Welcome to WeeklyWilson.com, where author/film critic Connie (Corcoran) Wilson avoids totally losing her marbles in semi-retirement by writing about film (see the Chicago Film Festival reviews and SXSW), politics and books----her own books and those of other people. You'll also find her diverging frequently to share humorous (or not-so-humorous) anecdotes and concerns. Try it! You'll like it!

Tag: Keith Urban

Judges on “American Idol” Use One-Per-Season “Save” for Sam Woolf

HarryConnickJrOn ‘American Idol’ results night on Thursday, April 3, 2014, Judges Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick, Jr., and Keith Urban used the one save they have per season to save Bradenton, Florida native Sam Woolf.
Confetti descended from the ceiling and his teammates hoisted him on their shoulders. For a minute, I thought I was watching a Jewish wedding.

Those in jeopardy of being eliminated, besides Sam, were Malaya Watson and C.J. Harris. It is nearly unbelievable that Malaya—who gave arguably one of the top two performances of the night—was rated so poorly by the audience in television land, but C.J. Harris should have been gone the second or third night that he sang sharp—(which was many shows ago).

As the evening opened, Jennifer Lopez came out wearing a hot pink outfit that was so short I hoped it was a skort and not a skirt. It was so noteworthy that Ryan Seacrest even commented. It was that kind of night.

Keith Urban
looked as though his stylist had worked overtime on his hair, to give it that casual look (lots of product, I’m thinking) and Harry Connick, Jr., wore a suit and tie to give the panel the air of gravitas and hold down his role as the Grand Old Man of judging. (He is also arguably the most knowledgeable musician sitting at the judges’ panel and a welcome addition after last year’s Nicki Minaj/Mariah Carey year).

There was an odd segment where Randy Jackson was pictured sitting so close to Ryan Seacrest on a blue couch that you wondered why “the Dawg” didn’t move over to the right and give poor Ryan a seat. On the other hand, Randy has been almost non-existent this season, and it has been the best season for judges ever, if not for contestants.

The very first contestant announced as safe (Dexter) was wearing a baseball cap backwards. I read a remark recently that went something like this: “Dude, unless you’re directing a major motion picture, lose the baseball cap.”

Others declared safe, in order, were Jena, Caleb, Jessica and Alex. Then the lowest three (Sam, Malaya and C.J.) suffered through the final moments before Sam—who reminds of a young Ricky Nelson—sang for his life and was given the save for this season. When the judges announced they were going to use the save on Sam, confetti fell from the ceiling. (I wondered if this confetti is rigged each and every week, for whatever contestant might have the save used to keep him in the competition, or if the judges were told the results in advance).

The other notable appearance of the night was former contestant Chris Daughtry. Ryan Seacrest reminisced about the look on Chris Daughtry’s face when he was cut from “American Idol.” I remember it well: a look of complete astonishment and dismay. I guess the final joke is on “American Idol” when non-winners like Jennifer >Hudson and Chris Daughtry go on to greater stardom, while winners like Ruben Stoddard and Chris Allen (who beat Adam Lambert!) are barely heard from again.

M.K. Nobilette Eliminated on March 20th “American Idol;” Returns to San Francisco

The judges have spoken and M.K. Nobilette has been sent back to San Francisco, a town she loves, where a loyal female fan base kept her in the competition until March 20th, 2014. Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr., did not see fit to use their “save” for the baseball-cap wearing Bieber lookalike.

The bottom three this night, (besides M.K.) were Dexter Roberts of Fayette, Alabama, and Sam Woolf of Bradenton, Florida. I’m having trouble coming up with the reasons why the good-looking young Woolf keeps ending up in the bottom three, but perhaps his timid, non-assertiveness is the answer, since Caleb Johnson—a far less attractive youth, but a very confident and talented one—seems to be a big crowd favorite. Yes, this is a singing competition, but, in some ways, it mirrors the “Q” factor ratings that network talking heads are given for how “likeable” the audiences find them. It was a low “Q” rating that doomed Cheryl Tieg’s attempts to become one of those talking heads years ago.

The night featured Jennifer Lopez dancing in a skimpy outfit, backed up by girls half her age, singing “ILuhYaPapi.” She resurrected her “Jenny from the block” image and the song, (which was mainly a choreographed dance number), drew heavily on her Hispanic heritage. On a Yahoo “answer” blog, someone searching for the title of the song was answered by “Noneofurbusiness” with the title (I Luh Ya Papi) and the remark, “Worst song ever and the title puts us Latinos to shame, like we can’t speak English.”

I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say “worst song ever,” but I do wonder how long Jennifer plans to continue with the revealing outfits and the ultra-sexy schtick. She is the mother of 6-year-old twins (Emme and Max) and has been married 3 times. On July 24th, she will turn 45. Madonna is 11 years older than Jennifer and still at it, so perhaps that is the answer.

The other performers this night were a new band from Harry Connick’s part of the world, Royal Teeth, who sang “Wild.” It consisted of a lot of confetti flying and Harry Connick, Jr., saying (just before they performed), “These guys are awesome.” Again, not going there, but they were peppy.

