Lawsuit Filed Says Sony Music Cheated American Idol Winners Including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal lawsuit filed in New York charges that Sony Music Entertainment cheated “American Idol” contestants including Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood out of at least $10 million in royalties.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday by 19 Recordings, a music company founded by “Idol” creator Simon Fuller.

The lawsuit says 19 discovered the royalty issue from two separate audits of Sony’s records.

Other artists named in the suit include Clay Aiken, Chris Daughtry and Jordin Sparks.

Attorney Richard Busch, of the Nashville firm King & Ballow, says the legal action was necessary to protect the rights of 19’s artists.

A Sony spokeswoman said she had no comment on the lawsuit.

Report: American Idol Considering Former Idols For Judging Panel

cp_american_idol_yakAs the fading Fox phenom looks to improve ratings and the show’s success when it returns next season, the heads over at Fox are reportedly considering putting former show contestants behind the judge’s table. According to Vulture – who first broke the news – the discussions at Fox are very real, but in the early stages. Whether one or all slots will be filled by former contestants has yet to be determined.

It appears that Kelly Clarkson, who appeared on ABC’s short lived Duets, and Jennifer Hudson have been approached. Clay Aiken and Adam Lambert’s names have been thrown around, as well. Fox and the heads of Idol have plenty of time to make the decision. If talks about this plan, which has been thrown out before, fall through, look for other names in the music business to be thrown around, as well.

Randy Jackson has already announced his departure from the show and all signs are pointing to Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj, and Mariah Carey to be replaced as well. There is also word that Fox may go back to a three judges panel and also consider replacing Exec Producer, Nigel Lythgoe. Fox has not made a comment.

If this idea works, it could breathe new life in the show, bring back old viewers who may have abandoned ship, and subtly remind America of the show’s success. Who would you like to see return to Idol?

“SYTYCD” Gets Premiere Date For Season 10, Plus Fox Season Finale Dates, Summer Premieres

cp_yak_sytycdWhile the CW has been the only broadcast network to mark out it’s season finale plans, Fox today announced the premiere of one of it’s summer staples (and largely underrated show, if you ask me) – So You Think You Can Dance – as well as season ender dates. SYTYCD is currently travelling around the country looking for America’s Favorite Dancer for the upcoming tenth season. There are two more audition dates remaining – Memphis (with guest judge Wayne Brady) on March 14 and Los Angeles (with guest Jesse Tyler Ferguson) on March 22. Minnie Driver, “tWitch,” and Adam Shankman have attended auditions earlier this year.

Season 10 is set to premiere Tuesday May 14 at 8/7c on Fox. While it remains unclear if the show will move to its usual slot on Wednesday after American Idol completes its season, we do know that Fox has decided to keep SYTYCD to a once-a-week format, mimicking the changes from last season where performances and results all will be jam packed into two hours. The show is premiering a tad bit earlier this season than in the past, so we’ll see how that plays out this summer!

Also premiering this summer for Fox – Hell’s Kitchen on May 6 at 9/8c, with Fox’s new reality series Does Someone Have To Go? getting a sneak peek following Idol on May 15. The Goodwin Games premieres May 20 at 8:30/7:30c, MasterChef on May 22 at 8/7c, and Animation Domination High-Def on July 27 at 11/10c. Hell’s Kitchen moves to Thursdays at 9/8c on May 23 after Does Someone Have To Go? officially kicks off at 8/7c that night.

Per Fox, on Does Someone Have To Go the boardroom doors get blown wide open when employees are given the power to make some tough decisions. Frustrated bosses will hand over the reins of their companies to the employees, offering their respective staffs a chance to make changes in the workplace – even if it means letting co-workers go. Each participating office will have its own set of issues, which will force them to take a hard look at what’s plaguing their workplace and answer the toughest question of all: DOES SOMEONE HAVE TO GO? is Fox’s latest venture into reality where companies can lay off or fire colleagues on TV.

As for the Fox season finale dates, check out the list below.

