American Idol: Ellen steals show in first Hollywood episode

Last night’s “American Idol” episode marked the start of Hollywood week, and it was our first glimpse at new judge Ellen DeGeneres, who took the place of Paula Abdul recently. The contestants were almost a sideshow to Ellen’s witty, hilarious banter, prompting at least one person (me) to not miss Paula one bit. Yeah, this season’s gonna be fun.

As for the 181 singers who made it to Hollywood and had to sing a cappella or with an instrument for the four judges, they would face “sudden death,” meaning move on to the next round or go home.
Talk about pressure. Here were the best and worst from last night…

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Ella and Jack

Here’s another movie moment inspired by A Blog Supreme, this time two clips featuring probably my favorite singer, period: Ella Fitzgerald. These clips are both from “Pete Kelly’s Blues” a strangely interesting film directed by Jack Webb (aka Joe Friday of “Dragnet”) who was also the primary creative voice on the show which set the pattern for today’s TV police procedurals. Considering it has both Webb and Lee Marvin in major roles, it’s probably the most macho jazz film ever, and considering Clint Eastwood‘s investment in jazz on film going back to his debut as a director, “Play Misty for Me,” that’s saying something. It also featured another great singer, Peggy Lee, who may turn up here another time.

You can read my PH review of “Pete Kelly’s Blues” and some other notable jazz films gathered under Clint Eastwood’s name here.

  

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