After months of speculation and rumors, American Idol execs have released the names of their panel of judges for season 13, with Ryan Seacrest returning as host.
Drum roll please.
Grammy Award winner Jennifer Lopez will be returning with the already announced judge Keith Urban. Grammy and Emmy Award winning singer Harry Connick, Jr. will be joining the panel for his first season.
American Idol veteran Randy Jackson will be returning as an in-house mentor, replacing Interscope Records co-founder Jimmy Iovine after three seasons in the role.
In a statement Jackson said, “Surprise, surprise! I am so happy to be back as part of this amazing show that started it all. Season 1-3 is the place to be. The original talent show is back with a vengeance and ready to discover the best talent in America.”
“I have always been a huge fan of American Idol and really enjoyed my time as a mentor on the show,” Connick, Jr. said in a statement, “And I am honored that they’ve asked me to be a judge this season. As an entertainer, I am truly excited to bring my perspective to American Idol, and to help emerging performers find their way.”
“I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of the AMERICAN IDOL XIII family. Our new producers, judging panel and mentor are all fired up for this season,” said Seacrest in a statement. “I’ve already witnessed some amazingly talented contestants from around the country during our early auditions, cementing my belief that a new superstar is well within our sights.”
so excited to be on @AmericanIdol!!! i’ve already judged my wife and daughters like three times this morning. do they sell gavels on amazon?
— Harry Connick, Jr. (@HarryConnickJR) September 3, 2013
#IDOL2014TheRemix …see ya soon
— Jennifer Lopez (@JLo) September 3, 2013
SACRAMENTO, CA – On Monday night the top 11 contestants of “American Idol” season 12 swooped into town to entertain fans of all ages at Sleep Train arena (Arco Arena, Power Balance Pavilion).
The struggling talent show recently aired its 12th season and sent the top 11 contestants on tour. Sacramento was their third of 30 stops, so their just getting warmed up – and it showed.
The 12th season of ‘American Idol’ saw a huge drop in ratings and at one point during the season a rerun of CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” embarrassingly bested ‘Idol’ in ratings. This season also saw the worst selection of “guys” than any other season prior, with the “girls” fairing only a little better.
And it appears the television ratings curse of season 12 is haunting the Idol tour, as reports are the first two shows in Kent, WA and Portland, OR had less than stellar ticket sales. Sleep Train Arena looked like it fared a bit better, but definitely not a sellout crowd.
“American Idol Live” 2013 was what one would expect from a season of poor vocals and lack-luster showmanship. There were some idol moments, but far and few between. It wasn’t entirely the contestants fault either as lights, song arrangements and choreography played a role in this yawn fest.
The fast-paced show consisted of the usual mix of group numbers and solos. Most of the group numbers were choreographed to a watered down step routine that anyone could perform with a few hand gestures and some swaying of the hips, yet most contestants looked uncomfortable and out of place on stage. There were a few exceptions, with Kree Harrison, Angie Miller and Janelle Arthur looking like they belonged on stage with grins from start to finish.
From the beginning it was difficult for the audience to get engaged. As contestants shouted out to the audience, “raise your hands” or “get on your feet” the results were the same – yawn.
As the show progressed, the light show became bothersome as many times audience members would be blinded by brilliant bright white lights, blinding the few who were actually enjoying the show.
Music selection wasn’t a problem. Hits from Bruno Mars, Rihanna and Justin Timberlake made it on the set-list, but the execution had much to be desired as songs were changed up for group or solo performances, losing the songs emotional impact.
Not all was lost. Here are some of the more standout performances:
Devin Velez performed “Impossible,” showing the audience he can command the stage, a stark contrast from his stint on season 12.
Kree Harrison did a fantastic job on Alabama Shake’s “Hold On.”
Idol winner Candice Glover’s pure vocals came out on The Cure’s “Lovesong.”
Aubrey Cleland did a great job with Beyoncé’s hit “Sweet Dreams.” Her sparkling pink dress didn’t hurt either.
Angie Miller did fantastic job behind the piano with “You Set Me Free.” No surprise there.
