Idol Chit-Chat
This is your place to discuss all things "American Idol." The performances, the judges, the past contestants — it’s all right here.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Congratulations, Constantine!

Congratulations to Constantine Maroulis who welcomed his first child Thursday night.

Malena James is the daughter of Constantine and Angel Reed, who he met while doing “Rock of Ages” on Broadway.

Constantine told “Sometimes Christmas comes early and we're so lucky to get the greatest gift a few days early. Angel and I are thrilled to welcome our perfect baby girl into the world today. Mom and baby are healthy and I couldn't be more excited to ring in 2011 this way.”
Constantine is currently touring in the “Rock of Ages” national tour.

Fantasia Joins the "Soul Kittens Cabaret"

Next month, you can see Fantasia in “Soul Kittens Cabaret,” a stage musical being released on DVD.

“Cabaret,” which was written and directed by former Brownstone lead singer Nicci Gilbert, follows seven women on a journey to revive the hottest club in Detroit. Fantasia plays Good Conscience, who helps guide the women’s choices. Faith Evans plays Bad Conscience.

“Soul Kittens Cabaret” will hit stores January 11th. I’ll have a review closer to the release date…

Photo Credit: Image Entertainment

Is George Michael Headed For "The X Factor"?

There have been reports that George Michael will be one of the judges on Simon Cowell’s “The X Factor.”

But last week, “Extra” reported that is not the case.

Simon Cowell told Terri Seymour that Michael will not be a judge, but he did not give any other names, other than himself.

Other names floating around are Cheryl Cole, who is a judge on the UK version and Mick Jagger.

Happy Holidays From Bo Bice and Family

Here's the Christmas picture that Bo Bice sent out to his fans. He has an adorable family and I love his new clean look...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

There is SO much I need to tell you guys as we get closer to the big premiere date January 19th...

But first, I'm going to take off a few days to celebrate Christmas with my family. So let me leave you with a live performance of my favorite Christmas song from an Idol...

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hollywood Week Moves to Vegas

“Idol” is in Las Vegas this week to narrow the hopefuls down from 60 to 40.

It’s all being filmed at the LOVE theater, the home of the Cirque de Soleil Beatles show. Fittingly, the contestants—according to—will perform Beatles songs on stage with a live band.

Photo Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FOX

A Look at the New Promo Poster

“Entertainment Weekly”s has an exclusive look at the new promo poster for this “Idol” season.

You can see it here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Carrie Underwood Gets a Golden Globe Nod

The Golden Globe nominations were announced today and an Idol made the list…

Carrie Underwood received a nomination for Best Original Song for “There’s A Place For Us” from “Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.”

Carrie co-wrote the song with David Hodges and Hillary Lindsey.

The Golden Globe Awards will air Sunday, January 16th beginning at 8 p.m. on NBC.

If you haven’t heard “Place,” you can hear it here.

NBC Goes After "Idol"

The vultures are circling…

NBC—sensing an opportunity to pounce on “Idol”—is launching its own singing competition series this spring.

“The Voice of America” is the American version of a Dutch singing competition. Mark Burnett (“Survivor”) will produce, along with Dutch producer John De Mol (“Big Brother,” “Fear Factor”). Casting is already under way.

The show is similar to “Idol,” but its format is actually closer to “The X Factor.” During the audition rounds, four coaches,who are also popular recording artists, will sit in rotating chairs with their backs to the contestants. This way, they can only hear the singers and not see them (Thus, the title, “The Voice”.). If the coaches like a performance they can claim the contestant as one of their students. If more than one coach likes them, the contestants choose their coach.
Once the “teams” are set, the coaches will mentor the singers and the teams will face off with
viewers voting on the winner.

With the solid ratings for “The Sing-Off,” NBC is putting the show on the fast track to get the jump on “Factor.” “Voice” could even end up going head to head with “Idol.”

NBC’s alternative chief Paul Telegdy told “The Hollywood Reporter, “It's a bold move, it shows our confidence.”

Personally, I think a spring launch is a mistake. With this, “Idol,” “Dancing With the Stars” and “Live to Dance,” it’s just too many competition shows at the same time. And yes, “The Sing Off” is doing well, but I have to believe that has more to do with “Glee” than it does the audience’s desire for another singing competition show.

