Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo appeared on OK! magazine this week. The issue features a few compliments towards each of their careers. Without further ado, here are the scans
Monday, December 31, 2007
Show: Live with Regis and Kelly
Network: (SYN) Syndicated
Date: Friday - January 11, 2008
Time: 9/8c AM
about: Live with Regis and Kelly: 2008/01/11
Funnyman Howie Mandel returns to "Live" as Kelly's co-host as they welcome actress Katherine Heigl from the new movie "27 Dresses." Drew Lachey, host of the new ABC reality show "Dancing War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann," pays a visit, and "Live" staff members find out which fitness routine will help them reach their goal weight for "Live Staff Fitness Challenge 2: Lose It For Life."
Sunday, December 30, 2007
thanks Leslie for the info!
just a quick note to wish you all the best for the holiday season and to let you know the POPRepublic.tv IT List awards are on again...
Nick is nominated again, and so is nickfanatic.com (people are already putting you in the BEST FANSITE category!)
have a great one!
Cincinnati native Nick Lachey did our city proud by putting together such a fantastic and diverse choir and netting $250,000 for our Children's Hospital in the process in NBC's "Clash of the Choirs" competition.
Obviously, I'm biased but I think Nick put together the most diverse group representing a true cross-section of our city, not to mention choosing "Flight of the Bumblebee," a very brave and creative choice of a song.
With all the negativity going on in our city, such as Sheriff Simon Leis having to lay off all of those officers the day after Christmas, it's great to see our city in the national spotlight for something so positive.
CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Apparently, evangelist Bill Gothard would be ecstatic if the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland shut its doors. The Mike Huckabee supporter has been circulating a pledge that calls for religious music to replace all rock for all time. Besides asking people to take the pledge, Gothard reportedly has written that rock is "unclean" and "satanic." Does that make Cleveland the new Gomorrah on the Great Lake? Should Graceland -- the home of Elvis --switch its name to Gomorrahland?
Cincinnati rock musician Justin Jeffre is a bandmate of Nick Lachey, and credit Jeffre with discovering the anti-rock pledge: "Almighty Father, based on the authority of your Word and the testimony of others, I now propose to remove from my life any music that contains a 'ROCK BEAT'; and replace it with melodious music that glorifies You and edifies others."
Jeffre is building himself a reputation outside the music world as a political activist. He's run for office in Cincinnati as an independent and on the Green Party ticket. So far, no success. He may be on the verge of scoring a political splash by pointing out that Huckabee -- an ordained Baptist minister who plays bass in a rock band -- seems to consort with those who feel the music itself is perditious. Jeffre sent evangelist Gothard a "confession" last week about his activities with Lachey in their rock band called 98-degrees.
"I thought our group was just having a great time making our fans happy with fun music. If only we'd known how dangerous the 'ROCK BEAT' is . . ."
He also wanted to bring Gothard up to date on his pal, Huckabee.
"Anyway, steady yourself Dr. G, because I'm about to reveal some even shocking information about Gov. Huckabee. He recently told a New York Times reporter he wants The Rolling Stones to play his inaugural. Get thee behind me, Mick!"
Jason Haap at the Cincinnati Beacon has posted the complete text of Jeffre's letter to the man he considers the rock music-hating evangelist. It is full of links about the whole devil's music issue.
Posted by Bill Sloat at 12/30/2007
Pop star NICK LACHEY and his girlfriend have turned a problem neighbour into a new best friend after saving his life. The singer and Vanessa Minnillo jumped into action when an elderly man living in their New York apartment block collapsed as he stepped out of an elevator. Minnillo called the emergency services while her boyfriend grabbed the old guy's keys and dashed to get his angina medicine. The couple then stayed with the man until paramedics arrived and took him to hospital, according to the National Enquirer. Ironically, the man was among those who opposed Lachey and Minnillo's move into the condo, citing worries about the paparazzi who follow the couple everywhere.
Bill Gothard PhD, Founder/President
The Institute in Basic Life Principles
Oak Brook, IL
Dear Dr. Gothard:
For the past couple years, my colleague, the Dean of Cincinnati, has been writing articles about you and your various enterprises. Before then I’d never even heard of you, your institute, your “character-building" seminars, your unaccredited medical school, your unaccredited law school, your nursing program, your Children’s Institute, your bible-centered paramilitary boot camp, your music school, your culinary arts program, your Institute of Photographic Studies, your resort-style training center in Guadalajara, your upholstery training program, your hair design program, etc. As you know, I’m just scratching the surface - the list keeps just on going and according to this 2006 In These Times cover story, The Cult of Character, business is booming:
Gothard, the 74-year-old, unmarried man at the head of the Oak Brook, Illinois-based Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) - which brings in an estimated profit of at least $63 million annually - has been in the evangelism business since 1964.
But my letter today concerns matters far more serious than earthly possessions and multi-million dollar bank accounts. Today I’m asking you to save the eternal soul of the man you support to be the next President of the United States - Mike Huckabee. Thanks again to recent articles by The Dean, I learned that you and Governor Huckabee are longtime associates and that you were photographed together at a recent “Huckabee for President” campaign event at a Houston home. I also came across a December 13 Denver Post article about Matthew Murray, the young Colorado church shooter, which includes:
Murray also claims online that he went through Bill Gothard home schooling, a fundamental Christian organization that has about 2,000 students enrolled nationally. Gothard’s program bases a curriculum on the 54 verses from the Sermon on the Mount, and its strict teachings prohibit rock & roll and television. Gothard, in an interview Wednesday, said he “didn’t recall"ever meeting the Murray family, but he was sure one of the parents was probably trained in his program. Ultimately, Gothard blames rock music for Murray’s murderous rampage. “That is the most contributing factor,” said Gothard, who is based in a small town south of Chicago. “It’d be important to see the connection between his passion to rock music and how it ultimately brought this on.” Gothard said whenever he gets calls from parents having trouble with their kids, he asks about what they listen to. “In every case, (the kid) is listening to rock music,” he said.
Here’s why I’m writing you. Though it’s been widely reported in the media, it may have escaped your attention that Gov. Huckabee not only loves rock music, he plays bass guitar in a rock band! I have located numerous photographs of him engaging in this activity. I must warn you that these images may disturb you, but you may click here to view them.
I also have a confession to make. Like Gov. Huckabee, I’ve engaged in similar activities. For the past decade, I’ve been a member of 98 Degrees, a group that performs the kind of music warned against as “unclean” and “satanic” in an article you published, Ten Scriptural Reasons Why the “Rock Beat” is Evil in Any Form. Taken from that essay, here’s a list which might be called “Bill Gothard’s Ten Commandments of Rock”:
I. THE “ROCK BEAT” DECEIVES YOUTH INTO VIOLATING THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT
II. THE “ROCK BEAT” VIOLATES GOD’S COMMAND TO “GIVE NO PLACE TO THE DEVIL”
III. THE “ROCK BEAT” MOCKS GOD’S COMMAND TO “LOVE NOT THE WORLD”
IV. THE “ROCK BEAT” DISREGARDS GOD’S COMMAND NOT TO OFFEND OTHER CHRISTIANS
V. THE “ROCK BEAT” DEFIES GOD’S COMMAND TO JUDGE ALL THINGS AS GOOD OR EVIL
VI. THE “ROCK BEAT” DISOBEYS GOD’S COMMAND TO AVOID “ALL APPEARANCE OF EVIL”
VII. THE “ROCK BEAT” CONTRADICTS GOD’S COMMAND NOT TO BE BROUGHT UNDER ITS POWER
VIII. THE “ROCK BEAT” OPPOSES GOD’S COMMAND NOT TO MIX LIGHT WITH DARKNESS
IX. THE “ROCK BEAT” IGNORES GOD’S COMMAND FOR ALL MINISTERS TO BE QUALIFIED
X. THE “ROCK BEAT” VIOLATES GOD’S COMMAND TO PROTECT OUR BODIES AS GOD’S TEMPLE
I thought our group was just having a great time making our fans happy with fun music. If only we’d known how dangerous the “ROCK BEAT” is, we might have considered musical styles like the CDs and cassettes you sell on your website, such as The Music of the Children’s Institute: Volume 1 & 2, described as “Well-loved, character-teaching songs from the 1997-1998 Children’s Institutes sung by the Carman Family.”
Anyway, steady yourself, Dr. G, because I’m about to reveal some even more shocking information about Gov. Huckabee. He recently told a New York Times reporter he wants The Rolling Stones to play at his inaugural. Get thee behind me, Mick!
Bill, do you want Their Satanic Majesties to desecrate President Huckabee’s inauguration? Do you want a Commander in Chief who willfully violates your “Ten Commandments of Rock”? Do you want “The Star-Spangled Banner” performed with the “ROCK BEAT”? I’m wondering if you stand behind your own words. I’m sure you recognize this “Commitment to Reject the Deception of the ‘Rock Beat’ in Any Form”, a pledge you have asked others to sign:
“Almighty Father, based on the authority of your Word and the testimony of others, I now purpose to remove from my life any music that contains a “ROCK BEAT”; and to replace it with melodious music that glorifies You and edifies others.”
I’m now calling on you to make a public request for your good friend Mike Huckabee to sign it, too.
And there’s not a moment to waste. As I write this, CBS News reports that the Governor is encouraging the kind of blasphemy you said caused the Colorado tragedy:
With about 150 supporters crowded around a podium set up on the tarmac of Orlando Executive airport...Mike Huckabee strode out to the strains of “Right Now” by Van Halen....
You seem to prefer quick and easy answers, such as your claim that most mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, are simply a lack of personal responsibility.
Okay, now let’s see you take some personal responsibility.
For decades, you’ve been blaming rock music for society’s problems. Now’s your chance to make an international public statement, courtesy of your good friend, Rockin’ Mike Huckabee. What do you have to say to this man who consistently violates one of your most cherished “Basic Life Principles,” a man you want to be leader of the free world?
When are you going to condemn him like you condemned young Matthew Murray?
If that question’s too tough for you, I can direct you to some character-building seminars.
Friday, December 28, 2007
The surviving three choirs kicked things off with their takes on classic Christmas carols. The very likable Blake Shelton continued to insist he knew nothing about choirs, but he knew what sounded good. He referred to an unsuccessful auditioner who had choir experience and gave him some tips about what to do. Shelton's auditioning strategy was to find good lead singers and not necessarily voices that would blend. They performed the Kool and the Gang chestnut "Celebration."
Patti LaBelle despaired over finding a qualified choir at first, but was eventually very pleased with how it all came together. Her choir performed the Mary J. Blige song "No More Drama," but as has been the case much of the time for this group, the choir served as mere backing for a soloist. Patti surprised her choir by announcing that they would be accompanying her to a New Year's Eve show.
Nick Lachey continued to come across as the team captain that was having the best time, although his choir began by doing a Ray Conniff Singers-like version of the way overdone "What a Wonderful World." Tracy Morgan, usually on at this time in 30 Rock, appeared to plug a movie and looked like he might not be drunk for a change.
Kelly Rowland's choir, no longer in the competition, backed her on "Survivor," in the same way Kelly once backed Beyonce. Maria Menounos began her interview with the choir by misidentifying the woman she was speaking to. Michael Bolton sang "When A Man Loves A Woman," which I know because I didn't get to the mute button in time. Team Shelton finished with a very uncomfortable-sounding "Boondocks." Michael Bolton's choir, eliminated from the competition yesterday, got their last performance in with "Ain't Nothin' Like the Real Thing." Kelly Rowland's group did "One Sweet Day" for their farewell. Patti's choir's last performance was the fate-tempting "We Are the Champions," with a lead vocalist who channeled the old Star Search weirdo Sam Harris.
The whole thing seemed to come apart in the last minute. Maria said the voting margin had been close. Team Lachey finished up with Earth, Wind, and Fire's "Sing a Song," and it was clearly the best performance of the night, as they made much better use of choreography than their rivals had. Maria announced the choir that had finished third: the Sheltons. Blake Shelton said the state of Oklahoma would be proud of all of them. Maria said the four non-winning choirs would all get a $50,000 gift courtesy from the corporate parents at GE. The winning choir was...Team Lachey (announced by Tracy Morgan as "Team Lakey")! Nick now has something to come back with when brother Drew taunts him about his Dancing with the Stars win.
Even though I declared Patti LaBelle's group superior after the first night, I changed my mind; the Cincinnatians were more inventive and worked together better as a group. This was a novelty show that worked, and I can see NBC pulling it out of mothballs every December. Maybe now I'll stop confusing Maria Menounos with Lachey's girlfriend Vanessa Minnillo. [Water Cooler Convo]
Yes, it’s been a wonderful world for Nick Lachey’s Cincinnati singers this week, winners of NBC’s “Clash of the Choirs” reality show Thursday.
The 20 members of the choir, their families and friends, celebrated the victory early today with a two-hour Manhattan boat cruise starting at 1:30 a.m. on the East River, and into New York harbor.
When the boat stopped in front of the Statue of Liberty, all the choir members and Lachey went to the top deck and sang “What A Wonderful World,” the 1967 Louis Armstrong song they had performed on TV on Thursday night.
Lachey paid for the cruise, several choir members said. The Cincinnati group didn’t get back to hotels until after 4 a.m., said Dan Hilen of Lakota East High School, father of singer April Hilen of Mason. Most of the choir members returned to this area Thursday afternoon at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
For the singers – some of whom had never been to New York – the boat party was the first time they could unwind since arriving there a week ago. Rehearsals began most days this week at 7 a.m.
