Real & Chance Reflect on Treatment by New York
The "American Idol" summer tour hits Little Rock Saturday (7/25) — which means a homecoming for Kris Allen, the Conway, Ark.-born winner of Season 8. He tells us he's really looking forward to the concert where friends and family are bound to turn out.
Allen says he talks every day to his wife of 10 months, Katy, who's stayed home "working and doing her thing" while he's out dealing with the rigors and rewards of the immensely popular 50-city concert trek. "She actually came out for a couple of shows," he says. "I mean, of course you're going to miss the person you're with. It's tough, but it's also — I'm having a great time out here."
Having endured sleepless nights, especially when the tour was just starting, he's glad to be getting into a rhythm that allows him to get some rest. He's getting used to the tidal wave of fan attention, he says. And the media.
You may recall the competition between Allen and first runner up Adam Lambert was described by The New York Times in Pat Boone vs. Elvis terms. Kris continues to be viewed as the boy-next-door singer/songwriter who's traipsed around the world doing missionary work, while Adam's the guyliner and leather-sporting rocker who came out as gay in Rolling Stone. Earlier this month, a small, fundamentalist church-affiliated group did an anti-gay demonstration outside one of the "A.I." concerts. The idols — all 10 finalists of the past season are on the tour — said later they weren't going to let it bother them. Does Kris feel any pressure to be a role model of one sort or another, as the Christian guy who's pals with the gay guy? "No," he answers flatly. "What would I have to be pressured about? I'm just trying to be me. If people don't want me to be friends with Adam, that's their problem, not mine. Adam's an amazing person, and I'm so happy to call him one of my really good friends."
Meanwhile, Kris is squeezing in time to write songs for his major label debut album, which is slated for a fall release by Jive Records. "I haven't done so much co-writing in my life. That's a little bit different for me. It's going real well," he says. "The multitalented musician adds, "It will have a sound that will be a surprise to people, but I think a really good surprise."
ALSO: As far as whether the contractless Paula Abdul will or won't return to the show, Kris says, "I don't know too much about that. I know some of the other idols know a little bit more than I do, talking to her, but I … I'm trying to … I'm just glad it's not anything bad about me," he admits. He laughs. "That's always a plus."
THE VIDEOLAND TWO: VH1's dynamic brother duo Real and Chance, who have a rap group called the Stallionaires, soared to a new level of fame when competing on the dating show "I Love New York." Chance made it all the way to the end before getting the boot, but he tells this column he's glad it happened. Otherwise he and his brother wouldn't be in the thick of their own dating show, "Real Chance of Love 2: Back in the Saddle," which is currently in its second season.
Referring to reality star Tiffany Pollard by her better-known moniker, he says, "The best thing New York could have done was get rid of a brother like me. As you see, she's not about nothing. I don't know if she's a guy or a woman anyway," Chance says with a jab. "She's said a lot of negative things about me and my brothers, and that hurts our feelings because we thought she was a real friend of ours. We became great friends, and I don't know what went wrong after the show. She did ask me to do something where I don't think I showed up, so it was pretty crazy from there on out," he recalls. "But love goes out to her whole family."
Real says things have worked out the way they' re supposed to, and they're just enjoying what's come their way. "Our life is so beautiful right now. The only thing is we don't really have as much privacy. We can't go as many places without getting bum rushed, but we're doing good. Television has given us a lot of opportunities, and this is just our beginning stage."
THINGS ARE ROUGH ALL OVER: Think Hollywood's famous folk have been spared the awfulness of the economic downturn? Well, there might be some celebrity schadenfreude ahead. Casting is going on for a new reality show that will feature — ready? — well-known actors and musicians with financial problems. Subjects, who must be willing to tell it all, will work with a top financial expert to find the root of their problems and get back on track, for a tidy sum of $25,000.
With reports by Emily Feimster.
To find out more about Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and read their past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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