Posted: 9:06 am Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

‘American Idol’ bits: Chris Daughtry interview, Caleb Johnson, Fantasia 

By Rodney Ho

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 05:  Chris Daughtry performs the national anthem prior to the NCAA Men's Final Four Semifinal between the Connecticut Huskies and the Florida Gators at AT&T Stadium on April 5, 2014 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

ARLINGTON, TX – APRIL 05: Chris Daughtry performs the national anthem prior to the NCAA Men’s Final Four Semifinal between the Connecticut Huskies and the Florida Gators at AT&T Stadium on April 5, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Yesterday, I spoke with Chris Daughtry for the first time in nearly three years. Like Taylor Hicks, he’s part of the most popular “Idol” season ever and like Hicks, he has managed to thrive in his post “Idol” career.

Daughtry’s path, though, is more traditional: four albums, gargantuan amounts of touring and more than a dozen hit songs. This Friday, he co-headlines with the Goo Goo Dolls at Chastain, his first visit to that venue.

“At one point, I feel like I had a residency at the Gwinnett Arena,” he said in a phone interview Tuesday from Raleigh, N.C., not far from his home. He performed at Gwinnett twice in a matter of a few months in late 2011 and early 2012, headlining a Star 94 Jingle Jam, then his own tour.

He enjoys outdoor venues like Chastain – as long as the sun isn’t on him during the summer heat. (With Chastain, he won’t have that problem.) “On this tour, we were in St. Louis and the heat was the absolute worst I’ve ever performed in. It was the humidity. The sun was aimed at me for an entire hour. I was wondering, ‘Is it ever going to move?’ “

Daughtry came in fourth on “Idol” performing all cover songs. To prove how far he’s come, this will be the first tour where he’s doing entire sets with his own songs, no covers for his 80-minute set. Even better, he has not heard fans complain at all. “I used to play ‘In the Air Tonight’ so much, some people probably thought it was our song,” he said.

His latest album “Baptize” features the single “Battleships,” which is currently No. 31 on the Hot AC chart. “Just trying to get as many ear holes as possible,” he said.

“I’m pretty happy where we are,” he added, after eight years in the spotlight. “We’re still out there. Fans are still buying our albums. Radio is still playing us, thank God. It’s been a good ride. Hopefully, it’ll continue to be there.”

His band has stayed consistent since 2006. He still has three original members, including both guitar players and the bass player. (He is on his third drummer. Neither of the previous two spontaneously combusted.)

“There are inside jokes all the time,” Daughtry said. “We’re so comfortable with each other. We’ve spent more time with each other at times than our family. We get along great. But after six weeks on the road, we sometimes need time by ourselves. ‘Hey, I’m going to stay in my room. I don’t want to be seen!’ “

Daughtry was already a great performer when he was on “Idol” but after thousands of shows on the road, he said he feels he’s better than ever. Plus, he has learned how to use his voice so he doesn’t wear it down.

Early on, “I’d go balls to the wall out of the gate and have nothing left the next day. I was overdoing it. It came down to technique. I figured out how to keep my voice strong from beginning to end,” he said.

And while his band is technically co-headlining, the Goo Goo Dolls finish the show out. “They’ve got a little bit of seniority going on,” he said. “They’re definitely road dogs.”

He and lead singer Johnny Rzeznik have talked about doing a duet but haven’t had time. “It’s been a pretty grueling schedule,” he said.

“Idol,” he said, was a lot better this past season despite the cratering ratings. He got to visit as a mentor and results show singer and really liked the judges. “They’re getting back to what the show is really about: the contestants,” he said.

Concert info

Goo Goo Dolls/Daughtry/Plain White T’s

7 p.m., Friday, July 11

$72.20-$92.75 (buy tickets here)

Chastain Park Amphitheatre

4469 Stella Drive, Atlanta

***
Billboard spoke with “Idol” winner Caleb Johnson, whose new album “Testify” is set for August 12, the fastest turn around of any “Idol” album in history.

