Monday, January 18, 2010

[WGO] Idols and Idle Thoughts

+ So, you may have already heard, but that little show "American Idol", now in its ninth season, officially made its return to television this week (and has already spawned its first viral clip of the season). The show has already been the subject of intrigue and interest when it was announced Paula Abdul was leaving the show, and being replaced by comedian Ellen DeGeneres. Am I the only one who feels like the four judge panel is a bit strange, as there is no tie-breaker? Anywho, the big news regarding "Idol" was the fact that after this season, Simon Cowell would be officially leaving the series, so he can focus on bringing an American version of the popular UK hit "The X Factor" to our fine shores.

For those of you who are less familiar with the "X Factor", it is similar to "Idol" in that its a singing competition with three judges where fans vote to save their favorite contestant, however there are no age restrictions and groups can perform and compete. "X Factor" brought us such talents as Alexandra Burke and the big one -- Leona Lewis, and also features a judging panel that includes Cowell and Cheryl Cole of Girls Aloud fame. Whether or not Cheryl will be coming to the US to judge remains to be seen (and is leaning toward probably not), however, it seems like every other day a different news story breaks about how Cheryl deserves to be an 'International Star'. This is something I'm completely for, so long as her four girls in GA come with her...

However, I also have news to report regarding "Idol". I have been given the opportunity to be the official blog correspondent for's Blog for this season! Links will come to follow, and you can view all my thoughts on "Idol" via the website. It's a really exciting opportunity for me -- and I hope to do them proud! If you aren't familiar with, I highly suggest you sign up for a free account now. Once you do, you can answer music/pop-culture related polls, listen to music and rate it via their "jukebox" feature, and a lot more in return for points, that you can use to cash in for free CDs and other cool prizes. It's a website I've been supporting for a few years now, and is a lot of fun!

+ Celebrity "blogger" Perez Hilton and "American Idol" creator Simon Fuller are teaming up to create America's "next great boy band." Anyone from America can audition (except, of course, girls...heh) by uploading three one minute video clips to the search's homepage, so long as they are between 13 and 21 years of age. For more info, check out Boy Band . You know me -- I'm always game for new boy bands. I just feel like perhaps we should be rooting for the ones that already exist and don't get the attention and exposure they deserve (like, say V Factory or even Johnny Wright's One Call). I won't judge till I hear the end product the moment, this doesn't sound like winning idea to me.

+ Back in the UK, a brand new show has debuted in a similar vein of "X Factor", with a twist. It's called "Popstar to Opera Star", and features current and past pop stars competing in an "Idol" like setup, performing opera. Does it sound gimmicky? Sure. Could they have come up with a better title? Probably. But you know I'm all over this! But wait -- it gets better. Meatloaf is serving as one of the panel judges, and the contestants include Blur's Alex James (he's already been kicked off, though), Jimmy Osmond (yes, of those Osmonds), Danny Jones of McFly, and my obvious favorite, The Saturdays requisite belter Vanessa White. Check out Vanessa's performance from last week (all of her fellow Satz were in attendance to cheer her on!):

+ On the American Charts, Ke$ha has "booze-clutching" fingers on the pinnacle of not just the top of the Hot 100 with "Tik Tok", but also the top of the Billboard 200, edging out Susan Boyle for the first time in what feels like forever. Her second single, "Blah Blah Blah" featuring 3OH!3, has also climbed impressively to #7. ::sigh:: I guess that's all I have to say about that. The rest of the Top 10 looks a bit like this: Lady Gaga waits patiently in the wings as "Bad Romance" sits at #2, Jay-Z and Alicia Keys's duet "Empire State of Mind" lands at #3 and newbie Iyaz and "Replay" continue to impress at #4. Owl City's "Fireflies" is #5, surprisingly David Guetta/Akon's "Sexy Chick/Bitch" is at #6 and the collective Young Money lands at #8 with "Bedrock". Rihanna gains another Top 10 with "Hard" bouncing up to #9, and Jay Sean/Lil Wayne hang in there with "Down" at #10.

+ "Made In Sweden", the Swedish television program that is chronicling the comeback of pop girl group Play has officially started airing and a few clips have leaked on to YouTube. They are proving to have a very feisty girl-power sound, as shown by this clip of Anais recording new song "Girls", which includes the lyrics: "My wallet just don't need ya/If you don't get it, then we'll see ya/Who do you think you're fooling?/If you don't get it, then prove it/Just. Don't. F*ckin' over do it". Meow! Long way away from this, huh?

