Archive for September, 2010
Season 9’s top girl, Crystal Bowersox, plans on getting married next month to musician Brian Walker. The single mom from Ohio told PEOPLE, “I hope to give my son a great model of what a happy marriage is or relationship could be.”
So who is the lucky man? He’s no stranger to Crystal, who said, “Brian’s known me for a long time, and so he’s been a part of my life for a long time. He’s known my boy. They laugh constantly. It’s hilarious.”
Just one year ago, Crystal was going through the American Idol audition process, and on Tuesday she attended Hard Rock’s Pinktober Breast Cancer Awareness Program Launch, and she was invited to perform by her own Idol, Melissa Etheridge. She is in the process of recording her debut album with 19 Recordings/Jive Records.
Congrats, Crystal & Brian!
Season 7’s fourth place finalist, Jason Castro, will release another record, Who I Am, on November 9th exclusively on his website and at all Christian retailers. This album is a unique collection of songs; featuring five fresh tracks including the new single “You Are” to hit the Christian AC airwaves in October, alongside five fan-favorites from his self-titled debut album released this past spring.
Even though many of the songs are personal to him, Jason doesn’t mind giving listeners a view into his world. “I feel like the album really captures my personality,” the Texan says. “People got to know me a bit on the show, so I wanted to build on that by including all these songs I’ve written about my life. I wanted to share with people the things that are meaningful to me.”
This album includes tracks produced by both Eric Rosse (Tori Amos, Sara Bareilles) and Ian Eskelin (All Star United, Francesca Battistelli, Remedy Drive). Jason also collaborated with a host of top-notch songwriters — including Marc Roberge of O.A.R., Gregg Wattenberg (Five For Fighting), Zac Maloy (fellow Season 7 finalist David Cook) and Espionage (Train) — all of whom helped Jason create an earthy showcase for his gifts as a vocalist, songwriter and musician, not to mention the warmth and sincerity that shines through everything he does.
The end result is an exceptional collection of truly heartfelt songs about love that relays what Jason calls a positive message of love and acceptance, including his hit single “Let’s Just Fall In Love Again” and his stunning version of the Leonard Cohen classic “Hallelujah,” which he performed on Season 7 of Idol. Who I Am is an extension of the successful release of his self-titled album, which debuted at the #18 spot on the Billboard Top 200.
Also coming out on November 9 is the digital-only five-song EP entitled Changing Colors: Live From Studio 1290, which features live, full band acoustic versions of the songs “Changing Colors,” “If I Were You,” “It Matters To Me,” “Love Uncompromised” and his version of the Tom Petty tune “Learning To Fly.” These songs were recorded in NYC in May 2010.
Jason Castro’s Changing Colors: Live From Studio 1290, full length version of Who I Am, and corresponding digital-only EP edition are all available now for pre-order via Jason’s website: www.jasoncastromusic.com.
Who I Am Track Listing (Atlantic Records/Word Entertainment):
- What If I Fall
- You Are
- That’s What I’m Here For
- Changing Colors
- Wait For a Miracle
- Who I Really Am
- It Matters To Me
- Let’s Just Fall In Love Again
- This Heart Of Mine
Changing Colors: Live From Studio 1290 Track Listing (Atlantic Records):
- Changing Colors
- If I Were You
- It Matters To Me
- Learning To Fly
- Love Uncompromised
Earlier this year, Jason shared his exclusive “That’s What I’m Here For” webisodes with AmericanIdol.com. Watch them all!
After winning the title of Season 9’s American Idol, Lee DeWyze was signed to 19 Recordings/RCA Records. Lee began recording his album while on the American Idol LIVE! 2010 Tour, and the album is set for a November 16th release. You don’t have to wait until the 16th to purchase the album; you can preorder it now on Amazon. Click here to learn more about preordering Lee’s album.
When Lee received the record deal he said, “Being signed by 19 Entertainment/RCA records is a dream come true. I know that by working with them, I have the support that will allow me to record the best possible album I can – an album I’m proud of and confident in.”
