Sunday, November 9, 2008
"There is someone I do support, but I don't support publicly. I lose all respect for celebrities when they back a candidate," said the singer, who hails from Oklahoma, a state that went for Sen. McCain.
"It's saying that the American public isn't smart enough to make their own decisions," she explains. "I would never want anybody to vote for anything or anybody just because I told them to. Music is where you go to get away from all the BS. Whether it's from politics or just the world around you, music should be an escape."
Disagreeing with Underwood is SELENA GOMEZ, according to E! Online.
"A lot of people do look up to certain celebrities and will follow in their footsteps," Gomez said, adding, "I think you just have to be aware of what you're saying."
"I'm glad that people are getting involved with the election. This election has been the biggest with celebrities."
Although Gomez can't vote yet because she's only 16, she's thrown herself into this year's election season, encouraging young people to educate themselves on the issues. Most recently, she helped launch UR Votes Count, a nationwide program that asked teens to cast their votes at polling stations set up in 150 malls in 42 states.
BARACK OBAMA won by a whopping 62 percent of the votes, while JOHN MCCAIN pulled in only 33 percent followed by 2 and 3 percent going to BOB BARR and RALPH NADER, respectively.
Gomez admitted she didn't know who she would have supported for president if she was allowed to cast a ballot today. "I'm not really sure who I would pick to run our country," she said. "It's kind of nice not to be able to vote, because I may not be as ready to as I will be in the future."
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Thursday, November 6, 2008
SIMON COWELL, currently in London, gave Fox News an exclusive interview about his split from TERRI SEYMOUR:
"She wants a different path in life, and I totally respect her for it," Cowell explained. "We will be the best of mates, but I think in relationships, you have to be totally honest. I have always been and I know Terri knows that."
But honesty doesn't always equal understanding.
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"I find women confusing really," Cowell continued. "When you hook up and date, you're both honest about what you want. I have never ever said that I want children or marriage. I know some people find it hard to fathom, but it's me, it's who I am."
"Bottom line is I am married to my job. When people moan about being a celebrity, I think 'Oh please, sort yourself out –- it’s the greatest job in the world.' I wake up daily thanking my lucky stars, but to throw marriage into that mix is not right. I have seen too many celebrity marriages that on paper make a great mix, fall apart through ego and just plain celebrity madness."
Cowell also quashed any rumors that another woman is to blame.
"There is no one new in my life. I can honestly say some of my best friends are girls, but we're not dating, and that is that. Forget any lurid tabloid headlines. Myself and Terri will remain firm friends. We're grown-ups."
And the UK's Daily Mirror says that Cowell has defiantly declared he is giving up women [hmmm, bet this wasn't news to RYAN SEACREST] after splitting up from Seymour, "Don't worry about me -- I don't need a lonely hearts ad.
"I'm off women now. But everything's fine between me and Terri -- we're still friends. In fact that was her on the phone just now."
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
CONSTANTINE MAROULIS IN 'ROCK OF AGES'NJ.com interviewed Season 4 Idol finalist CONSTANTINE MAROULIS, who is starring in "Rock of Ages" now on an open-ended run at the New World Stages in New York.
The '80s rock musical features many familiar songs -- including Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive" -- all performed by a live rock band. It's a lively, funny, love story about a guy and a girl who have dreams of making it big in L.A.
What did you learn from being on "American Idol" that has helped you in theater?
It taught me how to work and manage an audience better. With 50 million plus a week you learn fast to stick with what is working just to get through it.
Which do you prefer and why: Band, solo or ensemble?
I love them all. Picking is difficult. I just enjoy the creative process -- the avenue is irrelevant.
How do you relate to your character in "Rock of Ages?"
In many ways I was a guy like him when I was in school. We all have dreams and aspirations so I tried to reach back to when I was younger to get that feeling again.
What's your favorite part of being in this rock musical?
I must say that it really is the cast and the friendships I have made here. I am blessed to work with all of them. It is that sense that we are all together and a part of something very special. The crew and band rule too!!
It's such a high energy show -- how are you able to keep the energy up for every performance?
I try to get my rest, do the basics and eat right. That aside I have found that breathing and lots of Xbox 360 really helps. Oh...and I'm sorta part alien.
Besides poking fun at LA, what do you think Jersey 80's music fans will enjoy about the show?
I lived in Jersey for a massive part of my life which is why I know they will love the show. Jersey is the most awesome state there is. We have everything. Simply put it is all the songs they love wrapped into a love story, how can ya beat that?
Are you a fan of 80s rock?
I worship it, nothing like a big, sugar covered, hook ridden chorus to "...really pumps my nads!" (to quote "The Breakfast Club")
Since you are a Jerseyan in an 80s musical, what's your favorite Bon Jovi song?
"Runaway"Their first hit. It was on their original demo for labels.
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Tuesday, November 4, 2008
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Monday, November 3, 2008
DAVID COOK says his life now isn't too different than it was before winning American Idol.
"I think in one sense everything's changed but in another sense nothing has," said Cook. "There's all these different things around me that I didn't have a year ago. I was able to furnish a home and get a nice car and be able to treat my family to some of the things that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to do."
But, said the singer, 25, "I'm still a goober from the Midwest. Now I've just got a few more resources. I don't feel like the show changed me at all."
Cook spoke with People after recording a performance video with his band for Walmart's Soundcheck, which can be viewed online and in Walmart stores when his eponymous CD releases on Nov. 18.
The singer describes his music as "eclectic rock" with some songs featuring lots of riffs and others that are "very piano driven and delicate."
"I got to show some different aspects of who I am as a person," he says about the upcoming album.
Watch Cook's video for "Light On," his disappointing first single from his first (and hopefully not last) post-Idol CD:
DIANA DEGARMO STALKER GOES TO TRIAL ... AGAIN
According to The International Business Times,
TANYA MAREE QUATTROCCHI, 22, was sent to trial on the charge of having sent emails to DIANA DEGARMO 's friends, family, contacts and work colleagues about the singer's sex life.
Police arrested Quattrocchi in April after they obtained her PC and cell phone.
Quattrocchi pleaded not guilty to four counts of persecuting DeGarmo between November 2007 and January 2008.
