"I'm here to tell you i'm ... MOIST."
Ten years ago, a veteran British entertainment mogul named Simon Fuller had the very bright idea to adapt his smash hit UK television show Pop Idol for an American audience. The result was a program called American Idol, and its impact on the television landscape (as well as our culture-at-large) cannot be underestimated. It has spawned dozens of imitators, and withstood all challenges to remain the highest rated show on American television (not counting the NFL, natch).
At this time last year, the departure of Simon Cowell and the failed run of Ellen Degeneres had many industry observers prophesying that the show was dead in the water. However, in a semi-remarkable twist, the show actually gained new life thanks to the star power of Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler. Speaking of the latter, the Aerosmith lead singer brought something to the show that it had been lacking since Day One: A whiff of sex. Despite the fact that the 63-year-old Tyler is old enough to be the grandfather of most of the contestants, his naturally libidinous and undeniably charismatic persona added an exciting new element to the program.
Oh, and did we mention that Steven Tyler just might be the most lovable creep on television? His entendre-laden, heavily sexual metaphors arguably provide just as much entertainment to viewers at home as the actual performances themselves. Which is why we here at VH1 Tuner are excited to debut the Dude Is Acting Shady Meter*, which will keep track of Tyler’s come-ons and rank them on a scale of 1-5, one that ranges from Innocently Innocuous to EWWWWWWWW!. So, without further ado, let’s get into last night’s Season 11 premiere of American Idol.
WHO: Shannon Magraine
SET-UP: When this six-foot tall 15-year-old was accompanied by her twenty-nine female siblings (only a slight exaggeration), her striking mom and her ex-MLB pitcher father (!) in the judge’s lair, Tyler’s boner just about knocked over the judge’s table.
TYLER’S COMMENTS: “Hot, humid and happenin’ … just like your daughter.”
DUDE IS ACTING SHADY METER SCORE: 5/5 – EWWWWWWWWW!
You might think that after selling 5.8 million copies of 21 in 2011, everyone who had any sort of interest in buying Adele’s sophomore LP would have already done so. Well, you’d be wrong: Adele is still #1 on the Billboard 200 and iTunes charts, and now rumor has it that she’ll be performing at the 2012 Grammy Awards in February, an event which she is virtually guaranteed to win ALL of the awards. Adele has already warned that it will be a few years before she releases her next album, but word out of the UK leads us to believe that her next LP might be significantly happier.
The Daily Mail is reporting today that the 23-year-old Adele has found love in a swampy place; specifically, in the arms of Simon “Swampy” Konecki. However, much like the troubled relationship that fueled the narrative of 21, this burgeoning relationship is not without its own bit of controversy. You see, “Swampy” is not only a wealthy investment manager 14 years her senior, but —gulp— is also a married (ED.NOTE—Or is he? See our update below!) man with a 5-year-old daughter of his own. Lest you place the “homewrecker” tag on Adele, though, reports seem to suggest his marriage is all but kaput; he’s “in the process of divorcing” his current wife (the pair has been separated since 2010). Either way, we’re happy for Adele and excited for the possibility of her penning a bunch of lovestruck anthems.
UPDATE: According to a post on Adele’s personal site, Swampy is actually divorced. Here’s what Adele herself wrote about the situation: “This is the first and last time I will comment on the details of my relationship with Simon. Contrary to reports and headlines in the press today, Simon is divorced and has been for 4 years. Everyone in our lives separately and together wish us nothing but the best, and vice versa. These are the facts. Take care and see you all in February xx”
Revealed: Adele’s Old Etonian lover Simon Konecki is a married dad [Daily Mail]
[Photo: Getty Images]
Lana Del Rey is no stranger to controversy. The stunning 25-year-old chanteuse with the haunting voice has been in the crosshairs of the indie blogosphere for months, but after she made her American television debut last night as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, she’s become a conversational lightning rod in the mainstream. Del Rey’s performances of “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans” were not the strongest renditions of those songs in her young career and, as a result, many critics delighted in breaking out their book of nasty superlatives to describe her work using social media services.
