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Tag: Country Y'all! (61-70 of 180)

'American Idol': What should the Top 6 sing for Shania Twain Week?

American-Idol-Top-6Image Credit: Michael Becker/Fox;Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Image Yee-haw! It’s Shania Twain Week on American Idol. Yet while the dormant country superstar proved to be a fabulous guest judges during the season 9 Chicago audition episode, I can’t help but feel that the show’s remaining six contestants will be navigating a minefield choosing from the pre-approved list of 50 Shania tracks currently streaming at iTunes (and listed after the jump). Past history has already shown us the perils of tackling some of Twain’s campier, uptempo tunes on the Idol stage: In season 5, early front-runner Mandisa got the boot after tanking on “Any Man of Mine,” while season 4 victor Carrie Underwood didn’t exactly have an Idol moment on “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” Which is why I pity the fool who chooses “That Don’t Impress Me Much” and finds him- or herself attempting to pull off the “Okay, so you’re Brad Pitt” spoken-word interlude. (Insert silent shudder here.) If Ken Warwick has any kind of soul, he’ll limit the use of that track (and perhaps “Nah!”) to the results-show group “performance.”

Either way, though, the show must go on. Here’s my dream set-list for Tuesday night. When you’re done reading, suggest your own in the comments below. And to get all my Idol news and commentary, follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak!

Casey James: “There Goes the Neighborhood
Lee DeWyze: “You’re Still the One” (time for this cat to go “vulnerable” already!)
Crystal Bowersox: “Home Ain’t Where His Heart Is (Anymore)
Siobhan Magnus: “Waiter! Bring Me Water!
High School Student Aaron Kelly: “Up!
Michael Lynche: “Forever and for AlwaysREAD FULL STORY

Shania Twain to have reality show on Oprah Winfrey's network

shania-twainImage Credit: Ray Tamarra/Getty ImagesOWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, which launches Jan. 1, 2011 on what is currently the Discovery Health Network, has announced that country singer Shania Twain will star in a one-hour reality series. Per the release, Why Not? With Shania Twain will have her opening up about her “life-altering heartbreak” (the very public end of her 14-year marriage) and how she’s moving on. “Follow her as she begins her climb back to the top, a personal journey filled with risk, revelations and unexpected adventures,” it says.

If you’re going to do a  reality show, there’s no one better to hook up with than Oprah to make it seem like a classy “documentary series.” I’ve always thought of Twain, 44, as a private person, but fan club members have been treated to plenty of personal videos on her official site. Her guest judging gig during this season’s auditions on American Idol earned rave reviews and ratings (and a song from our Michael Slezak) — the rumor is, she’ll return to mentor the contestants. And she does actually have an interesting story: This is one of country music’s top-selling artists, trying to make a comeback (and by that, I simply mean release an album for the first time in years), in a world that remembers her fondly but also has no shortage of sassy, fashionably-daring female singers upon which to focus.

Are you in or out?

CMT Music Awards: Vote for Jason Aldean and Bryan Adams' 'Heaven'

The first round of nominees have been released for the fan-voted CMT Music Awards. Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, and Sugarland lead the noms with four each. Two of Aldean’s nods stem from his CMT Crossroads performance of “Heaven” with Bryan Adams. Watch it after the jump, then vote for it for CMT Performance of the Year before May 11. The top vote-getters make it into a final round. The awards are handed out live June 9. If you ask me, CMT Crossroads — which pairs a country star with an artist from a different genre for a revealing conversation and a concert of each other’s tunes — is the best thing on the network. READ FULL STORY

'Idol' exit Q&A: Haeley Vaughn talks about connecting with her music, and Simon's cryptic prediction

idol-haeley-vaughnImage Credit: Patrick Ecclestein/FoxHaeley Vaughn was nothing if not relentlessly cheerful during her tenure on American Idol, so it’s kinda bracing to hear her sound so hushed and droopy the day after she was eliminated from the show. Well, for the first 15 seconds, anyway — then it was back to the upbeat Haeley we all know and love.

Hi Haeley.
Hi Adam, how are you?

I’m okay — more importantly, how are you doing today?
Um, I’m doing okay, I guess. I’m a little disappointed.

