‘American Idol’ top 10, including country rocker Skylar Laine, head for Boardwalk Hall Friday, Sept. 7. Laine speaks with AC Weekly.
The Atlantic City region will enjoy a polished group of American Idol performers this year since we are getting the annual tour of the reality TV show near the end of its summer run. Reviews have been favorable across the country, with the consensus being that the live touring show does a nice job of showcasing the singers in many more group numbers than in years past.
The gossip highlight this year is that teen Idols Jessica Sanchez and DeAndre Brackensick are dating (confirmed by both their Twitter accounts).
The big news on the charts is that winner Phillip Phillips saw his first single, the Idol coronation song “Home” start with a bang (228,000 downloads the week it released on May 23), then get even bigger thanks to its inclusion on NBC’s coverage of the 2012 Olympics. The song, which was praised as one of the better coronation songs in American Idol history, took off again on the charts in August and eventually topped one million downloads.
Both Phillips and runner-up Sanchez have already signed their recording contracts. Phillips is writing songs and plans a release at the end of this year or early next year.
Rebel yell country rocker Skylar Laine, who finished fifth, hasn’t officially signed a recording contract, but the 18-year-old, one of the most confident and polished performers throughout the competition, is headed to Nashville after her Idol obligation is completed.
Her confidence on-stage had been honed in her early childhood. From the ages of seven to nine, she was in Broadway touring companies of Les Misérables and Annie.
In a chat with Atlantic City Weekly, Laine talked about what type of record she will be making and whether there will ever be a female American Idol champion again.
Have you signed a record deal yet?
It’s a work in progress. 19 Entertainment is working hard to get me a label and I’m working hard writing some songs. Nashville [labels] want to hear a lot of music and I haven’t had much time to be in the studio. We’ll see what happens in the coming months.
First time artists sometimes have to fight to get their own songs recorded on a first album. How confident are you that you will be able to use your own songs?
I’m very confident. My management has been [putting me together] with some awesome writers. Chris DeStafano, had a hit on Carrie Underwood’s latest album, Barry Dean, who has written with Kellie Pickler, and so many more I can’t name them all. Definitely, they are going to want me to have my own material in there. Whatever comes out when I write, that’s what will be on the album. I love country rock, but a good song is a good song and if I get to make an album it will be the best songs I can think of, songs that I love.
For a country artist in particular, you don’t have to win American Idol to get noticed.
Really for anyone, you don’t have to win, as long as you are willing to work hard. You might hear “no” a couple of times, but you just keep going.
Do you ever think Idol will be won by a female again? It seems so stacked against them with the female teen vote.
I really think that a girl could win. It has to be the right girl. You never know … I really don’t know. Maybe one will win next year. We’ll just have to wait and see. It is hard with all the teen girls lovin’ the boys and stuff.
What’s your favorite song you are performing on the tour?
My favorite I’m doing on tour is “Stay With Me.” It’s a really great rock song and there are a lot of country artists that do that song in their concerts. I know Miranda [Lambert] does it. That song is really fun to rock out on.
Is there one celebrity you met that blew you away?
Probably Reba [McEntire]. Getting to perform with her was awesome. She’s great. I flipped out when I met her. I kind of scared her because I screamed the first time I saw her.
You were one of the most polished performers on Idol this past season. Has being on the tour made you even better?
The tour has made me a better performer. I’ve always loved being on stage and had good stage presence and got into the songs and all that. Being on tour and seeing all the fans that makes it even better.
So what’s it like behind the scenes on the tour. Are you pulling pranks, etc.?
We all just kid around with each other. There’s not really big old pranks or everything, we’re just like one big family. It’s great being on tour with people that you actually get along with.
Obviously American Idol changed your life. What stands out so far?
It’s new stuff every day. This whole tour has been awesome and really crazy.
