New York City resident Gavin DeGraw might currently be biding his time in Los Angeles, but he found himself in a “New York State Of Mind” on Dancing With The Stars last night. DeGraw and his partner, Karina Smirnoff, danced the rumba last night to the Billy Joel classic, earning their best marks of the season so far from the judging panel.
DeGraw started his performance in a familiar location —behind the piano, tickling the ivories— but quickly displayed his ever-improving chops on the dance floor, bringing a genuine, Swayze-like vibe of romantic heat to the proceedings. His dance earned a standing ovation from the crowd and reduced judge Carrie Ann Inaba to a puddle of gushiness. “My heart’s going all fluttery for you, Gavin!”, she proclaimed. “There is something so sexy and sensual about the way you move!”
Despite the praise, the scores indicate that Gavin and Karina aren’t totally out of the woods yet. They’re in a five-way tie heading into tonight’s elimination, and as long as we’re already working with a Billy Joel theme, let’s all make sure that Gavin doesn’t have to “Say Goodbye To Hollywood” this evening. Watch his special backstage video, shot just moments after he got off stage, and head over to ABC.com to vote for Gavin before the polls close at 11 a.m. this morning!
Unless you have a couple of children running around your household, we’re betting there’s a very good chance that you missed the Kids Choice Awards that aired on Nickelodeon on Saturday night. We’ve got all of the coverage of who got slimed (hint: The Biebs!) over at our sister site TheFABLife, but we’re here to focus on the musicians that strutted their stuff for the kid set.
With American Idol and The Voice running concurrently, we’re finding it increasingly difficult to find enough hours in the week to watch both programs. However, when we heard that Nicki Minaj was going to be performing* on American Idol last night, we made sure to flip the dial to catch her first live TV appearance since the controversial “Exorcism Of Roman” number on the Grammys.
Well, nobody got exorcised last night, but it did appear to us like Idol judge J. Lo was throwing some shade in Minaj’s general direction after Nicki suggested that she’d like to join the judging panel. [pic via Mr. Worldwide]
Phew! Our buddy Gavin DeGraw survived another week on Dancing With The Stars, which means that we’ll be getting more backstage reports from one of our favorite singer-songwriters next week. And since he’ll be making his home on the West Coast for the time-being, it only made sense that he stopped by the Tonight Show set last night to perform a rollicking version of his hot new single, “Sweeter.”
The title track from his new album makes the case that Gavin, not Trey Songz, should be the one with the title of Mr. Steal Yo’ Girl. It’s rare that studio audiences on late night talk shows hoot and holler during the musical portion of show, but you can clearly hear a cadre of females squealing at various points while Gavin is up on stage. His ode to the carnal pleasures of creepin’ has clearly struck a vein with his audience, and combined with his exposure on DWTS, look for this song to make a big dent on the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown chart soon!
The true test of determining which songs will stand the test of time is their adaptability. If you were to change the arrangement —or even the genre— of a given song, does it still resonate with audiences? Lionel Richie took the stage at the Ed Sullivan Theater last night with country music superstar Jason Aldean to prove that his 1985 smash, “Say You, Say Me” is one of the all-time greats by giving it a countryfied spin. The song went all the way to #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts when it was originally released, and even took home an Oscar for Best Original Song, and hasn’t aged a bit in 25 years.
This track, along with other Richie classics like “Stuck On You” and “Endless Love”, appear on Richie’s new jawn, Tuskegee. This is not a greatest hits record, though — Richie has gone back into the studio and put a twangy, country spin on the most beloved songs in his catalog. Thanks to the undeniably ace songwriting skills, this LP doesn’t feel like a shameless attempt to pander to Nashville audiences (who still buy albums in droves) like recent crossover attempts from the likes of Jessica Simpson and Jon Bon Jovi. Richie has experimented with many musical styles in his nearly 40-year career, from funk to pop to R&B, so this album feels more like a natural evolution and less like a calculated attempt to line his coiffers. Good on ya, LR!
Last night’s fifth season premiere of Mad Men laid a lot of groundwork of what’s to come this year: Among other things, it appears this season will focus on the escalating power struggle between Pete Campbell and Roger Sterling, the desire of Lane Pryce to break free of his uptight British upbringing, Peggy Olsen‘s diminishing faith in her boss/mentor Don Draper, Sally Draper‘s continued ascent into womanhood (her new voice FTW!), and the effect that motherhood will have on Joan Holloway. Oh yeah, and there’s also the matter of Don Draper’s seemingly spontaneous marriage to his sultry, sex kitten secretary-cum-wife, Megan Draper (née Calvert, played by the actress Jessice Paré).
The most memorable scene of last night’s highly anticipated episode occurred during Don Draper’s surprise 40th birthday party, which was organized by his coquettish new wife (who, we must add, enjoys doing housekeeping in her unmentionables!). The swinging Sixties are starting to blossom in full, and as a means of demonstrating the sexual hold she has over her new spouse in a room full of his business associates, Megan performed a startling, part-karoake, part-striptease version of Gillian Hills‘ 1961 French pop song, “Zou Bisou Bisou.” There seems to be some debate as to the song’s origins, but we’re going to include Sophia Loren‘s English-language version of “Zoo Be Zoo Be Zoo” below (which appears on a duets album she recorded with Peter Sellers!), mainly because our French is a little rusty.
In a literally explosive show, KISS took to the stage to rock out “Detroit Rock City” on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Proving that glam rock has no age, the guys stormed the stage in full make up and costume, and gave a high energy, tongue wagging performance that culminated in the very rock and roll destruction of a guitar. With flames engulfing the stage throughout the show as explosions and flashing lights abounded, the performance was met with roaring applause from an enthusiastic, face-painted audience.