Quattrocchi is fanatical about the 20-year-old Tennessee singer, said The Melbourne Magistrates' Court today, while they listened to her speaking.
DeGarmo said Quattrocchi called her almost every night, sent messages on her MySpace account pretending to be her, including naughty emails.
"I have moved twice and she still finds me. I cannot have any private or professional life without her infiltrating it," said DeGarmo in a statement.
"No matter what I do I cannot get away from her. She is still to this day stealing my online identity and harassing my friends, family and myself," DeGarmo said.
Quattrocchi supposedly sent emails stating the singer wanted to have sex with her brother and was a lesbian.
In an email to a male work colleague of DeGarmo's, Quattrocchi allegedly wrote: "She said she would love to f--- you . . . hard. And a lot."
"Diana is a lesbian whore. I don't want her small hands touching me. I love guys and have sex with them," Quattrocchi wrote to the singer's sister-in-law.
According to a May 2007 article in Australia's Herald Sun the then 21-year-old Melbourne stalker was released on a community-based order to serve 150 hours of community service after she was convicted of stalking and blackmail of Degarmo in 2007. In that case,
Quattrocchi was accused of phoning DeGarmo 369 times and sending her 570 text messages between March and June of 2006.
One text message read: "I could kill you before you could even lay a finger on me.
"I know I'm out of line here, but I don't give a f---.
"How badly do you want to kill me right now? Bring it on bitch."
In that case, Judge Lisa Hannan said Quattrocchi had spiralled out of control and only stopped harassing DeGarmo when she was caught by police.
"It must have been quite terrifying for the victim," Judge Hannan said.
"Her life was invaded by you and her rightful sense of security stolen from her."
Prosecutor George Slim told the court Quattrocchi hacked into DeGarmo's MySpace page and pretended to be her in emails she sent to the singer's family and friends.
She also used DeGarmo's credit card to subscribe to pornographic Web sites.
Shortly before her arrest in June 2006, Quattrocchi demanded $15,000 from DeGarmo and threatened to release the singer's newly recorded songs if she didn't get the money.
Quattrocchi, who pleaded guilty to the charges, was remorseful for the anguish she had caused DeGarmo.
In sentencing Quattrocchi to 18 months community service in the 2007 case, Judge Hannan acknowledged her poor intellectual and social skills, and said she had good prospects for rehabilitation. [Yeah, right. LOLZ] Just six months later, she allegedly began harassing DeGarmo again. She was arrested in April 2008 when police seized her computer and mobile phones.
Yet after all that, Quattrocchi was recently released on bail under the condition she not use any computer or device that allows Internet or email access, and not communicate in any way with DeGarmo. [Uh-huh, we're sure that'll work, too]
She was ordered to appear in the County Court in January 2009.
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This can bring no joy to SIMON COWELL's most recent ex, TERRI SEYMOUR, that he has fled to the arms of his former ex, SINITTA, for comfort and support, this according to UK's Mirror, the source of the original story of the split:
Simon Cowell has turned to his old flame Sinitta for support after splitting with girlfriend Terri Seymour.
The newly single X Factor boss, 49, spent the weekend pouring out his heart to the singer after the Mirror revealed on Saturday the six-year relationship was over.
Friends say Simon has grown closer to 40-year-old Sinitta – whom he first dated 18 years ago – since her marriage to financier Andy Wilner hit the rocks earlier this year.
On Saturday she accompanied Simon to the rehearsals and filming of X Factor – even slipping out of the studio at regular intervals with him during ad breaks.
Yesterday they were spotted chatting intimately for several hours over afternoon tea at the Georgian Restaurant in Harrods. Sinitta was with adopted children Magdalenea, three, and two-year-old Zac.
[Here's a video of Simon Cowell, singer Sinitta Renet Malone and BBC Radio host Dermot O'Leary leaving Mr. Chows in London on Oct. 30 after having dinner]:
A close friend of Simon said: "Sinitta and Simon have become much closer recently.
[And according to the UK's The Sun, Cowell helped get Sinitta an underwear modeling gig for her 42nd birthday this past October, after seeing her in a gold bikini on The X Factor.]
"They have have been offering each other much support over their troubled relationships. Sinitta has always helped put a smile back on Simon's face. She's become the closest person to him.
He added: "Simon insists they're just good friends. He prides himself on staying friends with exes." During his relationship with Terri, Sinitta was a regular presence – even joining them on holiday.
He took Sinitta with him to Barbados earlier this year as part of The X Factor judges' houses stage and also to St. Tropez for a posh party in August.
In September Sinitta spoke of her "unconditional love" for Cowell despite being married. She said they split because of his refusal to have kids.
Sinitta has admitted her relationship with her husband is also on the rocks.
He moved to Hong Kong in April, leaving her with their two adopted children.
She said yesterday: "My marriage is struggling. Being apart is a huge problem."
Simon split with Terri, 34, after he refused to commit to her and made it clear he did not share her dreams of starting a family.
The stunning TV presenter has told friends: "It was a mutual decision for us to split. But we still speak and are friends."
Last night Simon was unavailable for comment at his home in West London.
Maybe Sinitta has figured out that the way to have kids with Simon is to have the kids with someone else, then get back with Simon.
Meanwhile, the UK's Daily Mail is saying that Cowell's first reaction when hearing that Seymour had broken up with him, was "Thank God." How rude:
Simon Cowell was celebrating his new-found freedom as Hollywood's most eligible bachelor last night after splitting from his girlfriend of six years.
Sources close to the multi-millionaire X Factor judge said he was "hugely relieved" that the relationship with Terri Seymour was over.
They said his first words on hearing that she had confirmed the end of the relationship were: "Thank God."
The stunning 34-year-old TV presenter, who moved out of Cowell's £20million Beverly Hills home in the summer, is now believed to be dating 35-year-old Hollywood actor STEPHEN DORFF, 35 [an ex of Pamela Anderson's], whom she met in September.
Cowell, who is one of TV's highest-paid stars, has given her new love his blessing and has privately said he is delighted to be free of the relationship.
"Simon has basically been waiting for Terri to announce the relationship is over for months," a friend revealed.
"She has been a weight around his neck for a long time but the problem was that his mother absolutely adored Terri and thought the world of her, so Simon was in a bit of a rut.
"Now, Terri has moved on and found someone else and Simon is hugely relieved. He said, 'Thank God' when he heard Terri had gone public with the split and had met someone else.
"He's been waiting for this day for a long time. He just wants to move on with his life. He's so relieved, I can't tell you. Terri's finally found someone else which has enabled her to move on. In the end, she was clinging to Simon and something that didn't really exist between them any more.
"She told him in September that she had met someone, and Simon basically said, 'Go for it.' I still think there was a bit of Terri that was hoping Simon would say he wanted to marry her."
In reality, Cowell has made it very clear that he has already moved on - and today he announces that he has new professional goals, too.
In an exclusive interview in The Mail on Sunday's Live magazine, he reveals his ambitions to extend his domination into the world of politics.
"Politics is showbusiness these days," he said. "More and more so. I know I could engage that audience, get people involved. Make it interesting, for God's sake."
It seems the only ambition 48-year-old Cowell did not possess was to make Terri his first lady.
She was notably absent on Wednesday night when Cowell collected a lifetime achievement accolade at the National TV Awards. Instead, the X Factor mastermind spent his finest hour flanked by his co-star Cheryl Cole and his ex-girlfriend, the singer Sinitta.
"Anyone who knows Simon has known that his relationship with Terri was over months ago, but she's very fragile and he didn't want to hurt her," said a source close to Cowell.
"She wanted kids with Simon desperately, but he wasn't interested in starting a family or getting married.
"All Simon cares about is being the richest, most successful man on the planet. If he wants girls and companionship he can always get them, but it's really not that important to him. Celebrity and money are all that he cares about."
Terri will continue to live in the luxury Los Angeles apartment that Cowell, who is worth £130million, bought for her when she moved out of their shared home this summer.
"Things are very amicable between Terri and Simon. There are no hard feelings," said the source. "She has actually done very well out of Simon. He has bought her a house and wishes her every success and happiness. They'll stay close friends but he couldn't give her what she ultimately wanted, which was children.
"Her biological clock is ticking and all Terri really wants is to start a family."
In an interview with The Mail on Sunday as long ago as 2005, Terri revealed her fears that the relationship would run its course because of Simon's reluctance to settle down and his obsession with work.
She said: "I'm under no illusions where I rank in Simon's priorities. It's work, his mum, work, then me."
She told how she had persuaded Simon's mother Julie, 80, to help her to convince the TV presenter to have a family. "His mum's still trying to change his mind. She's working on my behalf and badgers him about it," she said at the time. And she added: "Simon's made it clear he doesn't want children but I've always been open about the fact that I do.
"His suggestion was that I should get a terrapin instead.
"He wouldn't even allow himself to have a dog, and he adores dogs, because he says it wouldn't be fair. He says, 'What's the point in having a baby if you have to give it to a nanny and never see it?' "
But, even then, Terri admitted that although she attempted to push her desire for children to one side for the sake of their relationship, the clock was always ticking and it became an increasing source of tension – as was Simon's continued closeness with Sinitta.
Although there has never been any suggestion that theirs is anything more than a close friendship, Cowell's failure to tell Terri of his decision to invite the singer and her family to holiday with him and friends in Barbados this Christmas placed a further strain on the relationship.
As the cracks began to show, so too, it seems, did Terri's apparent insecurity. She once admitted: "When I take his clothes to the dry cleaners, I empty out the pockets and find loads of phone numbers scrawled on pieces of paper – from men as well as women. But if I allowed my jealousy to vent at every single little thing, I'd go crazy."
But it cannot have helped that during their relationship Cowell was linked with party girl JASMINE LENNARD, who has a tattoo on her wrist bearing the initials SC.
And, three months ago, it was reported that Cowell had been on a number of dates with James Major's ex-wife, former model EMMA NOBLE, whose television career he was said to be helping relaunch.
A spokesman for Cowell last night confirmed he had split from Terri, and added: "They will stay friends. He thinks the world of her."
COWELL WOMANIZING WITH BRITNEY SPEARS
More Simon Cowell news from the UK's Daily Mail, which says that Cowell has announced that BRITNEY SPEARS will appear on "The X Factor" to sing "Womanizer," because he is a fan of hers:
The star will be singing her new record Womanizer on the show later this month, because Simon Cowell is a fan. He said: "I'm really excited about it, because she has got her act together and the new record is terrific.
"She has come back from a very dark place and is a terrific artist."
It has become a tradition on the X Factor for established artists to perform, and advise aspiring acts. Take That, Will Young, Kylie Minogue are among the stars who have already appeared.
Spears' scheduled appearance seals her return to form after her life spiraled out of control. In September the star made an acclaimed return at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards and has her single Womanizer has been well received. But the past three years have been turbulent for the troubled star.
The 26-year-old has had two failed marriages and lost custody of her children, and battled drug addictions that led to her being taken in to psychiatric care.
After Spears and Kevin Federline's three-year marriage ended in a divorce, she went on to lose custody over sons Sean Preston, three, and two-year-old Jayden James.
Last year her mental health seemed to deteriorate - marked a period of strange behavior by Spears, during which she shaved her head and was continually in and out of rehab.
She attempted a comeback in 2007 performing at the MTV Video Music Awards, but was jeered and criticized for a shambolic performance. The star was out of shape and forgot the words to her track Gimme More.
Then in January this year, she was put under lockdown at a mental institution after she held her son hostage at her LA home.
She is planning a world tour next year and is releasing her album Circus in December. The star has also made a documentary about her breakdown. In the 90-minute special, "Britney: For the Record," she talks frankly about her problems.
She said: "I sit there and I look back and I'm like, 'I'm a smart person. What the hell was I thinking?'
"I've been through a lot in the past two or three years, and there's a lot that people don't know.
"Sometimes I think I get kind of lonely because you don't open the gate up that much, you know I mean? You're guarded. You have to be that way, so I'm kind of stuck in this place and it's like: How do you deal? And you just cope, and that's what I do. I just cope with it, every day."