Perez Hilton broke his phony, self-imposed streak of faux-niceness and tore into Lana Del Rey on Twitter in the wee hours of the morning: “Just watched SNL. Not only was @LanaDelRey vocally WAY off, but watching her utter lack of stage presence was cringe-worthy. #DontBuyTheHype” Actress and part-time singer Juliette Lewis piled on, tweeting “Wow watching this ‘singer’ on SNL is like watching a 12 year old in their bedroom when they’re pretending to sing and perform. #signofourtimes” before remembering what her own voice actually sounds like and wisely deleting her tweet. Even Eliza Dushku, last seen guest-starring on The League, weighed in on Twitter, describing Del Rey as “wack-a-doodle” before also deleting her tweet. Lest you think it was only famous people eagerly sinking their claws into her, a wholly unscientific, purely anecdotal search on Twitter we just performed shows that negative comments about LDR are outweighing positive ones by at least a 2:1 margin.
However, despite this tidal wave of haterade, it looks like Lana Del Rey and Interscope Records might end up having the last laugh. Her four song Lana Del Rey – EP is currently the #2 album on the iTunes charts (where, it should be noted, it is averaging a 4-star rating after garnering nearly 2,900 reviews) and her LP, Born To Die, is the #16 album on the Amazon.com charts, despite the fact that it doesn’t even come out until January 31. So while everyone probably wished that her performance on SNL had gone over as well as her excellent rendition of “Video Games” on Later Live … With Jools Holland back in October, it’s evident that the American public is now not only aware of this controversial new singer, but that they’re interested in learning more about who she is and what she sounds like. In other words, mission accomplished for Team LDR.
RELATED: Artist On The Verge Lana Del Rey Talks SNL, Coachella And Paz De La Huerta’s T*ts
After racking up tens of millions of views on YouTube and generating more conversation than virtually any other “indie” artist in 2011, Lana Del Rey made her American television debut tonight on Saturday Night Live. She performed “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans”, the two songs that first propelled her from virtual obscurity and put her on the map less than six months ago. America clearly took notice, too: She was a trending topic on Twitter not once but twice tonight (although, it must be noted, one of those times the TT was “Lana Del Ray”, a misspelling of her name).
Spelling issues aside, SNL provided a compelling introduction to Lana Del Rey’s unique sound. She appeared a bit nervous at the outset of each of her two performances tonight, her voice dropping into an even lower register than she generally sings, but she settled into a groove each time and finished both songs with gusto. Curiously, she chose not to perform “Born To Die,” the song which she shot a big budget video for back in December (and is currently the Single of the Week in the iTunes Store), but we suppose she’ll probably perform that when she visits the Late Show With David Letterman and Ellen in a few weeks.
We actually had the opportunity to sit down for a candid conversation with Lana Del Rey earlier this week, during which she opened up about her controversial omission from this year’s Coachella lineup and told us a totally awesome story about an encounter with a topless Paz De La Huerta in Paris late last year. We also asked her about Daniel Radcliffe, who was the host of tonight’s episode of Saturday Night Live, the results of which you can see below:
Lana Del Rey is almost nothing like you’d expect her to be. Let us explain.
In just under six months, Del Rey has gone from being a virtual unknown to landing a highly coveted gig as the musical guest on this weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live, an opportunity that some artists work their entire careers for and never achieve. The booking of this artist, best known for her uniquely sexy voice and a cinematic style of music she describes as “Summertime sadness,” totally makes sense, though. While it’s true that she hasn’t even released her album yet —Born To Die streets on January 31— Lana has already experienced a career’s worth of buzz (and, subsequently, backlash) in indie blogosphere circles, mostly stemming from questions regarding her quote-unquote “authenticity.” This, in combination with the mysterious persona she projects in her videos and her somewhat defiant performance at the Bowery Ballroom back in December, led us to believe that she might come off as being cryptic and guarded during her interview here at VH1 HQ in New York City yesterday. The Lana Del Rey we met, though, was anything but: During the 45 minutes or so we spent with her, she was happy, effusive, relatable and totally forthcoming about the rocket ride that she’s been on for the last half of the year.
