist, but she has a great voice.

Amadeo Diricco, 28 (Johnston, RI) - Hoochie Coochie Man by Muddy Waters
*His family is adorable, and their group celebration after he got his golden ticket was awesome. If he makes the finals, he's coming in 10th (see Andrew Cook discussion about the hefty guys)

Luke Shaffer, 24 (New York, NY) - Fall For You by Secondhand Serenade
*Hottie. I approve of the modern song choice, although I did like his Matt Nathanson in the holding room with the two other guys better.

Benjamin Bright, 25 (Rome, NY) - All My Lovin' by The Beatles
*Possibly my favorite male singer in this episode.

Ashley Rodriguez, 21 (Boston, MA) - If I Ain't Got You by Alicia Keys
*She's gorgeous, maybe a little overrated so far. I've heard many people sing that song better than her on various singing competitions.

Tyler Grady, 19 (Nazareth, PA) - Let's Get It On by Marvin Gaye
*He looks like Adrian Grenier in Drive Me Crazy, so I was hoping he'd sing Keep On Loving You. He's good, but this retro vibe doesn't cut it for me on this show anymore.

Mike Davis, 18 (Boston, MA) - Yesterday
*NO WAY HE IS 18. He's alright. I don't think he'll last very long.

Katie Stevens, 16 (Middlebury, CT) - At Last by Etta James
*I'm always weary of young girls who sing At Last. It's an old-fashioned song choice, and I want to see some relevency. That being said, she has a lovely voice, and her backstory helps her be memorable.

Joshua Blaylock, 28 (New York, NY) - Bless The Broken Road by Rascal Flatts
*He's cute and sweet, and he cracked me up when he was trying to be forceful but couldn't stop himself from being so polite. I thought Simon was a bit harsh on him.

Justin Williams, 27 (Sandy, UT) - Feelin' Good by Michael Buble
*WHITE CHOCOLATE! Justin was (the weak link) in the Kris Allen-Matt Giraud-India Morrison group that sang the awesome "I Want You Back" in the group round last season. The judges for some reason are not acknowledging that he made it that far a year ago. Although, to be fair, they get thousands of auditions every year, plus over a hundred Hollywood participants every year. And Kara DioGuardi was busy drooling over Matt Giraud to pay any attention to Justin, even though he's a total hottie. They probably don't even remember that Kris was in that group, let alone Justin. Anyway, back to this year, Justin sings the kiss of death song but manages to survive. I guess if you can beat cancer, you can beat "Feelin' Good".

Bosa Mora, 22 (Columbus, OH) - You Look So Good In Love by George Strait
*I thought he was boring too.

Leah Laurenti, 22 (Medford, NY) - Blue Skies
*Good voice, but the best audition of the day? Hmmm ... not sure about that one, dawg.

Reject bin:
Janet McNamara- Pocketful of Sunshine by Natasha Bedingfield
*A slightly less crazy Mary Roach

Pat Ford - Womanizer by Britney Spears
*He reminded me of a high school cheerleader

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Kris Allen Talks Idol Season 9

Kris Allen's publicist tweeted a long list of Fox affiliates Kris Allen was going to be appearing on after the Season 9 premiere of American Idol tonight. Sounds like his idea of fun - talking about Simon Cowell's departure and advice for the current crop of contestants. Hopefully he'll get to talk about his album too.

Here is a collection of some of the video clips.

Good Day LA (Jan. 13):


Atlanta:


Los Angeles (includes Twitter talk):


Arkansas (Kris adamantly insists he does not like Sex in the City!):


New York:


Orlando:


Bonus: Kris' Ford commercial, featuring "Alright With Me", that aired during the Idol premiere

Best Idol Auditions, Seasons 1-8

With the start of a new American Idol season just hours away, here's a look back at what I think are the best Idol auditions from each of the past 8 seasons. And since I'm very indecisive and have trouble deciding rank order, I'm just going to list one from each season.

Season 1: Kelly Clarkson - Express Yourself
The vocals didn't totally blow me away, but her personality just shined in this audition when she switched places with Randy and judged him.


Season 2: Vanessa Olivarez - Bohemian Rhapsody
She brought personality, uniqueness and strong vocals to her audition. You gotta stand out in order to make it through, and she definitely did that.


Season 3: Jon Peter Lewis - Crazy Love
He may have looked like a pen salesman, but he sold it with a great song choice.

Season 4: Carrie Underwood - I Can't Make You Love Me
The farmgirl was flawless in her audition.


Season 5: Paris Bennett - Cowboy Take Me Away/Take Five
This is probably one of the best, if not THE best, auditions EVER.


Season 6: Melinda Doolittle - For Once In My Life
She walked into the audition room all shy and meek, and when she opened her mouth ... HOLY CRAP. I still think she is technically the best singer Idol has ever had.


