Posted: 11:20 am Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

‘American Idol’ bits: ‘Idol’ tour at Verizon Wireless 7/24, Power 7, Nikko Smith, Ryan Seacrest 

By Rodney Ho

AMERICAN IDOL XIII: Top 7: (Clockwise from left) Alex Preston, Dexter Roberts, Caleb Johnson, Jessica Meuse, C.J. Harris, Jena Irene and Sam Woolf backstage at AMERICAN IDOL XIII airing Thursday, April 10 (9:00-9:30 PM ET / PT) on FOX. CR: Michael Becker / FOX. Copyright 2014 / FOX Broadcasting.

AMERICAN IDOL XIII: Top 7: (Clockwise from left) Alex Preston, Dexter Roberts, Caleb Johnson, Jessica Meuse, C.J. Harris, Jena Irene and Sam Woolf backstage at AMERICAN IDOL XIII airing Thursday, April 10 (9:00-9:30 PM ET / PT) on FOX. CR: Michael Becker / FOX. Copyright 2014 / FOX Broadcasting.

“American Idol’ is still going to do a tour this year but they are changing to a slightly smaller venue in metro Atlanta: Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre.

The 41-city tour stops in Alpharetta on July 24. Tickets go on sale May 9. Details at www.americanidol.com/tour. I will update later with ticket prices.  The top 10 will be there.

Verizon’s peak capacity is 12,000 with 7,000 reserved seats and 5,000 on the lawn. Gwinnett Arena, where the concert was held for the past 10 years, has a capacity up to 13,000 though “Idol” has set it up for smaller than that. “Idol” was at Philips Arena the first two years. Most years, “Idol” has sold out Gwinnett Arena. Season 5, the show was so popular, they came twice. But seasons three, nine and 12? Definitely not full houses. Last year was the first time I skipped the tour. (My parents were visiting.)

***
Tonight’s theme is picking songs for the other contestants. Realistically, how much control will the individuals really have and how many songs could they choose from? I doubt there will be much sabotage going on but since each person will have six songs to choose from, a couple of oddball selections might spice things up. Only Alex or maybe Jena might pick a song totally outside their comfort zone for kicks.

***

Last week’s mixed bag changed the equation all that much for my Power 7:

1. Caleb Johnson. Although he has said a few things that may have turned off voters, I’m not sure that’s enough to keep him from the crown. His “Faithfully” last week drew plenty of his older fans back in, for sure. (last week-1)

2. Alex Preston. He changed up “Every Breath You Take” in a risky way and pulled it off on the most part. He is who he is. That will carry him to the finals (2)

3. Jessica Meuse. For the first time, I’ve placed Jessica this high. She is gradually getting better though her lack of warmth may keep her from the finals. I still think she has yet to find her comfort zone on the big stage. It’s not too late. (4)

4. Jena Irene. There are a lot of folks who don’t like her. She can be very affected and stylized. Her intonation is odd. A lot of folks found her “I Love Rock and Roll” offputting. I was fine with it. (3)

5. Dexter Roberts. I still find him less than compelling but he is the only true country guy left so it seems he has a shot at the top 5. (7)

6. Sam Woolf. He survived last week simply because of the save. His “Time After Time” was good enough. I’m losing hope his level of improvement will get him much further. (6)

7. C.J. Harris. He is riding on his personality and emotional resonance more than his voice at this point. If he only had the voice! He has lasted longer than anybody would have expected but his time is running short. (8)

***

I wrote a couple of days ago about a “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta” star Mimi Faust taping a porn video with her boyfriend Nikko Smith. TMZ originally wrote it was Nikko Smith of season four “American Idol” fame. But nope, it wasn’t. Smith himself had to come out and deny it.

“There could be worse things linked to my name. At least the guy didn’t murder someone,” he told TMZ.

Question: what the heck is the “Idol” Nikko Smith doing anyway?

***
Ryan Seacrest’s two-year deal with “Idol” is coming to an end. Will he return next year? He’s also in talks with NBC now that his deal with them is almost over. Seacrest has said he’s loyal to “Idol’ and will stay as long as they want him. If he knew “Idol” would have one more glorious final 14th season, would he stay – even at a reduced salary? We shall see. No word from Fox yet in terms of the future of “Idol” though it’s certain to be back for a 14th. The question will be: will they make it a splashy goodbye or try to drag it out longer?

This Variety story notes that not only does his production company have 10 series on air, but he is now investing in tech companies such as Pinterest!

