Tag Archives: American Idol

‘AMERICAN IDOL’ AND POP STAR FEUDS – WHO IS THE CATTIEST OF THEM ALL?

idol panelInteresting how reports that “American Idol” was considering a judge change mid-season — with replacements for both Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj — have surfaced just as the May 16 finale of “Idol” nears.  Let’s face it, the purported diva feud between the icon and the upstart is the most interesting thing about “Idol” this year.  It’s so interesting, former judge Steven Tyler publicly doubted its authenticity.  “Of course — are you kidding?!” he said, when asked if he thought the cat fight was more publicity ploy than organic venomous hostility.

Well, we see his point, but we’re thinking the organic venomous hostility is probably valid.  To recap:  Reports of friction between Mariah and Nicki date back to 2010, when the two were paired in their “Up Out My Face” music video and Minaj was said to have disrespected the superstar, whom she has dubbed “her $#@ing highness.” Exciting video of the two tangling over an “Idol” contestant went viral last fall.

When Nicki complained about Mariah and Randy Jackson making comments about pop musicians, Mariah snapped back with “I’m sorry, it’s just that that’s what I do, Nicki.  So when I’m making comments, I’m trying to help her, as opposed to just talk about her outfit.”

“Let me continue to speak,” Nicki said, to which Mariah responded, “Of course, you always do. Go ahead.”

The exchange got hotter, ending when Minaj tossed her seat behind her and cried “…Maybe I should just get off the $#@!ing panel!…” and Carey sniped back, “That was my move … I was gonna do that the next time she bagged on me.”  And Minaj stormed off the set in a cloud of explitives.

Carey later told Barbara Walters on “The View” that Minaj had made a comment that she’d have shot the $#@! if she’d had a gun.  She hired extra security.  Minaj pointed out on Twitter that no cameras or microphones caught her supposed gun comment — “say no to violence.”

So the idea was to bring back popular judge Jennifer Lopez?  When it comes to pop diva cat fights, J.Lo knows how to deal. Consider her on-again, off-again tiff with Madonna, which dates back to a 1998 Movieline interview.  Lopez soundly dissed Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Winona Ryder, and Salma Hayek.  She called herself a better actress than Madge:  “Do I think she’s a great actress? No. Acting is what I do.”

Madonna got back at Lopez at Donatella Versace’s millennial New Year’s Eve dinner party in Miami. Reportedly, Lopez was shunned by the Material Mom and her posse, which included gal pal Gwyneth Paltrow. Lopez arrived an hour and a half late at the South Beach mansion. As Versace got up to greet Lopez, Madonna purportedly announced, “Dinner’s over now.” Her entourage followed her as she left the room.

More recently, of course, Madonna’s been feuding with Lady Gaga, whom she has accused of excessive emulation, shall we say, calling Gaga’s “Born This Way” “reductive” of her own “Express Yourself” 80’s song.  She performed a mash-up of her and Gaga’s hits in Tel Aviv last year to make her point.  Then Elton John jumped into the mix, complaining on an Australian TV show about Madonna’s “horrible” treatment of Gaga — and adding that Madonna’s career is over and that she looks like a “fairground stripper.”

Now, there’s a guy who knows how to do a verbal slice.

Not that Elton hasn’t been sliced himself.  For instance, there’s his dog fight with fellow rockasaurus Rod Stewart.  Rod unloaded on several of his peers in Britain’s Radio Times magazine a few years back. He called Elton “Sharon” and said he should “lose some timber.”

Rod also complained that he’d been unfairly criticized for dating a younger woman, especially when nobody criticized Paul McCartney for marrying a woman half his age. The difference, he reportedly said, was that McCartney got a knighthood. “I don’t know why I haven’t got any honor. I do my bit for charity.”

He also complained that he’d been passed over for Grammys in favor of Sting. Said Rod, “The sun shines out his arse…Mr. Serious who helps the Indians.”

A few days later, Sting fired back, “I think he deserves [a Grammy], I really do. I’m thinking of sending him one of mine.”

Yep, Steven Tyler is right about the attention-grabbing value of pop stars sniping at each other.  He’s in the mix himself, after all.  Recall he criticized Minaj’s judging ability, saying “If it was Bob Dylan, Nicki Minaj would have had him sent to the cornfield! Whereas, if it was Bob Dylan with us, we would have brought the best of him out, as we did with Phillip Phillips.”

Of course, her answer was to accuse him of racism.  Huh?

She responded on Twitter: “That’s a racist comment. You assume that I wouldn’t have liked Bob Dylan??? why? black? rapper? what?”

