Friday, July 20, 2007

Wanna Audition for Idol? Read This First

Planning to audition for Season 7 of "American Idol"? You'll be signing away A LOT of rights, plus giving the show the right to ridicule and humiliate you (even embarrass you with fictional material) without any due recourse.

So to all of those who are always lambasting the show/judges for being mean, humiliating, cruel et al, no one can say the contestants haven't been forewarned. Anyone who tries out for the show must sign the its three-page release form, whether or not they bother to read it before applying their signature. The form (which is available online) states, among other things (underlining and bolding ours for emphasis purposes):

Producer shall also have the unrestricted right to edit the content and text of the Program in any manner or form.

In addition to the rights granted elsewhere in this Release, I understand and agree that if my appearance, name, likeness, voice, singing voice, conversation, sounds and/or biographical data is used in connection with the Program, I may be required, in consideration of Producer possibly including my appearance, name, likeness, voice, singing voice, conversation, sounds and/or biographical data in the Program, and at Producer’s election, to enter into the following agreements with Producer and/or Producer’s designee(s), the terms of which shall be subject to good faith negotiation: (a) an agreement for the management of my career in the entertainment industry (including, but not limited to, my acting, singing, songwriting, or other services); and (b) an agreement for the use of my name, voice, conversation, likeness and biography in connection with advertising, endorsements, merchandising, and/or sponsorships. I understand and agree that such agreements shall become fully effective only at the election of Producer and/or Producer’s designee(s), which election shall occur on or before that date which is three (3) months from the date of the initial broadcast of the final episode of the Program for this Season (the “Election Period”).

I understand that I may reveal, and other parties may reveal, information about me that is of a personal, private, embarrassing or unfavorable nature, which information may be factual and/or fictional.

I further understand that my appearance, depiction and/or portrayal in the Program may be disparaging, defamatory, embarrassing or of an otherwise unfavorable nature which may expose me to public ridicule, humiliation or condemnation. I acknowledge and agree that Producer shall have the right to (a) include any or all such information and appearances, depictions or portrayals in the Program as edited by Producer in its sole discretion, and (b) broadcast and otherwise exploit the Program containing any or all such information and appearances, depictions or portrayals in any manner whatsoever in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, or for any other purpose, throughout the universe in perpetuity.

I agree to follow all of Producer’s rules, directions and instructions in all matters relating to the Program,which rules are subject to change at Producer’s sole discretion.

I will accept any and all decisions of Producer on discretionary matters (including but not limited to the audition process and contestant selection) as final and acknowledge that the interests of the Program shall override those of any participant.

I agree that my selection to audition is within Producer’s sole discretion and that Producer is not obligated to grant me an audition, regardless of my place in the audition line.

I acknowledge that Producer reserves the right, exercisable at any time in its sole discretion, to disqualify me from the Program should I at any stage supply untruthful, inaccurate or misleading personal information, fail to abide by the rules or regulations of the Program, or for any other reason or for no reason at all. If I am selected, I agree that Producer is not obligated to have me appear on, or to broadcast my appearance on, the Program and may disqualify me at any time in its sole discretion.

I recognize that Producer is relying on my representations herein and that a breach by me here under would cause Producer irrevocable injury and damage that cannot be reasonably or adequately compensated by damages in an action at law; and, therefore, I hereby expressly agree that Producer shall be entitled to injunctive and other equitable relief to prevent and/or cure any breach or threatened breach of this Release by me.

I hereby release, discharge, and hold harmless Producer, its assignees, licensees, agents, and affiliates ... from any and all liability or claims arising out of or in any way resulting from my participation in the Program and the use or reuse of my appearance, name, voice, singing voice, likeness and/or biographical information and I agree not to make any claim against Producer or the Released Parties as a result of my participation in the Program and in connection with any use or reuse of my appearance, name, voice, singing voice, conversation, likeness and/or biographical information (including, without limitation, any claim based upon defamation or invasion of privacy and/or publicity).

In addition, I agree to indemnify Producer and the other Released Parties and to hold each of them harmless from any and all liability, claim, action, damage, expense (including reasonable attorneys fees), and loss of any kind caused by or arising out of any statement, action or failure to act by me during or in connection with my participation in the Program.

