- Below freezing temperatures and ice in southern California.
- Above freezing temperatures and nary a trace of snow or ice in New York City.
- The first “American Idol” controversy before the show even premieres.
Yes, friends, it’s that time of year again (cue the “American Idol” theme music). Tomorrow night, Season 6 premieres and already Paula Abdul has entangled
herself in a mess of controversy. The “AI” judge-cum-“Bratz” movie producer-cum Bravo reality show subject (“Hey Paula”) left viewers a bit giddy after watching a clip of her live appearance on Fox’s Seattle TV affiliate KCPQ (known as Q13/Fox) in which she appeared to be under the influence of something other than just good cheer. Abdul cancelled interviews on Friday after clips from the interview surfaced on YouTube.com Thursday.
Abdul’s publicist Jeff Ballard denies she was inebriated or on medication, and claims she was exhausted. Here’s a link to the YouTube clip, judge for yourself.
Meanwhile, Minneapolis contestants such as Jesse (airing on Tuesday's show) will make you wonder what they were on to make them believe they had what it takes -- or could even sing -- to become America’s next pop star. Trust us, we’ve heard a sound bite.
Olivia Newton John, Carole Bayer Sager and Jewel joined the road trip this season as guest judges. (Jewel, who also currently hosts “Nashville Star,” appears on the Minneapolis segment tomorrow night)
The frenzy for AI’s sixth season builds with 45 licensing agreements already in place (up from last year’s 30), on everything from Nestle’s candy bars to a roller-coaster. The ad-revenue-generating monster's three major sponsors -– Ford, Coca-Cola and Cingular -– all return this year after a 14 percent growth in the show’s ratings for Season 5.
In other Idol news, USA Today reports that, according to executive producer Ken Warwick, the show has acquired rights from Sony to The Beatles songbook for the first time. Certain songs will still be off limits, but don't be surprised to see a Beatles song night this season. If Idol does such a show, Warwick says the ideal mentor for the contestants would be Paul McCartney or Beatles producer George Martin.
Warwick also states in the story that "When we get down to the final six (singers), we're going to have a big special, with lots of stars. It might be an extra day."
For those planning their viewing schedule in advance, here’s the rundown through mid-March:
- Tuesday, Jan. 16 (8-10 PM) Minneapolis auditions
- Wednesday, Jan. 17 (8-10 PM) Seattle auditions>
- Tuesday, Jan. 23 (8-9 PM) Memphis auditions
- Wednesday, Jan. 24 (9-10 PM) New York City auditions
- Tuesday, Jan. 30 (8-9 PM) Birmingham auditions
- Wednesday, Jan. 31 (9-10 PM) San Antonio auditions
- Tuesday, Feb. 6 (8-9 PM) Los Angeles auditions
- Wednesday, Feb. 7 (9-10 PM) “Rest of the Best” auditions
- Tuesday, Feb. 13 (8-9 PM) Hollywood Round, Part 1
- Wednesday, Feb. 14 (9-10 PM) Hollywood Round, Part 2/Top 24 Semifinalists announced
- Tuesday, Feb. 20 (8-10 PM) Top 12 male singers perform
- Wednesday, Feb. 21 (8-10 PM) Top 12 female singers perform
- Thursday, Feb. 22 (8-9 PM) First results show (2 male and 2 female contestants voted off)
- Tuesday, Feb. 27 (8-9:30 PM) Top 10 male singers perform
- Wednesday, Feb. 28 (8-9:30 PM) Top 10 female singers perform
- Thursday, March 1 (8-9 PM) Results show (2 male and 2 female contestants voted off)
- Tuesday, March 6 (8-9 PM) Top 8 male singers perform
- Wednesday, March 7 (8-9 PM) Top 8 female singers perform
- Thursday, March 8 (8-9 PM) results Show (2 male and 2 female contestants voted off)/Top 12 Finalists revealed
- Tuesday, March 13 (8-10 PM) Top 12 Finalists Perform
- Wednesday, March 14 (9-9:30 PM) Results show (1 contestant voted off)
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