Tag Archives: Ryan Seacrest

Queens Morning Roundup

| brennison@queenscourier.com


Thursday: Areas of drizzle before 10 a.m., then a chance of showers between 10 a.m. and noon, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after noon. Areas of fog before 10 a.m. Otherwise, cloudy, with a high near 81. East wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible. Thursday night: Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly clear, with a low around 64. Northwest wind around 8 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: Play By Ear

Mime Rob List combines anti-conceptual movement, dance and song to connect to his audience in a direct, modest and intimate way. Play By Ear strives to create a magical event without trickery and to let the work and the moment speak for themselves. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Obama and Romney, in First Debate, Spar Over Fixing the Economy

Mitt Romney on Wednesday accused President Obama of failing to lead the country out of the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression, using the first presidential debate to invigorate his candidacy by presenting himself as an equal who can solve problems Mr. Obama has been unable to. Read more: NY Times

Endorsements, cash flow in 15th District Senate race

Things are heating up in one of the most contentious state races in Queens this fall. Councilmember Eric Ulrich topped the list of those required to file a 10 Day Post Primary Campaign Disclosure Report with a war chest that boasted six-figures. Read more: Queens Courier

Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey’s fight during ‘American Idol’ auditions got ‘intense,’ says host Ryan Seacrest

Tuesday night’s shrieking smackdown between “American Idol” judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey will be great for the aging show, says host Ryan Seacrest. Minaj, a wig-wearing wacko rap superstar and Carey, a notoriously difficult diva, blew their stacks at each other when they disagreed about a contestant during “Idol” audtions in Charlotte, N.C. Read more: Daily News

Gotti at GOP fundraiser whips up interest in Queens state senate race

Aurelio “Tony” Arcabascio may not be a “connected guy,” but his association with a member of the Gambino crime family is leading to unexpected attention in his long-shot bid to unseat incumbent Democratic Queens Senator Michael Gianaris. “From a purely selfish perspective, I thank you and all the press for all the attention you’re finally giving me. But I have been at this since March,” said Arcabascio. Read more: NY1

Bogus ‘no parking’ signs along 31st St. in Astoria linked to film production, Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. charges

Bogus no parking signs popped up along a busy stretch of 31st St. in Astoria on Tuesday, the same day a TV comedy show was slated to begin filming there, prompting a local elected official to question who put up the signs. “There’s no doubt in my mind that the signs belong to them,” said City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria), whose office is on the affected street. “We have never seen these signs in the area and one day before filming this happens?” Read more: Daily News

Feds bust spy ring who smuggled ‘cutting-edge’ US technology to Russian military since 2008

A large-scale ring that for years allegedly illegally exported cutting-edge microelectronics through JFK Airport to Russian military and intelligence agencies has been busted up by federal authorities, officials announced today. The 11 defendants charged in an indictment unsealed today “spun an elaborate web of lies to evade the laws that protect our national security,” said Brooklyn US Attorney Loretta Lynch, whose office is prosecuting the case. Read more: NY Post

Heejun Han sent home on ‘American Idol’

| brennison@queenscourier.com

Phil Mcarten / FOX

For the second straight week, Heejun Han found himself in American Idol’s bottom three. This time though, neither viewer votes, nor the judges were able to save him.

Han was joined in the bottom three last night by Skylar Laine and Hollie Cavanagh, but it was Han whose Idol dreams were ended.

After host Ryan Seacrest announced that Han received the least votes, Steven Tyler informed the 22-year-old that the judges would not be using their one save on him.

After the show Jennifer Lopez consoled Han, saying she wanted to save him, but couldn’t.

Han advanced as far as fellow Queens crooner Pia Toscano made it last year. Both finished in ninth place in the singing competition.

In his Idol exit interview, Han said he felt surprisingly upbeat.

“I feel great actually,” the Flushing-native said, “This is not as bad as I thought it would be. I feel like I showed what I got and I finished with a high note.”

Han’s performance of “A Song For You” on Wednesday night’s show drew a standing ovation and praise from the judges.

“Finally the Heejun that we selected came back to us tonight,” Randy Jackson said. “Welcome back.”

“It was my first time getting a standing anything and it happened to be Steven, Randy and Jennifer, so it was an awesome experience.” Han said.

One aspect of the show that he said he will miss though is the stage and everyone cheering for him.

“Stay crazy, stay humble and stay with me. It’s only going to get crazier,” Han tweeted after last night’s show.

By making it to the top ten, Han guaranteed his spot on the Idol concert tour that will kick off this summer.

Heejun Han performs “Right Here Waiting” on American Idol

| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Carin Baer / FOX.

After American Idol’s dozen finalists were narrowed down to 11 before the show even began, Heejun Han took the stage to mixed review from the judges.

Host Ryan Seacrest opened the show by announcing that “with the cooperation of law enforcement we discovered information that left us with no choice but to eliminate one of our finalists from the competition.”

The unnamed finalist that was disqualified was Jermaine Jones, one of the three wildcards chosen by the judges to advance to the top 13.

The remaining contestants performed songs that debuted in the year they were born.

The 22-year-old Han sang the 1989 Richard Marx ballad “Right Here Waiting.”

“Dude, for me, I didn’t really enjoy this at all. It was pitchy all over the place,” said judge Randy Jackson to boos from the crowd.

Jackson said he felt it was the wrong song choice and that Han is usually better than what he showed last night.

Steven Tyler agreed that Han didn’t choose the right tune to perform.

“You stepped far outside your circle to do this. It wasn’t a great song for you,” Tyler said before adding that he loves Han’s voice no matter what.

