Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Win Free Tickets To American Idols Live! Tour

TV Guide is giving away two tickets to the American Idol tour location closest to you!

Go to the TV Guide website for more information.

While you're there, be sure to participate in the discussion forums, and sign up for the TV Guide newsletter.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Jordin Sparks Wins American Idol

In an exciting finale, Jordin Sparks beat Blake Lewis for the Season Six American Idol title.

The star-studded finale that included Gwen Stefani, Smokey Robinson, Doug E. Fresh, and Gladys Knight among others. The top twelve Idols from this season also performed throughout the evening.

But in the end, it was the 17-year old from Glendale, Arizona that was singing under the confetti.

Congratulations to Jordin and her family!

It's been a fun season. We'll keep you posted on American Idol events throughout the summer and the rest of the year.

Idol Buzz Out!

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

American Idol Recap: The Finale - May 22nd, 2007

This is it! Only two contestants remain, and they have completely different styles. For the third year in a row, the competition comes down to a guy and a girl that are nothing alike. It's made for an exciting finish for the past two years. Let's see if this finale can live up to years past.

We're in the Kodak theatre tonight, with a much larger crowd than usual. We check out some footage of Jordin and Blake's auditions in Seattle, and find out that the songwriting winner is from Seattle also. After an overly-dramatic coin-flip, Blake wins and chooses to go first.

The performers will sing three songs each tonight.

Blake is up first, reprising his highly-acclaimed performance of "You Give Love a Bad Name". He's added more beat boxing, more flair, and more energy to the performance. Overall, it was more fun, but not as technically good. I liked the extended drum solo. The judges seem to agree that his performance was great, but the singing wasn't exceptional. I would have to agree.

Randy: Beat boxing 10 out of 10. Vocals just alright.
Paula: Vocals were great.
Simon: Vocals were a little flat, but the performance was one of your best.

Buzz Score: 9.5

Jordin is next singing "Fighter" by Christina Aguilera. I have a tough time buying into Jordin singing this style of song. Her performance is better than I expected though. I think she would have been better served by choosing a song more within her comfort zone.

Randy: It wasn't your greatest entertainment, but your voice was stellar.
Paula: You were stellar.
Simon: The vocals were a bit shrieky. Round one to Blake.

Buzz Score: 8.5

We learn the history of Blake's beat boxing before he sings Maroon 5's "She Will Be Loved". This is a pretty good song for Blake. His voice fits well with it. He gets a bit pitchy on the falsetto, but it's a solid performance overall. I like the outfit. It didn't blow me away, but still good.

Randy: Very nice!
Paula: You sounded great, relaxed.
Simon: It was good, it was safe. I wouldn't have chosen that song in the final.

Buzz Score: 8.5

Now it's Jordin Sparks with her penultimate song of the night - Martina McBride's "A Broken Wing". When she sang this on country week, Simon said "This is the first time since we have met where I actually believe you could win American Idol." His words may ring true in about 25 hours. The song starts off really nice. Slow and soulful. As the song progresses, the energy builds and she finishes great. Vocals were spot on. I think this round goes to Jordin.

Randy: You can blow. That was flawless. Better than the original.
Paula: You look adorable. You are in great great vocal voice tonight.
Simon: That... was good!

Buzz Score: 9

Seattle natives won the song-writing competition with "This Is My Now". I was hoping to see Reed Waddle's "I Saw Stars" win the songwriting competition, but what are you going to do. The American Idol winner song is usually a little cheesy and "Adult Contemporary", but I think I like this one less than most of the other winner's songs. Maybe it will grow on me.

Blake will sing the song first. I like how he starts out sitting in the big screen. This song will suit Jordin's voice far more than Blake's, and I think that may give her an advantage. Some seasons, they give a different song to each finalist. The fact that they haven't could easily hurt Blake. The background singers sound pretty bad in parts, but Blake does too. Some notes go way off pitch. For a song like this though, it's a respectable performance.

Randy: You did a pretty good job with it. Not great, but alright.
Paula: I think you did a great job on the song.
Simon: I thought it was all a little odd. We should judge you tonight on your first two performances.

Buzz Score: 8

Can Jordin breathe some life into this song? It'll be hard but she might be able to do it. She opens the song a little more serious than Blake. Overall, her performance is much better than Blake's, but it's not without errors. Her crying at the end will get her some votes too!

Randy: You were the best singer tonight. You deserve it all.
Paula: You have a lot to be proud of.
Simon: Last week, I didn't think you were good enough to make the finals. I was wrong. You just wiped the floor with Blake on that song.

Buzz Score: 9

Daughtry sings us out, and America prepares to vote for their favorite. Who will it be?

I think Jordin beat out Blake vocally tonight, but we all know that this competition is about more than good vocals. Blake is unique and has a fun energetic style that people really like. As always, the votes will be close, and there's no way to tell who will sing under the streamers tomorrow night. If I had to guess, I would say it will be Jordin.

It's been a great season. Vote for your favorite, and enjoy the finale.

The Idol Buzz, out!

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

American Idol Recap: Round of 3 - May 15th, 2007

And then there were three!

Melinda, Blake, and Jordin are all that remain in American Idol's Sixth Season.

Each Judge has picked a song for each contestant, the producers have chosen a song, and the contestant gets to pick their own song.

Simon has chosen "Wishing on a Star" for Jordin Sparks, who starts the night. Bad choice of clothing for this song. The dress she chose just isn't flattering. Hervoice more than compensates for her poor wardrobe, though. Her voice is strong and powerful, and I like the jazzy arrangement. Good solid performance!

Randy: That was a very good vocal. Hot!
Paula: Simon picked a good song for you.
Simon: I like the pure version of the song, not the weird jazz arrangement.

Buzz Score: 8.5

Blake is up next. Paula has chosen "Roxanne" by The Police for him to sing tonight. I wasn't sure how he would handle this song, but I think he really pulls it off. His voice is good, the style suits him, and his impersonation of Sting is spot on ;) Overall, I think it was a very good performance, and it reminds us all why we voted Blake into the top three. The background singers sounded way off the whole time. I'm not sure what that was all about.

Randy: Great, great performance. Pretty good vocal. I gotta give you an "A" on that.
Paula: You did me proud. It was good, it was fresh. Good song choice.
Simon: I'm not going to call that earth-shattering. It wasn't as good as the original.

Buzz Score: 9

Governor Bresden of Tennesee read a note from Randy to Melinda, informing her that she would be singing "I Believe In You and Me" by Whitney Houston this week. A slow, soulful song, Melinda sounds great from the beginning. The judges always criticize those that try to sing Whitney, since no one can match her sound. Melinda does very well, but it's not the great sound we've come to expect from Melinda. Good performance, but she'll need to do better to win it all.

Randy: That was hot. You blew it out the box!
Paula: You were fantastic! One of your best performances.
Simon: Very very difficult song. I think it was your best performance. Round One to Melinda.

Buzz Score: 8.5

Jordin's favorite song is "MmmBop" by Hanson. The producers have chosen a slightly more difficult song for her to sing tonight. "She Works Hard for the Money" Sporting a much better outfit, Jordin starts strong, and sounds really great. Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot Jordin can do with this song to show off. With what she has to work with though, it's a great performance.

Randy: You're working it out. That was hot!
Paula: You worked hard for the money tonight.
Simon: It was a very good performance.

Buzz Score: 9

Blake gets a question too. In a movie about ihs life, he would choose Jim Carrey to play himself, and title the movie "Organized Chaos". The producers have chosen "This Love" by Maroon Five for Blake. Another perfect song for Blake. The rock-reggae style suits him perfectly. He adds a touch of beat boxing, but it fits well with the song, and doesn't sound gimmicky like last week. Blake usually isn't my favorite contestant, but I've liked him best so far tonight.

Randy: When you make a record, that's the kind of record you should make. Very nicely done.
Paula: You were totally in your element.
Simon: I preferred that one to the first song. That was good.

Buzz Score: 9.5

Seacrest introduces us to Melinda's grandparents, and askes Melinda who her Idol was growing up. She says it's her Mom. Nice! The producers have chosen another legend, asking her to sing an Ike and Tina Turner tune. The producers seem to know the contestant's style really well, because I think these three songs have suited them all better than nearly any other song this season. Melinda's voice exudes soul and her Bo Bice style microphone-grab seals the deal. Fantastic performance!

Randy: Another great solid performance. Put some of that in your repetiore.
Paula: We love you, we love you, we love you.
Simon: Love that side of you. I thought it was another brilliant performance.

Buzz Score: 10

Jordin opens the last group of songs. First, we see that she's gotten a star placed at the mall where she used to work. She's chosen to sing "I Who Have Nothing". This is a great song for her, and she sings it beautifully. If I recall corectly, I gace her a BuzzScore of 9 last time. She gets a perfect 10 tonight!