As a reminder the top 10 contestants were:
Winner: Candice Glover
2nd place: Kree Harrison
3rd place: Angie Miller
4th place: Amber Holcomb
5th place: Janelle Arthur
6th place: Lazaro Arbos
7th place: Burnell Taylor
8th place: Devin Velez
9th place: Paul Jolley
10th place: Curtis Finch Jr.
Fan Favorite: Aubrey Cleland
Photo credit: Randy Miramontez
“American Idol” had its worst showing for a finale show on Thursday night, as viewers tuned in to see who the winner would be for season 12, with the battle lines drawn between Candice Glover and Kree Harrison. Glover won the show, but couldn’t help the ratings.
The singing competition saw a record low for last year’s season finale, but this year’s numbers sank to an all-time low for the music talent show. “American Idol” sank to 14.2 million, a decline of 31 percent from last year’s record low, according to ratings data made available on Friday. That’s 7 million viewers less than last year’s finale.
The nightmare ratings come on the heels of Randy Jackson announcing this was his last season as a judge. Mid-season rumors had Mariah Carey out of a job and ex-judge Jennifer Lopez back in. The move never happened after lawyers from Carey’s camp got wind of the poorly timed move.
The ratings never materialized even with all the banter at the beginning of the season between Carey and fellow judge Nicki Minaj. If you recall Minaj was accused of threatening Carey and Carey was rumored to have brought on extra security to protect her and her twins from the maniacal Minaj.
At one point during the season a rerun of CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” embarrassingly bested ‘Idol’ in ratings.
Back in 2006 and 2007 “American Idol” brought in over 30 million viewers.
Next season may bring a whole new panel of judges as Carey and Minaj were not fan favorites. Randy Jackson has already announced that he would not be returning and rumor has it that Keith Urban may not be back.
Stay tuned, or not.
Randy Jackson is having one of those days.
Earlier today Mariah Carey announced that she would be dropping Randy Jackson as her management company and signing on to Red Light Management. Ouch!
Now it looks like Jackson is rethinking his priorities and has announced, in a statement released by his publicist, that he’s walking off the “Idol” stage after 12 seasons as a judge.
The 56-year-old “American Idol” judge will not be coming back for season 13, leaving the show in disarray as rumors abound that fellow judges, Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey, are out, leaving the lovable Keith Urban as last man standing – so far.
Jackson, who has been with “American Idol” from the beginning, said in a statement, “”Yo! Yo! Yo!” in his typical easy going, carefree attitude he continued, “To put all of the speculation to rest, after twelve years of judging on American Idol. I have decided to leave after this season. I am very proud of how we forever changed television and the music industry. It’s been a life changing opportunity but I am looking forward to focusing on my company Dream Merchant 21 and other business ventures.”
With plummeting ratings this could spell disaster for the musical talent show.
The Hollywood Reporter has learned that the waning Fox musical competition ‘American Idol’ planned to replace musical judge Mariah Carey, bringing back fan-favorite Jennifer Lopez, but Carey’s lawyers has something to say about the move.
According to sources that spoke to THR, producers and Fox executives have been working out the details with Lopez. That was until Carey’s lawyers got wind of the change-up. Now executives are backing down, but sources say they are still courting Lopez to replace Carey, and possibly bring in a replacement for fellow judge Nicki Minaj.
Carey was supposed to be the big new judge this season on ‘Idol,’ but has failed to make any significant contributions to the show. In one episode Carey alluded to the fact that she was told she needed to provide more substance when commenting on contestant’s performances.
While Minaj is slowly growing into her role on ‘Idol’ with her brightly painted lips, her ever changing hair, and her over the top commentary, she still has some detractors. At times she’s completely entertaining and engaging and other times she comes across as distracted and bored.
As for Keith Urban’s performance on the show – #winning.
‘American Idol’ has seen it’s worse rating slide in the history of the show with their average ratings in the age category 18-49 plummeting from a 6.0 rating, at the beginning of the season, down to a dismal 4.3 for its most recent episode. The show’s first season in 2001 had 30 million viewers, compared to the poor showing of their last episode which only had a tad over 11 million.
‘Idol’s’ competition, ‘The Voice,’ is doing just fine with a 5.2 rating last week.
