I will be taking a mandatory one week furlough and then tacking on a week's vacation, so Idol Watch is going to take a two week sabbatical. Though the season's over, I'll still weigh in on Idol news when I return June 15.
This week's Billboard Hot 100 might as well carry the blue American Idol logo. Eighteen songs are from Idols and finalists. The biggest booty comes via download singles from this season's top 2 champs, Kris Allen and Adam Lambert.
Kris leads the way among singles' sales but Adam outdoes Kris on the Billboard 200 album chart. A grouping of Adam's Idol performances debuts at No. 33 while Kris' "album" enters at No. 50.
The nine debuting singles by Kris and Adam are:
No. 11: No Boundaries, Kris Allen
No. 16: Heartless, Kris Allen
No. 19: Mad World, Adam Lambert
No. 37: Ain't No Sunshine, Kris Allen
No. 56: A Change Is Gonna Come, Adam Lambert
No. 66: Apologize, Kris Allen
No. 72: No Boundaries, Adam Lambert
No. 82: One, Adam Lambert
No. 94: Falling Slowly, Kris Allen
Also David Cook debuts at No. 24 with Permanent, the song he performed on the season
finale. Cook also re-enters with his previous single, Come Back to Me at No. 84. Carrie Underwood
also re-enters the chart, with her remake of Motley Crue's Home Sweet Home, at No. 79.
Carrie is also at No. 68 this week with I Told You So, featuring its originator Randy Travis.
Kelly Clarkson, slips with her new single I Do Not Hook Up (No. 32) as well as its
predecessor, My Life Would Suck Without You (No. 30); Kellie Pickler holds Top 20 on the country chart with Best Days Of Your Life; Daughtry and Jordin Sparks are also on the chart with singles from their coming sophomore albums, No Surprise and Battlefield, respectively.
Much chatter on the blogs and fan sites after Adam Lambert (and Kris Allen) performed We Are the Champions with the two surviving members of Queen on last week's American Idol finale. Could runnerup Adam be Queen's pick as its next lead singer now that they have parted with Paul Rodgers?
Guitarist Brian May, seeking a way to make his group relevant again for the first time since flamboyant original leader Freddie Mercury died in 1991, told Rolling Stone: "(Drummer Roger Taylor) and I are definitely hoping to have a meaningful conversation with him at some point. It's not like we, as Queen, would rush into coalescing with another singer just like that. It isn't that easy. But I'd certainly like to work with Adam. That is one amazing instrument he has there.''
May is certainly correct in that. Adam's instrument is certainly a better fit in Queen than Paul Rodgers' was. The Bad Company singer was an ill-fit in Queen. He did an adaquate classic rock job on the tours but the sole studio album they put out with Rodgers, Cosmos Rocking, was the most embarrassing effort in the Queen canon (and that's pretty lame if you include the ill-fated Flash soundtrack nearly 30 years ago). Lambert certainly has more vocal range and style and flair than the comparitively bland, colorless Rodgers.
But don't expect anything to come of this. If I were Adam's agent -- and I'm not -- I would advise him to graciously thank Brian and Roger and say "Thanks, but no thanks." The last thing Adam needs to do is step into a band of senior citizens to sing songs written and popularized by a beloved dead man years before Adam, 27, was even born.
Bad move. Sure, it would reenergize Queen considerably more than stodgy Rodgers managed, but creatively Adam needs to be on his own to sing original material and shape his own act. Queen were great and they had their time and their best music endures. But Queen has not written an album's worth of great material that has mattered since 1980's The Game. It's Adam's time now and I have no doubt he'll use it wisely and pop music will be the beneficiary.
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Sorry Miami, Idol's not returning to search for talent here this year, either. Idol producers found Syesha here in 2007 at the AmericanAirlines Arena but did not come back in '08 and won't be here this summer. Closest bet: Orlando.
