Singer Adam Lambert has returned to the American Idol auditions to fill in for judge Keith Urban as he comforts his wife Nicole Kidman following the death of her father.
The country singer scrapped a planned charity concert performance on Thursday (11Sep14) following the death of Dr. Anthony Kidman in Singapore, and flew back to their native Australia to be by his wife's side. And, when Idol auditions began this week in New York, Urban was a no-show. Instead, Lambert, who was runner-up in the singing competition in 2009, took his place alongside Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. for a photo call at New York Marriott Brooklyn Bridge.
A spokesman for the talent show says, "Adam Lambert will be serving as guest judge at the New York auditions. Our thoughts are with Keith and his family during this difficult time."
Singer/actor Harry Connick, Jr. is recovering after surgery to repair a torn tendon in his arm. The American Idol host was trying to lift a heavy snowball machine out of his car, when he accidentally injured his bicep tendon.
Sporting a cast and sling as he promotes new movie Dolphin Tale 2, he explains, "I bought this snowball machine... and I was picking it up out of the back of my truck and I just heard a snap and I was like, 'My gosh, what did I do?' and it turns out I just ripped my bicep's tendon off of my bone.
"So about a week ago, I had surgery."
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
While it would take a special kind of bravery (and madness) to attempt a film adaptation of Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, its “world of possibilities” message is one that can find a cozy home in most any story about growing up. Cozy is just the word to describe Dolphin Tale 2 and its endeavor to carry forth the spirit of Dr. Seuss' final book.
The clean-as-a-whistle family film uses its effectively flawless hero, the high school-aged Sawyer (Nathan Gamble), to celebrate the bounties of stepping out of your comfort zone and into the world. Throughout the film, Sawyer wrestles with a tough decision: does he accept a fantastic opportunity to spend a semester studying marine biology at sea through Boston University, or does he keep anchored to his work at the Clearwater Marine Hospital for fear of leaving his friends — both human and dolphin — behind when he fears they might need him the most?
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
Sawyer’s conflict carries forth as he and his colleagues (Cozi Zuehlsdorff and Harry Connick Jr.) search for a new cohabitant for amputee dolphin Winter, whose aged pool-mate Panama passes on in the beginning of the movie. The time spent with the animals is the movie’s greatest asset: Tensions hike whenever the team apprehends an ailing dolphin — one bears visible skin injuries, one is undersized and initially contentious with Winter — and the well-being of each rescued creature makes for consistent, palpable drama. Much lighter but perhaps doubly as charming fare surrounds a wounded sea turtle that Hazel (Zuehlsdorff) takes special attention to… and with whom Clearwater’s unofficial mascot Rufus the pelican falls ostensibly in love. Near lethal levels of cuteness ensue.
While the wildlife material thrives on this kind of potent wholesomeness, the human stories suffer just a bit from a complete lack of teeth, incurring boredom on two or three occasions. Nevertheless, Dolphin Tale 2’s heart is admirable and more often than not affective. Saywer and Hazel collect life lessons courtesy of their family, colleagues, aquatic friends, and an occasional Morgan Freeman speech (he’s got a doozy involving a pocket watch metaphor), all to the thematic end of growing up. Founding itself on the values of seizing responsibility and setting sail out into the world, the saccharine, sleepy sequel could actually be a pretty valuable experience for young viewers.
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YouTube/The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Just three weeks in production, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raked in more than $15 million — this puts it ahead of the latest YA release The Giver as the eighth highest grossing property this month. But trouncing that Jeff Bridges/Brenton Thwaites travesty by nearly $3 million is only the second most noble of the Ice Bucket Challenge’s efforts. The movement is allotting nigh unparalleled funds toward the study of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, an illness known best as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
The condition observes the weakening of the muscles in accordance with a degeneration of a specific portion of the spinal cord. As a result of ALS, those afflicted find difficulty speaking, swallowing, breathing, and moving altogether.
Though discovered in the 19th century and brought to infamy in the late 1930s in accordance with the suffering of beloved New York Yankee Lou Gehrig, ALS remains the most common motor neuron disease actively plaguing men and women today. While perhaps only a small measure in the fight against the illness, the Ice Bucket Challenge is allowing for tremendous progress in the collection of funds devoted to the defeat of such a longstanding travesty.
As is inevitable with any cause célèbre or public movement, we have witnesses no small share of backlash against the Challenge; critics decry the endeavor as a bandwagon trend and a waste of time that offers no real benefit to the cause in question. As far as the latter goes, the $15 million and counting — a sum made possible thanks in large part to the spirited, sportsmanly brand with which the Ice Bucket Challenge was designed — would beg to differ. Nevertheless, we find those with a sour taste for the charitable phenomenon. Not to mention those who simply don’t want to pour a bunch of cold water over their heads. But if you find yourself a culprit of this mindset, maybe take a look at the pedigree of the company you’d be joining were you to hop aboard for this particularly frigid mitzvah.
So what pop culture accomplishments can be attributed to the community of water-logged philanthropists?