“You kind of have to get in the zone where you are going non-stop,” he said. “You are working 24-7, so you just get in a mode… Now everything is done and I can focus on the tour,” he says.

He noted that this is the first time the “Idol” tour is going without a band. They are merely going with backing tracks. (That’s a serious cost savings but also makes it less of a concert.)

“It kind of sucks,  but then again, you have to roll with it and make that magic happen regardless,” he said.

His album was written in a course of a week with a host of songwriters.

The tour comes to Atlanta’s Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre on July 24.

***

Remember Melanie Amaro, the “X Factor” season one winner. She is starring in an upcoming play “You’re Never Alone” coming to Cobb Energy Centre August 8-9. Details here.

***

Fantasia spoke with Billboard about working on a Tony-nominated musical “After Midnight” and prepping her fifth album – one decade after winning “American Idol.”  She plans to add some rock to her soul.  She just turned 30.

How would you describe Fantasia then and Fantasia now?
Fantasia then was young, green, gullible, fun. She’s still fun now, but wiser. And I’m still full of joy, which is easy to lose in this game. I’m happy for everything I went through because I can put it on the stage, put it in my music and share it with other young ladies. I can tell them what it is and what it ain’t, give it to them real so they won’t do the same thing.

***
Phillip Phillips recently spoke with azcentral about “Home” and how he didn’t like it at first but grew to love it. (Could you blame him? It put him on the map after “Idol”!)

Q: Did you feel that “Home” represented you?

A: No. When Jimmy Iovine brought it to me, I was like, “Well, it’s very folk.” You know, I’ve got a little folk but not quite so much. And it was hard for me to really adapt to that song because I had no input on it. So it was a little bit difficult for me. But playing it live, it really represents me now. I’ve changed it up to make it more of me. And it feels like it’s from me, you know?

Q: So what is your relationship with the song now? Do you like it better?

A: Oh yeah. Definitely. Because I had time to build that relationship with it and really add my own meaning to it instead of just being handed a song like, “Here you go” and being like “OK, what’s this about? How were they feeling when they wrote this?” I’ve now built that connection with the song.

***
With Clay Aiken pursuing a House seat and not earning income from singing, he is relying on $90,000 a year in custody support from his baby’s mama, according to Radar Online, which isn’t always reliable so take this with a grain of salt.

119 comments
DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Moving to the Ryan Seacrest thread on page 1!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

So I see Ryan is mentioned in a post on the first page.  This thread is about to sink to page 3 so maybe we should make a move over to where people are once again talking about Ryan being gay so why is he dating girls......move on folks.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Morning!

Back from CA after a fun birthday party for my younger son.  And visiting with the grandkids is always a treat.  

Coming home, we usually fly to Salt Lake City then come to Atlanta from there.  Yesterday the temps in SLC were extremely high( 98while we were there) and it is very hard for a fully loaded plane to take off at that altitude in that kind of atmosphere.  No way we were getting on a plane.  We thought we would have to get home on a redeye out of Seattle but were told that Delta was ferrying a plane to Atlanta..  Only employees can ride in a ferried plane because airlines only insure the passengers on a scheduled flight.  A ferried plane is either going in for maintenance or being moved to cover a schedule.  Anyway, we ended up getting home around midnight on a plane with 19 other Delta employees, no flight attendants and no catering.  We had water and some snacks in the galley but that was it.  Totally worth it!

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

All alone here, so time to clock out for today.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Saw "Begin Again" with Keira Knightly and Mark Ruffalo yesterday. I really enjoyed it a lot. The first 20 mins is a little slow, but sets up Mark's character and what he's going thru - then it perks up a lot and is very enjoyable. A nice, quiet, sweet film in the midst of the summer 'destroy 'em' noisy films.

Nice, at least WoodP and D are here too. Wood, I'm sleepy too - sometimes my head just drops for a few secs and I have to shake myself awake! Especially in boring meetings, which are coming up Thursday. Hope  I don't snore then!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Morning! I will be back on full time status tomorrow morning.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Wow - no one even posted all weekend! AM I here alone this am?