But I guess we shall see…

Monday, December 13, 2010

Crystal Bowersox CD Review: Is It Better To Be Good Than Commercial?

After hearing Lee DeWyze’s album, I was a little nervous for Crystal Bowersox’s debut. Lee didn’t sound anything like the singer that we knew. Never once did he emit a John Mayer vibe on the show, but that’s exactly what his entire album sounded like.

Thankfully, that’s not the case with Crystal. She sounds exactly like the girl from Toledo we fell in love with. And though that might not get her a lot of radio play in today’s environment of Lady Gaga, Ke$ha and Rihanna, it does get us a very good debut album…

Crystal gets things off to a toe-tapping start with the album opener, “Ridin’ With the Radio,” which has a bit of a country feel to it. And she keeps that momentum going with a remake of the Buffalo Springfield classic, “For What It’s Worth.” Crystal’s powerful voice gives the song a fresh take—especially on the well-known chorus (“Stop. Tell me what’s that sound…”).

Crystal brings the tempo down with the title track, which was inspired by Crystal’s childhood struggles with abuse. Crystal’s lilting voice makes the song almost haunting as she sings, “All I ever wanted was for you to be there for me.” Then it’s her already classic, “Holy Toledo,” which was showcased during “Idol.” The song is still beautiful and incredibly appropriate for our current times.

The upbeat whistling that begins “Lonely Won’t Come Around” is a little jarring, but you quickly get over it and get sucked into the catchy chorus. “Hold On” is the only original on the CD written or co-written by someone other than Crystal. It’s a team-up by Kara DioGuardi and Chad Kroeger. I love both of their stuff and this song is good. But its commerciality just doesn’t really fit with the singer/songwriter vibe of the rest of the album. That being said, I can see why Jive chose to release it as the first single because it is the most radio-friendly song on the album. But I can also understand Crystal being unhappy about the choice since I don’t think it fairly represents her. I would’ve gone with “Holy Toledo,” since we were already familiar with it.

The album continues with the rock/country/bluegrass mashups, “On the Run” and “Kiss Ya.” Then the tempo slows down again for “Speak Now,” which shows Crystal’s bluesy side. Then Crystal goes a little light rock on us with “Mine All Mine,” which shows her lilting higher register and “Mason,” a love song co-written by her husband, Brian Walker, who actually duets with her. And in case you're wondering, yes, they do make beautiful music together. The CD closes with another lilting slow one, “Arlene.”

Although we get some different styles of music here, they are all Crystal—and that’s a good thing. Too often, the actual artist gets lost in the music the record company wants them to record and not what they should record. That’s not the case here.

However, I do have real concerns about just how successful the album will be since singer/songwriter is not really what’s popular in music right now—especially with female singers. But I would much rather have a solid album with Crystal being herself that doesn’t sell all that well than a successful album that pushes Crystal in another direction.

Maybe that’s why I’m not a record executive…

“Farmer’s Daughter” hits stores and online outlets Tuesday, December 14th. You can listen to the album online right now here.

Photo Credit: PRNewsFoto/Jive Records

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Brooke White Makes Her Acting Debut

Brooke White (Season 7) will star in the newest “Family Movie Night” movie, “Change of Plans.”

Brooke will play Sally Danville, who must raise her best friend’s children after a tragic accident. The movie is Brooke’s acting debut.

The movie also stars Joe Flanigan and Phylicia Rashad and features a cameo by Randy Jackson, who produced the “Change” soundtrack. The soundtrack features three songs from Brooke.

Randy has produced all of the “Family Movie Night” soundtracks, two of which featured songs by Brooke.

“Change of Plans” airs Saturday, January 8th at 8 p.m. on FOX…

Photo Credit: FOX

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Kimberly Caldwell Gets "Desperate"

Kimberly Caldwell may be getting closer to releasing her debut CD, “Without Regret.”

Vanguard Records announced this week that the CD will be released in Spring 2011. Her new single from the CD, “Desperate Boys & Stupid Girls,” will be available on iTunes December 7th.