While the Mount Prospect, Illinois native was on tour, we caught up with him to ask about his upcoming record. Lee explained, “My first single was ‘Beautiful Day,’ and the fans responded to it well. It was cool to cover a song by one of the biggest bands of all time. I am looking forward to releasing my album which will be more my style – more folk-rock. I’ve been writing everything so far and it represents me well. I’ve been writing since I was 16 years old. I’m inspired by different stages of my life, and Idol was a huge stage of my life and a big influence. I like to write about things I can relate to like finding myself, love, and emotional things people can feel. I’m emotionally connected to music. My mood affects my music and sometimes the melody comes first and other times it’s the story; it just depends on how I’m feeling. Sometimes a song will just come to me, but I never write about something I don’t experience myself or an experience someone else shares with me.”
Nikki McKibbin, the third place finalist from the first season of American Idol, celebrates her birthday today. While on American Idol, the Texas native infused her edgy rocker style into her performances. Although she was in the bottom every week of the finals except for one, she made it all the way until the penultimate week of the season.
In 2007, Nikki released her first album, Unleashed. To promote the CD, she toured with Texas heavy metal band Rivethead. Last year, Nikki released two singles, “Here to There” and “Inconsolable.” Following the releases, Nikki toured with Idol alumni Haley Scarnato, RJ Helton, Jasmine Trias, and Amy Davis.
Nikki has appeared on a number of other reality TV shows including Fear Factor, Battle of the Network Reality Stars, Kill Reality, Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, and Sober House.
Happy Birthday, Nikki!
Season 9’s Paige Miles celebrates her quarter-century birthday today! After the preschool teacher made it to the Top 24 of American Idol, she kicked off the live performances with Free’s “All Right Now.” The judges were fans of Paige and this performance, and Simon Cowell said, “Out of all the girls, you have the best voice.” She returned the following week and put her all into Kelly Clarkson’s “Walk Away,” and unfortunately she strained her vocal chords and had severe laryngitis throughout the rest of the competition. Paige finished the competition in eleventh place, and although she didn’t get to tour with the Top 10 this summer, she supported her fellow finalists from the audience.
While on American Idol, Paige became best friends with fellow Top 12 finalist Lacey Brown. The two ladies live in Texas and try to hangout as often as possible. Paige just shared on her Twitter account that she has been recording in a studio. On Saturday, October 2nd, Paige will perform at Passionately Pink for the Cure – a gala benefiting Team Tiara & the Susan G. Komen 3-day walk in Houston, Texas.
Put on your un-matching earrings and say Happy Birthday to Paige!
Season 4 American Idol Carrie Underwood will kick off the fall leg of her highly acclaimed headline arena tour, the “Play On Tour,” this Saturday, September 25 in Portland, Oregon at the Rose Garden Arena. The tour will play 47 cities before wrapping December 19 in Calgary, Alberta. By the close of this leg, Carrie will have performed over 100 shows throughout the U.S. and Canada on the “Play On Tour” in 2010. Special guests this fall are Billy Currington and Sons of Sylvia.
Carrie will donate 36 cents of every ticket sold to Save the Children’s United States Programs. This initiative was inspired by the “36 cents” written in the lyrics of her album track “Change,” which addresses how even the smallest bit of spare change that one might have can add up to make a difference and help “change” the world.
The three-month spring leg of the “Play On Tour” was performed in front of nearly 400,000 fans and nearly sold out all 54 shows throughout North America, bringing along special guests Craig Morgan and Sons of Sylvia.
The Season 4 champ is a five-time Grammy Award winner, a member of the Grand Ole Opry, two-time reigning Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year, and three-time CMA and ACM Female Vocalist winner. She has amassed more than 12 million in album sales since her debut CD in 2005 and has placed 13 #1 singles on the charts.
Fall “Play On Tour” dates
Season 4’s third place finalist, Vonzell Solomon, will join the touring production of Burn The Floor as the show’s female vocalist. Her role will begin on October 12th at the San Diego Civic Theatre in San Diego, CA.
Burn The Floor features international style ballroom in the Standard and Latin areas of dance. This won’t be Vonzell’s first time singing on a dance show tour. In 2008, Vonzell sang alongside fellow Season 4 finalist Anthony Fedorov on the “Simply Ballroom Tour.” Burn The Floor is directed and choreographed by So You Think You Can Dance choreographer Jason Gilkison, and stars SYTYCD alumni Anya Garnis, Pasha Kovalev, Ashleigh Di Lello, Ryan Di Lello, Janette Manrara, and Karen Hauer.
