Wednesday, April 21, 2010

JOEL DIAMOND NEXT AMERICAN IDOL JUDGE?

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THE WEB GOSSIP
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The guy or girl that writes this column is a very big industry insider who wishes to remain anonymous, but wants to write about all the headlines happening in Hollywood and the Music Industry.
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Elton John


SILVER BLUE IDOL --- When Simon Cowell announced that he was leaving “American Idol” after this season, the rumors flew fast and furious; everyone from the music industry’s Clive Davis to Elton John was mentioned as a possible replacement. Actually, when you think about it; would you really want to be Simon’s replacement? Look at what’s happened to poor Ellen … everyone thought she'd be a slam dunk, but when the smoke cleared and the voices returned to normalcy, she was just barely OK … definitely out of her element and just one of four, as opposed to the main cheese on her show. While the producers have wisely said nothing … adding to the suspense, one name has come up, and it’s a doozy: producer extraordinaire Joel Diamond. He the producer of Engelbert Humperidnck’s “After The Lovin’” and really a force of nature. We've been aware of Joel for years, much of it when he was based in NYC; he produced the terrific “One Night In Bangkok” by Robey, the signature song from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s much-underrated play “Chess.” He’s also worked with the likes of Helen Reddy, Rick Derringer, Benny Mardones, the 5 Browns, Ray J, Laura Branigan, Dr. Hook, the Bee Gees, David Bowie, and, in his first-ever recording, David Hassellhoff (aka Snapper); in total, 36 Gold and Platinum albums and 54 charted hits according to Billboard. He also produced in the ‘80's several solo albums with a sterling cast of characters. Interestingly enough, the solo albums were on his own record label imprint, Silver Blue Records. Truth be told, Joel was and is a consummate businessman. We were first introduced to Diamond through PR-man David Salidor, who has recently returned to represent Diamond. Also, Joel’s possesses quite the raconteur style and from all reports, would be a formidable foil for the others judges. Certainly, he’s got the industry chops to discern the good from the bad, as well as a mentoring attitude that would no doubt do the show a lot of good. Says Salidor, “Joel has ALL the necessary tools to do justice for Idol. With Simon leaving, he'd bring a much needed genuine element to the show. He’s the real deal.” “Idol” has of late not only been losing in the TV ratings to “So You Think You Can Dance,” but has suffered from a lack of knowledgeable judging. Randy Jackson is good, but not really on the cutting edge of music; Simon and Paula were actually in the business and thus, brought forth a ton of true blue knowledge. Joel would bring a terrific mixture of smarts to the show; as well as a true blue resume. He’s got our vote. Check out his site www.joeldiamond.com

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Sam Mendes


BOND DELAYED – SO, last weekend EON Productions (the company who makes the Bond-movies) announced that they have suspended what was to have been Bond movie #23 … already in pre-production; with none other than Sam Mendes directing. Truth is the Bond-studio MGM, looks to be once and for all up on the chopping block, thus endangering the movie’s production and subsequent release and ownership. What this all means is that with the studio teetering on the edge of insolvency, EON didn't want to risk the new production maybe going to the creditors. Plus, they may have the right to take the Brand-franchise elsewhere … for an even better deal. In Hollyweird, you often fail upwards. Though all the films have been via MGM, the fact of the matter is that the Bond-films were the only substantial resource of the studio. Sure, they had the Pink panther movies … but, nothing equaling the Bond films. The Bond producers operate with great autonomy, and as such, have essentially all the say over what happens. Nikki Finke in Deadline Hollywood quotes a source close to the production, “It feels like EON is sending a message to MGM … if they try to continue as a stand-alone studio, don't expect to be making anymore Bond films.”

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Bob And Harvey Weinstein


SHORT TAKES: Last night’s “Lost” on ABC –winding down their season, with the two-hour finale on May 23- was ... confusing. In fact, it’s really the first episode in a six-year-run that I had a problem with. It pains me somewhat to say that as there's no more serious fan than I, but with many of the arcs finally coming to fruition, there just doesn't seem to be enough time to cover them add adequately enough. My colleague Jeff Jensen, in entertainment Weekly, had almost the same opinion as I. And, for the record, he'd be BIG LOST FAN #2. Let’s hope for the best ... I don't know if you've been following; but, movie moguls Harvey and Bob Weinstein have been lobbying to buy back the Miramax name from Disney ... who they sold it to years ago for billions. The Disney/Mirarmax title has fallen on hard times and the Weinsteins (or, Bob and Harvey) want it back. Why not ... as it was the scene of many earlier triumphs including “Reservoir Dogs” and “Pulp Fiction.” The latest news is that they seem to have done it with help from L. A.-shopping mall magnet Ron Burkle for a price of $625 million. Miramax has a catalog of 611 films, including five unreleased titles; Burkle will put in $325 million in equity and own most of the company. The company, named for their parents Miriam and Max, will finally return home ... and, who knows, maybe some of the original-Miramax fervor will flourish at the brother’s currently home, Weinstein Films. Lord knows they could use it.

Photos By: Sara De Boer/Retna

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