“Desperate” was written by Tommy Henriksen, BC Jean (Beyonce’s “If I Were a Boy”) and Zac Maloy. In a press release, Caldwell said the song immediately struck a chord with her. “I automatically connected with this song because life is so much brighter and easier when you stop trying so hard to fit in. It’s important to surround yourself with the special people in your life who appreciate you for who you really are and always have your back.”

The video will debut later this month.

You can hear the song here.

Photo Credit: Vanguard Records

Chris Sligh Headed for Charleston

Chris Sligh is coming to Charleston…

Chris will be part of Winter Jam 2011, which stops at the Charleston Civic Center Saturday, January 8th at 6 p.m.

Also on the bill are Newsboys, Crowder, Kutless, Red, Fran Battistelli, KJ-52, Chris August, Sidewalk Prophets and Newsong.

Tickets are $10, and are available at the door only. Doors open at 5 p.m.

Carrie Underwood Dominates the First American Country Awards

Monday night, Carrie Underwood proved that when it comes to the fans, she is still the reigning queen of country music…

Carrie won six of the first-ever American Country Awards, which were voted on by the fans at the ACA website: Artist of the Year: Female, Album of the Year for “Play On,” Single of the Year: Female for “Cowboy Casanova,” Touring Headline Package of the Year, Music Video: Female for “Cowboy Casanova,” and Artist of the Year.

Take that, Taylor Swift…

Photo Credit: Mark Davis/FOX

Kris Allen Sings for Alzheimer's Research

Kris Allen lent his voice to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s “Together for Care” telethon last weekend, singing an acoustic version of “Live Like We’re Dying.”

You can see the entire telethon or just Kris’ performance, as well as a video of Kris singing “Before We Come Undone” at the AFA’s website at

David Archuleta Spending New Year's Eve On FOX

David Archuleta will be spending his New Year’s Eve on FOX.

FOX announced yesterday that Archie will be one of the performers on its show, “New Year’s Eve Live.” The show will air Friday, December 31st from 11 p.m.-12:30 a.m.

Nancy O’Dell will host.

Lee DeWyze Goes to Disney World for Christmas

Lee DeWyze will be a part of the Christmas festivities at Walt Disney World…

Lee will sing “Little Drummer Boy” during the Disney Parks Christmas Parade, which will be shown December 25th beginning at noon on ABC.

Ryan Seacrest will again host.

Bo Bice Debuts at the Grand Ole Opry

Bo Bice made his debut at the Grande Ole Opry Monday night.

You can see video of it here.

Adam Lambert Goes Acoustic

Adam Lambert released a new EP this week, “Acoustic Live!

The EP features live performances of “Whataya Want From Me,” “Music Again,” “Aftermath,” “Soaked,” and “Mad World.”

The album is available now on your favorite music download site.

Photo Credit: RCA

More "Idol" Books to Hit the Shelves

We’ll get our most in-depth look behind the scenes of “Idol” in January when one of the premier “Idol” journalists releases his book, according to “USA Today.”

Richard Rushfield, who covered “Idol” for the “Los Angeles Times” for three years and is currently a columnist for “The Daily Beast,” will release “American Idol: The Untold Story” January 18th. The book’s jacket proclaims that the book gets the scoop on “the rivalries, the meltdowns and the departures, the battle of the Simons and the truth behind the voting.”

Also releasing an “Idol” book is another prominent “Idol” journalist, Shirley Halperin (“Entertainment Weekly, “Los Angeles Times, “The Hollywood Reporter.”

Her book, “American Idol: Celebrating 10 Years,” is “a photographic celebration” of the show with 250 color photos.

“Celebrating” is scheduled for release March 1.

Will Kara DioGuardi Dish the Dirt?

This could end up being the greatest thing Kara DioGuardi has ever done…

RadarOnline reported last week that Kara is writing a book entitled “A Helluva High Note: Surviving Life, Love and American Idol.”

Kara said the book is “meant to inspire others to take chances to succeed.” But I’ve got to believe there’s going to be some dirt in there somewhere—or at least I hope so.

