Thursday, May 20, 2010

End of the line for American Idol's Casey James

Did anyone think that Casey would survive this week's American Idol cut? Notes posted throughout the Internet overwhelmingly opined that it was time for Casey to leave -- and, indeed, the Idol judges seemed to be ready to lead him to the door.

But what a run it has been for North Texas' Casey James!

"I'm so thankful for the opportunity," smiled James -- even after his elimination. "It's been an amazing, amazing journey and I'm so thankful that I'm here.

As with departing contestants, James got to sing a farewell song. He chose John Mayer's Daughters -- which had been judges Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi's choice for him in this week's competition. Confident, smiling and seemingly still happy, James delivered the song with ample tenderness and style.

There was a sense that Casey may have expected that it was his week to go -- and that he was ready to move on to the Idol tour and showing America that he deserves to be a star.

Indeed, elimination from the American Idol competition often signals less about defeat and more about moving ahead in a career. Runner-up Adam Lambert has become a super star -- as has Chris Daughtry. And how about Jennifer Hudson, Katharine McPhee, Clay Aiken and Kimberley Locke -- none of whom won the American Idol coveted crown!

“I never thought I'd get this far,” Casey admitted to host Ryan Seacrest. “But to me, it's like winning $10 million in the lottery and $100 million in the lottery. It's so much more than I expected, so it can't be bad.”

As the Dallas News reports: "For a guy who doesn't own a TV — and drove all night to auditions in Denver at the urging of his mom, who lent him her truck because there was no way his would make the trip — landing in the semifinals of the world's most popular talent show proved a bit overwhelming. As James Casey watched footage of last week's screaming-filled visit to North Texas Dallas/Fort Worth and his hometown of Cool, he fought back tears." Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

American Idol, the final countdown -- and the Influence of Simon Cowell

Two "American Idol" top talents will battle for the crown and the throne -- but after last night's performance, it seems that the royal title might actually be determined by the shows judges instead of the performances of the contestants themselves.

Casey James, Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze each opened the show with a song they chose themselves. James delivered a bland "OK, It's Alright With Me." The judges twisted their faces and words into an eventual assessment that while he sang well, the song choice was not the best and not equal to this stage of the competition when he needed "a moment."

Bowersox, complete with guitar and harmonica holder, belted a powerful version of Melissa Etheridge's "Come to My Window." As judge Simon Cowell opined, it was classic Bowersox -- who is always true to herself. The judges said that they generally liked the performance, but felt it was not the best version of the song and at times the song seemed so big that it got away from her.

DeWyze sang "Simple Man" -- and judge Randy Jackson enthused that the singer not only lived up to the song, but showed that he had confidence that he could really win. The judges handed to first round to DeWyze.

But there was still another chance to shine -- as the vocalists performed songs chosen by the judges. And this seems where results might actually have been solidified -- by the judges.

On "Do or die night," James sang a "sensitive" "Daughters" -- because his fans are largely women and girls. He sang well -- nothing wrong, but the song, chosen by Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi, was not impressive or powerful enough to offer James a shot. What could he do? It seemed that there was never meant to be a "moment" in the song.

Bowersox belted Ellen DeGeneres' choice of Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed." She filled the stage with an emotional journey, a captivating Janis Joplin-soulful version that brought the audience to its feet. Jackson declared that that it was terrific and proved that she was "in it to win it." Wow!

But DeWyze had the deck stacked in his favor -- last spot, the memorable spot and judge Simon Cowell, legendary for his talent in song choice, picking for him. During the break, Cowell chatted with DeWyze -- and it was obvious that the pair had strategized with Lee likely receiving the best in advice and guidance from Cowell all week. Cowell gave DeWyze what is probably the greatest song choices of all time -- Leonard Cohen's "Halleluhah." DeWyze's version was gritty, magical -- and he was the only performer backed up by a multi-member, volume-raising choir. The song, the "help" from Cowell and the choir gave DeWyze an absolute edge -- and the judges responded by oozing compliments and declaring that the evening belonged to DeWyze.