In no event shall I have any right to injunctive or other equitable relief against any of the Released Parties in connection with the Program.

I acknowledge that there is a possibility that after my execution of this Release, I will discover facts or incur or suffer claims which were unknown or unsuspected at the time this Release was executed and which, if known by me at that time, may have materially affected my decision to execute this Release. I acknowledge and agree that by reason of this Release, I am assuming any risk of such unknown facts and such unknown and unsuspected claims.

In the event I am a member of AFTRA, SAG or any other performing arts guild, I understand and agree that my appearance on the Program, if any, shall not be deemed to be a performance under any collective bargaining agreement.

I agree not to disclose or discuss events related to the Program, or authorize any third party to do the same, without the prior written approval of Producer and Network. I shall not directly or indirectly issue or permit the issuance of any publicity whatsoever with respect to the Program or my appearance in connection therewith. I shall not use the name of the Program in any way at any time without Producer's prior written approval in each instance.

BTW, no one seeking election to a public office and looking for free publicity need apply either. One of the contract stipulations states: "I am not a candidate for public office."

For more information about auditioning this season, including rules, FAQs, registration and audition dates and cities, click here.


Net Music Countdown reports that former Marine Josh Gracin has returned from his tour of the Persian Gulf where he played a series of concerts in support of U.S. troops overseas.

Gracin spent time with the troops in Kuwait and Iraq where he performed five shows, signed autographs, visited with soldiers in the hospital and even played basketball in 128 degree heat with fellow Marines.

"This was something I just had to do," said Gracin. "It was important for me to give back to our men and women in uniform and bring a little piece of home to our folks serving overseas. This is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life."

The overseas tour, sponsored by MWR and Stars For Stripes, took Gracin to Camp Arifjan in Kuwait and several locations in Iraq, including Kirkuk, Camp Speicher, Q West and Ballad Airbase. At the show at Camp Arifjan in Iraq, Gracin performed for more than 2,000 troops, setting the record for the second highest attendance at the base.


Terri Seymour, 33, who has been Simon Cowell's other half for almost 5 years, reveals some personal things about their relationship in an interview in the UK's Daily Mirror.

When asked how the couple will be celebrating their fifth anniversary in September, she laughs: "Anything mushy he can't deal with -- he couldn't bear to think we were celebrating something like that! But I'll make him take me out for dinner. I've got him trained," she says.

She also said that Cowell's favorite Sunday morning pastime is watching Loony Tunes in bed. "He loves cartoons, particularly The Jetsons and Sylvester the Cat. That's about as exciting as it gets!" She laughs. "He's a naughty little boy but I love him. We're polar opposites but somehow it works.

"I'm spontaneous while Simon likes his bath a certain temperature. I love my cuddles while Simon hates them. But he's getting better. We were at a Beyonce concert recently and I looked down and realised he was holding my hand. Simon's not very in touch with his emotions -- he finds it very hard."

And Seymour obviously gives Cowell as good as she gets. "He likes my fiestiness. So many people pander to him and I don't. If there's something he does that annoys me or I disagree with, I'll give him what for. And I'll tell him off if I feel he's gone too far with contestants on his shows. He does listen to me -- I've even got him to wear colours other than black."

Seymour has three TV shows in the US ("Extra" on NBC, and "Good Day LA" and the 10 p.m. news, both on Fox) and has been an entertainment reporter on ITV1's "This Morning." "I love working and having my own money," she says. "My friends think I'm mad when I could be shopping and going for lunch, but that would bore me rigid.

"I'm independent, which Simon likes, and I think I'm fun and easy-going. He couldn't cope with needy. And his mum Julie loves me!"

But Cowell has told her he never wants kids or marriage, and she accepts that.

"We'll never get married, but marriage to me isn't a big thing. My mum, Margaret, raised me as a single parent. I don't have the big wedding dream. He's fantastic with kids but he likes giving them back. It's the whole work thing -- he can't see it being compatible with a family. I'd like a child eventually and I've been asked if I'll have to choose between Simon and having kids, but it's not an issue right now. I'm not panicking."

