Monday, July 02, 2007

Top 20 Things You Never Knew About American Idol That I Learned at the Convention

1. Most former Idol contestants are really really nice, but a few can be divas.

2. A lot of former Idols are worried about Kelly Clarkson's career choices lately.

3. During Hollywood week of Season 6, American Idol camera crews routinely wake up contestants at odd hours of the night for impromptu interviews. This was done on purpose. Also, prior to going onstage, producers would tell select people "hey, don't forget your lyrics!" immediately before they started performing just to plant the idea of forgetting lyrics in their minds. It worked on more than a few people.

4. The rant that Derrell Brittenum (season 5) went on in protest of his brother Terrell's elimination in Hollywood was fake. Derrell knew the entire time that his brother had made it through, but he also knew that doing that would ensure him maximum coverage and exposure. (Not that it mattered, since he and his brother both were in jail by the time Idol aired.) Said Derrell to Nigel, after leaving stage, "Sorry, but I had to do that to y'all."

5. Ace Young, Taylor Hicks, and Ryan Seacrest all had crushes on Heather Cox. Ryan asked her out. Ace was the only one she actively returned any sort of affection toward.

6. Kellie Pickler (season 5) already knew what calamari was. She had ordered it in a restaurant in Hollywood prior to the Top 24 shows hitting the air.

7. Paula Abdul was often aloof to contestants during the Hollywood rounds, and more than once appeared tipsy. Conversely, Simon Cowell is described by almost all previous contestants as being a surprisingly nice guy.

8. Almost all contestants appreciate the show for the opportunities it has given them, but every single one I've talked to has at least one axe to grind with it as well. The majority of contestants at the convention have their suspicions that the show may be rigged.

9. Nobody liked Brenna Gethers (season 5.) Not even Chris Daughtry. The producers tried to make it look like people didn't like Becky O'Donohue (much to the chagrin of the contestants) with some creative editing, however most people liked the O'Donohue twins. This sort of editing is known in the industry as "Frankenbiting," where sound bites, video clips, and situations not related to each other are combined together to create the illusion of something happening that did not. This happens more often than not on episodes of Idol that are not broadcast live.

10. Paris Bennett and Lisa Tucker (season 5) disliked each other at first. Later they became best friends. On the other hand, Kellie Pickler and Heather Cox were great friends initially, but now are no longer speaking.

11. Nobody has anything bad to say about Melinda Doolittle.

12. Gedeon McKinney (season 5) was at the season 6 Memphis auditions, offering voice lessons for $75 to auditioners.

13. Stevie Scott and Heather Cox (Season 5) were both extremely sick during the early Top 24 rounds, and thus were eliminated. Neither got to sing the songs they wanted to sing.

14. Dani McCulloch (season 6) was not allowed to sing her original song choice for her audition in front of Randy, Simon, and Paula. (If she could've, I wonder if she might not have been in the Top 10 this year.) She got to Hollywood anyway, but her initial exposure didn't carry well enough with the fans or the producers to boost her to the Top 24.

15. David Radford (season 5) is now in college studying music.

16. Most former Idols idolize Carrie Underwood more than Kelly Clarkson.

17. Jon Peter Lewis is one of the nicest guys in the world, and is considered to be the fun one of the group. It is not known for sure whether Taylor Hicks might have imitated Jon's dancing just a teeny bit. UPDATE: According to Jon Peter Lewis, he and John Stevens got along quite well. Musical Ramblings regrets any misunderstanding that may have emerged over the previous statement.

18. Heather Piccinini (season 3) will tell you she's coming to a convention, confirm it for you on the phone the day before, allow you to book her into a concert event, and then not show up at all.

19. During this year's Superstar Idols tour in Texas, Ruben Studdard (season 2) had no contact with any of the other former Idol contestants on the tour with him. He had to have a separate bus and prep area. Ruben was also frequently late to the stage, leaving Justin Guarini (season 1) to carry the show. Justin did the job well, and often by the time Ruben got to the stage, the crowd would have followed Justin back to meet and greets and would pay Ruben very little attention.

20. Chris Richardson (season 6) did a concert with Ace Young (season 5) earlier this year, almost immediately after Idol was over. This is a direct violation of his contract with 19 Entertainment. Especially since the tour has not yet started. A couple of 19 executives actually attended the show, and nothing has been said to Chris about it since, so it appears, at least for now, that he's in the clear.


At 8:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ace did the exact same show (Brea Summerfest) last year right before the tour started. I'm pretty sure it wasn't a violation. LOL

At 9:16 PM, Anonymous Dellane said...

If you don't like what he's writing, why waste time reading and responding? He's not claiming to be solving world peace. It's just supposed to be fun. Anyway...
JD, any new Season 4 tidbits from this year's convention? It remains the only season I watched from start to finish...and I still am hopeful that most of those folks will eventually get a record contract.

At 9:17 PM, Anonymous Dellane said...

Just to clarify, my comments were in regards to the fourth anonymous post from the top.

