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Archive for October, 2007

…I’ve decided to post this comment that was left in my ABOUT section so that all could be informed.  I am aware that the Writers’ Guild is about to strike the TV industry on 10/31 unless a contract agreement can be reached.  Since I am a writer of sorts and a creative artist by trade, I can certainly understand their position on fair and just compensation.  If someone from IDOL would like me to publish their side of the story, I’d be happy to do that as well.  Somewhere between the two should be the truth of the matter.    J

THE DARK, UGLY SECRET BEHIND THE COMPANY THAT BRINGS YOU “AMERICAN IDOL”

A recent New York Times article headline read: “FOR FOX’S RIVALS, ‘AMERICAN IDOL’ REMAINS A SCHOOLYARD BULLY”.

Jeff Zucker, chief executive of NBC Universal said in the story, “I think ‘Idol’ is the most impactful show in the history of television” and Kelly Kahl, the chief scheduler for CBS said, “This is a big monolith sitting out there. It’s the ultimate schoolyard bully.”

Bully indeed.

FremantleMedia, the company that produces “American Idol” for FOX, is a worldwide leader in television production, enjoying tremendous international success. They produce relatively inexpensive, popular US programming — including the lucrative “Idol” and “The Price is Right” — while refusing to offer decent wages and benefits to the writers working on their shows. (Yes! Even “American Idol” has writers!)

The latest example of Fremantle’s blatant, disrespectful treatment of professional writers occurred on their new game show “Temptation”. Writers were required to work excessive (12-14) hours daily in order to produce 170 shows in 16 weeks. They did not receive health insurance, pension contributions, standard wages, overtime, residuals or proper screen credits.

Despite numerous requests over the years from the Writers Guild of America (WGA), FremantleMedia still refuses to comply with industry standards. They continue to exploit the writers who contribute to the success of the shows that rake in millions and millions of dollars for them.

Because of their blatant arrogance and disrespect, a petition is being circulated among all WGA members and their supporters, urging them to refuse work with FremantleMedia and its subsidiaries.

The campaign, including public demonstrations, will continue until FremantleMedia treats writers fairly by applying and enforcing industry standards on all of its productions.

How can you help?

To pledge your support, simply click on the link and electronically sign the petition, which will be hand-delivered to FremantleMedia. Deadline for all signatures is Monday, October 22.

You don’t need to be a writer to sign the petition — just a conscientious person who believes that media corporations should not be allowed to take advantage of the creative services provided by hard-working writers. Thanks for your support!!

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Clay Aiken Joins Broadway’s `Spamalot’

NEW YORK (AP) — Clay Aiken is going from “American Idol” to Eric Idle’s “Spamalot.”

Aiken will join the Broadway cast of “Monty Python’s Spamalot” on Jan. 18, playing one of the leads, Sir Robin, in the Tony Award-winning musical directed by Mike Nichols.

“I really couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful group of people to work with,” said Aiken, who became a recording and concert star after his appearances on the TV series “American Idol.”

“Let’s not lie, the chance to work with legendary creative minds like Mike Nichols and Eric Idle is, on its own, a reason to jump at this opportunity.”

Aiken will appear in the show, which is based on the film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” through May 4, 2008. The musical’s book is by Idle, an original member of the Python gang, and its score is by Idle and John DuPrez.

“Clay Aiken is amazing beyond that glorious voice,” Nichols said. “Turns out he is an excellent comic actor and a master of character.”

Maybe Simon was right after all – Clay is perfect for Broadway and the part of Sir Robin will suit him just fine. I guess I’ll be embarking on a road trip to NYC in January! Any excuse to go to “the city” is OK with me…

Break a leg, Aiken – I think you’ll be a smash!

ETA – and there’s MORE!  Read on, McDuff…
Clay Aiken, who became a music superstar following his success on the American Idol television series, will join the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, Monty Python’s SPAMALOT, making his Broadway debut in the role of Sir Robin, at the Shubert Theatre, New York, from January 18 to May 4, 2008.

Tickets are available online now at telecharge.com or by calling (212) 239-6200/(800) 432-7250.

Directed by Mike Nichols, who won his eighth Tony Award for his direction of the new musical, Monty Python’s SPAMALOT has a book by Eric Idle, “lovingly ripped-off” from the screenplay of the Pythons’ best- loved film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. The music is by Eric Idle and John DuPrez.

Clay Aiken, who has sold more than 6 million albums; co-authored a best-selling book; and, played six sold-out concert tours, said “I really couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful group of people to work with. Let’s not lie, the chance to work with legendary creative minds like Mike Nichols and Eric Idle is, on its own, a reason to jump at this opportunity. But, that’s not all. The producers and creative folks I have had the chance to meet and work with so far have been unbelievably welcoming and wonderful. They’ve really made me feel at home already, and I haven’t even started yet!”

