Sunday, March 25, 2007

Half Past*Forever

While Chris Sligh looks to be the next Idol, his former band looks to win an online video music competition. After surviving last night's elimination, Sligh has officially cracked the top 10 of this season of "American Idol." While he is looking to follow in the footsteps of former Idol winners Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson, his former band Half Past*Forever is looking to capitalize on Chris' sudden fame by looking to win a record deal of their own through Music Nation, an online video music competition that is awarding three contracts with Epic Records. While Chris is on leave from the band, he can be seen singing lead vocals on the band's single "Know".

Whereas on Idol, Chris has to deal with Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul , on Music Nation, Half Past*Forever is being judged in the rock genre by Joel and Benji Madden from Good Charlotte and Grammy-nominated producer Howard Benson.

So will it be Chris Sligh or his former band Half Past*Forever walking away with a recording contract and the chance of a lifetime? Chris appears to be hedging his bets as according to the American Idol official site he says he'll "travel with his band" if he doesn't make it on Idol. Currently in its seventh week, the Music Nation competition is halfway through to the finals.

You can watch the group's video entry below. It's awesome!

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Yes, she does seems like a flake at times (OK, often), but when Paula Abdul does have her head screwed on straight, she works for some good causes, including The Peace Alliance, a citizen lobbying effort to create a U.S. Department of Peace. There is currently a bill before the U.S. House of Representatives (HR 808) that will provide practical, nonviolent solutions to the problems of domestic and international conflict.

Domestically, the Department of Peace will develop policies and allocate resources to effectively reduce the levels of domestic and gang violence, child abuse, and various other forms of societal discord. Internationally, the Department will advise the President and Congress on the most sophisticated ideas and techniques regarding peace-creation among nations. Abdul has taped a message for the group (as have Willie Nelson, Walter Cronkite, Joaquin Phoenix, Frances Fisher, Tyne Daly and Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers. To hear Abdul's (or the other) message/s, click here.


In New York City, last year’s “Idol” runner-up Katharine McPhee told “Extra’s” A.J. Calloway that she has her own favorite this year. “I like Blake [Lewis],” she dished. “You know, he’s just cool.” The show caught up with McPhee at the Self magazine party for her new hot body cover issue, where the “Idol” alum revealed she’s pulling for a battle of the sex’s showdown. “I don’t know if Blake will take it, but I always think a guy-girl finale is best, they’re the most exciting,” McPhee gushed.


Yahoo! Buzz is expanding its coverage of "American Idol" this season by hiring Constantine Maroulis as Buzz spokesman. Each week he will reveal the inside track on "American Idol" according to Yahoo! Buzz. This week's content includes information such as "American Idol has more searches this week on Yahoo! than Britney Spears and Beyonce", "Simon Cowell receives four times the searches than Ryan Seacrest" and "Sanjaya Malakar is the top searched contestant on Yahoo! with searches for his hair even sparking major searches this week."

In his new role, Constantine will be representing the Yahoo! Buzz brand in media appearances and providing audiences with exclusive data on top American Idol Yahoo! searches. As a former American Idol contestant, Constantine will speak first hand about the Idol experience and provide insight as to why certain topics are popular on Yahoo!

"This is an amazing opportunity to align with a leading global internet brand that is really in tune with what is going on out there" said Maroulis. "Yahoo! Buzz not only gives the scoop to American Idol fans, but keeps them involved, and as an artist I'm thrilled to be a part of it."
Constantine's solo album drops late spring or early summer on Sixth Place Productions/Sony RED.


Well, at least that is what is trying to do in their effort to keep Sanjaya Malakar on the show. The site says that Canadians can vote on "American Idol" by downloading some software:

"Canadians, don't think you can vote? You're wrong! Go to and download the Gizmo software. It's a free to use program that acts as a phone through your computer. You can use it because Gizmo calls are sent out through the United States, so it thinks that you're voting from the US. So all of you Canadians who want to help, get Gizmo and vote your butts off for Sanjaya too!"

OK, so now that we've given VFTW its free plug, we're encouraging all our Canadian friends who don't favor Sanjaya to vote for the other contestants as well. Let the best (or most popular) singer win.

And speaking of VFTW, check out this opinion of it on LiveJournal. We especially can't argue with Myth #3, because we feel the same way:

"Myth #3 - VFTW is "ruining the lives"/"shattering the dreams" of the (oh so) talented contestants by MANIPULATING Am. Idol. Sorry... but AI beat us to the punch on this one. American Idol is so heavily manipulated from the get-go that it would be much much more accurate to say that it is AMERICAN IDOL ITSELF that is "ruining the lives" and "shattering the dreams" of talented singers ... as in, the actually talented singers that don't make it to see the judges, or don't make it to Hollywood, or once there, are not chosen for the top 24. Tell me something ... if it was so unjust, so endangering to the dreams of the likes of Phil Stacy, Haley Zzzzcarnato, Beat Box Blake for us to vote for Antonella, Sundance, or now Sanjaya ...


I'm sorry, but if you review the unbelievably boring "chair episode" - and drink a case of red bull to stay awake through it - you'll notice two very telltale events at the end. Both Sundance and Antonella are advanced over considerably more talented singers who didn't fit what the producers/judges were "looking for". I guess this means the judges were looking for "easy cannon fodder" and "hot-looking easy cannon fodder", in this case. Just like when they "picked Pickler" and Chicken Little last year, and the red-headed crooner, or Scott Savol, etc. etc. Hilarious? Yes. Do I love it? Yes. Did I vote for them? HELL YES! But was it the fault of VFTW that these contestants could even *be* voted for? We hear constantly that Sanjaya, Sundance, Antonella, Chicken Little, etc. were "not talented enough" and "didn't deserve" to be kept on over other contestants. So, I ask again: what are they doing in the voting rounds?

If they (AI producers/judges) are going to open that door, then they have to live with the consequences. Simon reminds us week after week that it's a singing competition. If this were actually true, we'd have 24 actually talented singers in the top 24, instead of a few contestants they feel are worth pimping, a couple they think will add drama, and a whole slew of second and third tier shills who are not (supposed to be) a threat to their faves.

Don't believe it? Think about season three (I think) where Lisa Leuschner was up for a chance to compete for an additional slot in the top contestants. Randy Jackson actually formed a complete sentence without "yo" "dawg" or "good lookin' out" to say to her: "Well, you may be the most talented singer we have this year, but no, you won't be performing". Instead, Jon Peter Lewis got the chance and went on into the finals where he looked like a runaway from an emo band having a seizure while perfoming Elvis, bringing in more tweeny OMGZCUTEE ratings, and posing no threat to Fantasia or the other "serious contenders". There are so many examples of this, it's not funny: Jasmine Trias, Ace Young, spring instantly to mind, but every year it's the same thing. AMERICAN IDOL DELIBERATELY PUTS LESS TALENTED CONTESTANTS THROUGH TO MANIPULATE THE OUTCOME. Our manipulation pales in comparison, and any displeasure they feel at our voting tactics is due to their policies."

Now, you may not want to believe what writer cry_me_ariver is saying, but even Paula Abdul just about admitted the truth of it on Letterman last week on Letterman last week when Dave asked her: "Do you select some people who have no business being selected, just for the fun of it?"

As the audience burst out in knowing laughter, Abdul thought with a smile on her face and after a couple of seconds answered, "Er, no, I think that comes from the producers, who invite the talent there for us to see. We get to see that." And then backpedaling added, "But, no, are you kidding? These kids are real good singers. What happens is, through the process, there are ones that end up being much greater." Uh-huh. Say goodnight Gracie.

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