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Watch Now: Kelly Clarkson VH1 Unplugged

Oh man, I LOVE Kelly Clarkson. Ever since she sang “Stuff like that there” on American Idol ten years ago. And her new album stronger showcases her voice beautifully. So, here is a little treat for Kelly lovers, two songs from her Unplugged special that will be airing on November 17. One of the songs, “I know you won’t” was originally recorder by another Idol champ, Carrie Underwood. Her voice soars on that song, so great. The second song is what has been said to be Kelly’s new single from her new album, “Stronger’, the title track “What doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)”.

Enjoy!

I Know You Won’t – Kelly Clarkson

What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)

 

American Idol: Scotty McCreery – Clear As Day

Just a few months ago Scotty McCreery was crowned the American Idol. Today his first album, Clear as Day, was released and fans of Scotty will not be disappointed. Ever since his days on Idol I thought Scotty had the potential to be one of the strongest winners to come out of the show. His voice is unique, for an Idol winner, girls will find him cute and he seems like a down to earth humble kid. I even bought some of his songs while he was still on the show and I am not a country fan.

After the show,  Scotty’s debut was the highest for a new artist on the Country charts in the SoundScan era, which can be a very good thing. His collection of hits from the show, sold only at Walmart, sold very well. Many people don’t like country music, but let’s not forget that one of the highest selling artists over the past few years has been Taylor Swift, a country darling. And one of American Idol’s biggest stars happens to be one of the most successful country acts, Carrie Underwood. So, country may keep shining on with Scotty.

Will Scotty be able to break the curse? For the past few years American Idol has crowned a guy as a winner, and sadly they have not been wildly successful. David Cook did well on sales, but Kris Allen and Lee Dewyze were outshined by their season’s finalists. Personally, I don’t see that happening here, since I believe Scotty has a greater appeal than Lauren Alaina. Her album will be coming out next week.

Scotty’s album, Clear as Day, it’s a country album, it’s fun, has a lot of twang and is currently showing well on iTunes. Not only does it have two of the most prominent promo spots on the iTunes store, it has propelled to number one on the albums chart.

You can get Clear As Day – Scotty McCreery here.

Will Scotty be the next country superstar? Time will tell.

What to Expect from The X Factor

As you may already know there’s a new singing competition in town. The X Factor is starting this month and the only thing that most people know about it is that Simon Cowell is back. I, for one, have missed Cowell. Yes, American Idol had a very successful season without him, but the new judges are no Simon. Another thing that you may have heard is that Paula Abdul will also be a judge on The X Factor, along with music veteran LA Reid and former Pussycat queen Nicole Scherzinger. The X Factor is basically American Idol on steroids, it’s bigger and with more intricacies than the 10 year veteran. Will it trump Idol? I am not sure, but it has the potential to make a big splash. I have watched several seasons of The X Factor and was at one of the US tapings and really enjoyed the format, going by that I will quickly tell you what to expect.

It’s not just “The Voice”
Having watched the first season of The Voice (and actually enjoying it) I noticed that singing voice is not the deciding factor here. This show is about that special something that some people have, they may not have the best voice but there is something that just pulls you in. The have IT. And you will see, even in the audition process that the judges will put through people that are not necessarily Christina Aguileras or Jennifer Hudsons but there is something that makes you want to see them again, and again.

No Age Limit
One of the things that you will notice is that The X Factor has no limit of how old a contestant can be. With an age range from 12 to 200, you may see a fantastic contestant who is 13 years competing with another amazing one who is 55, who may have not had the chance in life to be famous but is a diamond in the rough.

Categories
Once the audition process ends, the real fun starts. The last 24 contestants are separated in four groups: Young females, Young males, Groups and Adults(Over 25). Each judge will have one of these groups and will carefully select the best six of that categories to be a part of his group.

The Judges do More
Not only will the judges personally choose six people to be a part of his/her team, they will mentor them, assist them in song selection(big plus), choreography, style, etc. This goes a little further than Idol because, here, the judges have the ability to have favorites and root for who they think deserves it more. It then becomes not only a competition between contestants but also between judges, which may irk some people with the mentality that “It is about the talent” but in reality, the judges are just rooting for who they think deserves it more.

Big Prize
The winning singer or group will get a recording contract of 5 Million dollars. Which is said to be the biggest prize given on a reality TV competition.

What I saw at the Live Taping
As I said before, I was able to be at one of the live tapings of the show and it was really enjoyable. The atmosphere was electric in some of the performances. As I said before there were some people that really didn’t have an impressive voice, but there was something that made me want to watch them every week on my TV. You may not know who Cheryl Cole is, she was one of the judges on the UK version of the show and I really liked her. After being brought in by Simon to take part of the panel of judges in the US version, it all fell apart. There are rumors that her accent was hard to understand and other reasons, but she got the boot. She was then replaced by former Pussycat Doll, Nicole Scherzinger, who has been doing the rounds on TV. She was a winning contestant on Dancing With The Stars and has performed on Idol and other shows. Here is what I saw live. Nicole cries a LOT. She got emotional about performances all night, and she was very repetitive on her comments to contestants. Yes, the show I went to was one of her first as a judge, so hopefully by the time the live shows start she has her act together. You may not even notice this because they will, for sure, edit that a lot. The chemistry between judges is very nice and it has the potential to get fiery since you can tell they all have strong personalities. And what else, Simon and Paula are back to their usual hijinks.

