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AMERICAN IDOL hopeful Carly Simthson 24 ELIMINATED at # 6 - American Idol photo

AMERICAN IDOL hopeful Syesha Mercado 21 - American Idol photo

American Idol judges - American Idol photo

AMERICAN IDOL hopeful Brooke White 24 - American Idol photo

AMERICAN IDOL hopeful Michael Jason Castro 20 - American Idol photo

AMERICAN IDOL hopeful David Archuleta 18 - American Idol photo

AMERICAN IDOL hopeful David Cook 25 - American Idol photo

Carl Anderson

Tisha Fein - NR photo

Thai champion fighter Yodsaenklai advances to The Contender Asia FINAL. - AXN photo

Australian JOHN WAYNE PARR was a title holder - AXN photo





James Loving - National Radio Text Service


In what has been touted as the best ever group of contestants American Idol has ever had the results beg to differ. - CONTENDER ASIA FINAL OVER - NBA ON TV - Recommended TV Listings


Sunday April 27, 2008


Is American Idol Losing The Plot?

American Idol judge Randy Jackson said it all after the girs with the big voices Carly Smithson and Syesha Mecardo stood side by side as being the bottom two set for elimination supposedly due to the results of America voting. "It must have been a bit of popularity in the voting this week those two can really sing," Jackson said.

As the two sweated it out to find out who would stay and who would go AI host Ryan Seacrest informed Smithson that she was going home. In what has been touted as the best ever group of contestants American Idol has ever had the results beg to differ.

This was a week in which the contestants had to choose Broadway songs composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber which included songs from Jesus Christ Superstar and The Phantom of the Opera. This type of material is not easy to sing by an accomplished singer who has had experience singing theatrical songs from Broadway shows. AI judges were quick to make that point. It was particularly difficult for singers who are considered having talent but lacking major experience.

Smithson chose a song that Webber said was the wrong choice for her voice. He suggested that with her big voice 'Jesus Christ Superstar' would be a more suitable choice. She sang it, was complimented by the judges and the results of America's voting sent her packing on her journey home to San Diego, California to return to her tattoo business.

At the same time of the two remaining females in the competition Brooke White has the weakest voice of all the 24 competitors that made it past the Hollywood auditions. She has repeatedly made mistakes, her voice has broken while singing and she has stopped at the beginning of her songs twice to start over be cause admittedly she made a mistake or "Lost the lyric."

This observation is not meant to demean White's talents but is meant to point out the flaws in the American Idol qualifications. The red flag jumped up in this case when after White's errors the judges were so kind and forgiving. It was so out of character it was as if they were all drinking what Paula Abdul drinks that makes her always so sweet to everyone.

Making inexperienced singers sing songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber if like a high school basketball player who has limited skills being thrown in a game with experienced NBA players. Is this show supposed to be showcasing talent or challenging it by throwing up an obstacle course? Should the name of the show be changed to American Fear Factor Idol Challenge?

The best of what remains are two very good singers in David Archuleta and David Cook. Archuleta has the better voice but Cook continues to improve and surprise as he did a commendable job on 'Phantom of the Opera.' If either of these two doesn't win there should be an investigation by the US Senate and Congress. This is the biggest travesty in entertainment comparable to justice and the invasion of Iraq to find the weapons of mass destruction that never existed.

Cook has the most commercial potential of the two. He has talent similar to Chris Daughtry but has more potential. Archuleta's voice is incredible but the problem is if he records a CD what type of material and market is he more suited for? In general rockers like Cook sell more records than great voices.

This point brought to mind an interview and story I wrote on the only singer that I've ever known to do a Broadway play. His name was Carl Anderson and ironically he played the major role of Judas in the Broadway play of Jesus Christ Superstar. Given what American Idol did in their category selection process I searched Anderson on the Internet to see how his career was doing.

I interviewed and reviewed him in the late 70's when he appeared at the Bla Bla Café in Studio City California. At the time I didn't realize the magnitude of his experience. The Internet search resulted in the following:

Carl Anderson born February 27, 1945 was an American singer, film and theatre actor best known for his Golden Globe Award nominated portrayal of Judas Iscariot in the Broadway and film versions of the rock opera by Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Jesus Christ Superstar.

Anderson took over the role of Judas in the stage version of Jesus Christ Superstar from Ben Vereen in 1971 and performed it on Broadway and in Los Angeles when Vereen fell ill. After Vereen recovered, both actors took turns playing the role. While performing in Los Angeles, Anderson was flown to London for a screen test. Two weeks later, he left that production to begin filming in Israel. The film, released in 1973 by director Norman Jewison, catapulted Anderson's career with two Golden Globe nominations as most promising newcomer and best musical actor.

Anderson's movie appearances include: The Black Pearl (1978) and Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple (1985). Television appearances include: Cop Rock, Days of Our Lives and Hill Street Blues.