His radio morning show deal runs through 2015.

***

David Cook, who was a good mentor last week, said he liked the way Sam Woolf and Alex Preston responded to his critiques, he told USA Today.

***

Jordin Sparks sighting at “Dancing With the Stars’ taping on Monday but she was just eye candy as the girlfriend to Jason DeRulo.

***
Jennifer Hudson released a new single “Walk It Out” with Timbaland yesterday. Listen to it here.

42 comments
ronaldtallon
ronaldtallon

This year's Idol is the least compelling in the history of the show.   Absolute bore.   Screaming teens, basically.   I think the producers just want to have a show for teenagers, about teenagers and people who act like teenagers.

Oscar Madison
Oscar Madison

Are there really this many people that haven't heard of the songs for this episode? Wow. No wonder music is going to sh$t.

EmilyRobins
EmilyRobins

Verizon dominates the US market in terms of post-paid wireless customers. The company has 102.8 million total subscribers out of which 96.7 million are post-paid customers.

Jenny11
Jenny11

Night, everyone.  Enjoy the show.  I doubt I'll watch, but I'll read here tomorrow to see what y'all thought before I delete it.  :-)

(oh, and I lied... I do know "Creep".  So that makes two... :-)

Jenny11
Jenny11

Songs I wish they'd picked:

Jessica:  "Leaving Las Vegas" or "Fast Car"

Caleb:  "Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through".  (Or anything by Meatloaf.  Still waiting for that.)

Jena:  "Crimson and Clover".  (Going to hang on to that wish for a while, probably. :-) 

Sam:  "Perfect Blue Buildings", "Mr. Jones", "Anna Begins", "Long December" or "The Rain King". 

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

enjoy the show. Good night all

Jenny11
Jenny11

@DeirdreC  and @RodneyHo  -  I know.... I have also discovered new favorite songs by virtue of hearing them on Idol, over the years.  (Rolling In The Deep and Adele, courtesy of Haley Reinhardt, is a good example!)  And Rodney, yes, so true... whether I like or dislike a song can often cloud my judgement too. 

But I guess it's just that this season, I've known so very little of the music they've used.  It's much more fun to know and like at least some of the songs.  I love seeing the spoilers and thinking "ooh, great songs... I can't wait!" 

I think they've gone overboard this year with trying to be current and entice the kiddos back.  :-(

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

SPOILER ALERT  DUET(AND TRIO?) SONGS: 


Let Her Go - Passenger

Gimme Shelter - Rolling Stones

Compass - Lady Antebellum

Jenny11
Jenny11

:-(

:-( 

:-(

Another week of songs I don't know.  Not even one of them. 

And I had been looking forward, thinking this might be a fun theme....

Oh well.  

At least Survivor's on!  :-)

MercedesS
MercedesS

Odd - I didn't have to sign in here!

Of all the songs tonight I know only Gravity.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Sounds like Enya - if it's what I'm thinking of. Hope not.

Found the Sir Paul thing - Saturday, June 21st! I'm there.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

I'm assuming it's that drecky thing thats chorus just repeats "sail away, sail away....." ad nauseum.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Don't know who's Sail Away it is.  Randy Newman's?  Enya?  Styx's Come Sail Away?

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Mercedes:  In case you've already switched to here:  ME ME ME ME ME. Details please re Paul Mc! YEAH!

I've never heard of almost all of these songs, and wish I hadn't heard "Sail Away" UGH

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

The theme this week, for those who may not know, is fellow contestant's choice.  In other words, each contestant was given a list of songs chosen by each of their opponents.  Jess didn't pick the Lambert song, someone else chose it for her.  Jena didn't pick her song.  It was part of a list of songs chosen by other contestants.  We can't blame the singers for the song choice this week.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

And here's those song spoilers again:

SPOILER ALERT  SONG SPOILERS:


These are not confirmed yet but I'm relatively sure:

Alex Preston – A Team by Ed Sheeran
CJ Harris – Gravity by Josh Turner
Dexter Roberts – Muckalee Creek Water by Luke Bryan
Jena Irene – Creep by Radiohead
Jessica Meuse – Gunpowder and Lead by Miranda Lambert
Caleb Johnson – Family Tree by Kings of Leon
Sam Woolf – Sail Away

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

I also think Ryan will stay with the show unless Fox plans to drag the end out forever.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

I agree with David Cook.  Both Sam and Alex connected with the audience a bit better last week.  I think we can all thank Cookie for that.


