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American Idol winner Caleb Johnson is set to release his new album in August - the fastest turnaround in Idol history.
Caleb Johnson won’t be following in the footsteps of previous American Idol winners. Johnson, who was crowned as the season 13 victor this past May, is beginning his post Idol career by doing something that a winner has never done before: releasing their debut record only three months after the show’s conclusion. Usually, the album that an American Idol winner releases doesn’t see the light of day until much longer than Johnson’s three month timeframe. In fact, there hasn’t been a winner’s album that came out before October of the calendar that they won in. So, what makes Johnson the exception?
Caleb Johnson will release his debut album, Testify, in August
Since season 13’s finale, Johnson has been in the studio writing and recording for the album, working with established song writers like Sam Hollander and James Michael. "Usually, they just give (the winners) demo songs. I want this to be an artistic statement on my part,” Johnson told USA Today. On his upcoming album, Testify, out August 12, he has a co-writing credit on over half of the album’s tracks. Meanwhile, Candice Glover, winner of last year’s American Idol, only contributed to one of the songs on her album (ironically, one was even written by season three winner, Fantasia Barrino). Glover’s album, Music Speaks, was originally set to release in July 2013 – that would have made it the first album that broke the mold of Idol album release schedules.
Continue reading: American Idol Winner's Album Out In August, But Will It Succeed?
Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, Harry Connick Jr. and Ryan Seacrest are all set to return for the 14th season of 'American Idol'.
American Idol judges, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr., will all be returning to the 14th season of American Idol, Fox announced on Monday (23rd June). Ryan Seacrest will also be returning as host and his contract was signed earlier this month.
Jennifer Lopez at the finale of American Idol season 13.
Lopez was a judge on the show from 2011 to 2012 but returned for the 13th season earlier this year. Urban has been a judge for the past two seasons. Connick Jr. joined the other two judges for the 13th season. All three are confirmed to return for the 14th season of the hit show.
American Idol crowned a new winner on the finale of its 13th season. Caleb Johnson won the competition and was able to perform with Kiss. There was certainly an impressive array of famous names and faces who turned up to appear in or watch the show and they posed for picture on the red carpet beforehand.
Caleb Johnson won American Idol season 13.
As USA Today reports, this is the third time Johnson auditioned for American Idol but the first time he got past the audition rounds. Yet third time's a charm and Johnson has proven critics wrong by winning the 13th season of American Idol.
Continue reading: On The Red Carpet At 'American Idol' Season 13 Finale [Pictures]
Has the show lost some of its glamour over 500 episodes? Not if last night is anything to go by.
Things are coming to a head on this week’s episode of American Idol. The finale is next week, so naturally, the contestants are pulling out all the stops at this point. To top it all off, Caleb Johnson, Alex Preston and Jenna Irene also had the added pressure of performing on the show’s 500th episode. No biggie.
Despite his vocal issues, Caleb Johnson delivered a couple of showstopping performances.
To amp up the nostalgic spirit, the show kicked off with a montage of the greatest moments in Idol history. There was Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aken , the transformation of Clay Aiken, KEITH!, William Hung Bikini Girl (?) and even a video of Simon Cowell that time he was spot on about Carrie Undewood’s record sales. Ah, the good old days.
Continue reading: American Idol Recap: Anniversary And Homecoming
This week the contestants had to be evocative and heartfelt - not an easy task on a show like "Idol".
Last night’s American Idol can be summed up in one word: disappointing. It all started when MK Nobilette kicked things off with a rendition of Perfect by Pink. She had the emotion down, only her performance fell apart when she walked out on stage and she just didn’t recover after that.
Dexter Roberts covering Floriga Georgia Line’s “Cruise” was anything but. Not that he was bad, specifically. He was just there. Which is not what we’ve come to expect from the otherwise perky Dexter.
Dexter Roberts' performance was not one of the highlights.
Continue reading: "American Idol" Recap: The Top 10 Sing, Sort Of.
Another lackluster night on Idol, with a few noteworthy moments.
Last night’s American Idol did not start on a promising note. The theme was Movie Night – something that the judges hoped would bring out the stars in the so-far lackluster Season 13 finalists. Audiences were just about to grab some popcorn and look out for the kind of entertainment only Hollywood wood provide. Fifteen minutes in, it looked like just another lackluster night at Idol. For the first hour or so, all the performers hammed it up on stage, including those, who can usually be counted on to deliver the night’s best performance. Case in point: Majesty Rose, whose song choice – Let It Go from Frozen – fell flat.
Majesty Rose delivered on the vocals, but not on the power.
It was Caleb Johnson, whose Bond-themed performance was the one that finally kicked things into gear. Skyfall was a great, if surprising choice on his part and, according to popular opinion, the first actual popcorn-worthy performance of the night. It may have been that performance that finally turned the night around. By the end - Malaya Watson's rendition of Dreamgirls' I Am Changing, things were looking much more hopeful for the next episode and for this entire season.
It's safe to say nobody saw that coming.
This week might be the first American Idol round in a while to see an actual twist – and it’s still just the second round of eliminations. The unfortunate Idol wannabe to end up on the chopping block was Emily Piriz, despite getting almost rave reviews for her performance of Jennifer Lopez’ Let’s Get Loud the night before. The other two contestants to end up in the bottom three were Jena Irene and MK Nobilette, who had to sing for her life for the second week in a row.
