Tag Archive: “The X Factor USA”

The Parable of the Ten Virgins.

“At the time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out an meet him!’ Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, g to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins whi were ready wnet in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’  But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’ Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”

Matthew 25:1-13

Matthew 24:36

No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

Matthew 24:36

FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2011 file photo, entertainment mogul Simon Fuller arrives at the BVLGARI Fundraiser benefitting Save The Children and Artists For Peace and Justice in Los Angeles. Fuller sued the producers and network that airs "American Idol" claiming they had reneged on a deal to give him a share of rival Simon Cowell's show "The X-Factor" in accordance with a settlement they had reached years ago. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, file)http://news.yahoo.com/idol-creator-sues-stake-rival-x-factor-214355917.html

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The creator of “American Idol” sued the show’s broadcaster and producer claiming they have reneged on a deal to give him a stake in a rival competition show that is about to premiere in the United States.

Producer Simon Fuller is seeking an executive producer credit and the appropriate fees once “The X-Factor” — which was created by former “Idol” judge Simon Cowell — begins airing its U.S.-debut in September. His lawsuit is against Fox Broadcasting Co. and the show’s production company, FremantleMedia North America.

Fox will air both “Idol” and “X-Factor,” and FremantleMedia is producing both shows.

The lawsuit reignites longstanding tension between the forces that made “American Idol” one of the past decade’s most popular shows in the United States.

Fuller imported the format from Britain, where he launched “Pop Idol.” The U.S. version debuted in 2001 and featured Cowell as a judge whose biting remarks to contestants became a fixture and a ratings magnet.

Cowell created “X-Factor” three years later; it also premiered in England.

That prompted Fuller to sue Cowell for copyright infringement, and according to his lawsuit, Fox and Fremantle stepped in to preserve “American Idol.”

Fuller’s lawsuit claims he settled the case in 2005 against Cowell after Fox and Fremantle promised him that “X-Factor” would not air in the United States until 2011, Cowell would remain an “Idol” judge for five more seasons, and Fuller would be granted an executive producer credit on Cowell’s show if it ever aired in the United States.

“Despite the clear agreement to grant Fuller an executive producer credit and to pay him an executive producer fee, defendants have refused to honor their obligations and have further refused to negotiate in good faith,” the lawsuit states.

The U.S.-version of X-Factor will begin airing on Fox on Sept. 21.

The case is unlikely to be settled for anything remotely as cheap as a song, with both sides releasing dueling statements hours after the case was filed.

“Mr. Fuller has not been hired, nor performed any duties, on the U.S. version of ‘The X Factor,'” Fox and FremantleMedia wrote in a joint statement. “His suit seeks payment and credit as an executive producer despite his neither having been approved by the required parties, nor hired, as such. We believe this lawsuit is without merit and we expect to prevail.”

Fuller’s attorney, Dale Kinsella, called the companies’ position that Fuller needed to be approved as an executive producer on “X-Factor” absurd.

“Fox is contractually obligated to approve Fuller as executive producer and compensate him accordingly, and it is because of the breach of the 2005 binding agreement that the case was filed,” Kinsella wrote in a statement. “Fox appears to be admitting openly that they have failed to honor the contract terms.”

An initial hearing in the case is scheduled for Nov. 7 in Santa Monica, Calif.


Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/celebritydocket




On Wednesday night, a new American Idol was crowned. Congrats, Scotty McCreery. But this news was actually anti-climactic compared to everything else that occurred in the 117 minutes leading up to Ryan Seacrest’s big announcement. If anything, there were so many great performances by the contestants who didn’t make it to the finale, it was enough to make viewers wonder if they’d voted wrong when they elected the final two. Perhaps this was not the agenda “Idol” producers had in mind when they planned this show…but their loss was our gain, because we were all treated to a night of fine Idolicious entertainment.

Here were the night’s biggest highlights:8) Jennifer Lopez Proves She Should Be A Judge On “SYTYCD” Instead
Any viewers who saw J.Lo and her admittedly more vocally gifted husband Marc Anthony duet at the 2005 Grammys were probably relieved that J.Lo refrained from singing when Marc performed on the “Idol” finale, instead just doing what she does best: Shaking her famous moneymaker like a Fly Girl. Still, it was a little weird that the singing judge of a singing competition only DANCED, and didn’t bother to come within 10 feet of a working microphone.

7) No One Is Harmed In The Making Of The “Spider-Man” Performance
When an aerial stuntman in Spider-Man spandex, suspended only by skinny strings, hovered above the audience, my heart stopped, imagining another Julie Taymor-style disaster like the “Idol” stage collapsing on top of J.Lo’s million-dollar-insured legs or whatever. But instead U2’s Bono and The Edge, and Turn Off The Dark Broadway star Reeve Carney, performed the musical’s soundtrack single “Rise Above” without a hitch. I would have preferred another Rock Of Agescast performance, myself, but this sounded like a solid U2 ballad, and everyone emerged unscathed, so I was pleased. And relieved.

