Singer in talks to create an 'American Idol' for young wizards
Will.i.am is reportedly developing a technology-themed talent show for kids. The Black Eyed Peas frontman knows a thing or two about reality TV, as he has been a judge on the U.K. version of "The Voice," a mentor on "American Idol" and will judge alongside Britney Spears on this season of "The X Factor."
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According to news site Broadcast.com, the singer is reportedly in talks to create a show that "aims to be an 'American Idol' for young wizards." Will.i.am allegedly wants to use the program as a platform for kids to create new technology, while they hone their science, engineering, and math skills. The music producer is apparently in talks with a number of networks to pick up the series, and has even garnered the support of technology giant Intel.
Pop stars would join the show's fourth season
NBC and the producers of "The Voice" are already eyeing Season 4 and have pop stars Shakira and Usher in their sights.
The two are in serious talks to join the talent-search show as coaches and are nearing deals, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The new panel of talent is already taking shape for next season, which kicks off in the spring, despite the fact that it is not yet clear who will leave and who will stay.
Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine are currently occupying the show's coveted and spinning coaches' chairs and have since last year.
Aguilera, 31, is working on a new album, "Lotus," to be released in November, and has said she wants to return to her first love, music. She told Billboard, she'd like to leave "The Voice," even if it's for a short while. Green is reportedly considering an exit plan as well.
As for Shakira and Usher, the two epitomize producers' ideal coaches -- artists who are active chart toppers. Executive producer Mark Burnett also has ties to Shakira, who once appeared on his other NBC show, "America's Got Talent."
"The Voice" airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
New 'American Idol' judges reportedly mix it up during first taping
There may be room for four judges on "American Idol" this upcoming season, but not for more than one diva.
At their first taping on Sunday in New York, according to TMZ, Mariah Carey interrupted Nicki Minaj during her contestant critiques -- "not once, but many times." Minaj made it clear, however, that she would not be interrupted. She talked loudly over Carey each time.
Something apparently soured between these two since 2010, when Minaj rapped on a remix of Carey's "Up Out My Face" single, the title of which now seems ironic.
According to TMZ, when "Idol" producers recently called Carey to inform her that Minaj was added as a judge, she hung up the phone.
Season 12 of "American Idol" is slated to air in January 2013.
Kardashian sisters have landed in Florida to start filming new season of 'Take Miami'
Kim Kardashian and sister Kourtney have landed in Miami to start filming the new season of "Kourtney and Kim Take Miami." Season 7 of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" ended Sunday, with Kourtney giving birth to her second child Penelope in the finale. Now the reality TV star sisters, along with Kourtney's expanding family, have jetted off to sunny South Beach to begin another season of the spin-off show.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Kim and Kourtney are set to start production on Monday for the fourth installment of the Miami series. In 2009, Kourtney and sister Khloe Kardashian first stepped foot in Miami to open a branch of their fashion boutique, Dash.
In Sunday's season finale of "Keeping Up," Khloe insisted to Kourtney that they needed to re-locate their Miami location, paving the way for the new season. Khloe is not expected to be featured regularly in the new series, as she is busy supporting her husband, NBA star Lamar Odom, as he plays for the Los Angeles Clippers. The curvy beauty is also the current frontrunner to become the new host of "The X Factor."
Mariah, Nicki, Keith and Randy jet to the Big Apple for callbacks
"American Idol" judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban, and Randy Jackson jetted off to New York City on Sunday to start work on the TV talent show just moments after the new panel was confirmed. After months of non-stop musical chairs and speculation, FOX executives finally announced the new panelists for the 12th season of the hit singing competition.
FOXbosses released the first official photo of the new panel, with Carey, Urban, Minaj, and Jackson at the table, along with host Ryan Seacrest and the New York City skyline behind them. But the stars weren't just posing for a picture. They were gearing up to judge the first round of callback auditions in the Big Apple. Pop diva Carey took to Twitterand told fans, "#idol NY auditions - several classic moments so far lol." As the crew arrived at Jazz at Lincoln Center for the taping, Urban told the Washington Post that he promises to be authentic while judging, and insists, "I did similar shows when I was very young in Australia, and I was sort of crucified by one judge. So I don't know that I'll ever be that guy."