8/7c Raising Hope (two episodes)

8/7c Bones
9/8c The Following

8/7c COPS

9/8c Glee

FRIDAY, May 10
8/7c Kitchen Nightmares
9/8c Touch

8:30/7:30c Bob’s Burgers
9:30/8:30c American Dad

8/7c So You Think You Can Dance – PREMIERE
9/8c New Girl
9:30/8:30c The Mindy Project

8/7c American Idol, Part 1

8/7c American Idol, Part 2 (results)

7/8c The Cleveland Show (two episodes)
8/7c The Simpsons (two episodes)
9/8c Family Guy (two episodes)

Yak Roundup: Country Star to Idol?, Modern Family Lawsuit, Cee Lo’s Adviser & More

Lots going on in the world of TV and entertainment today. In case you’ve missed some of the day’s biggest entertainment headlines, we figured we’d catch ya up to speed.

American Idol Courting Country Star Brad Paisley

| Well, it looks like Fox’s reality competition isn’t far from competing that much more with NBC’s The Voice, as the grand-daddy of singing competitions is looking to bring on a massive country star. With The Voice seeing success with Blake Shelton (in fact, his contestant won last season), Idol might want to dip into the country judge pool. Plus, when one of your most successful winners is a country star (Carrie Underwood), it might not hurt to keep that success rolling. Brad Paisley is reported to be highly considered by the powers that be. Now that Mariah Carey has been signed on and Randy Jackson is expected to be back, they do need a third star to fill the seats. Rumor has it that Idol is also looking to add a fourth judge, but there is not much available on that. Paisley does have a strong relationship with Season 4 winner Underwood, who was recently given a stamp of approval by Idol alum Kelly Clarkson.

He’s Movin’ On Up

| The man who brought George Jefferson to life is movin’ on up and relocating to a more peaceful place. Sherman Hemsley passes away Tuesday at his home in El Paso Texas. Hemsley was best known as George Jefferson, Archie Bunker’s neighbor in All in the Family, but his career spanned more than 38 iconic years. His role lead to The Jeffersons spin-off and many more successes. The world of television and entertainment will miss Hemsley and we wish his family and friends peace through this difficult time.

A Modern Family Dispute

| Earlier today, ABC’s hit sitcom, Modern Family, was slated to kick off Season 4 production with its first table read. Well, those plans were sidetracked at the last minute as contract talks kept the cast from showing up. Multiple members are renegotiating their contract details with the studio and those talks are not going smoothly. Following the footsteps of Friends, the cast, save Ed O’Neill, have joined forces in achieving a desired salary increase and filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court to void their contracts. This Emmy-nominated sitcom’s production schedule has now been kicked to the curb…temporarily.

Cee Lo’s Pussy Cat Replacement?

| Well, The Voice is getting a new “mascot” this year, if you will, but we are more concerned with the news that Cee Lo Green’s adviser for the season has been revealed. Matchbox 20’s frontman, Rob Thomas, has been filming his segments with Cee Lo in The Voice studio’s as the contestants are narrowed down and pit against each other in the battle rounds. Speaking of the battle rounds, Carson Daly recently hinted at changes in a recent interview that fans might appreciate after feeling a prolonged round in season 2. We previously reported that Michael Buble and Mary J Blige have signed on to help advise Blake and Adam, respectively. No word yet on Christina.

NBC Previews Fall Fare Early

| Per an NBC press release, NBC again will offer full-episode, pre-sampling versions of its new fall series prior to the network time-period premieres as each new primetime program. As NBC takes advantage of the Summer Olympics springboard to provide a full-episode and commercial-free network preview of the new comedies “Go On” (August 8) and “Animal Practice” (August 12), the online preview for those shows will be available over a wide spectrum for viewing immediately following their initial broadcasts beginning August 9 and 13, respectively. In addition, NBC will further maximize its Olympics platform by unveiling a special six-minute tease of the new fall drama “Revolution” on Saturday, August 4 at approximately 10:54 p.m. (ET) following the swimming competition that is expected to feature U.S. gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps. Platforms where these shows will be available include: on demand and online through cable, satellite and telco providers;; NBC Owned and affiliate station websites (should they choose to opt in); Hulu (including Hulu’s online distribution partners); iTunes, Amazon and Xbox. Select shows will be available on the Hulu Plus subscription service as well. Also be sure to stand by tomorrow for our first Fall preview of the season – featuring NBC’s fall fare, in anticipation for these early peeks.

