The special looked back at veterans and military families 'Extreme Makeover' has helped over the years, and shed a spotlight on modern veterans returning to a difficult economic climate, emphasizing the skills their military training makes them well suited for in civilian life.
Jes Hudak is developing a major crush on fellow competitor Johnny Marnell: "He's really smart. He's really funny. And he's really cuuuuuute." But, Jes is also in this thing to win it, so feels like maybe she should try to ignore her feelings.
So will romance blossom when she goes over to his place? The beer and wine's flowing and Jes is in a flirty mood. She tries to explain why she's glad they're not writing together in this challenge when he hits the nail on the head: "You find it hard to concentrate around me."
Poor Jes is just so embarrassed and conflicted. "I'm really trying to ignore the feelings that I'm having for Johnny because I really just want to do this competition and I really just want to win, but ... maybe this is good ... I'm used to writing about my feelings."
Some of the contestants were nervous about tackling songs with a dance hook, but 23 year-old telemarketer Nick Nittoli was real confident he would win the challenge.
When it came time for Donna to announce the results, she said she'd chosen the winning song because it stood out from the rest.
She told the nervous songwriters that she'd wanted to hear something new and original: "I've been in the business a long time ... [and] maybe you haven't, but I've heard it all before."
!!!SPOILER ALERT!!! As Donna said, "And the winner is ... " Nick was just sure she'd say his name.
This gave us four new songs to hear, and while they were all rough in places, you could definitely gain an appreciation for how difficult songwriting can be. Especially in a collaborative environment featuring people with such varied backgrounds and preferred genres.
In the end, Nick, Jes and Karen pulled out a victory with their song 'My City.' It was a little cheesy at times, but we enjoyed their story of someone linking the city with dreams of stardom. Its innocence was a lot of its charm.
Alongside host Jewel and head judge Kara DioGuardi, superstars Natasha Bedingfield, Leona Lewis, Donna Summer, Taio Cruz, Jermaine Dupri and Ryan Tedder will serve as guest judges.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Keith Naftaly, a senior vice-president at Sony Music Entertainment, will be a permanent judge during the competition.
The Bravo series will debut at 10PM on May 30.
The winner of the singer/songwriter competition will receive a $100,000 cash prize, a publishing deal with Sony BMI Songwriters the Writing Camp and a recording contract with RCA/Jive.
Check out a preview of the show below.
Kara DioGuardi, Jewel Headline Bravo Music Competition Series, 'Rocky and Bullwinkle' Creator Dies and More
According to Entertainment Weekly, the ousted 'American Idol' judge is teaming up with Jewel for a new singer/songwriter competition series. The 10-episode series, 'Going Platinum,' will see DioGuardi as head judge and Jewel as a host/mentor of sorts.
'Going Platinum,' previously announced as 'Hitmakers,' is currently in production in Los Angeles with 12 contestants vying for a $100,000 cash prize, a publishing deal with Sony, BMI Songwriters The Writing Camp and a recording deal with RCA/Jive.
Contestants will have to write and perform songs from various genres. The judges -- including popular recording artist guest judges -- will determine the winner.
"Hit songs are the backbone of the music industry, and as a publisher, nothing excites me more than finding new songwriting talent," DioGuardi said in a statement. "I am happy to be a part of a show that helps up and coming songwriters pursue their dreams, while giving the public a look into the creative process."
In other TV news ...
• Alexander Anderson Jr., the creator of 'Rocky and Bullwinkle,' has died at the age of 90. Anderson had been battling Alzheimer's disease prior to this death. He teamed with his friend, Jay Ward, to create the low-budget cartoons that included Dudley Do-Right. [Variety]
• NBC is developing a family drama based around NASCAR. The show follows a sibling racing team in the NASCAR world. NBC is negotiating to include NASCAR so the show can use logos, names, track footage and other trademarked racing elements. [Deadline]
• Melissa Rauch has been promoted to series regular on 'The Big Bang Theory.' Rauch, who plays Howard's girlfriend Bernadette, isn't contracted for every episode and may not extend after this season. [Ausiello Files]
"It's really still sinking in," Grimm told TV Squad after the show. "But I do want to thank America, 'America's Got Talent,' the judges and, most importantly, I want to thank God."
Prior to his victory, Grimm, an aspiring singer, had trouble getting record labels to consider him. They'd want to know how big his following was because they didn't have money to invest in him. "Well, now I have a little money and I have fans," he says gratefully.
"I haven't talked to my grandparents yet," he said. "But it's going to be an emotional moment."
"When you stand there and you see a guy who's never had a break in his life and he starts crying, you say, 'This was the right decision,'" judge Sharon Osbourne says about Grimm's victory.
On 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians' (Sun., 10PM ET on E!), we've got sisters sharing perhaps too much about one another's personal appearance, targeting areas best left undiscussed, while Jewel stopped by 'Chelsea Lately' (weeknights, 11PM ET on E!) to laugh about stealing another woman's car.
It seems that while Jewel was staying a hotel during a recent vacation, she accidentally zoomed off in a car that didn't belong to her. She drove in it for a really long time without noticing this, too. Eventually, the manager of the hotel had to call Jewel and point out that she had, in fact, "boosted" someone's "ride." But it could have been worse!
The recap show somehow managed to squeeze 26 performances in an hour. I now realize how much time I've wasted having to sit through Samantha Harris. Along with the results, and 30 minutes of other filler, Jewel performed. I'm sure someone out there was giving her the evil glare. The results after the jump.
I'm not sure if the professionals are pushing the performers too hard or if casting doesn't do physicals for these celebrities. Twisting an ankle during the competition is one thing, but having a pre-existing condition is another. I even thought that casting Toni Braxton last season was in bad taste, but the dancing actually helped her heart condition.
You would think from the comments at the link above that past seasons have had stars like Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep on the show. They think the entire cast for this new season is disappointing, a bunch of nobodies. Hey, Wozniak pretty much invented the home computer industry! And I would say that Denise Richards, David Alan Grier, Jewel, and Lil' Kim are pretty well known. There are always some unknowns or fringe celebs in the cast too (though not always the ones we want to see).
I don't watch the show, but as a Mac user I kinda have to tune in at least once to see how Woz does. This is the second time that Woz will find himself in the reality-show spotlight (I know, DWTS is more of a competition show). He dated My Life on the D-List star Kathy Griffin not too long ago. I wonder if Steve Jobs will be watching?
Can we all agree that if you're a TV, film, or music star and you are reduced to going on a show called Celebirty Bull Riding, your career has pretty much at its lowest point?
It's Ty Murray's Celebrity Bull Riding Challenge, to be precise, and it premieres tonight at 9 on CMT. The celebs (or "celebs") involved in the six episode show include Leif Garrett, Stephen Baldwin, Vanilla Ice, and Johnny Fairplay from Survivor (the one who lied about his grandmother dying). The object of the show is for the gentlemen to learn how to rides bulls so they can participate in a rodeo in Nashville.
The relationship kicks off February 18th with Clarkson headlining the NEXTEL Tribute To America, live on Fox, before the Daytona 500. The commercial will combine race footage with Clarkson's performance and feature a song from her upcoming third album. She's in good company working with NASCAR. Other musicians that have been part of the promo series include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jewel, Lenny Kravitz, Leann Rimes, and Sheryl Crow.
Folks you're in luck, because Eric over at Death by Camera has done a little legwork and compiled a list of links to the MySpace pages for last night's rejected and accepted Minneapolis contestants. Dying to know more about The Juggler, The Jewel-Wannabe, or The Cowardly Lion Girl? Then check it out.