Tyler then went on a Canadian talk show and apologized, and added that “I am the last thing on this planet as far as being a racist. I don’t know where she got that out of me saying I’m not sure how she would’ve judged Bob Dylan.”

No word on all this from Bob Dylan.  Yet.

 

Steven Tyler Sure New Aerosmith Song Will Get Radio Play

Steven Tyler

With Steven Tyler’s “American Idol” gig bringing bigger attention to Aerosmith than the band has enjoyed in awhile, work is moving forward swiftly on the first full-fledged Aerosmith rock album in seven years.      

“I got all the guys to come out here except for Joe (Perry) and I promised them, ‘You come out, we’ll get a song a day and we did,” the 63-year-old rock icon reports.  “Seven songs, and I listened to four of them the other day, looking at the ocean — and I heard one I know the radio is going to play,” he adds.  “I know what a good song is.  I know something that’s melodically compelling, that’s got a really good melody line.  And you know, I found some just right words over it.”

Tyler has already made it clear he’s enjoying the positive impact his “A.I.” exposure is having on the music side of his career, including new young fans wherever he goes and a 260 per cent increase in sales of the Aerosmith catalog.       

Hey, what’s not to like!? 

Of the forthcoming album, expected in the spring, he says, “Is it the right game?  Is it the only game on the block?  No, but it’s Aerosmith and people are going to love it.”  Some of it, he says “is so strange and so different.”  Other parts sounds as if they could be “outtakes of the second album.”

Kris Allen Talks Lauren, Scotty, Memorial Day Concert, ‘Glee’ and Next Album

Kris Allen Fox photo

“American Idol” Season 8 winner Kris Allen shrugs off the fact that his two favorites for this year’s winner — Haley Reinhart and Casey Abrams — didn’t make it to the final showdown.  “It is what it is.  The people in the finale are great, too — Lauren and Scotty.  I can’t imagine going through what they’re going through at that age, so kudos to them,” adds the 25-year-old peformer, speaking of 16-year-old Lauren Alaina and 17-year-old Scotty McCreery. 

 “She’s a sweetheart, really nice.  When they sang that Carrie Underwood and Randy Travis song together, Lauren just blew away everyone in the audience,” adds Kris — who happens to be Lauren’s favorite past “Idol” winner.  

 Kris says he’ll be at both tonight’s (5/24) final performance show and tomorrow night’s (5/25) crowning of this season’s “Idol” as an audience member.  “There’s always a party after the results show and I think I’ll go to that,” he says.  “It’s a lot of fun, and great to see all the people you don’t get to see very often.”

 The singer-songwriter will be among the stellar lineup for this Sunday’s (5/29) National Memorial Day Concert in Washington D.C., performing before an estimated crowd of some 300,000 — and millions more watching live, here and abroad.

 “That will be, without question, the biggest crowd I’ve sung for — by far,” he notes with a laugh.  “They asked me and, when you think of something like that, it’s kind of a no-brainer.  I’m really excited to be out there that day.”  Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna cohost, with a lineup that also includes General Colin Powell, “Idol’s” Pia Toscano, Forest Whitaker,  Dianne Wiest, B.B. King, Jason Ritter, Hayley Westenra, Daniel Rodriguez, Yolanda Adams and the National Symphony Orchestra. 

Kris will sing “God Bless the U.S.A.” at the event honoring those who have served or are serving in the military, particularly those who lost their lives in the line of duty.  Lending a particularly emotional personal note to the event, Kris notes that his wife’s brother is just now coming back from Iraq.  “Everyone’s really happy.  I’d love to have him at the concert, but he’ll probably want to just be home chilling with his wife.”

ALSO:  Kris found out recently that “Still Got Tonight,” which he cowrote, and which has become a single for Matthew Morrison, is going to be performed by Morrison in [TONIGHT’S] the June 8 season finale of “Glee.”  “I met Matt not too long ago and we had lunch together.  He’s a really nice guy.  And then I hung out on the set of ‘Glee.’  That was really cool.  That it’s in the finale is even better.  It’s nice to be on this side of things, for once,” he adds, speaking of his behind-the-scenes role. 

Kris has been focused on writing songs for himself of late, in anticipation of recording another album, soon.  He tells us, “I’m hoping that — it should be — out sometime this year.  If not, I’ll look at it as a failure.”

Kara DioGuardi Glad Songwriters Getting Attention on ‘Platinum Hit’

Jewel, Kara Dioguardi Bravo photo

Former “American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi returns to tube as a TV music competition judge May 30 — but on a brand-new show, Bravo’s “Platinum Hit.”  She tells us she didn’t think she’d be back “so fast, but I really loved the idea that songwriters were going to get some attention.”