Ten days into the tour, Vonzell will also be performing in the play He Who Findeth a Good Wife, Findeth a Good Thing alongside Montell Jordan. The shows will be held on 10/22 at 8pm and 10/23 at 3pm and 8pm at Tarrytown Music Hall in Tarrytown, NY.
“AMERICAN IDOL” TEAM PRESS CONFERENCE
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2010
RYAN SEACREST, Host
RANDY JACKSON, Judge
STEVEN TYLER, Judge
JENNIFER LOPEZ, Judge
JIMMY IOVINE, In-House Mentor
NIGEL LYTHGOE, Executive Producer
KEN WARWICK, Executive Producer
MIKE DARNELL, President of Alternative Entertainment, FOX
JASON CLARK: On behalf of everyone at FOX, 19, FremantleMedia and everybody at AMERICAN IDOL, thank you for joining us today. We know how long many of you have been waiting for this opportunity, so let’s go ahead and get started. Please welcome AMERICAN IDOL’s host, Ryan Seacrest.
Our new judges, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez.
Returning judge Randy Jackson.
Our new in‑season mentor and chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M — and as Nigel likes to call him, the music czar — Jimmy Iovine.
Executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick.
And President of Alternative Entertainment at FOX, Mike Darnell.
JASON CLARK: We’ll open it up for questions. If you have a question, please raise your hand. We’re going to get everybody mic’d up.
QUESTION: Obviously, the first question is who will be the heir to Simon as the toughest judge? Who will be the new villain?
RANDY JACKSON: I don’t know if there will be. You know, I mean, I don’t think we thought about trying to replace him and do any of that. I think we will all have our moments of toughness and nurturing, and you know, sweetness and everything. We’ll all have moments of that.
NIGEL LYTHGOE: It isn’t about role‑playing. It’s about being yourself. That was Simon’s character. And we’re hoping everyone is going to be honest and remain in their characters, which is why they’ve been chosen.
MIKE DARNELL: We’re not looking for a replacement. We wanted who they are and what they’re going to bring to it that’s unique and individual, and it’s a whole new time with a whole new panel.
QUESTION: Jennifer, can you comment on how tough you will be?
JENNIFER LOPEZ: How tough will I be? I believe in tough love, but I don’t think I will ever, as an artist. I could never be cruel to another artist. I think there’s definitely better ways to say things and still get your point across. I’ve mentored on the show before, and I think people have seen that and can kind of feel how I’ll be or maybe they’ll be surprised. I don’t know.
NIGEL LYTHGOE: I think Jimmy Iovine will bring a lot of toughness to it.
JENNIFER LOPEZ: Yeah.
NIGEL LYTHGOE: He’s our music czar. He’s going to be our advisor on it, and he’s the type of guy that can stand there, look you in the eyes when he’s heard your CD and throw it in the bin and say, “Not good enough.” Different animals, you know, A&R people, totally different than artists.
QUESTION: Jennifer and Steven, what was it like watching this play out in the press in the last month? Did it make you want to come out and do like an impromptu press conference and say, “This is what’s happening”?
STEVEN TYLER: It’s a bit of a dream come true. I was on tour, and this was thrown at me, and I looked upon it as a great opportunity, and then when I found out who was on board, I threw down right away.
Right away. And as far as tough love and loving people; sure we’ll send some people home with broken hearts, but with all that we’ve been through in our careers, living vicariously through the young talent out there, it’s going to be hard. But it’s also going to be fun because they’re stepping up to the plate, and so will we.
QUESTION: Steven, how are you going to bring more rock to AMERICAN IDOL?
STEVEN TYLER: How? By my melodic sensibility, by my sense of time, by what I see and hear. You know, you spot it, you got it. So it should be very easy for me, and I’m looking forward to it.
QUESTION: A question for Jennifer: In the package they showed before they introduced you, they talked, oh, about your headlines, about your diva demands.
RANDY JACKSON: Umm, easy, easy.
RYAN SEACREST: Umm, umm.
JENNIFER LOPEZ: Oh, I’ve got like brothers now. I’m not alone. That felt so good.
RYAN SEACREST: Sore subject.
RANDY JACKSON: Yeah.
JENNIFER LOPEZ: I’m usually up here all by myself when you ask me all of those questions.
QUESTION: I just wanted you to be able to address.
JENNIFER LOPEZ: Say it again.
QUESTION: What is your reaction when you see headlines like that?
