Monday, June 4, 2007

Macca: Starbucks & HSN Over 'Idol'

A lot of "American Idol"-Beatles fans have been disappointed with Paul McCartney's continual stance to distance himself from America's No. 1-rated TV show. We thought that "Idol" was perhaps just too cheesy for the musicmaker who has even tried his hand at classical oratorio, first with 1991's "Liverpool Oratorio," and more recently after wife Linda's death with "Ecce Cor Meum." Of course that was until we heard that the "cute" Beatle had opted to turn to Starbucks and Home Shopping Network to market his latest CD release, "Memory Almost Full."

The Flint Journal, among others, reports that Macca began using Home Shopping Network with a 30-minute special that aired on May 30 and 31 to promote tomorrow's release of the CD. The special reportedly featured songs from the new disk and footage of McCartney chatting about the stories behind the tunes. (Click on the link above to watch videos.)

Add the fact that the record is part of Starbucks' new music division, and it compounds the frustration over what a legendary artist is being forced to do to keep reaching fans in an age of micro-thin playlists on radio and video channels.

Scarier yet is that you can already get the CD, which sells for $19.97 plus $2.98 shipping and handling on HSN (it includes a "Bonus 3-Song CD") discounted on for $9.99 (including free shipping if you spend a minimum of $25). On that site you'll also find a video ad that Macca made for, followed by the video for "Dance Tonight," which features a deliveryman whose thin build, gaunt angular face and long teeth are incredibly reminiscent of a young George Harrison. In the video, a mandolin-playing McCartney cavorts with ghostly images. If this was the '60s, there would again be rumors that "Paul is dead," just like there were when "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" came out.

And we admit it. "Dance Tonight" is a typically catchy McCartney. Paul still has it. Not bad for someone who'll turn 65 on June 18. Too bad he had to resort to Starbucks and HSN to hustle it. Somehow Idol would have been so much easier -- and, in spite of all its flaws, more dignified. Besides, it would have sold tons of CDs for him.

Watch video of Paul McCartney singing "Dance Tonight":


Elliott Yamin has signed on with Oscar Mayer to serve as spokes-
man for its “Sing the Jingle, Be a Star” contest.

The weiner-maker has partnered with FremantleMedia for sponsorship of "American Idol" Season 7. Now in its second year, the Oscar Mayer "Sing the Jingle, Be a Star" contest invites eager songsters to see if they can cut the mustard by singing their own unique rendition of one of the popular Oscar Mayer jingles -- the Oscar Mayer Wiener Jingle, the Bologna Song, or an Oscar Mayer Spanish Jingle.

Solo artists and – new this year – duos and groups of up to five people – can enter from May 24 to October 31, 2007. As part of the promotion, the "American Idol" name and imagery will be featured on 250 million packs of Oscar Mayer lunch meats, hot dogs, corn dogs and bacon.

Yamin will help kick-off the Oscar Mayer contest on June 13 in the Central Courtyard at the Hollywood & Highland Center, just steps away from the Kodak Theatre where the season finale of "American Idol" took place. Elliott will assist the Hotdoggers, official drivers of the Wienermobile vehicles, as entrants sing at the first open casting call of the hot dog season.

The search will continue throughout the summer, as Wienermobile vehicles cruise the country hosting open casting calls to give Oscar Mayer fans the opportunity to enter the contest. Contestants ages 6 and older may enter at official Wienermobile vehicle stops, where their entry will be videotaped, or mail-in a VHS videotape or DVD along with an official entry form, available at the Web site, where they may also upload their entry videos. Mailed entries should be sent to: Sing the Jingle Entries, P.O. Box 5600, Blair, NE 68009-5600. All entries must be received by October 31, 2007.

Twelve finalists will be selected by a panel of Oscar Mayer appointed judges and posted on the official Web site from January 15 to February 15, 2008. During this time, the public can vote for their favorite jingle contest entry.

America's vote, along with the panel of Oscar Mayer appointed judges, will help select three Grand Prize winners, who will receive the chance to appear in a nationally televised Oscar Mayer commercial, a trip for two to the American Idol Season 7 Finale (in the event a winner or winning group member is less than 8 years old at the time of intended travel to the American Idol Finale, he/she will be awarded a Sponsor-specified prize of equal or greater value in lieu of the trip) and commercial taping location. Judging will be based on overall performance, style, creativity and suitability for an Oscar Mayer TV commercial. No purchase necessary.