The book is scheduled to be released April 26, 2011

Ryan Seacrest Signs a Big New Radio Deal

The rumors were that Ryan Seacrest was looking to scale back his radio operations, but apparently that wasn’t the case.

Or it was, and a lot of zeroes changed his mind…

Ryan has extended his deal with Clear Channel Communications. Financial terms were not released, but it has been reported the deal is worth $60 million over three years.

According to, Ryan will continue to host his morning show on KIIS-FM, his syndicated show “On Air With Ryan Seacrest,” and “American Top 40.” He’ll also now develop new radio content for syndication and create a joint venture with Clear Channel to explore the creation of a record label, music publishing company and live concert series.

Wow. He really is trying to take over the world, isn’t he?

The deal also gives him more control of the advertisers/marketing deals for his shows.

Is Online Voting Coming to "Idol"?

Is there ANYTHING about this season of “Idol” that is not going to change?

“TV Squad” is reporting their theory that online voting is coming to the show to replace the semifinal round. I repeat, this is only a theory and FOX has not confirmed anything…

According to the post: “‘Idol’-tracking website ‘AI Now’ noted that the Twitter bio for an account titled ‘AI10 Contestants’ reads, ‘Voting begins Thursday, February 24 at’ Plus, an insider told that 40 to 50 contestants will be prominently featured during the five Hollywood episodes, with viewers voting online for the top 12 contestants. Three more finalists will be chosen via a judges' wild card.”

I’m hoping to have this all sorted out very soon, so Stay Tuned…

Kris Allen Fans Rally for His Cause

Kris Allen fans are finding a way to honor him by supporting one of his favorite causes…

“Alright With Music” is an initiative sponsored by a group of Kris fans. The goal is to raise $25,000 for Music Empowers, which according to a press release, provides funding to non-profit organizations that offer innovative music programs in underserved areas.

Music education programs are one of the causes Kris has championed since being crowned the American Idol at the end of season eight.

Last June, Kris’ fans raised more than $25,000 for Heifer International in honor of his 25th birthday.

To learn more about “Alright With Music,” you can visit their website

Idols Represent in the Grammy Nods

“Idol” was represented in the Grammy Nominations announced last week, although probably not as much as it should’ve been…

Adam Lambert received a nod for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “Whataya Want From Me.” Two of Adam’s producers were nominated for Producer of the Year. Their nominated work included five Adam tracks: Greg Cavallo for “Music Again,” ”Soaked,” “Sure Fire Winners” and “Time for Miracles.” Dr. Luke was nominated for eight tracks including “For Your Entertainment.”

Carrie Underwood was nominated for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “Temporary Home.”

Fantasia received two nods for “Bittersweet”: Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song. Fantasia also got a Best R&B Album nom.

I don't know what Carrie or Fantasia's chances are, but I think it would be a total crock if Adam didn't win...

The Grammys are February 13th at 8 p.m. on CBS…

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

More Changes to "Idol": Is the Show Becoming More Like "Big Brother"?

When I saw the headline, I couldn’t help but groan. MORE changes to “American Idol”? Will there be any shred of the show we know and love left?

“The Hollywood Reporter” is exclusively reporting that the Top 12 will live together in a house in the Hollywood Hills. While there, they will be allowed to chat with fans via Twitter. You may remember Twitter updates from each contestant were promised last year but quickly squelched. “THR” is reporting producers will relax their Twitter rules.

So, are they trying to turn “Idol” into “Big Brother,” taking cameras inside the house to show us what happens offstage? That remains to be seen as FOX did not comment for the “THR” story.

“THR” is also reporting that 325 people are participating in Hollywood Week, the largest group the show has ever had. 60 of those will then go to Las Vegas for an integration with Cirque du Soleil’s Beatles-inspired show, “Love.” Then, 40 contestants will return to Los Angeles. And the Top 12 will move into the house. What happens between 40 and 12 is still not quite clear either.

I’m starting to worry the show is just making too many changes and that the core of what made “Idol” such a huge show may disappear.

So what do you guys think? Do you want to see what happens in the Idol house? Do you like all of these changes?

You can post a comment, send an e-mail to, tweet me at @angelahbentley or like me on Facebook to share your opinions…