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Sunday, November 2, 2008
SIMON COWELL and TERRI SEYMOUR have called it quits, but just who ended their 6-year relationship? According to People magazine, it was Seymour, but the story was originally broken by the UK's Mirror. In that story, friends seem to indicate that Cowell wanted to end the relationship but was worried it would make him look callous, so he refused to cave into Seymour's relationship demands until she finally dumped him. Seymour wanted children, Cowell didn't. Also, Seymour was upset by the constant rumors of Cowell's flings with other women. Here is the story from today's Mirror:
Simon Cowell was dumped by Terri Seymour after he refused to commit to her... and yesterday she told friends it was the hardest decision of her life.
Devastated Terri, 33, issued the X Factor judge with a "stay for ever or go" ultimatum after their six-year relationship turned into a series of rows.
She had become deeply insecure as Simon devoted more time to his career than nurturing their romance – and refused to tie the knot and have children.
And she was "torn apart" by stories of relationships with other beauties, including fellow judge Dannii Minogue.
Music mogul Simon, 48, spent much of this year at his London townhouse, while Terri stayed at the £2.5million Hollywood home, he bought her away from his £5million Beverly Hills house.
The duo, who remain friends, had planned to announce their split in a carefully orchestrated magazine interview with Terri next weekend.
Since her heart-wrenching decision to split in the summer, Terri told a friend: “We adore each other and it was one of the hardest decisions of my life.
"I always thought Simon was the one but I couldn't ignore the fact he wouldn't give me what I wanted.
"I don't want a life without children. Simon was sympathetic but he was never going to have a family of his own."
Cowell's mother Julie, 80, is devastated by the news and has told the Sunday Mirror she believes her son is to blame.
She is praying they get back together.
Julie said at her home in Ovingdean, Sussex: "Everyone in our family loves her. She's like part of the family and always will be. At the end of the day, Simon doesn't want a family and I think that's got a lot to do with it.
"She's a lovely girl. She would always remember birthday and Christmas cards. I'm hoping they'll get back together."
But Terri's decision is final.
As well as his lack of commitment, the former model was exhausted by constant rumours of Cowell's womanising.
Two years ago the talent show boss was caught red-handed when 24-year-old model Jasmine Lennard was seen leaving his £7million London home.
And last year he sparked rumours of a relationship with fellow judge Dannii, 36, after they were snapped appearing to hold hands in the back of his limo, but he always denied an affair.
Miserable Terri was also fed up with his same old crowd of adoring girlfriends including old pal and ex-model Jackie Sinclair and his ex-lover Sinitta.
A source close to Terri said: "Seeing different women hang off your boyfriend's arm when you're thousands of miles apart is so hard.
"She was driven insanely jealous by his fling with Jasmine and the rumours of his relationship with Dannii.
"It got to the point where we all begged Terri to stop reading the newspapers. It was tearing her apart.
"She was also fed up with him hanging out with the same old cronies in L.A. In London, Jackie was always around, particularly at the start of their relationship, as was Sinitta.
"Like any woman, she wanted to feel special."
Despite the fact it was Terri who dumped Simon, pals insist the mogul was the driving force behind their split.
The millionaire was concerned that if he called time on the relationship because Terri wanted children he would look callous. So he simply stubbornly refused to cave into her relationship demands until she finally dumped him.
The passion had also disappeared from their relationship and the couple started to see each other as "brother and sister."
A friend said: "Simon wanted Terri to come to her own conclusions about their relationship.
"He is incredibly fond of her but has always been honest about his desire never to have children.
"He is married to his career and has never had any paternal desires. Terri thought she could change his mind but her body clock has been ticking louder than ever in recent months and she demanded that he give her a baby.
"A lot of her friends have children now and they told her she will still be hanging around at 40 if she didn't take action.
"There was also no sexual spark there any more and once that's gone it's quite hard to rebuild a relationship."
Friends of the multi-millionaire say he is "very sad" about the split and has promised to look after Terri, now an actress.
Her Los Angeles home was a parting present and he is also paying for chauffeur-driven cars to ferry her around.
Cowell has also vowed to help develop her TV career and has put her in touch with agent-to-the-stars John Noel who took Davina McCall and Russell Brand to stardom, as well as Sir Paul McCartney’s publicist Alan Edwards of The Outside Organisation.
A friend said: "Simon still speaks to her on the phone at least three times a day, and has promised to always help her with her career wherever he can.
"Terri knows he will be as good as his word as he is close to many of his exes."
Terri, who was brought up in Hertfordshire, has been spotted at Hollywood nightspots in recent months.
Just weeks ago she was seen cosying up to actor Stephen Dorff in a secluded garden area at LA's trendy Bar Marmont.
Friends say she and Cowell seem happier since the split and Terri, in particular, appears to have a new lease of life.
One friend said: "It's been a long drawn-out process but thankfully Terri is back to her old self.
"It’s been such a sense of relief for her. She is doing very well and has a new resolution to look after herself and have a bit of fun."
The pals say Terri and Simon had a rocky time last Christmas while they were on holiday in Barbados – and by April pals say it was at breaking point.
They met when ex-model Terri was 18 but only started dating in 2002 after she interviewed him for a TV show.
Terri had previously said she would split from him if he didn't want a family, while Cowell – who has an estimated £130 million fortune – said in March: "I don't believe in marriage, certainly not in this business."
Terri – who was absent when Cowell picked up a TV award this week – told a friend: "It's sad but I had to do it. Now we can both move on."
Last night, Cowell's spokesman Max Clifford confirmed Terri had dumped Simon over her desire to have children.
He added: "Terri ended it in late summer. They are going to remain close friends. He understands her reason for ending it.
"Nobody else is involved, certainly not on Simon's side."
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Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
AOL.com has released David Cook's first new post-Idol single one day early by popular demand. It's called "Light On" and you can listen to it here. It goes on sale on iTunes on Sept. 30.
Here are the lyrics:
Never really said too much
Afraid it wouldn’t be enough
Just try to keep my spirits up
When there’s no point in grieving
Doesn’t matter anyway
Words could never make me stay
Words will never take my place
When you know I’m leaving
Try to leave a light on when I’m gone
Something I rely on to get home
One I can feel at night
A naked light, a fire to keep me warm
Try to leave a light on when I’m gone
Even in the daylight, shine on
Love it? Hate it? Tell us what you think by commenting. BTW, we hate the new look, guyliner and all, and what's with that serious look. This guy's got a gorgeous smile. But this is the picture posted on the AOL site with "Light On." After meeting and chatting with him twice since Idol ended, we know Cook is much better looking in person, especially without the makeup.
