Thursday, May 20, 2010
Did anyone think that Casey would survive this week's American Idol cut? Notes posted around the Internet overwhelmingly opined that it was time for Casey to leave -- and, indeed, the Idol judges seemed to be ready to lead him to the door.
But what a run it has been for North Texas' Casey James!
"I'm so thankful for the opportunity," smiled James -- even after his elimination. "It's been an amazing, amazing journey and I'm so thankful that I'm here.
As with departing contestants, James got to sing a farewell song. He chose John Mayer's Daughters -- which had been judges Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi's choice for him in this week's competition. Confident, smiling and seemingly still happy, James delivered the song with ample tenderness and style.
There was a sense that Casey may have expected that it was his week to go -- and that he was ready to move on to the Idol tour and showing America that he deserves to be a star.
Indeed, elimination from the American Idol competition often signals less about defeat and more about moving ahead in a career. Runner-up Adam Lambert has become a super star -- as has Chris Daughtry. And how about Jennifer Hudson, Katharine McPhee, Clay Aiken and Kimberley Locke -- none of whom won the American Idol coveted crown!
“I never thought I'd get this far,” Casey admitted to host Ryan Seacrest. “But to me, it's like winning $10 million in the lottery and $100 million in the lottery. It's so much more than I expected, so it can't be bad.”
As the Dallas News reports: "For a guy who doesn't own a TV — and drove all night to auditions in Denver at the urging of his mom, who lent him her truck because there was no way his would make the trip — landing in the semifinals of the world's most popular talent show proved a bit overwhelming. As James Casey watched footage of last week's screaming-filled visit to North Texas Dallas/Fort Worth and his hometown of Cool, he fought back tears."
Friday, January 22, 2010
Shortly after Massachusetts voters cast enough ballots to send Scott Brown to Washington as the state's newest Senator, his daughter, Ayla Brown, became one of the top searches on search engines.
During Brown's victory speech, he mentioned that his two daughters -- Ayla and Arianna -- were available. Quickly former American Idol contestant Ayla's name was being typed at computers -- probably by a lot of eligible bachelors -- seeking more information about her.
At 17 Ayla graced the stage of American Idol after garnering praise at the show's Boston audition. The Boston College basketball star has appeared with The Boston Pops and performed the National Anthem at a Boston Red Sox game.
Posted by Judy Chaffee at 1:23 AM
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
“I think we reached out a little bit,” American Idol judge Randy Jackson told PEOPLE Thursday. “We’re all friends with Ellen, and Ryan [Seacrest] and I are pretty close with her. She’s just mad cool."
Jackson opined that he thinks that DeGeneres will be good for Idol. “There’s so much music industry insider talk with me and Simon [Cowell] and Kara [DioGuardi] that I didn’t think we needed any more of that,” he told People. “Ellen hit it right on the head — I think she could be the voice of the people. It’s like somebody in the home audience watching and going, ‘What would I say [about this contestant]?’ Ellen’s going to be saying it for [them].”
But Jackson also lamented that Paula Abdul will no longer sitting at the Idol juding table. "She’s our dear friend,” he explained. "“Paula started this whole battle with us many seasons ago, before we all knew the show could be hot, and we love her and miss her. We were doing the auditions and I was looking across the table and it was like, ‘Where’s Paula? What’s going on?’ But you know, things happen, life is full of change sometimes. You know, I’m still sad about that."
Posted by Judy Chaffee at 12:06 PM
Monday, August 24, 2009
On Twitter, American Idol host Ryan Seacrest offers a different kind of view of Randy. He wrote, "randy's look on flight 2 dallas 4 idol...shin skin! does he think we r doing project runway?"
CLICK HERE TO SEE "SHIN SKIN"
CLICK HERE TO SEE "SHIN SKIN"
Posted by Judy Chaffee at 2:10 PM
The list of competitors remaining in dance competition for the $100,000 grand prize and title of America’s Best Dance Crew was narrowed to six this week. The flag of Southern Movement fell – despite giving a brilliant performance in the final dance-off.
Host Mario Lopez quickly announced that two crews that had been voted safe were AfroBorike and We Are Heroes – leaving five crews still at risk of being sent home. And he announced that the week’s challenge would be martial arts.
First performing was AfroBorike who brought the Brazilian flavor of martial arts style capoira to “I Know You Want Me.” Shane Sparks said, “The routine was boring, choreography was weak and there was no energy.” Lil Mama said, “I believe that you have to bring it.” And JC added, “It was not a spectacular routine.”
We Are Heroes then performed to “Starstruck.” Lil Mama thought, “You are not afraid to take risks, and you bring a very intriguing part to the show.” JC opined, “I thought that it started a little slow, but it did pick up. Coolest thing was over and under. Great stunt work.” And Shane added, “I agree with JC. It did start slow, but you executed tasks well.”
Following the two initial performances, Lopez announced that Vogue Evolution would move on – and Rhythm City would be in the bottom two crews.
Vogue Evolution, assigned a Kung Fu style of martial arts, performed to “Work.” JC Chasez said, “That performance woke me up. The choreography was fun.” Shane Sparks said, “I did not like it at all.” And Lil Mama said, “I agree with JC. You didn’t give us difficult choreography, but you did give us visuals, images. And I appreciate that.”
One crew moving on, said Lopez, -- was Massive Monkees. Then he announced that an additional crew that was safe was Beat Ya Feet Kings. That meant that Southern Movement would be the second of crews in the bottom two.
Massive Monkees next hit the stage with an energetic, extreme martial arts routine to “Bounce.” Shane Sparks offered, “It was a very exciting routine, but I thought you took the easy road.” JC Chasez said, “I saw a nice combat kind of thing. But you didn’t quite do the task.” Lil Mama finished the assessments with, “Your performance was action packed. I enjoyed it.”
