Posted: 8:01 am Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

‘American Idol’ bits: optimism out of Kansas City auditions, Josh Gracin, Michael Johns, Ryan Seacrest, Carrie Underwood, Sam Woolf 

By Rodney Ho

I’m on vacation this week so I’m leaving this space for you regulars to talk amongst yourselves. I apologize if all this news if a bit old but I needed to fill the space with something while I’m gone!

AMERICAN IDOL XIII: L-R: Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr, on AMERICAN IDOL XIII airing Thursday, April 24 (9:00-9:30 PM ET / PT) on FOX.  CR: Michael Becker / FOX. Copyright 2014 / FOX Broadcasting.

AMERICAN IDOL XIII: L-R: Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr, on AMERICAN IDOL XIII airing Thursday, April 24 (9:00-9:30 PM ET / PT) on FOX. CR: Michael Becker / FOX. Copyright 2014 / FOX Broadcasting.

The ‘American Idol’ judges last week liked what they saw in the Kansas City auditions.

“I think we did find some future superstars,” said Lopez, wearing a sparkling black blouse with sparkly shoes, according to the Kansas City Star. “Yesterday morning we had an amazing run. It was like one person after the other after the other. And it was like, ‘Oh my gosh, how many people did we put through in a row?’”

They continue to do press in each major audition city.

***
While the ALS ice bucket challenge has been a massive boon to the ALS Association, which is raking in the donations for the often fatal neurodegenerative disease, I found the videos quickly tiresome since almost every celebrity on earth feels pressured to do one. Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Melinda Doolitle and Kris Allen are among the “Idol” alums who have shot videos. MJ has compiled a bunch here.

***
MJ also found video of David Cook noting during a concert that he is a real rocker, not just pop/rock, as Caleb Johnson alleges. Cook  did a blistering Led Zeppelin cover to prove the point. Caleb, Caleb, Caleb, you are a troublemaker aren’t you?

***

Poor Josh Gracin, season two finalist who had a few country hits about a decade ago. Suffering from depression, he wrote what sounded like a suicide note on his Facebook page and was placed in a hospital last week for observation. He has since released this statement: “I want to thank you all for your prayers and support. I take responsibility for my actions and apologize dearly for what I have put my family through. With the help of my family and friends, I am getting help. Again, thank you for your love and I will see you very soon.”

***

Miss Mississippi Jasmine Murray was a top 12/13 finalist on "American Idol" season eight.

Miss Mississippi Jasmine Murray was a top 12/13 finalist on “American Idol” season eight.

Jasmine Murray, who finished 12th/13th season eight, is Miss Mississippi. She competes for Miss America in Atlantic City next month. No doubt she is the first “Idol” finalist to achieve a pageant spot at this level.

***

Busy boy Ryan Seacrest inked a two year deal with CBS TV Studios to develop programming for them. Of course, he is the notorious man who spawned “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and the 37 spinoffs.

***
According to MJ’s Big Blog: “A small group of loved ones gathered for a private ceremony in memory of American Idol finalist Michael Johns at Los Angeles’s Forest Lawn Memorial Park on Friday. Johns’s family began traveling from his native Australia to be with his wife, interior designer Stacey Vuduris, shortly after they learned of the singer’s sudden death from a blood clot on Aug. 1. Johns is expected to be cremated and taken back to Australia.”

Some local Atlanta friends also held a mini memorial this past Sunday in his honor at Tin Roof Cantina. It was private so I wasn’t invited. (I am in Florida anyway and would have missed it even if I had been invited.) Here’s the program:

Michael johns memorial

***
Scotty McCreery released a set of tour dates this fall but nothing closer than Columbia, S.C. from Atlanta.

***

Sam Woolf on his website noted “Idol” has not signed him to a record deal. It’s likely they won’t sign anybody but the winner this go around. Even if Sam had been on season 6 or 7, I doubt he would have been signed by a major label. He lacks fundamental charisma and needs a lot more maturing.

***
If you want to see Jennifer Lopez’s “Booty,” she provided it here on Instagram to promote a new single. Folks on this blog last week talked about it and thought she was acting a bit desperate given her age. (She’s 45, a month younger than me!)

***
This is far less sexy but Carrie Underwood crushes a Coke can on her forehead for her buddy Brad Paisley and his latest song “Crushin’ It.”

145 comments
DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Mercedes' wish is apparently Rodney's command.  New thread up!

