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]
We all remember Lana Del Rey’s controversial Saturday Night Live performance, right? Or has selective memory caused you to block it out? Either way, Lana Del Rey seems to be stepping up to the plate again, with reports that she’ll be performing this week on American Idol, although it’s not clear what that performance will entail. According to rumours, it may be a live performance, or it may be a pre-taping for a later show. Lana’s appearance on Idol was drawn to public attention when her name was listed on tickets along with Demi Lovato and Daughtry. We’d love to see Lana get up on stage and deliver an amazing vocal performance — it’s about time she won America back after the vitriol with which she was met following SNL.
In a performance that could melt the heart of even the biggest talent show skeptic, Jessica Sanchez bought America to it’s knees last night with her rendition of Whitney Houston‘s “I Will Always Love You” on Idol. Jessica’s version of the song was a seamless tribute to the original, and she hit every note with such grace and ease it was hard not to get a little misty eyed as she memorialized the late, great legend with one of the most moving covers we’ve ever heard. And we weren’t the only ones — all three judges were completely ecstatic, and both Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler seemed to have shed a tear or two during the stirring performance. Randy Jackson proclaimed, “Give it all to her! Jessica Sanchez is legit… This is one of the best talents in the whole country!” Jenny was equally gushing, but it was Steven who said what we were all thinking, “Jessica, you may be The One. You just made 40 million people cry.”
So it turns out there’s not much President Obama can’t do — adding singing to his repertoire last week, Obama belted out a line of Al Green‘s “Let’s Stay Together” and the Internet stood in ovation. Now, American Idol‘s Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe is reaching out to Obama and Green with the following Tweet:
An Obama / Green duet? On American Idol? Is this even vaguely a possibility? We all know how much Obama likes to be “down with the kids,” especially when it comes to music, but it hardly seems likely that a President would partake in such frivolity. But then, stranger things have happened. We’re also wondering about the state of reality talent shows — are they floundering for ratings? Following today’s firings at US The X Factor and now American Idol‘s reaching out to President Obama, it seems like everyone is grappling for an audience.
Ah, Aspen. While not exactly known as a music mecca, it is by all accounts a place where the beer flows like wine, where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano! (Clearly, we’ve watched Dumb & Dumber one too many times.) It was also where J. Lo, Steven Tyler, Randy and Ryan Seacrest hunkered down to try out contestants on this week’s episode of American Idol.
We don’t know if it was a result of the altitude or what, but something in the mountain air inspired Steven this week. He was able to avoid falling prey to the charms of 19-year-old nose-ring enthusiast Tealana Hedgespeth (“I’m more of the outgoing person, I’m more of the person who would go up to you and be like, ‘Hey, i like your shirt’”), but our bescarfed host planted a giant smacker right on the lips of 24-year-old music teacher Jenny Schick right at the top of this week’s episode, scoring a perfect 5 out of 5 on the Dude Is Acting Shady Meter. We’ll cover this, as well as Tyler’s other flirtations, below:
WHO: Jenni Schick SET-UP: Jenni started off reminding us a bit of Week One contestant Erika Nowak, confessing that she’s got a hankerin’ for reality singing competition judges like Steven Tyler and The Voice‘s Adam Levine. However, her performance of Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker” got Steven all hot and bothered, resulting in him clutching her face with his grubby fingers and kissing her mouth. (Can we talk about that kissing technique for a second? Face touching is one thing, but outright face grabbing? WEIRDZIES.) TYLER’S COMMENTS: “Holy shick! You better be able to sing, good girl … Whoa, I’m gonna get in trouble for that.” DUDE IS ACTING SHADY METER SCORE: 5/5 – EWWWWWWWWW!
Seemingly everywhere you turn your head these days, Steven Tyler is standing there. Leno on Friday night? Check. American Idol on Fox? Check. On the victory podium with AFC champions the New England Patriots? Check. Wait, what???
Yes, that’s right, the Aerosmith lead singer is buddy buddy with billionaire businessman and owner of the NFL’s New England Patriots franchise, Robert Kraft. He brought some good luck to his hometown team by singing the National Anthem at yesterday’s AFC Championship game, a performance that his Idol co-hort Randy Jackson would describe as “pitchy.” Depending on how many cups of CLAM CHOWDA you ingested yesterday afternoon, you’ll either love it or hate it.
Oh, and after the seventeen hours of football that was on yesterday (only a slight exaggeration), there was a new episode of American Idol on, too. We don’t know what’s going on with the water in San Diego, but Tyler didn’t score very high on our new Dude Is Acting Shady Meter (which now come complete with an ACTUAL meter, designed by our own Lauren Deiman). He didn’t so much as bat an eyelash with Jim Carrey‘s 24 year-old daughter, Jane, but he did turn on the charm a smidge for two of yesterday’s female contestants.
The eleventh season of American Idol kicked off this week and here are a few words of caution to everyone involved:
1. Don’t Just Dream About It
How many times have we heard someone give a mediocre vocal performance, then immediately break into tears saying how badly they want it and how it’s their “dream” to become an American Idol? Chasing down a dream takes a lot more work than riding on a bus and waiting in line all day long.
2. It’s Not Make Or Break Madonna never won American Idol. Neither did Lady Gaga. Neither did The Beatles for that matter. There are ways to make it in the music industry (albeit a weakened one) without getting approval from Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler and J-Lo.
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!
American Idol Season 10 winnerScotty McCreery and runner-up Lauren Alaina must not be in direct competition for fans or attention. How else to explain that the two new artists, who share not only a label, but also a manager (Idol guru Simon Fuller, natch), released videos within 24 hours of one another? That said, there’s no reason we can’t put them head-to-head: