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…
After months worth of hype and countless reports of behind-the-scenes drama, Fox finally debuted the American version of the hit international show The X Factor last night. Despite endless amounts of promotion of the debut, which featured the much anticipated reunion of Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul, the show started off modestly in the ratings. 12.1 million viewers tuned in last night, which is a far cry from American Idol‘s 2011 premiere numbers (21.6MM viewers). Simon has stated all along that his primary goal for the show is for it to beat American Idol and, well, it just might end up doing that over time. It certainly worked very hard last night to differentiate itself from the 800 lb. gorilla of the reality singing competition genre. Here are the Five Ways That Make X-Factor Better Than American Idol:
1) Simon Vs. L.A. Reid Is The New Simon Vs. Paula
With its original, three-person panel of judges, American Idol got a lot of mileage from—and won themselves a lot of fans by—focusing on the tense relationship between Simon and Paula. Like many great television couples of the past, the two bickered constantly, but over time, their relationship evolved from an antagonistic one into a more of a brother/sister dynamic. However, now that Simon has got a true titan of the music industry like L.A. Reid sitting opposite him at the judge’s table, there are bound to be some testosterone-laden, mano y mano flareups. Last night’s ep featured one such moment, where the two went toe-to-toe over a young black woman named Simone Battle who had the body of a Pussycat Doll and, well, the voice of a Pussycat Doll (which is to say, not much of a voice at all). Simon thought she had the talent (meaning: body) to become a “star,” while L.A. Reid—who famously told P!nk, “You’ll be a pop star, All you have to change is everything you are”—didn’t think she had the pipes to move along in the competition. Simon came out on top of that battle, but who will win the war?
VH1.com caught up with pop legend and American Idoljudge Paula Abdul to speak about her new song and video (see it here), “Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow,” off of Randy Jackson’s Music Club, Vol. 1 The pop number is Abdul’s first in almost 12 years, and it placed her solidly back on the charts. We’ll be breaking down Abdul’s comments over the next week in a variety posts. In today’s installment, she discusses how the new song came to be, and how she knows longstanding Idol co-host Randy Jackson. She also talks about why you should never let Michael Bolton babysit your kids.
Paula Abdul on how she came to record “Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow”:
I?ll tell you how it all started. For the past six seasons [on American Idol], Randy and I toyed with the idea of collaborating. One of the guys will be singing a song, and [Randy and I] will look at each other and go, ?God, that would be a great cover.? But to focus Randy Jackson is like trying to catch a kid who?s at an amusement park and focused on getting cotton candy. It?s like, ?Randy! Yo, Randy! Come on, Randy!? He?s a total politician. He?s always like, ?Yo, we love this! We?re going to do this! We?re going to win! It?s great!? It goes on and on. I know he?s like this, so I?m always like, ?Stop toying with my emotions.?