Lachey’s Cincinnati choir was named the winner of the $250,000 competition about 9:55 p.m. Thursday. Patti LaBelle’s Philadelphia choir finished second.
After the show Thursday, Lachey thanked Cincinnati viewers for their support, in an Enquirer interview. Cincinnati’s WLWT-TV (Channel 5) was NBC’s No. 1 station for the show Thursday, with a 13.6 rating (120,618 homes) and a 23 percent audience share. That was more than double the national overnight average (6 rating/10 percent share), says a NBC spokesman.
“We saw the ratings. We know the support for reality TV in Cincinnati is huge,” Lachey said. “We want to thank all the people in Cincinnati. They made this happen for us.”
Lachey hand-picked the 20 vocalists from 350 people who auditioned six weeks ago.
They represented a cross-section of Greater Cincinnnati and Northern Kentucky: teachers, a chili server, a nurse, an employment trainer, cell phone and software salesmen, choir directors and college students.
They won the live TV competition with their variety of styles and music selection, including an a cappella "Flight of the Bumblebee" Wednesday.
"I've been blown away by my choir's poise. It's made up of amateur singers. They've never done this before," Lachey said on Thursday's show.
To come on national television and perform in front of millions of people, it is unbelievable . . . because I’m petrified, and I've done it for 10 years," said Lachey, 34, a 1992 School for Creative & Performing Arts graduate.
Patti LaBelle's Philadelphia choir, which rocked the studio Wednesday night with her "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," placed second. Blake Shelton’s Oklahoma City choir was third.
In a surprise, host Maria Menounos announced that the four other choirs in the competition also won $50,000 each for their charities.
The 20-member vocal ensemble began rehearsals at 7 a.m. Thursday for the final show, which NBC and producers decided Wednesday afternoon to expand to two hours.
All five choirs – from Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Oklahoma City, Houston and New Haven, Conn. – appeared on the show.
One good omen for Cincinnati was strong ratings for the live “Clash of the Choirs” broadcasts on WLWT-TV (Channel 5). Cincinnati was No. 2 in the nation Wednesday, with an 11.7 rating (103,767 homes) and a 19 percent audience share. Only Richmond, Va., had more viewers.
Choir member Chuck Merk, 35, a Lakota West High School geometry teacher, says the other choirs were blown away by “Bumblebee.”
“They said, ‘I can’t believe you sang that. That’s so cool!’ It was THE show-stopper,” Merk said by phone, at a rehearsal break. Merk also says that the studio band members did not know that Lachey would stop them from playing “Bumblebee,” so his choir could sing a cappella. “That was totally unscripted,” he says.
While the choir rehearses hundreds of miles away, Cincinnati residents are basking in the glow of positive publicity for the city and its institutions. Twice NBC has aired taped features from Children’s Hospital Medical Center, which will receive $250,000 after the victory.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to show the nation all that Cincinnati has to offer,” says Mindy Rosen, Downtown Cincinnati Inc. vice president.
Many Children’s Hospital Medical Center employees “have been glued to TV at home this week rooting for the hometown choir,” says Nick Miller, hospital spokesman.
“It’s been exciting to see the city and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital featured on national television, and to be represented by what obviously is an extremely talented group of singers. Most important, however, is the medical center truly appreciates the efforts of Nick Lachey and his team to support our employees and mission to care for children,” Miller says.
And Children's Hospital Medical Center, which received the $250,000 prize won on NBC's show Thursday, plans to put them on stage for a hometown concert.
"Cincinnati Children's would be thrilled and honored to participate in a concert by 'Team Lachey' and our hometown choir," said Jim Anderson, the hospital president and CEO. "It would give us the opportunity to thank each of the 20 choir members and their families, Nick Lachey and Steve Zegree (the choirmaster) for all of the time and effort they gave to showcase our wonderful city and Cincinnati Children's to the nation."
The 20 singers received a hero's welcome Friday afternoon at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport after an exhausting week in New York for the four-day reality TV competition.
They had started rehearsal at 7 a.m. Thursday, and had to wait until the end of the 8-10 p.m. live telecast to be declared the winners over choirs from Philadelphia, Houston, Oklahoma City and New Haven, Conn.
After celebrating in NBC's studio, the singers and their families and friends boarded a boat at 1:30 a.m. for a two-hour cruise on the East River and New York harbor. Lachey paid for the cruise, several choir members said.
When the boat stopped in front of the Statue of Liberty, all the choir members and Lachey went to the top deck and sang "What A Wonderful World," the 1967 Louis Armstrong song they had performed on TV Thursday night, said Dan Hilen, father of singer April Hilen, music director at Glen Este Middle School.
April Hilen has another reason to remember the trip. Her boyfriend, Andrew Tunney, 25, of Mason, proposed to her on the boat. "It was such a perfect moment," said Hilen, 24.
A crowd of about 150 family and fans greeted the singers as they strolled into the airport. Chants of "Team Lachey! Team Lachey!" filled the air as the singers ran up to greet loved ones. Children's Hospital representatives held signs saying "Thanks Team Lachey."
"It has been an incredible experience in New York," said Willrudale Underwood, 47, who sang in the choir with his daughter, Arielle, 20.
NBC several times showed Kathy Underwood in the studio audience - Will's wife and Arielle's mother - who is battling breast cancer. "Seeing her there gave me strength and courage," said Will, who sings with the Cincinnati Church of Christ choir in Deer Park.
"I've never experienced anything in my life like this before," said Carrie Scott-Taylor, a 1988 School for Creative & Performing Arts graduate. The Kennedy Heights resident was featured on NBC taking her daughter, Endiah, 8, to Children's Hospital for monthly sickle-cell anemia treatments.
"When I found out about the Children's Hospital connection, I really became passionate about being in the choir. I wanted to give back to them, for all the things they're doing for my family," said Scott-Taylor, mother of three.
With the $250,000, Children's Hospital will purchase newborn "isolettes" ($66,000 each) for transport ambulances and "giraffe beds" ($35,000 each), a special isolette that monitors body heat and humidity, for the Regional Center for Newborn Intensive Care, said Amy Caruso, hospital spokeswoman.
The choir victory Thursday also means the local singers will record a song with Lachey on his new album, due out in spring. "I will make good on that," Lachey said late Thursday.
If the hospital can pull together a homecoming concert, Lachey said he would be there. Lachey, a former College Hill resident, is a 1992 graduate of the School for Creative & Performing Arts.
"Everybody definitely wants to have a hometown Cincinnati concert. Everyone loves the idea," said choir member Meghan Watkins, 24, a Mount Lookout music therapist.
WHO'S WHO ON TEAM LACHEY
Lisa J. Baldwin, Oxford, Miami University senior music performance and journalism major; 2004 Lakota East High School graduate.
Kevin Chamberlain, 29, Wilmington, cell-phone salesman; Ohio University graduate and former Singing Men of Ohio (University) member; 1996 Wilmington High School graduate.
