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American Idol’s Country Sensation: Skylar Laine

Are you watching this season of American Idol? Country is being represented this time around by Skylar Laine. Self-proclaimed #1 fan of Miranda Lambert, the southern beauty sang the hit tune “Hell On Heels,” by Miranda’s all-girl group the Pistol Annies. Then the contestants got to perform a song by the artist who influences them the most and of course she chose Miranda. Skylar chose “Gunpowder And Lead.” She sounded great but didn’t really impress too much…a different Miranda song might have been better. Regardless what I think, she was still voted back again.

This week she switched things up and sang a Kellie Pickler song. It’s actually one of my favorites of hers…”Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You” from her debut album.

Girl has some pipes and was even told by one of the judges that there isn’t anyone in country music right now singing like her. Even if she doesn’t win this thing, I think she will definitely find her niche in country music and have a thriving career. Skylar also sang a great country song with fellow Idol show contestant, Colton Dixon. The two performed the duet by Kelly Clarkson and Jason Aldean.

So if you like what you see, consider checking out American Idol next week and vote…Skylar was safe tonight and will be performing again next Wednesday night.

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‘Idol’ Finale Welcomes New Country Talent

If you’ve been watching American Idol this year you would know that the finale came down to two young country singers…Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina. 

Scotty was named the season 10 American Idol…but not before one heck of a show last night.  Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Judas Priest, Gladys Knight and many, many more big named artists hit the stage.

One of the biggest surprises was Scotty’s performance with Tim McGraw.

And Lauren performed with Carrie Underwood.

I think it’s safe to say that we’ll be seeing a lot of these two on country radio in the future!

Idol favorite choosing country?

 

American Idol season 9 finalist, Casey James, is planning to follow the footsteps of Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler.  After gaining millions of fans on this season of Idol, Casey, a Texas native, is looking to expand his fan base by moving to Music City and making a country album.  Given his edgey and bluesy sound, I think he will fit in quite well.  His guitar skills are on par and will give Brad Paisley and Keith Urban a run for their money.  In an interview, Casey noted that he was raised listening to Merle Haggard and George Jones and hopes that fans will accept him.  He did do a tremendous version of Shania Twain’s “Don’t” during country week.  I think Shania is a fan and would appreciate and enjoy him in country music.

Another of my favorite moments from this season came on Rolling Stones week when Casey sang “It’s All Over Now.”  He gave it his own rocky vibe and you could definitely hear that song on country radio. 

Obviously, Casey isn’t the only product of a reality music competition show that has tried to call Nashville home.  Carrie and Kellie are some of the succesful ones, but country music hasn’t worked for everyone.  Also, fellow season 9 competitor Aaron Kelly is hoping to establish himself in country music, mostly because of being inspired by his favorite group Rascal Flatts.

Idol goes country; VIDEO OF THE WEEK: Sons of Sylvia

The top seven on American Idol became the top six last night when Siobhan Magnus was sent packing after the group tackled country music week.  After a seemingly par performance, Siobhan was ultimately and shockingly voted off. 

The idol wannabes sang from the songbook of country legend Shania Twain.  Shania served as a guest judge during the audition rounds and was back as this week’s mentor. 

Tuesday evening’s performance show went pretty smoothly with decent performances from each person.  Lee Dewyze opened the show with “Still The One” and was followed by Michael Lynch’s version of “Since You’ve Been Gone” and Casey James chose “Don’t”.  All these performanes were pretty solid.  “No One Needs To Know” was what Crystal Bowersox sang and her performance was the most country sounding, but she was still able to put her own touch on it.  The judges call Aaron Kelly the country artist on this season and he sang “Just The Way You Are” to mixed reviews.  Closing the show was Siobhan Magnus’s performance of “Any Man Of Mine” and was able to combine her punk edge with country decently.

Tuesday night was pretty straight-forward, performance after performance.  Things just got more interesting Wednesday night at the results show.  It was previously announced that Rascal Flatts would be performing and that Lady Antebellum would share a song too.  The trio opened the show with their latest single “Unstoppable” which sounded wonderful.  This was the fourth time the guys performed on Idol and it seemed Ryan Seacrest and lead singer Gary LeVox were very buddy-buddy with their playful jests.  What got even more weird was when Rascal Flatts took the stage with Shakira.  The coupling of these two was completely bizarre.  Shakira was barefoot and surrounded by belly dancers as she began “Gypsy”.  Suddenly Gary LeVox appears and was trying to bop to the music to no avail.  And during the song, he maybe said five words.  If Shakira wants to perform with a mega-group like Rascal Flatts, at least give him a verse or something.  In all, the performance left viewers very confused.