American Idol Live 2012 Tour Setlist
• Top 9 – “Sing” (My Chemical Romance)
• Deandre Brackensick – “Master Blaster” (Stevie Wonder)
• Skylar Laine and Hollie Cavanagh – “Undo It” (Carrie Underwood)
• Erika Van Pelt – “Glitter in the Air” (Pink)
• Colton Dixon, Erika Van Pelt, Joshua Ledet, Hollie Cavanagh – “Moves Like Jagger” (Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera)
• Heejun Han – “Green Light” (John Legend)
• Heejun Han with Deandre Brackensick and Jessica Sanchez – ”Party Rock” (LMFAO)
• Boys – “Everybody Talks” (Neon Trees; without Phillips)
• Elise Testone – “Whole Lotta Love” (Led Zepplin)
• Elise Testone (backing vocals by Erika Van Pelt and Deandre Brackensick) – “Rumour Has It” (Adele)
• Colton Dixon – “Meant To Live” (Switchfoot), “Never Gone” (Original Song), “Piano Man” (Billy Joel)
• Top 9 – “Just The Way You Are”/”What Makes You Beautiful” (Billy Joel/One Direction)
• Jessica Sanchez – “Best Thing I Never Had” (Beyonce)
• Jessica Sanchez (backing vocals by Deandre Brackensick and Joshua Ledet) – “How Come You Don’t Call Me Any More” (Prince), “Proud Mary” (Ike and Tina Turner)
• Skylar Laine – “Gunpowder and Lead” (Miranda Lambert), “Stay With Me” (The Faces)
• Hollie Cavanagh (backing vocals by Elise Testone and Erika Van Pelt) – “Rolling in the Deep” (Adele)
• Hollie Cavanagh – “Give Your Heart a Break” (Demi Lovato)
• Joshua Ledet (backing vocals by Elise Testone, Deandre Brakensick, Erika Van Pelt) – “Runaway Baby” (Bruno Mars)
• Joshua Ledet – It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” (James Brown)
• Joshua Ledet and Jessica Sanchez – “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me” (George Michael and Aretha Franklin)
• Phillip Phillips – “Superstition” (Stevie Wonder), “Nice and Slow” (Usher)
• Phillip Phillips and Elise Testone – “Somebody That I Used to Know” (Goyte)
• Phillip Phillips with Jessica Sanchez – “Volcano” (Damien Rice)
• Phillip Phillips with Colton Dixon and Deandre Brackensick – “Home”
• Girls – “Raise Your Glass” (Pink)
• All – “Glad You Came” (The Wanted)
“When I put out my first two albums, they were dressing me up like I was going to be the next Justin Timberlake or how Justin Bieber looks today. That image just doesn’t work for me. But there is a type of music that works for me, it’s Christmas music."
"If I’m an overnight sensation, it’s been a very long night. I’ve been at this going on 15 years."
In 2009, the American Idols Tour played at Boardwalk Hall, a 12,000-seat venue. This year, the show is taking place at the much smaller Mark G. Etess Arena at the Trump Taj Mahal this Saturday.
Adam Lambert was outrageous in a PG-13 way while making his Atlantic City headliner debut Saturdaynight at the Borgata’s Event Center. He strutted across the stage with a delightful swagger that seemed half Mick Jagger, half Elvis.
Adam Lambert, who makes his solo debut in Atlantic City this Saturday (June 26) at the Borgata, was not your typical American Idol contestant. That was obvious from the first moment he stepped onto Idol’s Hollywood stage with his guy-liner...
Lee DeWyse made it a close race in the final weeks of the American Idol competition, but in the end, Crystal Bowersox reasserted her superior talent and artistry in last evening’s final showdown.
This year the American Idols Live! Tour is making an early stop in Atlantic City. Instead of late August/September, we get the Idols just a few days into their tour, which begins July 1 in Detroit.
You had to figure that Sinatra night would be a tough go for these Idol contestants who have a lot of trouble with nuance and emotional connection to the songs they sing.
Jordin Sparks was American Idol’s teen dream champion, taking home the crown in season six of the show in May 2007. The youngest American Idol winner, Sparks released her self-titled debut album in November 2007, which went on to sell over 1.6 million copies worldwide, earning U.S. platinum status and spawning three Top Five hits on Billboard’s pop singles chart including “Tattoo,” “No Air” and “One Step At A Time.” Her sophomore release, Battlefield, has been a critical and commercial success.
The rest of the group were damn lucky that MamaSox was last because she blew away the field with her emotional, tearful rendition of the Impressions’ gospel-tinged “People Get Ready.”
Beyond Crystal Bowersox, most Idol fans feel that this season of American Idol is featuring less talent than previous seasons. I agree with that assessment — we certainly don’t have anything like the excitement generated by the Adam Lambert-Chris Allen battle last year or the David vs. David duel the year before.
The Wrecking Crüe
Laughing with George Lopez
Fight Night at Boardwalk Hall