The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Enjoy

May 11, 2012

“Finalists” set for Branson stage

Moon River Theatre hosts 15 former Idols for summer showcase

BRANSON Mo. — Elliot Yamin is excited about performing in Branson.

“I’m super stoked about it,” he said of “The Finalists Live,” a musical showcase featuring American Idol top 10 finalists. The season’s first showcase opens May 14 at Andy Williams Moon River Theatre.  “It’s a beautiful venue with top notch professionals and the band and background singers. It’s going to be great,” he said.

Yamin has much respect for the other four former Idols who, through June 16, fill out Moon River’s first “Finalists “cast.

“They are really cool,” the Idol season five, third-place finalist said of Thia Magia, Blake Lewis, Lee Dewyze and Kimberly Caldwell.  

“I love these guys. We are doing some group songs together. I’m looking forward to being a part of this family.”

Through August 18, the Moon River Theatre, 2500 Highway 76 in Branson, will present three different shows, running approximately one month and each featuring five Idol finalists. Future shows includes Reuban Studdard, the winner of Idol season 2, Diana Degarmo, Ace Young and Bo Bice. On Monday, fans of the first five finalists gathered at Branson Airport for the chance to press some flesh with the former Idols. Kimberly Caldwell was unable to appear at the event due to travel delays.   

Opening night

Like Yamin, Blake Lewis, the season six runner-up, is ready to open the show.

“I’m really excited to get in there and start working it out,” he said.  

“I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve. I brought all my gear and all my crazy vocal effects. I might pull some people on-stage and make them do some dancin’ and singin.’”

He said he likes to put on an audience-interactive performance and likes the musical variety his collogues bring to the show.

“Every one here is so unique,” he said. “I can’t wait to sing with them all.”

Thia Magia, the season’s youngest finalist, is 17. She hopes to meet the theatre’s namesake during her run in Branson.

“I love Andy Williams,” she said. “I used to sing his songs with my grandpa. I enjoy Andy and hopefully, we will be able to meet him during the tour.”

Lee Dewyze won American Idol’s ninth season. He’s sees his five week Moon River engagement as a good opportunity.  

“It’s a great way to show them the new songs, meet the fans, see new people and do new things,” he said. “Any opportunity to work with people you haven’t worked with before is a great experience. You get to learn new things.”

Tough industry

Much like former American Idol winners Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood inspired Branson’s new “Finalists, ” they hope to pass on some sage advice to aspiring entertainers themselves.

“Make sure you have thick skin,” Lewis explained. “The music industry is one of the toughest ones to be in and be successful. You have to work hard every day 24 hours a day and really represent your self. Be good to every body and don’t burn any bridges and have fun.”

Dewayze, a winner himself, has his own advice.

“Just believe in your self and don’t let people tell you no,” he said. “Just keep do your thing and don’t worry about what people have to say about it.”

Yamin, whose bid for Idol’s top title fell just short of victory, cautions young performers to stay true to their music.

“Take the fame and glory part out,” he said. “If that’s the main reason you want to get into this, it’s the wrong reason.”

But, he added, take advantage of every opportunity afforded.

“I encourage everybody to try out for Idol and the other shows,” he said. “There are so many competitions out there. Take advantage of them.”

Text Only
Enjoy
  • 060614_aj finney cover.jpg Comedy clarity: A.J Finney finds sobriety expands what he can joke about

    Clean and sober for five months, Finney has observed a dramatic change on his comedy. His material has grown exponentially, and his life experiences have blossomed.

    June 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • 013114_livewire.jpg Joplin band LiveWire to headline Friday Galena Days events

    Joplin band Livewire, which has been recording in Nashville with the Way Out West Records label, will kick off a month-long tour today at Galena Days.

    June 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pridefest planners celebrate sixth year

    But for attendees of an annual festival celebrating LGBT lives, it's good to get away from politics and enjoy a day at the park, said Terie Caliguiri, treasurer of Joplin Pride.

    June 6, 2014

  • 060414 Segway 4.jpg Attraction allows guests to try out a Segway

    Seven days a week, Hager and Jose help Branson visitors master the unique vehicle and navigate the two-acre paved course. Hager remembered his first Segway experience. It wasn't a smooth ride.

    June 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • Globe Phone Test: HTC One M8 looks even better than it sounds

    I remember the phones HTC used to make, and they weren't my favorite. Granted, I've been a BlackBerry geek for a long time, so I probably never gave HTC a fair shot. But the cruddy plastic phones with weakly jointed slider keyboards or flimsy chassis didn't really do a lot to impress me.

    Times have changed. And HTC's new One M8 smartphone is one of the market's best offerings right now.

    I tested out a device on loan from AT&T for about two weeks. It's performance is comparable to any top-of-the-line device on the market, and it's scaled-back, uncluttered version of Android 4.4.2 is clean as a whistle without an onslaught of unwanted apps.
     

    June 6, 2014

  • mug_joe-hadsall-112613.jpg Globe Phone Test: Concept is clever, but transitions tricky with Asus PadFone X

    It's kind of embarrassing to point this out, but "Candy Crush Saga" is one of the best ways to illustrate how well the Asus PadFone X, a smartphone and tablet combo really works.

    Anyone who has more than one device will understand this situation completely: Let's say a player fires up "Candy Crush" on his tablet computer and really digs the game. A lot. So much so that he downloads it to his smartphone.

    Only there's one problem: All the progress made on the tablet is stuck on the tablet. The smartphone has a completely separate path of progress, meaning the player has to play each level twice. This makes progress through the game twice as long. (This problem can be fixed by signing up for the game on Facebook, but no one really wants their Facebook friends to know they spend so much time crushin' candy.)

    The Asus PadFone X is the dream solution to this nightmare of a problem.

    Available exclusively from AT&T, the device is actually two devices. A standalone smartphone can be plugged into a tablet computer, meaning the owner can take his pick of how he wants to play the game, and all the progress he makes is saved on one device's hard drive.

    AT&T loaned us a device that we tested for more than two weeks -- didn't like having to send it back -- and we found a lot of its qualities and quirks.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tantric tours in support of latest studio album

    "37 Channels," the latest album from Hugo Ferreira's band, features a lineup of guests including Hinder's Austin Winkler, Shooter Jennings, 3 Doors Down drummer Greg Upchurch, Uncle Kracker guitarist Kevin McCreery, Saving Abel guitarist Scott Bartlett and Leif Garrettt.

    July 11, 2014

  • 071114_steve cindy head.jpg New exhibit combines works of married couple

    Steve and Cindy Head create different types of art, which means they can be each other's best mentor. Steve makes mixed media works assembled from photographs, headlines and more; Cindy paints vivid patterns and fanciful scenes with bold color palettes.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • r070714palacedrinks2.jpg Spirits school: Drink-making lessons taught at downtown bar

    Some patrons have dubbed it "Drinks with Daniel," but the official name is "Cocktails 101," which has been attracting "students" for the last several weeks.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • images_sizedimage_108172906 Benji Tunnell: 'Transformers' reaches new level of terrible filmmaking

    Then there's "Transformers: Age of Extinction," a film so bereft of originality, spontaneity and life that one would assume its creator must be a talentless hack. That's when you remember that it was directed by Michael Bay.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo