Reality TV Magazine has revealed how domain name registrations appear to be giving clues as to which Season 6 Idol contestants will advance to the top 40 or so semi-finalists. Several contestants had their names privately registered as domain names on November 18, 2006, which is rumored to be right around the time the Hollywood contestants were narrowed down to the top 40 or so semi-finalists. Now with additional contestant names having been revealed in the Memphis and New York auditions, Reality TV Magazine has an updated list of which of the twenty-nine contestants revealed on American Idol so far will likely be moving on in the competition.
Of the twenty-nine contestants named so far, Anna Kearns, Sanjaya and Shyamali Malakar, Jason "Sundance" Head, Amanda Coluccio, Antonella Barba, Jenry Bejarano, Porcelana Patino and Rachel Zevita all had their names registered as domain names on November 18, 2006. All the domains show that they have been registered by Domains by Proxy, which is basically a service which hides the identity of who actually registered the domain names. One could speculate that American Idol producers privately registered the names of the contestants that were advancing to the top forty.
Jordin Sparks, Rudy Cardenas, Blake Lewis, Thomas Daniels, Sarah Krueger, Rachel Jenkins, Jarrod Fowler, Denise Jackson, Sean Michel, Melinda Doolittle, Sarah Burgess, Jory Steinberg, Chris Richardson and Nicholas Pedro all had their names registered as domain names sometime before the American Idol 6 Hollywood eliminations would have occurred. They either wisely registered their own names in the past or someone who likely shared their name registered their names. Therefore, there is nothing to suggest one way or the other whether they advanced in Hollywood or not.
But Matt Sato, Michelle Steingas, Perla Meneses, Philip Stacy, Danielle McCulloch and Kia Thornton did not have their names registered as domain names until sometime in mid to late January of 2007. Because no one took the time to register their names until after their names aired on national TV as Hollywood contestants on one of the American Idol audition shows, it could be theorized that these contestants did not advance in the Hollywood rounds.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, North Philly's Luis Figueroa-Roig, 17, an honor student at Girard Academic Music Program, is among the select pack of singers heading to Hollywood to compete on Fox's American Idol. Although we don't remember seeing him on the Fox Wednesday night broadcast, the Inquirer says that the teen wowed judges in his New York audition, taped in August. As a 13-year-old Figueroa-Roig competed on CBS' Star Search.
And the New York Post ran a story on the New York contestant everyone loves to hate: Ian Benardo. Among other things, Benardo said, "Simon said everything insulting in the book to me, but he has a very limited British vocabulary." Claiming that he is close to releasing a new CD single called "I'm Better Than You," of the judges reaction to his singing Benardo said, "They were all pretty shocked by me. What were they shocked about? They're like the biggest media whores on Earth. I'm a pretty entertaining person, so I was shocked that they were pretty negative to me."
Meanwhile, Fox News reports that Rosie O'Donnell responded with her usual largesse to Idol-wannabes Jonathan Jayne and Kenneth "bush baby" Briggs, who received a dose of Simon Cowell's tart tongue when they auditioned in Seattle. According to Fox, O'Donnell immediately brought the two new buddies backstage at "The View" and gave them a tour after their interviews on "Good Morning America." The pair did not appear on "The View," however, an insider says, "because Rosie didn't want them to be exploited or embarrassed more after she’d already spoken up." Not only that: O'Donnell is sending both men on all expense paid trips to Disneyworld, and they can bring anyone they like along.
... Just a reminder that Season 2 Idol winner Ruben Studdard comes to North Ford Theater at Westbury on Sunday. Tickets are still available here. You can read Dan Bubbeo's Newsday interview with Studdard here.
... The Associated Press reports that Season 5 finalist Chris Daughtry, whose band, Daughtry, has the current No. 1 CD on the Billboard charts, will perform a free concert in Greensboro, N.C., on March 23 at the Greensboro Coliseum. Between 6,000 and 7,000 people are expected to attend the concert. Daughtry, 27, is based in nearby McLeansville. While organizers wouldn't release the cost of the concert they said they expected to recoup most of the cost through concession sales and sponsorships.
... According to Fox's official American Idol site, Season 5
runner-up Katharine McPhee told People magazine in its upcoming issue that she wants people to know that who they saw on American Idol isn't necessarily who she is. The singer, whose debut album drops on Tuesdaym said, "I think I came off aloof and kind of dry [on Idol]. When people meet me they are like, 'Wow, she's pretty normal.' " She also reveals that she wasn't trying to win the competition as much as just get through it and stay healthy, as she was secretly in recovery from bulimia during the show. Today, she told the magazine, "I eat whatever I want -- like last week we went to Cabo and I ate like 30 pounds of chips and guacamole! But I put on my jeans this morning and they still fit!"
She also told People that while she might have the qualities that go into the making of a diva, she is actually quite down to earth and conscientious about her money, and that her debut CD will also shock some, as it won't have the "power ballads" that she knows that most people are expecting. Instead, she chose to follow her own musical tastes (funk, pop and dance). On excluding "Over the Rainbow" from the CD, she joked, "I'm 22, and that song aged me like 40 years!"
She also discussed what attracts her to her boyfriend, Nick Cokas, 19 years her senior: "He's really smart," said McPhee. And although they are not living together, she said "things are great." "We love to create things together." They co-produced a play at New York's Fringe Festival last summer.
