Kelly Clarkson is celebrating her 31st birthday today, and we’re proud to say that we’ve been card-carrying members of the KC fan club ever since she belted out the opening lines of “Natural Woman” during the Round of 8 on the first season of Idol. During the last 11(ish) years that she’s been on our radar, she has proven to be one of the most consistent fixtures of a very turbulent music industry, thanks to her powerhouse vocals, Southern charm and resilient demeanor. We’ve spent the last few days rummaging through the archives, looking back at her life and career, and put together the following gallery that honors the many facets of her tremendous personality that we’ve gotten to know over the years.
The girls were on full display last night on American Idol–and we’re not just talking about how the Top 5 this year is all female. Judge Nicki Minaj looked stunning in a tight red dress and stunned some people in our own offices by how crazy risque the look was. While Minaj undoubtedly looked gorgeous, radiant and divine, but should she have chosen such a boob-iful dress for what’s widely considered one of the most family friendly shows on television?
This season of American Idol might be one of the tightest competitions in Idol history. Last night, Amber Holcomb sizzled while singing a classic Barbra Streisand song, Kree Harrison soared on a Celine Dion ballad, Candice Glover brought a literal new spin to a Paula Abdul dance track, and Janelle Arthur fumbled slightly on some country standards. However, the moment of the night was probably when Angie Miller dedicated her first song of the night, The Pretenders‘s “I’ll Stand By You,” to her hometown of Boston.
On last night’s American Idol, the final six competitors belted their way through the Bacharach songbook and chose songs they wished they’d written, but the moment of the night came directly after the performance of the night, when judge Mariah Carey left her post to shower contestant Candice Glover in glitter.
Drama much? The American Idol judges headed to Charlotte, North Carolina on last night’s episode to what turned out to be a crop of talented singers like Brian Rittenberry and Candice Glover and Summer Cunningham. Too bad Summer didn’t know an honest comment about the type of music she’d sang in the past would lead to such diva dramatics.
Summer performed a country version of “Lean On Me” and the judges liked it. When Keith Urban asked where she saw herself musically her ”I did the country thing” response annoyed Keith. And he told her as much. It’s not that she doesn’t want to do country, but she prefers “soulful country.” The “country thing” comment was like the gift no one wants but kept on giving anyway. Neither Keith Urban nor Randy Jackson nor Mariah Carey would let it go. Nicki Minaj was not pleased. Read more…
Two days into Season 12 of American Idol and we are sincerely feeling for the entire crew. Mariah Carey and Nicki Minajdidn’t waste any time trading not-so-discreet digs on Wednesday night’s premiere, and episode two saw Nicki take issue with the entire program as a whole (no discrimination, for better or for worse). Live-tweeting the second night of auditions, as stars are wont to do these days, Nicki hit Twitter with a message of disapproval, directed at the show: “Is Idol really gonna play themselves and show that sh-t? Smdh. Wow.”
We can’t be too surprised by this reaction, mostly because we’ve had plenty of warning that this day would come. Nicki’s live-tweeting did provide a shout-out to Lazaro Arbos–the Cuban-born contestant who struggled with a stuttering problem but delivered an amazing rendition of “Bridge Over Troubled Water”–and sought to promote any positive mentions of her judging style from the loyal Barbz who fill her timeline. Thursday night’s episode did, however, see Nicki “jokingly” argue with a female contestant she wasn’t impressed by over their similar purple eye shadow, as well as wave a hand Mariah’s way when she attempted to counter with her positive comments. Consider it a lite version of the time she threaten to knock Mimi out.
The “beef” between Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj that’s been brewing promoted for months wasted no time getting started on Wednesday night’s premiere episode of American Idol. With auditions that began in New York City, both native New Yorkers (hailing from Huntington, Long Island and Jamaica, Queens, respectively) fiercely competed to prove who had more of a reason to sit behind the judges table, and who was more worthy of a network television paycheck.
For every time a contestant gushed about listening to Mariah through his or her childhood and dreaming of one day being able to replicate her five-0ctave range (with good reason), Nicki made sure to assure the next, completely hopeless hopeful that they, too are a star–they’re just not right for this competition. It was an outer battle to be the kindest and funniest judge, as well as the truest Big Apple resident. Queens and Long Island have had a turf war for years, so we guess this makes sense. While Nicki surprised me with her thoughtful and straightforward assessments, she did overuse pet names like “darling” and “sweetheart,” making things a little bit more about her when she could, while Mariah was cool with keeping a slight distance between her and the contestants. Five Grammys have given her that right. But does it make her a Mean Girl?
Jay Leno brings out the bubbly, playful side of Nicki Minaj. The promo stops for Wednesday’s debut of American Idol have Ms. Minaj busy jet-setting from coast to coast for daytime and late night TV interviews. Nicki opted for a toned down look donned in a simple girly dress underneath a pink blazer. (Oh, Nicki! The black wig would’ve done your look much more justice). Her pleasant persona was nostalgic of the pre-megafame days when you loved to love Nicki.
The promo for American Idol‘s debut January 16th has just been kicked up 10 notches. Barbara Walters found herself in the middle of Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj‘s beef a couple months ago that they’ve since squashed according to Mariah. The pop-singer did a one-on-one interview with Barbara revealing she took Minaj’s alleged threats seriously.
Re-hashing the battle of two divas for ratings is right on time. Mariah told Barbara, “It felt like an unsafe work environment. Anytime anybody’s reeling threats at somebody, you know, it’s not appropriate. I’m a professional — I’m not used to that type of environment,” she said. “[Hiring more security] was the appropriate thing to do. Sitting there on the road with two babies, I’m not going to take any chances.” Minaj and her camp denied the accusations while Mariah is remaining firm in her belief that she was threatened. But Mariah hopes the drama wasn’t all for nothing. “For all the drama, I hope it helps the show,” she said. Of course it will! The possibility of two women verbally clawing at each others throat makes for “good TV” according to some. Read more…
Nicki is somewhere giving the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences a major side-eye like the one in the above photo. A day after Justin Bieber‘s manager, Scooter Braun, used his Twitter page to rant about Bieber deserving a Grammy nomination, Manaj’s manager, Cortez Bryant, caught on to the trend. And Bryant isn’t happy with his artist’s non-inclusion. It was all positive at first. “Congrats to @LilTunechi and @Drake and @Hit_Boy on their Grammy Noms butttt……” With that many t’s in ‘but’ the next tweet was bound to go awry. “They was on some bullsh*t for not nominating @NICKIMINAJ.” Oh, really? Read more…