Friday , July 12 2024

American Idol: Reports From Home

In film clips on last night’s show, the six American Idol finalists got all gushy about their hometowns and families, and their families returned the favor. What are the local papers saying about their American Idol finalists?

My bud Michael Heaton of the Cleveland Plain Dealer did a survey of area music notables on last night’s performance of Shaker Heights’s own Scott Savol, my personal pick for most likely to leave the show the last five weeks running. Shows what I know. Scott sang Luther Vandross’s “Dance With My Father” last night.

Eric Carmen said, “Scott’s voice has a nice, soulful quality and the song is a winner, but the performance was a little pitchy tonight. Having said that, I think Simon’s comment [“pack your bags”] was just plain cruel. Good luck, Scott. I hope you go all the way.”

Former voice teacher Cleveland Opera David Gooding chimed in, “Tonight’s performance by Scott Savol was something of a disappointment. The song was bland, its arrangement was utterly uninspired, sounding like filler at an auto show, and Scott’s rendition was sadly uncompelling. He’s a sensitive performer, but he needs to do some more fundamental work on his voice.”

My favorite response came from Dead Boy Jimmy Zero. “The glitzy series came to an astonishing finale when an enormous herd of ravenous peccaries invaded the stage. Scott was just reaching the de rigueur crescendo of a tear-jerking song when tragedy struck. His singing suddenly turned to screams of terror as the snarling pigs devoured the unlucky contestant in a mere matter of seconds.”

That’s how I saw it too.

The local Intelligencer reported on a gathering of Lower Southampton’s (PA) Anthony Fedorov fans who were queried by the reporter on what products the remaining finalists should endorse.

“Calvin Klein Jeans,” suggested Mike Zubarev. “He looks like a Calvin Klein model,” the Philadelphia man explained. Fedorov fans also suggested eyeglasses (remember, he used to wear them); hair gel (“Gotta keep up the good look); and Armani suits, since he wore a suit to perform a Celine Dion ballad on Tuesday night.

The product endorsements for the other contestants ranged from the obvious – shampoo and conditioner were the popular picks for shaggy haired rockers Bo Bice and Constantine Maroulis – to the strange – like “happy pills” for perky Vonzell Solomon, but it was good old Scott Savol who drew my favorite response: Holland resident Jane Kadtsina believes a personal care product company may come calling soon for Scott. “Preparation H, because he’s a pain in the …”

Southwest Florida’s News-Press tells of an 11 year-old cancer patient, Madison Merrifield, getting to meet Estero’s Vonzell Solomon on the AI set in Los Angeles:

    “It was so exciting,” she said after the show. “We were screaming at the top of our lungs. I definitely was.”

    Madison, 11, packed a lot into her four-day trip to Los Angeles.

    The young cancer patient and her family sat in the audience for two live broadcasts of “Idol” on Tuesday and Wednesday.

    She met her hometown hero, Solomon, who blew her kisses from the “Idol” stage.

    And after Wednesday’s show — when voters nationwide put Solomon in the top six — the Merrifield family was scheduled to eat dinner with Solomon and the rest of the remaining “Idol” cast.

    “It’s just really overwhelming and exciting to me,” said Madison, the daughter of Estero Fire Chief Dennis Merrifield. “I can’t believe all that is just for me.”

    The dream trip came courtesy of Cape Coral’s Leapin’ Lizard Bar & Grille, which raised more than $32,000 last week for Madison to meet her idol. The money paid for her family’s four-day trip, plus future medical expenses and whatever else she needs.

    Madison was first diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma cancer in July 2002. Since then, the disease has spread from her jaw to her lungs.

    Doctors say Madison has just four months to live, but her family remains optimistic.

And speaking of hometowns, the top ten Idol finalists may be coming to yours this summer on a tour that will take them to 41 North American cities. Bo Bice, Anthony Federov, Constantine Maroulis, Scott Savol, Vonzell Solomon and Carrie Underwood will be joined by already gone Anwar Robinson, Jessica Sierra, Nikko Smith and Nadia Turner.

July 12: Sunrise, Fla. (Office Depot Center)
July 13: Tampa, Fla. (St. Pete Times Forum)
July 15: Birmingham, Ala. (BJCC Arena)
July 16: Duluth, Ga. (The Arena at Gwinnett Center)
July 17: Greensboro, N.C. (Greensboro Coliseum)
July 19: Reading, Pa. (Sovereign Center)
July 20: Toronto (Air Canada Centre)
July 22: East Rutherford, N.J. (Continental Airlines Arena)
July 23: Uniondale, N.Y. (Nassau Coliseum)
July 24: Philadelphia (Wachovia Center)
July 26: Wilkes-Barre, Pa. (Wachovia Arena)
July 27: Washington, D.C. (MCI Center)
July 29: Hartford, Conn. (Hartford Civic Center)
July 30: Worcester, Mass. (DCU Center)
July 31: Manchester, N.H. (Verizon Wireless Arena)
Aug. 2: Cleveland (Wolstein Center)
Aug. 3: Columbus, Ohio (Value City Arena at Schottenstein)
Aug. 4: Detroit (Joe Louis Arena)
Aug. 6: St. Paul, Minn. (Xcel Energy Center)
Aug. 8: Chicago (United Center)
Aug. 9: St. Louis, Mo. (Savvis Center)
Aug. 12: San Antonio, Texas (SBC Center)
Aug. 13: Grand Prairie, Texas (NOKIALive at Grand Prairie)
Aug. 14: Norman, Okla. (Lloyd Noble Center)
Aug. 16: Glendale, Ariz. (Glendale Arena)
Aug. 17: Los Angeles (Staples Center)
Aug. 18: Las Vegas (Thomas & Mack Center)
Aug. 20: San Jose, Calif. (HP Pavilion at San Jose)
Aug. 21: Sacramento, Calif. (ARCO Arena)
Aug. 23: Everett, Wash. (Everett Events Center)
Aug. 24: Portland, Ore. (Rose Garden)
Aug. 26: Salt Lake City (Delta Center)
Aug. 28: Des Moines, Iowa (Wells Fargo Arena)
Aug. 30: Green Bay, Wis. (Resch Center)
Aug. 31: Milwaukee (Bradley Center)
Sept. 2: Albany, N.Y. (Pepsi Arena)
Sept. 3: Pittsburgh (Mellon Arena)
Sept. 4: Norfolk, Va. (Constant Convocation Center)
Sept. 8: Providence, R.I. (Dunkin Donuts Center)
Sept. 9: Portland, Maine (Cumberland County Civic Center)
Sept. 10: Syracuse, N.Y. (War Memorial at Oncenter)

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted,, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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