It seemed like an emotional final performance for you.
Oh yeah, definitely it was. I was crying through my song, and then my friends and the contestants behind me were crying. It was definitely hard to do. I have a really good relationship with all of the contestants. They’re like family to me. It was really hard saying good-bye to everybody.

Is there anyone you’re going to miss in particular?
I’m going to miss everybody so much, equally. I love everybody. Everybody! READ FULL STORY

'The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas' remake: Cast Mona and Ed Earl!

The Best Little Whorehouse is Texas is headed back to the big screen, Variety reports. Universal has tapped writers Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith to update the story, which originated on Broadway. The duo specializes in women’s tales: Their credits include The Ugly Truth, The House Bunny, She’s the Man, Ella Enchanted, Legally Blonde, and 10 Things I Hate About You. There will be musical numbers, but the studio hasn’t said if they’ll be familiar or original songs. Thoughts?

I’m okay with this. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982) is one of the movies I watched on loop as a child, even though it was rated R, but if they screw it up, I’ll just pop in Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds and be fine. I do have two conditions:

1. Do not cast Jessica Simpson. In any role. She’s from Dallas, she sings, she’s “sexual napalm,” and I know you’ll be tempted. But she’s not an actress.

2. Keep it rated R. I’m not sure how the NCAA will respond today to the winners of a college football rivalry scoring at a brothel, but I’m gonna need some kind of a locker room production number. Nudity alert!

Who do you see starring in the remake? I wish I could imagine Faith Hill and Tim McGraw carrying a film, because how cute would that be? But I don’t see either of them having the personality to pull off the roles. Slezak suggested Carrie Underwood and Vince Vaughn for Miss Mona and Ed Earl, but Carrie feels too green. (I’d definitely hire her and her “Cowboy Casanova” video wardrobe to work at the Chicken Ranch.) Other pairings bandied about at PopWatch HQ include: Renée Zellweger and George Clooney or Sandra Bullock and George Clooney (though I think Clooney might be fun as the Governor of Texas, a role that earned Charles Durning an Oscar nod). You could also throw Reese Witherspoon and Matthew McConaughey into the mix. Or Anna Faris and Ryan Reynolds.

Your turn. Mix and match from our list or come up with your own picks.

'Crazy Heart': Music is just as great as Jeff Bridges!

Awards season buzz finally convinced me to see Crazy Heart this weekend, and judging by the packed theater, plenty of other people are seeking out this film before the Oscars. My EW colleagues gave both the movie and the soundtrack grades of B+, but for some reason, I’d been thinking that Jeff Bridges was the only reason to see it (and, hey, that should be reason enough.) For me, it turned out to be a great movie all around, and some of the movie’s songs sounded like instant classics (just like Bridges’ character Bad Blake said about how a great new song sounds like one you’ve heard many times). “The Weary Kind” is the theme song that’s winning the awards, but I loved “Fallin’ & Flyin’,” “Hold On You,” and “I Don’t Know” even more.

Here is a fan-made video of Bridges and Colin Farrell (who was great as the pretty-boy, new-country heartthrob) taping “Fallin’ & Flyin’” at a Toby Keith concert. Awesome, right? I want tickets to a Jeff Bridges-Colin Farrell concert now! Only if they are accompanied by one of the film’s songwriters, Ryan Bingham –- who played the singer in Bad’s first opening band shown in the film.

So, who else has seen Crazy Heart and were you also blown away by the music as much as by Jeff Bridges’ performance?

More ‘Crazy Heart':
Music Mix: ‘Crazy Heart': T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham talk about the movie’s music
Movie review: ‘Crazy Heart’
Music review: ‘Crazy Heart’ soundtrack
Dave Karger: Jeff Bridges’ ‘Crazy Heart’ to shake up the Oscar season

Carrie Underwood on 'How I Met Your Mother': Verdict?

Carrie Underwood joins the ranks of Rachel Bilson and Stacy Keibler with a guest appearance on How I Met Your Mother later this year, according to People. She’s set to play “an enigmatic pharmaceutical sales rep and love interest for Ted.”