Competition was tight, but Emily Piriz ended up going home.
Before going home, Emily sang for her life, choosing Stars by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.
The first round of concerts was less exciting than it should have been.
Last night, American Idol entered its slightly less interesting stage – with the top 13 contestants selected, it’s time to actually remember the names and watch the dwindling group of people for two more months. Hence, last night’s “This Is Me” theme served as the introduction round.
Much like the name games at teambuilding meetings, it was not interesting as intended and many failed to stick out. Kicking things off with the classic “acoustic guitar and moody spotlight” routine, Dexter Roberts’ rendition of Aw Naw by Chris Young was good… just not memorable enough. Judge Keith Urban felt that Roberts failed to “make the song his own” and with it might cost him in the future. Malaya Watson performed a good cover of Bruno Mars’ Runaway Baby. That was it – good. The performance derailed slightly toward the end, but she still got an A+ out of the goodness of Jennifer Lopez’ heart.
Jennifer Lopez proved herself as the warmest judge again.
Continue reading: American Idol "This Is Me" Night Makes Us Think "This Is Familiar"
The former judge thinks Idol is fine now. What show has he been watching?
Randy Jackson thinks American Idol is regaining its form. Sure, the head mentor of the original TV singing competition has a vested interest in promoting the show regardless of its quality, but he really thinks it’s good again, honest. Jackson admitted in a conference call that by last season, Idol was getting a little bit stale. But it got a revamp and now everything is ok. Right…
Jackson thinks the show got the much needed kick in the rear this season.
“But now it’s Idol 2.0,” he said. “It needed a refresh, and it got it.”
In a recent radio interview, Mariah Carey said she "hated" her time on 'American Idol'.
Mariah Carey described her time on American Idol as "like going to work every day with Satan." Carey appeared on Hot 97, a US radio station, and discussed her feud with Nikki Minaj and how she "hated" working on American Idol.
Mariah Carey "hated" working on American Idol.
Carey featured on American Idol as a judge for one season, which was broadcast earlier this year. Season 15 of the show is set to air in January 2014, but owing to her hatred of working on the show, Carey will not be returning to the judging panel.
Continue reading: Mariah Carey "Hated" Her Time Judging On 'American Idol'
Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. have been confirmed as the judges of American Idol. Season 13 of the show is due to premiere this month.
Harry Connick Jr. photographed in 2012, has been confirmed as the third American Idol judge.
Harry Connick Jr. was the last celebrity to gain the role, his judging position was only confirmed last week by THR. Connick Jr. has previously appeared on the show in the capacity of mentor for the show's twelfth season, a role he said he "really enjoyed". Connick Jr. also performed on last season's American Idol on a number of occasions.
It looks as though Fox are ready to splash big bucks on signing up Jennifer Lopez again.
Ok, so we know that the country music nice guy Keith Urban is returning to American Idol, but sources close to the big decision makers on the Fox show say Jennifer Lopez is "very close" to signing a deal to return to the reality singing competition.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the deal is yet to be signed though it could be a done deal within days.
Lopez is easily the most popular of all the Idol judges, entertaining audiences during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. So unhappy were producers with the latest season of the show that they reportedly courted Lopez to replace Mariah Carey midway through.
Continue reading: So Keith Urban Returns To American Idol, But What About Jennifer Lopez?
Lythgoe and Warwick had fallen out with show creator Simon Fuller
American Idol’s wholesale changes continues with the news that Nigel Lythgoe and his fellow producer Ken Warwick have both exited the show. In a twist, it turns out that the pair had a tiff with the show’s creator Simon Fuller.
“Both Nigel and Simon really clashed,” an insider told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column shortly before last season’s finale. “Ken and Nigel’s exit isn’t surprising…It’s hard for anyone involved in the production to get along with Fuller.” The parting has since been confirmed by The Wrap. The move comes in addition to judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Randy Jackson all leaving as well, with only Keith Urban awaiting his fate, these changes the result of a severe drop in ratings over the past series and with competition coming from NBC’s The Voice.
Commenting on the state of the program, Yahoo! Music Managing Editor Lyndsey Parker commented “It will return for at least a couple more seasons. Will ever be as big as it was? Honestly, no, I do not think so. ‘Idol’ no longer operates in a bubble. It operates in a saturated market, competing with ‘The Voice’ and many other shows, and even with a show on the same network, Simon Cowell's ‘X Factor,’ in a way.” Lythgoe and Warwick had been since the show since the beginning in 2002, though the former did leave in 2008 for two years.
Keith Urban is officially the only American Idol judge left.
Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey are bothleaving American Idol after just one series on the Fox talent show.The announcement comes in the same month that original judge Randy Jackson left the panel, while the future of Keith Urban now looks increasingly uncertain.Rapper Minaj told her 16 million Twitter followers: "Thank you American Idol for a life changing experience! Wouldn't trade it for the world! Time to focus on the Music!!! Mmmuuuaahhh!" while Mariah's departure was also announced on Twitter.
Reports suggest Mariah Carey earned $18 million for her year on the show, while Minaj took home $12 million, though neither gelled. According to the Hollywood Reporter, show bosses were keen to replace Mariah with previous fan-favourite Jennifer Lopez midway through the twelfth season, but Carey's considerable legal team put the stoppers on the deal.
