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ClayManiacs.com  |  Archive  |  Media & Appearance Archive  |  2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
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Author Topic: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA  (Read 9299 times)

Marilyn

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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #45 on: April 26, 2010, 09:08:12 PM »
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  DALLAS STAR TELEGRAM - CONCERT REVIEW
« Reply #45 on: August 20, 2003, 05:54:07 PM »   

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American Idols fall into deep end in Dallas
Review By Dave Ferman, Star-Telegram pop music critic

Well, at least this year they started on time. That's about the best thing I can say for the second American Idols Live! tour, which included winner Ruben Studdard, runner-up Clay Aiken and the other finalists and which drew a far-short-of-capacity crowd to the American Airlines Center on Tuesday night. Last October the inaugural AIL! tour filled the AAC but started a full hour late - the time was spent having to watch commercials on the big screens above the stage. Here in 2003 we didn't have to wait very long for the mediocrity to start - but when it did, it just didn't stop. At best, most of these young hopefuls have fair, unexceptional voices - and that includes Aiken, who took the stage in a sober suit to the delighted mega-squeal of thousands of teenage girls. He projects a cuddly aw-shucks, boy-next-door quality, and his big signature song, `This Is the Night,' had a nicely earnest, understated feel. But, as was the case last year, there is not a shred of originality to be found here - at least Trenyce didn't even try to pretend she has any, doing a straight-up Tina Turner imitation on one of Turner's signature songs, `Proud Mary.' She and Kimberly Locke both have good voices and a modicum of stage presence, although neither is in any way exceptional. Others, including Charlie Grigsby and Julia DeMato, have voices as thin as my hair and looked distinctly uncomfortable onstage. And then there's Studdard, who closed out the first half of the night with two songs. It's obvious he's going for Luther Vandross' tubby-teddy-bear persona, but his thin, sometimes downright flat voice compared to Luther's as a fast-food hamburger does to the best steak in town, and he lumbers about the stage with a minimum of charisma. I'm not trying to be mean - he really looks unhealthy, lost and unsure. Picking up a toy thrown onstage seemed to pose a problem. I felt sorry for him. All in all, this show was worse than last year's - less energy, less talent. Asking these youngsters to go from, in many cases, fairly limited stage experience to playing a huge arena is throwing them in at the deep end, and they all score points for trying. But this is the path they've chosen, and the truth is that, try as they might, many of them are just not up to the task. 
Dave Ferman, (817) 390-7839dferman@star-telegram.com

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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #46 on: April 26, 2010, 09:10:00 PM »
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  THE DAILY OKLAHOMAN - CONCERT REVIEW
« Reply #46 on: August 22, 2003, 11:23:22 AM »   

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'Idol' singers bring show to center
Sandi Davis, The Oklahoman
2003-08-22

"American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken described the Oklahoma City Ford Center crowd perfectly.  "This is one of the smallest audiences we've played for, but you have got to be the loudest."

The audience, which filled the floor and first level of the center, was treated to a variety show that included everything from solos by each of the nine finalists on tour, an all-male quartet of "The Lady Is a Tramp," and an outstanding tribute to the Bee Gees.

The program began in reverse order, from the 10th place finisher up to runner-up Clay Aiken and winner Ruben Studdard.

The first and biggest surprise of the night was courtesy of Rickey Smith. The Fox "American Idol" Web site lists him from Keene, Texas, he's told people he is from Wichita, when actually Smith graduated from Del City High School in 1998.

His extended family -- including his mother Dolores Moore of Oklahoma City -- stood and cheered every time Smith sang. Studdard singled Moore out for special attention during the show.

The first set was solos from each artist. Julia DeMato's cover of "Beautiful" was well done, as was Smith's upbeat cover of Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel."

Kimberly Caldwell's "Stuck on You" was appreciated, as was "Up" from the pig-tailed Carmen Rasmusen and especially Trenyce's "Proud Mary," a nice tribute to Tina Turner.

Third-place winner Kimberly Locke made her debut with "Band of Gold" and her introduction of Aiken was nearly drowned out by applause and shouts from the crowd.

He sang his hit single "This is the Night" to a continuous standing ovation.


He talked about the last "10 amazing months" as his prelude to introducing "the" American Idol Studdard, who came out and sang a touching rendition of Leon Russell's "Superstar."

His big moment was marred by an appalling lack of manners by the audience, who booed him. It wasn't the song being criticized but more likely sour grapes over the voting controversy surrounding Studdard's close victory over Aiken. The contest being over for some time, the display was embarrassing at best.

The group took a short break and the second half of its show was a great display of duets, trios, quartets and all nine singers out on the stage in highly energetic and entertaining song and dance numbers.

The show wound down with a few more solos, and ended with Studdard singing "Imagine," an appropriate number considering the audience's earlier behavior. As other members of the group joined him, the audience finally got into the spirit and was singing along.

Though this show was short on musicians -- the backup band was a drum kit, two sets of keyboards and two guitarists -- the biggest disappointment was the canned background singing that accompanied each solo, which at some points made "American Idols Live" feel like a slick karaoke show rather than a showcase for nine very talented performers who should have nice careers ahead of them.

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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #47 on: April 26, 2010, 09:10:52 PM »
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  SALT LAKE TRIBUNE - CONCERT REVIEW
« Reply #47 on: August 24, 2003, 12:42:56 PM »   

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'IDOLS' ON TOUR: Concert draws thousands to see finalists of the talent show perform
By Dan Nailen

Anyone can be a pop star.
That's the idea behind FOX television's "American Idol," and the reason about 10,000 people crowded the Delta Center to watch nine of the ratings-giant's finalists perform Saturday night.  None of those nine singers would have drawn a second glance on America's streets a year ago, but the second-season finale of "American Idol" attracted 38 million viewers, and the televised talent contest averaged about 22 million people per episode in its second year.