JENNIFER LOPEZ: I’m kind of used to it. I mean, after as many years ‑‑ I don’t even want to say ‑‑ as I’ve been in this business, I’m used to that kind of stuff, I’m used to speculation. I was calming the FOX people down saying, “Listen, it will be gone tomorrow. Once they hear who we are, what we’re doing, it’s going to be fine. Don’t worry about it. We know what the truth is. The truth always shows itself in who you are.” And so I wasn’t really worried about it, to be honest. I was just looking forward to getting started.
NIGEL LYTHGOE: There’s so much rubbish out there. I said to Jennifer today that we heard that she only likes yellow M&Ms.
JENNIFER LOPEZ: He asked me, “Do you like yellow M&Ms?”
NIGEL LYTHGOE: I’m thinking who’s going to pick them all out for her? She said, “No. Where did that come from?” So there’s so many stories out there.
MIKE DARNELL: I can tell you from the FOX vantage point, the deal was not tough. There were no diva demands. It was a really easy, comfortable deal with both of the parties.
NIGEL LYTHGOE: It was only getting dates together.
MIKE DARNELL: Yeah, schedules and dates, those types of things, but they were typical deals, to be frank.
QUESTION: Question for Nigel, as exciting as the new judges are, can you talk to us about the other changes to the format that you are contemplating for the next season?
NIGEL LYTHGOE: Yeah. I think having Universal there is fabulous. They’re certainly going to look at the uniqueness of the artists. You know, we have been ‑‑ and it’s been alleged and rightly so ‑‑ that we’ve been a bit of a karaoke show, purely and simply because we re‑do songs that people know. I think what’s going to happen now ‑‑ and, Jimmy, you’re the best one to speak to this ‑‑ is we’ve got a whole new set of rules that are going to come in, that we’re not just going to copy the tracks that have been there before.
JIMMY IOVINE: We’re going to try every week to bring the artist along, really give them some input — and we’re going to try to show that. Nigel has been coaching me on how we’re going to fit that in the show, and we’re looking for originality. We’re not looking for someone who sings like Whitney Houston. We’re looking for someone who’s influenced by Whitney Houston, but brings her own stuff to the game. And we have producers like Timbaland and Polo who are going to be working every week ‑‑
NIGEL LYTHGOE: They’re down there.
RANDY JACKSON: Tim and Polo are in the house.
NIGEL LYTHGOE: Nice headphones.
JIMMY IOVINE: That’s Timbaland rockin’ those beats.
And every week, they have ‑‑ the kids can’t just be told, “Okay, sing better.” Someone has to work with them every week on performance, on style, and also make the songs they do have some kind of originality as well. So they’re doing a cover song. That’s one thing, but we’re also going to bring originality to that cover song as well. I think we’re going to see great improvements every week on the artists. And we’d like to show people that are voting, who are in the audience, that progress and make that a piece of the puzzle and a part of the formula, the way they vote.
NIGEL LYTHGOE: And certainly the middle rounds have always felt a little uncomfortable to all of us. What this does, Season 10, with having these icons here as well, is we’re no longer protecting a brand. Once something works, over the last nine years, you don’t mess around with it too much. We are 10 years old. We’re now being given the opportunity of re‑creating the magic that we started with, and I think in those middle rounds we’re looking at finding other ways to do that so that we actually present to America who we think the best singers are.
JIMMY IOVINE: Can I interject?
NIGEL LYTHGOE: Please.
JIMMY IOVINE: Every week, we’re going to have the best producers in the world working with these artists. They’re going to be bringing them along the same way they bring any artist that signs with Interscope along every week. I think you’re going to see a remarkable difference from week to week; much bigger than it was in the previous shows and previous airings. So it’s going to be an entire new construct of bringing artists. If you stand somewhere one week and just sing, the next week you have to show improvement in your presentation, in the way you sing, in everything. They’re going to be brought in every week for two or three days and work with guys like Timbaland and Polo and myself to a certain extent. I think you’re going to really enjoy what you see in that area.
NIGEL LYTHGOE: And they’re no longer just going to be standing there. What do you call that when you just stand there, Steven?
JIMMY IOVINE: Shoegazers.
STEVEN TYLER: Shoegazers.
NIGEL LYTHGOE: Shoegazers.
RANDY JACKSON: Yes.