The Olympics Get Digital and Social

| For the first time ever, NBC will live stream every athletic event and sport. In all, the site will stream more than 3,500 total programming hours, including the awarding of all 302 medals, and the four NBCU cable channels that are airing the Olympics (NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC and Bravo). The site will also feature the debut of the Gold Zone, an exclusive video channel offering viewers whip-around coverage of the Games’ most compelling live events. In addition, NBC Olympics has developed two new apps for the 2012 London Olympics. The NBC Olympics Live Extra app will live stream every athletic competition, each Olympic cable channel and provide multiple concurrent streams for select sports, such as gymnastics (each apparatus), track and field (each event), and tennis (up to five courts). The vast majority of content will only be available to authenticated cable, satellite or telco customers. The NBC Olympics app will be the home for everything else Olympics, including short-form highlights, event schedules, TV and online listings, results, athlete profiles, columns and the new Primetime Companion feature. NBC Olympics has also partnered with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Shazam to extend its coverage onto these popular social media platforms for the 2012 London Olympics. The social media partnerships allow the NBC Sports Group to communicate directly with fans of the Olympics and celebrate the Games with viewers in new and unique ways. For more details on each platforms special features, click here.

The Best Selling American Idol Single Is ….

On July 4, an American Idol alum made history since the show’s inception 11 seasons ago. Kelly Clarkson, the show’s inaugural winner, now holds the title of the alum with the best selling single. On the Fourth of July, Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” surpassed Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” as the best selling single from an Idol alum, according to Nielsen Sound Scan. “Stronger” has sold 3,510,000 singles as of today, while “Before He Cheats” has sold 3,509,000 copies since its release in 2006.

“Stronger” is also Clarkson’s longest #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. According to Billboard, “Before He Cheats” peaked at No. 8 on the Hot 100 and was on the chart for 64 weeks. Only five songs in the 54-year history of this survey have had longer runs. On Hot Country Songs, “Before He Cheats” was No. 1 for five weeks in November-December 2006. Before “Stronger” surpassed “Before He Cheats,” it had to first pass “No Air” by Jordin Sparks featuring Chris Brown, which has now sold 3,437,000 copies to date.

Underwood, however, is still ahead in total domestic album sales. Proving Simon Cowell’s prediction back in Season 4, Underwood has sold 13,205,000 albums to date and Clarkson is close behind with 11,664,000. Any Idol fan might remember his bold prediction during Billboard week. Cowell said, “Not only will you win this show, you will sell more records than any other previous Idol winner.”

Billboard points out that if you count digital downloads of singles, Clarkson wins the race with 24,100,000 copies sold, while Underwood’s sales total 22,535,000 digital songs. If this proves anything, it only furthers the notion that these two beautiful and talented ladies are the competition’s most successful and possibly best alums. At least these two give credibility to winning the show and taking on the crown. There is room for both of these women in the industry and we predict that this isn’t the end of their successes!

Clarkson can be seen on ABC’s Duets, which airs Thursday night at 8/7c. She is also touring select cities this summer with The Fray. Underwood just returned to the US after taking her Blown Away hits to the UK and Australia. She’s gearing for her Blown Away tour which kicks off this fall!

Report: Phillip Phillips, American Idol Finalist, NEEDS Emergency Surgery

Details are very scant about this topic, but it appears that American Idol finalist may need to be transported to the operating room not long after next week’s finale. Phillip’s medical status has been the focus behind the scenes this season ever since he required immediate surgery for abdominal pain before the Top 13 results show.

Last week, during the hometown visits, Phillip reportedly refused treatment in order to finish up this season. Fox has not released a comment regarding Phillip’s condition.