Randy: Another great performance. Your best performance of the night.
Paula: You sounded really great!
Simon: You sang that very well, but there's a part of me that hated the fact that a 17-year-old was singing a 60-year-old song.

Buzz Score: 10

Blake jams at home with Sir Mix-A-Lot before his performance of "When I Get You Alone". All three songs of Blake's tonight have been very good for his style of voice, and that may very well get him into the finals. His performances are all fun, full of energy, and

Randy: It was cool. It was alright.
Paula: All three songs tonight really exemplify who you are as an artist. Three great performances.
Simon: I really liked that. You don't play it safe, you take a risk, you look like you're having fun.

Buzz Score: 9.5

Melinda wraps up the show with "I'm a Woman". The first time she performed this song, I gave her a perfect 10. This performance deserves at least that! Her voice is soulful, and her performing is simply fantastic! The background singers on stage is a nice touch.

Randy: I'm seeing the range of Melinda Doolittle.
Paula: You're stepping out into the spotlight, and celebrating your journey.
Simon: Love the little striptease. You've consistantly delivered week after week.

Buzz Score: 10.1

Everyone got high scores tonight! I guess that's how it should be for the final three. Who will go home tomorrow night? I think if nothing else, Blake's uniqueness will push him through to the next round. Between Jordin and Melinda, the nod has to go to Melinda. It could really be anyone of the three, but I'm going to have to go with Jordin as the one given the boot tomorrow night.

We'll see what happens. Join me back here tomorrow night!

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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

American Idol Recap: Round of 4 - May 8th, 2007

"Three Girls and One Guy", we're reminded by Seacrest as the show opens. Tonight is Barry Gibb night. We get a rundown of Barry Gibb's career. I didn't know the BeeGees had 30 albums, did you? How did they have time to do all that.

Since I was just a young lad in the 70s, when I think of Barry Gibb, I mostly think of the Saturday Night Live sketch, "The Barry Gibb Show", with Jimmy Fallon as Barry Gibb. Good Times!

Anyway, after Seacrest tells us for the hundredth time this season that our votes are important, we're on to the music....

Melinda Doolittle is up first. Barry Gibb thought her choice of song ("Love Me Inside and Out") was unusual, but said she managed to pull it off in rehearsals. I think he's right. She really brought the song to life and made it her own. It was just a bit boring, but overall, she did very well!

Randy: That was another solid performance.
Paula: It's hard to critique you because your vocals are always spot on.
Simon: I expect incredible tonight. That was not incredible. That was a backup vocal performance.

Buzz Score: 8.5

Blake Lewis is up next next with "You Should Be Dancin'". Barry Gibb thinks Blake's beat boxing really suits this song. We'll see how well it works. Blake's dance moves really go well with the music, but the style of the song itself is a little weird for me. All the echoing and the poor falsetto is just distracting. I completely agree with Randy. The beat boxing just made it corny. I'm hoping Blake can come back with a great second performance.

Randy: Tonight, the beat boxing didn't work. It made it very corny.
Paula: It started a little shaky. Your pitch was off. You showed why you're unique.
Simon: I'll give you unique, but I thought it was absolutely terrible.

Buzz Score: 7

LaKisha is "Stayin' Alive" tonight. She's decided to slow it down and give it a soulful style. Like Melinda, she's taking a falsetto song by a man and making it her own. Though her pitch is good, and her style is solid, I think she could have done a little more with this song. She really didn't take too many risks, and if she had, perhaps she could have really blown the house down. As it was, it was just good.

Randy: That was weird for me. It wasn't working.
Paula: Everyone was on their feet, but taking the tempo down brought the mood down.
Simon: No kiss tonight, baby!

Buzz Score: 8

Jordin rounds out the performers with "You Don't Know What It's Like". This song has been sung by the Bee Gees, Janis Joplin, Michael Bolton, Hank Williams Jr., among many others. Barry Gibb said he's heard hundreds of people sing this song, but he's never heard a greater version than Jordin. That's quite a compliment. Can she live up to the hype?

She starts off slow with good tone. I'm not totally blown away at first, but as the song progresses, she takes it up a notch and sounds really good. I don't know if I'm as impressed as Barry Gibb, but I liked it.

Randy: That's the best vocal so far. I liked the throwback vibe. So far, you're winning.
Paula: You look very beautiful. The best vocal tonight.
Simon: Best song choice, best performance so far. You're back in the competition.

Buzz Score: 8.5

Sarah from Charlotte asks Melinda what her first tape ever was. She says it was "Bad" by Michael Jackson, but her mother crossed out the album title an wrote "Good".