NIGEL LYTHGOE: We will want them to move. Artists nowadays don’t just stand on the spot.
KEN WARWICK: They need to present themselves a lot better, for instance, than they did last year. We’ve got, as producers, to be honest, sick to death of them standing there, hiding behind a guitar and just “Sing, sing, sing‑a‑lang.” And we say, “Next week is rock week.” “Oh, great, rock week,” and they’re jang‑a‑lang, same thing.
So it’s going to be a big step‑up musically. It certainly is. And so far the talent we’re seeing ‑‑ I know we say this every year ‑‑ but it’s surprising.
MIKE DARNELL: Plus the record turnouts.
KEN WARWICK: Record.
MIKE DARNELL: Really been amazing.
QUESTION: We received this question from several members of the press outside of L.A. and from fans: Will there still be guest judges on the show now that Jimmy is on board?
NIGEL LYTHGOE: We’ve got three judges that we’re really happy with, and that’s what we’re sticking with: three judges. However, it is always open. If anybody else wants to come along that we feel will add to this and help us, absolutely. There’s a possibility of using guest judges.
KEN WARWICK: If Jimmy said, I think these songs of Elton John are great, and then Elton phoned up and said, “if you want me to come along and give my opinion,” it would be silly to say no.
NIGEL LYTHGOE: No mentors.
KEN WARWICK: No.
NIGEL LYTHGOE: Jimmy is the resident mentor. So no mentors, Miley or anybody else ‑‑
QUESTION: Have you gotten to spend much time together yet? Do you think that this new panel can bring as much chemistry as the judges have had in seasons past?
RANDY JACKSON: She’s saying do you think that this judging panel will have as much chemistry as in the past?
JENNIFER LOPEZ: Have we spent time together? Yes, we’ve spent time together.
RANDY JACKSON: Yeah, we spend a lot of time together now, and I think that this is kind of a natural fit because we’re all from different sides of the music scope. We’ve all known each other for a while. I’ve known Jennifer for a while, known Steven for while. Ryan has known them both. So I think we’re going to have a lot of cool camaraderie. I think you’re going to really love this.
RYAN SEACREST: What’s great about Jennifer and Steven is, obviously, they’re idolized by the contestants who are auditioning for the show. But Steven, if you follow Aerosmith, if you get a chance to get the know the guy and sit down with him, there’s an innocence about him. There’s a massive heart and soul ‑‑
RANDY JACKSON: Right.
RYAN SEACREST: ‑‑ inside Steven Tyler. And I was not surprised, but ‑‑ it was really neat to get to know him on that level. And with Jennifer, she’s done it all, she knows how to do it all and she’s a perfectionist at it all. Adding all of that to this is going to be something that we’ve never experienced.
RANDY JACKSON: Let’s face it, I mean all of those kids out there auditioning are hoping in their wildest dreams that they’ll have a career 1/20th as successful as these two right here (indicating Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler). In fact, I would say that most of those kids, they ‑‑ these are their idols for them who they look up to. So I think we’re going to have a lot to share, and between us, we’ve just got such a bond already, naturally.
NIGEL LYTHGOE: And all relationships grow. If you look way back at Season One of AMERICAN IDOL, we had Randy, who was in love with music; Paula, who was in love with the contestants –
Simon, who was in love with ‑‑
KEN WARWICK: Himself.
NIGEL LYTHGOE: So that grew. That whole relationship grew.
RANDY JACKSON: Ryan who was also in love with himself.
NIGEL LYTHGOE: This will grow.
RYAN SEACREST: When Jennifer said to me after the introductions, “Should we change for the press conference?,” I knew it was a match made in heaven.
RYAN SEACREST: I said, “Absolutely.”
RANDY JACKSON: We’re all going to change a lot.
MIKE DARNELL: So Ryan is wearing one of her outfits.
RYAN SEACREST: For now.
QUESTION: A question for Jennifer. It also was announced today that you have signed a first‑look deal with Fox Films. Can you give us some details about that?
JENNIFER LOPEZ: It’s a first‑look deal. You know, when we started talking about working together, we were talking about an overall relationship, and I’m really excited to say that now we have one. We’re going to be developing film and television and all kinds of stuff, and this is a big part of that as well. So I’m very excited about it; really excited about it.