Phillip Phillips was voted into the Idol finale, along with finalist Jessica Sanchez, after Joshua Ledet was eliminated Thursday night. The Idol finale will air over two nights, on May 22 and May 23. No matter what, we here at the Yak hope Phillip Phillips gets the treatment he needs and wish him a speedy recovery!

‘American Idol’ Contestant Conceals Crimes, Eliminated Wednesday

UPDATE #3: Producers apparently began to look into Jermaine’s past after rumors swirled that his dad hadn’t really abandoned him at all. Jermaine’s dad confessed that the two actually see each other regularly and that he did not abandon his son 10 years ago, as previously claimed. After Jermaine began tweeting that he never told producers anything about his dad abandoning him, they began to dig deeper to uncover his spool of lies…and the rest is now history.

UPDATE #2: Jermaine Jones has since deleted his tweet. Hmmm… Idol blog, Mjsbigblog, has a pic of the deleted tweet.

UPDATE: Jermaine Jones just tweeted, “Awww I will no longer b on the show”

Internet reports are swirling that American Idol will be kicking off a season 11 hopeful Wednesday night – during the Performance show. The unnamed contestant allegedly concealed a history of crimes in 2011, one involving violence. Claims are surfacing that the unnamed contestant used an alias with the authorities. According to the show source who leaked the information, the contestant has outstanding warrants for his/her arrest, which the singer concealed from production. Per reports, the contestant was confronted on camera and will be ousted during Wednesday’s live performance show.

It’s no question that this might have been leaked “on purpose,” if you will to drum up hype and attention for tomorrow’s telecast. American Idol has been declining in the ratings, in hot competition with NBC’s The Voice. Is this contrived or is this really a MAJOR oversight from producers who have ousted the sordid past of so many hopeful in the show’s 11 season history.

If anymore details surface, we’ll be sure to post them here. Stay tuned with the Yak for more developments.

The Yak Takes Out The Trash! June 3rd, 2011

Hello everyone, it’s time for the Yak to take out the trash! Every week we’ll have all those little bits and pieces of buzz that we felt needed to be shared and dumped at the same time. Recycled, if you will. But either way, we’re here to dish the dirt before it heads off to the landfill.

Well, well, well, could the “twilight” be fading just a bit for one of the hit movie series’ stars? Taylor Lautner, set to appear in the movie “Abduction” in September (actor/producer), has been dropped by his publicist Robin Baum, of Slate PR. After just three months, Baum, who also reps Johnny Depp and Daniel Craig, abruptly dropped Lautner. Baum hasn’t commented on reasons, and Lautner’s management couldn’t be reached for comment but word on the street is that Lautner’s father, Daniel Lautner, isn’t exactly an easy guy to work with. taylordaniellautnerJust a tip for you, Daddy Lautner……go google Michael Lohan and see how far being an overbearing stage father gets you.

This past Wednesday, Simon Cowell, executive producer of hit series Britan’s Got Talent and X-Factor, angrily denied allegations that the winners of said series had been picked from the very start. simoncowellOr rather, Syco, Cowell’s production company, dismissed the allegations as being “100% totally false”. Reps for the company told the Hollywood Reporter that they were taking legal action against a website for posting a memo purportedly from a Sony Music exec which said they had insider knowledge of the “fix”. One of the allegations made was that Ronan Parke, the 12 year old favored to win Saturday’s final of Britain’s Got Talent, has been under contract by Syco and groomed for the past two years for the show. ronanparkeParke, who is getting Justin Bieber comparisons, was also according to this memo, told to play up his youthful looks and to be more effeminate. (Sorry, but what 12 year old wouldn’t have youthful looks?). This memo went on to say that Parke had been picked to win before auditions for the 2011 series had even begun. Producers of the show emphatically state that the blog, which has been widely spread on the web, is completely false. Well..hmmm..there’s always conspiracy theories when it comes to shows like this and while I’d like to think they’re false, it’s also been apparent on many seasons of various shows such as American Idol, etc. that the judges do have their favorites and at points have not been so subtle in their urging of fans to vote for them. Plus, if you read the fine print at the end of shows such as Idol, and even Project Runway, it does state that the producers of the show do have a final say in the results themselves. I’m not sure what to think about this honestly.