In a joint statement with American Idol's production company, FremantleMedia, Fox said, "Nicki Minaj is a superstar who brought a level of honesty and passion to American Idol and who had a tremendous positive impact on so many contestants this season," adding that Mariah Carey was a "true global icon." Despite the nice goodbyes, it's no secret that Idol bosses will be glad to see the back of both stars, having suffered in the ratings over the past year. The show's ratings fell to its lowest point in 12 years this series, which was won by soul singer Candice Glover.
Continue reading: The Great American Cull: Mariah Carey And Nicki Minaj Leave 'Idol'
Hanging out at Cannes and making an album is a pretty good way to pass the hours
Keith Urban has no idea whether he’ll be back on the American Idol books again for the next season, but apparently, that’s the way things work with Fox’s talent competition. In the meantime, though, Urban has popped together a new record, due for release in September.
"I have no official information of anything," the 45-year-old explained to the Associated Press. "I'm pretty much in the same boat as everybody else here with the rumors that have been floating around. I don't know anything more about what's happening next season. It was like this before I signed on ... so it's not unusual for the 'Idol' folks to be in this place of figuring out what they want to do, then they always pull it together." So while you’re twiddling your folky thumbs, what better way to pass the time than record an album? For Urban, there literally was no better way. So he did. His follow-up to 2010's Get Closer features a plethora of collaborative talents. "It's just been really creatively liberating to me," Urban said. "I love collaborating. It's the thing I've always loved doing, whether it's writing or performing or being in the studio, I love the collaborative process. I think finding people's strengths is the thing I love the most."
One thing’s for sure; Randy Jackson and Nicki Minaj won’t be presiding over a judging chair. The low ratings dictated that they get the boot, and Minaj’s inflammatory attitude can’t have helped her case either.
Continue reading: Keith Urban In The Dark On American Idol Future, New Album On The Way
As the show's producers plan on bringing back past winners to judge the next season of the show, is there any merit to their decision?
With FOX bosses panning a complete re-haul of the American Idol judging panel for next season, it has emerged that producers will no longer be looking to the stars for a new panel, but rather sticking with what they already have. The 2014 season will therefore be bringing back former Idol stars as judges for the next instalment of the long-running talent show, a plan that seems fool-proof, but may end up being a disaster.
As E! News reported on Friday (May 24), Jennifer Hudson has all but signed on the dotted line, effectively bringing her back to the show where she first made her name. Producers are also said to be eying up returns from the first Idol winner, Kelly Clarkson, with either Adam Lambert or Clay Aiken being lined up to take on the remaining hot seat. The plan seems like a decent one as it will remind viewers and contestants of the star-making ability the show possesses (or at least what it once possessed) and will no doubt please die-hard Idol fans, however there may be a flaw to the plan as the move will effectively place Idol in it's own little bubble, free from outside influences.
Anyone who watches Idol and listens to popular music will know that the songs performed week in and week out do not necessarily reflect what is popular in the rest of the musical landscape, and it is really here where the problem with Idol lays. The poor viewing figures of recent series may be reflective of an unpopular judging panel, but it more likely reflects a irrelevance now held by the show in the rest of popular culture.
Jennifer Lopez may have performed on Idol, but don't take it as a sign that she's back for good.
Right after performing at the American Idol finale, Jennifer Lopez gushed about the experience of being back on the Idol stage and a possible return as a judge. The singer sat down with Extra TV to talk about her return of sorts, saying: “It was fun. It was great to see the team there. They were like, ‘We miss you!’ I was like, ‘I miss you, too!’”
Aside from that maybe-sort-of hint, JLo didn’t confirm or deny the rumors that she’s been redrafted as a judge for next season, after falling ratings have led to a complete revamping of the panel. Lopez did talk about some of her numerous other endeavors, though, including purchasing a house in the glitzy New York resort the Hamptons. “It's always been a dream of mine to have a house where my whole family can spend Christmas. And I always want the kids to be close to Marc, who lives here in New York, so it was a natural thing to happen.”'
The recently divorced singer explained that her children have been the first thing on her mind and the deciding factor in her life and career. “They are my first priority, so as long as their good, and I can work and change the world in my own little ways, I’m happy.”
The winner has been crowned... and it's probably the one you expected.
Well, after months of intense competition and emotions – both from the contestants and the judging panel – American Idol finally has its winner. It came down to Candice Glover and Kree Harrison and in the end Candice won out the audience’s affection. Of course, those producers weren’t keeping still and in record time, Glover already has her debut album out for iTunes pre-order and the record is expected to drop July 16. So far the songstress has only recorded one track, her coronation song “I Am Beautiful.” And with recording for the album in full swing, as well as the American Idol Live tour coming up, Candice has quite a lot on her plate. But that’s the life of a pop star, after all. For the moment though, she’s taking some time to just soak it in and bask in the glory. This is Glover’s third try on Idol, meaning she won it the hard way – hard, if you don’t compare it to the struggling musicians of Ye Olde Days, of course.
"I went through the first two years and getting eliminated and coming back," she recalled. "[I'd be] telling my parents, 'If I could just get to top 20, if I could just get to top 10, if I could just get my voice out there and get some voters and get a fanbase, then I'll be fine. I don't have to win.' And then I came and I won. I can't even tell you how I feel to say that. I don't know. I'm losing it."
In an interview with MTV, Glover gushed about her victory and the direction she hopes to take with her music: "Definitely some different things than what I've been doing on the show and some stuff that will get my fanbase to know the type of singer I'm actually going to be."