Woodpappy
Woodpappy

I can just hear Mo's wife or mother in law if they walked in about the time Mo passed J Lo's butt.  "But darling I'm commenting on a talent show, a singing talent show"....

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Morning!

My husband has been flying the Paris trips all month but his layovers are so short(less than 24 hours) that it isn't worth my hitching a ride.  :-(  That really fries my corn as Penny would say!

Woodpappy
Woodpappy

That's funny Mercedes... I'm startled each time I sign on but do stop for a moment to wonder how much of that is air brushed.......

MercedesS
MercedesS

Good Morning!


Now that our Rodney is back from his vacation I'm looking forward to a butt-free thread - soon...

MercedesS
MercedesS

After a dismal final season, I liked the two episodes leading up to the finale of "True Blood" VERY MUCH.  Then I read the recap of the finale and don't know if I want to see it at all. Boo.

MercedesS
MercedesS

Checking out Comcast's guide to 65 new shows this fall. Katharine McPhee is getting another chance with "Scorpion" where she plays the waitress mother of a genius son. Will check out.


Ditto "Forever" where Ioan Griffudd plats a dashing 200 year old medical examiner who has died a dozen times, then been resurrected moments later. Still dashing, one presumes.


Ditto "Dig" with Jason Isaacs.  Jason Isaacs is in it


Show I will NOT see: "Stalker". Previews running all summer have been creepy enough.


Also creepy, but maybe in a good way - "Red Band Society". Group of kids in pediatric ward deal with cancer and other horrible illnesses. Oscar winner Octavia Spencer is head nurse and adult confidant.


"Constantine" the TV-show might be what "Constantine" the movie wasn't.


Don't understand why "Gracepoint" is made at all.  Remake of brilliant British TV show "Broadchurch" with the SAME lead actor and seemingly the same storyline.  So I already know who the killer is! 

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Ho-hum, another duffus pretending to be over Idol, yet still coming in here to make stupid, ill-conceived remarks about that of which he/she knows little-to-nothing.

DJE0145
DJE0145

Ho-hum, more mindless trivia about a franchise that has long since outlived its authenticity, honesty, integrity, and entertainment value.  Ever since I figured out in 2002 all the performances were lip-synched and that the winner is ordained in advance by the producers, I've been totally turned off to it.


Bring back Willing Hung, the only honest competitor they ever had.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Anyone else here watching "Pretty Little Liars"? It's getting really wild now, and killing off characters who've been on since the beginning.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

D: Watched "FS" - much better (to me) than the confusing mess the week before. I am wondering who will actually end up on the ship - I'm kinda thinking it'll be Hal and Maggie - maybe hijack the thing and get their situation back on track. I'll miss it when it's off for a year, but at least the new season is starting for my other shows in Sept and Oct.  A bit torn about "blondie" - glad she did that thing she did last night, but kinda hoping it'd be a 2-way street! (just in case there's someone reading who watches but hasn't seen this week's yet.)

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Morning!

I'm getting off to a slow start today.  

Sam, I hope I persuaded you to give Breaking Bad a shot.  It really is worth it.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

My impression of Allison W was she's cute but waaaaay too tall to play Peter Pan. Then need an extremely petite young lady for that role!

Good night all.

D: I've not yet watched "FS" - hope to get to it this evening early.

MercedesS
MercedesS

Took a closer look at the Emmy outfits. Unknown (to me) Allison William very pretty in something white with yellow ribbon marking waist. Sarah something (think she's in the American Horror stories) looked fun in black tulle with red spots - like a vampire with hep-V had been sick on her. Michelle Monaghan's vestal virgin was elegant, and I liked January Jones's orange thing.  Matthew McConaughey at least TRIED.

MercedesS
MercedesS

Gave up on Emmy show after first hour. The dresses, from what I saw, were dreadful.  Project Runway rejects, mostly. Is Lena Dunham trying by "edgy", always picking the very worst one? What is the point of letting the same show "win", year after year?  That reality show about people traveling far and wide has won TEN TIMES.

Still haven't seen it or  Modern Family.

JTesla
JTesla

New season of Doctor Who started a few days back ;)

Woodpappy
Woodpappy

@DeirdreC I think I would still have to do it once.  Jump out grab a cab and see the sights for about 8 hours and then "poof" I'm gone.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@Woodpappy I'm pretty sure the airbrush guy got some overtime pay for this one.

