Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Idol Hopefuls Flock to Auditions
By Idol Whore

Those tones wafting on the wind -- the beautiful and the horrific -- are the sounds of "Idol" hopefuls pumping their tonsils for a chance to impress the "American Idol" staff for the right to be either embraced or insulted by Simon Cowell (let's be honest: nobody really cares what Paula and Randy have to say). Auditions for Season 6 kicked off in Pasadena last week with thousands packing into the Rose Bowl for their shot at fame. The madness moved to the East Coast on August 14 as thousands more descended upon the Continental Airlines Arena at the Meadowlands.

I wonder if that creepy Elliot was there again this year. Elliott (definitely NOT Yamin) was a delusional weirdo who kept showing up at many of the auditions across the country. He never seemed like he had all his mental dogs barking in unison, and yet the producers kept putting him through to the judges. There must be a point when it's time to call security -- or perhaps apply for a restraining order. Then again, you have to dig through the dirt to get to those diamonds in the rough, and there are probably many people who show up at the auditions who are so much scarier than Elliot that they don't qualify for air time. There just aren't enough straight jackets to go around. Good luck to those who can sing -- and good riddance to those who can't.


Hey, tunesmiths! Break out your guitars, keyboards, saxophones, harmonicas, triangles...whatever. You may not be able to sing, but if you can compose a ditty, you too may be in line to share in some of the "Idol" glory. "Idol" creator Simon Fuller has officially announced that both professional and amateur songwriters will have the opportunity to compete for the chance to write tunes for the show's finalists. The hope is that not only will the show launch the careers of some talented songwriters (which anyone who has listened to pop radio lately will admit are greatly in demand), but they will be able to develop songs that will better suit the singers who are fortunate enough to make it to the final stages of the competition. Sounds good to the Idol Whore. The very first songs released by all of the Idol winners so far have been pure cheese. Kelly Clarkson had to work overtime to get beyond "A Moment Like This," and Ruben Studdard sounded like he was snoozing his way through "Flying Without Wings." Whoever forced "Do I Make You Proud" on Taylor Hicks should be drummed out of the Idol Corps. Be brave, Fuller. Give us some really cool music this coming season.

Let's backtrack: Ruben Studdard squeezed out an "Idol" victory in the finals against Clay Aiken in Season 2. Round 1 went to Ruben. When their CDs hit the stores shortly after the competition, Clay's outsold Ruben's by a significant number. Round 2 went to Clay. Now comes the rubber match as the two once again face off with new album releases this fall. Clay's "A Thousand Different Ways," which will include 10 cover tunes and 4 originals, drops on September 19. Ruben will counterpunch with "The Return," which drops on September 26. Get your scorecards ready!

Clay's battles continue on another front. He is being sued by a woman who claims that Clay has squashed sales of her book, which she describes as an "unauthorized tribute" to the "Idol" runner-up. Jeannie Holleman, who has written a book entitled Out of the Blue – 'Clay' it Forward, claims to be a lifelong friend of a Raleigh family that was close to Clay's mother. Holleman's book is a compilation of interviews with that family, along with the author's personal recollections and stories from various Claymates. Her lawsuit alleges that Clay and his mother have denied ever even knowing her, insisted that her stories were lies, and blasted her book on websites to squelch sales. She's seeking $500,000 in damages. Clay seems to be taking it all in stride. After all, Holleman isn't the first person to try to make a buck off his celebrity -- nor will she be the last. In a statement issued to the press, Clay says, "As a so-called 'celebrity' I have become used to scurrilous allegations and untruths being made about me and my work. I have always taken the path of not reacting to these matters and have accepted them as, somehow, coming with the 'job.' However, I cannot, and will not, stand by when these attacks are made on my family." Memo to Jeannie Holleman: Claymates may look cute and harmless, but they have a very testy dark side -- and they are RELENTLESS! (Need proof? Just ask John Paulus, the ex-Marine.) Be afraid. Be VERY afraid!

Show's over, kids. Idol Whore out!

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