Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Jennifer Hudson - Behind the Music

This week, VH1 debuted 'Behind the Music - Jennifer Hudson,' and if you haven't caught the show, it's well worth checking out.  The special documents Jennifer Hudson's life from childhood to present, focusing on the highs and lows this remarkable young woman has experienced in the past six years. 

The show is also the first time Jennifer has addressed the horrific murders of her mother, brother, and nephew, allegedly at the hand of her sister's estranged husband.

"It's all a blur, it was surreal," she says . "It was like I was outside of myself."  After the murders, Jennifer went into seclusion, seeing only close family and friends, and as she said in the interview, praying.

This tragic event could have destroyed Jennifer, but her faith, family, fiance, and close friends brought her through and gave her the strength to continue.  Clearly, though, Jennifer isn't letting this tragedy define her and is moving forward with her career and life as a mother.

You can watch the full interview here.

Here's a clip:

Thursday, June 24, 2010

June 24: Idols on the charts

For Your EntertainmentBoth Adam Lambert's For Your Entertainment and Daughtrty's Leave This Town moved up on the charts this week, and Clay Aiken's Tried and True hung in there for a third week. Check out where the Idols landed up on this week's charts.

Billboard 200 (Albums)
  • 23. Play On (Carrie Underwood): LW 22, 33 weeks on the charts
  • 75. Leave This Town (Daughtry): LW 84, 49 weeks on the charts
  • 77. Tried and True (Clay Aiken): LW 47, 3 weeks on the charts
  • 110. For Your Entertainment (Adam Lambert): LW 121, 30 weeks on the charts
  • 175. Daughtry (Daughtry): LW 155, 2 weeks on charts (reentered 6/11)
Idols on the singles charts
It's still pretty grim for 'Idol' singles on the charts. For the second week in a row there are just two in the Hot 100, Carrie Underwood's "Undo It" (No. 25) and Adam Lambert's "Whataya Want From Me (No. 41). No sign of anyone from Season 9!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Carrie Underwood to marry July 10

Just Jared is reporting an article in Life and Style magazine has pinpointed the date of Carrie Underwood's marriage to Ottawa Senators' hockey player Mike Fisher as July 10. Carrie has not made an official announcement. According to the article, Carrie and Mike will honeymoon in Tahiti and Bora Bora.

Tuesday night, Carrie performed at Bridgstone Arena in Nashville as part of Nashville Rising, a benefit concert for flood relief.

In other 'Idol' wedding news, Kellie Pickler is now engaged to songwriter Kyle Jacobs. According to People, Kyle popped the question on June 15 on a beach. 

Friday, June 18, 2010

'American Idol' Season 9 tour looks like a bust

With less than two weeks to go until the July 1 kickoff of this season's 'American Idols Live' tour, reports are filtering in that ticket sales are extremely slow - so slow, in fact, that Live Nation has been offering special package deals for the shows. In addition, there have been several "Ryan Special" days where seats are being sold for $20 or so plus handling charges.

This is unprecedented and indicates to most 'Idol' watchers that sales for this season's show are even more anemic than those for Season 6's tour, which was the biggest flop to date. I checked availability at the Times Union Center in Albany, New York, which is the closest venue to where I live. If I were willing to fork over $85.50, I could still get a floor seat (Row U, seat 6) for the show (see chart). Earlier this week, I checked the same venue and the same seat was available. In past years, the only seats available this close to the start of the tour were in nosebleed heaven! What's interesting is that the "Ryan Special" seats were in Section 204. Clearly, this venue is far from being sold out and the production company is desperate to fill it. What next? Free seats?

None of this surprises me. This season's Top 10 failed to ignite much excitement, and obviously, there are a lot of people who are choosing to skip this summer's tour. I probably would have gone to the show had it come to Syracuse, but certainly not for $85.50.

June 18: Idols on the charts

After debuting last week at No. 9, Clay Aiken's Tried and True  plummeted to No. 47 on this week's Billboard 200 albums chart. Also noteworthy, American Idol: Season 9 dropped off the charts after only five weeks.
Tried and True 
Billboard 200 (Albums)
Idols on the singles charts
It's pretty grim for 'Idol' singles on the charts. This week, there are just two in the Hot 100, Carrie Underwood's "Undo It" (No. 23) and Adam Lambert's "Whataya Want From Me (No. 40). No sign of anyone from Season 9!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

June 10: Idols on the charts

Tried and TrueClay Aiken has returned to the charts this week with the debut of Tried and True, an album of standards. The album, which sold 22,000 copies in its first week, debuts at No. 9 on the Billboard 200.