As a recording artist, Anderson was equally prolific. Carl signed with Motown Records in 1972. Several of the most recognizable albums to be released in the musically-explosive 70s would bear the mark of Carl Anderson, including his work with Stevie Wonder on his landmark 1976 double album "Songs in the Key of Life."

Anderson also made numerous appearances at several notable clubs in Los Angeles during the 1970's and, with Columbia Records' talent scout Larkin Arnold, signed a record deal for which Anderson would release four albums on the Epic label beginning in 1983. In total, Anderson released nine jazz and Soul albums as a solo artist, including hits "How Deep Does It Go," "Pieces Of A Heart," "Hot Coffee," and the mega-hit from his self-titled 1986 album, "Friends and Lovers," (a duet with Gloria Loring) which reached the number-two spot on the charts that year and endeared Carl to soap opera fans.

In 1992, Anderson reprised his role as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar for a "20th Anniversary of the Movie" tour. Initially planned for three months, the production lasted another six years and grossed over $100 million, visiting over 50 North American cities, including the Paramount Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles, the Fox Theaters in Detroit, St. Louis and Atlanta, the Morris Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore, The Orpheum in San Francisco, the Wang Center in Boston as well as dates in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Miami, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.

In 1997, Anderson performed on Broadway, in an adaptation of William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" called "Play On!" featuring the music of Duke Ellington, playing The Duke. Beginning in 1998, and in later years of his life, Anderson reprised his role as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar to sold-out auditoriums around the world.

In 2002, a national tour of JCS began with Sebastian Bach playing Jesus, and Anderson once again as Judas. Anderson would eventually leave the show after being diagnosed with leukemia. He lost his battle with leukemia on February 23, 2004.

This news was shocking to me. But further research revealed some trivia that relates to my background as a sports journalist. Anderson was married to Veronica Porsche Ali, the former wife of boxing legend Muhammad Ali and his stepdaughter is boxer Laila Ali. I've interviewed Muhammad Ali.

So what's the point? Other than Anderson was a great singer who could sing Andrew Lloyd Webber songs the question is why would American Idol heap such a heavy task on young singers who are trying to make it in the world of pop music? Being a great singer of Broadway songs doesn't translate into a top sell recording artist. The genre is very different as is their audience.

This season American Idol has gone through several changes. One noticeable change is what happened to producer Tisha Fein? Has the shows production quality faltered in her absence? American Idol needs to get its priorities in order; they are in danger of losing the plot.


12. David Hernandez

11. Amanda Overmyer

10. Chikezie Smith

9. Ramiele Malubay

8. Michael johns

7. Kristy Lee Cook

6. Carly Smithson


It's over and the title has been decided of who won the Contender Asia Muay Thai title. Full story


NBA (National Basketball Association) playoff games are televised in the Southeast Asia region on the Star Sports television Network on Friday and ESPN Saturday's. Start times vary depending on the start time in the region of the USA from where the games is televised.


Note: The shows listed are for the Cambodia - Thailand time zone. Check your local listings for time and date in your area.


5:00 PM - LARRY KING - CNN - Airs daily


10:00 PM - TOP MODEL CYCLE 9 - Channel V


7:00 AM - TOP MODEL - CYCLE 9 - Channel V

11:00 AM - TOP MODEL - CYCLE 9 - Channel V

5:00 PM - LARRY KING - CNN - Airs daily


5:00 PM - LARRY KING - CNN - Airs daily

5:00 PM - AMERICAN IDOL - Star World

7:00 PM - AMERICAN IDOL - Star World - repeat of 5 PM telecast

10:30 PM - AMERICAN IDOL - Star World - repeat of 5/7 PM telecast


12 NOON - AMERICAN IDOL - Star World - repeat of previous day


5:00 PM - LARRY KING - CNN - Airs daily

7:00 PM - AMERICAN IDOL ELIMINATION SHOW - Star World - repeat of 5 PM telecast

10:30 PM - AMERICAN IDOL ELIMINATION SHOW - Star World - repeat of 5/7 PM telecast


??:?? AM - NBA GAME - Star Sports

12 NOON - AMERICAN IDOL ELIMINATION SHOW - Star World - repeat of previous day

2:00 PM - TOP MODEL - CYCLE 9 - Channel V

5:00 PM - LARRY KING - CNN - Airs daily

9:00 PM - NBA GAME - Star Sports - Replay of earlier game)


??:?? AM - NBA GAME - ESPN

3:00 PM - TOP MODEL - CYCLE 9 - Channel V

7:30 PM - HI NET WORTH - (financial magazine show) - CNBC



5:00 PM - LARRY KING - CNN - Airs daily

8:30 PM - HI NET WORTH - (financial magazine show) - CNBC


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