Numbers like those made this 39-city and aptly sponsored "Pop-Tarts Presents American Idols Live!" tour a natural extension of the TV show, and have turned former unknowns like Ruben Studdard, Clay Aiken and Bountiful's Carmen Rasmusen into minor celebrities.  The tour is big business -- tickets in Salt Lake City sold for $45 and $25, as much as Bob Dylan's show in July, and more than Willie Nelson's stop in Ogden this month -- and for further proof, one need only look at the merchandise tables in the Delta Center. "American Idol" tour T-shirts sold for $30, hats for $25, CDs and "American Idol" teddy bears for $20. Posters of Aiken and Studdard, the two finalists getting the biggest push toward stardom by Fox, were $10 each, and sold briskly.
 
Aiken was clearly the crowd favorite during the show, although Utahn Rasmusen drew a raucous ovation when she first appeared, singing Shania Twain's "Up!" And Aiken's face adorned more merchandise being carried away from the souvenir stands than any other performer.  "We kind of like Clay the best, he's the best singer," said Sandy 16-Year-old Teresa Alger, who bought tickets by phone the minute they went on sale and attended the show with siblings, parents and friends. Her sister, 12-year-old Natalie Alger, was quick to add "[Clay's] the coolest, but we like Ruben, too. He's cool."

Ogden's Willa Rogers, who is "pushing the big 7-0," got hooked on "American Idol" during its second season, and she drove to Salt Lake City for Saturday's show with 10 fellow fanatics.  "I watched the latter part of the show, and my daughter wanted to come, so here we are," said Rogers, who also bought tickets to the show as soon as she heard the "American Idol" tour was coming to Utah. "We like Clay. He's just a good ol' Southern boy."

The concert itself was a slick production, with video screens showing highlights of the season that ended with the night's performers competing for the title of "American Idol." Winning the title was no small victory, considering the winner of the first season's contest, Kelly Clarkson, has a platinum album on her hands a year later.
 
Each of the nine finalists on hand had a solo turn on stage during the first hour, singing either classic songs or current pop hits. Aiken's "This is the Night" elicited deafening squeals, and Studdard's takes on The Carpenters' "Superstar" and Luther Vandross' "Never Too Much" showed why he ultimately won the contest.
 
The second half of the show consisted of a variety of medleys -- Motown cuts, disco-era hits -- by different combinations of singers.  Most of the performers noted that Salt Lake City was the last hometown show of one of the finalists, and Rasmusen made the most of it with an energetic performance and gracious nod to the locals that voted for her.  "It's so good to be home!" Rasmusen explained after her solo turn. "I have to say, this is the best crowd we've had all tour."
   
Sure, each of the finalists probably said the same thing in their respective hometowns, but if anyone can be a pop star in 2003, any town should be able to stake a claim as the best crowd.

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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #48 on: April 26, 2010, 09:11:48 PM »
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  DESERET MORNING NEWS - CONCERT REVIEW
« Reply #48 on: August 25, 2003, 12:56:55 PM »   

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Aiken steals the 'Idols Live' show
Rasmusen also stirs Utah crowd in homecoming
By Scott D. Pierce
Deseret Morning News
AMERICAN IDOL TOUR, Delta Center, Saturday.

It may have been Carmen Rasmusen's homecoming, but it was Clay Aiken's show when "American Idols Live" hit the Delta Center on Saturday night. Which is not to say that the less-than-capacity crowd didn't heap love upon Rasmusen, the 18-year-old Bountiful girl who was No. 6 on "Idol's" top-10 list this past spring. But there was no doubt that the same crowd would have voted runner-up Aiken the top spot over winner Ruben Studdard, judging by the screaming — which began when Clay appeared in video clips that were shown before the almost three-hour concert officially got going. And once it got going, it seemed it would never end.
Nine of the 10 finalists from the hugely popular TV talent show performed in a concert that was part TV variety show, part polished performance, part amateur hour and part road show. (The undertalented Marine Joshua Gracin wasn't there because duty called.)
Bouncing around a high-tech stage — with a five-piece band, light show and occasional flames and fireworks — Charles Grigsby, Julia Demato, Rickey Smith, Kimberly Caldwell, Trenyce, Kimberly Locke, Rasmusen, Aiken and Studdard kept the energy level high throughout the evening, mostly powering their way through nearly three-dozen songs.
A couple of things quickly became obvious. First, these are not the most polished performers, and this was not the slickest of shows. As a matter of fact, attempts at slick sometimes went badly awry — such as a boys-vs.-girls performance of "The Lady Is a Tramp" (by the white-clad boys) and "Bootylicious" (by the black-clad girls), which came off as something out of a cheesy Las Vegas show.
We can only wonder what always-honest "Idol" judge Simon Cowell might have said about that one.
More important, however, was the fact that, almost to a person, the nine "Idols" sounded better in person than they did on the show. And that includes Rasmusen, who shone as she sang the Shania Twain tune "Up," and "Let's Hear It for the Boy" in solo, as well as joining in on several of the group numbers.
Grigsby (who only made the top 10 because ex-Utahn Corey Clark got kicked off the show when criminal assault charges against him surfaced) and Smith were not impressive, but DeMato, Caldwell, Trenyce and especially Locke were. Studdard was good, and there were plenty of people shouting "Rooooo-ben!"
But Aiken was the one who got crowd — dominated by teen and pre-teen girls — really going.
Rasmusen's homecoming included a chance to continue her improbable ride, to perform in front of a whole bunch of her family members and to listen to her fellow "Idols" talk about how much they love her.
And a chance for local "Idol" fans to revel in the madness.
E-MAIL: pierce@desnews.com

 
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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #49 on: April 26, 2010, 09:12:32 PM »
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« Reply #49 on: August 28, 2003, 12:35:55 AM »   

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Ruben and Clay ride high on the 'Idol' wave
By ELLEN A. KIM - SPECIAL TO THE POST-INTELLIGENCER
The second edition of the "American Idols Live!" offered something for everyone Tuesday night.
       