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Good weekend all - the thunderstorms have now hit Kennesaw, just in time for me to drive home!

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Mercedes: Should you decide to attend that "concert" tonight, let us know where to send flowers and condolences.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

I know one of the AL guys was a dog trainer, so maybe it was him. Couldn't be too much money in that occupation, especially in a small AL town! Guess it's not our business, but still puzzling - seems like easy money, doing what you allegedly love every night, with all travel/food/hotel expenses being paid for you.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

You'd think this country boy would need the paycheck for the touring. I can't remember what his job was, but being away from it for several months - he may or may not have had a job to go back to.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Remember I mentioned the mysterious disappearance of Dexter Roberts from the tour? It is now being reported that Dexter has been released from his contract with Idol. No one is explaining why. When asked, Jessica Meuse said that he is dealing with an illness. If that is true, it may not be him who is ill.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

JT:  Oh Darn!  I can't open this lovely and intrinsic piece of Idol History! Says the video failed to try again in 30 mins.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Morning!

JT, that video!!! Poor Joshua!

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

On=h, thanks soooooo much, JT! JL was one of my absolute LEAST favorite 'singers' ever on Idol, eclipsed only by his duet partner!  If my stomach feels settled later on, I'll try to look at this. I guess this is what's called "Christmas in July"!

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

I just went down aways and read some of the later 'add-ons' - and suddenly I like Taylor just a tiny bit less, and that's sad, because he had nothing to do with it! Some of the silly remarks just left a bad taste for me. 

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Oh, JT - you do make me laugh! However if I were to see that video, afraid I'd vomit instead! It's like snakes - I can't look at snakes, or even pix or movies with snakes - scared me all the way thru!

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Well, I'm guessing JT would know what!

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Mercedes: I'd rather die and be cremated than go to that show! I can only imagine the catterwailing going on within those walls. And the obscene spandex on stage barely covering lordy knows what!

Deirdre:  I believe it was LaToya London (who should have won in my opinion) who was the "3rd Diva", though it was only Jen Hud who actually acted like a Diva in my memory.

MercedesS
MercedesS

Fantasia hits Savannah! Yes, if I feel like it, I can go downtown to the Civic Center and watch Herself tomorrow night .  Her brother and guest Ricco Barrino will open the evening with nex songs from his EP, "From the Club to the Crib".

lesszealous
lesszealous

@DeirdreC  I think what caused much of the problem between different fan bases was Idol itself. They always knew that the more animosity between the fans the more albums they would sell as each group rushed to prove their guy best.  And much of the what is called an overzealous defense of Taylor came from the many put downs and insults that he received from Idol itself. I guess he must of upset someone. But I can't think of another Idol finalist that was insulted in the way he was by judges and others not on the show but long after he won.

I liked Goodvibes comment even though I might disagree with her on a point or two.

There are some things that happened with the fans and others that not everyone is aware of, they don't have all the facts,  and that makes a difference in how a person feels about the whole thing.

Rodney wrote a very nice article, I bet he didn't expect so much reaction. :-)

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Well I watch almost NONE of the Emmy nominated shows. The only ones I watch that got any are: Downton Abbey, Good Wife, White Queen, Amazing Race, Dancing W/Stars (occasionally), Steven Colbert and Jon Stewart.

D:  You'll be thrilled that your "Game of Thrones" got the most, with 19. I'd never heard of a few of the shows and miniseries. And I'm a pretty avid TV watcher!

MercedesS
MercedesS

Morning, all.  Good to see there's still some interest in the oldies...

Woodpappy
Woodpappy

Anybody besides me wonder about the first picture above. Trying to figure out who or what the person in Lincoln's hat is doing while Chris is singing?  Is it real?

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Disappearing soon to celebrate my son's 30th.  I should be back on tomorrow at a somewhat later time if y'all catch my drift.  Enjoy!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Morning!

There are fans of Idols in this world who understand that not everyone will feel the same way they do.  They give a nod and a shout-out to those people because, even though they disagree on who is best, they accept the "different strokes for different folks" philosophy.  