Mary Beth Fitzpatrick-King, 32, Aurora, Ind., new marketing officer for Grand Victoria Casino; vocalist for the U.S. Air Force Air Mobility Command Band (1997-2001); was interviewed on Thursday finale about her 3-year-old daughter, Melody Grace Fitzpatrick, dying of a brain tumor in 2003; a 1993 New Richmond High School graduate.
Shonda Fowler, 33, College Hill, University Hospital nurse; "NXS" host on WBQC-TV (5:30 p.m. Saturday, Channel 38); 1992 School for Creative & Performing Arts School graduate with Nick Lachey (her first kiss); performed with him in "Sweeney Todd," "A Christmas Carol" and "Little Miss Sunshine" at SCPA. Mother of two.
Jo'Ram Griffin, 22, Walnut Hills, clerical specialist in child care for Hamilton County Job and Family Services Department since February; 2004 SCPA graduate.
April Hilen, 24, Mason, Glen Este Middle School music director; 2002 Lakota East High School graduate. Mother of Cole, 5.
Christy Ledden, 21, Oxford, Miami University senior music education major; member of Miami's Collegiate Chorale; grew up in Hebron, moved to Mason at age 11; 2004 Mason High School graduate.
Erin McCamley, 18, Anderson Township, freshman music composition major at Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory; 2007 Cincinnati Country Day School graduate.
Chuck Merk, 35, Deerfield Township, Lakota West High school geometry teacher; former Miami University Men's Glee Club member; graduated from Miami University in 1995; has blogged about "Clash of the Choirs" on his Web site, www.chuckmerk.com.
Scott Metcalf, 26, Hyde Park, software salesman; 2004 Miami University graduate (finance major); grew up in Kenwood; sang in Cincinnati BoyChoir in grade school; member of the Indian Hill High School Premieres show choir for three years; lived two years in Los Angeles to pursue being a singer-songwriter while working as a financial analyst; 2000 Indian Hill High School graduate.
Ellen Schnier, 25, North College Hill, a Ball State University music theater graduate who has worked in New York; sings with Trinity Lutheran Church choir in Mount Healthy; grew up in College Hill; 2001 McAuley High School graduate.
John Scott, 27, Covington, United Way of Greater Cincinnati senior relationship administrator; Covington Fellowship Church of God music director; member of the Fulfilled Christian music group with cousin Carrie Scott-Taylor, also a choir member; 1998 Winton Woods High School graduate.
Carrie Scott-Taylor, Kennedy Heights, stay-at-home mother; member of the Fulfilled Christian music group with cousin John Scott; featured on Wednesday's show with daughter Endiah, 8, who is treated monthly at Children's Hospital Medical Center for sickle-cell anemia; has two other children, Edward, 17, and Eriah, 14; 1988 SCPA graduate.
Kenny Smith, 42, Mount Washington, music director of First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati in Avondale; director of Peace & Serenity gospel group; 1983 SCPA graduate.
Jordan Thompson, Oxford, Miami University junior zoology major from Zanesville.
LeShawn Tucker, Dayton, Ohio.
Arielle Underwood, 20, Springfield Township, a model; quit school in New York and returned home when her mother's breast cancer returned; 2005 "American Idol" contestant while a SCPA senior; daughter of choir member Willrudale Underwood; 2005 SCPA graduate.
Willrudale Underwood, 47, Roselawn, Easter Seals employment trainer; shown on Monday's show auditioning with daughter Arielle; wife, Kathy, being treated for breast cancer, was shown several times in the TV studio audience; oldest of the group; sings at Cincinnati Church of Christ choir in Deer Park.
Nick Wall, 20, Dent, Bridgetown Road Skyline Chili server; turned 20 on Dec. 14 while in New York with the choir; sings at First Baptist Church of Dent; was Ohio All-State Choir soloist as a high school senior; 2006 Oak Hills High School graduate.
Meghan Watkins, 24, Mount Lookout, a music therapist; majored in voice and music therapy at Ohio University; 2001 Ursuline Academy graduate.
NBC’s “Clash of the Choirs” has ended, but Nick Lachey’s triumphant 20-member choir doesn’t want to stop singing.
Children’s Hospital Medical Center, which received the $250,000 prize from Thursday’s TV show, plans to put them on stage here for a hometown concert.
“We are looking into this possibility of a choir performance,” says Jim Anderson, the hospital president and CEO.
“Cincinnati Children’s would be thrilled and honored to participate in a concert by ‘Team Lachey’ and our hometown choir. It would give us the opportunity to thank each of the 20 choir members and their families, Nick Lachey, and Steve Zegree (the choirmaster) for all of the time and effort they gave to showcase our wonderful city and Cincinnati Children’s to the nation,” Anderson says.
The 20 singers received a hero’s welcome at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport Friday afternoon, after an exhausting week in New York for the four-day holiday reality TV competition.
They had started rehearsals at 7 a.m. Thursday, and had to wait until the end of the 8-10 p.m. live telecast to be declared the winners over choirs from Philadelphia, Houston, Oklahoma City and New Haven, Conn. Again Cincinnati was NBC’s No. 1 station nationally, part of the show’s 8.1-million TV audience.
After celebrating in NBC’s studio, the singers and their families and friends boarded a boat at 1:30 a.m. for a two-hour cruise on the East River and New York harbor. Lachey paid for the cruise, several choir members said.
When the boat stopped in front of the Statue of Liberty, all the choir members and Lachey went to the top deck and sang “What A Wonderful World,” the 1967 Louis Armstrong song they had performed on TV Thursday night, said Dan Hilen of Lakota East High School, father of singer April Hilen, music director at Glen Este Middle School.
April has another reason to remember serenading Lady Liberty. Her boyfriend, Andrew Tunney, 25, of Mason, proposed to her on the boat.
“It was such a perfect moment,” said Hilen, 24, holding her son, Cole, 5.
A crowd of about 150 family and fans greeted the singers as they strolled into the airport. Chants of “Team Lachey! Team Lachey!” filled the air as the singers ran up to greet loved ones. Children’s Hospital representatives held signs saying “Thanks Team Lachey.”
“This is great. Cincinnati is great. God is great,” said choir member John Scott, 27, of Covington, as he hugged his two children, Joy, 6 months, and Jackson, 4.
“It has been an incredible experience in New York,” says Willrudale Underwood, 47, who sang in the choir with his daughter, Arielle, 20.
NBC several times showed Kathy Underwood, Will’s wife and Arielle’s mother, in the studio audience. She is battling breast cancer.
“Seeing her there gave me strength and courage,” says Will, who sings the in Cincinnati Church of Christ choir in Deer Park.
“I’ve never experienced anything in my life like this before,” says Carrie Scott-Taylor, a 1988 School for Creative & Performing Arts graduate. The Kennedy Heights resident was featured on NBC taking her daughter, Endiah, 8, to Children’s Hospital for monthly sickle-cell anemia treatments.