The TV show, famous for letting the audience vote on the winner (as well as for judge Simon Cowell's cutting criticisms), is a ratings behemoth. Its widespread appeal was apparent at KeyArena, where entire families (screaming like teenage girls) watched their favorite finalists perform classics and new tunes.

The nine performers sang an hour's worth of solos in the order in which they were eliminated from competition. The second season crop was much stronger than the first (Jim Verraros, anyone?) and more polished on stage, shaking their tail feathers like true divas-in-training.  The second half of the show kicked off with a monotonous, lame, all-male rendition of "Lady Is a Tramp," which was swept off stage by the ladies' rousing "Bootylicious." A Bee Gees medley was more successful, and the group closed the show with "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" and "God Bless the U.S.A."

With more solos, duos and trios thrown in between, it became apparent who had underrated star charisma (Kimberly Caldwell, belting Pink's "Feel Good Time") and who better served as backup singers (Julia DeMato and Carmen Rasmusen, who were just that on Caldwell's number). Kimberley Locke received a standing ovation for her scorching "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," and Trenyce belted the socks off the Whitney Houston tune "I Have Nothing."

But it was winner Ruben Studdard and runner-up Clay Aiken that everyone paid to see, judging from the number of handmade signs in the crowd. Each performed a power ballad as well as tracks from their upcoming solo albums. Aiken, winking and starry-eyed, played the newly minted teen heartthrob (in the gawky Tobey Maguire sense). With a rich voice more ripe for show tunes, it will be interesting to see how well Aiken's album fares on Top 40 radio.

Studdard, coined the "velvet teddy bear" for his musical and physical likeness to Luther Vandross, sang two Vandross tunes and the haunting version of "Superstar" that made him famous. He's become notably more comfortable after performing, lumbering across the stage to interact with the crowd and crack jokes.

Studdard's chemistry with Aiken was the highlight of the evening, as the buddies read the crowd signs out loud and sang "Happy Birthday" to a grandmother in the audience before duetting on "The Girl Is Mine." As they sang, fans threw onstage a lei for Aiken and a teddy bear for Studdard.  "I guess I can say I got lei'd in Seattle," Aiken joked. The crowd ate it up, but here's hoping these two don't try to turn their camaraderie into another "From Justin to Kelly
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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #50 on: April 26, 2010, 09:13:47 PM »
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« Reply #50 on: August 28, 2003, 01:30:39 PM »   

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Runner-up Clay steals spotlight in 'American Idol' concert
By Pamela Sitt

Ruben Studdard may be America's Idol, but it was Clay Aiken for whom Neena Gardner and her fiancé drove four hours Tuesday to Seattle's KeyArena, all the way listening to downloaded music by — who else — Aiken.  "He wants Clay to sing at our wedding," said Gardner, 23, of Tri-Cities, gesturing to fiancé Josh Cockrun, 28. (Indeed, Cockrun held a sign: "Clay, Will You Sing At My Wedding?")

The Tri-Cities couple weren't the only ones at the near-capacity show, part of the "Pop-Tarts Presents American Idols Live" tour, who were crazy for Clay. The skinny, spiky-haired runner-up to the 25-year-old Studdard elicited the loudest screams when he appeared onstage about 45 minutes into an unnecessarily long, nearly three-hour show.

Wearing a pin-striped suit and a purple tie (in his first appearance), Aiken, 24, commanded the stage with the practiced ease of a talk-show host, resembling a young Martin Short as he bantered with the crowd.
"Wow, what a good crowd. It's so good!" he practically squealed midway through his monologue.  Then he sang — and the boy can sing — and the crowd screamed, impossibly, louder.

Next up was Aiken's "good friend" — and close competitor, as both have albums coming out this fall — Studdard, whom the crowd greeted with his trademark call, "Roooo-ben!"  With diamond studs flashing in his ears, the affable "Velvet Teddy Bear" strolled onstage and launched into smooth covers of The Carpenters' "Superstar" and Luther Vandross' "Never Too Much."  He was later joined by the rest of the nine "American Idol" finalists (minus Marine Joshua Gracin, who was called back to duty): Charles Grigsby, Julia DeMato, Rickey Smith, Kimberly Caldwell, Trenyce, Kimberley Locke, Carmen Rasmusen and Aiken. The group performed a medley of hits, including "The Lady Is A Tramp (by the boys) and "Bootylicious" (by the girls).

The singers' solo performances were mostly forgettable, with the exceptions of the perky Rasmusen, 18, who looked like a mini-Baby Spice as she belted out "Up!" (by Shania Twain), and second runner-up Locke, 25, channeling R&B star Faith Evans during several solos.  Trenyce's hair-flipping, booty-shaking rendition of "Proud Mary," meanwhile, prompted this reaction from one fan: "I like the Tina Turner lady."

A highlight of the show was Studdard and Aiken's playful duet, "The Girl Is Mine," the 1980s hit by Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney, during which fans threw a lei and a teddy bear onto the stage. (Aiken wore the lei around his neck; Studdard perched the bear on his shoulder.)

