Posted: 3:51 pm Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

“American Idol’ bits: Rally Idol with Bo Bice, Lauren Alaina; Katharine McPhee on TV; Kris Allen at Eddie’s; top 10 power ranking 

By Rodney Ho

The Rally Foundation, an Atlanta non-profit which raises funds for research to cure childhood cancer, is hosting a special fundraiser Friday night, March 21, at Buckhead Theatre featuring four former “American Idol” contestants.

Five kids will sing: four are childhood cancer survivors and a fifth will sing in honor of a sibling who had passed.

The organizer is 12-year-old Emily Roach, who has spent the last year putting this together with the Rally Foundation as part of a community service project for her bat mitvah.

Roach’s mom and dad, Alyson and Shane, have been active in the Rally Foundation for seven years. Alyson, a former sales and marketing executive at Coca Cola,  helped her daughter put together the event.

“We all love music and we love Rally,” Emily explained. “So we decided to do a concert.”

She found out season 4 runner up Bo Bice was hosting an art show. She tracked him down in Canton and handed him her invite letter. He bought in immediately and convinced  season 10’s Haley Reinhart and his fourth place buddy from season four Anthony Fedorov to join in.

“Emily has a great vision,” said Bice, who now splits his time doing solo shows and lead singer of Blood, Sweat and Tears. (If you recall, he sang “Spinning Wheel”on the show.). “And I have deep respect for the parents of these kids who have cancer. To see the resilience of the children going through chemo. They keep the parents going.”

Through another Rally Kid (as they call kids with cancer), the group was able to procure season 10 runner up Lauren Alaina, who is from Georgia.

Here are the five kids:

- Mary Tankersley, who has had bone cancer, will sing “Pray” by Justin Bieber.

- Tori Svenson, who has had brain cancer , will sing “Beautiful Day” by U2.

- Bailey Moody, who has battled bone cancer, will sing “Wagon Wheel” by Darius Rucker.

- Jenna Rohrback, whose sister Alexa died of bone cancer at age 11, will sing “Anyway” by Martina McBride because it was one of the last songs she learned in musical therapy.

- Andrew Vassil, who has fought off brain cancer, will sing “Even the Stars Fall For You” by “Idol” judge Keith Urban.

The four “Idols” will be celebrity judges, though they will judge them the way Paula Abdul judges, not Simon Cowell. The kids will be either awesome or really awesome. People in the audience will be encouraged to vote on a special app and each vote will represent a donation. So like “Idol,” stuffing the ballot will be encouraged.

“There are no winners and losers,” said Mark Owens, the emcee who has been active with the group for five years. “I’ll be like Ryan Seacrest – about the same height but bigger and balder, with much better teeth.” He did a run-through with the kids last Sunday and said a couple of singers “really blew me away.” To him, “this is a celebration of life.”

Dean Crowe, the co-creator of the Rally Foundation, said she expects the “Idol’ singers to join the kids on stage for a finale song at the end of the show.

Her organization gives grants to cancer researchers. Crowe expects to donate $1.2 million this year.

Roach, in advance of the show, has already sold 600 tickets and raised an impressive $35,000, nearly $20,000 from sponsors and another $15,000 from an on-line media campaign that resulted in donations from North Dakota and Texas.

“It’s crazy what she’s done,” Crowe said, with admiration.

Emily said they’ve had four rehearsals and it’s been a lot of fun.

The family has been asked already about doing it again next year. At first, Shane said, they were dead set against it but as they’ve seen how it’s bonded their family and how much support they’ve received, they are now more inclined to make this an annual fundraising event.

And if you go, bring a box of tissues. “Someone joked that we should get Kleenex as a sponsor,” Alyson said.

You can donate and/or buy $10 tickets at a special www.rallyidol.org website.

Shane said he has handled the Facebook page and the website. Emily has been focused more on Twitter and Instagram. Shane isn’t policing Emily’s promotional work on those apps because he is more a Facebook guy. “I’m not that hip!” he said.

Here is the YouTube promo:

Here is the organizer Emily Roach talking about her inspiration for this event:

Here is Bo (with short hair!) and Anthony encouraging people to donate:

***

Season 8 “American Idol’ winner Kris Allen returns to Eddie’s Attic April 2, 2014. Tickets are $18 with a meet and greet upgrade at $60.