... Season 5 third-place finisher Elliott Yamin will release his debut album on March 20. The album will be released on Hickory Records through RED Distribution. Elliott contributed to the writing and production of the album. Yamin said, "I'm excited to get my music out to my fans, and I'm thrilled to be back in the studio working on original music." His first single, “Movin’ On,” will be available on all digital service providers by February 13. He’s also planning a solo tour for spring/summer 2007. Check out Elliott's transformation gallery on the official Idol site.
... Jon Peter Lewis, a finalist from Season 3, is loving life right now, writing most of his own songs, touring the U.S., and serving as a panelist for MTV.com’s new program, “Idolized.” His album, “Stories From Hollywood," is available on iTunes and other online distribution companies. According to JPL, the album is part “pop rock,” part “folky” and even a bit “John Mayer’ish.” It consists of all the songs he has worked on since he was on Idol. In fact, he wrote the song “Turn to Grey” while on the Idol tour after the season ended.
While he trying to differentiate himself with his own musical style, Lewis recognizes that being on Idol gave him exposure and opportunities. However, he said he found that trying to measure up to his fellow Idol contestants, who included Jennifer Hudson and Fantasia, was mostly detrimental, but might have helped him in the long run. It forced him to become more introspective, which enhanced his music. His music inspirations tend to be classic rock ‘n roll, including everything from The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix to Al Green and Marvin Gaye, though modern influences include John Mayer, Elliott Smith, and Ben Folds.
Lewis said that when he performs now, people are there for pure enjoyment instead of to critique his music. They don’t care about the pitch of his singing voice, but rather the vibe that they are left with after hearing his music. And although he doesn’t have much preference when it comes to venues, he loves to perform in smaller ones to connect with the audience, but also enjoys, and finds himself more relaxed, in front of a larger audience, calling it a more “faceless” experience. He expects to be touring some time this summer.
An outdoor enthusiast, Lewis enjoys mountain biking and skiing and calls himself a “video game freak,” and said American Idol still plays a fairly large part in his life.
... Celebrity Spider.com reports that although Season 4 Idol winner Fantasia Barrino desperately tried to win the role of Effie White in "Dreamgirls" and even had co-star Jamie Foxx backing her, director Bill Condon had other ideas. Barrino insists to Vixen magazine that
she isn't bitter about missing out on the star-making part. "Everyone wanted me for that role except the director. But it wasn't for me. I tried really hard. But I can't even be mad. That role was for Jennifer Hudson. "I feel like I was meant to win American Idol. And I feel like J [Jennifer Hudson] was meant to play the Effie role," Barrino added.
Reality TV World reports that Season 1 Idol winner Kelly Clarkson weighed in on the "are the judges too harsh this season" issue on Access Hollywood: "The judges are a little harsh this time. But they sit all day and watch all these people come through, so you have to give them some credit," Clarkson told Maria Menounos during Wednesday night's broadcast. Clarkson also said that she's "kind of excited" about this season's show since it's the first time she's actually been able to sit down and watch because "I'm always on tour every time it comes on." Personally, she feels the "best part" of Idol is the "beginning shows" when people are "just horrible," referring to the auditions that have caused the series to take some flack from critics for the treatment of contestants.
"We're thinking [the judges] are being harsh, but what is everybody saying when they're [watching] at home?" asked Clarkson. "People are different. [Idol is] going to different parts of America, and there are different people in different parts of America ... and you love them and they're great and they're so passionate about it ... It's not justification for them being mean ... [But the judges] are nothing compared to what critics are going to say about you. You're going to have to be able to put up with people. If you think that's mean, just stop now, because it gets a lot worse."
... In an interview with BuddyTV Season 5 finalist Kevin Covais discussed the Idol audition process and its judges: " ... going there [to the audition], for me, it was so crazy because here I went up to Boston from my hometown in Levittown, N.Y., and made the four hour trip to Boston with my parents, and ended up trying out. I was surrounded by about 6,000 other people in Boston who were trying out, and it really makes you feel small and it makes you think 'Wow, there's so many people out here, these chances here are already looking bad for me.'
So, initially, it's definitely scary, but it takes going up in front of the judge ... and it took a while, it took a good six hours that first day to get in front of that first judge in the first round for me. It's definitely very scary. Every thought crosses your mind. They might cut you off after a note and tell you you're terrible and tell you to leave or they might let you sing a song for a while and tell you you're great. So, it was definitely nerve-racking, but after I got over that hump, and I advanced past the first round, that's when I realized that this was my dream and you can't get in the way of that. And from there on out, I didn't let anything stop me. But, you know, that first was definitely a scary one because you don't know what to expect.
And of the judges, he said, "Well there were other sets of judges in the beginning. Initially, Simon, Paul, and Randy, and all the earlier judges, people that worked on the show, you definitely knew that they knew what they were doing and they have experience with music and with the entertainment business in general and you can see that in their eyes. Just staring them down when you're singing for them, and their giving you this serious face and you don't know what they're thinking; they either love you or hate you or there's something else. But you can definitely tell that they're legitimate and that's the feeling that I got right away. And furthermore, they gave a lot of constructive criticism and they gave you room for improvement, and I definitely loved all the advice that I got from each and every one of them."
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