Singing "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart", she takes a page from her mom's book by leaving out a line in the song that mentions being a loser. The song starts out a little boring, but mid-way through, she finds the energy, and the crowd starts cheering. The ending was great, and her performance was too.

Randy: Second song, much better. Beautiful ending. You're our resident pro.
Paula: A beautiful vocal. I would love for you to throw your technique away and surprise us.
Simon: I think the second half of that song has put you into the semi-finals.

Buzz Score: 9

For his second performance, Blake has chosen "This is Where I Came In." Barry Gibb thought this would be a hit for the Bee Gees, but he was wrong. He now thinks maybe it can be a hit for Blake. I think this song suits Blake's style a little better, and he doesn't base the song around gimmicks. I'm not familiar with the original version of this song, but I can envision a group like 311 singing this version of it. I don't know if Blake will have a hit with this song, but it may put him into the semifinals.
, the judges comments notwithstanding
Randy: I'm not jumping up and down. I like the reggae spin on it.
Paula: There ain't nothin' old about Blake. You are the rebel in this competition.
Simon: I found that song completely tuneless. I don't think you've had a good night tonight.

Buzz Score: 8

Judge Judy us an American Idol Fan! Seacrest says something about her and Simon dating before the producers remind him that we're running short on time. LaKisha's second song is "Run To Me". Barry Gibb thinks her range is amazing. The performance started off boring, and never really broke out. The singing was fine, and I liked the performance well enough, but it wasn't anything special.

Randy: Much better than the first song.
Paula: You're still a champ.
Simon: It was better than the first song. It still wasn't great.

Buzz Score: 7.5

The judges blow quickly through their critique of LaKisha so we can get right to.... a commercial. After the break, Jordin closes the show with her rendidtion of "A Woman in Love", as performed by Barbara Streisand. Barry Gibb really likes Jordin. In this clip, he says she will be one of our greatest recording artists. On the first song, she sounded better in rehearsals than on stage. I don't like this performance as much as the first, but again, I'm not blown away. A solid performance, but not incredible.

Randy: Not your best performance. A little pitchy.
Paula: You are absolutely beautiful.
Simon: I loved the song. Old fashioned. Very pageanty.

Buzz Score: 8

After the recap, Seacrest reminds us to watch tomorrow night, and then he brings back a gem we haven't heard since Season Three. "Seacrest, Out!" Oh yeah!

Gone tomorrow night - It really could be anybody, but I think LaKisha is the smart pick. Blake stands out from the ladies stylistically, and won't have to share votes with any similar performers. I think he's safe for at least another week. America seems to be liking Jordin more and more each week, and Melinda leaving would be a shock (kind of like Chris Daughtry leaving in this round last season).

That's all for now. See you back here tomorrow night! The Idol Buzz, Out!

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Friday, May 4, 2007

Tamyra Gray To Play Mimi in Broadway's Rent

Tamyra Gray will join the ranks of former Idols Frenchie Davis, Diana DeGarmo, and Constantine Maroulis when she joins the Broadway cast of Rent at the end of this month.

The Season one finalist will start in the role of Mimi Marquez on May 29th, playing alongside Broadway stars Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp (the original Roger and Mark) when they rejoin the cast in July.

Rent, a modern adaptation of the 19th century opera, La Bohème.

Season two contestant Frenchie Davis has performed in Rent, while Constantine Maroulis played the lead in the Broadway show The Wedding Singer. Diana DeGarmo is currently the lead in Broadway's Hairspray.

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Diana DeGarmo Stalker Ordered To Perform Community Service

Diana DeGarmo's stalker finally had her day in court. Tanya Maree Quattrocchi, 21, of Australia had been stalking and threatening the American Idol Season Three runner-up for several months before she was caught by police.

Quattrocchi was convicted of stalking and blackmail, and was sentenced to 150 hours of community service by an Australian court Friday.

Quattrocchi called DeGarmo 369 times and sent her 570 text messages between March and June of last year, according to court testimony.

Some of the text messages:

"I could kill you before you could even lay a finger on me"

"I know I'm out of line here, but I don't give a f---"

"How badly do you want to kill me right now? Bring it on bitch."

Quattrocchi managed to hack into DeGarmo's MySpace account, impersonate her to family and friends, and purchase pornography with her credit cards. She somehow got hold of some of DeGarmo's newly recorded songs, threatening to release the songs if she wasn't paid a large sum of money.

Diana is currently performing on Braodway in the musical "Hairspray."

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