Beat Ya Feet Kings got a tae kwan do challenge -- which was all about the feet. They performed to “Chillin.” Lil Mama opined, “It was a smooth pace. I love the fact that you tried some fun elements.” Shane Sparks offered, “I need to get excited about something creative – so I have to push you all. Step it up.” And JC Chasez said, “That routine was like running a marathon.”
Then it was time for the back-to-back dance-off between Southern Movement and Rhythm City -- to determine which crew would remain and which would be heading home.
Rhythm City danced buay thai moves to “LaLaLa” -- while Southern Movement took on an assignment of kali to “Ugly.”
Shane Sparks said of Rhythm City, “Give it up ladies and gentlemen. You are so ridiculous. You came up tonight, and put yourself back on the map.”
JC Chasez said of Southern Movement, “We just saw the two best performances of the night. You got dealt the hardest task. Passing sticks is hard.”
Lil Mama ended with, “I come from real street battles. That was a battle. It was like you both had a point to prove. We have to choose between you – it’s tough.”
In the final moments of the show, Lopez reminded that the judges felt that both crews at risk had given the best routines of the night – but one still had to be sent home. Then he announced that the crew moving on would be Rhythm City.
And Southern Movement walked off as their flag fell.
Posted by Judy Chaffee at 1:51 PM
Thursday, August 20, 2009
FORMER IDOL FINALIST PHIL STACEY DISCUSSES HIS NEW ALBUM -- AND AN UNEXPECTED MEETING WITH IDOL JUDGE RANDY JACKSON
Phil Stacey appeared a little bit country and maybe even a little bit rock 'n roll on American Idol, but with his new album he is showing who Phil Stacey actually is and being true to himself.
The new album, Into the Light, is being released on Sony's Christian label on August 25, 2009.
"Even on my country record, every song was based on a Bible verse, to me," Stacey told kypost.com. "People who knew Christian music would say, 'How could you put a John Waller song on a country CD," Stacey said, referring to a modern Christian worship leader and songwriter.
But Stacey has made a recent move "from Disney's county label to Sony's Christian label." It is the same label as Christian music star Michael W. Smith. Stacey and Smith also share a manager -- and on Stacey recorded his new album with Christian music's legendary Brown Bannister who has worked with Smith and Amy Grant.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH PHIL DISCUSSING AN UNEXPECTED MEETING WITH AMERICAN IDOL JUDGE RANDY JACKSON (scroll down to find the video)
"It was intimidating going into the studio with someone who has worked which such gifted people," Stacey told kypost. " But at the end of the day, he started out as a youth pastor, and he has a minister's heart, which set my nerves at east. We talked about the Bible and verses behind songs, and prayed before tracking. I admire Brown more as a person than for his musical background."
And this fall Stacey will be touring with Smith. "He has been so encouraging," Stacey revealed in his interview. "He'd send me texts like, 'Phil, I really like this record,' which meant the world to me."
Since his stint on American Idol, Stacey has not been able to get to Kentucky much. "Most of my family lives in Richmond," Stacey said. "My family has three or four farms out there, so I do consider Richmond home. I'm a diehard UK fan."
He did, though, sing at a rally at Man O' War Church of God which his uncle is the pastor. Stacey, by the way, is the son of a pastor, grandson of two pastors and was once a music minister himself!
On myspace, Stacey reveals, "I enjoy talking about the music, too. In fact, I love it. But the biggest hope I have is that what I do will help draw people to God -- whether that's through the songs I write, how I conduct myself on stage, or more importantly, the ways I relate to other people. Everything I did with American Idol has readied me for this platform and this album. This is where I feel at home and I can't wait for people to hear these songs."
Stacey also revealed that he had just learned that "my new song will be featured on WOW Hits 2010!!! Whoohoo!" Wow is an annual compilation album which each year features top contemporary Christian music.
Posted by Judy Chaffee at 10:30 AM
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Apparently American Idol executives and Paula Abdul are back in talks again about her possible return to the Idol judging panel.
“The people at the very top of ABC were really vocal about getting her (Paula) on board for ‘Dancing (With The Stars),” msnbc quoted a source familiar with talks between the network execs and the Idol former judge. “By not exactly keeping it secret, it made Paula’s value more apparent to Fox.”
The negotiations between Idol execs and Paula are called “talks” by msnbc – “since dubbing them ‘negotiations' suggests that one side is budging.
“Paula isn’t lowering her price in any meaningful way. She wants a Seacrest-level deal,” msnbc quotes the source. American Idol host Ryan Seacrest reportedly inked a three-year, $45 million deal.
“If there is a scenario that gets Abdul back on the show, it’s likely that her return would be limited to the live shows only, according to several people who are close to the talks. This will allow the original offer made by the show to stand, but Abdul would have a shorter time commitment,” offers the msnbc article.
ABC was extremely disappointed that they were unable to nap Paula. “They didn’t really want Tom DeLay as their most-buzzed-about contestant,” a source told msnbc.
Throughout the summer Abdul has always expressed that she wanted to return to the American Idol judging panel – and there has been chatter that her friend and fellow judge Simon Cowell has been supporting her behind the scenes. Judges Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi have apparently been supportive as well.
So with talks resumed and a real possibility that she might be back on Idol, it is no wonder that Paula sounds so happy in her Twitter messages.
One of Paula’s recent Tweets reads, “thx for all the support. Never give up on your dreams. Fight for what you believe in. And never stop believing in yourself. xxP”
Another reads, “The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.”
It seems that Paula may be thinking very positively these days!
Posted by Judy Chaffee at 7:10 AM