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Archive for the ‘Claymates’ Category

Ok, so Idol Gives Back wasn’t any better than last year, IMHO. Following a couple of inspirational songs with Ben Stiller’s potty mouth was definitely WAY out of line and pretty much sealed for me the feeling that this “charity” event is all about ratings, nothing more. Two and one half hours is not enough time to even glance through the Jerry Lewis playbook on how to put one of these shows together so while I can give one prop for trying to do something to better the world, maybe it would be better if this effort was aired AFTER the Idol season as a one night special, putting all the emphasis on the cause and not just letting it be an asterisk during the competition, Besides, having it as part of the regular season just screams “ratings gimmick” to me and then to delay the results for one more night is simply cruel for the contestants…unless they do like last year.

As far as for Inspirational Song night, I think it’s just too broad a category to be successful unless these types of songs have been in your repertoire for years and then it depends on what one believes is an “inspirational” song. Titles alone don’t always connect with the lyrics, that’s why some of the choices for this week fell a little flat. You’ll see what I mean in my reviews.

So let’s get to that unique view from my comfy red leather couch for this week:

Michael JohnsDream On

How can I not like a guy who takes on Aerosmith and has to go first for the night? He even got away with a passable high falsetto screech! Why Randy decided to take him to task for picking the song is beyond me. Ok, maybe there were better songs for him to choose but I thought he tried to make it his own and for once I understood all the words to the song. On second listen, I didn’t hear any pitch problems but I did hear that he was trying to change the familiar stylized patterns to fit his own vocal range and color, which IMHO he didn’t do badly. As for appropriateness of choice, I’d say it was just “aiight.” He might end up in the bottom but I really think not since he’s still riding last week’s high.

Syesha MercadoI Believe

Taking on another Idol‘s winning song, eh? The comparisons would be endless on this one and they sure were, even though she took it and made it her own in a lot of places. But the judges kept knocking her lack of connection with the song – not choosing to remember that the uncut version has a lot more time to build than the stripped down one minute thirty hiccup. I only heard one place toward the end where she lost the pitch but then followed that with a spot-on trip into her whistle voice (that was the high note only dogs could hear). As for appropriateness of choice, I’d say it was on the money as pop songs go.” She will hit bottom this week but may be saved if Ramiele’s peeps throw their votes her way.

Jason CastroOver the Rainbow

Talk about your gimmicks – why did I know he would bring out the uke for this one? And was Randy on some kind of mind bending drugs tonight or what? And the other judges thought it was great as well? Was I the only one who didn’t care for it? Why am I phrasing everything in the form of a question? Getting back on track, this kid has more facial ticks than Clay EVER had on Season 2 and not one judge has ever called him on it. It’s annoying to say the least. As for appropriateness of choice, I’d say he could have dug a little deeper than the Wizard of Oz for his inspiration, especially with the lyrics he kept repeating. To echo the judges – “I just didn’t get it” – but that doesn’t matter because every little tween from here to Peoria is gonna vote for him and he’ll be safe for another week. Rats.

Kristy Lee CookAnyway

This song was way too big (and low) for her and it wasn’t until the end that she actually kicked it into some kind of high gear. To quote another country artist “that don’t impress me much” and it didn’t. I think I heard the pitch warbles that Randy called pitchy but my guess is that she was going more for the country twang than off the pitch. As for appropriateness of choice, I might want to borrow a phrase from the Brit and say that it was a bit “self-indulgent” rather than inspirational but then again, music is subjective. She seems to be gaining a little strength each week and that just might keep her safe this time out but since she has her own bottom three chair we will probably see her there nonetheless.

David Cook Innocent

Give the man props for marching to his own drum. I have been more and more impressed with him as the weeks go on and while I might not have dug the song selection, he was true to himself and his craft. I even appreciated the “hand signals” at the end. As for appropriateness of choice, I don’t know the song well enough to rate it’s relevance so I’ll pass on this one. Since he’s on a high he should be safe, even without doing too much this week.

Carly SmithsonThe Show Must Go On

Helluva a song to take on but our gal did have the chops to make it memorable – unfortunately in the wrong direction. I have to agree with the judges on this one and I don’t want to. She started out strong and then just fell apart in the middle – and NEVER tell us why, even if the Brit stared you down! As for appropriateness of choice, this song needsa touch of righteous anger to get it’s message out and that had to be where Simon’s comment about her being angry came from so I would have looked for something a little less controversial. My bigger fear here is that she is beginning to come across as a very insecure performer and she shouldn’t because she has OODLES of talent! IMHO our Irish lass needs to get her lack of ego under control, strap on an acceptable diva attitude and get out there and dazzle the heck out of them if she plans on sticking around much longer. I even took my dialing finger out of moth balls ( I hadn’t voted yet this season – baaaad girl) and voted like hell for her because after that performance, she really needed it. If getting through without encountering a busy signal is any indication, she could be getting the dreaded “das boot” this week – and that would be a shame.

David ArchuletaAngels

He may not win but I just love this kid’s voice and stage presence. Now I took some flack last week for daring to compare him to the venerable Mr. Aiken, but while I totally understand that their voices are in two different places (DA is younger and still finding his sound while CA is in his prime and exploring how best to use his) it was more the similarities of their IDOL journeys that I was trying to highlight – neither have been in the bottom, their fandoms are fiercely loyal and power vote like crazy and they are both very charismatic singers that draw the listener into the music, again with varying degrees of proficiency. Please take my words as a complement to the talents of BOTH singers, OK? Getting back to topic, as for appropriateness of choice, I’m not sure it was a good choice, even though I like the song very much. However, it won’t matter because he sang and played well – earning him yet another week of many more in the competition.

Brooke WhiteYou’ve Got a Friend

She will singlehandedly bring back folk singing in this millennium, for sure! In one respect it is really nice to hear someone just stand center stage and SING! No gimmicks, no vocal gymnastics – just pure melody and a sweet, unpretentious vocal. As for appropriateness of choice, it was a good one for her vocal style and personality so while it may have come across to some as “aiiight” I’m not sure she could have done any better with something else. She could be in trouble because she really hasn’t “shined” in a few weeks so I think I’d look for her in bottom feeder land this week.

Then, if I were a betting gal, I’d go with:

Kristy Lee Cook

Carly Smithson

Brooke White as our bottom feeders this week with “das boot” going to, and ONLY if you base it on this week’s performance…Carly Smithson (I can’t believe I just typed that…).

Let’s see what happens…oy…

Carry on!

J

PS – whatever happened to picking a 11th Idol to go on the tour? April Fools? Hummmm…

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I must be nuts but I’m going to give the live blogging thing another try TOMORROW NIGHT – 26 February @ 8pm EST during the Boys Night Out – Take 2.  If you want to join in, please stop by here at STUCK IN IDOL – the LIVE BLOG.

If I can get enough interest, I would prefer to live blog when I am not working but if not, I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing – either way, my opinions will continue to be shared whether you want to hear them or NOT!  😉

See ya tomorrow night!    J

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Come one, come all! The Live Blogging experiment continues tomorrow night at 8pm EST/7pm CST/5pm PST. Just click here and join the fun! I make lots of irreverent comments, take polls, show videos, and everyone can add their own POV to the proceedings. What better way to watch IDOL than with others!

See you there — carry on!

J

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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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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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