“You wanna hear a little story?” We’ve been talking to Del Rey for a few minutes about her self-made, self-edited, collage-style music videos for “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans”, the treatments of which propelled the indie chanteuse from obscurity into the spotlight, but that were also initially met with puzzlement by clueless suits at record labels (“For a long time, nobody thought that anything fit together. I brought things into different labels and to different people and they all thought it was really f***ing weird. They thought that the videos didn’t have a strong narrative and that they were creepy.”). We raise the issue of Paz De La Huerta, an actress who, depending on your vantage point in life, is either a hot mess or your spirit animal. Footage of a clearly overserved Paz made its way into Del Rey’s cut of “Video Games,” an intriguing creative decision that lends a zeitgeist-y and almost Lynchian-circa-Mulholland Drive feel to the video, underscoring the overlap in the Venn diagram of Hollywood where glamour, darkness and tragedy meet. So, we posed, did Lana ever hear from Paz herself?
After last week’s blistering Van Halen reunion show at Cafe Wha?, the band confirmed a number of details about their 2012 plans that had, up to that point, simply been rumors: The band would release their new album, A Different Kind Of Truth, on February 7; the band would be embarking on a four-month, 45 date North American tour; and, amazingly, Kool & The Gang would be their opening act (!!!). Cellll-ebrate good times, C’MON!
Thanks to last week’s uniformly praised comeback set, anticipation levels for Van Halen‘s first tour with David Lee Roth since 2007 are off the charts. However, as we all know, when a “classic” band decides it’s that time of the concert for them to play their “new” material, a lot of fans decide that’s the time to visit the, um, facilities. Grantland’s Chuck Klosterman wrote about this dilemna last week, stating “I will never understand why classic rock bands feel a moral obligation to write new songs that nobody wants. That’s like working at McDonald’s when you’re 80 instead of cashing in your war bonds. Van Halen has nothing to prove to anyone. Just blow us away.”
It remains to be seen how fans will react to Van Halen’s first studio album with David Lee Roth singing lead vox since 1984, but today the group released their first single off A Different Kind Of Truth, a song called “Tattoo” (which also comes with an accompanying music video). And you know what? It’s a real grower! Not only does it feature a blistering, 35-second guitar solo from Eddie Van Halen, but David Lee Roth scatting and squealing his way through some non-sequitur come-ons (“Best believe that needle hurt you”) to characters like Swap Meet Sally and the Tramp Stamp Cat, as well as a hilarious description of MILF-y groupies who get inked late in life (“Mousewife to Momshell”). And thanks to Dave’s repeated screams of “Sexy dragon magic!”, we have a feeling that this is the kind of song that both Van Halen fans AND the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo will surely approve of.
Just moments ago, the official Coachella Twitter feed (@coachella) posted their 2012 lineup, which will feature headlining performances from The Black Keys, Radiohead, and Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg (!!!). Regarding the latter, this year marks the 20th anniversary of The Chronic‘s release, so we’re guessing that the pair might perform the classic album from front-to-back?
Also of note: It looks like Coachella organizer Paul Tollett is NOT a fan of indie chanteuse du jour, Lana Del Rey. At first glance, she seems to be the most obvious snub on this year’s lineup. More analysis to follow tomorrow!
Coachella 2012 Lineup [Stereogum]
The Internet has pretty much come to a standstill this afternoon thanks to Jay-Z’s new track “Glory”, which features vocals from the youngest MC in the game, his 2-day-old daughter, Blue Ivy Carter (aka The Notorious B.I.C.). In the halls here at Video Hits One, the song is pumping out of offices, tinny laptop speakers and even iPod earbuds, and has driven all of the women (and even some grown ass men) to tears. Well, your friendly VH1 Tuner editors have managed to keep the tears at a minimum and stay focused on the task at hand, and we’re happy to bring you this close reading of “Glory”:
BEYONCÉ SUFFERED A MISCARRIAGE … OR DID SHE?
