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Category: AmericanIdol

Emmy prediction: 'American Idol' will finally beat 'Amazing Race'

July 19, 2010 |  1:09 pm

Why does "Amazing Race" keep winning the Emmy race for best reality/competition show every year? Can "American Idol" ever win? And can Ryan Seacrest finally claim the Emmy contest for best reality TV host? Answers: Yes.  For two reasons:

1.) "Idol" producers submitted the finale to Emmy judges, which is exciting, heart-felt and twice as long as rival episode entries.

2.) Simon Cowell. Yes, "American Idol's" resident rascal may finally do something good for the show. Whether he means to or not.

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Poll: Do you think 'American Idol' can finally win the Emmy?

May 27, 2010 |  9:46 am

"American Idol" has lost the Emmy for best reality-competition show to "Amazing Race" for the last seven years, but the songbird smackdown finally has a good chance to win, thanks to what it plans to submit to judges.

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All nominees must enter one episode as an example of their best work from the past TV season. Gold Derby has learned exclusively that "Idol" will submit last night's spectacular two-hour finale that had everything: Simon Cowell's farewell (no, they didn't drop a house on him); appearances by the Bret Michaels, Carrie Underwood, Kris Allen, Alice Cooper, Bee Gees, Michael McDonald, Christina Aguilera, Alanis Morissette; even "a Kanye West moment" when a former contestant grabbed the microphone and insulted Simon. Oh, yeah, and they also crowned a winner (Lee DeWyze). It's the most exciting Emmy episode entry ever.

Meantime, we've also learned that "Amazing Race" plans to enter "I Think We're Fighting the Germans, Right?" in which the teams reenact World War I. "Dancing with the Stars" will enter the season opener. "Top Chef": "Vivre Las Vegas" (contestants performed for French chefs in the season opener), "Project Runway": "Sew Much Pleasure" (guest judge Jessica Alba). Those five shows were all nominated over the last several years and will probably return again. Read the views of our forum posters here.

Photo: Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze and Ryan Seacrest on "American Idol." Credit: Fox TV

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'American Idol's' Kris Allen: Future flop? Superstar?

May 23, 2009 | 11:02 pm

Let's fend off the nuclear attacks against Kris Allen now that he blasted Adam Lambert in the "American Idol" battle. Whether he survives and thrives ahead with a successful music career — winning Grammys and achieving the sales and critical respect he craves — may be discerned perhaps by observing how similar artists have fared so far.

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According to the posters in The Envelope's forums, the new "American Idol" winner fits the chiseled profiles of John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Rob Thomas and Jack Johnson. Not only have they all reaped mega-sales, but, in terms of earning industry respect, they'll all been nominated in the pop categories at the Grammys. Mayer and Thomas won. Mraz was also nominated for one of the top four prizes, best song ("I'm Yours"), a laurel John Mayer claimed for "Daughters." Thomas nabbed one of the other top Grammy trophies: best record ("Smooth," shared with Santana).

Lauren Christy, a member of producing team behind Mraz (plus Grammy grabbers Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears) told MTV News, "Kris is a heartthrob for the girls and has the looks and voice to carry a great pop career. You could liken him to Nick Lachey or Adam Levine from Maroon 5."

Maroon 5 won three Grammys, including one of the top four: best new artist. Nick Lachey hasn't been nominated, but he got deserving bids for "What's Left of Me" from the American Music Awards and MTV Video Music Awards.
 

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Photo: Fox TV

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'American Idol' champ Kris Allen wants Grammys, but will he get them?

May 23, 2009 | 10:31 pm

After pulling off a shockeroo upset on "American Idol" over Adam Lambert, Kris Allen said, "The only thing I want to do is to be respected in the music industry and my music be respected. Whether that means selling albums or winning Grammys or just people liking your music — that's all I really want to do."

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So far, only two of "American Idol's" eight champs have grabbed Grammys. Carrie Underwood won one of that award's four highest honors — best new artist (she's the only "Idol" contestant ever nominated in that race) — plus three trophies in the country categories. Kelly Clarkson has won two in the pop field.