Continue reading: Candice Glover Won American Idol, Now What?
Has Candice Glover done enough to secure the American Idol crown?
Candice Glover and Kree Harrison squared off in an all-female American Idol final on Wednesday (May 15, 2013) with Ryan Seacrest proclaiming the night to be country versus soul. On one side, there's the gleaming country balladry of Harrison, against the wide-ranging soul of Glover.
Both competitors brought their A-game, though Glover appeared to edge it. In the first sing-off, she sang Adele's 'Chasing Pavements,' while Harrison opted for the all-too obvious Angel. In the next round, Harrison opted for 'All Cried Out' while Glover went for 'I Am Beautiful' which Billboard said was, "perfectly expressed the kind of music Glover could be doing in a few months, highlighting her strong R&B tendencies with an empowering chorus that dispels all detractors." In the third and final sing-off, both performers were asked to choose their favourite song of the season, with Kree choosing 'Up To The Mountain' - which she first sang in the Hollywood round - and Candice choosing the Tom Jones track 'I (Who Have Nothing).
"The dramatic intensity was in full force, a lone timpani accompanying Glover as she actually topped her earlier version of the song (which was a tall, tall order), with some of the runs and held notes absolutely blowing the doors off the Nokia Theater. Absolutely killer," said Billboard.
Continue reading: So, Candice Glover Just Won American Idol, Right?
Back to square one for ailing Fox reality show with judges and producers getting the chop
American Idol’s problems this season have been well documented, but it looks like Fox are really at the end of their tether with a show that has lost 22% of its viewers this season, an issue compounded by the fact that its main rival The Voice, on NBC, is surging up the ratings and recently beat the show in both total viewers and the much-important 18-49 demographic.
So what’s happening? Well, according to The Wrap EVERY judge is going to get the boot going into season 13. You heard: Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban even Randy Jackson! They’re all going apparently, no more high-paid contracts to divas (we’re looking at you Carey and Minaj,) no getting by just because you’ve been there sodding ages (Jackson) and no being there because… well, we’re not sure why you’re there Urban. It’s also being mooted that the show’s producer Nigel Lythgoe could also get the boot – man, this really is a blood bath.
From all of this you’d think that they should just go ahead and cancel the show, but what American Idol still does for Fox is to bring in a whole heap of advertising revenue, the show bringing in $836.4 million worth of the stuff alone last year. Added to the fact that Fox doesn’t have anything to replace it, and that Simon Cowell’s X Factor is also on shaky ratings ground, then it really does seem that the best option for the network is to patch it up and hope to keep it on the road.
Jason Aldean has been unable to repair marriage after indiscretion.
Jason Aldean really has put his wife Jessica through the mill in recent months, hasn't he? Firstly, TMZ.com, snapped him cheating on his high-school sweetheart wife with a woman in a Hollywood bar, and now HE's the one that's filed for divorce. Country star Aldean filed papers in Tennessee on April 26, 2013, seeking to end his 11 years marriage due to "irreconcilable differences."
The 36-year-old singer filed the papers on the same day that he announced he and Jessica had separated. At the time, Aldean's representative had said the couple were "having problems" though there was no mention of a divorce. It appears the problems began when Aldean was snapped kissing American Idol contestant Brittany Kerr on the Sunset Strip in September while he was in Los Angeles for a concert. He and wife Jessica attempted to patch things up and even walked the rep carpet together back in November, though it doesn't appear to have worked. "This is a really tough time for my entire family," Aldean said in a statement on Monday afternoon, "Jessica and I have been together since we were teenagers. We've been through a lot of ups and downs over the years as we grew up together as a couple. She will always be important to me because she is the mother of my children, and I know that we will both always make our daughters our (hash)1 priority."
Aldean and his wife back long before he became country music's top selling male act. Recently, he won the Academy of Country Music's male vocalist of the year award. The couple have two children together, Keeley and Kendyl.
Continue reading: Jason Aldean Files For Divorce, 6 Months After Kissing 'Idol' Singer
Mariah Carey and the rest of the judging panel put on a brave face during last night's American Idol after the network let slip that they were considering giving Carey the boot.
Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj may have learnt, along with everyone else, that their positions on American Idol were under threat, but that did not prevent them from completing this week's show in a thoroughly professional manner.
Mariah Carey's possition could be in jeopardy
FOX let it slip this week that they were considering bringing back former judge Jennifer Lopez and replacing either Carey or Minaj at the mid-point of the series, and given the usual diva-ish behaviour the two play out during a normal week on the show there were some expecting yesterday's (April 25) show to be explosive. Unfortunately for those wanting a little added drama to their Thursday night view it wasn't forthcoming as both judges actually seemed in high spirits throughout the show.
Continue reading: Mariah Carey Plays The Professional Despite Idol's Major Blunder
A new report suggests Mariah Carey's legal team but the kibosh on things.
A secretive plan to have Jennifer Lopez replace Mariah Carey midseason on American Idol was abandoned when Carey’s heavyweight legal team threatened action, according to the Hollywood Reporter. This year’s ratings have been pretty disastrous, with Carey failing to establish the same on-screen presence as Lopez did with ease. The multi-million selling diva was the big new addition to the judge’s panel this year, though her chemistry with Nicki Minaj has been non-existent and Fox put in place a plan to replace both.