QUESTION: Obviously, one of the appeals of this program over the years has been the Simon factor in this program. How do you think the show is going to fare with the TV audience without Simon now? I don’t mean to put pressure on you, but it is an interesting question about what the ratings will be like. Do you feel it’s a loss not having the Simon character on the program now?
NIGEL LYTHGOE: You obviously haven’t met Jimmy Iovine. You can’t replace Simon. Simon is irreplaceable. There’s no question about that, but I think, in truth, I don’t want the judges worrying about ratings. They’ve got to worry about the talent. Once all of this is over, and thank goodness we’re having today because then we can forget it and concentrate on what we should be talking about, which is the kids. I want the focus to go back on them and their talent. Then we are just part of the instruments, if you like, that produce that for America, and then America decides on who the next American Idol is. What we’ve got to worry about here is us going forward, not Simon not being there. We’ve got a great legacy from the past, but now we want to talk about the future. That’s what we have to do.
KEN WARWICK: I’ve always said that IDOL is not a destination, it’s a journey. And it’s the story of that journey and the making of the dream. This is just a different kind of dream, a different kind of story.
MIKE DARNELL: All these shows have to evolve. You know, if you keep on doing the same thing for 10 years, you’re going to suffer.
KEN WARWICK: Yeah.
MIKE DARNELL: So this is an evolution. It’s a brand new thing, and it really feels that way. With the crowd today, it really felt amazing ‑‑
KEN WARWICK: An energy.
MIKE DARNELL: ‑‑ and I think the audience craves this kind of stuff. Reality is kind of a new thing on the horizon, but it’s the fact that we can renew it in a way that makes it better – different — than other types of television shows.
RANDY JACKSON: I also think it’s the greatest show of its kind that’s ever been a music competition show. I mean, to me, it’s the greatest show by miles, not just because I’m on it. Also the thing that Nigel mentioned is really what was the most important to us from day one, and I think that still remains the most important. Yes, today it’s about us, but it’s really about those kids, those idols that we find, those winners, how successful they are, how talented they are. It’s not just about one of us or the three of us. It’s really about that talent.
RYAN SEACREST: It’s the first time I’ve heard him say that actually.
RANDY JACKSON: No. Ryan, come on, dude.
RYAN SEACREST: That flight path.
NIGEL LYTHGOE: And using internet auditions this season, we can honestly say it’s the biggest talent draw in the world, without question.
QUESTION: For Steven and Jennifer, what do your bandmates and what does Marc think of your new gigs?
JENNIFER LOPEZ: Marc is excited for me. I’ll go first.
RANDY JACKSON: That was good.
JENNIFER LOPEZ: Marc is really excited for me. You know, I don’t know that we ever thought that I’d do something like this. But, again, I think my career has kind of been that. When I was a dancer, was I going to be an actress? Yeah. When I was an actress, was I going to be a singer? Yes. When I was a singer, can you do the ads? Can you do branding? Yes. I just think this is another evolution of that, and he sees it as that. He actually explained it to me like that. So he’s obviously very happy. We’re also really happy that we get to be in one place with the babies for a while. Our life is so much about traveling, and as artists we are everywhere, every week. And this is going to put us here for like six months. It’s unheard of for us. So we’re really excited. The babies can do, like, dance class and soccer practice and all that stuff. So we’re excited about, you know, being a little bit of a normal family for a little while, and that affords me this. So I love it even more.
NIGEL LYTHGOE: I’ve got a feeling he might pop in on the road as well. They’re like Desi and Lucy together.
JENNIFER LOPEZ: Yeah, we are a little bit.
STEVEN TYLER: Well, different answer, same content. With the band, we’ve been married for 40 years remember, five guys, which makes it even worse than women. I can go for an hour and explain that.
You know, at first they were jealous. They heard it through the press and not through me, but then I said to them, “Four months ago you were looking for another lead singer.” So things go up and down. I spent a stint in Betty Ford. But, you know, as a band goes, we live on the tail of a comet, and I’ve been on tour with these guys for 40 years, and they’ve been judging me every day. So you know sometimes it hurt, a lot of times.
RANDY JACKSON: Right.
STEVEN TYLER: Most times, I came out through the wormhole stronger. So it’s a real journey with those guys, and they would say the same about me. I’m sure they’re real happy for me. I mean, this is nothing more than take it all up another step or two, and it’s good. I like it. I can move to L.A. with Erin and get a house and come over and have tea with (indicating the panel members) the gang.