Director Mike Nichols said: “Clay Aiken is amazing beyond that glorious voice. Turns out he is an excellent comic actor and a master of character. People will be surprised by his wide ranging talent, since the first impression is of great country charm and a singer to remember. This guy is not only a star, he is a lot more. We are lucky to get him for SPAMALOT.”

SPAMALOT author and original Python Eric Idle commented: “This is great news. I have been a Clay Aiken fan ever since I took my daughter to see him live on the second season of American Idol and she held up a big sign of his name. Maybe now it should read ‘American Idle.'”

Other members of the SPAMALOT creative team include Casey Nicholaw (choreography), multiple Olivier Award-winners Tim Hatley (sets and costumes) and Hugh Vanstone (lighting) and Acme Sound Partners.

Winning more awards than any other show in the 2005 Broadway Season, including the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Grammy Award for Best Cast Recording, SPAMALOT has set box office records since opening on Broadway to critical acclaim in March, 2005 at the flagship Shubert Theatre.

Monty Python’s SPAMALOT celebrates one year in London’s West End at the Palace Theatre this week. SPAMALOT is also on National Tour around the US and is playing at Wynn Las Vegas. An Australian production will open in November in Melbourne.

Monty Python’s SPAMALOT is produced by Boyett Ostar Productions, The Shubert Organization, Arielle Tepper, Stephanie McClelland/Lawrence Horowitz, Elan V. McAllister/Allan S. Gordon, Independent Presenters Network, Roy Furman, GRS Associates, Jam Theatricals, TGA Entertainment and Live Nation.

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So, how about some of the WORST IDOL auditions from around the globe?  It sure picked up my spirits a tad.

Enjoy!

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Look, gang, I’m a peaceful blogger/podcaster who reports IDOL news where I can get it.  As you may have noticed, my March post regarding the recant has been removed because I forgot to site my source – something I’ve apologized for and will try not to repeat in the future.  If I have to remove the latest post on Clay I will as well.  I’m sorry if this has caused problems in the Clay Nation but I’m getting so fed up with all the angst and mudslinging that I’m about ready to give up on being a Clayfan altogether.  I really like the man but the fandom is just too out of control for me.  I’ve always tried to back him up and be supportive but I’m not a blind follower and have said things that others have not appreciated – to which I get slammed.

No. Thank. You.  I don’t need this.

J

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Ho-hum.

 

According to this internet source:

 

American Idol Star Clay Aiken Caught Up in Church Gay Controversy 10/6/07

 

American Idol star Clay Aiken is caught up in another gay controversy after parishioners at a church where he is set to perform a Christmas (07) concert demanded assurances the singer isn’t a homosexual.

 

Aiken’s sexuality hit the headlines last year (06) when a former Green Beret soldier revealed he had spent a night of passion with the crooner, but Aiken refused to discuss the issue when it came up in interviews.

 

Then, fans threatened to file a class action suit against the singer if it was proven he was gay.  And now, elders at a Wichita, Kansas church want to make sure the singer is heterosexual before green-lighting plans for him to perform for their congregation on 26 November (07).

 

The Central Christian Church controversy reached a fever pitch shortly after the performance was announced, and the executive pastor Mark Posson felt compelled to send a letter to concerned elders.

 

A source tells the National Enquirer, “Pastor Posson thought it was in the church’s best interest to circulate a letter.”

 

In the note, the pastor avoided the gay issue, declaring Aiken was a Christian who didn’t “drink, smoke, swear or womanize”.  The clergyman also recalled interviews Aiken gave to Rolling Stone magazine and an internet site, in which he stated he was not gay.

 

Posson also incorrectly declared the Green Beret, who claimed to have spent the night with Aiken in a hotel, later recanted his story, explaining he was encouraged to “scandalize the singer” by so-called Aiken haters. In fact, the soldier, John Paulus, has never gone back on his story – and passed a lie detector test when he took his story to the Enquirer.

 

As WENN went to press, the Aiken concert at Central Christian Church is still scheduled.

 

Ya know, I haven’t had much tolerance for all the nonsense that has surrounded the “is Clay gay” crap but I have no tolerance whatsoever for churches who play this type of game. That’s all I’ll say on the subject.

 

Can’t we all just learn to accept each other? Can’t folks just get off of Clay’s case and leave him alone?

 

Sheese.

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idol_topper.jpg

This looks about right, gang, but I’m not surprised our sweet Melissa placed at 5th overall and that an under-rated Diana De Garmo ended up last. The top four were dead on IMHO but I would have thought that Daughtry’s numbers would have been a little closer to Clay, given his ability for radio airplay. Then, again, those Clayfans know how to “stand by their man” on any given day!

You can read all of the article and the hilarious comments here.

What say you all? On the money or all washed up? Let the discussion begin!

Carry on!

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