‘Idol’ news wrap 11/5/08: Underwood loses respect for celebs


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With a mere two months and change left before the sleeping giant reawakens, things are heating up on the ‘American Idol’ news desk.

Almost buried in the postelection hangover is the controversy stirred up by ‘Idol’ giant Carrie Underwood, taking a stand that sent a slap across the face of much of America’s politicized-from- head-to-toe entertainment complex. Speaking with TV Guide (in an article not available online but quoted by the website, ‘Idol’s’ reigning country queen takes a stand for political modesty. Asked about her choice in this year’s election, Underwood snapped, “There is someone I do support, but I don’t support publicly. I lose all respect for celebrities when they back a candidate.”


Meanwhile, ‘Idol’s’ green-card-holding judge, Simon Cowell, freed by virtue of his foreignness from having to pick sides, was focused on explaining the news of last week that to ‘Idol’ fans was of far more consequence than any mere election could every be: the story of his breakup from girlfriend of six years Terri Seymour. In an interview with Fox News, Cowell said the choice to split had been hers:

She wants a different path in life, and I totally respect her for it. We will be the best of mates, but I think in relationships, you have to be totally honest. I have always been and I know Terri knows that.

Cowell continued, explaining that his work made him perhaps less available than Seymour might have liked. ‘Bottom line is I am married to my job. When people moan about been a celebrity, I think, ‘Oh, please, sort yourself out — it’s the greatest job in the world.’ ‘

Meanwhile, a few former ‘Idol’ contestants have announced that they are going to try to keep the greatest job in the world alive for themselves a bit longer with a Christmas tour. Complete details after the jump.

AMERICAN IDOL STARS IN CONCERT FOR THE HOLIDAYS Former ‘American Idol’ finalists Chikezie (Season 7), Diana DeGarmo (Season 3), David Hernandez (Season 7) and Kimberley Locke (Season 2) will be entertaining the masses once again as they embark on a Holiday Tour, which launches Nov. 29 in Pittsburgh and will make stops in 15 U.S. cities. The ‘American Stars in Concert for the Holidays’ will feature a combination of four of the Top 10 finalists from Seasons 1 through 7, who will take to the stage for an exciting night of solo, duet and ensemble performances. This production will be a great way to see and hear the Idols in an intimate theatrical setting. Audiences will get a chance to relive their favorite former ‘Idol’ moments as these talented artists perform an array of holiday favorites. American Stars in Concert is produced by Scott Stander & Associates Inc. They are currently producing the tour of Ballroom With a Twist, directed and choreographed by ‘Dancing With the Stars’ ’ Louis Van Amstel. Michael Orland, who has accompanied and conducted performances for vocalists Jennifer Holliday, Barry Manilow and Chita Rivera, and is pianist, arranger and associate music director on ‘American Idol,’ will serve as the production’s musical director. Ovation Award winner Lee Martino, one of the industry’s leading stage and television choreographers, will direct and choreograph the production. Tickets for the holiday tour will be sold at the venues and through

And somewhere out there, 500 hopefuls are making their last preparations for Hollywood Week!


— Richard Rushfield