More than 100,000 aspiring pop stars came out in seven cities to audition for this season’s ‘American Idol’. According to show judge Paula Abdul, this year the caliber of the talent outstrips that of past years. “I think this fourth season is going to be the beginning of what this show really has the potential of being for popular music in America,” Abdul told The New York Daily News. “That’s thanks in large part to the unique, unbelievable talent of Fantasia Barrino. I think [she] really stirred up the uber-talent to come out and audition. These kids write music. They play instruments. You won’t see that, [because] that’s not part of the competition. But it’s like there aren’t enough slots on the show to accommodate the talent. And that was the biggest stunner.”
Ryan Seacrest Previews Fourth Season Of ‘American Idol’
January 14, 2005 – In an interview with the Fox News Channel, ‘American Idol’ host Ryan Seacrest previewed the fourth season of the hit show, which premieres on Tuesday (January 18) on FOX. Seacrest commented on the changes for the new season, the talent for the latest crop, how Clay Aiken has managed to be arguably the most popular ‘Idol’ despite being a runner-up, his relationship with Simon Cowell, and more. FoxNews.com has since removed the segment.
New Twist For ‘American Idol’
January 6, 2005 – Ryan Seacrest spoke with ‘Entertainment Tonight’ about changes in season four about ‘American Idol’. “I’m most excited about splitting up the guys and girls,” he said. “I think it really adds to the competitive edge of the show. Having guys compete on one night and girls compete on another night, eliminating those, and having the contestants that make it through appear on the show each and every week — all the way to the end — is probably the change I’m most excited about.” Fox begins the season with a two-hour special on January 18 (8 PM ET/PT) as well as a one-hour episode on the 19th.
Original ‘Idol’ Is On Right Path
December 23, 2004 – Melissa Ruggieri of the Richmond Times Dispatch reviewed ‘American Idol’ season one champ Kelly Clarkson’s latest effort, ‘Breakaway’, giving it a ‘B-‘ grade. Ruggieri writes, “Those who remember Pat Benatar, yet can’t swallow Avril Lavigne’s faux-punk routine, might warm to ‘Walk Away’ a gritty, melodic rocker injected with the perfect amount of attitude. Where Clarkson still needs some guidance, however, is on her ballads.”
Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad For ‘Idol’
December 23, 2004 – Joey Guerra of The Houston Chronicle weighed in on new offerings from ‘American Idol’ stars Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia Barrino, and Diana DeGarmo, giving Clarkson’s ‘Breakaway’ and Fantasia’s ‘Free Yourself’ three stars, and giving DeGarmo’s ‘Blue Skies’ two stars.
‘American Idol’ Franchise Shows Trouble
December 23, 2004 – Contributed anonymously: After ‘American Idol’ success of churning out hit pop singers, it looks like it the momentum is beginning to dim. While some ‘Idols” hold strong on the charts (Clay Aiken’s Christmas album, moved up to number 10; Kelly Clarkson’s new album is at 13 in its second week), some others are having trouble finding success. Diana DeGarmo, the ‘Idol’ season three runner-up sold only 47,000 copies of her debut album, ‘Blue Skies’, which came in at 52, a lower debut position than the first albums by Justin Guarini and, more embarrassingly, William Hung. Fantasia’s album is on the chart, but has dropped to 34.
Leah LaBelle On ‘Christmas In The Northwest 7’ CD
December 22, 2004 – ‘American Idol’ season three finalist Leah LaBelle and Seattle singer/songwriter Loni Rose are featured on ‘Christmas in the Northwest 7’, a holiday fundraiser CD benefiting Northwest children’s hospitals. Check out more details and listen to samples from the album at christmasinthenorthwest.com.