Seacrest also noted that although there is clear diversity in the new batch of mentors, he has high hopes for the upcoming season. He says, "You can see just by the panel the kind of power the show has. Last night, we had a chance to really get together for the first time as a group. Everybody made a toast and talked about how special it was that they were here, and why they were here. So we're off to a good start."
Season 12 of "American Idol" is slated to air in January 2013.
The lovable Olate Dogs take top prize as Sharon Osbourne says goodbye
The lovable Olate Dogs took the crown on the season finale of "America's Got Talent" as Sharon Osbourne said her last goodbyes. Season 7 came to a close on Thursday night, as the Olate Dogs became the first animal act in the show's history to ever win, and nabbed the $1,000,000 prize and headlining show in Las Vegas. Chile-born Richard Olate has spent the past 40 years working and training dogs, and his son Nicholas followed in his father's footsteps.
The duo won over the judges and audience week after week with their high-energy act, featuring a number of four-legged animals performing impressive tricks. The win is a dream come true for Richard, who moved to the United States 22 years ago in the hopes of staging his own dog variety act. Rounding out the top three was early front-runner William Close, who landed in third place, and comedian Tom Cotter, who came second. Throughout the night, music superstars took the stage, including performances by Ne-Yo, Justin Bieber and Big Sean, Green Day, and the Blue Man Group.
In addition, the top six finalists all had a chance to perform with other notable names. Cotter shared a roast of the judges with Joan Rivers and Close played alongside One Republic. The finale was also the last for Osbourne after she spent the past six years at the "AGT" judges' table. Earlier this year, the reality TV regular announced her decision to quit the series over a disagreement with TV bosses at NBC. In a series of tweets posted just before taking to the stage for her final appearance, she wrote, "@nbcagt is the best variety show in the world. It's been 6 great years, but time to move on... Thank you to the @nbcagt crew, producers, and artists. It was a great honor." Osbourne also acknowledged her departure during the live program, as ballroom dancers The Untouchables, were the first act to be eliminated. As some of the youngsters began to cry, she consoled them and said, "Don't be sad, little ones, because it's my last show too. So we're both leaving together, hand in hand."
Britney Spears' former duet partner speaking out about his audition experience
Britney Spears' former duet partner, whom she rejected when he tried out for a spot on "The X Factor" in June, has accused producers of bullying him into 'coming out' as a gay man at the auditions. Don Philip broke down onstage at the Cow Palace in San Francisco as he revealed the secret he had kept from Britney when they worked together a decade ago. But the much-publicized moment was edited from the show when it debuted Wednesday.
Producers insisted it wasn't "relevant" to his audition and all viewers saw was Philip coming face to face with his old pal, who immediately recognized him and offered him compassion when he revealed he'd had a tough decade and burst into tears. His emotions got the better of him as he sang a cover of Beyoncé's "Halo," and Spears and her fellow judges decided Philip would not be going any further on the show. Now, three months after his big reveal and following reports he leaked an unheard demo of a song he recorded with Spears, Philip is speaking out about his experience on the talent show, insisting he was "bullied" into opening up about his sexuality. And yet, producers cut the emotional coming out from the program. Philip tells "Access Hollywood" much of the emotion viewers saw on TV came immediately after he opened up to Spears about his gay secret -- and not from his rejection.
He says, "It was a very private thing that they kinda forced out of me, I would say bullied out of me ... Backstage I had talked to the producers about what was my secret and I had mentioned that my secret was that I was gay, but I really didn't want to talk about it on the show. Minutes later when I got onstage, L.A. Reid said, 'What's the secret? What's the secret ... ?' and I had to say it." In an interview with the New York Post, Philip reveals he was so upset by his experience on "The X Factor," he went home and contemplated suicide, adding, "I was so destroyed that they set me up." He tells the publication he had a magical exchange with Spears when he opened up about his sexuality to her, telling the pop star, "I didn't think you thought it was OK that I'm gay." She reportedly responded, "I think it's fine that you're gay."
Crazed fan steals the show as auditions continue in San Francisco and Providence
Wednesday night's first installment of "The X Factor" Season 2 premiere more than lived up to expectations. Demi Lovato and Britney Spears are looking to be great additions to the show, displaying great compassion and voicing what viewers can't exactly express from the wrong side of their television screens. Who would have thought that the show could run so smoothly without a Ryan Seacrest clone!