Adding to the embarrassing ratings for ‘idol’ is the fact that a rerun of CBS’ ‘The Big Bang Theory’ beat out ‘Idol’ in ratings last week – yes, a rerun.
In typical ‘Idol’ style Fox told THR in a statement, “This is just another ridiculous Idol judge rumor, likely started by talks of Jennifer performing on the finale.”
People Magazine reported yesterday that American Idol’s Ryan Seacrest and Dancing with the Stars Julianne Hough have split, this a day after Hough reported having $100,000 worth of jewelry stolen out of her car. Jewelry that just happened to be gifts from Seacrest.
Sources told People that the couple, who had been together close to three years, are no longer living together. It appears their busy schedules have interfered with their relationship, but are staying in contact with each other and remain friends.
Yesterday TMZ reported that 24-year-old Hough contacted police after her vehicle was broken into while visiting with a friend. The car was allegedly broken into and ransacked, but police say there was no sign of forcible entry.
At the beginning of the year it was a completely different story as Seacrest appeared on the television show “Chelsea Handler,” telling the host “She’s so beautiful, stunning. She is phenomenal. She’s the best part of every day.”
In the beginning of their relationship Hough said that Seacrest wasn’t her type and she, “thought he was gay,” but his persistence paid off when she agreed to go out on a date.
The 38-year-old Seacrest keeps himself busy with numerous television appearences, his own radio show, and Ryan Seacrest Productions.
Seacrest has been plagued with rumors that he is gay, rumors which the Idol host has denied.
American Idol’s season 12 is well underway, but what about the top 10 contestants from season 11?
The first round of performances saw Jim Carrey’s daughter, Jane Carrey cut from the competition, as numerous contestants fell ill and collapsed in the auditorium. Contestant Symone Black actually collapsed while on stage and went on to make the cut.
Initially there were to be 12 males and 12 females, but the judges announced plans to add a 13th male semi-finalist between Jermaine Jones, Richie Law, Johnny Keyser and David Leathers Jr. The following week, after the male performances, Jermaine Jones was revealed to be the thirteenth performer, which set the stage for controversy and fueled speculation of a ratings grab.
On March 14, with only 11 contestants remaining, Jermaine Jones was disqualified for concealing arrests and outstanding warrants. Jones denied that he had concealed his previous arrests and says he disclosed them when signing up for Idol. Footage of executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick confronting Jones was shown in what would have been his performance slot.
A police official in the New Jersey town where he had two arrest warrants said, “The case wasn’t big enough to merit going after him in California,” and a New Jersey legislator commented, for the show “to expose, embarrass and interrogate a young man without an attorney in front of 40 million viewers was an outrage.”
Critics accused the show of staging the disqualification in order to boost the already slumping ratings.
Erika Van Pelt
Erika Van Pelt made it into the No. 10 spot and made the requisite rounds on the various talk shows.Van Pelt currently runs her own DJ business (VP Entertainment) and performs part-time with “The Sultans of Swing”, and is a performing partner of “Fairhaven Entertainment” and “Boston Swing.”
In early 2014 Van Pelt will be hosting and performing on a Royal Caribbean cruise to Grand Cayman, Jamaica and Haiti. She’s also in the process of recording her debut album, according to her Facebook page.
In January Van Pelt wrote on Facebook, “Day 1 in the studio today tracking for the new album! I feel really blessed to be making an indie record, done my way. No label, and all the freedom in the world. I can’t wait for you all to hear it!”
Ninth place winner and jokester was Heejun Han who wooed the judges, and the audience, with his offbeat humor. He generally won the day with a joke, not a song.
Han made a number of appearances after the show, including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Live! with Kelly and The Wendy Williams Show. He also performed “God Bless America” to open for the New York Mets.
He appeared as a judge in a K-Pop competition at the New York University’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in September, and currently has no plans for an album. Click for more images
Eighth place winner DeAndre Brackensick hasn’t done much of anything.
The biggest news post-idol was him hooking up with runner-up Jessica Sanchez during the American Idol Live Tour. They could be seen walking hand in hand backstage, just prior to their performances.