Here are the cities and venues for AI:09 auditions:
Boston: Gillette Stadium
Atlanta: Georgia Dome
Chicago: United Center
Dallas: Cowboys Stadium
Los Angeles: Rose Bowl
Orlando: Amway Arena
Denver: INVESCO Field
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This morning Adam Lambert did the routine press conference chat and answered a reporter's question on whether he thinks his sexuality had a factor in the vote. Here's what he had to say. Photo AP/Fox Frank Micelotta
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Bikini Girl, the egotistical, talentless (well, for Idol, anyway) contestant who failed to make it into the finals tries to get the last word after Idol judge Kara DioGuardi upstaged her in an amusing duet of Vision of Love on the American Idol finale Wednesday.
Sure, Kara's kinda tacky, but she sang and looked mighty fine and Bikini Girl should be grateful for the (over) exposure.
American Idol's eighth season finale posted 27.7 million viewers, with a peak 32.5 at the point Kris was announced as the winner at 10 p.m. This represents a 9 percent drop from last year and the poorest showing for a finale since pre-phenom Idol when Kelly Clarkson won the title in 2002 (and in those days Idol was a summer show when viewership is low).
Still, that's good enough to keep Idol as television's most popular program this year. Maybe Ugly Betty oughta pick up a mike and mascara tips from Adam. The Thursday Ugly Betty season finale could only attract 6.2 million viewers, a steep 28 percent plunge from last year.
Every season the wrong Idol wins (Kris Allen, pictured, AP) and disgruntled fans cry conspiracy. Season 8 is no different. Here's the latest conspiracy making the rounds, from an email we received this morning [I'm going to omit the emailer's name so as to not hold the person up to public comment without their approval]:
I know this is merely a singing contest, but there's justice involved in everything. I wanted to let you know that, of the 100 million votes cast last night, around 38 million (40%) were cast in the state of Arkansas. Those interested were brought to specific areas, given free loaner cells by AT&T, and allowed to text, for as long as they wanted. On top of creating an insurmountable obstacle, this is against the rules of the show itself, which state that "A weekly monitoring procedure will be in place to prevent individuals from unfairly influencing the outcome of the voting by generating significant blocks of votes using technical enhancements."
Here is what Robbie Wills, Speaker of the House at Arkansas wrote several hours before the
results show. Check the date and time: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 13:06. How did he know that
Kris had won and that there were 100 million votes? AT & T insider perhaps?
Written by Robbie Wills on Wednesday, May 20, 2009 13:06 - From the Arkansas Democrat
American Idol Votes Are In UPDATE: KRIS WINS!!!!
Told ya so! You heard it here first. It was the Arkansas vote!!! AT&T confirms 38 million votes from Arkansas alone. There were 100 million votes total for both finalists. Now that's what I call Getting Out The Vote. Congratulations Kris and family. Frankly, I admire Adam. I hate to see him (or anyone) lose like this.
(My view? Anything's possible but I don't buy into it. Kris won. Period. And though I'm not the least bit happy with this ridiculous outcome, it's wholly not unexpected. Sure, there are voting shenanigans but did Kris fans have the monopoly on this? Adam fans couldn't figure out how to get San Diego to cheat, too? My idea for a solution to this problem is that Idol producers should institute a one-vote per number/household rule. This would make it fair and reduce the chance for conspiracies. We'd also have more valid winners because the 'tween girls who swamp Idol lines with redials and texting for hours on end would have one vote apiece and their taste wouldn't dominate. Maybe an Adam Lambert or an Allison Iraheta could actually win on American Idol in the future if everyone had an equal chance. The parade of mediocre, middling talents but cute and cuddlies would not always beat the edgy and truly gifted.)
My pal Bradley also makes an interesting observation: "The total population of the entire state of Arkansas in July 2008 was 2,855,390 people. Maybe a few more have moved there in the last 10 months. Somehow they all got AT&T cell phones and dialed 13.3 times each?"
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