JENNIFER LOPEZ: Are you saying ‑‑
RANDY JACKSON: Jennifer and Randy.
STEVEN TYLER: Get a bowl of sugar.
QUESTION: We have another one that came in via e‑mail from outside of L.A. for Jimmy and actually for the whole panel, the new members. Why did you decide to join AMERICAN IDOL?
JIMMY IOVINE: From our perspective, it’s an extraordinary opportunity to have a platform like this for music. And what you can do to expose artists right now in television and to have a show like this, we were all very, very jealous of this show — watching Sony Music have this platform. But most of it is the challenge because you’re talking about is it going to be like it was? If you look at any great artist, if you look at U2 or Bruce Springsteen or Madonna, you look at them ‑‑ or any great television show — you have to evolve. Everyone wants to know, “Is it going to be the same?” Nothing can be the same for 10 years or it’s doomed to failure. This is an evolution, and I think the producers and FOX have really put together an incredible team for that evolution. I know what we’re going to bring. We’re going to bring our best game at Interscope, and we’re going to bring our best producers and our enthusiasm and our creativity to make this music just fantastic, so that what you see on the show is something you’ve never seen musically. I can guarantee that.
JENNIFER LOPEZ: What was the question?
JIMMY IOVINE: How terrific is Jimmy?
QUESTION: You’ve all had amazing careers, why did you join AMERICAN IDOL?
JENNIFER LOPEZ: I’m just a huge fan of the show, and I always have been. When the opportunity came up, I know I kind of raised my eyebrow, like, “Hmmm. I don’t know.” But like I said before, my career has always been the type that is changing and evolving, and where I’m always kind of trying different things that people maybe think I shouldn’t do at the time. But always, if it feels right in my gut, I go for it. And it felt right. It felt like the right thing at the right time for me. So I’m really excited. I’m going to give it 100 percent and give it my whole heart and soul and passion like I do with everything that I do, and I’m looking forward to such a fun year. I really am.
JIMMY IOVINE: Steven ‑‑
JENNIFER LOPEZ: Why did you join AMERICAN IDOL?
STEVEN TYLER: You know, I always loved the outcomes. I always loved the kids crying and screaming.
RANDY JACKSON: So did Simon.
STEVEN TYLER: It resonates with the end of my career and where it is now. Be careful what you wish for. Kids trying to do something, having a say in that, what we do that’s different this time than before, get a chance to mingle with them and their ‑‑ you know, whatever they do best, whether they sing or can’t sing or need character, I think I can add to that. I always thought I could. The tour is over. I get a chance to live in L.A. and hang with the best. So it’s a good thing.
QUESTION: A question for Ryan: How hard was it for you to keep this a secret?
RYAN SEACREST: Let’s wait for a Lufthansa to fly over.
Before we get this on tape. You know, it wasn’t that hard. I keep the secret of the results every now and then, when I’m looking at it, but this one had a longer lead time. I was questioned by family and people I work with, and I was just setting up tricks to see if there was a leak. So I’d give them fake names to people, and sure enough Elton John appeared.
QUESTION: Who’s the leak in your family?
RYAN SEACREST: My sister.
RANDY JACKSON: Whoa.
QUESTION: Jennifer, Steven mentioned bringing some rock to the show. Is there something you think should be highlighted musically? Or you think might be missing that you’d like to see more of?
JENNIFER LOPEZ: You know, for me, I thought about this a little bit and because, like I said, I am such a huge fan of the show, and at the end of the day, what would really kind of like ‑‑ and I like SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE as well. I’m a huge fan of that show. I just think that you have to go with the talent at the end of the day. A director said that to me a long time ago when I was auditioning for my first movie, and they were kind of fighting him to put me in it. And he said I had to go with talent at the time ‑‑ and it always stayed with me. When I watch these shows, I think the same thing. I don’t think it’s about having one country singer or one R&B singer, one person we had this spot filled, and this person’s a blonde, and that person should be ‑‑ I don’t want to be that type of person. I want to look for the “it” thing. That can come in any package. You know what I mean? And I just want to find that. Like I said at the presentation, “We’re looking for the next Michael Jackson.” But that’s what we want. We want to find that type of Idol. We want to find a full-rounded performer who can really ‑‑ is going to contribute to the world of music and bring a lot of joy and entertainment to people. So that’s kind of what I feel my role is here to help the American public put people in front of them who can could do that and then let them choose who they truly love.