“This is just another ridiculous Idol judge rumor, likely started by talks of Jennifer performing on the finale,” a Fox spokeswoman tells THR in a statement. Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe said, “I have not been included in any conversation regarding replacing Mariah with Jen this season”, though sources close to the situation say they’re merely covering up a badly executed coup d’etat.
American Idol kicked off its twelfth season in decent fashion - a 6.0 rating and 17.9 million viewers will have convinced Fox that Carey and Minaj were the perfect replacements for fan-favorite Lopez and rocker Steven Tyler. Then things went wrong. The Wednesday performance show is averaging a paltry 4.3 rating, it’s worst since the 2001 season. In worse news for Idol, the newly rebooted The Voice with a more contemporary judging panel including Shakira and Usher has seen ratings climb to 5.2. Last week, American Idol was beaten by The Big Bang Theory, which on the surface doesn’t seem so bad, right? Well, it was a repeat episode of the comedy show. The realisation probably sent Idol producers scrambling around for ideas, and replacing Carey with Lopez was apparently the best they had to offer.
The talent show finalist expressed her love and support for her hometown onstage.
Wednesday night’s American Idol stage was the setting for an emotionally charged performance by finalist Angie Miller in the wake of the Boston bombing. Miller is not technically a Bostonian, but she grew up in a town just 30 minutes outside the city. As such, she wanted to express her support for her community and Boston as a whole with a special musical tribute.
“Right when [the bombings] happened, I knew that I wanted to have some sort of dedication-- show my love for Boston-- in some sort of way,” Miller told Fox News after her performance.
She chose the song “I’ll Stand By You” for the occasion as the ballad “fit perfectly” with her emotions. “I love Boston. I want Boston to know that I love them, and I hope that song did that,” Angie commented.
Tough season for the men on American Idol, as another guy, Devin Velez, got voted off last night.
The latest contestant to be voted off American Idol is Devin Velez.
This fits in perfectly with Nicki Minaj’s early prediction that the men were going to have a tough time this season. Not only was Velez voted off last night (March 28), but he was in the bottom three along with the other two male contestants, Lazaro Arbos and Burnell Taylor, while all five of the female contestants were safe this week. As his final song, Velez performed a bilingual rendition of "Somos Novios (It's Impossible)", but the judges chose not to save him. Even so, Mariah Carey was visibly upset by him leaving and, according to Devin, it was the first time he had seen the singer cry.
Despite the emotional goodbye, however, Velez says he has no regrets about his time on Idol. "It's been a great journey," Velez told Us Weekly after being voted off the FOX talent competition. "It can only get better from here, and I still get to do the tour."
Nicki Minaj was not expecting to be well-liked when she joined American Idol
Nicki Minaj isn’t one to mince her words and in a recent conference call with reporters this week, she was quite open about what she was expecting when she signed up to the show. “I felt like, 'Okay. I know everybody's just going to hate me,” she said, according to Fox News, before adding a dismissive “Oh well.”
As it turns out, Nicki was half right and half wrong. She has certainly caused a stir since she’s been on the show, though she claims that she doesn’t always understand people’s reactions to her behaviour. “I didn't realize that maybe I am a bit strange," she said. "The way people react to what I say to the contestants, it's like, that's really how I act. But people think it's kind of strange. Like when I asked Kree Harrison to marry me… I guess looking back at it now, maybe no 'Idol' judge has ever asked a contestant to marry them on live TV. I don't know. I guess in general I'm just surprised at the way people react to things that I see as very normal."
Nicki was also unequivocal when it came to another important matter: who is going to win the show. Obviously no one knows that just yet but Nicki is sure of one thing: It’s going to be a girl. When she was asked if there was any hope of a guy winning this season, she answered “No, absolutely not.”
Curtis Finch Jr was the shining light in an altogether boring American Idol semi-final.
It was the men's turn on American Idol last night, though it's highly unlikely any of the male contestants on season twelve of the show will be competing for the crown in a couple of months' time. Over in the girl's camp, Angie Miller, Kree Harrison and Candice Glover are arguably fully formed artists, though it's slim pickings in the rival gender.
Wednesday's semi-final was the best example of this, with a selection of the male vocalists singing tracks so horrendously predictable that the whole thing became a snooze fest pretty early on. I Believe I Can Fly? Really?
Each male singer has plenty of flaws to overcome should they want to be in with a sniff of the title come May, though Curtis Finch Jr probably represents the men's best chance of winning. USA Today said he has "the best pure voice in the competition," though unfortunately "comes off as arrogant even while he's saying Bless You." Elsewhere, Lazaro Arbos has a clear potential though is perhaps too emotionally fragile to be thrown in front of a camera and told to sing for millions. Paul Jolley, Nick Boddington and Vincent Powell basically have no chance, while Elijah Liu and Cortez Shaw will be forced to improve dramatically should they want to win a place in the live finals.
Continue reading: 'Arrogant' Curtis Finch Jr Is Best Of A Bad Bunch On American Idol
Angela Miller stole the show on Thursday night's American Idol (February 14, 2013), leaving the judges gobsmacked with a performance of her own song, 'You Set Me Free.' The 18-year-old food services worker from Beverly, Massachusetts, introduced the track by saying, "This song is about being set free from baggage and the weight that you carry from hard times."