On a better note, Lady Antebellum performed “Need You Now”.  The performance was taped, but it is no doubt why that group is so successful, that song is a hit.  Also, Carrie Underwood introduced another taped performance by label mate Sons of Sylvia and they performed “Love Left To Lose.”  The band is currently on the road touring with Carrie.

PHOTO / VIDEO OF THE DAY: Idol Gives Back

Carrie Underwood wrapped up her week on the west coast last night with her performance of “Change” on American Idol: Idol Gives Back.  She explained in an interview with MTV, “The song talks about how the smallest thing can make a huge difference, and it really fits with tonight’s concept.”  After her performance, she announced that for scheduled dates for her extended fall Play On Tour, 36 cents (a figure taken from a lyric in the song) from every ticket sold will be donated to Save the Children’s programs.  Carrie’s performance seemed to be the only one that was appropriate for the evening.  The Black Eyed Peas shouted “Rock Your Body,” while Jeff Beck and Joss Stone performed “I Put A Spell On You.”  The performances were uncomfortable as they were positioned before or after taped segments of children dying in Africa or poor people in America.  It was a bit awkward at times.  Especially when it was obvious that certain actors and singers were promoting their respective album or movie. 

Several charities were represented throughout the two hours allotted. The show did go super long and for those of us whose DVR’s were only scheduled for 8-10 PM, missed out on one particular performance…Elton John.  However, in the first two hours, Queen Latifah, Jeff Beck, Joss Stone, Black Eyed Peas, Mary J. Blige, Sir Elton John and Alicia Keys joined Underwood along with host Ryan Seacrest, Ben Affleck, David Arquette, Jennifer Garner,  Season 7 winner David Cook, the judges and contestants, among others.  Also worth noting, Annie Lennox performed a taped performance because she is stuck in London due to flight cancellations resulting from the Icelandic volcano.  However, she did a touching performance along with emotional video footage of her trip to Africa. 

But…Carrie’s performance was unbelievable…check it out below!! 

Also…next week is country week on Idol, so set your DVR.  Shania Twain will be mentoring the remaining contestants on Tuesday and Rascal Flatts and Lady Antebellum will be performing on the results show, which is Wednesday.  Don’t miss it!!

Tid-Bit Tuesday

*The Disney-owned label Lyric Street Records is shutting down, but not before completely blindsiding the trio Rascal Flatts.  Their new album is slated to be released in September and shouldn’t be affected by the closure.  Also in record label news, Sony legend Joe Galante is stepping down after over 40 years in the business.  He was credited with the careers of Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Brad Paisley, Martina McBride, Kellie Pickler, Miranda Lambert and Sara Evans, among others.

 *Comedian Chelsea Handler loves country music, who knew?!  Last night on her show on the E! Network, her guest was Gretchen Wilson.  You may be surprised, but there actually have been a lot of country artists on her show; Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Reba McEntire, Darius Rucker, Jason Aldean and Sugarland have all made appearances.  It’s very refreshing to see Chelsea make these stars laugh and show audiences another side of these artists.      

*Gossip Girl hunk Chace Crawford recently pulled out of the Footloose remake, stating scheduling conflicts.  Country singer and Dancing With The Stars pro, Julianne Hough, is still slated to fill the role of Ariel Moore.  However, producers are now dealing with Hough’s difficult schedule as well.  The remake of the 1984 movie that made Kevin Bacon a star just might be in jeopardy if both these stars are out.

*Carrie Underwood will return to American Idol this Wednesday for the programs “Idols Give Back.”  She plans to perform the song “Change” off her Play On record.  Also, a pre-recorded song from Lady Antebellum will air.

*Dixie Chick, Natalie Maines, settled a defamation lawsuit stemming from the 2007 rallies she attended regarding her support for the West Memphis Three.  The step-father, Terry Hobbs,  of one of the murdered boys filed a defamation lawsuit.  However, the judge didn’t see eye-to-eye with Hobbs and threw out the lawsuit.  Maines will receive court costs from Hobbs, totaling in the amount of $17,590.

*It’s a good day for Whitney Duncan as her album is set for release today.  Don’t go searching around your local Target or Walmart for it because it’s only being released online.  Road Right Now features 11 tracks, which she co-wrote, and includes the radio hits such as “When I Said I Would” and “Skinny Dipping.”

 *American Greetings is the sponsor for Taylor Swift’s Fearless Tour and today they announced a concert ticket giveaway in 10 selected U.S. cities.  All you need to do is become a fan of American Greetings on Facebook and a random drawing will take place for concert tickets and weekly prizes.  Swift’s cards have been in stores since early this year and are now available as e-cards.