Colton Dixon is the contestant who didn’t even try out and ended up in seventh place. If you recall Dixon had tried out for season 10 but failed to make the cut. Season 11 tryouts found his sister trying out with him standing in the wings. The judges insisted that he come out and tryout with his sister standing by. She didn’t make the cut, but he did, and he’s been a busy little Christian ever since.
Following his elimination Dixon appeared on a number of shows including a visit to Access Hollywood where he performed a rendition of “Everything,” by Lifehouse. He was also invited to the White House Correspondents Dinner as a special guest of the Christian Broadcasting Network.
Dixon signed on to Sparrow Records, an imprint of the EMI Christian Music Group, releasing “Never Gone” and “You Are,” both hitting No. 1 on the Christian charts. On January 29 he released his debut album “A Messenger,” sending it to No. 1 on Top Christian Albums and Gospel Albums.
Dixon is currently gearing up to go on tour with Grammy winning Christian rockers Third Day.
Elise Testone landed in sixth place with her gravelly and soulful voice. During her time on Idol she couldn’t get a break, landing in the bottom three most weeks.
She may have had a difficult time winning over audiences, but she didn’t seem to have a problem winning over Idol guitarist Errol Cooney. Rumor has it the two may have hooked up during the American Idol Live Tour, resulting in Cooney’s wife filing for a divorce. Testone has denied doing the deed, but did admit to a close friendship with the guitarist.
Right after Idol, Testone made the rounds on all the talk shows including Good Day L.A.,The Today Show, Anderson, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. She also performed with fellow contestant Colton Dixon on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
The voice coach still lives in Charleston, South Carolina and continues to actively perform in the area. She has no formal plans to release an album, but she’s been writing plenty of music.
Fifth place Skylar Laine is another contestant that’s been idle since Idol, announced in November that she has signed with 19 Entertainment and has moved to Nashville, Tennessee to start work on her debut album.
She recently debut an original song called “Settle Down,” written by herself, Chris DeStefano and Anne Preven.
Fourth place Hollie Cavanagh has been pretty quiet since Idol, but has plans to begin recording her debut album early this year. Just recently she posted to her Facebook account, “Busy writing some music in the studio excited !!!”
She’s also started a YouTube channel for all her Holliepops, as she calls her fans, promising to “to keep everyone in the loop of whats going on and soon you’ll see some covers and original music!”
Fans can also keep updated on one of her fan pages.
There is a potential business arrangement that may be in the works for Ledet, who earned the nickname Mantasia, because he reminded Idol fans of past contestant Fantasia. It seems there is a strip club in New York City called Mantasia that is hoping to bring Ledet into the fold to help market their wares. Don’t hold your breath.
Ledet has also been seen at sporting events singing the national anthem.
Jessica Sanchez was the runner up to Phillip Phillips and with the new Idol contract she was not guaranteed an album and a $175,000 advance. Instead she was only entitled to a “developmental” deal with 19 Recordings and no advance.
Sanchez has since signed with Interscope Records and has been performing at various events. She recently was featured on the cover of Mega Magazine, and plans on releasing her debut single this month, with an album later this year.
While visiting the Philippines for the American Idol Live Tour, Sanchez shot a music video for the song “Jump In” with The Black Eyed Peas members. She has also signed up to endorse Jollibee Foods Corporation and Bench, two popular brands in the Philippines.
Sanchez will be returning to television as she takes on a recurring role in the fourth season of Glee.
American Idol winner Phillip Phillips’ boyish charm, good looks and singing ability catapulted his American Idol coronation song, “Home,” to No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, the first time in four years a coronation single from an American Idol winner had reached the top 10.
“Home” went on to be used in the 2012 Summer Olympics, a Clint Eastwood trailer, and a number of commercials. The song has been bouncing in and out of the top 10 and most recently (January 2013) hit No. 6.
His album “The World From the Side of the Moon” debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 charts in November 2012 and has already been certified gold.
Phillips’ will be joining Matchbox Twenty on their North American tour in 2012 and plans to do a solo tour later this summer.
The lights were anything but dim Saturday night as the American Idol Live Tour 2012 made it’s way through Sacramento’s Power Balance Pavilion.