What do you think? Will you be watching The X Factor? Do you miss Simon as much as I do?

Idol, Striking While The Iron is Hot: Pia Toscano, Scotty McCreery & Lauren Alaina Official Videos

It seems that to a certain extent American Idol is learning from previous mistakes. I have always said that they miss out on striking while the iron is hot, letting the contestants’ names fade from people’s minds before any music or marketing is put out. This year, Pia Toscano, who was surprisingly eliminated early on the competition was signed to Interscope. In what has become a common event, the winner Scotty McCreery and the runner up, Lauren Alaina, where also signed. And a few weeks back it was announced that the famous growler, Haley Reinhart, also secured a recording contract with Interscope. Scotty and Lauren had their first singles as coronation songs, again, a normal move on Idol. But Pia, had a brand new single. We are still waiting for Haley’s first single, I, for one, am looking forward to it.

Not only did these three released singles but this week, videos for the singles were released. Watch them below! Who do you think has what it takes to make it in the long run?

Pia Toscano – This Time

Scotty McCreery – I Love You This Big

Lauren Alaina – Like My Mother Does

Pia Toscano Gets Signed… New Song Coming Next Week!

No surprise there. Remember when Pia was eliminated from American Idol and everyone in the world cried? Ha! Well, it paid off, the outcry was heard and what was rumored is today a reality. Pia Toscano has been signed by Interscope Records.

Her first single, This Time, will be released on July 12th and she will also be singing it every night of the American Idol tour. If you have been following Idol as I have, you know that this doesn’t happen often. i have always said that Idol should strike the iron while it’s hot and they finally listened to me. Oh hai, Idol. You are welcome!

If you want to see a little bit more of Pia, go on to http://www.piatoscanoofficial.com/ and see the 4th Kardashian sister in all her splendor. I wish her well, she really has a nice voice, hopefully they can slap the spirit of boredom off her. ;)

In other American Idol related news: David Cook’s second album sold around 44k copies, not great, hopefully it will keep selling. Scotty McCreery saw the release of his American Idol Highlights album this week as well with close to 39k copies sold, not bad, after having sold most of those songs on iTunes as well. Lauren Alaina, on the other hand, sold 19k copies. I guess America chose the right winner.

Excited about Pia’s Album?

This Loud Morning: The Past and Present of David Cook

Believe it or not there was a time when American Idol winners sold more albums than the runner-ups. One of the last winners to enjoy being part of that selective group was David Cook from Season 7. You may remember David Cook, I for sure remember him very well. He wowed the audiences with his amazing interpretations of classics like Hello from Lionel Richie, Eleanor Rigby from the Beatles and Billie Jean from Michael Jackson. He was also the one who started the WBWG(whiteboywithguitar) curse on Idol. For him, this worked; for the ones that followed him… not so much, and the charts have spoken. And yes, I know that Clay Aiken was a runner-up and sold more than Reuben. I am also pretty sure that Scotty McCreery will sell more than Lauren Alaina, if not more than any other male Idol winner. But yes, as male Idol contestants go, David Cook has been one of the more solid and successful ones. I have been able to see him perform live twice and David is a great performer, deserving of his win and success.

David’s debut self-titled album went Platinum selling around 1,345,000 copies.Today, more than two and a half years after his debut, his new album This Loud Morning hits the streets. Many critics have raved about the album acknowledging Cook’s growth from his previous effort.

Will David be able to replicate Kelly Clarkson’s modus operandi? If you can recall, Kelly’s debut album sold around 2 million copies while her follow-up, Breakaway, a very solid record, sold more than 6 million. In a time where sales numbers are usually low compared to previous years it would be exciting for Cook and his fans to see this happen. Why do I mention his fans? Well, as someone who has followed his career closely and seen him live twice I have to say, David has one of the strongest fanbases I have ever seen… VERY strong. It really isn’t too surprising, he seems like a very nice guy and and is very talented.

So, have you heard the album? What are your thoughts on David Cook and his career after Idol?

Kelly Clarkson sings the National Anthem at the NBA Finals (Video)

I love me some Kelly Clarkson. The video is not the greatest quality but the audio is great. Her voice sounds flawless!

Check it out!

Official: Nicole Scherzinger Replaces Cheryl Cole on The X-Factor

After a lot of controversy, Fox has announced that, former Pussycat Doll, Nicole Scherzinger will be officially replacing Cheryl Cole as judge on The X-Factor. Nicole had signed on to be one of the two hosts of the show but has been moved to judge, a place that she is not unfamiliar with since she participated as guest judge on the UK version of the show. The reason fro Cheryl’s departure is still a mystery. The internet is ablaze with rumors as to why she will no longer be on the show. Some say that she was fired because the audiences were not connecting with her, others say that her accent is too hard to understand, and others say it was her decision to leave. She will no longer be a judge on the UK version of the show either, since the judges table went through a complete overhaul, including former Destiny’s Child’s singer Kelly Rowland. Nicole will be joining Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and LA Reid when the show starts in the Fall season.

Are you looking forward to The X-Factor? Have you seen the UK Version?

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