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Daily Archives: April 4, 2012
Linda gets jealous when a high school friend of Charlie’s tags him in a Facebook photo. Watch the latest <b>Couples Therapy</b>!
MTV News’ Gil Kaufman and James Montgomery face off over song selections for the ‘Idol’ top eight.
By Gil Kaufman and James Montgomery
Last week, we tried to give the “American Idol” top nine some helpful advice with a selection of songs they should sing during Idols week. Of course, they mostly ignored us — except for our girl J.Sanch, who totally did Beyoncé and advanced — but we remain undeterred, which is why we’re back this week with even more picks.
This time out, “Idol” is taking us back to the 1980s, which is great news for both Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler, but totally makes us wish Heejun Han was still around — we’d pay good money to see him do “Weird Al” Yankovic’s “Living With a Hernia.” But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of great opportunities for the remaining eight. After all, this was the decade that gave us both the Rubik’s Cube and A Flock of Seagulls, two things that remind us, respectively, of Hollie Cavanagh (plastic, square) and Colton Dixon (terrible hair). Also, 1988 was the year Seacrest stopped growing. Everyone should feel right at home this week — even if they weren’t alive during the actual 1980s.
So without further ado, here are our picks. We may rarely agree, but we know music and we know reality singing shows, and these are the songs the “Idol” finalists must pick in order to make it to the next round:
J.Sanch is in the driver’s seat, which means she can pretty much do what she wants. Ballads are her go-to, and while she could really show her full range with a good uptempo song, Cyndi Lauper’s classic weeper “Time After Time” is a bull’s-eye for her. — Gil Kaufman
She already did Whitney (to max effect), which is a shame because “Greatest Love of All” or “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” would’ve been prime picks for her this week. So where does she turn instead? How about Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings”? It’s the kind of inspirational, big-boned ballad Sanchez has killed in previous weeks, and the resident “Idol” diva-in-training could certainly learn a few things from the Divine Miss M. — James Montgomery
We’ll dispense with the pixie allusions and get to the meat: Hollie needs to smash it this week or else it could mean a trip back to the suburban mini-mansion. Jimmy said last week that she’s got the chops but isn’t connecting with the songs, so she needs a tune that will let her do both. Cue “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner. The emotion is built in, and it’s impossible to sing it without sounding forlorn. — Kaufman
She’s on thin ice with viewers, who are growing tired of her by-the-numbers balladry, and she needs a powerhouse performance this week to stay in the competition. So what better time for a complete makeover? (Hey, it worked for Elise Testone … ) I’m thinking she should do something from Madonna’s early ’80s catalog, like “Borderline” or “Material Girl.” Shoot, if she really wants to swing for the fences, why not “Like a Virgin”? Folks would certainly be talking after that one … — Montgomery
He’s back! After a shaky stretch, the gospel-dipped power vocalist stormed back last week and almost nailed it (if he hadn’t cried, St. Jimmy said Ledet would have been on top of the leaderboard). The ’80s are lousy with options for Mantasia, from Chaka Khan and Rufus’ “Ain’t Nobody” to Anita Baker’s “Sweet Love.” Ledet should be in heaven. — Kaufman
Down one week, up the next, Josh scored with Mariah last week, and he could do the same this week by taking on anything from ’80s-era Lionel Richie. “Hello,” “Truly,” “All Night Long” — take your pick. He’d sing the crap out of any of ‘em. — Montgomery
D.Brack does one thing well: bust out that feathery falsetto. (OK, two things: He’s also a helluva hair flipper.) I’m the only person on the planet who would say this, but those two talents can only mean one thing: Terence Trent D’Arby. As TTD’s #1 (and maybe only remaining) fan, I can honestly say that ‘Dre can smash it with either “If You Let Me Stay” or “Wishing Well.” Both have ample falsetto-tunities and, well, they’re just awesome. — Kaufman
After proving last week that he’s apparently impervious to elimination, DeAndre is clearly playing with house money at this point, so why not just go for it and sing Musical Youth’s “Pass the Dutchie”? Just remember to pass it from the left-hand side, D! — Montgomery