Sitting at a piano, Miller delivered the teary ballad effortlessly while wearing a sheer black ensemble. The judges were immediately taken with the track, while the often hard-to-please Randy Jackson was effusive in his praise. "Wow, wow, wow...really? Who knew? Wow," he repeated. Rapper Nicki Minaj told Angela, "'That is a top 40 song right there already," while Keith Urban agreed, saying, "If that was recorded now I would play that in my car...that is just a beautiful song, oh my god."
It's been six years since a woman - Jordin Sparks - won American Idol, though Miller has firmly established herself as the big favorite to all the way on season twelve. Unfortunately for some contestants, the quality of Angela's performance highlighted the distinctly average qualities of other efforts. The judges were forced to reject over half the contestants
Continue reading: American Idol: Angelina Miller Leaves Randy Jackson Speechless
American Idol kicked off its 'Hollywood week' on Wednesday (February 6, 2013), with the singing hopefuls bidding for a place in the grand finale. We say Hollywood week, we actually mean Quiet Suburb Week, as the contestants were shipped off to Northridge in the San Fernando Valley to sing for their futures on the show.
Anyway, it was the boys' turn to sing for the judges (in groups) and plenty of them impressed. Mathheads, featuring singers Matheus Fernandes and rocker Gabe Brown gave a great performance of Queen's 'Somebody To Love' to progress to the next round. A group that NOBODY expected to work was the Couch Potatoes, which teamed jazz-handy Charlie Askew with the gospel singer show-boater Curtis Finch Jr. The combo read like a disaster in the making - on paper, anyway - but it seemed to all come together for a cover of Bruno Mars' Lazy Song. In fact, the performance earned a standing ovation from judges, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. Another standout group was the Four Tones, who were powered by strong vocalist Micah Johnson and soul man Vincent Powell. Their cover of Sam & Dave's Hold On, I'm Coming was a particular highlight.
American Idol continues next week, when the women will have their chance in front of the judges.
Continue reading: Hollywood Week: Could One Of 'The Couch Potatoes' Win American Idol?
American Idol contestant "Pepper LaBeija from the House of LaBeija." rocked up in an impeccable face of make-up and a big blonde wig ready, a very short skirt and honking false boobs. She raring to audition, only for judges to double over in laughter upon the realisation that LaBeija was actually ex-American Idol judge, and Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler, reports MSN.
"I just wanted to come by and say hello. I love you. Good luck with this year," he told the judges for the reasoning behind is surprise appearance. Sadly, LaBeija nor Tyler actually got to audition and he flounced out of the audition room saying "No Hollywood for me." Clearly, he was very disappointed. However, while neither Tyler nor LaBeija got through, 45 other hopefuls certainly did.
This year's judges are long time judge, Randy Jackson, plus Keith Urban, and at centre spotlight in the months leading up to the new series, rapper Nicki Minaj and singer Mariah Carey. Carey and Minaj had a bit of a dispute last fall which culminated in an alleged death threat. It's all water under the bridge now though, and by the time the live shows come around they'll undoubtedly be the best of friends.
There have only been 9 contestants in American Idol to have been disqualified publicly, and all of them have been black. Lawyer James H. Freeman suspected something was up during season 11 when Jermaine Jones was kicked off the show, reports TMZ. Having dug a little deeper into the show's history, it seems to Freeman that American Idol is racist.
It isn't simply that it's 9 black people that have been removed in the past, it is also the reasons American Idol chose to disqualify them. By California law, when seeking employment, employers may not ask prospective employees about their arrest history, however, Jermaine Jones was ousted on the grounds that he had not informed Idol about some outstanding warrants. According to Freeman, Idol employed private investigators to discover the truth behind its contestants. The results were then used to 'humiliate' those contestants and, most problematically of all, used to perpetuated "destructive stereotypes" about black people, portraying the men as "violent criminals, liars and sexual deviants," which they weren't.
Freeman has sent a letter to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requesting permission to sue the show. If everything he says is correct, it sounds as though he's got a pretty good case.
Few television programmes manage to make it to a twelfth season successfully; writing gets stale, possible plot lines for characters become exhausted, and viewers get bored. So, for American Idol to make it to this stage is a decent feat in itself. However, it really isn't all that surprising for its viewing ratings to be dropping off a sharp cliff now.
They are dropping off, but with the show's premier rating hitting over 21million last year, it still has a long way to go before potentially being cancelled. This time around, the premier scored 17million viewers, it seems like a lot but that's a drop of almost 20%.
The first and most obvious reason for the drop is its big competition over the past couple of years; The X Factor and The Voice. The man behind American Idol, Mike Darnell, president of alternative entertainment at Fox Broadcasting, said "It's 12 years old and you can't expect everything to stay as big as Idol was." Adding that ratings could improve on the strength of newest judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj.
Continue reading: Why Have American Idol Ratings Dropped?
An endorsement from Mariah Carey in the singing game is like a Stephen Hawking putting in a good word for you in physics: it's big. So when the Carey lists her favourite American Idol auditions, you better sit up and take notice. Or not, that's up to you.
She didn't divulge any names whilst sitting on a panel to promote the Fox show's upcoming 12th season, which premieres Wednesday, but some of singers she mentioned sang her songs, they shouldn't be too hard to spot. "There was this one time a girl sang one of my songs [and] I thought she was really good," Carey said. "I thought, 'This girl has a chance.' I was proud that I had written a song that she was inspired to sing." Elsewhere, it was those who showcased their talents in song writing as well as belting them out. "To me, that adds to them as an artist. Every time someone would [sing a good original song] I was really impressed because that is my thing," she said. "I love to write songs." (via People).