And there are fans of Idols who see almost every comment about their particular hero as not quite good enough.  It isn't enough to say "he's doing well'  or "I hope he continues to succeed" or "she worked really hard to get where she is".  No, those statements aren't good enough because they might suggestion that soandso or whatsherface isn't the most perfect Idol ever to grace its stage.  

Apparently there were words used like "niche" and "state fairs" that set all this off.  Almost every performer has a "niche" so I'm not sure why that was a bad thing to say.  And I don't think there are ANY top 5 Idols who have not sung at state fairs.  Most performers, at some time in their careers, have been on the state fair circuit.  

And the weirdest part is that we all seem to agree that Taylor is a fun, interesting and reliably good singer yet we're still in this endless "my guy is better than your guy" convo. 

Here's my bottom line: my irritation with all this comes from the deliberate putting down of one Idol to build up another.  In truth, it puts me off Taylor Hicks much like the Claymates drove me a bit away from Clay.  Certainly that isn't the singer's fault and he/she shouldn't have to be punished for the over-zealousness of fans who see other singers as threats.


GoodVibes
GoodVibes

Just had to jump in here as I am a Taylor Fan a It seems the old Taylor-Daughtry fanwar rages on. A testament to how popular that season STILL is. I just wanted to clear up a few things that have been misrepresented from both sides.


Yes, Daughtry has been more successful than Taylor in the music industry by any measure. He's had more sales, more awards etc. Is it because Chris Daughtry is more talented, more deserving, more hardworking than Taylor? HELL to the NO. Daughtry has been more successful because, he has been promoted more by his label, been given numerous high profile appearances, and more radio push. And by more, I mean a LOT more. Because Daughtry's sound is (or was) more commercial than Taylor's and that's how the music biz works. And that's fine. As long as people realize DAUGHTRY was given the tools to break big in the music industry while Taylor Hicks was basically left to his own devices.


As far as Taylor, he's been working steady based on his reputation as a concert performer . He's had little gigs and big ones, and some pretty big ones in the last week, Centennial Park and Calgary Stampede.  And Taylor has remained a headliner,  Apart from a handful of shows, he hasn't co-headlined, or been an opening act on any tour. 


No Taylor did not win a Grammy. He did appear on a Grammy winning album by extension of the "Friday" bit he did with Fallon and Colbert.


Taylor and Chris Daughtry do not seem to be buddies. As far as I can tell, Taylor is still pals with Elliott, Bucky, Paris, and Mandisa from his season, because he promotes them and their projects, and he has given an occasional shout out to Kat. But Chris, nada, and vice versa.


The earnings from Taylor's restaurant have been exaggerated. Saws is a very small place in suburban Birmingham. Without the shadow of a doubt Taylor has made, and is still making more money from his music career..so far.


I wish them both well. Chris is talented has had a fabulous career that idol hopefuls aspire to. Despite what people want you to believe, Taylor has had a very successful career too- which includes a $4 million tour in 2007, Broadway, and a Vegas residency. But coming from my own bias, put them both together on the same stage today and Taylor, as a performer, would still kick Daughtry's a$$.

JTesla
JTesla

Well, one thing Taylor has that Daughtry doesn't: a superfan. And by that I mean crazy.

JTesla
JTesla

@DeirdreC Let's make the switch, boost the comment numbers on one of Rodney's "other" threads, even though it really is AI.

JTesla
JTesla

@Sam-A1 Wasn't he the dog trainer? Well his friend had the business, and he helped.

JTesla
JTesla

I' with you Sam, I wouldn't even go to see them ripped pants. Well maybe. I should look up that video tonight. I need a good laugh.

GoodVibes
GoodVibes

@lesszealous @DeirdreC Exactly right. Some do go off the deep end in Taylor's defense but there is a history there, especially with Idol trying to discredit him. And some might say it's a case of oversensitive fans, but when the show has an opening montage of winners faces, and year after year his face is left out, well that's hard to ignore. Like Lesszealous said, there are many more examples, but it is very clear that for some reason, Idol doesn't like to acknowledge Taylor Hicks ever existed, much less trumpet the success that he has had..