I give up on trying to convince Laine that she should step out of the country corral and show off some Carrie Underwood-style crossover potential. We get it: Your boots only scoot one way. The ’80s were chock-full of big, cheesy country ballads, but Restless Heart’s “I’ll Still Be Loving You” is the biggest and cheesiest, making it as crucial a staple at big hair weddings as a gingham dress, camouflage overalls and a Twinkie-topped wedding cake. — Kaufman
Is this the week she steps outside the country bubble? Hell no. And since she used to get compared to Reba McEntire all the time, what better week to tackle one of her tunes? I could see her doing “How Blue” or “Someone Should Leave.” Or maybe she’ll shock us all and do some Crüe? Oh, who am I kidding? — Montgomery
By now you’ve probably noticed that my esteemed colleague James is a serious Dixon Denier. He just doesn’t get it, and while I don’t love C.Dix, I get why the girls do. He’s proven to have Velveeta-level song-choice skills so far, but maybe the worship side of him can come around to something from U2 that would show his arena-rocking potential, such as the vaguely spiritual “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” or “With or Without You.” — Kaufman
So many options for him this week. I could see him building on last week’s worship-tastic Lifehouse performance by taking on some Stryper or embracing his inner cheese-monger by doing something like Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive.” In a pinch, I’ll take the latter, since I suspect he fancies himself a bit of a cowboy anyway. Though he’d probably need to change his haircut if he wants to get served in any saloon. — Montgomery
I’m not ashamed to admit I just don’t get this dude. Phil-Squared just seems like no fun to me, and his “talent” is basically making every song sound like a jittery attempt to clear his throat. Like Dixon, he’s got the musical taste of a Southern frat boy who was banned from the “devil’s music” as a kid. What the hell, let’s see how badly he can mangle the Police’s “Every Breath You Take” or Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now).” — Kaufman
He’s gonna growl. He’s gonna shout. Shoot, he’ll probably grout. And is there a better song to do it to than Scorpions’ “Rock You Like a Hurricane”? Probably not. In all seriousness, I could actually see him slowing this one down and putting his own unique spin on it, which could make for the first time I actually enjoyed a Phillip Phillips performance. — Montgomery
Elise appears to have fully embraced her inner-rock queen, so she should stick to that. Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” or Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine” are the only way to go. But she’ll probably stick to the script and do Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” — Kaufman
She’s found her footing over the past two weeks and now appears capable of singing just about anything. I could see her going Sunset Strip skuzzy this week, though I’m hoping she does Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” which has both the smoke and the soul. As an added bonus, “Idol” producers could just cut to black right before she hits the triumphant chorus, leaving us all to wonder whether she’s just been whacked. — Montgomery
Get your “Idol” fix on MTV News’ “American Idol” page, where you’ll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.
‘American Idol’ host is setting himself up for a long career and (eventually) the ‘Today’ anchor job with new NBC gig.
By John Mitchell
This morning on “Today,” Ryan Seacrest confirmed a few rumors and shot down a few others. The “American Idol” and “E! News” host and reality-TV mogul announced that he was officially joining the NBC team, beginning with its prime-time coverage of the London Olympics this summer, and that he would continue on as host of “Idol” while scaling back his on-air work at E!
“I’ve worked with the E! network for years, and NBC Universal and E! are in the same family. The plan is for me to join the NBC family and continue to have a role on the E! network,” Seacrest told “Today” anchor Matt Lauer. “The first assignment for me will be with the prime-time team at the Olympics on NBC.”
After establishing what he would be doing, Seacrest and Lauer continued through an awkward conversation about what he would not be doing, at least not just yet: gunning to take over Lauer’s anchor job on “Today” when his contract expires later this year.
“I see you doing this as long as you want to,” Seacrest said to Lauer when pressed about his rumored negotiations with “Today” producers. “So the question is: How long will you be on the ‘Today’ show?”