Cook's album drops in 55 days. For more David Cook news and updates, go to his official Web site.
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Sunday, September 21, 2008
One of the best and funniest things to come out of Idol EVAH! Thank you Kristen from MAVID fans worldwide:
AMERICAN IDOL REWIND RETURNS THIS WEEK
If you missed Seasons 3 or 4 of Idol, this is your chance to see why Fantasia and Carrie Underwood won their titles. The syndicated series returns this week with a double dose of Idol, highlighting both Seasons 3 and 4. The produces says there will be all-new highlights, exclusive audition footage and all-new interviews with over 40 contestants from both seasons. On the season premiere, viewers get a high-speed tour of the season to come, a look back at all the contestants who made it through to Hollywood, those who made it through to the Top 12, and those who failed spectacularly, catching up with Carrie Underwood, Fantasia Barrino, Bo Bice, Jennifer Hudson and many others.
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Monday, August 25, 2008
Grammy-nominated songwriter Kara DioGuardi has joined AMERICAN IDOL as a fourth judge. She will sit alongside Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson at the judges’ table and use her background as an award-winning songwriter and producer to praise or critique the wannabe hopefuls throughout the competition. The eighth season of AMERICAN IDOL premieres January, 2009, on FOX.
“We are turning the heat up on ‘Idol’ this year and are thrilled to welcome Kara to the judges’ table,” said creator and executive producer Simon Fuller. “She is a smart, sassy lady, and one of America 's most successful songwriters. We know she will bring a new level of energy and excitement to the show.”
“We had originally intended for AMERICAN IDOL to have four judges,” said executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz. “We’ve seen from our international series that having a fourth judge creates a dynamic that benefits both the contestants and the viewers.”
Mike Darnell, President, Alternative Programming of FOX, added “For the past seven seasons, Paula has had to endure the experience of being the only woman at the judges’ table. She’s been as an island of consideration and gentle criticism between Randy and Simon, offering her invaluable expertise as a performer and No. 1 artist to the thousands who have competed on AMERICAN IDOL. With Kara by her side, Paula finally has some back-up and now there is going to be a lot more ‘girl power’ on the show.”
One of the industry’s most sought after songwriters and producers, DioGuardi’s songs have appeared on more than 100 million records. Her songs have been recorded by Grammy award-winning artists including Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, Celine Dion, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Santana, and Pink. Scores of major recording artists including Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne, Pussycat Dolls, Miley Cyrus, The Jonas Brothers, Natasha Bedingfield, Jewel, Ashley Tisdale, Katharine McPhee, Taylor Hicks, Bo Bice, Clay Aiken, Ashlee Simpson, Hilary Duff, Jessica Simpson, Kylie Minogue, Enrique Iglesias, Nick Lachey and Marc Anthony have also released DioGuardi’s songs.
Over the last four years, she has been awarded 10 BMI Pop Awards for having written the most performed songs on radio. From her catalog of several hundred songs, over 264 have been released on major labels worldwide; and over 165 have appeared on multi-platinum selling albums. DioGuardi co-owns Arthouse Entertainment, where she develops and mentors fellow hit writers, producers and artists.
Learn more about her at Kara DioGuardi's Official Web Site.
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Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Kristy Lee Cook's first single is *no surprise* a country tune called "15 Minutes of Shame," and we predict she will do well with it. It's almost as good as Kellie Pickler's first, "Red High Heels," and has the same theme -- getting back at a cheating boyfriend. What Kellie has that Kristy doesn't is a massively infectious personality. Still, you can never really predict the public on these things. At the very least, we think Kristy Lee will have modest hit. You can find her song here (listen) or here (DL).
And here's a new release from Season 6 finalist LaKisha Jones called "So Glad I'm Here." You can find it here (listen) and here (DL)
Watch David Cook and Michael Johns getting *ahem* up close and personal in a Titanic pose during the closing number at last night's second show at the Nassau Coliseum in NY:
And here is a hilarious video chronicling different MAVID dances throughout the current Idol tour (note the night we were there, we got punked with nuttin') ...
Enjoy and let us know what you think about any of these by commenting.
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Tuesday, August 5, 2008
The show was a mixed bag. David Cook wanted it to be a rock show, but it wasn't. When someone else from our group got up during Jason Castro's set to go to the bathroom, we told her, "Good choice."
The show ran in the order of contestant elimination, with each of the Top 10 doing a three-song set, except David Archuleta who got four songs and Cook who sang five. Chikezie opened, was very personable and better than expected. He had the crowd in the palm of his hand, that is until Ramiele Malubay followed and almost literally sucked the air right out of the room. Her set was a disaster. Could this be the same little girl who blew us away with "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" on the first week of the AI semis? Thank god Michael Johns was up next. He had everyone going IN-SANE with his Queen set. He got a huge ovation and lotsa love from the mostly female house. At the M&G, he probably had nearly as many people in line to see him as David Cook. Kristy Lee Cook? Much better than on AI. We could have lived without the gratuitous repeat of "God Bless the USA," the anthem that saved her ass on Idol, but loved her opening number. Carly Smithson and Brooke White deserved and received nice receptions. Jason Castro, well, sorry, we weren't impressed and again wondered why he and Syesha Mercado were in those prized fourth and third positions, when it became abundantly clear by their performances that it should have been Michael finishing third, followed by either Carly or Brooke.
Our ears are still buzzing from all the shrieking the 8-year-olds did when David Archuleta took the stage. He was more poised than on AI (saying the same patter at each concert seems to make him a more confident public speaker, though in person at the M&G he was just as giggly as we've come to expect). And though we're not really an Archuleta fan, his set was OK. Our favorite number of his was OneRepublic's "Apologize." As we expected, at the M&G we spotted daddy Jeff Archuleta lurking nearby and asked if we could take a photo with him. After a bit a hesitation, he graciously agreed. That's one for our digital scrapbook, LOL!