With an arena full of fans, both young and old, the top 10 Idols of last season came out to show everyone that they have what it takes to be in the biz.
If you don’t recall the finalist for last season they were:
Phillip Phillips (Winner)
Jessica Sanchez (Runner-up)
Joshua Ledet (3rd place)
Hollie Cavanagh (4th place)
Skylar Laine (5th place)
Elise Testone (6th place)
Colton Dixon (7th place)
DeAndre Brackensick (8th place)
Heejun Han (9th place)
Erika Van Pelt (10th place)
It was quite obvious that 16 year old Jessica and 17 year old DeAndre are an item, with the two of them showing up backstage arm in arm with DeAndre’s younger sister in tow. You could tell sis was having a good time, much different from the last time I saw her on American Idol crying because her brother was voted out.
The top 10 (less Phillips) kicked off the show with Chemical Romance’s “Sing.” The entire first set went for a little over 50 minutes.
Deandre soloed with Stevie Wonder’s “Master Blaster,” followed by Hollie and Skylar singing Carrie Underwood’s “Undo It.”
You can see the entire set list below for both the first and second acts. The second act was closer to 60 minutes.
The standout in the first act was Colton singing his original song “Never Gone.” It appeared many of the fans in attendance had heard the song before since they were singing parts of the song.
After a brief intermission, act 2 started with Jessica singing three songs with supporting vocals from Deandre and Joshua.
A surprise for me in the second act was Hollie’s rendition of Adel’s “Rolling in the Deep.” She did a superb job and proved to me she’s got much more talent than I saw on the show. From the audiences reaction, most would agree.
Phillips was absent most of the show, when he took the stage he started off with Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.” As excited as the audience was when Phillips finally took the stage, it would have been a much better experience from a fans perspective, if he would have performed at least the opener with everyone else.
Some things never change as Phillips continued his gum chewing ways. In between versus you could see Phillips chewing on a big wad of gum. As much as people like Phillips sticking to being himself, I would suggest losing the gum onstage, it just doesn’t work.
Phillips performed his original song “Home,” with Colton and Deandre providing backing vocals.
For the finale all 10 idols came out singing “Glad You Came.”
There were a few glitches with choreography, some individuals could have done better with vocals, but all in all it was a great show. Considering this was their 10th show I would have expected some of the “glitches” to have been worked out, but I’m sure they are being run into the ground with interviews and public appearances.
ACT 1 Setlist:
Top 10 (minus Phillips) – “Sing” (My Chemical Romance)
DeAndre Brackensick – “Master Blaster (Jammin’)” (Stevie Wonder)
Hollie Cavanagh and Skylar Laine – “Undo It” (Carrie Underwood)
Erika Van Pelt – “Glitter in the Air” (Pink)
Erika Van Pelt, Hollie Cavanagh, Joshua Ledet, and Colton Dixon – “Moves Like Jagger” (Maroon 5)
Heejun Han – “Green Light” (John Legend)
Heejun Han, DeAndre Brackensick, and Jessica Sanchez – “Party Rock Anthem” (LMFAO)
Joshua Ledet, Colton Dixon, DeAndre Brackensick, and Heejun Han – “Everybody Talks” (Neon Trees)
Elise Testone – “Whole Lotta Love” (Led Zeppelin)
Elise Testone (Deandre Brackensick and Erika Van Pelt on backing vocals) – “Rumour Has It” (Adele)
Colton Dixon – “Meant To Live” (Switchfoot)
Colton Dixon – “Never Gone” (Colton Dixon)
Colton Dixon – “Piano Man” (Billy Joel)
Top 10 (minus Phillip) – “Just the Way You Are”/”What Makes You Beautiful” (Bruno Mars/One Direction)
ACT 2 Setlist:
Jessica Sanchez – “Best Thing I Never Had” (BeyoncÃ©)
Jessica Sanchez (Joshua Ledet and DeAndre Brackensick on backing vocals) – “How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore?” (Prince)
Jessica Sanchez (Joshua Ledet and DeAndre Brackensick on backing vocals) – “Proud Mary” (Ike and Tina Turner)
Skylar Laine – “Gunpowder and Lead” (Miranda Lambert)
Skylar Laine – “Stay With Me” (Faces)
Hollie Cavanagh (Elise Testone and Erika Van Pelt on backing vocals) – “Rolling in the Deep” (Adele)