He was last at Eddie’s in 2013.

***

In My Dreams

Katharine McPhee in “In My Dreams,” a romantic comedy film set to debut April 20 on ABC.

Season 5 runner-up Katharine McPhee, most recently on NBC’s “Splash,” will be starring in an ABC Hallmark Hall of Fame film “In My Dreams” with Mike Vogel and JoBeth Williams. It airs Sunday, April 20 from 9 to 11 p.m.

Here’s the premise, according to ABC’s press release:

Nick (Mike Vogel) and Natalie (Katharine McPhee) are the perfect couple, but there are a couple of things blocking their path to romantic bliss. First, they’ve never actually met, except in their dreams. Second, they have precisely seven days to turn those sweet dreams into a blissful reality.

Vogel, who is the male love interest opposite of McPhee, explained:

“There’s an old wives’ tale involving the Hayward Fountain in our mythical town,” he recounts. “If you make a wish, then toss a coin in the fountain, you’ll meet the man or woman of your dreams, and you’ll have the most fantastic dreams for seven nights. But if the dream couple haven’t actually met in the real world before that time limit expires – well, it’s all over. So it’s really a race against time.”

The Hollywood Reporter also reports that McPhee has been cast in a CBS pilot “Scorpion.”

Based on the life of Walter O’Brien, the drama revolves around Walter (Body of Proof’s Elyes Gabel) an eccentric genius and his international network of super-geniuses who form the last line of defense against the complex threats of the modern age.

McPhee will play Paige, a working-class hero and diner waitress who understands geniuses who becomes a nanny of sorts and translator for Walter’s super team of socially misunderstood masterminds.

***

My Top 10 power rankings for “Idol” going into the top 10, which will be songs since 2010.

1. Caleb Johnson. He has been the most consistent of all the contestants to date. He may not be terribly original but he has the pipes, the presence and a firm point of view that resonates with the older audience “Idol” now has.

2. Jena Irene. Things get pretty dicey after Caleb because nobody else has shown real consistency to date after three weeks of performances. Jena moves up based on her strong outing last week. Something about her tells me she knows what she’s doing and is working to improve herself each week. She’s got a little moxie that is starting to translate on camera.

3. Alex Watson. He is a bit one note but it’s not a bad note, given his quirky, leg-shaking singer songwriter vibe. I can’t imagine he needs to or wants to change that in any tangible way. The only problem is he may not be able to surprise us either.

4. Majesty Rose. She was in my top 2 for a bit but after two shaky performances in a row, she isn’t quite as strong as we may have expected early on. She is very young and she is having a hard time picking songs that work for her. Her choices have been all over the place. She may not know who she is yet, a major disadvantage on a show like this.

5. Jessica Meuse. Unlike Majesty, Jessica seems to know who she is but she’s having a hard time translating it on a big stage. As Keith told her last week, she needs to emote in a different way on “Idol’ compared to a smoky bar, a place she’s used to. She has to figure out a way to properly connect with the TV audience, calm herself down and allow her voice to breathe.

6. Sam Woolf. I know, I know. I said he was all but guaranteed the “Idol” crown three weeks ago. Boy, I was premature on that count. Like Majesty, he’s very very green and not quite ready for prime time. It now comes down to his ability to adjust and mature in a short amount of time. He did try to stretch himself last week with the Beatles, which was admirable, but it landed him in the bottom three. Tweens and teens can only take him so far now that the show’s viewing audience demographics are skewing so much older.

7. C.J. Harris. He had one of the best performances of the week last week but unlike Jena, I’m not sure he has the ability to make it work week in and week out. It seems like he’s only good in very particular instances for his bluesy, soulful, country mix. I hope he can find his groove and keep it up because I’d like to see him around longer.

8. Malaya Watson. It’s hard not to like her as a person but she needs more seasoning. Her vocals lack depth and maturity even when she’s in tune. And her stage presence is more nervous kinetic energy as opposed to positive, confidence-inducing energy.

9. Dexter Roberts. In many ways, I liked Ben Briley more than Dexter in the battle of the country dudes. But Ben blew it last week. I just don’t know what folks see in Dexter. He’s a solid bar band singer as I’ve opined week in, week out. His “Sweet Home Alabama” bore that out. But as Keith has said multiple times, what’s so special about him?