With that one song, Lee DeWyze surged into the spot of front-runner, and Bowersox suffered from being out-manuvered (thanks to an assignment of Ellen as her judge instead of Simon) despite a spectacular performance. Although DeWyze clearly was up to his task, there was a sense that the most powerful performance and win of the evening was orchestrated by Simon Cowell who was a king while the other players performed for their singers as pawns.

Clearly Cowell groomed DeWyze to win -- and DeWyze became the luckiest songman in the world, for that evening at least!

Except for a freaky surprise, Bowersox and DeWyze will be the contestants with the final shot at the American Idol title and crown! Sphere: Related Content

Friday, January 22, 2010


Shortly after Massachusetts voters cast enough ballots to send Scott Brown to Washington as the state's newest Senator, his daughter, Ayla Brown, became one of the top searches on search engines.

During Brown's victory speech, he mentioned that his two daughters -- Ayla and Arianna -- were available. Quickly former American Idol contestant Ayla's name was being typed at computers -- probably by a lot of eligible bachelors -- seeking more information about her.

At 17 Ayla graced the stage of American Idol after garnering praise at the show's Boston audition. The Boston College basketball star has appeared with The Boston Pops and performed the National Anthem at a Boston Red Sox game. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, January 11, 2010


American Idol judge Simon Cowell, who has been with the show from the very beginning, has announced that this will be his final season on American Idol.

Often considered the most respectd and hardest to please among American Idol judges, Cowell's remarks to contestants have often been termed too harsh -- but also the most accurate.

Cowell's decision is one more chapter in a year of drama and changes. Judge Paula Abdul, who had said that she wanted to return to the show, was never able to get a contract extension. And Abdul has been replaced by Ellen DeGeneres -- considered by some folks to be an illogical choice since she is a comedian without a music background.

Cowell, who created British hit show "The X Factor," said that this show will be in the line-up in the U.S. next year, and he feels that it is important to devote his time and energy to ensuring that show's success. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, January 1, 2010


American Idol super judge Simon Cowell is expected to delight audiences in a second cameo appearance in "The Simpsons"!

While Cowell has agreed to lend his voice to a cartoon character even though his initial attempt back in 2004 was, he reportedly said, not a whole lot of fun. "They obviously hated me as I had to do it over and over again. I could actually feel the rolling eyeballs," he told "It was like, 'After take 57, Simon could we have a little more reality'. It was painful."

This time around Cowell will play a grumpy character who upsets Maggie -- which, in turn, angers Homer. "I was very happy to do that. I criticise the daughter and she cries so Homer punches me in the face and I criticise the punch because it wasn't a very good punch," Cowell explained. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, September 20, 2009


(Article by Ian Johnston,

The BBC has moved its hit ballroom dancing show to a later time and it will now be on when X-factor begins on ITV.

Mr Cowell said it was wrong to force viewers to choose between two of the most popular programmes on television, adding that he and members of his family were “frustrated” by the change.



How many ladies have had their secret dreams of kissing Simon? More than a few ladies have probably kissed him in real life, but certainly there many been many more who have dreamed of reaching their lips to Simon's cheer in their secret, silent dreams.

Such seems the case for 80-year-old Eileen Chapman -- who actually had her dreams come true. The special lady, who said that she early on practiced her singing in air raid shelters, sang Elvis Presley's song The Wonder of You, and then set about having her very brief and very public romance with Simon.

"I think you're really hunky," she explained. "I'd love you for my joy toy." And then she ran down and gave Simon a big kiss on the cheek!

Judges Danni, Cheryl and Louis didn't feel that Chapman was right for The X Factor competition -- but Simon, likely under the spell of her charms, thought that she had an appeal that audiences would enjoy and asked her to return for another audition with a more current song. Sphere: Related Content