Jennifer Lopez was the most impressed of the three with the Flushing native’s performance.

“I could tell you were struggling with the song a little bit, but then for me I felt like you started fighting through that a little bit more and going for it towards the end and it got really beautiful for me,” Lopez said. “I felt your heart in the song.”

The viewer’s votes will be revealed tonight on American Idol at 8 p.m. on Fox 5. Tune in to see if Han survives to advance to the show’s top 10.


Two Queens contestants make it to American Idol’s top 24

| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of Fox

Hundreds of thousands of “American Idol” hopefuls were narrowed down to 24 over the past month, with two Queens crooners making the cut.

Heejun Han, of Flushing, and Astoria’s Creighton Fraker both withstood the auditions, Hollywood and a trip to Las Vegas to make it to the shows semifinals round, and now have the opportunity to sing live in front of America, hopefully earning the viewers’ votes.

Fraker grew up as a preacher’s kid in South Dakota, finding his voice in church choirs and local boys’ singing groups. He took private lessons throughout the years and eventually joined a touring choir, serenading audiences across the nation.

The 28 year old moved to Astoria eight years ago.

For his turn in front of the judges, Fraker belted out Smokey Robinson’s “Who’s Lovin’ You,” as well as an untitled original piece.

“[The judges] had only good things to say. They were shocked at how unique I was,” Fraker told The Courier.


Han, 22, originally from Korea, shocked the judging triumvirate with his audition performance of “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” by Michael Bolton.

“You have a beautiful tone,” Jennifer Lopez told Han, who said he loves singing Soul and R&B.

Han’s Facebook fan page already has nearly 8,000 likes.

In their final performances before the judges, both Fraker and Han paid homage to their hometown singing Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind.”

The semifinalists will be sliced in half during next week’s round. The men will perform Tuesday night with the women singing for the “Idol” lives on Wednesday. Viewer votes will determine the 12 finalists who will compete to become the 11th American Idol on Thursday.  Each show airs on Fox 5 at 8 p.m.

Additional reporting by Alexa Altman


From heavy metal to opera performer

| nkarimi@queenscourier.com

Escamillo in Bizet's Carmenw

Astoria artist Adelmo Guidarelli, 40, has been named the 2011 Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs (MAC) award winner for best Comedy/Musical Comedy Performer.

“It’s not something I ever thought about. I mean, I think I’m pretty funny, but this is on a completely different level,” said Guidarelli. “The award is for my performance in the one-man show ‘Operation Adelmo,’ written and directed by Michael Mackenzie Wills, who has worked with such comic greats as Penn & Teller and Blue Man Group.”

Guidarelli attended The Music Conservatory of Westchester, the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music and is a graduate of the Jerome Hines Opera Music Theatre International Program. Guidarelli currently studies privately and receives coaching at the Met.

Guidarelli was also recently selected by producer Ryan Seacrest on the season premiere of his show “Bank of Hollywood” to present Mozart’s “Non più andrai.”

Guidarelli’s director Wills had worked with Penn & Teller when they lived in New York and performed on “Late Night with David Letterman” regularly.

“They would rehearse their Letterman appearances by having Eddie Gorogetsky play Letterman and ask every possible question Letterman might ask. Eddie had been a writer for Letterman and “Saturday Night Live.” Mike [Guidarelli’s director] did the same for me. He chose what piece I would present and then we rehearsed with him asking me every possible question the judges might ask and we worked out the best answers for each question,” said Guidarelli.

“When Ryan Seacrest’s personal assistant first called, I thought it was my sister-in-law pranking me,” said Guidarelli. “I arrived in Los Angeles very prepared and the experience was really great. The audience loved it, the judges loved it, and I loved it.”

Guidarelli was born in Greenwich, Connecticut. When he was six, his parents moved to the Silver Lake area of Harrison, a suburb of White Plains. In 2006, Guidarelli met his wife and she showed him all the great things Queens has to offer an artist.

Growing up, Guidarelli played the lead in many school plays. In high school he got into Heavy Metal and formed a garage band called “Defcon,” where they played Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Queensryche, TNT and Metallica.

“It was during that time that my Mom made me take voice lessens because she was tired of hearing me scream out of tune in my bedroom. I started taking lessons and learned that the singers from the bands I admired were classically trained,” said Guidarelli. “My very first voice teacher told me she heard an ‘operatic’ quality in my voice, and that’s how it all began. At this early fork in the road to my success I turned my focus from becoming a Heavy Metal star like my idols, to becoming an opera singer.”

“I’m currently preparing for a Metropolitan Opera audition that I have coming up in 2012. I want to play The Met and sing in Vegas,” said Guidarelli. “I don’t think that’s too much to ask.”

Guidarelli has many performers who he admires and would like to work with someday.

“I am inspired by artists with a tenacious drive to expand their horizons, opera singer Bryn Terfel, Italian pop-singer Giorgia, actors Neil Patrick Harris and Hugh Jackman,” said Guidarelli. “I recently debuted in the title role of Puccini’s “Gianni Schicci” with Maestro Anton Coppola, the uncle of the famous Francis Ford. He is in his 90’s and has an amazing energy and zest for life.”

Guidarelli’s production team is a member of The Association of Performing Arts Presenters, APAP.

“January 6 and 8, I am going to be doing two showcase performances of the show we presented so successfully at the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Also, on February 20 we are presenting ‘Operation Adelmo’ at Symphony Space, as a fund raiser and gala for Opera Manhattan,” said Guidarelli.