10. MK Nobillette. She seems very sweet and mellow and has a pretty enough voice. But her stage presence, if you’d even call it that, is weak and non-effectual. Charisma is not something you can conjure up overnight and she probably will never have it. She tried this past week and did better but doing better isn’t really good enough on a show like this.

61 comments
DeirdreC
DeirdreC

SPOILER ALERT  SONG SPOILERS: 


So, to repeat all the songs with some of the singers:

Alex Preston - "Story Of My Life" by One Direction
C.J. Harris - "Invisible" by Hunter Hayes
Caleb Johnson - "The Edge Of Glory" by Lady Gaga
Dexter Roberts - "Cruise" by Florida Georgia Line
Jena Irene Asciutto - "Clarity" by Zedd/Foxes
Jessica "Jess" Meuse - TBD
M.K. Nobilette - " Perfect" by Pink
Majesty York - TBD
Malaya Watson - TBD
Sam Woolf - "We Are Young" by Fun/Janelle Monáe


And: When I Was Your Man- Bruno Mars

Pumped Up Kicks - Foster the People

Wake Me Up- Avicii

MercedesS
MercedesS

Jessica, Majesty and Malaya, the three TBD from below... Not familiar with "Pumped Up Kicks", but that kinda sounds like Malaya.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

SPOILER ALERT  SONG SPOILERS:


The names of the last 3 songs have been released but without knowing who is singing what:

“When I Was Your Man”  by Bruno Mars
“Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People
“Wake Me Up” by Avicii 

Jenny11
Jenny11

@DeirdreC and @RodneyHo, check the HIMYM - Gilmore Girls thread below.  I put some new comments.

And Deirdre - I just saw that next week's Grey's is going to be a Sliding-Doors theme!  A Cristina-centric one.  She envisions her life taking two different paths based on a decision she has to make.  And both paths somehow involve Owen (I'm not sure if you've caught all the way up yet, so don't want to say any more than that, but once you catch up you'll understand.)  I love those types of shows, can't wait!!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

I have the song Desperado running on a continuous loop in my head today.  I have no idea why but it is driving me nuts!

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

RoHo:  Good news re Bo - hope he's making lots of $$ and doing lots of gigs! He was my fave on that season - got my votes. I loved BS&T in the day.

I think MK's problem is she really doesn't want to be there. Maybe pressured by someone (family for $$; gay group for exposure??) to do it. She seems really unhappy every week.

I agree with Deirdre re Malaya, MK, Dexter - and Alex is really not "Idol" material - that said, he continues to remind me of a much more talented Lee D, and who can imagine how he won!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Morning!

I haven't been able to find the last 3 song spoilers.  They should turn up before the show starts.

RodneyHo
RodneyHo moderator

One fun fact I learned from Bo Bice tonight: he's now lead singer of Blood, Sweat and Tears! He sang "Spinning Wheel" on the show so there was that connection. He said he now splits his concert time doing solo shows and BS&T shows. He also said there have been more than 140 members of BS&T since the 1960s. Wow!

DanJohn
DanJohn

Based on the spoilers I think MK has the toughest choice. any Pink song is hard to do justice to. Alex will really have to change up a one direction song to pull it off and may anger the youth if he does so. As for Rodney's rankings? I don't see Alex at 3 but then again we will see tomorrow night.

SlawDawg
SlawDawg

Bo Bice looks one of the cavemen from the old Geico commercials. Or maybe he was one of them...they could have saved a fortune on makeup.

Jenny11
Jenny11

Deirdre, back to our How I Met Your Mother conversation on the old thread... I've liked the interludes with the Mother better than any other storyline this season!!  There have been episodes I've skipped through, or even simply deleted after a few minutes (like the karate one)... but NOT before making sure I wouldn't miss a Mother appearance!  :-)

I LOVED their first date.  And what did you make of Ted's narration at the end?  About how easy it is to lose touch forever?  Makes me wonder even more what will happen... but at the same time, gives me hope that maybe no one will die (at least no one else from the group, as speculation persists. I guess the verdict's still out on the Mother.)

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

I'm going to move this over to this thread.