JTesla
JTesla

@MercedesS All I got is the new season of Hell's Kitchen starting up. Unless Elementary is airing this fall, then I have two shows to worry about.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

@MercedesS  I've not heard of some of these, meaning they must be on HBS, Showtime or something else I do not subscribe to, ie "Dig", "Red Band Society" (sounds way to depressing for me), "Gracepoint" (have heard of "Broadchurch", but not seen it.)

DJE0145
DJE0145

May not be able to spell William Hung but I know lip-synch when I see it.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Please take note of this particular quote: "The final round of winners is decided by secret judging panels."

Makes you wonder, doesn't it?  

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@Sam-A1 Not sure where "blondie" is going either but at least she's heading in a better direction.

Looking forward to the finale.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

@DeirdreC  Might try it 'on demand' - you were very tricky, comparing it to my beloved (in the first movie at least) Michael Corleone in "Godfather"!!!! Always looking for stuff to watch on Saturdays, even "in season" there's little on that night, except for "Orphan Black" when it's 'in season'.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@Sam-A1 I watched it yesterday.  Good episode.  Next week is the 2 hour finale.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@MercedesS Sarah Paulsen was in American Horror Story on tv but you may remember her better as Michael Fassbender's horrid wife in 12 Years a Slave.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@MercedesS Allison Williams is one of the leads in Lena Dunham's series Girls.  She has also been cast as Peter Pan in the next live musical on TV.  She is also the daughter of the news anchor Brian Williams

G_
G_

@DeirdreC Yeah, a solid performance.  I like her voice, but she was a horrible judge on the Sing Off.


DeirdreC
DeirdreC

The background voices are from the clips of the people who passed away.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@JTesla I know you love that show.  I have never watched it but hear a lot about it.  Starting from the beginning(didn't it start in the 70's...or does it just seem that way) seems daunting however.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@Woodpappy @DeirdreC His schedule is a killer, Wp.  He takes off from Atlanta at 11:26pm, lands in Paris, dead on his feet, at 2pm their time, grabs some lunch and a 2 hour nap, buys some wine to bring home(a definite advantage is the French, Italian and German wines we get without having to pay import taxes) has dinner, goes to bed at about 10pm, gets up at around 8am(2am our time) goes to the airport and flies back to Atlanta.  He arrives in the ATL at 8pm, gets home about 9pm, eats dinner and goes to bed.  Then he needs the next day to recover.  He says he hopes he lives long enough to retire next year.

MercedesS
MercedesS

@JTesla @MercedesS  PS Constantine on NBC, Forever on ABC.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

@MercedesS @Sam-A1 Looks like! And if this "troll" would just watch the Season 1 finale, when Kelly tries to finish the show after winning with "A Moment Like This", and she's kinda crying, and her voice cracks in the middle and she goes "Oooooh" and then starts singing again, they'd know that was NO lip syncing!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@DJE0145 Apparently not.  If you have been watching the show, you'd know that Idols have forgotten lyrics, missed an entrance to a verse and actually stopped singing and started a song over again.

There was one or two seasons when the group sing was done with lip-synching but they got called out on it and now the group sings(when they do them) are just as awful as they used to be

MercedesS
MercedesS

@DeirdreC  Thank you Deirdre! I've never understood how that reality show about people travelling around the world while doing chores has won TEN TIMES.  Reading that NYT article sure opened my eyes. 

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@Sam-A1 @DeirdreC The comparison is a good one, Sam.  Walter White/Michael Corleone.  Neither one of them sets out to be a bad guy but that's how they end up.

JTesla
JTesla

@DeirdreC "She is also the daughter of the news anchor Brian Williams"

Googling images...

eww. She looks too much like her dad.

JTesla
JTesla

@DeirdreC Nah start in 2005 or start with Season 5 (Season 8 is starting now).

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

@MercedesS @DeirdreC I remember her being Carol's (ex wife of  Ross Geller) lesbian lover, later lesbian wife on "Friends"

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

@JTesla @DeirdreC JT: some version of Dr Who was on when I was a kid, and it was NOT in 2005!  Don't know who starred in it or other details, but I remember it was on Saturdays.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@Sam-A1 @MercedesS @DeirdreC Jessica Heckt played Carol's wife on Friends although Sarah Paulsen is a lesbian in real life.  Maybe that's where the confusion comes from.