Thursday night the auditions continue as Demi, Britney, L.A. Reid and Simon Cowell continue to scour the country for talent. This show is about finding the next best act in America, yet this particular episode will have you talking about that one crazy guy who really loves Britney Spears.
Let's skip back to San Francisco.
"Are we going to find some stars?" Simon asks a focused Demi. "I hope so," she answers. Well, I hope so, too. Wouldn't that be ironic that, after a full season of traveling the country, not one artist is worthy? It won't happen here because a talented young student is gracing the stage next.
Johnny Maxwell, "All These People" (Original song)
It's not hard to see that Johnny has a look and swagger about him. The girls are screaming after every word he speaks. His vocals are nowhere near the best we've seen, but he gets everyone hyped up once his rap kicks in.
"You have swag," gushes Demi. I think this is probably better news to his ego than hearing a "yes." "I think you're here at the right time," smiles Simon. "I get you." All four judges pass him with a yes, and an army of people rush out to swarm him.
Two women stand outside in the lines, entering the stadium. One is dressed to kill with an attitude to match. The other is humble and wondering why she feels she's being intimidated. At the mention of modeling, the cleavage-bearing beauty laughs in the girl-next-door's face. I think we know where this is headed.
Lexa Berman, "Too Close" by Alex Clare
This is a horrible choice for audition material. Lexa would be better off standing around somewhere and not opening her mouth or even talking, because her attitude is unattractive.
"It was really boring," comments Britney. To make it even worse, as Demi talks, Lexa swings her long hair around as if she's bored. Simon sends Lexa and her cleavage through, but three more nos equal a fail.
"I'd love it if somebody hot came in who could actually sing!" Demi is definitely attracted to some of the acts gracing the stage. Unfortunately, the vocals are horrible. Apparently, everyone thinks that flirtation will get them to the next round. "I need to see some talent," comments a frustrated L.A.
Jason Brock, "New York State of Mind" by Billy Joel
I had absolutely no faith in this guy. None. Jason walked out and immediately began explaining his vision for his stage show once he makes it big -- fog and glitter included. Then he started singing, and this old soul belted out – a wonderful surprise!
L.A., Britney and Demi jump up to give him a standing ovation. "You are completely flawless," lends LA. Everyone is in agreement, and Jason will be seen in the next round.
Providence, R.I., still has talent to spare.
"I can't believe I'm meeting Britney Spears," says one very eager fan. "It's like meeting God!" I know there has to be a sense of drama for these types of shows, but no one thought it might freak Britney out to have a potential stalker in close proximity?
Patrick Ford, "Circus" by Britney Spears
"Are you ready, Britney?" yells Pat, just before he explodes into this terribly choreographed display of raw lack of talent. He begins singing way too early, so the music doesn't match the timing of the lyrics, which he doesn't even get right half of the time. I don't think there's a need to mention how bad the vocals are.
"You got into an argument with Britney, got drunk and decided to scream the song at her," explains Simon. All Britney can manage to say is, "No," and this upsets Patrick. He stands in place, a vase of flowers for his idol sitting at his feet. Simon breaks the awkward silence by taking the flowers and sending Pat on his way. Creepy!
L.A., Demi, Simon and Britney receive an "X Factor" cake from the city of Providence. To celebrate, Simon slaps some icing in Demi's face. It's a bit cheesy, but I happen to like seeing the interaction between such heavyweights in the entertainment industry.
Carly Rose Sonenclar, "Feeling Good" by Nina Simone
This young lady cannot be only 13-years old! She could possibly have the best vocals I've heard of any of the female artists topping the charts today. The control she has is incredible. This little girl is money.
"Miss thang!" starts Britney. "You are a little diva!" All four of them are dumbfounded. "A star has just walked out on that stage," Simon assures her.
All I can do is think about Patrick Ford, who was seen leaving with friends. Did they not think to tell him, "You might want to keep your obsession to a minimum, Pat"? I suppose there was bound to be, at least, one loon amongst the crowd.
We have reached the end of this week's premiere episodes of "The X Factor," but tune in next Wednesday when the show returns. From the looks of it, we are in for muscles, arguments, someone being handcuffed and someone ultimately taking home that $5-million-dollar recording contract this season!
"The X Factor" airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.