“When I found out about the Children’s Hospital connection, I really became passionate about being in the choir. I wanted to give back to them, for all the things they’re doing for my family,” says Scott-Taylor, mother of three.
With the $250,000, Children’s Hospital will purchase newborn “isolettes” ($66,000 each) for transport ambulances, and “giraffe beds” ($35,000 each), a special isolette which monitors body heat and humidity, for the Regional Center for Newborn Intensive Care, says Amy Caruso, hospital spokeswoman.
The choir victory Thursday also means the local singers will record a song with Lachey on his new album, due out in spring. “I will make good on that,” Lachey said of his promise to choir members if they won.
And if the hospital can pull together a homecoming concert, “I would certainly be there. I’d be happy to do that. Children’s Hospital is such a great cause,” says the 1992 School for Creative & Performing Arts graduate and former College Hill resident.
“Everybody definitely wants to have a hometown Cincinnati concert. Everyone loves the idea,” says choir member Meghan Watkins, 24, a Mount Lookout music therapist.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
This is the video of them practicing for the Disney Christmas parade today. They are all dressed in their outfits and doing everything that we saw them do today. I don’t have video of the actual Christmas parade - yet, but it is coming. So, right now just enjoy them practicing - this is the real deal, just not polished like we saw today. It features - Helio Castroneves and Julianne Hough, Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke, Kym Johnson and Joey Fatone, and Sabrina Bryan and Mark Ballas. You can also see Derek Hough, Tony Dovolani, Edyta and hubby Alec Mazo in the background also dancing.
You can see that Mark still isn’t recovered from his shoulder injury. His left arm is useless, but he still looks good regardless. Helio - not really digging his yellow pants, but he is still cute as can be. Joey and Kym as well as Drew and Cheryl still have it going on. It was a great opening to the show.
CINCINNATI (AP) — Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center has something to sing about, thanks to Nick Lachey and the hometown choir he put together.
They were declared the winners on Thursday night's finale of NBC's "Clash of the Choirs," taking home $250,000 for the hospital.
Lachey's choir beat four other choirs led by music celebrities who went to their home areas to find talent. The choirs performed live in four airings from New York City this week. The winner was determined by viewer voting.
"I've been blown away by my choir's poise. It's made up of amateur singers. They've never done this before," Lachey, 34, said on the show.
He hand-picked the 20 vocalists in his choir from 350 people who auditioned six weeks ago. The choir included teachers, a chili server, a nurse, cell phone and software salesmen, choir directors and college students.
Many Children's Hospital Medical Center employees "have been glued to TV at home this week rooting for the hometown choir," said Nick Miller, hospital spokesman.
Patti LaBelle's Philadelphia choir placed second, while Blake Shelton's Oklahoma City choir was third. Also competing: Michael Bolton's New Haven, Conn., choir and Kelly Rowland's Houston choir. The show surprised these choirs with a $50,000 donation from GE to each of their charities.
The last time Jimmie Johnson climbed on top of a golf cart was disastrous — he fell off, broke his wrist and was embarrassed by the controversy the stunt caused.
But for charity, the NASCAR champion might be persuaded to climb on top of one again.
Johnson and good friend Nick Lachey told The Associated Press on Thursday they had partnered to form the Super Skins Celebrity Golf Classic, which will be held in Scottsdale, Ariz., in conjunction with the Super Bowl.
Johnson, who was horsing around on top of a cart when he fell last December during Mike Hampton's celebrity tournament, didn't rule it out.
"I might be talked into such a thing, if I can get some bindings to hold me on and make sure I won't fall off," he joked. "It is for charity, after all."
"We're going to play chicken on top of the golf carts," Lachey quickly chimed in.
Johnson, the two-time defending Cup champion, had been trying for some time to organize an event with pop singer Lachey, one of five musical celebrities on NBC's new reality competition series, "Clash of the Choirs." They have been friends for years, and Lachey is a frequent guest at NASCAR races.
They usually attend the Super Bowl together, and decided it was a perfect venue for their first charitable event.
The event will open with an exclusive party at Scottsdale nightclub Axis Radius, and the tournament will follow on Feb. 2. Lachey and Johnson have each pledged $125,000 to the purse, which has already reached $400,000 through outside sponsorship.
The two hope to fatten the purse through an eBay auction that allows fans to bid on a chance to play the event with either Johnson or Lachey.
Each hole will be worth $20,000, and the winning team will designate the earnings to the charity of their choice.
"If we can actually win a skin, we can donate the money to our personal foundations, but I am not counting on that happening," Lachey said. "We really wanted to give people a chance to raise some money for their charities and mostly to have some fun. We've been to a bunch of Super Bowls and go to so many events, we said, `Why don't we just do something ourselves?'
"We've been very happy with the response, and we think people are going to have a good time and want to come back again."
The two have a three-year commitment for the tournament from Prime Cuts Production, and plan to hold it in conjunction with the next three Super Bowls. They said they have participation commitments from celebrities from their respective arenas, but declined to reveal the players.
The event will cap a busy winter for both stars. Lachey finishes up "Clash of the Choirs" this week, and Johnson just returned from the Race of Champions in London.
Well, I was going to post this edition on Christmas Day itself, but I was up til about 11:15pm & literally fell asleep & couldn't post the episode. But, it's here now! And on this edition, we recap the 2007 Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade! Note that some pieces in here were from the actual recording of the show a month ago, some were from the show itself, & some are from CD. Here's what we feature:
Kicking off the special will be a blockbuster performance from the hit show Dancing With The Stars. Newly crowned champion Helio Castroneves, Sabrina Bryan, Joey Fatone, & Drew Lachey with their professional dance partners Julianne Hough, Mark Ballas, Kym Johnson, & Cheryl Burke will perform an original holiday dance number choreographed by Dancing With The Stars dancer Tony Dovolani & sung by Grammy Award-winning Latin singer Jon Secada.
One of the hottest musical trios performing today, sibling pop-rockers the Jonas Brothers, sing one of their latest tunes, a seasonal pop-rock song titled "Girl of My Dreams."
Songstress & R&B legend Patti LaBelle, who recently released her newest CD, Miss Patti's Christmas, will perform "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year."
American Idol sweetheart Katharine McPhee will perform a Disney Princess-inspired number, singing a medley of some of Disney's classic tunes.
Stars from Disney Channel's blockbusters High School Musical & High School Musical 2-- Vanessa Hudgens , Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, & Ashley Tisdale -- will give a holiday twist to one of the popular tunes from High School Musical 2. The group performs a customized version of the hit song "What Time Is It?" and answers the song title's question with a new musical answer, "It's Christmas Time!" Note that there are a couple of audio faults in this section. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause!