5 ACADEMY AWARDS Between Steven Spielberg (3), Russell Crowe (1), and Oprah (a Humanitarian Oscar).
60 EMMYSBetween Oprah (13 Daytime Emmys and 2 Primetime Emmys), Steven Spielberg (11), Meredith Vieira (4 News/Documentary Emmys and 3 Daytime Emmys), Jimmy Fallon (4), Justin Timberlake (4), J.J. Abrams (3), Conan O'Brien (3), Jim Parsons (3), Ricky Gervais (2), William Shatner (2), Harry Connick Jr. (2), Rachel Maddow (1), Ryan Seacrest (1), Nathan Fillion (1 Daytime Emmy), and Topher Grace (1 Daytime Emmy).
62 GRAMMYSJustin Timberlake (9), Taylor Swift (7), Carrie Underwood (6), Lady Gaga (5), Mackelmore (4), Lil Wayne (4), Keith Urban (4), Weird Al Yankovic (3), Gwen Stefani (3), Ludacris (3), Brad Paisley (3), Adam Levine (3), Harry Connick Jr (3), Jason Mraz (2), Drake (1), Jimmy Fallon (1), and Calvin Harris (1).
10 GOLDEN GLOBESSteven Spielberg (7), Russell Crowe (1), William Shatner (1), and Don Johnson (1).
American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez was treated to a special serenade by a hopeful who asked to dance with her during his audition for the singing competition. The pop star is back at work for the upcoming 14th season of the talent show, and during a recent search in Nashville, Tennessee, Lopez happily granted the request of one lucky contestant.
In a video clip released online, the young man asks Lopez to dance, to which she happily obliges. As she rests her head on his shoulder, the contestant serenades her with Sam Smith's Stay With Me, while fellow judges Harry Connick, Jr. joins in on piano and Keith Urban takes hold of the hopeful's guitar and strums along while singing harmonies.
After the soulful serenade, Lopez exclaims, "Thank you! This is so sweet. That's the most fun I've had in months!"
The 14th season of American Idol kicks off in January (15).
Jazz musician Jimmy Greene is set to release a tribute album to his daughter, who was the victim of a tragic Connecticut school massacre in 2012. Ana Grace Marquez-Greene, six, was killed when gunman Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children and six adult staff members at the Sandy Hook Elementary School before turning the gun on himself.
In 2013, singer/actor Harry Connick, Jr., who has worked with Greene, penned a tribute song for Ana Grace and now the saxophonist is releasing a full album of tunes inspired by his dead daughter.
He says, "She had qualities in her that were very well beyond her years. She would sort of sense when somebody needed a word of encouragement or a hug or a little piece of kindness. She would do it without being prompted or without someone asking for it."
Greene's album will feature Ana Grace singing the hymn Come Thou Almighty King, which was recorded months before the massacre, according to Billboard.com.
The proceeds from the record will benefit the Ana Grace Project and The Artists Collective charities.
Singers Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick, Jr. are all set to return for the upcoming 14th season of American Idol. The trio of judges, along with host Ryan Seacrest, will reprise their roles for the next series, according to 21st Century Fox Senior Executive Vice President David Hill, who announced the news on Monday (23Jun14).
During a network event in Las Vegas, he said "Jennifer, Keith, Harry and Ryan are the very best in the business at what they do, and I'm thrilled that they are returning to American Idol for another season.
"Each brings unique qualities and expertise to the team, but they all share the same passion for helping undiscovered singers achieve the American dream."
The upcoming season, which will premiere early next year (15), will mark Lopez's fourth time on the panel with the nationwide talent search, while it marks Urban's third and Connick, Jr.'s second.
American Idol judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. performed together for the first time during the U.S. talent show's star-studded season finale. The 13th season of the singing competition came to an end on Wednesday night (21May14) and to celebrate the crowning of a new winner, the trio, alongside former judge-turned-mentor Randy Jackson, joined forces to sing a medley, marking the first time in the show's history that all the judges took the stage to perform together.
With Connick Jr. on the piano, Urban on guitar, Jackson on bass, and Lopez providing vocals, the supergroup sang a mash-up of Cyndi Lauper's True Colors and Fleetwood Mac's Go Your Own Way. Earlier in the show, Lopez took the stage solo to perform her latest single, First Love.
The night was filled with other superstar performances, including sets from KISS, Demi Lovato, Paramore, John Legend, Jason Mraz, Lady Antebellum, Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles, Darius Rucker, Aloe Blacc, and season 11 winner Phillip Phillips, who all shared the stage with this season's finalists.
In another Idol first, host Ryan Seacrest showed off his vocal skills by belting out Richard Marx's hit Right Here Waiting, and was joined by Marx himself for a memorable duet.
Caleb Johnson, 23, who had previously auditioned for the programme twice before, was named this year's (14) American Idol, beating 17-year-old Jena Irene to the title.
Harry Connick, Jr. has confirmed he'll be returning as an American Idol judge.
The crooner joined the show this year (14) alongside a returning Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez, and just a day after the Jenny From the Block star announced she was hopeful that all three judges would be back for the next season of the TV talent contest, Connick, Jr. has revealed he's in.
Appearing on U.S. morning show Live! With Kelly and Michael on Wednesday (14May14), he said, "I'll be back," when quizzed about his plans for Idol.
“The plan is to all come back... Everything has gone great this year... The finale’s coming up, it’s been going great. We love each other, the chemistry is good, the ratings are climbing back up. It’s a good time. I love the show.” Jennifer Lopez is keen to return as an American Idol judge alongside Harry Connick, Jr. and Keith Urban.