Later, Studdard performed the first single from his upcoming album, a harmless, PG-rated R&B ditty that was a bit incongruous with the rest of the pop-heavy show (sample lyric: "From a little block to a little 'hood, to the whole world, it's all good").  And at long last, the entire group converged onstage for the (pre-encore) finale, "I've Had The Time Of My Life."  It was a fitting choice, given that this group of Idols' 15 minutes are just ... about ... up. Next!

Pamela Sitt: 206-464-2291 or psitt@seattletimes.com

 
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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #51 on: April 26, 2010, 09:14:34 PM »
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« Reply #51 on: August 28, 2003, 03:12:37 PM »   

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'American Idols' delight Rose Garden crowd

PORTLAND - It was the night American Idol fans had been waiting for.
Ruben, Clay, and the rest of the gang brought their act to Portland Wednesday night.   American Idol winner, the "Velvet Teddy Bear", Ruben Studdard got the audience warmed up for the show, and Clay Aiken showed off his stuff to the delight of his devoted fans who came dressed for the occasion.  If you're wondering if there's any jealousy among all the idols on tour, former waitress Julia Demato says contrary to rumors they all get along really well.   The American Idols keep a grueling schedule; tonight they'll perform to a sold-out crowd in Sacramento.

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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #52 on: April 26, 2010, 09:15:32 PM »
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« Reply #52 on: August 29, 2003, 05:58:03 PM »   

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Review: Aiken turns out to be fans' idol at Arco
By Chris Macias -- Bee Pop Music Critic   

Clay Aiken is the "American Idol."
Sure, Ruben Studdard, the so-called "velvet teddy bear" from Birmingham, Ala., won the "American Idol" title in May. That's just a technicality.
Judging by the scream-athon that greeted Aiken at Thursday night's American Idols Live! show at Arco Arena, he's eclipsed the competition. Studdard was supposed to be the star of the concert, and seven other finalists from the insanely popular TV talent show were on hand. But that almost seemed like a side point.
The arena morphed into a collective freakout whenever Aiken was onstage. Scores of homemade signs declared their devotion to Aiken, "American Idol's" runner-up. Those in Aiken's fan base (aka the "Clay Nation") who didn't have signs just shrieked and stomped their feet. Or they pelted him with teddy bears, flowers and even underwear.
Studdard wasn't exactly shunned. There were plenty of screams for him and a few signs proclaiming allegiance to the champion -- "Ruben 4 Governor." Some of his fans even wore shirts emblazoned with "205," the hometown area code that Studdard plugged endlessly on "American Idol."
Still, it was no wonder that adulation was skewed toward Aiken. In terms of record sales, Aiken clobbered Studdard when their debut singles each were released in June. America has simply gone insane for Aiken, and he landed on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine a good month before Studdard's own Rolling Stone cover.

Whatever the case, "American Idol" needs drama like this to keep the show's momentum and interest. "American Idol" will enter its third season in 2004, yet there's evidence that the show's appeal is waning. About 13,000 attended Thursday's concert, though Arco Arena was sold out to its 17,000 capacity when the inaugural "American Idol" tour came to town last November.
Maybe the "American Idol" tour format needs some tweaking to keep folks coming back. Like its debut outing, the concert was basically two hours of karaoke overload, including a Bee Gees medley, a group sing-along to "(I've Had) the Time of My Life," and Aiken and Studdard duetting on Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney's "The Girl Is Mine."
However, some gems emerged in the show's onslaught of cover songs. Trenyce, the show's fifth-place finisher, sang the heck out of "Proud Mary" and showed a confidence and energy that nearly went unmatched. Kimberly Locke, who finished third on "American Idol," floored the crowd with an impeccably phrased take on "Over the Rainbow."     
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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #53 on: April 26, 2010, 09:16:42 PM »
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« Reply #53 on: September 01, 2003, 11:37:35 AM »   

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Embarrassing but true -- `Idol' concert was good fun
By Marian Liu, Mercury News

American Idol is a guilty pleasure.The concert Saturday night at the HP Pavilion -- showcasing contestants from the Fox American Idol series -- doesn't exactly hit the top of the charts as one of the most popular things to do on Labor Day weekend.  In fact, it's too embarrassing to even bring up.But to these singers' credit, they were idols. Although tickets this year didn't sell as fast as last year's, the concert was much better. The singers sounded and looked better. Gone were the cheesy ballads and skin-baring outfits. Nobody pulled a Justin Guarini, with pants so tight they could have sung higher. And nobody changed his or her image at the last minute, like Ejay Day, to be more like Mike -- Michael Jackson, that is. The arena was nearly full, with fans of all ages and all colors. The popularity of the show -- in which viewers cast votes for their favorites -- is in its timing. ``American Idol'' became a sanctuary where both the American dream and democracy still prevailed. The show even ended with the idols singing "God Bless the USA,"' equating idol fervor with patriotism.  And, this time, the idols America chose were more real. Unlike Hollywood's pop stars, they were not silicone-enhanced, anorexic or platinum blond. These were people who might have been rejected in high school, people that anyone could relate to.  Ruben Studdard won our hearts for his bashfulness, earning the nickname "velvet teddy bear.''  But with a cold, Studdard came in second Saturday night, enabling runner-up Clay Aiken to steal his crown.

With the geeky charm of Doogie Howser, Aiken projects an attainable image, and fans Saturday responded by tossing lingerie at him. Many in the audience, which was mostly female, also wore red and waved red glow sticks in honor of Aiken's fondness for red.