Who wants to see J-Lo in the buff? Well,  her first husband, Ojani Noa, wants to help you. ojani-noa-and-jennifer-lopezApparently he has been shopping around one of the all too common celebrity sex tapes of himself and Mrs. Marc Anthony. He’s gotten bids too, from major porn companies, of the alleged “honeymoon sex tape”. Anyone remember “A Night in Paris?”. Starting bids of the hundreds of thousands of dollars are expected to skyrocket into the millions now that several top-tier porn companies have entered the bidding war. J-Lo has apparently fought for years to keep this tape under wraps, as the footage itself comes from the 1997 honeymoon (before she broke out into total fame) and apparently has 27 hours of footage, with 15-20 minutes of total nudity in it. What I find funny is that all these porn companies are salivating to get their hands on the footage, yet Noa’s producing partner, Claudia Vazquez, states that it’s not technically a “sex tape” either. The marriage was short-lived, as they divorced after a year, and for several years after that they were on good terms. It’s because of that amicability that Noa got many possessions, including the tapes themselves (seriously J-Lo?).

Eventually Noa and Lopez had a falling out, over her firing of him from her restaurant and later over a “tell-all” and biopic that Noa and Vazquez were trying to produce. During the research for this biopic, they discovered this footage. Lopez managed to block the tell-all book in 2006, however, last week a Los Angeles judge cleared the tapes for release. So from the looks of it, we’ll get a view of Lopez we have never seen before….I wonder if it’ll be on the floor, London to Ibiza. What do you think?

Hey, join us in our forums and let’s chat, about this and everything else we have there! Look up, you’ll see the link to it there!

American Idol Spooky House For Sale!

[singlepic id=455 w=200 h=150 float=left]So who wants an alleged haunted house that the Idol 10 group lived in? Well, for those of you with a large sum of cash on hand (and we all know we just are bursting at the seems with extra change from our last grocery trip) it’s available for a mere $12 Million! Like I said, just forego your Costco or Target trip and you too can have a chance at this once in a lifetime deal!

[singlepic id=452 w=200 h=150 float=right]Built in 2008, the house features 9 Bedrooms, 9 Bathrooms, and is approximately 15000 Sq. ft. on 2.14 acres of land. The home boasts a swimming pool and spa, butler/maid prep Kitchen, Lavish Landscaping, Parking for over 100 cars, dual winding staircases, and of course, ghosts, so say the American Idol troop.

[singlepic id=454 w=200 h=150 float=left]Yeah that’s right, not only do you get this wonderful piece of property where you can throw huge elaborate parties with that extra money you saved offering 11,995,000, but you will also have the opportunity to live with extra special guests that just won’t move on. Oh, and spiders.

As you may recall, the group of this years Idols have reported that the house began being infested with spiders, then lights began to flicker, sheets floated down the hallways on their own, and a hand floated down from the ceiling. This is when they decided to move out, and now, lucky you, you can own it! I mean come on, if you put only 20% down, it would only cost you $48,362 a month! Now that’s affordable!

Let us know below how much you are going to offer! It’s only fair, so others have a shot too.

American Idol Finalists Moved, House Haunted?

The finalists for American Idol are being moved to a new home today, and out of their Beverly Hills mansion. Apprently, the Idols became convinced that the house was haunted, and insisted on leaving the estate, according to reports.

They began believing the house was haunted a couple weeks ago, when the lights began flickering, and there was a “spooky spider invasion” in the house. However, what put a few of the finalists over the edge was a bed sheet reportedly taking on a life of it’s own, and floating down an empty hallway last week. In addition, after the heavy rains So Cal experienced a couple of days ago, the roof of the home began to leak. At that point, the Idols insisted on moving to a new location.

We will keep you updated with the latest as we hear it! In the meantime, head over to our FORUM where we discuss the show live! You won’t regret it, and we kinda promise the forum isn’t haunted, but then, you never know.