Archive for June, 2010

IDOLPALOOZA 2010

June 4, 2010

Last week was pretty much all “American Idol” all the time, starting with an interview with Bo Bice on Monday. Bo was appearing on Game Show Network’s “GSN Live,” so Fred Bronson and I headed out to the GSN Studios in nearby Glendale to meet with Bo in his dressing room. Half of the interview was devoted to Bo’s new album and can be seen on Fred’s Idols Now app for the Iphone, while the non-video portion centered on Bo’s run on “American Idol,” one of many interviews we’ve been doing for a secret project that’s due out next year. As always, Bo was the consummate Southern gentleman, and certainly one of the most charismatic Idols I’ve ever met. The big revelation of the interview was that in Bo’s justifiably praised acapella version of “In A Dream” on “Idol,” he hit a bum note that has bothered him ever since. I checked out the performance on You Tube, and if you didn’t know it was there, you’d think it was something Bo tried to do!

The next day, Fred and I headed downtown for the final performance night of Season 9. We got a late start and arrived not too long before the show started. Fortunately, Fred had a parking pass that got us in a garage right across from the theater. Our seats were in Row NN, which was pretty far back although we still had a great view of the stage. I thought Crystal won the night, although given the screams for Lee, I wasn’t at all surprised when he was crowned the winner the following night.

Wednesday, we got downtown quite a bit earlier, enabling us to have lunch at The Farm restaurant, followed by a few hours on the red carpet before the show. I took a spot near the TV Guide Network booth where Justin Guarini and Brooke White were greeting the Idols. I got a chance to say hello to Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young, using their weekly break from “Hair” on Broadway to attend the finale, as well as play the game of “Spot The Idol,” seeing such past contestants as Kristy Lee Cook, Melinda Doolittle and Michael Johns on the Red Carpet. I also got a sneak preview of the evening’s special guests with Daryl Hall & John Oates as well as Alice Cooper being interviewed. But the biggest surprise was when a limo pulled up and out stepped Raquel Welch! Here I had traveled to Pasadena to attend one of her book signings recently and there she was right in front of me.

Of course, the show itself was another triumph for the producers. For me, the highlight was seeing Bret Michaels take the stage so soon after his recent health problems. I’ve always had a fondness for Bret, as he’s from Pennsylvania and played the same bars I went to as a college student.

After the show, Fred and I stopped off at the KISS FM Viewing Party at the nearby Regal Cinemas, then got in my car and headed for the Mondrian Hotel on the Sunset Strip for the 19 Entertainment party. After getting to the party late one year and missing out on all the food, Fred and I have not made the same mistake again. In addition to chowing down, there was plenty of hobnobbing with my favorite Idols. I said hello to Kris Allen. I complimented Casey James on his amazing duet with Bret Michaels and learned that their team-up had been in the works long before Bret’s recent health problems. I congratulated David Archuleta on what a great job he does keeping in touch with his fans, thanks to his constant video blogging. In typical Archuleta fashion, he laughed off his efforts.

I told Carly Smithson how I couldn’t get “With Or Without You” out of my head after seeing her band’s acoustic version on Billboard.com. But the most enjoyable moment of the night came in two parts. Early on, we came upon Siobhan Magnus in the lobby. Someone had told her that the members of her absolute favorite music group of all time, Hanson, were at the party. Siobhan couldn’t have been more excited, but when I checked with the keepers of the guest list, they said that Issac, Taylor and Zac weren’t on the list, so I figured that Siobhan was not about to meet her heroes. But later when we were leaving the hotel, we saw her again and she told us that the Hanson brothers had been at the party and she got to talk to them for a long time. There’s photos of them together on the internet if you need the proof.

Other Idols that attended were the rest of the Season 9 crew, including Lee and Crystal, plus  Bo Bice, Scott MacIntyre and Brooke White and Justin Guarini, fresh from their TV Guide duties. I spent a little time with Brooke’s husband, Dave, who was patiently waiting to go home as he had to get up at six in the morning for work. I’d be more sympathetic, except he had tickets to the Laker game the following evening, where he was planning on rooting for Phoenix. I also spotted Randy Jackson, Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell, producer ken Warwick, former Idol producer and “So You Think You Can Dance” mastermind Nigel Lythgoe and Idol creator Simon Fuller, who didn’t step into the VIP area once.

A truly exciting night, but there was more Idol on the way on Friday, with interviews with LaToya London and Nick Mitchell, the real life alias of wacky Norman Gentle. I actually drove Nick down to the airport Friday night, bringing Idolpalooza 2010 officially to a close!