Judging the concert as if I were the mean-spirited "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell, I would say that Clay sang the best cover of the night: Elton John's ``Candle in the Wind.''  (EDIT- The song is actually "Can You Feel the Love Tonight by Elton John - Cruiser) Next up on covers would be Trenyce, who channeled Whitney Houston and Tina Turner; my only complaint is that she should channel herself more. Julia DeMato harmonized well with Rickey Smith on "If I Never Knew You" but should not have attempted Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful"' with her nasally voice. Charles Grigsby was the best dancer of the group. He has the look and the moves. He just needs to work on the voice. There were too many medleys. Last year, the medleys felt like a talent show gone wrong, but this year, the singers, who performed the medleys together, simply were better solo than together. They needed more soul in their system, especially if they were going to attempt so many Destiny's Child songs.

I predict that Aiken, who is already outselling Studdard, will beat his former rival in the charts and in longevity. But putting snarkiness aside, it was a good show -- one definitely worth sneaking out of a Labor Day barbecue.

Contact Marian Liu at mliu@mercurynews.com or (408) 920-2740.

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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #54 on: April 26, 2010, 09:19:20 PM »
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« Reply #54 on: September 01, 2003, 04:01:57 PM »   

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Call it 'Idol' worship
The phenomenon that is the sometimes-brutal singer audition show brings its Top 10 for a concert at the Pond.
By JUSTIN CHANG - The Orange County Register

A few Ruben Studdard supporters were in evidence. One girl wore a chemise with Kimberley Locke's name on it. But if the outcome of "American Idol" were determined by the number of fans who showed up at Arrowhead Pond for Sunday night's live concert, Clay Aiken, the show's runner-up, would have won by a landslide.

They arrived in droves, 13-year-old girls, parents and grandparents alike. They wore T-shirts as bright red as the Raleigh, N.C., native's hair at the beginning of the competition, and they bore signs with such slogans as "Shakin' 2 Aiken" and "Clay ... I'm Aiken' to Kiss You." They swapped tips on where to download tracks from his still-unreleased first album.

"He's magical, he's adorable," said Charlotte Benkert, an Annapolis, Md., resident who attended three "Idol" concerts with her daughter before Sunday night. "He's just clean-cut, wholesome, from a mother's point of view. He gives me chills."

And you thought the show was over - at least until next season. But since Studdard was crowned the winner by a slim margin in May, the "American Idol" phenomenon has far surpassed the bounds of its TV format, drawing viewers so devoted to their favorite pop stars that they often voted by telephone as many as 20 times a night.  Eighteen thousand showed up Sunday for the end of the show's national tour, which showcased all 10 finalists. At the same time, the audience is completely interactive, engineered and conditioned by the conventions of reality programming.  Orange resident Sunnie Rood, who is an avid message-board poster at www.claytonaiken.com and calls KIIS-FM every day with song requests, sees herself as a follower of the star, not the TV show. "It has nothing to do with the TV show," said Rood, who was in attendance with her husband, Ken. "We liked the TV show. We planned our days around watching it. But when we (saw) Clay, it was like, 'Oh my gosh, this is the guy to beat.' ... People love the voice." Sunnie Rood admits that no artist has ever commanded her dedication like Aiken has.
"He is the first person in years and years we are excited about," she said.
"I've never seen her get this involved with anything," said Ken Rood, who considers himself a milder Aiken fan. "It's kind of over the top."
Some would say the same of the entire culture spawned by "American Idol." The second season's finale drew a chart- topping 38.1 million viewers and a line-clogging 24 million phone calls. Since then, the numbers haven't stopped: In June, Aiken's single took the No. 1 Billboard slot, selling 393,000 copies in its first week. His first album, due Oct. 14, and Studdard's, due Nov. 11, are expected to do even bigger business.
Neither the plus-size, jersey-clad Studdard nor Aiken, with his lanky frame and showtune-ready voice, fits a typical pop-star prototype. But by sending two unknowns into the musical stratosphere, "American Idol" projects the democratic idea that the singers of tomorrow can be hand-selected from the people.

"To me, an American Idol is someone you can look up to," said Pomona resident Madison Temte. "Ruben and Clay, they're both such good people." But do good people, no matter how talented, have staying power? "I don't think (Ruben) will make it that far," said Studdard fan Brandon Rosen. "I don't think he'll be famous in 15 years. He definitely won't be like Elvis or the Rolling Stones." Temte said Aiken, however, would survive in the long run. "I could see him in Disney films," she said. "I could see him on Broadway."

Mission Viejo resident Peter Lancaster, accompanying his wife and daughter, who are fans, was more dismissive.
"I think it's a fun fad. It'll go away after a while," he said. "It's just like any TV show. Eventually we'll flood the market with American Idols. What do you do then?"
 
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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #55 on: April 26, 2010, 09:21:46 PM »
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  ELITES TV - CONCERT REVIEW
« Reply #55 on: September 01, 2003, 07:58:51 PM »   

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American Idol 2 Summer Tour Concludes...
Ray Courtright Jr.

With the American Idol concert series concluding in Anaheim California on August 31st, North American pop music lovers and masses of rabid American Idol fans were entertained by the multi-city tour that featured the fourteenth minute in some of the finalists fifteen minutes of fame, and marked only the beginning for several other finalists...who learned the ropes of what a long concert tour was all about. A fondue of cheesiness for the masses, the American Idol tour featured finalists Charles Grigsby, Carmen Rasmussen, Julia DeMato, Rickey Smith, Kim Caldwell, Trenyce, Kim Locke, the thinking woman's hearthrob Clay Aiken, and the American Idol winner, Ruben Studdard.