Hollie Cavanagh – “Give Your Heart a Break” (Demi Lovato)
Joshua Ledet (Elise Testone, DeAndre Brakensick, and Erika Van Pelt on backing vocals) – “Runaway Baby” (Bruno Mars)
Joshua Ledet – “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” (James Brown)
Joshua Ledet and Jessica Sanchez – “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” (George Michael and Aretha Franklin)
Phillip Phillips – “Superstition” (Stevie Wonder)
Phillip Phillips – “Nice and Slow” (Usher)
Phillip Phillips and Elise Testone – “Somebody That I Used to Know” (Goyte feat. Kimbra)
Phillip Phillips (Jessica Sanchez on backing vocal) – “Volcano” (Damien Rice)
Phillip Phillips (Colton Dixon and Deandre Brackensick on backing vocals) – “Home” (Phillip Phillips)
Jessica Sanchez, Hollie Cavanagh, Skylar Laine, Elise Testone, and Erika Van Pelt – “Raise Your Glass” (P!nk)
All Top 10 – “Glad You Came” (The Wanted)
Hudson’s first single “I Don’t Care,” was released when she was only 13. She followed that up with “Tommy,” which has a great driving beat and allowed Hudson to showcase her vocals, punctuating the reason I believe this young lady is headed for the big time. You can also view “Tommy” on Youtube featuring some of her friends.
So what do we have to look forward to with “Too Shy?” It’s a catchy tune with a memorable chorus that will have listeners singing along after their first listen. There’s also some great guitar work interspersed throughout the song.
According to Hudson, “Too Shy” is really about her personality and how she’s always been the shy type.
It’s a great tune that tells a story of how she wants to let someone know how much she cares for them but she’s too shy. While the lyrics are pretty much what you’d expect from a 14 year old, her sound is not so typical and you can hear as you listen to each of her singles how she is quickly growing as an artist.
Better yet, buy all three of her singles to show your support and then you can tell all your friends you heard her first!
Madison Hudson is a name you may not know ““ yet.
I was first introduced to Hudson’s singing abilities at, of all places, a Doobie Brothers concert at Thunder Valley Casino Resort. Film star and singer, Branscombe Richmond brought Hudson up on stage to sing “Listen to the Music,” along with the Doobie Brothers.
Madison Hudson is a 14 year old country pop singer from the small town of Wheatland, located in rural Northern California.
Hudson and her parents realized she was a talented singer back when she was in the first grade, when she scored a solo portion of a class song.
It was soon after her first grade solo that Hudson started recording cover songs. Not wanting to simply do cover songs that others have created, Hudson teamed up with songwriter Amy Ayres. Hudson provides her thoughts and ideas and Amy puts pen to paper, while husband Rich Ayres puts it all together at River City Recording. Based on the couple of songs available on iTunes, I would say the process is working.
Hudson’s first single “I Don’t Care,” may have been a bit challenging, with several high notes interspersed throughout the song. However, by stretching her voice between the highs and lows, she pulled off a memorable performance.
Listening to Hudson’s second single “Tommy,” it’s quite obvious that she’s growing as a singer and an individual. “Tommy” has a great driving beat and allows Hudson to showcase her vocals, punctuating the reason I believe this young lady is headed for fame and fortune. You can also view the video (above) of “Tommy” on Youtube featuring some of her friends.
Her latest single “Too Shy” is due out on April 6th. Hudson says “Too Shy,” is really about her personality and how she’s always been shy. She’s going to have to get over that since she’s scheduled to perform at a number of local events throughout the summer.
I like refer to Hudson’s sound as Taylor Swift with attitude.
As Hudson matures with age and her vocals grow, so will her unique and individual sound, and someday, in the not so distant future, a throng of fans will be lined up for autographs, with the desire to sound just like Madison Hudson.
Is American Idol in her future?
Hey! You heard it hear first.
(To my readers who love to edit my work ““ I know here is misspelled ““ I’m envoking my poetic license)