“We have talked about this, joked about this,” Lauer continued. “There is no tension here.”
With Lauer’s future with “Today” still in question, Seacrest’s arrival at NBC brings with it some major implications. Here are the top three:
Seacrest Is Being Primed to Replace Lauer
During their back-and-forth over whether he’d been approached to replace Lauer, Seacrest played coy, joking that his conversations with “Today” producers “were mostly about filling in to do weather.” He never explicitly denied that he was in talks to host, making the subtext of the conversation pretty clear: the anchor job at “Today” remains Lauer’s as long as he wants it, but Seacrest is largely being brought onboard to wait in the wings and learn the ropes.
Lauer is reportedly deep in tough negotiations with “Today” and NBC to remain on the program, and the consensus opinion seems to be that the network is looking to do whatever it takes, including meeting his reported $25 million salary demand, to keep him for the near future. That’s a lot of money, but the “Today” show is a cash cow — generating $450 million in ad revenue in 2010, according to New York magazine — and the net sees Lauer as integral to keeping “Today” on top.
Lauer provides the stability that is key to success in morning news and is a master at mixing the serious and the silly, which is important when your job is to both report on the war in Afghanistan and later interview a “Toddlers & Tiaras” pageant mother. Seacrest already has the lighthearted side of things down, but he needs to bulk up his bona fides as a credible journalist. Don’t be surprised if, following his coverage of the Olympics, the various NBC News properties (“Today” included) take him on as a correspondent to cover some serious stuff. They are going to groom him to be a TV news Renaissance man, just like Matt Lauer.
Seacrest Poses More of a Threat to the “Today” Ladies
Seacrest’s appearance on “Today” pretty much changed the question from “will he” to “when will he” join the “Today” team and in what capacity. But if they are grooming him to replace Lauer eventually, it will disrupt the chain of succession at “Today.” When Katie Couric left the show, Lauer stepped into the alpha anchor chair, after years of paying his dues as newsreader and co-anchor. Anne Curry would rightfully assume that position if Lauer left, but many have commented that she has had a “rocky transition to her new role” as co-anchor since Meredith Vieira’s departure.
Seacrest’s hiring makes it seem like NBC execs are stacking the deck — and not in Savannah Guthrie’s or Curry’s favor. If the “Idol” host leapfrogs Curry somewhere down the road for the lead anchor chair, it will also keep Guthrie from ascending through the ranks the way her colleagues have before her.
“Today” won’t demote Curry in any way — and, to be fair, she hasn’t been all that bad — but the lukewarm reception she’s received makes it unlikely she’ll ever be made lead anchor either. Guthrie, however, has more to worry about. She often steps in when Curry or Lauer are out, and if Seacrest is being groomed for Lauer’s spot, producers may opt to have him step up where she normally would.
Seacrest Isn’t Going Anywhere Anytime Soon
With his plans to continue on as host of “American Idol” and keep his thriving reality-show empire alive on E!, Seacrest will become an even more powerful media figure after he joins NBC. He has his fingers in just about every genre of television except serious news, and that’s essentially what NBC is offering him. In so doing, it also secures his place in the most stable arena in the media canon.
The popularity of reality TV ebbs and flows — remember that “Survivor” and “American Idol” were once the top shows on television and now regularly attract only half the audience they did at their peak — so staking your career to it is kind of like building a house on sand. Seacrest has become a mogul by seizing on zeitgeist — “Idol,” the “Kardashian” franchise he built as a producer, his red-carpet work with E! — but he’s also a 37-year-old man who knows the things that have brought him so much success will eventually fade away.
But the news never goes out of style. By getting in good with NBC, Seacrest also secures himself the long-term broadcast career he may have otherwise missed out on had he hedged his bets entirely on “Idol” and his reality-TV empire. For a little perspective, the “Today” show has been on the air since 1952 and is the fourth-longest-running television series ever, behind only “Meet the Press,” “The CBS Evening News” and “Hallmark Hall of Fame.” “American Idol” is puttering along with series-low ratings in its 11th season.
