Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Blogging Vacation Is Over...

... and J.D. is coming out swinging.

Uber-suck concert promoters Vegas VIP Group have continued to tick the vast majority of the known universe off, including me, several of you, and their own performers.

First, my beef: After my first time ripping them to itty bitty shreds, the Vegas VIP guys tried to recoup by offering me an interview with none other than Ruben Studdard. I even went so far as to submit a set of questions that were supposedly sent to his management. Weeks have gone by. Crickets are chirping in the background. I assume, at first, that this is normal, so I send a short email inquiring the status of the interview. Nothing. I send another email. Nada. I send another email. Zip. Zilch. Zero. The level of respect this brings me for them is somewhere in the vicinity of the respect I feel for fire ants at this point.

Second, a fan's beef. This fan also happens to be administrator over at the entirely wonderful Anthony Fedorov fan forum at www.anthonyfanclub.com. For those of you who aren't regulars there, the excitement over Anthony's participation in this tour has been extremely heated. We're talking rabid fans who are chomping at the bit to buy plane tickets to go see him sing four or five songs. Not that I'm putting that down; I think that's great. But we're talking about some paying customers here. She was ready to go, but the idiots at Vegas VIP Group didn't respond to her until plane fare to Texas had already doubled. Troubled by this, she emailed the snot nosed punks. She managed to get a nasty email in response, telling her she was an idiot for not pestering them to get her tickets. And the worst part of it is that she was trying to book for herself PLUS six children. At between $50 to $90 per ticket, that adds up to a nice chunk of change.

Third, an Idol's beef. What follows is a letter from Justin Guarini, apologizing to his fans:

It has come to my attention, too late (unfortunately) that I’ve been lied to, or misled at best.

I was told by the promoters of my Texas mini-tour that William Hung would not be performing in our show...merely signing autographs, in 2 cities then going on with his own affairs.

I was told wrong, and it wasn't a mistake, I made sure to have my agent ask the booking agent specifically about the Hung issue.

I would like to apologize to all of you who have supported me over the years. I have always sought maintain a high level of professionalism and respect for my craft...from the simplest of impromptu performances, to the arenas and other fine performance venues around the world. I have been misled by the people I trusted to also maintain that standard, and so I feel as though I have misled you as well.

Some of you wrote to me when you heard about William's participation in the shows, reminding me of the duty I had to you all and how disappointed you would be to see me share the stage with a kind and seemingly gentle soul who is made to look a fool before the audience. I responded with the information that I was given in return...unfortunately that information was wrong. Had I known the real nature of the situation, I would have declined, as would other Idols participating in the tour. I can see why the information was withheld from my agent and the rest of the Idols reps.

I have nothing but respect and admiration for the person William Hung. He seems like a genuinely nice person, and an intelligent individual. I love that he is using what he’s got to get what he needs (Berkeley is not a cheap college), and no one has been able to duplicate his act before or since in regards to Idol contestants. However, I do not condone or have any desire to participate in his humiliation or the degradation of music and performance as a whole that is his show. He seems a gentle and kind spirit and it feels awful to see people laugh at him. I am contractually bound to continue this tour and will do so with great pleasure, however I am truly sorry to the fans if they feel let down by the lack of professionalism that may occur due to the inclusion of William Hung.


Peace & Blessings,


Justin


I don't think there's much more that I need to say. Except for this one piece of information: Although there were 500 people at the first concert, there were only FORTY in attendance at the Laredo event. That's right. Four with only one zero behind it. I don't care who's performing, that's a lousy turnout. That would be disappointing in even a small nightclub. Most of the venues have had front row seating available the very day of the concert. Horrific. But that's indicative of how horrible these guys are.

Idols: avoid the Vegas VIP Group. And music lovers, if you hear of anything being promoted by them, boycott it, and warn others to do the same. These guys are the piranhas of the music world...nothing but half rate poseur promoters who feed off of young, inexperienced talent to turn a quick buck.

8 Comments:

At 8:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you sure that the audience in Laredo was only 40 people ? I did not see it in any of the articles. I think that figure came from one of the posters on idolforums but that was 40 people for the soundcheck and then more showed up.

 
At 12:30 PM, Blogger J.D. said...

The 40 people thing is a rumor I heard. If anybody has a more accurate count, feel free to chime right in.

My point is how horribly mismanaged this was, and how much better they could have done if they didn't have complete idiots running things.

 
At 2:27 PM, Blogger Brownsoul said...

Hmmm. The William Hung issue. You know, I give him props for getting his ends the best way he knows how, but I think he's entirely naive to the fact that people think he's funny not musically inclined. People sale whatever the audience wants to buy.

I can't wait to listen to Ruben's new album. He's looking good.

 
At 2:29 PM, Blogger Brownsoul said...

I meant to say "I DON'T think..."

 
At 6:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, the tour was not promoted at all - not locally and not nationally. I really think they could not care less how many tickets they sold since they had radio stations footing the whole bill. But it could not have been pleasant for the performers to perform to such sparse attendance. Although I have to say that even though the audiences were small, they were very enthusiastic.

 
At 11:20 PM, Blogger Bathroom Hippo said...


HEY JD!

You're back!!!!

Oh and I need to interview you for my new series sometime....

Maybe in a month or two.
Lemme know!

 
At 12:14 PM, Anonymous factchecker said...

I attended the Beaumont concert and enjoyed it immensely. I thought there would be a larger crowd for a Saturday night, but it was a nice size. It lasted for three hours with no intermission, which was a little too long.

William Hung definitely added something to the show. It was hilarious to see the young girls singing along, dancing and imitating William's hand motions. That guy is just plain fun to watch. He came on towards the middle of the concert and only performed two songs. I liked his set very much, and would like to see him again.

I do wish William would have shared some of his "inspirations".

Brenna Gethers was quite ill and should not have performed. She did speak some inspirational words, but I feel like she should have saved her voice. Her acapella song was very nice.

Olivia Mojica from Season 2 was the stand-out for me. Such beauty and talent! She opened with "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera, and it was one of the best performances of that song I've ever heard. She also sang two originals.

Ruben asked Justin Guarini to close the final concert, and believe me, he was a fabulous entertainer.

Ruben moves very well to the music. It was so nice to see him again. He was well received, and seemed quite appreciative of the applause and shout-outs.

My companion thought that Anthony Fedorov "stole the show", and I must agree that his set was awesome.

Melissa McGhee performing live is so much better than the young lady we saw on TV. Her duet with Anthony was wonderful. Melissa's voice is very strong and professional.

Lindsay Cardinale was gorgeous, as always, and in fine voice. That young lady is a professional country singer now.

Teenagers Will Makar and Kevin Covais were delightful and added a good element to the show.

 
At 9:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well yeah the promotion stinked!! and yup only 40 people attended; I went to the Laredo one, and I certainly didn't have much fun since Will Makar only sang one song... supposely because it was going to rain and they tried to get everyone on stage quick, but still I mean the rest did sing more and he only sang one and blah.

 

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