Like the costuming throughout the special, this was a very stripped back and vulnerable look at Lady Gaga. But nobody got a more stripped look at the superstar than Tony Bennett, who got the opportunity to draw her nude. It was a strange moment for Gaga, who is a huge admirer of Bennett, but she was able to throw off her inhibitions and embrace the experience.
Ever the performer, Regis handled the song like a seasoned veteran, using his signature voice for some funny call-and-response. When Regis encouraged Bennett to, "Sing it, Tony," he joked back, "What the hell do you think I'm doin'?" Maybe after Regis steps away from 'Live' these two can go on tour together.
The roster of big name performers announced by the network spans not only generations, but also genres, with singers Michael Bublé, Cee Lo Green, Faith Hill, Carole King, Katharine McPhee and 'The Voice' winner Javier Colon performing a mix of current hits and holiday classics.
NBC announced that the hour-long special on November 30 will be hosted by the 'Today Show's Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie and will -- natch -- also feature seasonal high-kickers, The Radio City Rockettes. Prior to the primetime telecast, WNBC and other NBC affiliates (check your local listings) will also air an additional live hour of the special.
It must have been a tragic experience for him, because he was so moved by her voice and the quality she brought to jazz singing. But at the same time, he said he could sense that things weren't right.
"She knew that she was in a lot of trouble," he said. "That she wasn't going to live."
EXCLUSIVE: 'America's Got Talent' Books Nicki Minaj, Susan Boyle, Queen Latifah, Jackie Evancho & More to Perform
Tony Bennett with Queen Latifah, Susan Boyle, Il Divo, David Guetta with Nicki Minaj and Flo Rida, Def Leppard, and Cirque du Soleil 'Iris' are set to perform on the popular talent competition series.
Also appearing will be last season's winner, Michael Grimm, and first runner-up, Jackie Evancho.
'AGT' executive producer Jason Raff gave us scoop on what he hopes these acts will bring to the show -- both on and off screen.
'Blue Bloods' Collars Tony Bennett and Carrie Underwood, Adam Lambert Gets 'Behind The Music' Episode & More TV News
The Grammy winners will play themselves on the season premiere of the CBS police drama.
Look for the duo to perform at a fundraiser that Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) and Erin Reagan-Boyle (Bridget Moynahan) are attending in the new mayor's honor. Bennett and Underwood will sing 'It Had To Be You.'
"Having musical legend Tony Bennett and the hugely talented country music star Carrie Underwood perform on our show is a true gift. The talent that they bring together is amazing," Leonard Goldberg, 'Blue Bloods' executive producer, said in a statement. "We're looking forward to an exciting second season premiere with a story that is certain to provoke debate, and are thrilled that Tony and Carrie can be a part of it."
In other TV News ...
This isn't just an entertainment we'll be seeing, although it's going to be something to watch how 80 stars were crammed together into a cohesive, musical chorus as spectacular as the original 'We Are the World' 25 years ago. No, this is also a call for donations because there is still a lot of work to be done in Haiti.
As my late friend Adam Finley reported last month, Ryan Seacrest has been picked to host this year's Emmy Awards. I'm sure that most of you, like me, have already spent enough time lamenting the fact that Seacrest really has no business hosting a show like The Emmys. I guess the producers thought that after American Idol and America's Top 40, The Emmys were the next logical step.
Well, now the producers have decided that Seacrest hosting wasn't bad enough, there's a chance that he may do a number at the beginning of the show.
Think it can't get any worse? Read on.
Besides, don't they know all we really want is the RESULTS. Enough with the tease. Let us have it! How many of you skipped the festivities, TiVo'd the thing, and then fast forwarded to the very end?
Me, I watched the whole thing. Of course, I had to. It's my job. But whether you watched it all, or zipped to the end, the results were the same. Someone went home tonight -- and it wasn't Sanjaya.
Having personally seen Tony Bennett and Michael Buble in concert, I would have confidently told you that Michael Buble would certainly show the contestants and the world how singing standards should be done.