So what Ryan Seacrest was really announcing this morning on “Today” was his next chapter. Sure, the timeframes haven’t been set and the ink isn’t entirely dry, but his decision to join NBC as an on-air player marks the transition to a new career. It may resemble the old one, but make no mistake: We are being primed for Ryan Seacrest: News Man.
What do you think of Seacrest’s announcement? Let us know in the comments!
Mid Year Music Awards, VOTE 4 Nominees Here: soapysteven.webs.com Voting from April 4 – May 4 2012 Final Show Will Be in JUNE 2012 Thanks, Steven
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Will they jump on board or will they turn their heads to Corri’s ways? Check out <b>House of Consignment</b>!
Tashera struggles to keep DMX from quitting <b>Couples Therapy</b> as he continues to rebel against the rules. Preview!
Team Blake’s Charlotte Sometimes and Naia Kete and Team Christina’s Sera Hill and Moses Stone are all eliminated after first live show.
By John Mitchell
On Monday night, the 12 members of Teams Christina and Blake took the stage for the first “Voice” live show of the season, and on Tuesday night (April 3), four contestants were sent packing after being voted off by the public and not saved by their team coach.
The public’s top three vote-getters were announced in no particular order following a performance by Gym Class Heroes that featured Team Adam, which will hit the ring with Team Cee Lo next week for its first shot on the live stage. The bottom three on each team were given one last shot at moving forward to the live quarter finals; they could earn their coach’s lone “save” if they beat their other two teammates in a sing-off.
First, though, both coaches took their teams on insider-y trips to a country radio station (Blake) and “The Tonight Show” (Christina) so they could get a feel for what it’s really like to promote themselves in the music industry. Proving that they are actually invested in their teams (one of the many virtues “The Voice” has over its reality singing-competition rivals), Shelton and Aguilera both offered their teams a nice foot in the door: Blake announced that he was putting together an acoustic concert for his team, while Team Christina got them face time with Leno before letting them hit the stage at the “Tonight Show” to perform as a team.
But then it was right down to business. From Team Blake, host Carson Daly announced that belter Erin Willett, former Alicia Keys backup singer/dancer Jermaine Paul and teenage country singer RaeLynn attracted the most votes, leaving Charlotte Sometimes, Jordis Unga and Naia Kete on the chopping block.
All three delivered solid-if-unspectacular performances. Street performer Naia whisper-sang her way through Beyoncé’s “If I Were a Boy,” prompting Blake to say he wished she focused on the reggae that comes naturally to her. Charlotte’s unusual vocal flourishes complemented the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris” well, but Jordis benefited from picking a particularly well-suited song (“Wild Horses”) and won the support of Aguilera, Levine and Green and, most importantly, Blake, who did not hesitate in saving Jordis, though he had nothing but kind words for the two contestants he sent packing.
The early favorites from Team Christina also earned a reprieve from America, as soulful Jesse Campbell, scene-stealer Lindsey Pavao and classically trained Chris Mann earned the most votes from the public. That meant Ashley De La Rosa, Moses Stone and (crazily) Sera Hill were up for elimination if their last-chance performance didn’t satisfy their picky diva coach.
Up first was Ashley, followed by Sera, who tore into Mariah Carey’s “Vision of Love” like it was her own. Moses Stone hit the stage next, and the MC proved his chops as a singer were a force with a nice take on “Falling to Pieces.”
The judges were more divided than they were with Team Blake. Cee Lo thought Sera was tops, while Adam and Blake were impressed with Ashley. Ultimately, so was Christina, who opted to send Sera and Moses home — but not before adding what became the theme of the night: “This is only the beginning.”
» Erin Willett
» Jermaine Paul
» Jordis Unga
» Jesse Campbell
» Lindsey Pavao
» Chris Mann
» Ashley De La Rosa
» Charlotte Sometimes
» Naia Kete
» Sera Hill
» Moses Stone
Did your favorites make it through to the live quarterfinals? Let us know in the comments below!