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@lesszealous @DeirdreC I agree that Idol sometimes tries to create a story to polarize the fans.  The head to head competition of McPhee and Pickler during that same season was manufactured by Idol.  Kat and Kellie were close friends instead of rivals.  There was also the 3 divas debate involving Fantasia, JHud(who was horribly insulted repeatedly by Simon Cowell) and Trynese(was that who the third singer was?)  

Idol seems to have left those tactics behind for other, sometimes even more annoying methods.

That being said, the Chris/Taylor debate should be irrelevant by now.  How many years must it go on?  Let it go!  They are both successful in their own right, and certainly different enough in styles that they don't compete with each other in anything other than the minds of their fans.

I might add that allowing Idol(or any tv show) to manipulate someone into such a fan frenzy and then not taking responsibility for one's own reactions is a cop out at best.

And yes, Rodney must be very pleased by the attention he's getting!

MercedesS
MercedesS

I'm very pleased that my two favorite TV-series this year. "Fargo" and "True Detective" were honored by Emmy noms.

About to give up on "Under the Dome", the book.  So brutal and nasty.  Like the show better.

Also read "The Giver", now required reading for 8-graders, in preparation for the Meryl STreep/Taylor Swift movie version. Book is 20 years old and started the current  dystopian trend for YA readers. Pretty good.  Wonder if the movie will start out in black and white, like "TWoO".

G_
G_

@DeirdreC


I don't understand what all the beef is about.  I liked them both.  

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

@DeirdreC I agree. The few of us years-long regulars all like Taylor, I think, and Chris as well. Most of us probably had a different fave they'd hoped would win - I know you, D, liked Kat best. But both these guys are pretty equal, just very different, in the entertainment levels. I admire that Chris plays guitar and writes much of his material. I admire that Taylor sings more of the style of music I like.

That gal yesterday was just waaaaay too fervent about Taylor vs Chris. Really, most people would likely not believe that Taylor was THE most talented Idol ever. He's pleasant, enjoyable to watch, has a nice voice, and seems to be a sweetheart. That's plenty to make him a popular guy. That fan needs to cool down and understand that there are probably at least 20 former contestants that lots of fan wished would win and believe to be the best.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@GoodVibes Thank you, for this reasonable response.  I know you know that my Taylor/Chris friendship post was more about sarcasm than truth.  

I agree that Taylor is a better stage performer than Chris.  He's more fun to watch, more energetic and I really prefer his style of music.  Yet there is absolutely no doubt how talented Chris is.  

"I wish them both well" is EXACTLY what this whole conversation was truly about.  Just because you are a fan of one doesn't mean you should wish ill on the other.  

Deliliah345
Deliliah345

@JTesla  Daughtry has some of the biggest stans on the planet. All you need to do is look at Rodney's twitter page today and you'll see his biggest one. She went ballistic because she didn't like the comparison of her butterfly with the winner of Season 5.  Ha! Absolutely nuts!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@JTesla Almost as fanatic as the Archie fans.  And notice that your point about putting others down to enhance Taylor was completely ignored?  

lesszealous
lesszealous

@DeirdreC  you are right, it should be irrelevant. But I think it does exist in some minds other than just the fans. I could give, what in my opinion, are some examples of that but I really don't want to go on and on about it. Maybe someday the full story will come out. Many won't care by then but some will.  Time will take care of it.

Its been interesting.

JTesla
JTesla

@MercedesS Funny, I saw someone reading "The Giver" this morning. It's good to know why. Funny trends that you can pick up on while riding mass transit.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

@G_ @DeirdreC G:  That's kinda what D and I and JT have been trying to express.

Deliliah345
Deliliah345

@lesszealous  I'm hoping the full story comes out as well and yea, there will a few of us foaming at the mouth for it.  Maybe after Idol is just a footnote in history, just like Daughtry himself.

JTesla
JTesla

@Deliliah345 Yes, that's exactly what the "pot/kettle" statement means.