The final new judge, Nicki Minaj, had simpler advice for auditioning hopefuls, "Flash me!" Although all jokes aside, Minaj said she was looking for "an all around entertainer, someone who is going to captivate people with or without music."
If anyone needed any evidence that Kelly Clarkson wasn't gay (and we can't for a second think why they'd care), then this should do it. Kelly Clarkson says she's not gay. And she thinks the rumours are insulting to the gay community.
"People think, 'Oh, she's been single for too long,'" Clarkson told Cosmopolitan in an interview for its February issue. "That's kind of an insult to the gay community. Being single doesn't mean you're gay. But I'm never insulted by it, obviously," the singer said, citing some perks: "I mean, I get hit on by the hottest girls ever. Oh, my God, if I were a lesbian, I would be so in luck. But it's just not my thing. I've always batted for the boys' team."
Clarkson - winner of American Idol all those years ago - recently got engaged to her beau , and the 30 year old must be glad as she's certainly not a fan of the type of guys that try it on. "[U]sually the guys who hit on me are tools ... ," Clarkson told the mag. "It's like 'American Idol' auditions: The guys who are the most confident are the horrible ones, and the ones who are good have no confidence at all."
Nicki Minaj scared is not a phrase we've heard uttered before, it seems strange. The rapper is famous for her fearless nature and harsh judging on American Idol, but she's admitted that it frightens her, how honest she it.
"I'm scared. Maybe I shouldn't have been so like... It's hard for me to not say how I really feel," Minaj told Ryan Seacrest's radio show" Everyone else is so nice. I was just thinking back about some things and I was like, 'I wonder if that was not so nice.' People quoted her as saying. "As an artist I've always grown more from the tougher criticism," she added, "and so I would like to be that person and to try to help people get that thick skin and to really give it their all, because it is a competition."
Though Minaj won't be watching with friends, she does think Idol fans will enjoy the new lineup."I don't think I'm going to be able to watch it. I'm going to be so nervous," she says of the premiere. "But I know people are going to love it. I think it's a great dynamic." Despite the on-set feud with costar Mariah Carey, Minaj says, "The chemistry of the judges, I feel it while I'm there. I think it's really different from anything we've seen before on Idol and people are going to like it."
Last night (October 5th) the producers at American Idol released a statement insisting that all is peachy between new judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey, after reports of tension between the two have begun to escalate.
However, in lieu of this statement, TMZ have come forth to reveal that in fact things definitely are not peachy and this feud is more than two years old! The gossip site has revealed that when Nicki and Mariah teamed up in 2010 on the video for Mariah's single "Up Out My Face," Nicki was nothing but a bitch. According to B. Scott, who appears in the video, the video was shot before Nicki made her major breakthrough and Mariah felt as though she was helping launch Nicki's career. Rather than being thankful for the opportunity, Nicki was anything but and as Scoot says, "Mariah went out of her way to be nice to Nicki and make her comfortable," whilst Nicki spent her time "making faces at her [Mariah] laced with rude comments under her breath."
A source close to Nicki has since dismissed the claim, saying that Scott only said these things because he works close to Mariah and wanted to make Nicki look like the bad guy.
Continue reading: Nicki Minaj And Mariah Carey Feud "Nothing New"
Nicki Minaj’s American Idol journey may have only just begun, though it looks like the NY Queens rapper may be getting the taste for reality television. During an interview with Perez Hilton, the multi-talented MC hinted that she may let cameras into her life for a new series.
Asked if she was working on a separate project to Idol, Minaj coyly answered, “That I'm going to keep a secret for now,” though revealed she was “considering” the idea of a Kardashian-esque reality show. To be fair, the rapper seemed pretty convinced by the idea of a reality show, telling Hilton, “I will say that I find the more people see, is the more they understand, and then it's the more they like you…When you pull them in your world, they see you as a real person. I'm not running away from it anymore.” In the past couple of months, the 27-year-old has released a new perfume, an album, and has a fashion line set for later this year, though it seems she’s still ready to take on new projects. Minaj will also make her judging debut on American Idol in January, though she’s currently taping the audition rounds with Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson.
Reports suggest E! Online (the home of the Kardashians) will have first option on the reality series, while rumors suggest she’s already started filming!
"I remember watching 'American Idol' in the first season and feeling inspired," Minaj said on Monday during a press conference "I spoke to [season 6 winner] Jordin Sparks the other day and here she is starring in a movie ['Sparkle'] and I said to her, 'I remember watching you and picking up my phone." Minaj didn’t actually vote, but recalled how fond her family were of Sparks. "Because my little brother was more obsessed over the Blake person because he was like, more, you know, hip-hop, whatever," she said, "But I told her [Sparks] that, 'you know you're a part of history, kind of. Because I remember calling and seeing your face and being inspired and hearing your story."
It hasn’t taken Minaj long to settle in to her new role, and she’s even began making waves with the other judges, namely, Mariah Carey. The two just can’t seem to get along as they squabble and interrupt each other, but Ryan Seacrest thinks there’s nothing to worry about. “There are not too many dull moments between the two of them,” Seacrest explained to NBC’s Tonight Show, “but at the end of the day, we all hug and laugh and go home and get ready for another day. They get along fine, but they're strong and candid in their opinion."