The house, of course, went crazy when David Cook took the stage, and he didn't disappoint, performing "Hello," "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing," "The Time of My Life," "My Hero" (performed in tribute to his brother Adam) and "Billie Jean." He had the crowd screaming and on their feet by the closing number, a group repeat of Rhianna's "Please Don't Stop the Music," the number the remaining finalists performed on "Idol Gives Back" with the "So You Think You Can Dance" dancers. It was a satisfying ending to the show.
Some Meet & Greet notes: Not that it matters to you guys, but David Cook remembered us from our previous meeting in May. He's remained as nice and down-to-earth as he was then. He not only signed for anyone who asked, but carried on differently -- making funny poses, faces, etc. -- with each fan when he took photos with them. He's a real crowd-pleaser whose mom really brought him up right!
Carly and Brooke's husbands both attended the M&G. Brooke's husband is a handsome hottie who totally mingled with the fans, while Brooke was as sweet as a homemade apple pie and loved posing with the kids. Cute couple. Carly was much smaller and prettier than she appeared on TV and has a beautiful smile. Her illustrated man mostly stayed in the background, but you couldn't miss ID'ing him if you saw him. Jeff Archuleta also stayed on the sidelines, but his ubiquitous white cap gave him away. For someone who generated so much (bad) publicity while AI was running, we were surprised to find he is even shorter than his young son and was also a bit shy (or was that cautious?) when approached.
Michael Johns is a tall, handsome cut-up, joking around with his fans and even got on a friend's cell phone when requested and talked to her daughter. Jason was Jason, that is laid back and friendly, as were Ramiele and Kristy. They were a trio of nice, good-looking kids who fled the M&G earlier than the rest of the finalists after running out of fans interested in meeting them. Syesha? Well, some felt she was nice, others not-so-much, with one friend swearing that her "girls," which were well-displayed during her set, were hard-as-rock and obviously not real. She is a looker, though.
Our camera was acting balky, but we've posted a few photos from the M&G. We'll post more when our friends e-mail the ones they've taken.
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Saturday, May 31, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
We spent about a half hour with Cook, shortly before he was about to board a flight for a couple of days rest, after which he goes right into rehearsals for the 2008 Idols Live Tour. David is as gracious, charming and nice -- and just as handsome -- as he appeared on "Idol." It is definitely a case of what you see is what you get. When we asked him whether he had known what he was getting himself into -- after all, that morning he was already performing live outside Rockefeller Center on the "Today" show (a couple of blocks away from the Fox offices) while we were still sitting at home watching him on TV -- he answered yes, and that he would get some rest today and tomorrow. Looking a bit tired, he requested a raincheck when one of his young interviewers (they were 10) asked if he would sing a song for us. Saying he was a bit under the weather vocally (he had a glass of orange juice on the table by him), he did, however, promise that he would try to come and sing at their school to make it up to them.
Cook was wearing the same black sport jacket with a black T-shirt that read Lady Luck beneath, a necklace and the jeans that he had worn during his "Today" show appearance. His boots looked like the same pointy-toed pair he had worn on the "Idol" finale. As soon as everyone was seated around a small table, he flipped off a TV that was on behind him. His phone apparently was set on vibrate and when it went off he apologized to us (!) and turned it off as well. He was polite and courteous beyond belief.
Although we didn't learn a lot of things we hadn't heard or read from other interviews, David, 25, did say:
--That he thinks his brother Andrew will try out for "Idol" again next season.
--That he got his first guitar when he was 12 or 13 but didn't truly learn how to play it until he was 24 (and, in fact, is still learning).
--That his favorite song of those he sang on Idol was his last one, Collective Soul's "The World I Know" because it summed up his whole "Idol" experience and everything that had happened to him.
--That his favorite song ever is "Potato Girl" by Our Lady Peace.
--That the contestants he was most saddened to see leave -- because, in his opinion, they left too early on weeks they had done well -- were Michael Johns and Carly Smithson.
--That he considers all 23 other semi-finalists his friends, but bonded early on with Michael Johns, Luke Menard and Jason Yeager.
--That as a child he wanted to be either a baseball player or the guy who stood on the back of the garbage truck.
--That Simon Cowell wasn't cruel just very honest ... and a little mean (said with a twinkle in his eye).
--That he played all kinds of sports as a child: baseball, football, basketball and soccer, but that he wasn't very good at the latter. In fact, he said, I probably wasn't very good at any of them, because look where I am now.
--That he hadn't been embarrassed when he looked back at his performances singing and dancing -- until he was just asked that question.
--That he hated Wednesdays on "Idol" because a) He had to dance, and b) Someone had to go home.
--That this was his first trip to New York City
At the end of the interview, he patiently posed for photos and autographed photos for everyone, even carefully making sure to write something different on each picture. He acted as if we were doing him a favor for being there for him instead of the other way around. David Cook is the very image of what an American Idol should be. Not only because of the great talent he is blessed with, but because he is humble, sincerely nice and a wonderful role model. This week his music downloads have already set new records and we wish him continued success in what we expect will be a brilliant career.
Watch video of David Cook and David Archuleta interview on the "Today" show:
Watch video of David Cook singing "The Time of My Life" on the "Today" show:
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Sunday, May 25, 2008
Watch video of David Cook "I'm Going to Disney World" commercial:
Watch video of David Cook interview on "American Idol Extra" Part 1:
Watch video of David Cook interview on "American Idol Extra" Part 2:
Watch video of David Cook interview on "American Idol Extra" Part 3:
Watch video of David Cook interview on Jay Leno:
Watch video of David Cook interview on Larry King Live:
Watch video of David Cook singing a very poignant "The World I Know" on "Access Hollywood."
Watch video of David Cook answering an "Idol" trivia quiz on "Access Hollywood."