If I were handicapping this race, it would be a good bet that “someone from the South” will win. I say that because, of the remaining contestants—now reduced to only 9—6 of those 9 or 2/3 are Southerners. North Carolina has 2 entries (Caleb Johnson and Majesty Rose), while Alabama has 3 (C.J. Harris, Dexter Roberts and Jessica Meuse.) I’m counting Florida’s Sam Woolf in that number. That means that only Michigan (Jena Irene and Malaya Watson) has an outside chance with a Midwestern win and Alex Preston stands alone as the representative of the East coast (Mont Vernon, New Hampshire). With M.K. Nobilette gone, the west coast has no contestants remaining.

Since C.J. Harris was given a pass despite one of the most out-of-tune performances ever, and has been consistently sharp throughout the competition, he obviously has a high “Q” quotient. His fan base is motivated to keep him in the competition, even when he sang out-of-key for an entire song. I’m less certain that Majesty Rose and Sam Woolf can keep dodging the bullet of the bottom three, but Caleb Johnson certainly has to be considered a front-runner. I’d put Alex Preston in that category if he weren’t so nerdy, overall.

I, personally, would like to see Jena Irene and Malaya Watson hang in there, but they are female and, historically, the voting is done by teen-aged girls. This is not to say that a female contestant cannot win, since many have, but it is to say that perhaps in the years that a female won the competition, they might not have been competing against a powerhouse singer like Caleb.

I could live with the loud showman Caleb Johnson coming in Numero Uno and claiming the crown, but I’ll reserve judgment on who will be the next-to-last contestant standing, [whom barely anyone remembers after the final night.] (Anyone remember the name of the contestant Philip Phillips bested without looking it up? I thought not.) Those singers go on to have careers on Broadway and make a very nice living at it, thank you very much, so kudos to all. We all know that Chris Daughtry didn’t win, and neither did Jennifer Hudson, and they seem to be doing just fine.

I’d look for Jessica Meuse to be eliminated in the near future, and I’m still scratching my head over Majesty Rose and her many brushes with the axe. (Gotta’ get that ‘Q’ factor up, girl!)

The Eagles, the Dixie Chicks, and Keith Urban

There’s a concert across the street from me at Soldier Field tomorrow night (Saturday, June 19) and it will showcase the Eagles, the Dixie Chicks and Keith Urban.

In today’s Chicago Tribune, page 10, a humorous description of the concert as being “We’ll Pretend We Like Each Other for a Lot Of Money and Keith Urban Will Be There Tour ’10.’

The list chose to mention some of the more tawdry aspects of each band’s past, for instance:

Number of years the Eagles were broken up: 14

Number of Farewell Eagles tours; 1

Number of years the Dixie Chicks have been on hiatus:  4

Number of albums the Dixie Chicks plan to record:  0

Number of times then-guitarist Don Felder and singer Glenn Frey threatened each other onstage during the legendary 1980 concert dubbed “Long Night at Wrong Beach”:  Maybe 10

Surprisingly low number of ex-band members who have sued the Eagles: 1 (Felder)

Number of times Glenn Frey refers to his ex-wife as “the plaintiff” onstage:  at least once per show

Number of people Joe Walsh has threatened to sue who were also named Joe Walsh:  1

Number of people Joe Walsh has sought a restraining order against for menacing his assistant with a piece of wood:  1

Number of lawyers thanked on album liner notes for 1980 release “Eagles Live”:  5

Number of new studio albums Eagles are likely to release:  0  (Quote from Walsh:  “It was painful birth.  I can’t think we have another one in us.  I really can’t.”

Number of Eagles who have visited the real “Hotel California” in Mexico:  0

Number of songs the Eagles have written about a disco enthusiast who murders someone:  1, “The Disco Strangler”

Number of hours the triple concert is likely to last, based on the length of each group’s solo shows: 4

Start time of concert: 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 17, 2010 at Soldier Field

Breakdown of concert times, per group: Eagles, 2 hours; Dixie Chicks – 1 hour; Keith Urban – 1 hour

Number of tour dates featuring all 3 acts:  3

Number of tour dates that have been rescheduled, postponed or canceled: 6 (Tickets from $55 to $225 are still available)

Number of albums sold, by group:  Eagles – 100 million; Dixie Chicks – 30.5 million; Keith Urban – 15 million

Number of styling implements it takes to get Keith Urban’s hair that way:  4 to 5

Number of new bands formed by participants in these groups:  1, Court Yard Hounds, formed by 2 of the 3 members of the Dixie Chicks, Martie Maguire and Emily Robison, because lead singer Natalie Maines has not returned to the recording studio with the group.

Name of Dixie Chicks’ group member who famously criticized George W. Bush: Natalie Maines

Number of people who signed an online petition in support of Maines criticism of “W” in 2003: 30,548

Number of weeks it took for the Dixie Chicks’ hit “Travelin’ Soldier” to fall off the country charts completely from its Number One peak, after Maines’ remark: 2

Number of Number One Country hits the Dixie Chicks have had since: 0

Number of times Maines took back the remarks and apologized to then-President Bush: 1, saying, “My remark was disrespectful.”

Number of times Maines retracted her original apology, saying, “I don’t feel that way any more. I don’t feel he is owed any respect whatsoever:” 1

Number of Eagles band members looking visibly disinterested during a Don Henley solo number at a concert in New Jersey: 1 (Joe Walsh)

Number of solo numbers that are sung onstage by co-founder Glenn Frey during the band’s sets: 0

Number of solo songs by other Eagles band members during their set, on average: 6

For more interesting factoids and background on the 3 groups, see [email protected] and enjoy Allison Stewart’s send-up of the concert, “Three for the price of….?”

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