Among "Idol" losers, seventh-place contestant Jennifer Hudson won a Grammy in February for best R&B album for her eponymous disc. Of course, she also has an Oscar, Golden Globes and slew of other golden statuettes.

Kris Allen won't be joining the above stars if two New York Times writers are correct in their assessments of his talent. Frank Rich calls him bland and Jon Caramanica adds, "At best, Mr. Allen is a harmless singer — he makes Kenny Loggins look tough. At worst, he’s indefensible, utterly lacking in texture and range and interpretive imagination."

But, oh, come on! Allen demonstrated impressive singing chops while crooning such numbers on stage as "Ain't No Sunshine" and "Heartless," which suggests that he has true promise that could lead to Grammy greatness someday.

Continue reading »

Will Kris Allen's upset mean another Emmy humiliation for 'American Idol'?

May 21, 2009 |  3:51 pm

Throughout this season of "American Idol," Adam Lambert was widely proclaimed to be the front-runner, even by the notoriously fickle Simon Cowell, who called him a brilliant artist, showman and "worldwide star." Victory by Kris Allen is such a blatant rejection of industry and critical opinion, we must wonder: Does it diminish the credibility of the show?

Adam Lambert Kris Allen American Idol Season Eight Finale Emmy Awards For Jon Caramanica of the New York Times, "At best, Mr. Allen is a harmless singer — he makes Kenny Loggins look tough. At worst, he’s indefensible, utterly lacking in texture and range and interpretive imagination. His awww-shucks demeanor spills over to his performances, in which his chin jerks violently to the right every time he’s aiming for a big note, as if his mouth is struggling to deliver what his brain is asking for."

However, as Whitney Pastorek of Entertainment Weekly explained, "Adam Lambert was never going to win this show, but I don't think it had anything to do with platform boots or flaming bombast or some vast red state/Mormon/hillbilly/Miss California conspiracy. I think it had more to do with the fact that the sort of people who would be inclined to like Adam Lambert are not as inclined to watch this show as the sort of people who would be inclined to like Kris Allen."

And as Ann Powers of the Los Angeles Times pointed out, "Allen has his undeniable strong points. In terms of the music industry, he cuts a more contemporary figure than Lambert: Many stars now (specifically rock-oriented, male ones) tend to do better when they draw themselves to scale, offering songs that make fans feel warm and connected, not blown away."

Though the public may have preferred the soft rock of Kris Allen, Adam Lambert's hard edge certainly made for better TV. And the ultimate judges of that aspect of "American Idol" will be the Emmy voters. Over its first seven seasons, "American Idol" has struck out repeatedly at the Emmy Awards, winning only two of its 34 bids. And neither of those wins came in the top race of best reality competition program. Indeed, since that category was introduced in 2003, "The Amazing Race" has won all six years.

Continue reading »

Poll: Who will win / should win 'American Idol'?

May 20, 2009 | 12:51 pm

Just because Adam Lambert has the most buzz and the highest Cool Factor doesn't mean he's a cinch to win "American Idol." Many "Idol" fans have mistakenly underestimated Kris Allen over and over again in the past.

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Last year, remember, most polls projected an easy win by David Archuletta over David Cook. Then, everybody's jaw dropped when the actual victor was declared "American Idol" champ.

Victory may not even be decided by who has the most music talent. Winner is the chap with the most votes. Adam Lambert's disciples may be complacent, may make the mistake to think he's got this in the bag. However, Kris Allen fans, driven by the zeal of pushing hard for the underdog, may text in dozens more votes each.

Bottom line: It may not even matter who wins "American Idol." Clay Aiken's had a more notable career than winner Ruben Studdard. Heck, Jennifer Hudson came in seventh place, but now has an Oscar, Grammy, Golden Globe and a slew of other showbiz awards that winner Fantasia Barrino doesn't own.

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Photos: Fox TV

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'American Idol' smackdown vs. Grammys: Who cares?

