:: Missed the premiere (and Boston auditions)? To paraphrase the one Boston band whose music wasn’t used in the episode, we didn’t miss a thing. See the recap. [Idolator]
:: Last night’s premiere drew 2.8 million viewers, down slightly from the Season 8 premiere. Turns out Paula’s absence (and various “X factors,” nudge nudge) translated to a loss of “only” 600k viewers. [LA Times]
:: Anime aficionado Mere Doyle tweeted that she was “mortified and embarrassed” by her Idol audition last night, but ain’t no Brit gonna hold her down: she’s recording a demo, and you can sample her tunes on her hot mess MySpace page. [Idol Chatter]
:: Kara’s “smart-ass” nemesis Andrew Fenlon already has a fan page on Facebook. Bikini Girl, you’ve been replaced in our hearts! [Facebook]
:: Amadeo DiRocco might come off like a Jersey Shore castaway (they probably didn’t let him on the show because he’s way too nice), and we’re not the only ones who noticed. Watch out, Amadeo, Snooki’s after you. [Twitter.com/Sn00ki]
More Idol dish after the jump!
:: Not many people were impressed by Victoria Beckham’s guest judging abilities last night. We’re more concerned about her food-eating abilities, to be honest. [ABC News]
:: Entertainment Weekly counts down Simon’s meanest critiques. We expect him to up his game during his last season and just shoot contestants in the face when he doesn’t like their performance. [EW]
:: Today in This Thing Looks Like That Thing, cancer survivor, past Hollywood-round contestant and first Season 9 Idol dreamboat Justin Williams looks like a younger Seth MacFarlane, yes/yes?
Just look at this photo comparison and try to tell us they’re not time-traveling fraternal twins. And hey, both can actually sing!
After last week’s reported chart record where solo female artists occupied the first five positions of Billboard’s Top 200 Albums tally for the first time, the ladies narrowly missed out on capturing the top six positions this week. (Damn you, Alvin and the Chipmunks!)
Taco-loving Ke$ha now sets two records of her own, however—not only did she have the best ever digital sales for an album by a new artist, she also scored the biggest first week in SoundScan’s history for an artist’s debut album released in January. So how did this all play out on the charts? Hop below!
Ke$ha’s Animal was initially projected to sell around 105,000 in its first week out of the gate, but actually moved 152,000 copies, according to Billboard. That was enough to land the alcoholic album of pop jams at #1 and bump Susan Boyle’s I Dreamed A Dream down to #2. Scottish warbler Boyle had previously maintained a stranglehold on the Top 200 for six weeks.
Billboardalso notes that Ke$ha’s parody-inspiring hit “TiK ToK” maintains the #1 spot on the Hot 100 Singles chart for a fourth week, while her “Blah, Blah Blah” debuts at #7.
But enough about this wanton boozehound! American Idol Season 6 runner-up Katharine McPhee also sees her latest, Unbroken, dent the album chart this week. Hits Daily Double has Kat’s sophomore LP coming in at #27, though final Billboard numbers won’t be published until tomorrow.
Looking ahead, Vampire Weekend’s just-released Contra could possibly swoop and and take a bite out of Ke$ha’s Animal next week.
The Top 10 of Billboard’s Top 200 Albums:
1. Ke$ha, Animal
2. Susan Boyle, I Dreamed A Dream
3. Lady Gaga, The Fame
4. Alica Keys, The Element Of Freedom
5. Mary J. Blige, Stronger With Each Tear
6. Various, Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
7. Taylor Swift, Fearless
8. The Black Eyed Peas, The E.N.D.
9. Justin Bieber, My World
10. Lady Gaga, The Fame Monster
M.I.A. has been on a Twitter rampage against the New York Times as of late, due to the publication’s inclusion of civil war-torn Sri Lanka at the top of a list of “31 Places To Go In 2010.” Warning: the TwitPic images of carnage she posted in her “F*** the New York Times!” rants in protest of the travel article are extremely graphic.
But on a, uh, softer note, yesterday the politically-minded artist also posted a link on Twitter to a mysterious video featuring a new song. The words “There’s Space For Ol Dat I See” accompanied her tweet. Is that the name of the tune? Who knows?
“My lines are down, you can’t call me,” M.I.A. sings atop the electo-tinged slow jam in the clip, which basically just features her dancing under green laser lights.
The 34-year-old’s third album is due out this summer. She told Rolling Stone that Blaqstarr, the producer she worked with on the Kala follow-up, “simply makes music that sounds good, and I needed that. I definitely needed to come to music on this album, to make music. I don’t want it to be gimmicky or silly or hipstery.”
Not gimmicky? Hmmm. Has she actually watched the above video?