I’m neutral on Carrie Underwood, and HIMYM has been pretty good at figuring out what to do with its guest stars, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. But man, this show does not need a storyline that pulls Ted away from the rest of the group. The best episodes of HIMYM always involve everyone, though Marshall or Barney sidestories can support themselves once in a while. Ted-only plots, on the other hand — his teaching, Stella, the repeat blind date, etc. — don’t work as well, plus they tend to make our ostensible hero into a total herb.

What do you think, PopWatchers? Is the American Idol a natural fit for MacLaren’s?

Image credit: Michael Williams/startraksphoto.com

Lance Smith hosts his last 'CMT Top 20 Countdown'

Nashville native Lance Smith joined CMT as its first VJ in 2001, and has now hosted more than 400 episodes of CMT Top 20 Countdown. We phoned Smith last Friday, the morning after he taped his final Countdown — which premieres today at 11: 30 a.m. ET and includes multiple trips down memory lane and a blooper reel  — to chat about his favorite moments, the interviews he wishes he could have back, the one clip we never got to see, and what’s next (a sitcom with Reba?).

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How are you feeling?
LANCE SMITH: You’ll have to excuse my voice this morning. I’m a little hung over from last night.

Nice. Let’s start there. How did you celebrate your last show?
I was just so overwhelmed by everyone’s support. It took me an hour to write my goodbye, two minutes of copy, because it was just really tough. Everyone at CMT came in the studio and started applauding and cheering, and I really wish they hadn’t done that right before I did it. READ FULL STORY

Carrie Underwood's holiday special: Costume changes, guest stars, a video starring her dog...

Tonight, Fox premieres the two-hour Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday Special at 8 p.m. ET. Having watched a teaser reel of select performances — and a video imagining what her dog, Ace, is thinking as Carrie pays attention to men who are not him and tries to dress him in clothing — I can tell you what to expect: For starters, many, many costume changes. Sadly, the bit this photo was taken from was not on the screener, so we will all have to wait to see if it’s hilarious or horrifying. (Pretty sure I’ll prefer Underwood and Parton in their color- and sequin- coordinated dresses dueting on “I Will Always Love You.” Carrie is the only country singer who shows her legs as often as Dolly does. And she’s sitting on a stool. I’m still not 100 percent sure she should be interacting with backup dancers, which she does on various numbers.)

There are more guests. Included in the preview was Underwood ’60s Trio Medley with Kristin Chenoweth and Christina Applegate. They don hot pink dresses and wigs to sing “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “Then He Kissed Me,” “Leader of the Pack,” and “Be My Baby.” Brad Paisley and David Cook also perform. What are you most excited to see: Carrie’s performances (which includes songs from her upcoming album, old hits and holiday classics), the mystery of that photo solved, the aforementioned video starring Ace, whatever Christmas cheer Paisley spreads, or Cook?

For a recap of the special, visit Ken Tucker’s Watching TV blog after the telecast.

Photo credit: Michael Becker/Fox

Kenny Chesney concert film: Check those moviegoers for bottles!

kenny-chesney_lTwo months ago, Kenny Chesney broke it to EW that he would not be touring in the summer of 2010. Which makes the news that he’ll be releasing a concert film, Summer in 3-D, in select theaters in April, happy news for his fans. A rep for Chesney tells EW’s Whitney Pastorek, who’s taking in today’s rehearsal for Wednesday’s CMA Awards, that the four-time Entertainer of the Year shot the film in five cities over six nights, and that he was going to go watch a cut of the film right after his run-through (which is why he had no time to answer the question I’d given Whitney: How many spilled drinks will we be seeing?). Pastorek saw some footage when she was backstage with Chesney for an EW feature last summer, and confirms it looks “awesome.”

Even if you prefer Keith Urban’s live show, you know this is a great idea. Chesney’s fans are loyal. He defines summer, and this movie will get them in the mood for it. He’s so energetic, he routinely sweats through his sleeveless shirt by the end of the first song. And in this economy, when you can’t drop serious cash on concert tickets or justify spending dough on a man you’ve seen every summer for five years, a movie ticket is doable. (Plus, you can smuggle in your beverages — not that we’re endorsing that — instead of paying stadium prices.)

Will the Chesney concert experience be the same in the movie theater? (Drive-ins would be ideal, in my opinion, if designated drivers were also provided.) Which part of Chesney’s act do you most look forward to seeing in 3-D?

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