May 19, 2009 | 11:49 am

With more than 9,000 voters piping in, Adam Lambert has a substantial lead over Kris Allen (68% vs 32%) in our poll asking this question: Which "American Idol" contestant will win more showbiz awards during their future careers?
 
"This article is ludicrous!" cried a reader in the comments section of one of our "American Idol"-Grammy pieces. "Mr. O'Neil, if your intent was to rile everyone up, then you succeeded," fumes another reader. 

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Those outcries are typical of many comments by posters furious — or baffled — by us daring to ask such a question. What's the problem? Isn't "American Idol" everyman's equivalent to the Grammys? The TV singing contest purports to tell us what average folk think of these performers. Why can't we compare them to the winners of the industry's Grammy?

On one hand, the pondering might reveal who'll win "Idol." Carrie Underwood is a fine example of someone who's won both contests. She's claimed four Grammys over all, including one of the top four prizes: best new artist.  Maybe Kelly Clarkson too — she's won two Grammys in the pop categories.

However, success at one music contest doesn't necessarily mean payoff at the other. Among "Idol" losers, Jennifer Hudson has not only won a Grammy but an Oscar too. Chris Daughtry's self-titled band hasn't won a Grammy, but it has scored four nominations.

But that's not what has gotten Gold Derby readers so riled up. It's that we had the audacity to ask: Is it possible for Allen to win "Idol" but Lambert to have the most enduring music career as measured by showbiz awards? Scroll through the comments in response and you'll see such outcries as "This is the stupidest article!"

Our posters also popped their cyber-corks when we had the audacity to wonder: Will Adam Lambert turn out to be a loser after winning 'American Idol'? Scroll through the comments section and you'll see this doozy reply: "This is the most biased and ridiculous article I have read all day." Another poster harrumphs in a grammatically challenged way: "You sure got a lot of hate, didn't you?"

While we compare how America's Grammys have fared opposite the music biz's Grammys, it's relevant to explore how the "American Idol" TV show has fared when judged by the TV industry's highest honor: the Emmy.

Continue reading »

Will Adam Lambert turn out to be a loser after winning 'American Idol'?

May 17, 2009 |  6:10 pm

If Adam Lambert wins "American Idol" this week, as expected, where will he be in several years? Touring America's backwaters in old stage musicals like Taylor Hicks — or else not doing much at all like Ruben Studdard? American Idol Adam Lambert 527839461 newsOr will Adam Lambert be seen collecting major awards at podiums like past champs Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson?

If Kris Allen wins "American Idol," I can see parallels to top Grammy grabbers like Rob Thomas and John Mayer, as I reported earlier. But there's a problem trying to peg Adam Lambert. When was the last time we had his equivalent sweep the Grammys? The last guy who wore as much eyeliner as Lambert and won the Grammy for best record of the year was Billie Joe Armstrong and Green Day ("Boulevard of Broken Dreams," 2006), who's a lot more macho than Lambert. That quality sometimes is key to success in the music biz since CD sales are largely driven by love-struck gals.

But there are exceptions among past top Grammy champs. George Michael won album of the year for "Faith" in 1989. Michael Jackson won best album ("Triller") and record ("Beat It") in 1984. Both stars are a bit more androgynous. Do you think those are apt parallels? Or is success limited nowadays to the swaggering likes of Chris Martin and Coldplay ("Clocks," best record of 2004) and Bono and U2 (best album winners for "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" in 2006 and "The Joshua Tree" in 1988, best record champs for "Walk On" in 2002 and "Beautiful Day" in 2001)?

If you haven't yet voted in our poll — (Who'll win the most showbiz awards, Kris Allen or Adam Lambert?) — pipe in here.

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Photos: Fox TV, Epic Records

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Kris Allen to win 'American Idol,' but Adam Lambert has best career?

May 16, 2009 | 10:04 am

Virtually all of the alleged "American Idol" "experts" have consistently underestimated Kris Allen while ballyhooing Adam Lambert as the inevitable champ. What if Kris Allen surprises again?