Following the magnitude-7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti Tuesday afternoon, the death toll is still unclear (though estimates have it being in the thousands). But as the AP reports, one thing is certain: the strongest quake to hit the poverty-stricket Caribbean nation in 200 years could leave as many as a third of Haiti’s population of nine million people needing emergency aid.
“I cannot stress enough what a human disaster this is, and idle hands will only make this tragedy worse,” said Haitian-born rapper/producer Wyclef Jean in a statement. He also hit up Anderson Cooper 360 last night to urge prompt action to be taken in wake of the disaster. (Watch after the jump.)
“As we’re sitting here right now, there are people in the dark, that are dead,” Jean told Anderson Cooper. “My urgency right now is a cry of freedom saying we really need a state of emergency, like right now… I think the Haitians that are in America right now, we need to step up.”
Fellow rapper/producer Diddy took to his Twitter account last night and urged his followers to donate relief money to Jean’s Yele Haiti Foundation organization.
“STATE OF EMERGENCY!!! RT PLEASE!!! Earthquake relief for Haiti please text YELE to 501501 to donate $5 or go to www.yele.org RT PLS!!!” went Diddy’s tweet.
But maybe the Yele site wasn’t equipped to handle the volume of traffic it received overnight, as it now appears to either be down or moving very slowly.
Paula’s gone. Ellen has not yet arrived. And so we begin American Idol’s crucial Season 9 feeling a little aimless — heck, make that flat-out bewildered, now that we also have to contend with Simon’s impending exit. But if this show’s about to undergo a revolution, then we might as well start in Boston, right? Season 9 kicked off with two days in Beantown, where the judges (and guest Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham) began the search for fresh meat our nation’s next superstar. And just maybe, sneak in time for constant, endless soundbytes that will haunt us all season.
In a lovely moment with Victoria Beckham, Kara DioGuardi said, “I like you. You’ve got a nice energy.” And by that she must’ve meant low energy, because we kept forgetting Posh was even there. She managed to chime in every third contestant or so — not to talk about their audition performance, mind you, but he had plenty to say about their “look.”
The first godawful audition of the season
Janet McNamara suggested that she would be more than qualified to make it through to Hollywood because she’s been practicing by playing the American Idol karaoke video game. Sadly, her painful rendition of Natasha Bedingfield’s “Pocketful Of Sunshine” failed to bring the girl power. Simon offered his first zinger of the year — he looked over his shoulder and quipped, “Does this window open?” How are we supposed to carry on without him, exactly?
The first decent audition of the season
Hello, Maddy Curtis. We learned that this 16-year-old is one of 12 siblings, and a few of her brothers have Down Syndrome. Incidentally, Maddy crooned Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and received a golden ticket—but not before Simon snickered, “Amazingly, for 16 you’re not annoying.” Perhaps this is already obvious: Simon will not be mellowing in his final season.
First up is Katie Stevens, also 16, from Middlebury, Connecticut. Katie relayed that she wants her grandmother—who’s suffering from Alzheimer’s disease—to hear her sing (on TV, we guess?) while she still remembers who Katie is. But grab another Kleenex, because next we’re introduced to Justin Williams, 27, who found out seven years ago that he had cancer. (He’s now cancer-free.) Both singers made it through, and you can probably bet it won’t be the last time we hear about each of their personal plights.
What is the Idol audition process without a spate of OTT freakshows? Derek Hilton is a hippie dippy guy who cites Chris Brown and the Eagles (?!?) as his inspiration. His strangely nasal, all-over-the-place performance of Elton John’s “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” was met with four resounding no’s. Equally dire: seventeen-year-old Pat Ford, who gyrated through Britney’s “Womanizer”; Norberto Guerrero, who Simon said looked like “a three-year-old girl dressed like La Toya Jackson”; and anime nut Mary Doyle, who screamed through Janis Joplin’s “Piece Of My Heart” and said she wants to be big in Japan. Hey, Naomi Campbell had a hit album in Japan, so dare to dream, Mary!
Kara bonded with…
Amadeo DeRocco, who DioGuardi referred to as “my fellow pisan.” There was indeed a soul man inside the barrel-chested 28-year-old, who belted out an impressive take on Muddy Waters’ “(I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man.”
Kara sparred with…
The Clark-Kent-meets-Ashton-Kutcher-looking Andrew Fenlon, whose constant complaints that he, personally, was kept waiting all day made us want to reach through the screen and jam his glasses down his throat (even before he got in to audition for the judges). That all changed, however, when he started pissing Kara off—because then we were kind of rooting for him. “I just don’t like waiting around,” dour Andrew snapped at the four judges. “I am angry at you now, who I don’t like at all,” DioGuardi told him. Needless to say, he didn’t make it through. Kara added, “You need a spanking!” Suddenly it’s the first time we see Andrew smile.