The show featured the songs the finalists performed on the series, along with group performances, witty banter, and dancing...all accompanied by a top notch band, dancers and great lighting and the usual concert effects. The dichotomy between the truly talented and the mediocre was glaringly obvious, with performers such as Grigsby, Caldwell and Rasmussen fortunate to be there, a memorable summer tour as they plan their next career move. Since anyone appearing on television has a certain amount of recognition, perhaps we'll be seeing these three appearing in summer stock or country fairs down the road. Wish ya luck in the future, say a prayer.

Pleasant surprises were the performances of one Julia Demato and Trenyce, DeMato more relaxed, more assured than her nervousness during the American Idol competition. Her interaction with Aiken during several numbers was very sexy, as sexy as a family show could allow, but was a plus to both DeMato AND Aiken, very entertaining. Trenyce, who still brings to mind a young Tina Turner, was consistently great during her performances, lots of energy and ambition. Rickey Smith still inspires and brings a smile to any and all who witness his happy go lucky demeanor and listen to his versatile voice, he's very comfortable onstage, and is a great crowd pleaser.

Kim Locke, or Klo, as she's affectionately known, demonstrated her amazing vocal ability with her solo songs and her duets awed the masses as well. Ruben Studdard, the American Idol winner sang his American Idol final song and Top 40 hit, Flying Without Wings, Superstar, and sang an upcoming song from his soon to be released debut album. Ruben was Ruben, all dimples, pointing and a bit of dancing and humor mixed in. His mixture of traditional soul, pop standards and rap showed that Studdard is capable of different musical styles, but is stronger with some than with others. He'll find his groove now that the Pop tour is out of the way, his fan base firmly established.

Clay Aiken, runner up to Studdard in the final, was clearly the star of the tour. Aiken did more for audiologists through the land, what with the ear piercing screaming of the collective masses of Aiken supporters, who made this tour seem at times like Clay Aiken and Friends LIVE!, than the American Idol/Pop Tarts tour that is was supposed to be. Aiken's fanatical following of frenzied female loyalists made security issues such that Aiken had a massive security guard name Jerome, who became a mini celebrity amongst the Aiken fans, for his dedication to Clay, and his ability to allow who would be chosen to venture to the promised land..otherwise known as the meet and greet or backstage passes. Fans inundated the stage when Aiken appeared with various items, including the somewhat tired panty toss, made hilarious by the wholesome Aiken, and his slight embarrassment, and Studdard's hilarity at the frivolity.

Aiken was all business when it came to performing, showing he owns the stage, knows what it takes to please the audience, leaving them gasping for more. His 'dancing' may have brought to mind Greg Brady than Greg(ory) Hines(RIP), but his hip shake and thrust coach earned his/her pay, for during the American Idol show, it was a joke, on the tour, the female fans swooned. Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn, and an Aiken can be taught to dance..adequately. Somewhere, Paula Abdul cries softly...

Aiken gave the audience a preview of his soon to be released album with the song 'Invisible'..an uptempo hit to be that showcased Aiken as more than the ballad boy American Idol made him seem. He also sang This Is The Night, his top selling hit from this summer, and sang duets with many of the group. Perhaps the best thing that came out of his fan base frenzy was the establishment of the Bubel/Aiken foundation, one which raised thousands from generous fans along the tour, benefitting Autism programs, one close to Aiken's heart. The concerts also had many great group songs, and comedic banter throughout, ending with God Bless the USA, the group song recorded during the past Iraqi crisis, and was met with mixed reviews.

Aiken, Studdard and Locke are very likely to continue to bask in the glory that American Idol 2 provided them and use that fortuitous boost to their future musical careers. It's been a blast for the past eight months, and new auditions for American Idol 3 have been taking place, getting ready to see if there's another future star on the horizon, or the next Justin (who?) Guarini to be thrust upon us once again.

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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #56 on: April 26, 2010, 09:23:05 PM »
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  LA TIMES - CONCERT REVIEW
« Reply #56 on: September 02, 2003, 11:19:25 PM »   

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Fan-pandering antics rev up 'Idol' showcase
By Greg Braxton, Times Staff Writer

It's "Apocalypse (Almost) Now" time in the world of pop music.
Madonna and Britney Spears smooch in front of a cheering throng at the MTV Video Music Awards. Self-proclaimed King of Pop Michael Jackson celebrates his 45th birthday with Jackson impersonators at a theater on a crumbling block of downtown Los Angeles. And on Sunday, during "American Idols Live!" at the Arrowhead Pond,
nerd-turned-dreamboat Clay Aiken pulled his boxer shorts down.

Well, they weren't exactly his boxers. The patterned briefs had been thrown on stage, along with a constant stream of flying panties and other undergarments. Picking them up warily, Aiken pulled them on over his white pants, the accessory to his white shirt and white coat. This was, after all, a part of the "American Idol" showcase, a G-rated franchise that at times makes the Brady Bunch Singers look like Marilyn Manson.

Still, when Aiken removed the boxers, it was as if he had really stripped,
judging by the deafening crescendo of screams from elementary school girls, their mothers and grandmothers that erupted inside the sold-out arena.  Though he finished second in viewer voting to "American Idol" winner Ruben Studdard, Aiken was clearly the star attraction during the concert, another cog in the relentless merchandising and marketing machine of Fox's "American Idol" phenomenon. The two-month national tour of finalists from the second season made its final stop at the Pond.

The nearly three-hour show was a super-sized version of the TV series, complete with all the fast-paced production, video montages, heavy-handed schmaltz and overwrought performances that have transformed "American Idol" into a cross-generational favorite. But on Sunday, non-devotees had to contend with the fact that the performers were allowed to sing entire songs instead of snippets, and there was no one like acerbic judge Simon Cowell around to give some of the singers a reality check.

The doubters were overwhelmingly outnumbered by the thousands of disciples who came to worship their "Idols," including Studdard, Aiken and seven other finalists, as they belted out standards and mainstream pop anthems. (Another finalist, U.S. Marine Joshua Gracin, was not allowed to report for duty on the national tour because of obligations to his military training). And the adoration was nonstop. There was even a loud cheer for last year's "American Idol" runner-up Justin Guarini, whose recently released album sold dozens of copies, when his image was flashed on a screen. The finalists all got ample opportunity to soak in the cheers one more time before many of them slip back into the obscurity from which they came.

The majority of performances registered high on the bland scale. With the
exception of Studdard and Aiken, the other male performers, Rickey Smith and Charlie Grigsby, were unimpressive. Trenyce (yes, she hasn't made it, but she still only has one name) was the best of the female finalists with a version of Tina Turner's "Proud Mary" that demonstrated both showmanship and strong lungs.

True to "American Idol" form, there were more than a few jaw-dropping moments.  A "duel" in which the men sang "The Lady Is a Tramp" while the women belted out "Bootylicious" was surreal. Studdard hip-hopped through "No Reuben," a song off his upcoming album, where he paid tribute to "the barbershops — the black man's country club."

But it was Aiken who turned the Pond into the House of Clay. While his colleagues strained to show off their talents, Aiken eased through his numbers with effortless poise and charisma. Though Studdard was crowned as the American Idol, it was clear from the resounding reaction to Aiken's every move who will likely come out as the real winner when his debut album is released in October.

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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #57 on: April 26, 2010, 09:24:04 PM »
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« Reply #57 on: September 03, 2003, 02:58:11 PM »   

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‘American Idols’ charm in live concert
By MEGAN H. CHAN, Lifestyle Editor

Fans of the popular television show "American Idol" got exactly what the bargained for on Saturday night when the show's concert tour concluded at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim.
Everything cute about old-school talent shows came to life as the idols delivered a three-hour hodgepodge of good ol' American fun. To top it all off, the show concluded with the charmingly cheeky, quintessential farewell song, "(I've Had The) Time of My Life" from the 1987 film "Dirty Dancing."
Clearly, the star of the evening was Clay Aiken, the runner-up on FOX Network's televised talent contest. Aiken garnered impressively long girlish shrieks and projectiles of the undergarment type.
Clad in an oversized Anaheim Mighty Ducks jersey, the charismatic crooner, toothpick legs and all, demonstrated admirable vocal prowess with "Invisible," a song from his upcoming album.
But what clearly set him apart was his gracious introduction of the "American Idol" winner, Ruben Studdard. The mutual admiration and endearing playfulness between these two chums was evident throughout the entire show, including Aiken's introduction of "Roo-ben" and culminating in a surprisingly darling duet in "The Girl Is Mine."
While Aiken may have struck a chord with "Idol's" female fans, Studdard's solo performance of his new single, "Can I Get Your Attention," proved irresistible. There's something to be said about the "velvet teddy bear," as he's often called, singing a song about being from "a lil' hill in a lil' hood."
The women of "American Idol" are not strangers to Aiken and Studdard's feeling of camaraderie and performed like old friends in remakes of Destiny's Child's "Bootylicious" and the Bee Gees' "Emotions."
In a world where women of vocal talent are often scantily clad objects, the women on stage, particularly Trenyce with her rendition of the theme from the movie "The Bodyguard," prove that tremendous vocals coupled with classy choreography can easily please.
Surely a standout, 11th-place finalist Charles Grigsby opened and captivated the crowd with his smooth tones in "Do I Do" by Stevie Wonder.
Not to be counted out, the dramatically differently "standout" of the group, Kimberly Caldwell, decked herself out in classic bad girl camouflage and mandatory stiletto boots that let everyone know she meant business.
Her vocal inflections landed perfectly on target, and though the song, originally performed by Stacey Orrico, has been jamming up the air waves, Caldwell's approach was intoxicating and new.
With a finale comparable to that of a political convention, "God Bless the USA," made it hip, chic and perfectly respectable to show a little love for the country.
Without a doubt, pop culture can certainly use more of the infectiously refreshing attitude of these American idols who appeal to 7- and 70-year-olds alike. It's all about good, clean fun.

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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #58 on: April 26, 2010, 09:25:04 PM »
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ORANGE COUNTY WEEKLY - CONCERT REVIEW/ARTICLE
« Reply #58 on: September 05, 2003, 03:34:56 PM »   

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This writer is snarking big time on the American Idol concert, but this was so *funny* I just had to post a snip of it.  Remember, the whole 'Idol' trip isn't for everyone.  I can appreciate those who are of a different mind. Hey, judge not lest ye be judged, right?
Hit the link if you want to read the whole piece.  I would suggest opening your mind and engaging your sense of humor first though.   :D



Quote
The Pond was filled with humanity. American humanity. Sold-out American humanity. Many of the excited American humans were pre-teen or what futurist Faith Popcorn no doubt calls "tweens." Also, there were five gay guys; they were very shiny and wholesome, like all America’s favorite gays. The tweens were screaming. Actually screaming does it about as much justice as calling Ann Coulter mildly disagreeable. In fact, the pre-teen and tween Americans were shrieking and wailing and carrying on like they’d been transported back to a 1984 Wham! show or something. Whatev!


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Re: 2003: AI TOUR MEDIA
« Reply #59 on: April 26, 2010, 09:25:58 PM »
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LIVE DAILY ARTICLE FROM 7/25/03
« Reply #59 on: September 15, 2003, 12:38:45 AM »   

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'American Idol' star Clay Aiken
by Christina FuocoliveDaily Contributor

July 25, 2003 04:46 PM - "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken seems naturally inclined to be impeccably nice. While speaking to liveDaily by phone, he pulls up to First Union Arena in Wilkes-Barre, PA, and quickly diverts his attention to a fan.     
                         