Jenny11
Jenny11

Dexter:  "Red Ragtop", "Wish You Were Here", or "Emily Harper".

Alex:  "You'll Think Of Me"

CJ:  "No Woman No Cry"

Jenny11
Jenny11

Tried to come up with some that have been less (or never) heard on the show.  

And one more for Sam:  "Boston" by Augustana.  (That's even a song from the 2000's!)  


Jenny11
Jenny11

Hey, at least I like Gimme Shelter!  There's one I know!  :-)

Jenny11
Jenny11

Though I do like David Grey and Kings of Leon.  

But overall, after seeing those spoilers, I doubt I'll watch the show.  :-(


KokoSnoot
KokoSnoot

No, it's David Gray ' s Sail Away, same singer as Babylon

JTesla
JTesla

@DeirdreC I can actually "hear" Jena singing that song in my head now. If she does it the same way she's done other songs then she needs to be tarred and feathered. Actually, that song IS the way she does other songs. Soft... then turn it up. Yawn. She may not be as boring as Dexter, but she's getting there.

KokoSnoot
KokoSnoot

Jena may not have "picked" it, but she's been tweeting about "raging" to that song for months.

KokoSnoot
KokoSnoot

Really wish Jessica would go the way of Lisa Ford rather than Wynonna. We need more female ROCK singers.

KokoSnoot
KokoSnoot

Does Dexter not realize that you can turn almost any genre's music into a country song? So tired of him.

KokoSnoot
KokoSnoot

Well it looks like Jena got what she wanted. Can't wait for her to ruin one of my favorites, again.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@Jenny11  I must've been really busy with the kids cuz I've only heard of 2 of the songs Jenny mentioned.  i would probably know them if I heard them but I guess my point is that there will always be someone watching who doesn't know the songs.  

RodneyHo
RodneyHo moderator

@Jenny11 personally, familiarity with a song can often cloud my judgment about a performance. I've often liked a performance more simply because I like the song or vice versa. It's often refreshing to hear something I don't know if it's done well.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@KokoSnoot  I guess that means she has a good friend amongst the other contestants

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

My point was a little more general than the songs I know or don't know. What I'm trying to say is there will always be people who don't know the songs and unfortunately for us the older the song, the less likely the young'uns will know it and it's the young'uns Idol wants watching the show.

Jenny11
Jenny11

@DeirdreC  -  p.s.... google the Keith song.  If you don't already know it, you'll like it, and I think you'll see why I'd pick it for Alex.  

Jenny11
Jenny11

@DeirdreC - I think you would.  The Alex song is a very well known Keith Urban song...
Sam's are all Counting Crows from the early 90's (many album cuts, but most got a good bit of airplay; "August and Everything After" was a huge album)....
I'm sure you know the Bob Marley song...
Sheryl Crow and the super-overplayed Tracy Chapman "Fast Car" are both from the 90s....
and Dexter's are Tim McGraw and Mark Wills (now, those three you might not know... country from the 90s.)  

The only truly obscure one is "Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through" (1981, off "Bad For Good" by Jim Steinman, who also wrote for Meat Loaf, and it was also performed often by Meat Loaf.)  

I think if you do a theme incorporating slightly older music, there would be VERY few people who wouldn't know at least some of the songs. 

My point is that "new" music makes the younger kids happy, which is fine, but don't completely alienate your base of viewers who don't care for today's hits as much as the slightly older stuff.  

Jenny11
Jenny11

When it's all unfamiliar, I lose my motivation to watch.  :-(

Half the fun is seeing how they take a song and twist it... If you don't know the song, how do you even know they've twisted it?


Jenny11
Jenny11

@DeirdreC  - I see where both you and @RodneyHo  are coming from.... it's just that this season's been almost all new music, with only a few exceptions.  

I like it better when they strike a balance.  A solid base of familiar songs, with a few new ones thrown in for variety. 

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@RodneyHo @Jenny11  I agree Rodney.  I had never heard Volcano before PhilX2 sang it and I loved it.  Also Black Horse and a Cherry Tree was new to me and introduced me to K T Tunstall.  Sometimes the unfamiliar is the best although I enjoy hearing the old favorites again.

Jenny11
Jenny11

@KokoSnoot @RodneyHo - He does???  Ugh.  Right with you, Koko.  

(love your name, BTW! :-)  forgot to tell you that last week when we were chatting.)