The words that stuck in our heads
The sight of dejected contestants talking back to the judges has long since lost any real shock value. But when one walked off the set saying “see you next year,” Simon responded with “Well, that’s something to look forward to.” Except… we don’t.
The rest of the best in Boston
All in all, 50 aspiring Idols made it through to Hollywood during the two-day Boston auditions, including guitar strummers Benjamin Bright and Luke Shaffer, the “sultry” (by Kara’s reckoning) Ashley Rodriguez, drummer/singer Tyler Grady and nice guy Joshua Blaylock, who Randy said he can see “in a new group that sings Spandau Ballet-type music.”
Well, we know this much is true—Idol is back tonight with the Atlanta auditions. Check back Thursday morning for our recap!
Morning folks! We’ve got a serious American Idol hangover after kicking off Season 9 last night. And you know what cures a hangover? More of whatever made you ill in the first place, of course! More Idol dish in a bit, but first, let’s get to the mix!
Did You Hear?
:: Watch a short preview of the music video for Adam Lambert’s new single, “Whataya Want From Me.” As far as we can tell, there’s little leather and zero snakes, but we haven’t seen the remaining two and a half minutes of the full vid. Fingers crossed! [Best Week Ever]
:: Spinner counts down the 10 Best Whistling Parts In Songs. And “Young Folks” is just the beginning. We’d respectfully nominate Katy Perry’s “Ur So Gay” for consideration. [Spinner]
:: Clipse’s former manager Anthony Gonzalez is facing a 32-year prison sentence for being theleader of a $20 million drug ring. Wow. Imagine how much bigger Clipse would be if he hadn’t had a side gig. [Hip Hop Wired]
:: Usher got robbed! More than $1 million in jewelry, furs and electronics were stolen out of his SUV. Ush—maybe next time just ride a bike and leave all your precious jewls and fancy rich man belongings at home, kay? [E! Online]
:: Thirteen-year-old Cymphonique (daughter of rapper Master P) has signed a record deal with Sony Music, is developing her own show at Nickelodeon, and just released a single called “Tell the DJ” that isn’t half bad. When I was 13, I was reenacting The Lion King in my basement with my stuffed animals. She wins. [Just Jared]
Behind the jump: The country group who beat out Lady Gaga for an AMA performs on Ellen, and we time-travel back to give one of 2000’s biggest hits a fresh listen.
Music On TV Tonight:
:: Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC) – Larry Gatlin :: Late Show with David Letterman (CBS) – The HotRats :: Last Call with Carson Daly (NBC) – Lisa Hannigan :: Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (NBC) – Ke$ha :: The Daily Show with John Stewart (Comedy Central) – Ringo Starr and The Ben Harper Band
Music Tomorrow Morning: :: The Ellen DeGeneres Show (ABC) – Gloriana
VIDEO REWIND OF THE DAY: Ten years ago today, Christina Aguilera had the number one single with “What a Girl Wants,” a song that still holds up after a decade of dust-gathering. The accompanying music video kind of makes no sense—why exactly is she performing in a loft-style room loaded with arcade junk? And what’s the point of the quick cut to the cheap Marie Antoinette set? No matter. We’re just thankful X-Tina is returning with a new album in April.
(But seriously, this music video is a time capsule of questionable fashion choices leftover from the late 90s. So many fuzzy articles of clothing!)
Lil Wayne is expected to begin his prison term a month from today—should we even be surprised by the leak of a new track before he heads to the big house? Via KarenCivil, Wayne’s “That’s What N****s Do,” directly references the one-year prison sentence he’s facing in connection with a weapons charge. Weezy declares: “They wanna lock me up and throw away the key… I wanna pop ‘em up and throw away the heat.” But the most noteworthy thing about the track isn’t Wayne’s mention of real-life events. It’s the song’s featured guest rapper: 2Pac.
Weezy doesn’t sample a 2Pac song, but instead makes use of a quote from the late rapper’s 2002 DVD, Thug Angel: The Life of an Outlaw. In the quote that repeats throughout the track, Tupac—whose career was similarly disrupted by a stint behind bars—discusses “keeping it real” even as he tastes mainstream success in the music business (full quote can be seen here at 4:17):
“I’m gonna stay black. I’m not gonna act white cause ya’ll want me to act white. I’m gonna buy a Benz cause that’s what n****s do. You understand me? I’m gonna smoke weed…I’m gonna pack a gat… I’m gonna get drunk because that’s what n****s do. You understand me? I’m not gonna change just cause motherf*ckers got money.”