But the baby question could rear its head further down the line. Would she ever go it alone? She pauses: "Yes, definitely. I think I could do it because my mum did it. The idea doesn't scare me."
Growing up without a dad around might explain why she's often dated men older than herself -- Simon is 14 years her senior -- and she nods: "I'm attracted to older guys.

"People always say that to me about wanting the father figure and I don't know whether it's true or not. But I've hardly ever been single.

"I had one relationship when I was 15 for five years and then two others both lasting four years before Simon.

"It's a grown-up relationship and we're a good team."

She'd known Simon since she was 18, but the friendship ignited again in 2002 when she interviewed him in London: "We had such a laugh and he said: 'If you are ever in LA I'll be there working on this "little" show.' It was American Idol.

"Then three months later I got a hair commercial there. We started hanging out and it just happened.

"I'd never fancied him before. He always says we kissed in a nightclub 15 years ago but I can't remember it, which he finds insulting!"

Once they became an item, she moved in. "We just fit and I can be myself with him," says Terri.

"We laugh a lot -- Simon's a funny guy and a nice man." But like any couple, they row.

"He hates arguing whereas I prefer to get it out and clear the air. I can't keep my mouth shut. I worry about him being such a workaholic.

"He takes on so much and I get concerned about him being over-stressed.

"Not only has he got the shows in the UK and the US, he's writing a drama and working on a film. Simon's very driven by money and he always wants to make the best shows."

These days the couple flit between their four-story west London mansion, their two Beverly Hills homes and a new Caribbean retreat.

Seymour says that she and Cowell had dinner with J.Lo and husband Marc Antony the previous week, but despite his multi-million pound fortune she says Simon remains down-to-earth.

"He's a very ordinary guy. We have holidays in amazing places but he loves his fish and chips and his shepherd's pie. But it's amusing how people change around him. And people who should know better are in awe! I think: It's Simon! Big deal."

And Seymour knows that with fame comes the inevitable attention from other women. But she's philosophical.

"I don't worry about him cheating," she says. "When I arrived in LA, 'American Idol' was huge and women were throwing themselves at him. I found it funny.

"Simon is the biggest flirt. He says I'm just as bad but I get him back," she laughs. "I get chatted up a fair bit by celebrities doing my job and he gets jealous. He won't show it at the time but it'll come out later."

She adds: "I trust him but I have to because we spend a lot of time away from each other. We always say: If either of us does something, that's the time to part -- because it must mean the spark has gone."

While he may not be about to pop to the question, Terri says Cowell does have the odd romantic moment. "He spoils me with gifts -- beautiful jewelery and he even got me the new SKR Jaguar -- but it was a silly thing that touched me. He went to the dentist and when he came back with a new toothbrush, he'd bought me one, too.

"I thought that was really sweet -- it meant he was thinking of me."


The Washington Post reports that the nation's most popular TV show, Fox's "American Idol," could become the biggest Emmy loser ever when the Emmy trophies are handed out Sept. 16. The singing competition, which previously was nominated 22 times but never won, will have seven chances this year to break that streak.

If the reality series goes 0 for 7, however, it will dethrone the record-holding "Bob Newhart Show." That sitcom, in which Newhart played a Vermont innkeeper, never won despite 25 nominations.


Paula Abdul once more CBS), in an appearance on CBS' "Late Show With David Letterman" Wednesday, once again blamed fellow "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell for inadvertedly starting rumors that she drinks by teasing her during an epsiode of the show.

"Usually I sit between the two guys and when it's time for Randy [Jackson] to start his critique, Simon is in my ear." Abdul explained.

Abdul said that she tries to block him out, even plugging her ear on the side where he sits.

One night he whispered, "Try to say something interesting, Paula like 'the moth that finds the melon ball inside of a won ton will win.' So I say it and Ryan [Seacrest] looked at me and said 'what was that?' and I said Simon said this."

Unfortunately for Abdul, Cowell made a face as if he never whispered in her ear.

"Then he said there was something other than Coca Cola in my cup," she said. Coca-Cola is one of the show's sponsors, and each of the three judges always has a cup bearing the company's logo in front of them during the show.

Watch video of Paula Abdul of Letterman:

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