Tag Archives: Kris Allen

Memorial Day Concert Close to Kris Allen’s Heart

Kris Allen

“American Idol” Kris Allen will have family on his mind today (5/29) when he performs at this year’s “National Memorial Day Concert” in Washington, D.C..  “Both my granddads were in the military,” says the 25-year-old singer from Conway, Arkansas.

“And actually my wife’s family is a military family.  Her dad is retired from the Air Force” — in addition to her brother, who is just back from Iraq.  Allen also says he’s been looking forward to meeting fellow luminaries on this year’s lineup.  The show, being aired on PBS (check your local listings) has Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna as cohosts, with an appearance by General Colin Powell and performances by “American Idol'” contestant Pia Toscano, Forest Whitaker,  Dianne Wiest, B.B. King, Jason Ritter, Hayley Westenra, Daniel Rodriguez, Yolanda Adams, A.J. Cook and the National Symphony Orchestra.

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.”

Kris Adapts to Fame, Won’t Be Pressured on Adam Friendship

Kris Allen performs on American Idol

Kris Allen performs on American Idol

The “American Idol” summer tour hits Little Rock Saturday (7/25) – which means a homecoming for Kris Allen, the Conway, Ark.-born winner of Season 8.  He tells us he’s really looking forward to the concert where friends and family are bound to turn out.

Allen says he talks every day to his wife of 10 months, Katy, who’s stayed home “working and doing her thing” while he’s out dealing with the rigors and rewards of the immensely popular 50-city concert trek.   “She actually came out for a couple of shows,” he says.  “I mean, of course you’re going to miss the person you’re with.  It’s tough, but it’s also – I’m having a great time out here.”

Having endured sleepless nights, especially when the tour was just starting, he’s glad to be getting into a rhythm that allows him to get some rest.  He’s getting used to the tidal wave of fan attention, he says.  And the media.

You may recall the competition between Allen and first runner up Adam Lambert was described by the New York Times in Pat Boone vs. Elvis terms.  Kris continues to be viewed as the boy next door singer-songwriter who’s traipsed around the world doing missionary work, while Adam’s the guyliner and leather-sporting rocker who came out as gay in Rolling Stone.  Earlier this month, a small, fundamentalist church-affiliated group did an anti-gay demonstration outside one of the “A.I.” concerts.  The idols – all 10 finalists of the past season are on the tour – said later they weren’t going to let it bother them.  Does Kris feel any pressure to be a role model of one sort or another, as the Christian guy who’s pals with the gay guy?

“No,” he answers flatly.  “What would I have to be pressured about?
I’m just trying to be me.  If people don’t want me to be friends with
Adam, that’s their problem, not mine.  Adam’s an amazing person and I’m
so happy to call him one of my really good friends.”

Meanwhile, Kris is squeezing in time to write songs for his major label
debut
album, which is slated for a Fall release by Jive Records.  “I
haven’t done so much co-writing in my life.  That’s a little bit
different for me.  It’s going real well,” he says.  “The multitalented
musician adds, “It will have a sound that will be a surprise to people,
but I think a really good surprise.”

ALSO:  As far as whether the contractless Paula Abdul will or won’t
return to the show, Kris says, “I don’t know too much about that.20  I
know some of the other idols know a little bit more than I do, talking
to her, but I …I’m trying to …I’m just glad it’s not anything bad about
me,” he admits.  He laughs.  “That’s always a plus.”

THE VIDEOLAND TWO:  VH1’s dynamic brother duo Real and Chance, who have a rap group called the Stallionaires, soared to a new level of fame
when competing on the dating show “I Love New York.”  Chance made it
all the way to end before getting the boot, but he tells this column
he’s glad it happened.  Otherwise he and his brother wouldn’t be in the
thick of their own dating show, “Real Chance of Love 2: Back in the
Saddle
,”
which is currently in its second season.

Referring to reality star Tiffany Pollard by her better-known moniker,
he says, “The best thing New York could have did was get rid of a
brother like me.  As you see, she’s not about nothing.  I don’t know if
she’s a guy or a woman anyway,” Chance says with a jab.  “She’s said a
lot of negative things about me and my brothers and that hurts our
feelings because we thought she was a real friend of ours.  We became
great friends and I don’t know what went wrong after the show.  She did
ask me to do something where I don’t think I showed up so it was pretty
crazy from there on out,” he recalls. “But love goes out to her whole
family.”

Real says things have worked out the way they’re supposed to and
they’re just enjoying what’s come their way.  “Our life is so beautiful
right now.  The only thing is we don’t really have as much privacy.  We
can’t go as many places without getting bum rushed, but we’re doing
good.  Television has given us a lot of opportunities and this is just
our beginning stage.”

THINGS ARE ROUGH ALL OVER:  Think Hollywood’s famous folk have been spared the awfulness of the economic downturn?  Well, there might be
some celebrity  shadenfreude ahead.  Casting is going on for a new
reality show
that will feature – ready? – well-known actors and
musicians with financial problems.  Subjects, who must be willing to
tell it all, will work with a top financial expert to find the root of
their problems and get back on track, for a tidy sum of $25,000.