Lyrics In Question: “False alarms and false starts, all made better by the sound of your heart / All the of the pain of the last time, I prayed so hard it was the last time” and “Last time the miscarriage was so tragic / We was afraid you’d disappear but nah baby, you magic”
Translation: Everyone in the media is inferring that this lyric is about Beyoncé, but there’s a pretty good chance that it isn’t. In Jay-Z’s song “This Can’t Be Life,” he makes reference to a stillborn baby (“Baby came out stillborn / So I gotta move on”) from a previous relationship, a fact that was also confirmed in his book Decoded. Now, this isn’t to say DEFINITIVELY that the reference isn’t to something that happened between Jay-Z and Beyoncé —as we know, these two are nothing if not tremendously private— but rather that all of the media speculation attributing this reference to Bey is a bit premature.
THAT SH*T CRAY: BLUE IVY CARTER WAS CONCEIVED IN PARIS
Lyric In Question: “You don’t yet know what swag is / But you was made in Paris / And Mama woke up the next day and shot her album package.”
Translation: Step off, Beyoncé birthers! Much has been made of the legitimacy of Beyoncé’s pregnancy, and the inclusion of this line is a not-so-subtle “Eff you” from Jay-Z to the haters. Because we’re nothing if not sticklers for the truth, we did some research and discovered that Bey and Jay took a 9-day trip to Paris from April 19,
20102011 until April 28, 2011. During this time, they recorded the vocals to “Lift Off” (which appeared on Jay and Ye’s Watch The Throne collaboration) and, apparently, made sweet, sweet love. If you do the math, that trip was eight months and some change ago.
Well, that was quick! Earlier today, we predicted that Blue Ivy Carter, Jay-Z and Beyoncé‘s brand-new baby daughter, would make her recording debut when she turned 11 years-old. Well, it turns out she simply couldn’t wait that long for her shot at chart glory; the 2-days-old’s “vocals” are featured on Hova’s brand new track, “Glory”, which was just posted on his website LifeAndTimes.com. She’s credited here as B.I.C., which is an obvious tip of the cap to Jigga’s old friend, The Notorious B.I.G. Also, if you’re curious, the song was produced by Pharrell of The Neptunes.
For an artist who has built his entire career on his honest, confessional lyrics, this might just be the most candid and emotional song that Hov has ever put on wax. In it, he confesses that he and Beyoncé may have suffered through a miscarriage at some point in the past (“Last time the miscarriage was so tragic / We was afraid you’d disappear / But nah baby, you magic”) and ecstatically describes the joy at becoming a father (“Baby, I paint the sky blue / My greatest creation was you”). Being Jay-Z, though, he can’t help but get a bit braggadocious on the cut; in it, he sings “You don’t yet know what swag is / But you was made in Paris / And Mama woke up the next day and shot her album package.”
You can listen to “Glory” below:
RELATED: Beyonce’s Alleged Miscarriage, Aaliyah’s Death And Other Insights Into Jay-Z’s New Song, “Glory (Featuring B.I.C.)” [VH1 Tuner]
If you missed this week’s VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown, you’re in luck. Not only is it re-airing tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. on VH1, but we’ve got this week’s complete list of the week’s 20 hottest videos for you. Katy Perry‘s wistful “The One That Got Away” may not have reached the #1 position on the Billboard charts yet, but she can rest easy knowing tonight that she’s captured the #1 spot on our first Top 20 Video Countdown of 2012.
1. Katy Perry, “The One That Got Away” [WATCH]
2. Daughtry – “Crawling Back To You”
3. Rihanna, “We Found Love”
4. Bruno Mars, “It Will Rain” [WATCH]
5. Adele – “Someone Like You” [WATCH]
6. Coldplay – “Paradise” [WATCH]
7. David Guetta featuring Usher – “Without You” [WATCH]
8. The Fray, “Heartbeat” [WATCH]
9. Jessie J – “Domino”
10. Pitbull ft. Chris Brown – “International Love”