Sunday, February 24, 2008

Who's Crying Now?

Remember Josiah Leming, the Top 50 “Idol” contestant known as much for his crying and living in a car as for his singing with an English accent? Hollywood Today reports that Simon Cowell now has misgivings about Leming’s semifinalist rejection. Speaking at the Playboy Club, where he was attending a party with Randy Jackson, Cowell said, “We should have let him go through. It was not my decision and I don’t think we should have had him leave so early.”

Since being booted by “Idol,” Leming has appeared on MTV news, where he said he had no regrets about choosing to (badly) sing Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” without the band, a move that almost certainly cost him a Top 24 spot. “There’s a small window of opportunity, and I don’t want to do it too quick or too slow,” he said. “I’ve always been aware of the fact that one day you can be everything, and the next day you can be nothing. It’s sitting in the back of my mind that I could just be another flash in the pan.”

On Sunday he posted a video on YouTube to tell his fans that he is going to be meeting with a few record labels -- “some major, some indie” -- in hopes of releasing a CD before summer so that he can go on a summer tour.

Watch video of Josiah Leming talking about his future plans:


Last week's four losing semifinalists talked to reporters on a conference call Friday about what they thought went wrong for them.

Garrett Haley said most likely song choice was the reason he was eliminated, but that the choice wasn't really his.

"We are allowed to choose three songs from a list," he said. "Every contestant is for sure to get one of the songs; I didn't get any of my songs, because they had given them out to all the contestants before that, so I just ended up with having to choose from the list again. I didn't get to chose. They threw the song [Neil Sedaka's "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"] at me and said, 'Sing this one.' I took what I got and I did what I could with it. It is hard to make a ballad song pop out at the beginning. I did the best I could and I am happy with what I did."

Amy Davis put the blame on herself. "It is a technical issue on just my part of why it was a bad performance," she said. "There is nothing I could do about that. It was just the fact of me not being able to hear myself. It wasn't an 'American Idol' issue, or a sound issue on their part. It is the way my brain works. I have been using an in-ear monitor for the past two years. The way my brain works is very mechanical. It is not creative and go-with-the-flow like a lot of musicians. My brain is trained to use the in-ear monitor that blares my vocals, so I can stay on pitch. Obviously, when I came to 'American Idol,' I knew I wasn't be able to use my in-ears, so I tried to retrain my ears to use the floor monitors, and I just could not retrain my ears quick enough to stay on key. It was my 'bad skill' that I couldn't improve quickly enough."

Don't cry for model/singer Amy, though. She is already featured in an online layout for Maxim magazine's Web site:

Plus-size model Joanne Borgella doesn't feel her size led to her elimination, but said that there is a perception about women of her girth -- and she doesn't match the image. "Usually with a plus-sized woman you think they are going to sing neo-soul," she saids. "For me, I love that music, but that isn't the kind of performer I am. I don't sing that kind of music. I listen to pop and R&B -- Whitney Houston and Celine Dion. I love doing power ballads, but I also want to do the song you would love to dance to in a club. You don't usually put that with a plus-sized woman."

As for Colton Berry, he said, "I have had two dreams in life. I am 18. I was born in 1990. My dreams since I was young -- No. 1 was to be on 'American idol,' because I grew up with the show, and No. 2 was to be on Broadway. I can check off the first one. And, hopefully, that first check will lead me to my second one. That is what I am getting ready to pursue. I am going to set up as many auditions as I can and really go for that."


A few week's ago, Entertainment Weekly announced that the "American Idol" Season 7 exit song would be "Hollywood's Not America" by Ferras. They even had a video with an interview of Ferras that included him singing and playing the song. And, indeed, "Idol" did use the music ... once. It seemed an odd choice with the chorus:

So long! Put your blue jeans back on girl.
Go home! Remember, Hollywood’s not America.

It sounded like a post-coital breakup song.

But surprise! When this week's first four semi-finalists were eliminated, their journey video was set to the much more appropriate "Best Days" by Graham Colton.

Watch video of Graham Colton singing "Best Days":

- Graham Colton Band Lyrics

This is not Colton's first "American Idol" affiliation. The Oklahoma-born rocker's Graham Colton Band was the opening act for Kelly Clarkson's 2005 Behind These Hazel Eyes Tour. Colton and his band previously opened for John Mayer, Maroon 5 and the Dave Matthews Band.

In fact, Clarkson and Colton dated for seven months, but broke up, according to Us Weekly magazine, because a long-distance relationship just wasn't working for the couple. "He was in the studio, and we didn't even see each other. We were both like, 'This doesn't make sense,'" the original American Idol winner explained to the magazine. They split in February 2006 and remain, according to People magazine, good friends.

In the German magazine Bravo, Clarkson, reportedly said of Colton: "He will always be one of my best friends. I'm not sad, really, because our relationship made me believe in love again," adding, "Graham is the coolest guy I've ever been with. Maybe one day we'll get back together -- if we don't have to work so much anymore."

And she told Us Weekly, "I love him to death ... But if I'm not going to get to hang out or make out, I don't really want to date."


Are there conflicts of interest on "American Idol"? Are you kidding us? Of course there are! We know from those folks at VFTW that Carly (Hennessy) Smithson had a contract with MCA records while Randy Jackson was Senior VP for A&R. Now they've brought this video of Syesha Mercado in a recent pre-Idol Ford commercial to everyone's attention. As everyone knows by now, Ford is one of Idol's very major sponsors. Each week the finalists do a Ford commercial that airs on the show and is posted on the official "American Idol" Web site. It's not unusual for Ford to hire Idol winners to do ads for the company after they win. Seems that this year Syesha got the jump on her fellow contestants.

Watch video of Syesha Mercado in Ford Sync commercial:

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