At 9:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I attended a Texas concert where Justin Guarini had to cover for Ruben lateness. I went to see Ruben, but ended up wishing the entire concert had been Justin. He was amazing. I didn't watch the first season of Idol, so I had no idea how good he is.

At 11:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taylor had a crush on Heather Cox. Heather will now be hated by those Soul Patrollers who are fangirly over Tay Tay.

At 12:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, more Season 4 gossip would be nice. But I guess everyone has forgotten about them.

At 1:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anon at 9:11, what are you talking about? Ace was NEVER signed to BMG/RCA. The only signing Ace ever had to 19E was the standard Idol contract. They never picked up their option on him. They did use him however to shill their lame AI ice cream and he did perform at Brea last year. The only way at all I can see Chris possibly getting in trouble is if he was picked up by 19.

At 1:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gosh people... seriously don't read if you don't like it.

Anywho, so how were the performances? didn't Will Makar sing?

At 1:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha, you can’t find this info in a magazine. Most of those publications can be fake; not confirmed by the artist. There’s no need to jump on the guy.
I enjoyed this info; there’s a lot of stuff that I didn’t know- Ryan asking Heather out… haha.

At 6:51 AM, Blogger sumarie711 said...

Thanks for the convention news JD!

Where did all this negativity come from? JD is lucky enough to be in the position to attend the convention and report back to the rest of us the conversations he had and the people he talked to.

Keep it coming JD!

At 9:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi J.D.! I was also going to point out that Heather Cox dated Anthony Fedorov briefly during Season 5, somewhere around the time she was eliminated. I think he met her when he visited the show during semi-finals (the week Carrie sang).

At 9:11 AM, Blogger J.D. said...

Yes, that is correct.

And for those of you who are looking for Season 4 tidbits...well, that's one of them. Of course, Jessica Sierra didn't make it to the convention because of her legal issues. (Strangely enough, her myspace page has "I'm Innocent" in the name tag.)

I'm frequently in contact with Lindsey Cardinale, and apparently she got a voicemail on her cell phone from an unknown male caller who had been looking forward to seeing her at the convention. It was creepy...didn't leave a name or anything...just a "call me back." She still doesn't know who it was, but whoever it might be, watch it, because we don't put up with stalkers.

I'll get into more about Scott Savol in a later blog post.

I heard from Nadia not too long ago...her movie is available on DVD now.

At 11:44 AM, Anonymous Dellane said...

Yeah, according to Google News, yesterday, Jessica pleaded not guilty to felony battery and possession of cocaine charges. She's scheduled to go to trial in October.
The Nadia movie...well I love Nadia, but that movie is another story. I hope she (and Jessica and Lindsey and Anthony....etc!) has an album out soon.
And I hope whoever left that message on Lindsey's machine doesn't turn out to be persistent. Wonder how they got her number? Creepy indeed.
Are you going to transcribe the panel discussion like you did last year? Hope so but understand if you don't; it must be time consuming!

At 2:21 PM, Blogger :) said...

I thought this post was wildly entertaining. :) Keep it comin'! What else ya got?? Any Elliott info?!!? I still love me some Elliott!!

At 2:46 PM, Blogger J.D. said...

If you don't know who a contestant is, you can always look on Idol's official website and find them. Duh.

At 3:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ruben Studdard, wow what a diva.
I attended a Texas concert, and let me tell you, most of the people were there to see other Idols and not him. The show that I went to during Ruben's performance, people stood up to take pictures with Justin Guarini and Anthony Federov...

At 11:17 PM, Anonymous MA said...

JD, awesome post as always. Don't listen to these anonymous haters. It's not like JD made this up himself, he's just relaying info he was given. To the 4th anonymous poster(9:09), what teen mags are you reading that print this kind of stuff? When I was younger it was all sunshine lollipops we love each other everything is great BS.

At 12:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LeapingLizard apperantly you are;you keep reading... so yeah, just leave J.D. and everyone WHO is interested alone.

At 9:14 AM, Anonymous Georgie said...

Ryan never told me he was gay so therefore I believe he is not.
Anthony Fedorov is recording these days as well as appearing in the off Broadway production of The Fantasticks at the Jerry Orbach theater (used to be the Snapple.

Thanks JD for all the very hard work that you do to help promote the idols and for keeping us up to date. You and your lovely wife are still loved and appreciated :-)

At 12:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to the same community college as Heather Cox, we had Psychology together. She is gorgeous, and seemed like a very sweet girl. Super smart as well.

At 5:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why in the world do you want to argue when this info is clearly correct? I mean this is comming straight from the Idols, and not fake publications. Oh, and if you don't know who this Idol is, then maybe like J.D. said; check the website- clearly you are not really interested in Idol if you don't know many of these Idols who are being mentioned. I can't believe why everyone is making such a big deal...

At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey JD, great post! can you elaborate more on Heather Piccinnini? She was one of my favs back in season 3 and I'm wondering why she would be all flakey and mean like that...??


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