'American Idol' notes: Fox brings on 'The Four,' Ryan Seacrest, Jennifer Hudson


This was posted on Thursday, August 10, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Are you sick of singing reality competition shows? Slipping ratings for "The Voice" suggest yes. Then again, "America's Got Talent" is having its best ratings in years.

Fox may have found "American Idol" too pricey to run anymore, but it still wants in on the concept. This week, it officially gave the green light to "The Four," an idea borrowed from Israel where four great singers start the competition and rivals try to knock them off their perch each week.

The winner will work with the show panelists, who will be industry experts guiding his or her career afterwards. Fox has not named those experts. Presumably, they will be executives along the lines of L.A. Reid, Jimmy Iovine and Scott Borchetta? 

Rob Wade, Fox's head of alternative programming, told the Television Critics Association that "The Four" is like "Game of Thrones" with better singing and less nudity."

How they go about picking the competitors is a little murky. Presumably, they have a stable of rivals plus they may throw in a few folks from home who offer up their own online auditions.

Fox Television Group Co-Chairmen Dana Walden said the netowrk doesn't plan to air it directly against "Idol" or "The Voice."  We're not developing it to just try to create some noise in the same space," she said.

It will have a shorter run that usual music competition shows. (Cutting out the auditions helps.)

To be honest, it sounds intriguing. I will definitely give it a chance whenever they do air it in 2018.

Walden also repeated why Fox dropped "Idol": high costs and lower ratings.

***

Ryan Seacrest is in a romantic relationship with Shayna Taylor.

"Every night is date night," Seacrest told E! recently.

And he has moved to New York now that his full-time on-air job is there as host of "Live with Kelly and Ryan."

"We're new to New York, so I like to walk around New York and learn all the different ins and outs of New York City," he said.

According to E!, "Seacrest and Taylor were first linked together in 2014 after they vacationed in St. Tropez. Though they've been on and off over the last several years, they appear quite happy these days."

***

On the 13th season of "The Voice," Jennifer Hudson has now shot the blind auditions and battle rounds with Miley Cyrus, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine.  She is already a "Voice" expert, having recently judged on "The Voice UK" and having her singer take the crown.

***

The Houston Press: "So yes, Freddie’s dead. But Queen + Adam Lambert is no glorified tribute act or unholy music matrimony. And if you still Harrumph and Humbug, I don't give — in the title of the Lone Adam Lambert/non-Queen song performed on the bill — "Two Fux." "

Dallas Observer: Perhaps the most touching moment of the night came when May performed a solo acoustic rendition of “Love of My Life." Mercury appeared on the jumbo screen to the delight of the audience.

Artsfuse in Boston:  In short, [Lambert] can sing rock, but he’s not a rocker. He just doesn’t have the gravel in his voice. On the other hand, if the concert were put on by Queen + [Insert Name of Singer with Great Rock Voice Here], would that vocalist be able to pull off something as playfully silly as “Bicycle Race?” It’s damn near impossible to find someone who can nail all the different styles that equal “Queen” – yet more proof that there’s no replacing Freddie Mercury.

 

 


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