His performance was nothing but a true disappointment...
I love Tony Bennett. I wasn't really familiar with his stuff until I had a chance to see him open up for Paul McCartney in Hollywood a year-and-a-half ago. At least, I didn't think I was familiar with his stuff. But, when I heard him sing "Rags to Riches" and "I Left My Heart In San Francisco" I was thinking, "I know these songs ..."
Since then, I see him and the era he represents everywhere I go and wonder how I could not have known before. I mean, they play his stuff in shopping malls, elevators and automated phone systems a thousand times a day. It's obvious those businesses rely on the innate smile-making ability of that era to keep people happy when they'd otherwise go insane.
Tony Bennett is in the house to coach the finalists in the finer points of singing. Bennett is the "King of Swing" with a career that spans 60 years. And at 80, he looks terrific. I just wish he hadn't worn the bright yellow jacket. It makes him look like an elderly Realtor.
The good thing about singing "the old standards" is that they are great songs, with great melodies, that almost anyone can sing, and almost everyone has, as they are staples of high school productions across America. Unfortunately for our contestants, the bar has been set pretty high by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Natalie Cole, Barbra Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday. Those are some big shoes to fill. And trying to judge the finalists against such legendary vocals, is honestly like comparing apples to raisins. So it's best to not even try.
First of all, I'd love to see Diana Ross be a guest judge. I think her zanyness could rival Paula's and maybe even make Paula look sober.
I think the biggest 'get' is Gwen Stefani, who is on top of her game right now. I guess she knows where her fans are. There's no doubt (har, har) that Gwen's young fans are the same people who watch Idol.
Unfortunately, it doesn't look as though any of these celebrities will actually perform. Idol's press release lists the celebs as "coaches" and "guests". So... they'll be helping performers choose and prepare songs and probably also be guest judges. Performers scheduled for this season are former Idol contestants Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler.
- At 7, ABC has a repeat America's Funniest Home Videos, followed by a new Extreme Makeover, a repeat Desperate Housewives, and a repeat Brothers & Sisters.
- CBS has a new 60 Minutes at 7, followed by new episodes of The Amazing Race, Cold Case, and Without A Trace.
- NBC has Football Night In America at 7, followed by the Seahawks vs. the Broncos.
- Hallmark has the movie A Carol Christmas at 7, then Jack Frost.
- The CW has a new Reba at 7:30.
- At 8, FOX has repeats of The Simpsons, Family Guy, and American Dad.
- There's a new 7th Heaven on The CW at 8, then a repeat America's Next Top Model.
- Lifetime has the movie A Different Kind of Christmas at 8, followed by A Dad For Christmas.
- Disney has a holiday movie at 8 too: The Ultimate Christmas Present.
- At 8:30, PBS has Tony Bennett Duets: The Making of an American Classic.
- Food Network has a new Iron Chef America at 9, Batali vs. Blais.
- At 9, Discovery has more of the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Dog Show.
- TNT has Noah Wyle and Bob Newhart in the sequel The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines. It's on at 9 as well.
- Also at 9: AMC has Miracle on 34th Street.
- At 10, HBO has a new ep of The Wire, while Showtime has a new ep of Dexter.
Bennett? I think I broke it!
Sorry, punchline to an old joke, couldn't help myself. Anyway, Tony Bennett, whose albums have made the charts in every decade since the 1950s, will sing a series of duets this evening with the likes of Barbara Streisand, Elton John, Christina Aguilera, John Legend, Diana Krall, k.d. lang and Michael Buble. Tony Bennett: An American Classic, which celebrates Bennett's 80th birthday, airs tonight at 8:00 on NBC and is directed by Rob Marshall, who also directed Chicago and Memoirs of Geisha. The tribute will include big production numbers and stories about Bennett from folks such as Billy Crystal and John Travolta.
Call me old fashioned, but I'd rather just see Tony on stage by himself singing his hits and a few standards without all the extravagance and folderol, but what the heck, it's good to acknowledge that he's still influencing artists from different generations.
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