Ahead of American Idol finale, Ryan Seacrest says votes are "tight" as judges offer advice
The American Idol two-night finale begins Sunday night, as Gabby Barrett, Caleb Lee Hutchinson and Maddie Poppe face off against each other for the crown. Host Ryan Seacrest says right now, it's hard to predict who'll win because the voting is extremely close.
"I looked at the votes, it's very tight," Seacrest tells ABC Radio. "We haven't really talked much about that. But during that last episode on Sunday, it was going back and forth between the finalists that had made it."
But does Ryan think America picked the right final three? He admits, "I was sad to see some of them leave, especially Michael J. Woodard. I loved him, a lot of people loved him...but they've picked three great contestants who have their own style, who deserve to be there...each of 'em wants to be the one that wins."
O.K., so how can Gabby, Caleb and Maddie go about being the winner? Judge Katy Perry tells ABC Radio, "In the top three, there are some people that are better at performance, some people are better at their artistic delivery, some people that are original tones. And so they just gotta know what their strong suits are and play those cards right."
Luke Bryan agrees, saying that what the contestants need to do to win is "stick with what got 'em here." But while he believes America "might know what they're already gonna do," he still thinks the contestants have to "keep turning it up."
As previously reported, all three judges will perform on the finale, as will Bebe Rexha, Patti LaBelle, Hootie & the Blowfish frontman Darius Rucker, Yolanda Adams, guitarist Gary Clark Jr., and Kermit the Frog.
The American Idol finale begins Sunday night at 8 p.m. and concludes Monday night at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.
James Bay reveals what turned on his Electric Light
James Bay's sophomore album Electric Light, out now, features the singer showing off not just a new sound, but a new look: He ditched his signature hat and cut his hair short. According to James, fans have been responding extremely well to both these changes.
"People are diggin' the haircut, which is really nice!" he laughs. "And the new sound...yeah, there's been an incredible reaction. That was a really special feeling, 'cause to have new music out again for the first time in such a long time, and feel that reaction, is amazing."
Electric Light, which James previewed with the tracks "Us," "Wild Love" and "Pink Lemonade," features more edgy and adventurous production than his Grammy-nominated debut, Chaos and the Calm.
"I spent most of my life putting together my first album," he says. "And all the music that inspired [it] is what I was listening to. Then suddenly I'm touring the first album, I'm playing a certain sound live and I'm listening to the sound that inspired it....it all gets a bit much."
That's when James decided to cleanse his sonic palate with a bunch of artists who were new to him, including David Bowie, Prince, Lorde, Blondie, The Strokes, Drake and Frank Ocean.
"I fell in love with all this music...and that really is what inspires you when you're going into the studio," he tells ABC Radio. "And when it's done enough of that job, you have to get into the studio."
Despite the edgy new production, James feels Electric Light won't ever sound dated, because he created the songs themselves to be "timeless."
"The production and the sound of the record are absolutely of the moment," he explains. "But the songs -- they're songs that can exist into the future, and could have existed before."
All right! Backstreet Boys may release not one but two albums this year
Now that the Backstreet Boys have released their new single, "Don't Go Breaking My Heart," fans are eagerly anticipating a new album from the group. But it turns out they may get more than they bargained for, since 2018 marks the group's 25th anniversary.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Backstreet's Brian Littrell says, "The fans might get two albums this year. To commemorate the anniversary, we got a lot going on. You’re going to get a brand new 10th album with all new material and then you might get a few surprises on another album, who knows? Never count the Backstreet Boys out."
The album, which is due in the fall, is "slowly starting to take shape," according to AJ McLean. He tells EW, "There’s been songs that are pop-country, songs that are straight urban R&B, songs like 'Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,' which is almost borderline EDM. We’re fans of all walks of music and that’s what you’re going to hear on this album."
There's more good news: in March of 2019, the band will launch a 25th anniversary tour. AJ says, "Obviously we’re going to do the hits and then some stuff from our new album. We’re going to try to knock it out of the park."
For now, though, you can see the Boys during their Las Vegas residency, which picks back up again in July.
"We love it out there. It’s become a second home," says AJ.
Brian gushes, "For us, [Vegas is] a perfect fit. I hope we can extend again and keep going, because it’s a cool thing to be so close to your fans and we’re doing three shows a week. To be honest, it’s cake. It’s like eating wedding cake every day."
In My (Royal) Blood: Shawn Mendes talks "awkward" moment with the Queen and getting starstruck over Harry and Meghan
Shawn Mendes may not be attending the Royal Wedding this weekend, but he’s already had an encounter with British royalty.
On The Ellen DeGeneres Show Thursday, Shawn talked about his awkward run-ins with Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle when he performed at the Queen’s 92nd birthday concert last month.
Shawn, whose mom is British, said he was standing backstage waiting to perform when the Queen appeared and stood beside him.
“I’m, like, looking at her and you can’t say anything, you’re not allowed to speak to her unless she speaks to you first,” he said. “So it was like 10 minutes of just awkward silence between me and the Queen.”
Not only did she not speak to him, but, Shawn said, she didn’t even look his way.
The singer also revealed that he had a brush with greatness when he spotted Prince Harry and his soon-to-be-bride Meghan at the event. As he told Ellen, he thought Meghan was Canadian, just like him, so he figured he had an "in" and could go up and say hi. Instead, he got so starstruck that he chickened out.
“This is gonna be my biggest regret forever,” he told Ellen.
Shawn also revealed Thursday that he’ll be releasing another new song Friday from his upcoming self-titled album, called “In the Morning.”
The Bachelorette host Chris Harrison on whether the royal wedding will be a Cinderella story or a royal bust
No one has more experience bringing couples together than The Bachelor/Bachelorette host Chris Harrison.
So, with the royal wedding coming up on Saturday, ABC Radio asked Chris if he thinks Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will last, and he's laying pretty good odds they will.
"I think they have to last. They're contractually obligated to. That's it man, you're done," he says.
And what if the couple should hit a rough patch?
"The good news is they have castles to go to," says Harrison. "So it's like, 'Look, I don't like you anymore -- you go to that castle, I'll go to the one out west.'"
Chris wishes nothing but the best for Harry and Meghan, but he's still kind of bummed about not making the guest list.
"You know, you talk about Emmy snubs and Oscars snubs, this would probably go down as the biggest snub in history -- I'm not officiating the most dramatic wedding ever," he jokes. (AUDIO IS ABC 1-ON-1)
The new season of The Bachelorette premieres May 28 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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