+ The track listing for the soundtrack to Alice In Wonderland has been announced (and the soundtrack itself is due for release in early March), and it reads like a pop/emo fan's wet dream. Tracks by Metro Station, All American Rejects, All Time Low and Pete Wenz (sans Fall Out Boy) abound, however, my interest is peaked for the lead single, Avril Lavigne's "Alice (Underground)", as well as a duet between Tokio Hotel and Kerli called "Strange" (yeah, that about sums up that pairing, now doesn't it?). And as much as I don't want to admit it, I'm also anxious to hear 3OH!3's "Follow Me Down", but not because of them, but because of the fact that it features Neon Hitch. Interesting...

+ Speaking of complete guilty pleasures, "Jersey Shore" is officially the hottest thing on TV -- but I'm more than a little happy its finale airs next week. It's one of those shows that is so ridiculous and stupid, you can't look away. Despite this, I often get a little thrill everytime I hear a bit of various instrumental Candy Coated Chaos in the background (and its happened more than once -- the most recent one being "Static").

+ PopJustice has introduced me two more great new tracks via their 'Song of the Day' feature that I'm dying to hear the full cut of -- Diana Vickers' "Once", and Sabrina Washington's "OMG". Diana is a former "X Factor" contestant, and her upcoming album includes a song co-written by the UK's new favorite buzz-girl Ellie Goulding (love her as well), while Sabrina is a former member of Mis-Teeq (alongside Alesha Dixon) -- and its about time we heard some of her proper solo material.

+A brand new "MegaMix" of Lady Gaga material, most of which being from her The Fame Monster record (along with recorded bits from her recent tour) has surfaced, and you can get it for yourself thanks to Ken and The Beat Review. It also features a brief mix of CeCe Peniston's "Finally", and has launched a mini-surge of 90's dance pop in my iTunes library. Very good indeed. On a related note, La Gaga has recently announced that all of the profits from one of her shows here in New York City at the famed Radio City Music Hall (that I will sadly not be attending because I couldn't find tickets...boooooo! times a million) will be going toward relief for the devastation in Haiti. If you'd like more information on how you can help, check out the American Red Cross for a good starting point.


Aaron said...

Great post! Don't really know what to say individually though!

I really wish Bad Romance went to Number One outside of the UK - It deserves it!

Myfizzypop said...

Some genius stuff here. I'm surprised X Factor hasn't gone stateside earlier - it will be interesting to see how it goes down with Idol airing too. Plus Simon Cowell will be a judge on x factor at exactly the same time he is judging UK x factor (should he return) - yes, I'm sure his acts will be getting the best out of him!!

ALWAYS good to hear CCC even now they are gone. I don't watch that show but I will be looking out for it now!!

The Perez boyband thing fills me with dread though some of the bitchy comments on popjustice are quite amusing!!

Am belatedly liking Ke$ha though not obsessed with her or anything!! And desperate to see that Play show. How exciting. Even if they do swear (goes to listen to Hard Knock Life to purge the cursives!!)

Popstar to Operastar is strangely addictive because (for a reality show) it actually features some big pop names!! Viva Danny McFly!

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to hear the Diana Vickers song in full. She's my favourite X Factor contestant ever. Also, I would love it if Cheryl made it in America.

Perez Hil*vomits* Perez Hilt*vomits* - Right I can't say his name without vomiting but he doesn't deserve the 'opportunities' he gets.

And I'm gutted that Alex is out of that Poperastar thing.

Mel said...

Aaron - Here here. I think it would be far more deserving than "TiK ToK". Hmm.

Paul - I think they were trying to push "America's Got Talent" instead, but that became too much of a freakshow rather than a real talent competition (at least in its earlier dregs). Fingers crossed this brings GA and Alex Burke over here too. Glad to know other people are a bit...confused by this new boy band prospect as well.

Chemistry - I didn't really follow the X Factor too closely in the UK other than the winners, but I'm kind of sad I didn't pay attention to her before now. Can't wait for the full record! And ditto to Cheryl coming here -- I just wish she becomes famous here for GIRLS ALOUD, not because of just her...that would kill me, perhaps more than the fact that people are starting to recognize Sugababes 4.0 here. ::sadface::

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