6) Casey Abrams & Jack Black Have A Growl-Off
I never thought I’d see the day when Jack Black would be upstaged. But he met his match in Season 10 growler Casey, who out-scatted him on a bizarre but amusing cover of Queen’s “Fat-Bottomed Girls,” while a bunch of modern-day Fly Girls in short-shorts gyrated behind them. It was more like Bodacious D than Tenacious D. It was also pretty awesome.

5) Lady Gaga Returns To Scare The Judas Out Of Scotty & Lauren
The season’s two young and impressionable finalists probably still wake up with night sweats remembering that time they were locked in a rehearsal room with mentor Lady Gaga and ordered to act “evil” and French-kiss microphone stands. When Gaga hit the finale stage in a metal-studded bikini, rubbing up against “So You Think You Can Dance” allstar Mark Kanemura on a giant rock, then jumping into a hellpit Black Swan-style, it was a tame performance by Gaga standards…but I bet Scotty kissed his cross again anyway.

4) The Great Debate: What Was This Season’s Most Shocking Elimination?
Casey Abrams claimed his top 11 elimination night was this season’s biggest shocker, and he made a good case (he didneed medical attention afterwards). James Durbin claimed his top 4 night was the season’s biggest upset (he cried, after all). Then Pia Toscano sashayed up in her “Most Shocking” beauty-pageant sash and claimed her rightful title. Seeing these Idols reenact the debates we’ve all engaged in around the ol’ watercooler was a total blast. (And by the way…I sided with Casey.)

3) Beyonce & The Top 13 Girls Run The World
Okay, WHY didn’t some of these girls perform this well WHEN THEY WERE COMPETING ON THE SHOW? Belting out a Beyonce medley, Thia and Pia oozed personality, Karen Rodriguez showed vocal range, Haley Reinhart proved she should have been in the finale, and Naima Adedapo, the dancer of the season, totally busted a move in her freakum dress. Then Beyonce joined the single ladies and things got even freakier. The one bittersweet moment? When they sang “If I Were A Boy” and I thought the full title should have been “If I Were A Boy (I Probab2) Steven Tyler Reminds Everyone He’s A Rock Legend
He plays the class clown on “Idol,” but never forget Steven Tyler is a ROCK GOD, people. There’s more to him than wacky one-liners, inappropriate flirting, and colorful scarves. His “Dream On” performance was a welcome reminder of his legacy, and on an even happier note, it forever erased Danny Gokey’s infamous “Dream On” Season 8 performance from viewers’ scarred brains. It was beautiful, man. Just beautiful. ly Would Have Gone Farther On This Show).” Come on, you know it’s true. Girls may run the world, but they don’t run “Idol.”2) Steven Tyler Reminds Everyone He’s A Rock Legend
He plays the class clown on “Idol,” but never forget Steven Tyler is a ROCK GOD, people. There’s more to him than wacky one-liners, inappropriate flirting, and colorful scarves. His “Dream On” performance was a welcome reminder of his legacy, and on an even happier note, it forever erased Danny Gokey’s infamous “Dream On” Season 8 performance from viewers’ scarred brains. It was beautiful, man. Just beautiful.

1) James Durbin & Judas Priest Give Metal A Chance
A couple weeks ago when James was eliminated, I lamented what could have been, imagining “James rocking the stage sheathed in Rob Halfordian leather” on the finale if he’d advanced. But I ended up not only getting my wish…I got James rocking the stage WITH ROB HALFORD. Watching James live out his Beavis & Butthead-esque rock ‘n’ roll fantasies, engaging in a headbanging Judas Priest screech-off on “Living After Midnight” and “Breaking The Law” (as “Pepsi Moment” pyro flames shot up to the ceiling and James’s tail-scarf wagged in earnest) was such a righteously rawkin’ antidote to the scrubbed-cleaned final two’s safe, grandma-friendly performances. And did James borrow that studded vest from Gaga?

Catching Up With Sanjaya Malakar


This week, Stefano Langone went home on “American Idol’s” top 7 results show, joining the illustrious ranks of other seventh-place finishers like Jennifer Hudson, Kimberly Caldwell, Ace Young, Ryan Star, Kristy Lee Cook, Anoop Desai, and Tim Urban. But perhaps the most notorious seventh-place contestant is Season 6’s Sanjaya Malakar, who continues to be namechecked in the blogosphere and on E!’s “The Soup,” despite keeping a relatively low profile in the four years since his elimination. Even Josh Groban tweeted about Sanjaya recently, totally out of the blue. You can’t buy that kind of publicity.

