‘American Idol’ notes: Phillip Phillips, ‘Idol’ judges, Scotty McCreery

NASHVILLE, TN – OCTOBER 18: Singer-songwriter Phillip Phillips performs onstage at the 2017 CMT Artists Of The Year on October 18, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)

Posted Thursday, January 18, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Georgia’s only “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips is embarking on a two-month-plus solo tour starting next month and will come to both the Georgia Theatre in Athens Feb. 22 and the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta Feb. 23. The season 11 victor also has a new album out this Friday called “Collateral,” his first release in three years, a delay exacerbated by his battle with 19 Entertainment which was settled last year.

(Buy tickets in Athens here for $38 to $60 and in Atlanta here for $40 to $119.)

Phillips is a pretty low-key guy so the fight in and of itself seemed out of character. But he clearly drew a line on his integrity in terms of how he felt he was treated and the settlement enabled him to find new management (Mick) and a new record company (Interscope).

He released a single last summer “Miles,” which softly addressed his legal challenges. His new album is largely more about more traditional emotions of love and loss, a mix of songs he has collected over the years. The most sentimental is “Dance With Me,” a pure romantic tune he used as his first dance at his wedding with his long-time sweetheart Hannah in 2015.

Phillips is psyched to perform in Athens for the very first time. He said in his pre-“Idol” days, he has spent time there partying and performing at frat parties. (“I wasn’t smart enough to get into UGA,” he said.)

And after performing for ESPN, he and his Alabama grad wife were able to enjoy the game in a suite during the National Football Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium last week. He’s a Dawgs fan, enjoyed most of the game. She had to be in the UGA area, though, which bummed her out and she was pretty quiet until the end. Alabama came back to win and suddenly she was the loudest person in the suite.

House divided! Let’s go Dawgs!!! #NationalChampionship @hgblackwell

A post shared by Phillip Phillips (@phillphill) on

He called his album “Collateral,” using the definition that the songs were largely written while he was awaiting results from his lawsuit. “It was hard times, confusing times but also a lot of love,” he said. “I got married. So all these emotions go through these songs. I thought the title fit really well.”

Phillips wrote all dozen songs. One of his favorites is the first one, the rock-heavy, energetic “Magnetic.” “That’s a fan favorite live already,” he said.

This is his first solo tour in three years. (He opened for the Goo Goo Dolls last summer.)

“It’s scary but fun, too,” he said. “People come out just to see you. There’s pressure. I want to make sure everything is tight with the band.”

He plans to do a 75 to 90 minute show each night and hasn’t decided on what covers to do, though songs by the late rockers Tom Petty and Chris Cornell are candidates. “It’s hard to do choose and you want to do it right,” he said.

Check out his entire tour schedule here.

***

AMERICAN IDOL – As “American Idol” auditions continued this week in the heart of Music City, celebrity judges Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie, along with host Ryan Seacrest, surprised Katy Perry with a puppy themed party in honor of her upcoming birthday. (ABC/Mark Levine)
RYAN SEACREST, LUKE BRYAN, KATY PERRY, LIONEL RICHIE

“Idol” haters at ABC love sneaking info to TMZ. They did so regularly during the network’s struggles to find celebrity judges. And now they are trying to create drama by saying that Katy Perry is regularly late to auditions by (gasp!) 10 to 25 minutes. Then there is the “problem” that the judges don’t bicker enough, not even jokingly like Blake Shelton and Adam Levine on “The Voice.” Why that even matters seems odd to me. As we have said here many times, “Idol” is not exactly positioned to be a hit for ABC given the circumstances and relative lack of hunger for its return by most anybody since it just left the airwaves a mere 20 months ago.

***

NASHVILLE, TN – NOVEMBER 08: Singer-songwriter Scotty McCreery attends the 51st annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 8, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Scotty McCreery will perform at the Georgia Swarm lacrosse game on February 17 at Infinite Energy Arena. He will play 10 minutes during halftime and then a 30-minute show after the game. I will try to procure an interview with him and see how he’s doing. Buy tickets here. 

***


Kellie Pickler’s syndicated Nashville-based talk show with Ben Aaron has been renewed for a second season. It airs daily on CMT as well as in certain markets on broadcast channels (just not in Atlanta.)

***

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 07: Recording artist David Cook performs onstage during FOX’s “American Idol” Finale For The Farewell Season at Dolby Theatre on April 7, 2016 in Hollywood, California. at Dolby Theatre on April 7, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

David Cook releases his new EP “Chromance” next month on February 16.

He is using the PledgeMusic campaign – giving fans an opportunity to pick up signed guitars, personalized voicemail messages, a Cook Instagram takeover of your account and other limited-edition items.

***

Clay Aiken social media post of the week. No politics! Just a blurry selfie featuring Jason Mraz and Sara Bareilles!

Reader Comments 0

0 comments