Watch video of Elliott Yamin shilling for the Oscar Mayer jingle contest.


US magazine recently talked with Yamin about the Oscar Mayer gig, his new album and Idol's Season 6 finale:

You’re quite the busy guy. Between traveling and performing, you must never have time to sleep!
I’m always moving, always on the go. You got to get some global tracking on me. [Laughs].

But you recently cleared your schedule to hang out with some of your Idol peers during a finale after party.
Yeah, we had a great time. I wasn’t expecting to see as many people from last season. I’ve never been to a high school reunion or anything, but I saw Ace [Young] - we’re good friends - Mandisa, Constantine, Anthony Fedorov and Scott Savol again.

Idol’s boys’ club is back together.
It was a lot of fun. Ace is doing great. He’s finishing up his record and he’s the face of Edy’s ice cream.

However, I’d say you beat him on the food chain, since you’re helping Oscar Mayer with their “Sing the Jingle, Be a Star” contest.
Right, right. We actually launched it last week. I partnered up with them to help promote this contest. It’s a singing contest, which I’m quite familiar with [Laughs].

Will Simon Cowell be able to critique these performers?
No Simon Cowell, no harsh critics. That’s a good thing. What they want to do is find songsters age 6 and up. You can either do it solo or in groups of up to 5 people. Basically what they’re looking for are people to put their own personal twists on the already-popular Oscar Meyer Wiener jingle that we’re so familiar with.

Wait, what’s that jingle again?
Well, I think you know what I’m talking about. [Laughs]

Come on…
[Clears throat and begins to sing] My bologna has a first name…[pause]. There’s even a Spanish version too.

Now that the business is out of the way, let’s talk about Idol and your new record. You’re currently on your own headlining tour. It must feel good since you were on the Idol tour just last summer.
It’s surreal to be headlining my own tour and be able to go on that stage and see people actually singing my songs. I’ve just come such a long way in such a short period of time from where I was a year and a half ago. I’m still riding Cloud 9 and I’m not ready to get off yet.

How do you feel about former contestants who are badmouthing the show after it gave them a chance to shine?
I still feel like I have a lot to prove, just because there’s a certain stigma with cast-offs from Idol. It makes me want to work harder. I would never dis the show - they’ve obviously given me my chance and opened so many doors. I feel a debt of gratitude to them.

Lastly, tell us about your makeover – you got a new smile!
I evolved in every aspect you could possibly evolve - looks, stage presence, my work ethic, everything. I got some veneers and everybody likes to talk about it. I’ve always kind of had a complex about my smile, so I was able to correct that, and I felt great. There are a lot of things to smile about these days!


You don't have to win Idol to get a gig. Hell, you don't even have to make it to the finals, as this press release for Mona Loring’s Birthday and Red Carpet Event at Basque attests:

It states that American Idol season six finalist [er, that would be semi-finalist] Sabrina Sloan will be hosting a star-studded birthday soiree in honor of MLC PR’s president Mona Loring. The event promoted by Ocean West Entertainment and Jair & Co. will include a celebrity red carpet, a Keinejad fashion show hosted by model Sabrina Jane, go-go dancers, a DJ and more.

Celebrities [ahem] confirmed thus far: Sabrina Sloan (American Idol), Shane Sparks (So You Think You Can Dance), Alaina Alexander (American Idol), Patricia Kara (NBC’s Deal or No Deal), Willie Herath (Actor and Indie Singer/Songwriter), Joey Naber (Academy Award-Winning West Bank Story), Sarah Kozer (Average Joe), Maggie Wagner (Sundance Award-Wining Talent Given Us), Vintage (Indie Rock Band) and many more!

How many of these "big" names did you recognize? Be there and be square, we guess.

Who/What: Mona Loring’s Birthday and Red Carpet Event at Basque
When: 9 pm, Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Where: Basque 1707 North Vine Street Hollywood, CA 90028 (323) 464-1654
For more info on Basque visit:!

And here is the lovely birthday girl. Guess anyone with a few bucks can book an Idol also-ran, especially if they live in Los Angeles and need work.


Blake Lewis' audition for "American Idol." We remember not being impressed. Guess in this case the judges knew more than we did:

Kimberley Locke proving why she should keep her clothes on when she sings. Is this a bikini, underwear, a bachelor party? Who knows? And the videographer proves why you shouldn't drink and film at the same time. Was he horizontal, or just his camera?

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© 2007

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