Friday, April 20, 2007

Idol on Oprah

Yesterday's Oprah Winfrey show featured an interview with Simon Cowell and the remaining six Idol finalists. Although nothing new was revealed, perhaps, except, for Simon saying that Melinda Doolittle and Jordin Sparks were his favorites (though he doesn't count LaKisha Jones out), it was an interesting watch for Idol addicts. Waiting for her possible elimination, LaKisha said she was praying, "I was like, 'Lord, I can't go home right now.' I was thinking, like, 'God, I've got to get it together. I can't be in the Bottom 2 again,' so I was like, 'Jesus, OK, lord, give me one more chance. And I had sung "Jesus Take the Wheel," so I was like, OK, lord, take the wheel right now.' " Watch the whole segment above.

Here are some highlights:

Simon (from Las Vegas, where he flew to after the show)
On whether he was surprised by the results from the night before: I was on a very, very happy plane last night.
On his mixed emotions about Sanjaya: I miss him, probably in the same way as I would miss now my favorite horror movie ... No, I don't mean that nastily, because I like horror movies. But there's a kind of like, 'I hate it, I love it.' And that's how I felt about Sanjaya … Very sweet guy, quite entertaining, but a horrible singer.
On whether he was concerned that Sanjaya could go all the way: My god, yes. I thought if he had made it into the Top 3, that's me, I'm gone.
On whether he would have really gone: No, they wouldn't let me ... but I offered to.
On whether he's impressed with the contestants this year: I'm a little bit frustrated, that what I haven't seen ... since LaKisha, or Kiki as she's now known, did that version of the Jennifer Holliday song. That's what I call an "Oh, my God moment," and I haven't had enough of those. And, actually, they're capable of it. I just want to see a few more.
On whether he has favorites: I've got a soft spot for Melinda, actually. [Huge audience applause/cheers] I like the fact that she's a very sweet girl ... I've told her to stop this "I don't know how good I am" routine anymore. She's a fantastic singer. Now she's got to go out there as a star ... Jordin I thought was sensational this week. [huge audience applause/cheers] Chris I like because he's contemporary. [Nothing from the audience] But I'm a little bit worried about the singing through the nose. Blake, I think is a pop star. [Audience applause] And to give credit to Phil [some applause], I thought he had a fantastic week. ... I would say that my Top 3, or Top 2 at the moment, would be Melinda, Jordin, and I'm not writing off LaKisha because she's very, very capable of doing what she did a few weeks ago.
On his criticizing certain contestant outfits, even though there is a staff that helps put them together: They're blind ... sometimes.

Another interesting TV moment this week, Dave Della Terza's appearance on Letterman. Della Terza is the person who the created Vote for the Worst Web site, and he and Letterman discussed the site and its effectiveness vis a vis "American Idol."

Dave Della Terza on how VFTW began: There's a message board called "Survivor Sucks" where we make fun of a lot of reality TV shows and on their message board I had posted a message that said, "Hey, you know ... I had watched Season 2 of 'American Idol,' and said you know, this show is so manipulated, it seems so fake, and they have whoever the producers want to win, is going to win, so it gets kinda, you know, boring. And so I said there are all these horrible people they put in at the beginning. Why should they go home at the beginning? Let's try to keep them around for awhile." And people said "That would be really funny." And then so we said "Wouldn't it be funny if we made it into a Web site," too. And they said "Yeah, that would be funny, too." And it kind of just blew up from there.

When Letterman asked Della Terza if he was making any money out of it, Della Terza revealed the site was making money through advertisements. He added that the site started small, but really started to grow during Idol Season 4 with Scott Savol and that the site now gets
around 10 million hits a week.

When asked about pressure from Fox, Della Terza said they wrote to him two years ago and told him to take down any copyrighted material on his site, and last year they threatened to talk to him with their lawyers. However, they never followed up and haven't talked to him recently.
Della Terza pointed out "Sanjaya on the show this year, I think he's saving the show, because I think the people this year aren't as interesting."

Letterman added that people didn't really get hurt because if the most Idolest guy or woman who should be the Idol doesn't get to be the Idol that they would do just fine anyway. Della Terza agreed that they would get a recording contract no matter what, and added "Let Sanjaya get the recording contract, because he's not going to get one if he doesn’t win."

Della Terza also mentioned that Howard Stern had helped to get a lot of support for the Vote For The Worst Web site. Della Terza said he liked to watch Idol to make fun of it, while Howard Stern wanted to help bring down American Idol. Letterman concluded "This is finally the best reason, the best most solid justification I've heard for the Internet."

To watch the rest of Dave on Dave, click above.


Jeanette Walls of MSNBC says that a Star Magazine story suggests if you're flying and Paula Abdul is a fellow passenger, you just might want to change planes. Even though she seems like a sweetie on "American Idol," some folks claim she's not so sweet when she's an airline passenger. Abdul was a diva during a recent flight, demanding -- but not getting -- special treatment, sources tell Star.

"She pulled a major diva trip," one "eyewitness" told the tab. "The other passengers were not amused."

Abdul was booked on a sold-out Southwest Airlines flight from San Jose to Burbank, California, and reportedly demanded first-class treatment -- even though there's no first-class section on the airline.

"She asked to be let on the plane and seated first," an "eyewitness" told the Star. When Abdul was told that only young children, people with disabilities and the elderly were allowed to board early, she reportedly declared, "But I'm famous! I need to go on first!"

A number of fellow passengers heard the exchange, and one shouted at her: "You're no Sanjaya! You have to board like everyone else." That, according to the source, prompted a round of laughter from the others -- except Abdul.