“There are not too many dull moments between the two of them,” Seacrest explained, “but at the end of the day, we all hug and laugh and go home and get ready for another day. They get along fine, but they're strong and candid in their opinion." The reported trouble has allegedly stemmed from the fact that both Carey and Minaj want to be centre of attention, as they interrupted each other, disagreed and generally painted a picture of discontent on last week’s Idol, but according to Seacrest, the pair get along fine. “Mariah and Nicki might never be best friends, but they can work together,” a source close to the talent said. “If Nicki can work with Madonna, she can work with Mariah.”
“Mariah is old-school, where everything starts and ends with the voice,” another source close to production told The Huffington Post. “Nicki is looking for talent that catches her eye. She is far more interested in the whole package rather than just the ability to sing.” Fox might be secretly hoping that the so-called vendetta continues, as nothing spells high ratings than two of the biggest women in music disagreeing on live television.
Nicki Minaj has confounded many of her fans with her decision to become an American Idol judge. Minaj insists that she’s a fan of the show, though and in a press conference yesterday (September 16, 2012), she explained that she had been inspired when she watched the first series of the show. “I remember watching American Idol in the first season and feeling inspired… I spoke to Jordin Sparks the other day and here she is starring in a movie ['Sparkle'] and I said to her, 'I remember watching you and picking up my phone.”
We’ll gloss over the fact that Nicki didn’t actually vote for Jordin … but the sentiment is still the same. Minaj decided to join the show because she’d experienced first-hand the power that it can have over viewers – compelling them to pick up the phone and vote for their favourite singers. “This is such a credible brand,” Minaj told reporters. “It’s really serious, it’s real deal it's not anything else other than really looking for talent. If I can be a part of that I'm really down for it.” Unlike the official photo-call, for which she donned an outlandish luminous yellow, orange and green wig, Minaj opted for a sleek blonde number for the press conference.
There are already reports that Minaj does not get along with her co-judge Mariah Carey. Reports have surfaced that Carey was talking over her younger co-star in the first round of auditions and it already seems as though their onscreen relationship will provide a large proportion of the entertainment, this season. We reckon the real drama will erupt when the contestants start attempting some Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj songs
The press predicted it when reports surfaced weeks ago about two of the most combustible personalities in pop past and present working together as American Idol judges, and true enough Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj have been going at it hammer and tongs on early tapings of the new series.
TMZ reported that when bosses of the show told Carey - who at the time of her own signing assumed she'd be the marquee name of the new look judging panel - that they were going to approach Minaj to join her, she hung up the phone. However, the spat always had potential to make great TV and as filming got underway it became pretty clear that there remains no love lost between the two stars.
Reports are that it was Carey who was very much the aggressor during early tapings at New York City, almost bullying Minaj by cutting her off several times as she began to critique a contestant. However, Minaj allegedly held her own and responded to Carey's interruptions with loud comments of her own. It sounds like exactly the sort of scenario the show's bosses want, although if they're not careful the show could well become all about the two warring singers rather than any of those trying to impress on stage.
Well that didn’t take long now did it? As expected, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj wasted no time going in going head-to-head during the first day of shooting on American Idol on Sunday (September 16, 2012).
Possibly proving correct the theory that there’s room for only one ‘diva’ on the ‘Idol’ panel, the pair began feuding almost immediately – according to TMZ.com – with Mariah interrupting the ‘Pink Friday’ rapper on numerous occasions. However, each time the 42-year-old attempted to take the spotlight, Queens-born Minaj fought back by talking even louder. One insider privy to the first day of filming said “Mariah and Nicki tried to cover their disdain for each other but everyone saw through it,” adding, “These girls just don’t like each other.” You may recall TMZ.com reporting on the new judging line-up a couple of months back, with a source claiming Carey had literally slammed down the phone when producers told her Minaj had been hired. The two are part of a new look judging panel for the Fox reality singing show, with country crooner Keith Urban and Randy Jackson also providing their expertise.
Though questions about Carey and Minaj’s suitability on the same panel will inevitably remain, it’s likely that Fox bosses are already rubbing their hands together with glee at the prospect of a diva-feud. Ratings, ratings, ratings.
Well, that didn't take long now, did it? We knew that Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey wouldn't be able to hide their disdain for each other for too long. TMZ have reported that the two newly-appointed American Idol divas couldn't even get through their first audition taping without making it pretty clear to everyone else in the room that they are not each other's number one fans.
An American Idol source told TMZ that when Nicki would start discussing a contestant's performance, Mariah would interrupt. She didn't just do it once, either; it happened several times over and the source said that Minaj would just carry on talking, increasingly loudly, in attempt to drown Mariah out again. "These girls just don't like each other", said one source. It was always going to be a risky move, having two divas on the show; two women that are both known for being outspoken and demanding. Of course, that's exactly what the show's producers are looking for; a bit of friction on the judging panel always gets the viewers tuning in and it looks as though that's exactly what they're going to get.
TMZ tried to catch Nicki for a chat as she left her debut audition taping. She apologised to everyone waiting though and simply got in her car, saying she was "tired" and "hungry." Must be all that energy she used up trying to shout over Mariah.
The STRAIGHT UP singer, who is a judge on the show alongside Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson, reportedly felt that the vibes on the set weren't quite right, so she called in an expert in the Chinese practice to help position things to create a more positive flow of energy.
Continue reading: Abdul Spreads Good Vibes On American Idol Set
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