America's hottest entertainment sensation, Miley Cyrus, the multi-talented performer & star of Disney Channel's popular series "Hannah Montana," will sing the energetic, seasonal favorite "All I Want for Christmas is You."
Multi-platinum-selling singer-songwriter Jessica Simpson will bring the curtain down on this year's special with a moving rendition of the Christmas classic, "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing." Joining Simpson will be the world-famous, New York-based Harlem Gospel Choir that has performed for Nelson Mandela & the late Pope John Paul II.
And finally, from the new Enchanted soundtrack that I received in my mail, it's Carrie Underwood's "Ever Ever After"!
Click here to get your own player.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I have never heard this song before. I was browsing Youtube my new found obsession and I fell upon this Christmas Song by Nick. And of course I had to share even if noone else will see this! lol.
Theres no video but the song is Amazing. What do you think??
So I found this on Youtube & I just had to post it here!! How cute is this??
I have personal reasons for being tickled by Nick Lachey's choice of Garth Brooks' "Friends In Low Places" for his choir's song on the second night of "Clash of the Choirs," besides the fact that it's highly inappropriate but fun. That song was very popular during the summer of 1992, during which I sold beer under the Eiffel Tower at Cincinnati’s King’s Island amusement park, near which the park's barbershop quartet used to sometimes used to stop and sing. And in that group of straw-hatted, stripped-shirt wearing singers was a guy my sister and I used to refer to as Hot Barbershop Quartet Guy, but whose name, which I never knew at the time, was Nick Lachey.
I figured this out several years ago when 98 Degrees, Nick's former boy band, was about to perform at the York Fair in York, Pa., where I used to work. I was interviewing his brother, Drew, and mentioned that I spent the summer of 1992 in their native Cincy, working at King's Island. He told me that Nick and Justin Jeffre, another future 98 Degrees member, were there that summer, in the barbershop quartet. And suddenly, a memory of a very young Nick Lachey smiling under the brim of a white straw hat smacked me in the head.
"I remember him!" I told Drew. "My sister and I used to refer to him as Hot Barbershop Quartet Guy!"
"Did you know him?" Drew asked.
"Never even talked to him," I answered, explaining that Show People and Food Service people were on two distinct levels of the King's Island caste system. Show People were were up, and food service was somewhere between maintenance and the ride people, although I always felt sorry for the guys dressed as Fred Flintstone who used to get punched by cotton candy-drunk brats.
I called my sister and asked her if she could guess who Nick Lachey had been at King's Island - "Hot Barbershop Quartet Guy?" she screamed excitedly. I also repeated that story about three of four years back to Nick's then-wife Jessica Simpson, who also asked if I knew him and seemed tickled by the story, and slightly relieved that the story didn't end "And then there was the time I made out with your husband..."
If I could go back to 1992, I would walk up to Nick Lachey after he finished singing "Good Night Ladies" or what have you, and just say hi, because the story would be better that way. I would also have asked not to work under the Eiffel Tower, because the uniforms were culottes and an off-the-shoulder blouse that looked like Ghetto St. Pauli Girl. And sweet memories are never made of culottes.
Posted by Leslie Streeter at December 19, 2007 11:30 AM
This just in: The popularity of NBC's "Clash of the Choirs" week has prompted the network to expand Thursday's finale to two hours (8-10 p.m., Channels 5, 2).
Tuesday's live telecast from
The 20 local singers and Lachey will learn on tonight's two-hour broadcast (8-10 p.m., Channels 5, 2) if their performance of Garth Brooks' "Friends In Low Places" won them one of three spots in the finals tonight. One of the four remaining choirs –
The three finalists each will sing three songs tonight. If
On Tuesday, Channel 5's ratings fell to No. 6 nationally with a 9.0 and 15 percent audience share (but still above the 5.6/9% national overnight average). Cincinnati finished behind NBC stations in
The choir began rehearsing at 6:30 a.m. today in
Nick Wall of Dent received a belated birthday present Tuesday - a solo on NBC's "Clash of the Choirs."
Wall, who turned 20 Friday in New York with Nick Lachey's choir, led the group in a wonderfully harmonic version of Garth Brooks' "Friends in Low Places" on live national TV.
"I feel this is my time to show everybody that I do have some talent, that it's my moment to shine" said the 2006 Oak Hills graduate in a taped segment before the performance.
The Bridgetown Road Skyline Chili server said he had lost nearly 30 pounds preparing for the TV competition.
"I always wanted to sing, but my weight held me back. I was afraid of what people thought of me," said Wall, whose father, Dennis, provided the choir's "Team Lachey" shirts.
During the live show, Kelly Rowland's Houston choir was eliminated from the contest. Another choir will be expelled today (8-10 p.m., Channels 5, 2), based on viewers' votes.
The three finalists will perform three songs each tonight. The winner - based on viewers' votes - will be announced Thursday (8-9 p.m.).
If the local choir wins, $250,000 will be given to Children's Hospital Medical Center's newborn intensive care unit. Lachey chose the hospital because his stepbrother Isaac was born premature 16 years ago.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I can't embed it but you can watch it here!
Let's get this party started. NYC hotspot Club Tenjune got into the holiday mood the other night. And who better to get the cocktails flowing than former 98 Degrees crooner, Nick Lachey and his sweetie, Vanessa Minnillo. Nick was also getting the attention of a few chicks at the bash, but Vanessa was always close by to make sure her man was safe.
They Sound great!!!
Download it Now From Itunes
Nick Lachey sang the theme song for the movie For One More Day. The song is being released on iTunes today. Available now exclusively on Nickfanatic.com - Nick Lachey's new song release Ordinary Day.
Nick Lachey was on Z100 this morning. They talked about 98 degrees and asked him if he still kept in touch with the guys, which he does. They had him make them into a choir. They sang a song called 'Dominick the Donkey'. It was funny. They talked about the show last night and said that Nick did great. Patti LaBelle was the best but they voted for Nick anyway. Nick mentioned the charity he's trying to win for and said that Drew and Issac (brothers) were both born premature so he wants to support this charity. Here's a poll they did...
Does Greg T. and Nick Lachey look like twins?
Poll & Picture Here
NIck's Instudio Pics Here
GO here to leave Comments!
Did Nick Lachey's Cincinnati choir do well enough to sing a second night? I think so... even though I thought "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield wasn't the best song I heard at rehearsal about two weeks ago. It wasn't as jazzy as the other songs they've learned under Steve Zegree, the Western Michigan Univ jazz professor (and a Miami grad?).
Certainly Cincinnati got lots of great attention -- with video of the skyline, Fountain Square, Music Hall, Children's Hospital Medical Center newborn intensive card unit, the School for Creative & Performing Arts and Graeter's ice cream (yeah, like he really dished up ice cream and rode a trolley to look for singers).