Once boarding began, Abdul pushed her way in front of the rest of the passengers so that she did get on first, and tried to keep the seat next to her empty, telling others it was taken. Finally, a flight attendant told her she had to give up the seat because the flight was full. Abdul kept her head bowed and reportedly was "twitchy" during much of the trip.

Abdul's rep chose not to comment.


Wednesday's results show included a shameless and unending promo for "Shrek the Third," including filmed and in person appearances by Dreamworks studio head Jeffrey Katzenberg and actor Antonio Banderas, who once again voiced the character Puss in Boots. The point, of course, was to get all of us rushing into theaters when the film opens on May 18. So we think Katzenberg probably wanted to brain his star, who told Ryan Seacrest -- and us -- that the film doesn't open until June.


Donna Reynolds' current Idol Chartwatch reports that Idol albums and singles are all over the charts. In fact, last year at this time, Carrie Underwood's "Some Hearts" was #16 on the Billboard 200 and #4 on the Country chart. This year, she’s still #4 on the Country chart, but is actually up two spots from last year to #14 on the Billboard 200. Now that's what's called staying power!

Kellie Pickler's debut album, "Small Town Girl," has been certified gold by the RIAA. It charted at #142 on the Billboard 200 and #23 on the Country listing.

Daughtry was up one to #6 on the Billboard 200, and was also up on the Internet Album Sales chart (#7) and the Digital chart (#6). It was down one to #2 on the Rock chart.

Elliott Yamin was #59 on the Billboard 200 and down two spots to #3 on the Independent Album chart. The album also appeared on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart (#51).

Katharine McPhee was #112 on the Billboard 200.

Fantasia was #192 on the Billboard 200 and #31 on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart.

Ruben Studdard's "The Return" was #85 on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart.

"Dreamgirls," featuring Jennifer Hudson, was #132 on the Billboard 200, #7 on the Soundtracks chart, and #37 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. The deluxe edition #93 on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart.

This Week's Idols' Singles' Charts
Kelly Clarkson
's brand-new one, "Never Again," has already hit the Pop 100 Airplay chart at #36.

Kimberley Locke's "Change" was #11 on the Adult Contemporary chart and earned Airpower designation. The remix version was #12 on the Hot Dance Play chart.

Kellie Pickler's "I Wonder" showed up on the Bubbling Under (the Hot 100) at #20 and was #26 on the Country chart.

Daughtry's "Home" jumped significantly on all the major charts, coming in at #31 on the Hot 100, #22 on the Pop 100, #28 on Pop 100 Airplay, #22 on the Adult Top 40, #21 on the Hot Digital Tracks chart, and #24 on the Hot Digital Songs chart. "It's Not Over" has been certified gold by the RIAA. It was #14 on the Hot 100, #14 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart, #10 on the Pop 100, #8 on the Pop 100 Airplay chart, #1 on the Adult Top 40 listing, #19 on the Adult Contemporary chart, #18 on Hot Digital Tracks, and #20 on Hot Digital Songs.

Katharine McPhee 's "Over It" was #40 on the Hot 100, #24 on the Pop 100, #29 on the Pop 100 Airplay chart, #39 on the Adult Top 40, #26 on the Hot Digital Tracks chart, and #28 on the Hot Digital Songs list. Her “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” / “My Destiny” was #20 on the Single Sales list.

Elliott Yamin's "Wait for You" was #91 on the Pop 100 and #48 on the Pop 100 Airplay chart.

Fantasia's "When I See You" continues to climb. It was #99 on the Hot 100, #61 on the Hot 100 Airplay Chart. It was #17 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles chart, #17 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, and #13 on the R&B Adult airplay list.

Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" was #15 on the Hot 100, #21 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart, #17 on the Pop 100, #17 on the Pop 100 Airplay chart, #10 on the Adult Top 40, #12 on Hot Digital Tracks, and #15 on Hot Digital Songs. "Wasted" was #1 on the Country chart. It also charted at #43 on the Hot 100, #31 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart, #70 on the Pop 100, and #60 on Hot Digital Songs.

Ruben Studdard's "Make Ya Feel Beautiful," was #33 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles, #33 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart, and #9 on the R&B Adult airplay list. "Change Me" was #12 on the R&B Adult airplay list.

Jennifer Hudson's "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" was #36 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles chart, #36 on the R&B Airplay chart, and #6 on the R&B Adult airplay list. The dance remix of the song was #39 on the Dance Club Play chart.

Bucky Covington's "A Different World" was up one to #24 on the Country chart.

RIP to Taylor's "Do I Make You Proud" / "Takin' It to the Streets"

Upcoming New Releases
Bucky’s CD is out, and next week, we’ll see where it debuts. Next up is Kimberley Locke, whose "Based on a True Story" is set for release May 1. Paris Bennett's "Princess P" will follow on May 8.


Remember how just a week ago Paris Bennett was slammin' "Idol" and calling it a joke on a Minneapolis radio station? Seems she can easily change her tune when money is concerned. On Wednesday, she helped launch McDonald's "American Idol" Happy Meal toys in Los Angeles. The toys were given out to the studio audience at the results show, as well as to the daughters of Martina McBride and Antonio Banderas.

Available through May 10 at McDonald's nationwide, the six "Idol" themed and branded toys are recommended for ages 3 and older. Customers receive one of the toys with the purchase of a Happy Meal or Mighty Kids Meal. The toys are: Starry Eyed Shades sunglasses; Applause-O-Matic, which claps when you press its trigger; Judgmental Mic, a microphone with echo effect that also shows different comments at the push of a button; and three toys that play a tune, the American Idol MP3, the Star Guitar and the Popstar Headset.

McDonald's also is running a three-week online "You're Going to Hollywood" sweepstakes, in which two grand-prize winners will each receive a trip for four to the "Idol" season finale in California.

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© 2007

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