NIGEL LYTHGOE: It’s important to note as well, picking up from Jennifer there, that we’re no longer going to get the country singer to sing rock and the rock singer to sing folk. They are now going to stay with what they believe and what Jimmy believes is their genre that they need to work in. Consequently, their styles of music are going to be more decades rather than individual artists’ music, and that’s, I think, really important to be able to develop what they are good at.
QUESTION: For Jennifer and Steven, is there ‑‑ I know you’re here as judges. Is there any chance at all that we’ll get to see you perform together? And what type of song would you like to sing together?
JENNIFER LOPEZ: “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)?”
RANDY JACKSON: Very good.
STEVEN TYLER: (Singing.)
JENNIFER LOPEZ: I don’t know. Maybe. I don’t know. We haven’t really spoken about that much.
KEN WARWICK: There’s always the finale, don’t worry.
JIMMY IOVINE: The finale.
JENNIFER LOPEZ: IDOL GIVES BACK, the finale and who knows.
NIGEL LYTHGOE: Yes.
RANDY JACKSON: Might as well.
QUESTION: Randy, as a returning judge, do you feel the pressure or responsibility to keep everyone in line?
RANDY JACKSON: No, no. Listen, I was saying this to somebody earlier, to me, Season 10 is like the remix. It’s like a new beginning for what IDOL is. I mean, these two are so talented. I’m so happy that I’m up here with them. Ryan and I couldn’t feel stronger and better about this judging panel, and Jimmy with us ‑‑ it’s just a really, really cool thing. I think it worked out the best it ever could. So I’m really, really excited. No pressure. And we’re going to have a ton of fun, dude.
QUESTION: This question is for Nigel and anybody else who wants to weigh in. You talked about staying in genres. Of course, you’re going to have fun on the show like you’ve had over the last nine seasons, but some of you guys are going in a bit more of a serious direction by sticking in the genre and maybe it will still have its playful moments, but is that kind of the feel we’re getting here? Is that you’re going in a more of a serious direction?
NIGEL LYTHGOE: I think it’s fair to say that moving into Interscope, you look back at the history, and you go “American Idols, who are really there now? What is in our wake?” And I suppose you’ll go Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and then you start running out of Idols. We have got to go back to creating an American Idol. That’s what we’re here to do, and that’s what we have to do. And if it needs to be taken seriously, and every time I have a conversation with Jimmy, it is about the serious side, but there’s a lot of fun in music. You know, there’s a serious side of getting it right and getting what you’re doing right and pushing talent and giving talent the opportunity that they deserve. At the same time, when you look at the fun that Lady GaGa brings to music or anything like that, it’s still going to be fun.
KEN WARWICK: It has to be fun. That’s one of the things we’ve always insisted on as a part of the our program-making sequence is that people have got to enjoy it. If these lot are enjoying it on the panel, and the kids are enjoying it, and the people at home are enjoying it. It will never have to become so serious that ‑‑
RANDY JACKSON: Right.
RYAN SEACREST: You’ve got to maintain a sense of humor and entertainment.
MIKE DARNELL: This is a fun panel, and I think that’s going to permeate this year. It’s a fun group. There’s a warmth to them, and I think that’s going to come through.
JIMMY IOVINE: When people make music, we have fun and we’re serious at the same time. When we make good music or bad music, what we’re trying to do is make the music better. I think that’s 100 percent in the interest of the audience that the music just gets better and more interesting and more original and more feel. And that’s what this is about. Every week, they need to progress. You can’t just tell someone, “Hey, you know something? You sounded better last week, but what are you going to do about it?” They have to be coached and brought forward. So the music is going to get better. I don’t use the word serious. I just use “better.”
NIGEL LYTHGOE: Also got to remember that we’re going to have to know these kids. So we’re still going to get their backstories. We’re still going to decide whether we like them, if they’re turned into a real diva or they’re just willing to soak it up like a sponge. So you’re still going to get that aspect of it. The public out there have got to know, they’ve got to feel that they are truly voting for talent as well as liking them as well as thinking it’s a pretty face or they’ve got big guns or whatever. They’ve still got to like them as people, and it’s important to get that over too within the body of the program.