The story line was very touching about Arielle Underwood and her dad, who forgot the lyrics to "Fly Me To The Moon," and her mom battling breast cancer. SCPA grad Arielle, 20, made it to the Hollywood round on "American Idol" two years ago. (NBC still has more stories in the bank, about a singer with a sick child treated at Children's Hospital; an Indiana woman who lost a child to a brain tumor; and maybe more on University Hospital nurse Shonda Fowler, Nick's classmate/first kiss.)
Did you notice in the Lachey bio, they jumped from 98 degrees to his solo career -- and forgot to mention his hit MTV show, "Newlyweds" with Jessica Simpson? Who inspired his hit "What's Left Of Me?" (which the Cincinnati singers will perform with Lachey Wednesday night, if they make it to the finals).
NBC paced the show well. The bad/goofy singers provided comic relief. So did country singer Blake Shelton, who "had no clue" about choirs, and asked one woman if she had been drinking before the audition. I liked his taped piece the best.
From my scorecard on the first night: Michael Bolton played the best air guitar; Patti LaBelle wins for best hat (multiple nominations); all groups tied in their ability to shake their shoulders (a whole lotta shakin' going on); tied for stupidest gimmicks were Nick's trolley and that Cincinnati lady in the chicken suit.
Worst moments: The repeated gushing by the celebrity choir leaders. (Where's Simon when you need him?) This will get old by Wednesday. Will we hear the least little criticism from anyone? (Or was it when the host thanked the soldiers "for making the ultimate sacrifice?" I don't think she meant a death wish.)
I'd say Round One goes to Patti LaBelle's Philly singers tonight. I think Cincinnati did well enough to advance. My guess is Michael Bolton's New Haven choir goes home, I think they did the least with "Living On A Prayer" and had the fewest solos.
You tell me: Who were the best and worst? posted by John Kiesewetter at 10:18 PM
Nick Lachey’s Cincinnati choir opened to rave reviews in New York Monday night on NBC’s “Clash of the Choirs” premiere.
“They sounded incredible,” said country music star Blake Shelton, after Cincinnati singers’ rousing performance of Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten.”
R&B singer Patti LaBelle, called the song by 20 Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky residents “wonderful.”
Said Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child: “I honestly have to say, ‘Go Cincinnati!’ You guys are great!”
The Cincinnat ensemble is competing with choirs and celebrities from four cities: Philadelphia (LaBelle), Oklahoma City (Shelton), Houston (Rowland) and New Haven, Conn. (Michael Bolton).
As with Fox’s “American Idol,” the No. 1 TV show last season, “Clash Of The Choirs” showed the good and off-beat auditions. NBC viewers saw Cincinnatians jumping rope, wearing funny T-shirts and one woman in a big yellow chicken costume.
Through auditions, viewers were introduced to Shonda Fowler, 33, a University Hospital nurse and Lachey’s 1992 School for Creative & Performing Arts classmate. She reminded him the he was her first kiss.
Cincinnati auditions also provided the first emotionally powerful moment, when Willrudale Underwood, 47, auditioned with his daughter, Arielle, 20, hours after his wife’s treatment for breast cancer.
Willrudale and Arielle were seen hugging while singing “Unwritten” on live TV, while his wife, Kathy, watched in the audience.
“I’m so excited to be here. This is a dream come true for me, to be able to sing with my daughter,” Willrudale told the national TV audience.
One choir will be eliminated on today’s show (8 p.m., Channels 5, 2), based on viewers’ votes after Monday’s show.
The remaining four will perform one song each tonight. Another choir will be eliminated at the opening of Wednesday’s show (8-10 p.m.), leaving three finalists to perform three songs each.
The winner – based strictly on viewers’ votes – will be announced on Thursday (8-9 p.m.). If the Lachey’s local choir wins, a $250,000 donation will be made to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center newborn intensive care unit.
Monday, December 17, 2007
By DAMIAN HOLBROOK
TV Guide: How did you pick your choir?
Nick Lachey: We had, like, 400 people audition, and had to taper that down to a more reasonable 50 or so. Then I came in and heard [those], one by one. It just came down to blend and making all of those voices sound good as one unit.
TV Guide: Are they doing any of your songs?
Lachey: I think every artist is going to have their choir do one of their own songs, so I think we're gonna do "What's Left of Me".... That'll be a cool moment.
TV Guide: Would you ever do another reality show?
Lachey: Only one like this. I could never see myself getting into a situation [like Newlyweds] where I was completely exposed to the cameras again.
TV Guide: You've always come off as a normal guy who wound up in an extraordinary situation.
Lachey: [Laughs] That's kind of how it felt! I don't think I saw that [all] unfolding the way it did. And then it became a bit of a phenomenon and once you're in it... you can't get out. It's one of those things that evolved in front of [me] and I learned my lesson from it.
TV Guide: I just saw a tabloid with pics of you and [girlfriend] Vanessa Minnillo that read "Are They Headed for the Altar?"
Lachey: Yeah, well, they've been saying that for the past year. [Laughs] And they could take the same picture next week and write, "Are They Headed for a Split?" They write whatever they feel like.
TV Guide: How does that not drive you crazy?
Lachey: The only thing I can do is live my life, man. You can't stop people from taking pictures and writing stories, but you can control how you react. I just try to ignore it and do my thing.
Check out a preview of Clash of the Choirs in our Online Video Guide.
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The tickets are for $29.00
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Canton Palace Theatre
Nick Lachey knows his hometown loves reality TV, so he's counting on huge viewer voting to propel his Cincinnati ensemble into NBC's "Clash of the Choirs" finals this week.
"Call! Call! Call!" urges Lachey, 34, the celebrity leader of the local 20-voice choir in NBC's four-day holiday TV competition.
The Cincinnati singers will compete on live TV from New York with choirs and stars from Philadelphia (R&B star Patti LaBelle); New Haven, Conn. (pop singer Michael Bolton); Houston (Kelly Rowland from Destiny's Child); and Oklahoma City (country musician Blake Shelton).
Only viewers' votes by phone and www.nbc.com will determine which four choirs advance Tuesday; which three perform in the Wednesday finals; and which one wins the contest Thursday.
Lachey believes that the huge reality TV appetite in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky last year helped his younger brother, Drew, win ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," which was based on viewers' voting. Greater Cincinnati also has been CBS' No. 1 market for "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race."
"Cincinnati got behind Drew, and he won 'Dancing with the Stars.' That's how he did it. It sure wasn't through talent," Lachey says with a laugh.
Area viewers need to do the same for his choir, says the 1992 School for Creative & Performing Arts graduate who first found fame singing in 98° with Drew.
More than just bragging rights are at stake. If Cincinnati wins, Children's Hospital Medical Center neonatal intensive care unit will receive a cash prize from NBC.
Lachey also has promised the choir members they will record a song with him if they win the reality TV show.
"I'm a competitive guy, so I'm always feeling competitive. I wouldn't have agreed to do this if I didn't want to win it."• After the show, post your critique on John Kiesewetter's TV blog
Sunday, December 16, 2007
This is not your mother's gospel choir.