Watch video of David Cook's first audition for "American Idol":
Watch video of Simon Cowell saying "no"(!!!) to David Cook during Hollywood Week:
Watch video of David Cook making the Top 24:
Watch video David Cook's Top 24 Interview:
Watch video of David Cook singing "Happy Together" (Top 12 Guys):
Watch video of David Cook singing "All Right Now" (Top 10 Guys):
Watch video of David Cook singing "Hello" (Top 8 Guys):
Watch video of David singing "Eleanor Rigby" (Top 12):
Watch video of David singing "Day Tripper" (Top 11):
Watch video of David singing "Billie Jean" (Top 10):
Watch video of David singing "Little Sparrow" (Top 9):
Watch video of David singing "Innocent" (Top 8):
Watch video of David singing "Always Be My Baby" (Top 7):
Watch video of David singing "Music of the Night" (Top 6):
Watch video of David singing "I'm Alive" (Top 5):
Watch video of David singing "All I Really Need Is You" (Top 5):
Watch video of David singing "Hungry Like the Wolf" (Top 4):
Watch video of David singing "Baba O'Riley" (Top 4):
Watch video of David singing "The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face" (Top 3):
Watch video of David singing "Dare To Make You Move" (Top 3):
Watch video of David singing "I Don't Want To Miss a Thing" (Top 3):
Watch video of David singing "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" (Finale):
Watch video of David singing "Dream Big" (Finale):
Watch video of David singing "The World I Know" (Finale):
Watch video of David singing Idol winner song "The Time of My Life"
Official release of "The Time of My Life:
Or listen to it here on AOL Popeater.
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Oh what a night! Victory was sweet and grand and a bit teary (for us as well). David Cook took the title with a 12 million vote margin. We now feel all the time spent hitting the redial button at least 150 times was time well spent. When we heard that Ryan Seacrest had announced Wednesday morning on his KIIS-FM radio show that 97.5 million votes had been cast and that one contestant had received 56 percent and the other 44 percent, we knew that Cook was golden. We had done the math ourselves after seeing the DialIdol.com results and those were exactly the numbers we came up with after seeing the vote spread. Which not only means DialIdol.com was right -- they were also damn accurate. We knew that unless The Evil Puppeteer (Nigel Lythgoe) and crew were going to commit a huge lie, that David Cook was the winner for sure. WooooooooooooDamnHoooooooooooooo!!!
Right before the Big Announcement, Ryan went back to judges one last time for their final thoughts.
Randy Jackson said, "Great, great Season 7, man. You dudes brought it down to the wire. I'm so happy that it's the two of you standing there. This has been one of the strongest years ever and welcome to The Duel. You're both winners, baby. Both."
Paula Abdul started with her regular blather: "I'm honored and proud to be sitting here. You two are truly amazing. It's odd that it's called the finale when it's anything but a final. It's the beginning of the start of the destinies of your careers. I'm so proud." But ended with a rather touching statement that sounded as if it came straight from "The Wizard of Oz": "And just remember, sometimes we think it's all about winning, but it's the things sometimes that we lose that remind us how truly special we are as people. Keep it up."
But the cherry on top of the whipped cream was watching Simon Cowell backpedal so fast that he almost rocketed out of the theater after Seacrest told him that at times during the season he had been harsh on "these Davids" and asked what Cowell thought after he had rewatched Tuesday's performance show (this whole thing felt very staged). Cowell said: "I want to congratulate both of you last night because, um, I thought on the night that it was a terrific show. I went back home to watch it. (begin backpedal ...) It wasn't quite so clear cut as we called it (Paula to Simon: Ye-ah"). And in fact, um, David, um, I will take this opportunity to apologize, because I think I was verging on disrespectful with you. And I don't think you deserved that because over the season, both of you, what I liked about both of you was that you're "triers" (did he get that term out of the George Bush playbook?). And you've both given it your best. You're very nice people. And for the first time ever, I don't really care who wins. I think you've both been terrific." (Woo, great, complete backpedal. That covered all of his bases, teehee).
Watch video of David Cook being crowned the new American Idol and singing "Time of My Life":
The show opened with Top 12 and the "So You Think You Can Dance" dancers performing to "Get Ready." After their joint performance on "Idol Gives Back," we were looking forward to this reunion, but it lacked the pizzazz that their IGB Rihanna number had.
Watch video of show opening and the Top 12 singing "Get Ready":
Next, Cook and Archuleta dueted on the Nickelback song "Hero" from the film "Spiderman." Meh. The harmony was not terrific and the song was much more suited to Cook (who is rumored to have suggested it to the producers) than it was to Archuleta.
Watch video of David Cook and David Archuleta singing "Hero":
And what would an Idol finale be without a cross-promotion to another Fox property? Er, perhaps better? Tonight, we have to sit through the insufferable promo for Mike Myers forthcoming film, "The Love Guru." This involves footage of The Davids seeing an advance of the film and then doing a filmed skit with Myers in his Guru Pitkha persona. Afterward, still in costume, Myers tortures us with a bit more of his Guru schtick before mercifully departing the stage.
Watch video of David Cook and David Archuleta with Guru Pitkha (Mike Myers):
The worst number of the night award went to Syesha Mercado and Seal duetting "Waiting for You." Two singers take a lousy song then make it off pitch and out of sync with each other, what a treat! Not. It was hard to sit through and actually painful to listen to. This certainly didn't enhance Mercado's career any.
Watch video of Syesha Mercado and Seal singing "Waiting for You":
Next, Jason Castro reminds us why you should rest on your laurels and not re-sing something you've previously sung to near-perfection. He encores his true "moment" from the season, "Hallelujah," and, well, it's nowhere as good as it was the first time around. The final high note breaks painfully.
Watch video of Jason Castro singing "Hallelujah":
The Ford commercial, set to "Let the Good Times Roll," was actually a compilation reel of all the Ford ads from Season 7. Back to the show and, as expected, Ryan, with The Davids onstage, has two sets of car keys to new ... Mustangs? Nope. New Ford Escape Hybrids. Hmmmm. We know this was supposed to be the "green" version of the finale, and we're all for saving the planet, but two guys -- one 17, the other 25? Wethinks they'd rather be racing around in Mustangs. Besides, they (unlike us) will never have to worry about the price of gas again.
Watch video of Ford commercial "Let the Good Times Roll":
A very bizarre segment with the six female finalists singing a Donna Summer medley, after which Summer joins them onstage to sing her new single, "Stamp Your Feet." Summer has to be escorted down the stairs, with two guys each holding one of her hands as they descend. Her wig isn't the best and she's gotten heavier with age, but when she breaks into "Last Dance" she proves the pipes are still powerful. Great upbeat ending, with Syesha getting a little more face time with Summer and loving it. Meanwhile, what was up with Amanda Overmyer? She looked pissed and uncomfortable and sounded pretty crappy. Yep, good thing she won't be on the tour.
