Carrie Underwood, Clay Aiken, David Cook, Elliott Yamin, Jason Castro, Katrina Darrell, Mikalah Gordon, Phil Stacey

Catching up with some Idols




This is a big week for American Idol. First, the final two shows from Hollywood Week will air Tuesday and Wednesday. By the end of Wednesday’s episode, we’ll know who qualified for the final 36. Those will be the singers vying for our votes beginning next week.

And this weekend marks the grand opening of The American Idol Experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. The fun will apparently begin with an invitation-only event Thursday. David Cook will appear on Good Morning America from Disney Thursday morning. Sounds like lots of Idol types will be on hand.

The new attraction opens Saturday, offering visitors to the theme park a chance to audition and, if they’re lucky, sing on stage hoping for approval from the judges and audience.

Just ask Jason

Ladies, Jason Castro wants to know what you’d ask him on a date. That’s according to his latest blog post. “I’ll answer the most asked question … I think … ha ha that makes me nervous,” he writes.

It should. Among the questions posed so far: “What’s your favorite part of a girl?” And, “How big?”

And here’s a really good one: “Person you love, or busload of kids? Who would you save?”

Well, Jason, you get what you ask for.

A new Idol Web site

Elliott Yamin has launched his first official Web site. The third-place finisher in season fiveis also gearing up for the release of his new CD, due out May 5.

Elliott, who was featured in last year’s Idol Gives Back episode, released a self-titled CD in 2007 and followed that up with a Christmas album, “My Kind of Holiday,” last year. One of the tunes on it: “Let’s Be Naughty (And Save Santa the Trip).”

Elliott also just announceed that he’ll be performing at the All-Star Saturday Night event that precedes Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game.

Clay branches out

Clay Aiken will appear on the upcoming season of “America’s Next Top Model.” He’ll be featured in an April 8 episode where he’ll participate in an acting challenge and serve as a guest judge on the panel. Top Model returns for a new season Feb. 25 on The CW.

A Playboy bunny?

That didn’t take long, did it?

No sooner was Bikini Girl Katrina Darrell off Idol than she was doing an interview with Access Hollywood, confirming that “of course” she’s heard from Playboy.

She’s not quite sure whether she would ditch her bikini though, saying her dad would probably kill her if she did.

C’mon, Katrina. From home schooled and performing in the church choir to gaining fame by wearing nearly nothing. I bet daddy’s already so proud.

mikala-gordon-birthday-party.jpgSay it ain’t so

Annoying season four Idol contestant Mikalah Gordon recently celebrated her 21st birthday with a red carpet style bash at Mood Nightclub in Los Angeles.

Hosting the party was season season contestant Antonella Barba (think pretty girl made notorious by pretty risque photos that turned up on the Web last year at this time).

Another season seven contestant, Chikezie, was on hand to serenade Mikalah with “Happy Birthday.”

Well, happy birthday, Mikalah. Everyone deserves to celebrate their 21st birthday in style.

But here’s the bad news. Ms. Annoying might be back on TV sometime soon.

A press release for the event says “cameras followed Mikalah throughout the evening taping for a yet-to-be-revealed reality TV project.”

That’s just great (insert sarcasm here).

1 Million Sales

David Cook can add a platinum record to his accomplishments. Last week, his self-titled debut CD was certified by RIAA for sales of more than 1 million units.

Remember, David will be coming to the Pullo Center at Penn State York for a March 24 show. Ryan Star (but not the Ryan Starr that appeared on the first year of Idol) will be opening for David.

At this point, no tickets are available through the Pullo Center. Should more become available, that information will be posted on the center’s Web site, says Jill Livengood, the center’s marketing manager.

New label for Phil

Season six contestant Phil Stacey announced last week that he has signed with Reunion Records in Nashville. The Provident/Reunion label specializes in Christian music, a bit of a switch for Phil, who released a self-titled country CD in April and appeared on the free stage at the York Fair last fall.

“The team I have behind me is absolutely amazing,” Phil reports in his MySpace blog. The blog indicates that we can expect a new Phil Stacey album later this summer. Phil will be working with producer Brown Bannister, who has also worked with Mandisa and Amy Grant.

Bucky on a USO tour

Bucky Covington, a season five finalist, is taking a break from studio work on his second album for a week-long USO/Armed Forces tour. He’ll visit five U.S. bases in Germany, the Netherlands and Kosovo from Feb. 17 to Feb. 23, according to his MySpace page.

carrie-with-trophy.jpgLyrics, for under $600

Handwritten lyrics to Carrie Underwood’s smash hit “Before He Cheats,” were put up for auction on EBay to benefit the Monroe Carell Children’s Hospital at Vanderbuilt in Nashville, Tenn.

Signed by songwriters Josh Kear and Chris Tompkins, they fetched $576 when the auction closed last week.

Wonder what they would have brought if the song was written and the lyrics signed by Carrie, who won her fourth Grammy in three years Sunday.

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