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Romantically speaking, Allen is more of a heartthrob type. He may have a much bigger, secret fan base among the gum-snapping girls who set off tsunamis of text and phone votes that decide winners each week. Furthermore, Lambert likes to jump off cliffs, creatively speaking. What if he goes splat during the final face-off?

When Gold Derby polled readers, asking who  -- Lambert or Allen -- will end up winning the most showbiz awards during their future careers, regardless of who wins "American Idol," Lambert stomped. He scored 73% of the votes. But will that prove to be true?

Again, that view may just be a reflection of bossy assumptions pushed by the "Idol" judges and producers. Lambert's mysterious sexuality may be a turn-off among music-buyers, who may gobble up more CDs from the more macho Allen. That could give Allen a vastly larger fan base and a much bigger, longer career during which he could win lots more industry awards.

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'Rock of Ages' reviews boost Tony Awards chances

April 8, 2009 |  2:26 pm

In a Broadway season with only one new hit musical — "Billy Elliot" — the rousing reception accorded to "Rock of Ages" is particularly noteworthy. The well-reviewed show, which opened Tuesday, uses hits of 1980s rock bands to tell the tale of a young buck from the backwoods (Constantine Maroulis) in the big city and the doe-eyed girl (Amy Spanger) who spurs him on to fame and fortune.

Broadway Broadway Tony Awards Tonys Broadway When done well, these so-called jukebox musicals that use proven hit songs can win Tony Awards a la 2006 champ "Jersey Boys." That best musical winner chronicled the rise and fall of the Four Seasons with Tony-winning turns by John Lloyd Young and Christian Hoff. However, all too often these shows hit all the wrong notes with critics and audiences alike. Consider the failure of a trio of 2007 tuners: "All Shook Up" (using the songbook of Elvis Presley), "Good Vibrations" (The Beach Boys), and "Imagine" (John Lennon).

Writing about "Rock of Ages," Charles Isherwood of the New York Times raves, "the attractions of this latest in the ceaseless parade of jukebox musicals on Broadway extend well beyond the extensions. Written with winky wit by Chris D’Arienzo, directed with zest by Kristin Hanggi, sung with scorching heat by a spirited cast, and featuring a towering stack of heavy-rotation favorites from the glory years of MTV — hits from Journey and Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar and Poison, Whitesnake and Twisted Sister — this karaoke comedy about warped-vinyl dreams is about as guilty as pleasures get."

For Isherwood, "The performances blend sincere conviction and knowing parody. Mr. Maroulis, an alum of  'American Idol,' possesses a soulful, pure and intense voice that negotiates the mountains of melisma and cuts through the electricity with ease. He isn’t required to do anything intense in the acting department, but has a natural, laid-back presence that invites you to root for Drew. Ms. Spanger, a veteran of several Broadway shows, sings with a matching ferocity, and plays the hard-used heroine with a smidgen of real winsomeness."

Joe Dziemianowicz of the New York Daily News says,  "It all plays out in predictable fashion, but Kristin Haggi's cheeky staging and Kelly Devine's pulsating choreography makes it an enjoyable journey. Factor in a couple dozen feel-good tunes and a rocking band and you've got a cranked-up crowd-pleaser.
Reprising the part of nice-guy Drew, whose janitorial job is a steppingstone to rock stardom, Maroulis brings versatile pipes and a shaggy charm that's irresistible. The adorable Spanger's comic expertise adds fresh dimension to her starlet-turned-stripper."

Continue reading »

Which 'American Idol' rival will win the most showbiz awards?

March 26, 2009 | 12:34 pm

It doesn't matter if you think Adam Lambert or Matt Giraud will win "American Idol." Which of the current contestants will have the most triumphant career in future years? Who'll win the most show awards? Lil Rounds? Allison Iraheta?

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Remember, Jennifer Hudson only came in seventh  in Season 3 of "American Idol," but went on to win the Oscar, Golden Globe, SAG, Critics Choice, BAFTA and New York Film Critics Circle awards for "Dreamgirls." She also won best R&B album at the recent Grammys for her debut disc "Jennifer Hudson."