Watch video of 6 female contestants and Donna Summer singing Donna Summer medley:
This was followed by one of the better numbers of the night, a rousing, well-done rendition of Joe Cocker's "The Letter" sung by Carly Smithson and Michael Johns. They were great dueting together and reminded us, as Ryan pointed out, that they had left the competition way too soon.
Watch video of Carly Smithson and Michael Johns singing "The Letter":
Time for another "humor" break. He was such a smash trashing Simon at IGB, that the producers had Jimmy Kimmel return. His best joke? "Hey maybe you guys can help me with this. I valet parked outside. How much do I tip Sanjaya?" Cut to Sanjaya Malakar in the audience LHAO. Most of the rest of his jokes fell kind of flat. Maybe he should stick with interviewing the eliminated "Dancing with the Stars" contestants.
Watch video of Jimmy Kimmel ridiculing Sanjaya, Ryan Seacrest et al:
The Top 6 male contestants perform a Bryan Adams medley, after which the now gristly and gnarly looking Adams joins them onstage. Man, we knew he needed a heavy-duty dermabrasion, but we never noticed that gap between his front teeth before. It was as bad as Alfred E. Neuman's. But we love Bryan, anyway.
Watch video of 6 male contestants and Bryan Adams singing Bryan Adams medley:
As we come back from commercial, Jordin Sparks does a filmed pitch for the new "American Idol" attraction that's opening later this year at Disney World. The public can live the "Idol" experience there by singing and competing, with each day's winner earning a spot at the head of the line for one of next season's audition cities.
David Cook takes the stage with ZZ Top, who haven't changed in appearance in 40 years and still look like distant relative of Cousin Itt, for a satisfying rendition of "Sharp Dressed Man." After the performance, Ryan goes to the remote of Mikalah Gordon in Kansas City to see the hometown reaction of Cook's fans.
Watch video of David Cook and ZZ Top singing "Sharp Dressed Man":
This is followed by a rather sweet duet by Graham Nash and Brooke White singing "Teach Your Children Well." White was in her element, singing the kind of music she loves. It was a warm and fuzzy moment.
Watch video of Graham Nash and Brooke White singing "Teach Your Children Well":
Another commercial break, and wait! Is that David Archuleta doing a commercial for "Guitar Hero" mimicing Tom Cruise in "Risky Business"? Man, Daddy Archuleta wasted no time getting his baby boy some outside revenue. Is that even allowed by "Idol" rules? Yikes!
Back from commercial and the Jonas Brothers take the stage. The mosh pit goes crazy.
Watch video of the Jonas Brothers performing:
Another filler segment that had potential then fell flat. Ryan takes us back to some of the memorably bad auditions from Season 7. We laugh at some of the really horrific ones and then come to Renaldo "I Am Your Brother" Lapuz, who -- no surprise -- is here to relive the memory with us. But the producers go off the deep end. It was funny when the whole thing happened spontaneously at the auditions. Now they have Lapuz accompanied by the USC marching band and cheerleaders, storming down the theater's aisles to join him onstage. It all goes bad. They're totally out of sync with each other. When Paula and Randy opt to join them (Simon smartly remained in his seat), it only gets worse. They can't shut Renaldo up and have to go to a commercial to clear the stage.
Watch video of bad auditions and Renaldo Lapuz singing with the USC Band and cheerleaders:
It's time to spotlight David Archuleta. He sings "Apologize" with OneRepublic, and it's sounding real good until David has to go to the really high note and it's out of his register. He uses a lower key next time around, and overall it was a pleasing duet. Archuleta joins Ryan for a look at what's happening in Utah. Matt Rogers is there with both his paternal and maternal grandfathers. Jeff Archuleta looks like he's getting a kick out of his father being interviewed. David's maternal grandfather speaks Spanish and Matt needs a (pretty, young) translator.
Watch video of David Archuleta and OneRepublic singing "Apologize":
Jordin Sparks, proving she's over her recent health crisis, performs a very peppy version of "One Step at a Time." We're glad to see that she has refused to be pressured by Hollywood to turn into a stick, and has seemingly maintained the same weight she had when she last graced the "Idol" stage. However, we hated the gold lamé dress (all wrong for her) and weren't that crazy about the song, either.
Watch video of Jordin Sparks singing "One Step at a Time":
A bit more comedy. Instead of a "dead Elvis" routine, they used the same technology to merge an early Gladys Knight in a spoof audition session with the Pips, played by Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. It was fun, but not hilarious.
Watch video of Gladys Knight singing "Midnight Train to Georgia" with Pips Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr.:
Powerhouse Carrie Underwood takes the stage in the shortest dress of the evening to perform her new single, "Last Name." It's the same type of crossover country-pop as "Before He Cheats," but not quite as good. Still, we expect it'll chart satisfactorily.
Watch video of Carrie Underwood singing "Last Name":
For the final number, the top 12 perform a George Michael medley. First the girls do "Faith," then the guys do "Father Figure," with David Hernandez going almost sotto voce and breaking into a huge grin when he hit the word "naked" in the lyric "For just one moment, to be bold and naked at your side." Who did he throw that smile at? The entire group sang "Freedom," then introduced George Michael, who both looked and sounded creepy. The latter, we find out, can be attributed to a cold. The former? Perhaps to those oversized bug-like sunglasses that make him look like an aging diva. And to think we once had a crush on him. He sang "Praying for Time".
Watch video of Top 12 singing George Michael medley and George Michael singing "Praying for Time":
And finally the announcement. David Archuleta looks neither surprised nor upset. He seems genuinely happy for Cook. Cook, on his part, asks the audience to give it up for Archuleta and keeps an arm around him. Cook is joined onstage by his mother and brother Andrew. Cook blames it all on Andrew. Later, on the catwalk, singing the retchy new "coronation" song, "Time of My Life," that includes lyrics about a magic rainbow, Cook again calls Archuleta over and puts an arm around him. They appear to have a very brotherly relationship. It's nice. The fireworks go off, the confetti drops, Cook finishes singing and drops his face in his hand again, crying. We close with Andrew mouthing to the camera, "That's my brother." It sure is.
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