Cincinnati's 20-member "Clash of the Choir" ensemble will sing pop, R&B, country, Christmas and a little gospel music with a jazz twist. Think Manhattan Transfer, the Grammy-winning vocal group.
"One of the appeals of this show is that it's an opportunity to take a choir setting and do it somewhat unconventionally," says Nick Lachey, the celebrity choir director and 1992 School for Creative & Performing Arts graduate.
"I want our Cincinnati choir to be known for its ability to do a lot of different types of things well," he says.
Lachey's secret weapon in the four-night TV competition is choir coach Stephen Zegree, the Bobby McFerrin professor of jazz at Western Michigan University. He wrote the lively eight-part harmony arrangements and directed rehearsals at Xavier University.
"He's the Sondheim of choral jazz," says Kathy Springfield, Xavier theater arts director.
Zegree, in his 30th year of teaching, has drilled the local performers on projection, tone, breathing, facial expression and body language.
"Steve is amazing. He is by far the best coach and director I've ever had," says Nick Wall, 20, of Dent, a soloist for the Ohio All-State Choir while an Oak Hills High School senior.
"Steve is the core to this whole thing," says John Scott, 27, of Covington. "He's very precise. He's the perfect guy for this job."
Lachey says Zegree has a covert plan to impress TV viewers.
"We have one piece - I don't want to reveal it yet - but it's definitely out of left field. It's going to take people by surprise. We're going to blow people away," Lachey says.
Auditions are held in Cincinnati for the upcoming NBC Show hosted by Nick Lachey.
Don't forget Clash of the Choirs premieres tomorrow night...
for the offical website to keep updated on Nick & what his team is up to!!
See this promo video
for next week's show Clash of the Choirs where Nick Lachey rides around Cincinnati "looking for people to join his choir." Or so the video says ...
Anyone know any of the people in the video? Tell us who they are!
And what neighborhood does the trolley start in? I can't quite place it.
Nick Lachey has added an incentive for the Greater Cincinnati singers he'll direct on NBC's "Clash of the Choirs."
The 20-member choir will sing on his next album, if Cincinnati wins the five-city TV competition.
"That was my promise to them: If we win, we'll do a song together. They can sing background on my album. I'll bring them all in the studio," says Lachey, who plans to release a new single early next year and an album in the spring.
Choir members were surprised, says Nick Wall, 20, of Green Township.
"At first we didn't believe him," says Wall, a 2006 Oak Hills High School graduate who sings at the First Baptist Church of Dent. "It would be unbelievable to be featured on his next album."Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center also will benefit from a victory. Lachey has designated the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit to receive NBC's cash prize for the winning city Thursday
A registered nurse. A high school math teacher. A Skyline Chili server. A church music director. A stay-at-home mom. An employment trainer.
Twenty diverse people - all sharing one passion - have been chosen by Nick Lachey to represent Greater Cincinnati in NBC's "Clash of the Choirs" reality competition (8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, Channels 5, 2).
"They have brought 20 singers together who never knew each other, and made us sound as one," marvels John Scott, 27, of Covington.
Scott, a Forest Park native, is a diversity seminar leader for United Way of Greater Cincinnati, and music minister at Covington's Fellowship Church of God. He also sings in Fulfilled, a Christian group, with cousin Carrie Taylor, 38, a stay-at-home mom, who is also in the TV choir.
Lachey and his choir "coach," Western Michigan University music professor Stephen Zegree, selected the 20 singers from 350 who auditioned Nov. 9-10 at Walnut Hills High School. They range in age from 18 to 47.
The singers will compete on live TV from New York with choirs and stars from Philadelphia (R&B star Patti LaBelle); New Haven, Conn. (pop singer Michael Bolton); Houston (Kelly Rowland from Destiny's Child); and Oklahoma City (country musician Blake Shelton). They will perform pop, R&B, country, Christmas and gospel music, says Jason Raff, executive producer.
"It was very tough. I heard so many great voices. It ultimately came down to how those voices would blend together," says Lachey, 34, a former College Hill resident and 1992 School for Creative & Performing Arts graduate.
"I had every confidence that we'd find great singers here. Cincinnati has a very rich musical history," says Lachey, who started singing in the College Hill Presbyterian Church choir in grade school. "This choir represents the city - in every walk of life, in every racial background, in every financial background."
When Lakota West High School geometry teacher Charles Merk read about open auditions, he told himself, "This is the reality show for me."
"My students couldn't believe I could sing when I told them," says Merk, 35, of Deerfield Township, who sang in Miami University's Men's Glee Club in college.
The group's elder is Willrudale Underwood, 47, of Roselawn, an employment trainer for Easter Seals and a choir member at Cincinnati Church of Christ in Deer Park.
Underwood auditioned with his daughter, Arielle, 20, who also made the cut. Two years ago, as a SCPA senior, she advanced to the Hollywood round on "American Idol."
Skyline Chili server Nick Wall of Dent calls being picked for the choir - after a jittery performance for Lachey last month - "a life-changing experience."
"I'm usually not nervous, but I was signing Nick's song, 'What's Left Of Me,' in front of him, which wasn't very smart. But he loved it," says the 2006 Oak Hills High School graduate, who spent his 20th birthday Friday in New York with the choir. His father, Dennis, designed the gray "Team Cincinnati" shirts for the choir.
Singing one of the solos will be Shonda Fowler, 33, a registered nurse working at University Hospital who auditioned after work in her dirty scrubs. It helped that the College Hill resident was Lachey's SCPA classmate for six years. They appeared together in "A Christmas Carol," "Sweeney Todd" and "Little Mary Sunshine."
But that's not why he remembers her.
"He was my first kiss," says Fowler, who hosts "NXS" (New Extreme Sounds) 5:30 p.m. Saturdays on WBQC-TV (Channel 38). "Every time I see him, he always asks me, 'Am I still the best kiss you ever had?' He's always been such a good guy. He didn't forget about home."
Many people here haven't forgotten Lachey and his brother, Drew, who first found fame with their 98° boy band a decade ago. Nick later starred in MTV's "Newlyweds" with his wife at the time, Jessica Simpson, while Drew won ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" reality show last year.
"Half the people who showed up at the Cincinnati auditions - because Nick is such a hometown boy - knew him or his parents. That was such a nice feel to it," executive producer Raff says.
As with "American Idol," the auditions will be a part of the "Clash of the Choirs" two-hour premiere, Raff says. NBC has filmed Lachey at SCPA, Fountain Square, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and rehearsals at Xavier University's Edgecliff Hall.
"Quite frankly, it's nice to bring some positive attention to the city I love, with some of the negative publicity this city has gotten," Lachey says. "There is a lot of pride and history here - and a lot of talent. This is our opportunity to show it to the rest of the country."