Season 7: Michael Johns - I've Been Loving You Too Long
Sexy, soulful and powerful. UNF.


Season 8: Megan Joy - Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man
Her uniqueness made her a standout in auditions. She got a little TOO quirky later in the competition, but this was terrific.

Sneak Peek Of Adam Lambert's New Video

VH1's Best Week Ever has a 20-second sneak preview of Adam Lambert's third music video, "Whataya Want From Me", which will premiere on VH1 on Friday morning between 6-10 am.

I really like the lighting in this video. Adam looks great too.


BWE will have another exclusive sneak peek of the video tomorrow morning, so keep an eye out for that one at bestweekever.tv.

ETA: OR ... you can look here because LOOK WHAT I FOUND hidden away in the deep recesses of Sony's stash! (watch it quick before it gets yanked)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Jason Castro EP Now Available

The Love Uncompromised EP by Jason Castro is now available at iTunes and Amazon.com.

Jason's full-length CD was supposed to be out on Nov. 17 but got pushed back. There still is no official release date, however. He will be touring with Matt Hires and Caitlin Crosby beginning Jan. 20. For tour dates, visit his website at JasonCastroMusic.com

The five-song EP includes the following tracks:
1. Let's Just Fall In Love Again (Acoustic Version)
2. Love Uncompromised
3. You Can Always Come Home [Feat. Serena Ryder]
4. If I Were You
5. Sweet Medicine

I'm excited about the Serena Ryder duet. I heard it on Hit Predictor, and it's really good!

Idol's Off-Season in 60 Seconds

With this technically being the last day of the off-season for American Idol, Jim Cantiello from MTV filmed a new "American Idol In 60 Seconds" that recaps what went on in the off-season. Jim gets some good zingers in there about the fans, Kradam ("friends with benefits"), Paula Abdul, and Adam's contradictory messages in Rolling Stone and Details.

Check it out here:

Simon Cowell Leaving Idol After This Season

It's official - Simon Cowell will be leaving American Idol after this season (Season 9) and will be starting up X-Factor in Fall 2011. The announcement was made at the Television Critics Association presser in Pasadena this afternoon.

Cowell hinted that former Idol co-hort Paula Abdul could join him on X-Factor, saying "I adore Paula. Whatever happens, I will be working with her in some capacity. Because I miss her."

With this season's Idol being Simon's last, it will be interesting to see if he treats this like his last triumphant hurrah or if he goes into lame duck judge mode where he doesn't care (like most of the last couple of seasons). It will also be interesting to see how much of an impact Ellen DeGeneres can make on the judging panel. With Simon gone, the pressure's kind of on her to keep things going for Season 10. If she's a bust this year, this could be it for Idol.

The plan moving forward is to have X-Factor on in Fall 2011, then American Idol in the spring and So You Think You Can Dance in the summer. Thank goodness SYTYCD is going to be summer only. It just did not work in the fall at all. It's great summer programming, and it's best kept that way.

Fox official said they have not begun to consider a replacement for Simon. I hope they take a look at Ben Folds, who was terrific as a judge on The Sing-Off. And please stay the hell away from people like Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne, David Hasselhoff, and David Foster. Do. Not. Want.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Idol All-Star Takeover On Fuse Monday

Fuse TV is doing an Idol All-Star Takeover on Monday night, starting with the premiere of Adam Lambert: On The Record at 8 pm ET.

Here's a preview of his interview:



After On The Record, it's half an hour of "Idol All-Stars" music at 8:30 pm, followed by Daughtry music at 9, Kelly Clarkson music at 9:30, a repeat of Adam's On The record at 10 and Idol All-Stars again at 10:30. Based on promos, it looks as if the Idol All-Stars show is going to be mostly the aforementioned trio, plus David Cook and Jordin Sparks. It's unclear to me whether or not the Idol All-Stars show is just music videos or interviews. You'd think they'd include current videos from Kris Allen and Carrie Underwood as well, but I haven't seen anything to indicate that they will or not.

At 11 pm is From Justin To Kelly. If you've never seen it before, check it out sometime. It's so gawd-awful that it's hilarious. The boat scene! That had me howling with laughter. It was supposed to set up their romance, but Kelly had her back to him the whole song (probably because he looked like a serial killer taking her out to the middle of the ocean to off her), and then they started a cheesy conversation in the middle of their song. It is SO unintentionally funny.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Allison Iraheta On Radio Disney

This is a few days late, but Allison Iraheta took over Radio Disney on Jan. 7. She had some hilarious chatter with the DJ and performed "Friday I'll Be Over U/Just Like You" and "Don't Waste The Pretty" acoustically. Alliholics captured the audio from Allison's visit, and you can listen here, in three parts:

Part 1 (chat with DJ)


Part 2 (FIBOU/Just Like You)


Part 3 (interview, Don't Waste The Pretty)