Auditions for American Idol season 14 have begun, and a clip has been released showing Jennifer Lopez dancing with one of the contestants. Also in today’s Roundup, Brad Paisley has posted a new song featuring Carrie Underwood. Kris Allen released a new song from his latest album. And Caleb Johnson’s debut album is available to stream for free ahead of its launch.
American Idol Alum Michael Johns Dead at 35 >>>
[Video] Jennifer Lopez Dances with Contestant
American Idol season 13 ended a little over two months ago and the finalists are currently touring around the country. But it’s time to start looking ahead to next year. Season 14 is just began filming in Nashville with auditions in front of the judges. And one contestant who received a golden ticket got more out of the experience than most do: a dance with the one and only Jennifer Lopez.
The below clip, courtesy of People, picks up right after the auditioner finished singing. He walks towards the judges’ table to receive his golden ticket and asks JLo, “Would you dance with me?” But not just any kind of dancing: he wants to slow dance. And guess what? She’s up for it.
What makes this situation even more fantastic is that Lopez’s fellow judges, Harry Connick, Jr. and Keith Urban, get in on the action as well. Harry plays the piano and Keith plays the guitar while the contestant reprises his audition song, “Stay with Me” — he’s not sure at first where to put his hands because he wants to be a gentleman.
If you’re wondering why musical director Michael Orland is there with a piano, here’s the answer: you know how contestants are able to play guitars during auditions? Well, they can now be accompanied by the piano if they want. Orland told USA Today, “The last few years, they’ve let people sing with a guitar. So they thought, ‘Let’s bring a piano in the room.’ In the old days, in Hollywood Week, they would step it up a little the first time they played with a piano or a band. They’re doing that a little earlier now, so they’ll have to do that much better during Hollywood Week.”
Harry added, “There aren’t a lot of real-world situations where people are singing a cappella. They’ve usually got something going on behind them.” And when it comes to the auditions, that something can now be a piano.
Carrie Underwood Duets with Brad Paisley on New Song
Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley have built a great connection with each other over the years. Not only did they duet on songs like “Oh Love” and “Remind Me,” but they’ve been co-hosting the CMA Awards for the past six years (seven once they pair up again this fall). And now they’re back with another duet, called “High Life.”
But there’s some history with this song, so if you haven’t heard about the controversy surrounding Brad lately, here’s the gist of what’s happening: Brad hasn’t been too happy with his record label, so he’s been leaking his own songs from his upcoming album in defiance. “High Life” is the latest one.
It’s a fun song, and you can listen to it below. But it goes even further than what I said above. MJsBigBlog reports that a part of the song mentions a copyright lawsuit from someone named Amy Bowen who claims “Remind Me” is similar to a song she presented to two of the co-writers.
Here’s the lyrics from that part of “High Life”: “I heard a song a couple months ago / It was Carrie Underwood on the radio / Reminded me of a poem my brother wrote back in the second grade / Now I know she didn’t steal it but so what? / We lawyered up and we sued her butt / These days we figure we’d pretty much get paid to go away.”
Kris Allen Releases New Song “Beautiful and Wild”
Kris Allen is getting ready to drop his latest album. Horizons will be released on August 12. And Kris has posted online one of the songs called “Beautiful and Wild,” which you can listen to below.
The style of “Beautiful and Wild” feels very much like a Kris Allen song, and fans will no doubt enjoy this latest tune. Horizons may be his third full-length album since winning Idol, but he’s now with a new label, DogBear Records.
Listen to Caleb Johnson’s Debut Album for Free
The reining Idol champ, Caleb Johnson, is currently on tour with the rest of the season 13 finalists. But this summer, he’s also been in the studio recording his debut album, Testify, which will be released on August 12, earlier than any previous winner has released a debut album.
Amazon is streaming the entire album for free ahead of the launch, which you can listen to here.
Caleb’s label, Interscope, has posted an album sampler on YouTube that’s 15 minutes long, which can be found below. In it, you can listen to snippets of each song, plus commentary by Caleb on how each track came together.
Testify feels very rock/pop. Most of it doesn’t sound quite as hard rock or edgy as Caleb had said he wanted, which is unfortunate. But considering the short amount of time he and his label had to put the album together, I’m not surprised.
It’s not a terrible album, and there are some songs that I want to listen to again. But considering the low ratings of Idol this past season, it’s unlikely that Testify will gain any traction once released. When the tour is over, hopefully he will be given the opportunity to perform on talk shows and elsewhere to promote it.
(Image courtesy of FOX)