Billboard 200 (Albums)
  •  9. Tried and True (Clay Aiken): Debut - 22,000 total
  • 24. Play On (Carrie Underwood): LW 24, 31 weeks on the charts 1.575 million total
  • 72. Leave This Town (Daughtry): LW 77, 47 weeks on the charts- 1.07 million total
  • 78. For Your Entertainment (Adam Lambert): LW 72, 28 weeks on the charts - 657,000 total
  • 130. American Idol: Season 9 (Cast): LW 110, 4 weeks on the charts - 21,000 total
  • 147. Daughtry (Daughtry): Re-entry- 4.683 million total
Idols on the singles charts
Last week, Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox hit the charts with a total of five singles. This week, Crystal has disappeared, and all that's left are two singles by Lee. Not a good sign for the longevity of this season's Idols. Here's the rather brief list of Idol-related singles on the Hot 100. 
  • 25. "Undo It" (Carrie Underwood) : LW 25 
  • 40. “Whataya Want From Me” (Adam Lambert): LW 35
  • 72. "Beautiful Day" (Lee DeWyze): LW 24
  • 76. "Hallelujah" (Lee DeWyze): LW 44

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Video: Scott MacIntyre on 'Jimmy Kimmel'

One of my favorite Season 8 Idols, Scott MacIntyre, proves that not only can he sing, but he also has a good sense of humor and some acting chops. Check out this video (courtesy MJ's BigBlog) of Scott on Friday's 'Jimmy Kimmel' show!

Allison Iraheta's "Don't Waste the Pretty" featuring Orianthi

Season 8 fourth place finisher, Allison Iraheta, hasn't made quite the splash many of us expected, but that may change once the new single, "Don't Waste the Pretty"  (from her debut album Just Like You) hits the airwaves next week. The song, which has been remixed and features some fierce guitar links from Orianthi, has just the right mix of rock and pop, and should really take off.

Add to that the fact that Allison and Orianthi are opening for Adam Lambert's GlamNation Tour, and I think Allison may finally get the recognition she deserves.

To check out the song, click here and scroll down to the audio link. I'm loving this song!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

June 3: Idols on the charts

Welcome back 'Idol' fans. I took a week off, but now I'm back and the first order of business is to check out how our newly hatched Idols did on the singles' charts. This is the first week iTunes is allowed to release sales figures for Idol downloads to SoundScan, which feeds the Billboard charts.

Historically, the charts are heavy with 'Idol' tunes this first week of eligibility. But in keeping with the seeming lack of enthusiasm for this year's finalists, the best this season's contestants do is a No. 24 debut for Lee DeWyze's "Beautiful," giving Lee the distinction of having the lowest placed 'Idol' winners' single in the show's history.

Last season, Kris Allen and Adam Lambert combined for nine songs in the Hot 100. This year, Crystal and Lee have only five, one of which is there duet of "Falling Slowly." Click here for an analysis of Idol winners on the charts.

At any rate, here's how all the Idols did this week on the Hot 100.
  • 24. "Beautiful Day" (Lee DeWyze): Debut
  • 25. "Undo It" (Carrie Underwood) : LW 59
  • 35. “Whataya Want From Me” (Adam Lambert): LW 29
  • 44. "Hallelujah" (Lee DeWyze): Debut
  • 57. "Up To The Mountain" (Crystal Bowersox): Debut
  • 66. "Falling Slowly" (Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox): Debut
  • 81. "Leave Right Now" (Will Young - Idol boot song): Debut
  • 88. "The Boxer" (Lee DeWyze): Debut

Billboard 200 (Albums)
  • 24. Play On (Carrie Underwood): LW 35, 30 weeks on the charts
  • 72. For Your Entertainment (Adam Lambert): LW 62, 27 weeks on the charts
  • 77. Leave This Town (Daughtry): LW 58, 46 weeks on the charts
  • 110. American Idol: Season 9 (Cast): LW 82, 3 weeks on the charts