SPOILER ALERT  SONG SPOILERS

Alex Preston - "Story Of My Life" by One Direction
C.J. Harris - "Invisible" by Hunter Hayes
Caleb Johnson - "The Edge Of Glory" by Lady Gaga
Dexter Roberts - "Cruise" by Florida Georgia Line
Jena Irene Asciutto - "Clarity" by Zedd/Foxes
Jessica "Jess" Meuse - TBD
M.K. Nobilette - " Perfect" by Pink
Majesty York - TBD
Malaya Watson - TBD
Sam Woolf - "We Are Young" by Fun/Janelle Monáe

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

I'm going to step on a lot of toes but will say it anyway.  I believe MK is still in the group because she announced her preference(not sure the blog police will let me say that any other way)  She seems very nice but,  her voice slides back and forth from pretty to pitchy on almost every performance.  She has absolutely no stage presence and doesn't even project much of a personality.  I think we tiptoe around this because we are all very aware that there are folks out there just dying to type the word "hater".  I don't hate MK or what MK represents or who MK is.  I don't think she is a good enough singer/performer to still be in the running.

I am not a big fan of Malaya either.  If she would stand relatively still and sing a quiet song(without the screaming)I might change my mind because the girl has a good voice....sometimes.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

I like your list and your reasoning behind it, Rodney. I would definitely put Caleb in first place...not a single misstep so far and that will serve him well if or when he has one.  The rest is kinda difficult to call.  I really liked Jena last week and think she is like the forgotten step-sister hidden behind sparkly Majesty, sultry Jessica, wild-girl Malaya and the social consciousness of the audience re MK.  But did she stand out enough to get everyone's attention?  Time and this week's performance will tell.

I think Dexter is boring but a much better singer than CJ.

Sam continues to pick the wrong songs.

Alex is talented but not exactly Idol material.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

First....good for Bo and the other Idols for supporting such a worthy cause!!!!!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@Sam-A1  I think MK wants to be there.  I think she would love to be a performer.  And, as pretty as her voice is, I can understand why.  I just don't think she has the ability, personality or skills to fulfill that dream.  I admire her for trying.  

Jenny11
Jenny11

@DanJohn - Remember how awful JLo was to Hollie Cavanaugh when she did "Perfect"?  (but then again, JLo was horrid to Hollie all season.  That's one of the reasons I was so sorry to see her come back... she is doing better this season, but I can't forget that.) 

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@Jenny11  I like the whole idea of filling us in on 2013 thru 2030 during the final episode.  Last night's quick review of how a lot of minor characters moved forward was very nice...especially when Ted remembered Blah-blah's name is Carol.

The show is so clever and obviously the story they are telling during this season has little to do with Robin's and Barney's wedding and everything to do with Ted and the Mother.  BTW, the previews suggested the it's the Mother who will get Robin to the altar.  Robin is the only one of the group who we haven't seen meet the Mother yet.

JTesla
JTesla

I'm with Rodney (on the other thread) great pick by Caleb. That's a song he can do the Lady Gaga way and it would still be unique just because it is Caleb. I also agree with him on Sam's pick. What was he thinking with that one? It's not really an Idol type song and it certainly doesn't fit what I imagine Sam singing.

Jessica is probably safe with a Meuse song.

Jenny11
Jenny11

@DeirdreC - OK.  Then I will say that I'd bet both sliding doors will lead her back to Owen.  (Just like the last time they did this type of episode, where the weird alternate reality somehow ended with each character headed in their real-life direction.)

I don't personally like the Owen character, though he's grown on me a bit over the past few episodes, especially when he broke up with (??? - can't remember her name!) because he realized he really does want Cristina, kids or not.  

But Cristina seems to love him no matter what, and she's my favorite character, so... so be it.  :-)

And did you read that Burke will be back for at least one episode?  I wonder if it's this one??

Jenny11
Jenny11

@DeirdreC - yep, I know.  That's part of what's behind this Sliding Doors ep.

Also, Shonda Rhimes has been quoted as saying she wants to make absolutely sure that Cristina gets the great exit storyline she deserves.  And Sandra has said that she specifically asked Shonda NOT to kill off Cristina.  I certainly hope Shonda listens.  

MercedesS
MercedesS

@DeirdreC @Sam-A1 Who was the singer-songwriter who was so paralyzed with fear before each performance that it almost ruined her career?  Carly Simon?