Songwriter Evan Bogart (whose credits include Beyoncé, Britney Spears and Rihanna)” is one of the executive producers and creators of the show, she relates, and “he came to me about it.  I thought a songwriting show would be interesting, but how do you do it?”

Good question.  Watching contestants noodle around on a piano and scribble down ideas doesn’t sound like much of a show.  But that’s not what “Platinum Hit” is like, assures DioGuardi, who toplines with Jewel.  “Bravo is really great at creating drama and character development.  Part of what makes great songwriters is where they come from — their truth.  When you get to know their journey, you start to get emotionally involved.  There were some character revelations along the way of people’s back stories that were really compelling.  When they write from their truth — that’s when they really connect.”

DioGuardi wrote from her truth in her recently released “A Helluva High Note” memoir, including going through the hell of being molested as a young girl, and date raped when she was new in the music business.  Going public with her past has proven to be exceptionally moving — particularly in response from readers who said they were inspired to deal with, or talk about, their own similar traumas.

“That’s really why I wrote it,” she says.  “A lot of people write, ‘I’m glad you spoke about that.’  When you know someone else has gone through something, it helps to know you can get through it.  You’ve got to keep moving, keep going on.  You can’t let it get you down and stop you from living your life as you want, from pursuing your dreams.”

It’s an intense time for DioGuardi, who’s also awaiting word on the future of the USA Network “Big in Japan” series pilot on which she serves as producer.  “It’s about an old boy band, 10 years later, after the peak of their fame.  But they’re still always big in Japan,” she explains with a laugh.  Besides that, “I’ve been doing a lot of country writing,” says Kara, whose songwriting credits include tunes for the likes of Pink, Carrie Underwood, Gwen Stefani, Christina Aguilera and Céline Dion.  “I’m loving it down in Nashville.  It’s a very song-centric industry.  Songwriters are revered down there.”

With it all, she admits, “I haven’t watched that much” of the current season of “American Idol.”  “It’s not because I’m not a big fan of them.  I am.  But that’s what I do every day — I have artists coming into my office all the time,” says Kara, executive vice president of talent development at Warner Bros. Records.  She’s quick to add, however, “I’ve been hearing great things about the show this season, especially about Steven Tyler.”

Simon Cowell’s ‘X Factor’ Will Compete in Different TV Landscape Than Anticipated

Simon Cowell

When Simon Cowell announced his intention to depart “American Idol” at the beginning of last year, the move was applauded as shrewd.   Now, maybe not so much.

The show was looking weary indeed after all the Paula Abdul drama, and he was off to fresh pastures before it completely jumped the shark, it was believed.  His U.S. version of “X Factor” might be just the thing to fill the void if and when “Idol” went kaput.

“X Factor” is different from “Idol,” as he explained to press during that January’s Television Critics Association tour, because it has no age limit and can be solo or group singers — and each judge takes a group of contestants under their wing and mentors them in everything from styling and choreography to song choice. “So essentially the judge is judged as well as the singer.”

How different the picture looks now, even as “X Factor” auditons are taking place across the land and new show announcements are flying.

“American Idol” has been revitalized by charismatic, stardust streaming Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, who work with Randy Jackson as an excellent team.  (That was one of our New Year’s predictions, by the way.)

And NBC’s “The Voice” has come along, preceded by a promotional campaign that looked like an experiment in whether it’s possible to beat audiences into submission with relentless, repetitious hype.

Of course, we all know that “The Voice” is different from “American Idol” because they have neat swiveling chairs with big red panic buttons, and each judge takes a group of contestants under their wing and mentors them.  So essentially the judge is judged as well as the singer.   Hm.   Sound familiar?

Interesting that Simon has recently been saying he’s keeping details of the new “X Factor” under wraps because other producers “watch you and copy you and you see your show on other people’s shows.”

Yes, that’s a problem — no doubt going even further back than “Pop Star” producer Simon Fuller’s 2005 U.K. suit claiming “X Factor” was a copy of his show.

“The Voice”so far has posted  numbers promising a big hit for NBC.  And let’s not forget, the peacock network also has “America’s Got Talent,” produced by none other than Simon Cowell, coming back May 31 and auditions are going on for that show as well.

So, what will all this do to “X Factor” by the time it’s finally unveiled in the fall on Fox, with cohosts Corbin Bleu and Nicole Sherzinger and judges Cowell, L.A. Reid, Cheryl Cole and (?!) Paula Abdul?  Dare we say it?  You be the judge.