For those of you who were living under a rock in 2007, when Sanjaya dominated the airwaves, he was one of the most polarizing contestants in “Idol” history. He garnered the wrath of Simon Cowell (who threatened to quit if Sanjaya won) and some “Idol” fanatics (one of whom went on a hunger strike until he was voted off), while he gained the love and support of Vote For The Worst, infamous “crying girl” Ashley Ferl, and even Howard Stern. Thanks to his effusive personality and impressive head of hair, Sanjaya went a lot farther than many doubters expected, and he continues to remain in the public’sa consciousness. He even starred in a Funny Or Die video titled “I Am Art,” co-produced by Will Ferrell, in which he claimed he was really a graduate student named Bill Vendall who created “Sanjaya” as an art project for his thesis. Genius!

But it turns out, Sanjaya is very real. So where is he now, in real life? Well, he’s kept pretty busy, if a little under the radar. His lush fauxhawk is long gone, but he’s still making music. In 2009, he released both an autobiography and EP with the title Dancing To The Music In My Head, the latter of which featured a love ballad about “walks along the beach,” a Bollywood-inspired world music track, and a revenge song, “Tell Me Who I Am,” that seemed to be directed right at “American Idol.” (“I don’t need your couch critiquing anymore,” Sanjaya snarled.)

Last year, he released a Christmas disc, as well as the single “4 AM,” plus he made appearances on “Hell’s Kitchen” and the 300th episode of “The Soup.” This year, as his first professional theater venture, he joined the cast of the family-friendly off-Broadway musical Freckleface Strawberry, based on the children’s book by actress Julianne Moore. But his most high-profile post-“Idol” endeavors have been a starring role in a Nationwide Insurance commercial (the same “Life Comes At You Fast” ad campaign that Kevin Federline shot a spot for) and his participation in the second season of “I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here” alongside Janice Dickinson, two Baldwin brothers, and Speidi. Sanjaya came in fifth on that show, but he was totally robbed–this was a reality competition that even Simon Cowell would agree Sanj deserved to win.

Obviously Sanjaya-mania has died down a bit since Season 6, giving the now-grown-up contestant some time to reflect. Looking back, he understands why he received such harsh critiques at the time. Speaking by phone from New York, where he is currently wrapping up his off-Broadway run as well as recording and assembling a new band, he says: “Pretty much all my vocal training, I got on that show. It’s hard for me to go back and watch all my ‘Idol’ performances, because I see all those things that I learned that I shouldn’t do! Most of what the judges said was true, it was just said in a harsh way. But I value that so much, because that’s what made me grow.” He doesn’t even harbor any ill will towards his toughest critic, Simon, saying, “I really respect him, and I think he kind of taught me the most because he was so hard on me. He really helped me figure out how to fix all my bad habits.”

It should be noted that Sanjaya was just a child–literally, he was barely 17–when he was on “Idol.” He muses: “The thing is, I think between 16 to maybe 22 or 23, you’re still growing and learning. So having to do that in public while you’re still young is…interesting.” It’s amazing he was able to come out of such a whirlwind unscathed, but luckily, he was on “Idol” back in the pre-Twitter era, and he therefore remained blissfully ignorant regarding his haters. “While it was happening, I was in such a bubble; we were pretty much cut off from the outside world. They tell you that you shouldn’t go on blog sites because people say all kinds of things and hearing all that kind of messes with you. So I never knew what the outside world was saying until after I was off the show,” he explains.

But Sanjaya sympathizes with the youngsters on “Idol” this season, with its lower age limit. “As soon as I heard [about the age limit being lowered to 15], I felt kind of uneasy about it,” he admits, “just because you can’t possibly know yourself when you’re 15! You’re growing and learning and going to school and gaining all these experiences, and then when you’re thrown into something like ‘American Idol,’ all that stops. You have to make those compromises and decide, ‘What do I no longer want to be able to have in my childhood?’ Mentally, so much stuff is thrown at you and you’re put in situations where you’re totally stressed out and tired and anxious and nervous–and you still have to perform at your best! It’s crazy to me. But [Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina, this season’s youngest remaining contestants] are great. When they develop, they’re going to be even better.”

Speaking of developing, Sanjaya is still working on music, with a new single out in late May (just in time for the “Idol” finale) and a full album due by the year’s end. So what kind of music is dancing in Sanjaya’s head nowadays? “It’s R&B-influenced vocals with kind of funky…I don’t want to say hip-hop, but it has a little bit of hip-hop influence,” he says. “It’s a nice fusion of funk and neo-soul.”

And as for my suggestion, that Sanjaya pursue music by auditioning for Simon Cowell’s new show, “The X Factor USA”? Well, he’s a little cagey–but he hasn’t ruled it out. I personally think he should go back on TV and show Simon everything he’s learned in the last four years…and if you think so too, post your endorsement and encouragement on the message board below. Otherwise, Sanjaya will continue to go the indie route, and we will see if he has the last laugh.

[Top photo courtesy of Fox]

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