With reports by Emily/Fortune  Feimster

Expect gloves-off treatment of Sinatra in Scorsese pic

Frank Sinatra and daughter Nancy.

Frank Sinatra and daughter Nancy.

Just because Nancy Sinatra is producing Martin Scorsese‘s planned movie biography of her father, Frank, don’t expect the picture to shy away from the controversial, less flattering aspects of the show business legend’s life.

At least, it won’t if the film — for which Leonardo DiCaprio is already being mentioned — follows the tell-all pattern set out by Nancy’s sister, Tina Sinatra, back in 2000. Tina’s “My Father’s Daughter” disclosures about her dad getting the Mafia to help deliver the union vote to elect John F. Kennedy as president and his doing secret work for the CIA got her play on “60 Minutes.” Her exposure of family strife and discord — in particular with Sinatra’s fourth wife, Barbara Marx — got her in hot water with some Sinatra friends who felt those stories should never have been made public. Though the tome clearly showed how much Tina adored her father, she did, as she put it, “cover the good and the bad.”

Which is, of course, by far more interesting than a mere love letter about the entertainment great’s vocal prowess, enormous charm, loyalty and generosity to friends and charities. The dichotomy between the Sinatra loved by pals and fans and the Sinatra loathed by his many enemies were both real. His infidelities, grudges, temper and other negative behavior was depicted in CBS’ five-hour miniseries of the ’90s — which was produced by the family as well.

With more than 10 years having passed since his death and all the perspective that time brings, and with the talent of Martin Scorsese going into it, the Sinatra big-screen biopic just might capture lightning in a bottle.

STEP BY STEP: “Psych” star Dule Hill, who is a longtime tap dancer, tells us he’s trying to find a way to bring the dance back to the forefront. “I would love for the opportunity to bring dance to television in terms of dramatic scripted television. I’d also love to do tap on film and tap back on stage,” says Hill, whom many know from his days on “The West Wing.”

Gregory Hines was the one carrying that banner, so with his passing you lose some of that. Hopefully we can get back to it,” adds Hill. “We’ll see what comes next after ‘Psych,’ but first I’d like to do an episode on the show where we can do some tapping.” The cast and the crew of the USA network series certainly get to see Hill in action in between takes. “I do it on the set all the time. I have a piece of wood that I’m always dancing on in my trailer. I dance in my garage back home. I dance with friends and young students. I love tap dancing. I’m a tap dancer at heart.”

BY ANY OTHER NAME: Nine-year-old cutie Jadagrace Berry of “Terminator Salvation” tells us she loved doing scenes with Christian Bale in the flick, opening tomorrow (5/21). “He was so nice. He was always helping me, but he’d only answer to John,” she notes, referring to Bale’s character, savior of humanity John Connor. So did John — er, Christian — have any words of wisdom for this young co-star? “He told me to just stay in the moment and try to react,” she says. The pint-sized actress was among the young-uns at the premiere of Disney-Pixar’s “Up,” where she told us her burning desire for her next job: “I really want to be on the Disney Channel.”

AND: The audience was charmed by “Up,” another gem of a film from Pixar, a fanciful adventure about an old guy (Ed Asner) who travels to South America via a multitude of balloons from which his house hangs suspended. The poignant and funny modern fable is due on screens May 29. Producer Jonas Rivera told us, “For this one, we went back a little bit; we wanted to make an old-fashioned Disney movie. Computer animation tends to make things look very photo real, like in ‘Wall-E.’ For this, we went back and looked at ‘Peter Pan, “Sleeping Beauty,” ‘Snow White’ — we wanted it to have a little bit more of a painterly feel. That’s harder, technically,” he says. “A character drawing is a distillation. How does a Hirschfeld drawing of Lucille Ball look more like her than a photograph? There’s no computer that does that. This was a case of computer science and art colliding.”

JUDGING THE JUDGES: Season 8 of “American Idol” goes down as The Season of Judges’ Conflicts — in the view of “Access Hollywood’s” self-described “reality chick,” Laura Saltman, and who wouldn’t agree? Saltman spends January-to-May giving “Idol” her full attention, chatting with contestants, hanging out on set, etc. She points out, “Paula (Abdul) and Simon (Cowell) have grown closer this season because of their mutual feelings about Kara (DioGuardi). They mimic her … ” she notes. “They, of course, downplayed it, but things were pretty tense at first. It’s gotten better. They’ve kind of found a groove,” she says.

“I like Kara,” she adds. “I really do. She really says something, where Randy (Jackson) is just pretty much saying, ‘Dog. Dog, you’re great, Dog.’ And Paula you can’t always understand.” Still, “I don’t think the four-judge format works because it takes too long to get through the comments. I think they should go back to three.” So, who would she vote off? “Kara. You know, it’s a last one in, first one out kind of a thing.”

Laura says she’s not losing any enthusiasm for her “Idol” gig, though she’s covered all eight seasons. She’ll not only be at tonight’s (5/20) finale for the naming of either Adam Lambert or Kris Allen as the new American Idol, she’ll be up at 3 a.m. to be back on the job at 4 a.m., “spending the day with the winner and showing what he does. Who wouldn’t want to do that?” she asks.

With reports by Emily Feimster.