"Oh here. Let me give you a hug," he says to the admirer. Aiken, 24, of Raleigh, NC, made his way into the hearts of "American Idol" fans by being nice--and having the type of voice that raises the roofs of Broadway theaters. His first single, "This is the Night/Bridge over Troubled Water," debuted at No. 1, besting "Flying Without Wings/Superstar" by "Idol"-winner Ruben Studdard. The Aiken cut sold nearly 393,000 copies in its first week, making it the biggest debut since Elton John's 1997 "Candle in the Wind" remake surrounding the death of Princess Diana. Aiken's sales success isn't good enough for some of his fans, apparently. A group of them recently wrote to the FCC claiming that the "American Idol" results were fixed, something that Aiken laughs at. However, the FCC reportedly is looking into the matter. Aiken talked to liveDaily about his forthcoming album--due out in September--the "American Idols Live" tour and the perils of being popular.

liveDaily: How's the tour going so far?
Clay Aiken: It's going really well. We're having a good time with it. We had some rough dress rehearsals but our shows have been extremely, extremely good. What was rough about the dress rehearsals? Oh, we were just forgetting when we were supposed to come in; not knowing our songs, all that stuff. We just had trouble with that. I didn't know the words to some of my songs until the first show. What are some of the songs that you're singing? I'm doing "This is the Night" and Ruben and I are doing stuff that will be coming off of our new albums. We're having a good time with it. Is your album finished? It's almost done. I'm driving to New York [on July 16] to finish up one [song on July 17], and then I'll be finished. I'm lovin' being finished. Hopefully I can relax.

LiveDaily:  Who are some of the songwriters you worked with?
Clay Aiken: Chris Braide worked on "This is the Night," …; Cathy Dennis, she wrote "A Moment Like This" from last year's show. And just a bunch of big-name producers: Clif Magness, who did some stuff with Avril Lavigne; Rick Knowles, who works with Savage Garden, Santana and Michelle Branch; Steve Morales, who did all the Enrique [Iglesias] and Shakira stuff.

liveDaily:  What can people expect from it?
Clay Aiken:  The nice thing about it is that it's not a huge departure for me. The record company, myself and the management group have been able to really agree on what we'd like to see from it. We're not going to see a lot of hardcore, inappropriate stuff that I'm not all for. A lot of the stuff is like "This is the Night." It's a pop-flavored album. I think there's a lot of people out there who may not be the best influence for kids. I wouldn't want my kids listening to some of the stuff out there. None of the stuff on the album is like that.

LiveDaily:  What do you think about all the complaints that "American Idol" was fixed?
Clay Aiken:  It's kind of flattering because it's coming from fans who like me, and all that stuff. But I was on the show and involved closely in it for a long time, and I know everyone who was involved in it. I totally trust the outcome of the show. It was so close. It wasn't like the outcome was 70 to 30 percent. I completely trust the results. Sometimes I just wish people would put their energies into supporting a charity or something like that instead of calling the FCC. (laughs) It concerns me because Ruben's a good, good friend of mine. I totally am proud of him and support everything that he does. Both of us really got exactly what we wanted out of this show. We both went into it hoping to get a recording contract and get this type of career--and we both got it. He's got the title and that's what different. Other than that, we're both having a great time and I'm totally happy with where I am. So, people who want to write letters can write letters to the Autism Society and help them out. (laughs)

LiveDaily:  How have you handled the sudden stardom?
Clay Aiken:  It's been difficult. It's hard to look at our pictures in newspapers and on magazines and all that type of stuff and think of it as anything more than, "Oh, it's just me. That's my picture. That's not a big deal. Who cares what cover it's on. Who cares what magazine it's in. It's just me." People who scream and cheer for us, it's like, "Wow." It's really hard to take in a lot of times. We're just ourselves when we go up there and sing. It's amazing that--what, nine months after we started the show?--so many people want to be around us and hear us. How do you get used to that? You don't. I don't think you can. Every night something's different and new. Last night I had panties thrown on the stage. Every night it's something different. It's extremely flattering every single night. It's all a new experience. It's something that we all wanted to do for so long. We're just enjoying the ride and trying to take it all in.

LiveDaily:   How do you keep from laughing when women throw their panties on stage when you're trying to sing?
Clay Aiken:  I laughed, right there in front of them. (laughs) How can you try to not laugh? The lady who was sitting in the front, I just asked her, "Please tell me you weren't wearing these before you threw them on stage." It's very funny. I'm not used to it, don't worry.

LiveDaily:  What is the format of the "American Idols Live" show?
Clay Aiken:  We start with Charlie Grigsby, and the first half is all solos. We start with Charlie and work all the way to Ruben through the first half. The second half is all group songs, medleys, Ruben and I do a duet, Ruben and I both sing our songs from our album during the second half. The guys sing together, the girls sing together. We do a tribute to the Bee Gees.

LiveDaily: What song do you and Ruben do together?
Clay Aiken:  That's a surprise! What is it like to tour with the other "Idols"? We know each other so well. I think that's what's so cool about it. We've all known each other for nine months now. We know where everybody came from. We're all just friends. Nobody gets star struck at anybody. Everybody's just hangin'. We've known each other for so long that we're really like a family. We travel together. We live together and all that stuff. We definitely enjoy being together. We really perform well together. We used to rehearse for the show and just have the nastiest rehearsals on Wednesday mornings and Wednesday afternoons. Then when the show hit the airwaves on Wednesday nights, our medleys would come together flawlessly. That's just the way the whole show has worked because we know each other so well.

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