MercedesS
MercedesS

@Jenny11 @DanJohn Holly was my favorite that year. It was the first time I heard the Pink song and I loved it.  Wonder where Holly is today?

Jenny11
Jenny11

@DeirdreC  OK, I said "last but not least", but I lied.  Here's what Barney and Ted tweeted out about the finale script:

Neil Patrick Harris:
Just finished the initial read thru of the final How I Met Your Mother. Ever.
Holy moly.
Just... holy dang moly.

Josh Radnor:
Read the HIMYM series finale script on the treadmill at the gym this morning. People probably thought that was sweat in my eyes. Suckers.

And Lily simply tweeted out a pic of about fifty wadded up Kleenexes, with the caption:
Umm…so this is how the last HIMYM Table Read went for me. #sorrytrees

I have another theory.  

What if the mother isn't dying?

What if Ted is?????

Jenny11
Jenny11

And last but not least, that's when you know you've really loved a show... when you wish you could know what happens with the characters in the "future". 

I still wonder what happened to Rory and Lorelai Gilmore....

Jenny11
Jenny11

@DeirdreC - and I too love the description of the final episode.  I always enjoy those "flash-forward" moments, and I love knowing that we'll see how their lives play out.  

Jenny11
Jenny11

@DeirdreC - that's right, I forgot about the preview!  I've been waiting for them to meet!  And yep, I could totally see the Mother talking Robin down "off the ledge". 

It really is such a clever show.  That's why I originally got hooked on it, and am so glad it's finally returning to that high level it used to have.  

Side note - I only discovered it because Carrie Underwood was a guest star!  Remember the teacup pig?  :-)  That episode was so good that I went back and got all caught up, in order! 

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@Jenny11 @DeirdreC  If she didn't kill off Izzy, she won't kill off Cristina.  I would have let Izzy get hit by a truck after the way the actress behaved.

Jenny11
Jenny11

@DeirdreC - and I do think she'll end up with Owen in the end.  (Though, is he leaving too?  How will they do this?  I don't think his contract's up, but that's never stopped Shonda before.  Another Hmmmmm.)  

All I know is, she BETTER NOT kill Cristina off.   

Jenny11
Jenny11

@DeirdreC - I like them better than I used to.  

And if Burke's in that episode, I'm guessing the decision must involve him.  Wonder if he comes back to try and get Cristina to either work with him or be with him... maybe he still loves her... hmmmmm.  

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@Jenny11 @DeirdreC  I'm pretty sure I read that he's in the sliding doors episode.  I really like Owen and Cristina together.  

DanJohn
DanJohn

@Rickster_ @DeirdreC "Don't you draw the queen of diamonds boy, she'll beat you if she's able..the queen of hearts is always your best bet!" No truer words have ever been written.


It's a shame Idol can't do Eagle songs although I think they have done one that I can remember. I want to say Bo or Taylor did one and maybe Clive Davis got permission. Anyone know?

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@MercedesS @DeirdreC @Sam-A1  Lots of performers have serious stage fright.  Barbra Streisand almost quit giving concerts because of fear. Janis Ian was about to give up until she learned some techniques.  I don't think MK's problem is stage fright.  I think it has more to do with an inability to project her emotions with her voice, her body and her personality.  That doesn't mean she isn't feeling those emotions, just that she doesn't seem to be able to share them with the audience.  That is a huge problem for a performer.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@RodneyHo @Jenny11 @DeirdreC  Did you not get that possibility when Ted and the Mother were at the Inn in the middle of a snowstorm, telling their stories and Ted starts to cry when the Mother says "What mom wouldn't be at her daughter's wedding?"

RodneyHo
RodneyHo moderator

@Jenny11 @DeirdreCWow. Great theory! That would also be a reason for him telling his story to his very patient (more or less) kids.

Jenny11
Jenny11

It was one of the smartest shows ever on TV.  Some people thought of it as a "chick show" because of its name - but it totally wasn't.  Smart, funny and a drama too.  :-)

(Though I think if Amy Sherman-Palladino had stayed on for the final season, it would have ended very differently.  I think Rory would have found a way to have it all - career and Logan too.) 

Robobby
Robobby

Dude! Really? Wow...

RodneyHo
RodneyHo moderator

@Jenny11 Ah yes. I'm a huge "Gilmore Girls' fan, too. Great show!