Meantime, "American Idol" winners like Ruben Studdard and Taylor Hicks have proven to be real losers. Where are their careers?

Recently, Gold Derby asked our forum posters who they believe will emerge the true, ultimate winner of this year's "American Idol," regardless of the season's official scores. See their responses here.

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Photos: Fox

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Which 'American Idol' rivals have the best shot to win awards?

March 19, 2009 | 11:30 am

Let's forget for a moment who has the best shot to win "American Idol." Who among the  live show participants has the best chance to go on and contend for the top showbiz awards?

Remember that Jennifer Hudson only came in seventh place in Season 3, but went on win the Oscar, Golden Globe, SAG, Critics Choice, BAFTA and New York Film Critics Circle awards for her performance in "Dreamgirls" as well as best R&B album at the recent Grammys for her debut disc "Jennifer Hudson."

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Season 3 champ Fantasia recorded a R&B duet with Hudson — "I'm His Only Woman" — that contended at those Grammys. Fantasia earned four Grammy nominations in 2006 for her first album ("Free Yourself") and  three more in 2008 for her second ("Fantasia"). She has three Billboard Awards, including the prize for top-selling single of 2004 ("I Believe").

Ruben Studdard, who won Season 2 by a whisker, picked up a Grammy nod in 2004 for best male R&B vocal performance ("Superstar"), but he lost to his idol, Luther Vandross. Runner-up Clay Aiken, who won three Billboard awards and was fan choice at the 2003 American Music Awards, has yet to pick up any Grammy noms.

Season 1 champ Kelly Clarkson won Grammys in 2006 for best female pop vocal performance ("Since U Been Gone") and pop album ("Breakaway"). She also won best female video twice at the MTV Music Video Awards — "Since U Been Gone" (2005) and "Because of You" (2006)  — as well as six Teen Choice Awards, four American Music Awards, and a People's Choice Award. And now that  Clarkson's fourth album — "All I Ever Wanted" — just entered the Billboard charts at No. 1, it's likely that more kudos are ahead.

Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks released her self-titled debut album in the fall of 2007 to good reviews and sales, including two platinum singles ("Tattoo" and "No Air"). The latter of those was with Chris Brown and landed them a recent Grammy nod for pop vocal collaboration.

While Taylor Hicks won Season 5 of "American Idol," he has never been nominated for any showbiz prize (and, let's be honest, has little hope in the future — what were voters thinking in 2006, eh?). However, fourth-place finisher Chris Daughtry scored four Grammy nominations for his group's self-titled debut "Daughtry." And they won four American Music Awards in 2007.

Season 4 champ Carrie Underwood is the only "American Idol" ever  nominated for best new artist at the Grammys, which she won in 2007, in addition to best female country vocal performance ("Jesus, Take the Wheel"). She repeated in that category in both 2008 ("Before He Cheats") and 2009 ("Last Name"). Carrie Underwood has also won five American Music Awards, five Country Music Assn. Awards, six Academy of Country Music Awards, and six CMTs.

So what about the current crop of "American Idol" contestants? Which ones have the best awards potential? I posed that question in The Envelope's Gold Derby forums and discovered that most support goes to Kris Allen, Allison Iraheta, Adam Lambert and Lil' Rounds. Here are just a sample of comments from our posters:

Try Again: "Adam —  If the material is good or popular, he will no doubt get an AMA, VMA nomination. Allison — She seem the most poised to earn multiple nominations from the AMAs, VMAs and Grammys. She could do well with the right material to get a couple of nominations."

Gucci: "At this point, Lil' Rounds is the only one to me that has potential to land some Grammy nominations within the R&B field."

LKMOSCAR: "Allison is the only one as of now."

DJWolff: "Kris Allen seems to be the only contestant with some viable marketability. However, Adam Lambert has a huge following. He can definitely exploit the emo-Tokio Hotel route and win VMAs on his own (especially if they're fan-voted)."

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