‘IDOL’ FINALIST NORMAN GENTLE MAKES ENCORE APPEARANCE ON SEASON 9 FINALE; DEBUT SINGLE DOMINATES YOUTUBE
‘Brit Slap’ Video Makes National TV Debut On Syndicated “Wendy Williams Show”
Simon Cowell bid farewell to “American Idol” as Season 9 closed Wednesday, May 26th. The pageant crowned Lee DeWyze in 2010. So the ratings for Tuesday’s performance show diminished 16% from the previous season, from 23.8 million to 20.1 million which peaked with Norman Gentle’s appearance.
But there is hope on the horizon, if one retreats a year in reverse, to Season 8 top 25 finalist Norman Gentle, who provided the show with humor, a modicum of entertainment and a desperately needed dollop of the unexpected, as well as the highest ratings in 2009, scoring 25.1 million, preliminary Neilsen estimates showed.
Perhaps that is the very reason that Gentle is the first finalist in the series’ history to be invited to appear in two consecutive finales: He was awarded a Most Memorable Performance “Golden Idol” trophy in 2009; and appeared again this year during Dane Cook’s farewell tribute, gamboling onstage with a cardboard cut-out of Cowell—only to be short-circuited when fur-wearing Ian Benardo stormed the stage vigilante-style and released abusive epithets directed at Simon Cowell. As the camera cut to commercial sparing the audience the ugly verbal attack, it was heroic Norman Gentle who threw aside his companion cardboard cutout of Simon Cowell in order to wrestle the microphone from Brit-Slap-wannabee Benardo… Norman Gentle is a hero, indeed. Gentle reassured Simon Cowell, "Don't worry, Simon, we all love you. Just don't listen to him." Fox cut to commercial to spare the audience the ugly verbal attack by the fur-wearing contestant
But that’s only a hint of Gentle’s rescue effort. Off-camera, Simon Cowell offered the comedic talent a rare hug and shared, “I heard your song. I loved your song. Loved the music video. Thanks for coming all the way out to be here for the finale.”
Indeed, Gentle’s double-A sided single “Brit Slap!” a farewell roast to Cowell, and its grown-up sister “Bitch Slap!” a parallel version of the uptempo sing-along anthem—which were released to radio, iTunes and amazon.com May 18—have seduced not only the likes of the scowling judge, but are generating a force field of positive press coverage from the likes of USA Today, NPR, New York Daily News, MTV, Life.com, CBS News and The Fox Morning Show; in addition to airplay on top 40 WEBZ (B97)/New Orleans and prompting a stream of on-air radio interviews, including the nationally syndicated Dial Global network with Hot AC host Dave Otto. Even Perez Hilton weighed in with a Twitter to his 2 million followers, saying, “Kinda wishing I had done this.”
The accompanying madcap music video launched Friday, May 21, via exclusives in Lyndsey Parker’s acclaimed Yahoo! Music “Reality Rocks” column—which deemed it a “comedic tour de force”—in The Los Angeles Times; and popular blog Votefortheworst.com. On Sunday, May 23, versions of both “Brit Slap!” and “Bitch Slap!” debuted on Youtube. Altogether, the clip fostered more than 29,000 hits in its first five days, ranking as the No. 19 video in the Entertainment category.
The music video, which features a cameo from “America’s Top Model” judge Nigel Barker, a cast of Broadway dancers and Cowell himself—as a stand-up cardboard cutout—is slated to make its national television debut on the syndicated “Wendy Williams Show” Thursday, May 27, where Gentle has served as a weekly correspondent throughout “Idol’s” Season 9.
Norman Gentle’s headband-wearing, tuxedo jacket-sporting, khaki shorts-donning character has made the comedian a hero among Idol worshippers. Last year, when Norman, a.k.a. 27-year-old Nick Mitchell from Brookfield, Conn., ambushed the No. 1 TV show in North America, his slapstick persona delivered unexpected vocal finesse, via a memorable performance of “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” from “Dreamgirls.”
As the mainstream media embraced Gentle as a bona fide talent, he was snapped up earlier this year by production duo DNA—Dennis DelGaudio and Ayhan Sahin—to record “Bitch Slap!”—which, with the announcement of Cowell’s departure from “American Idol”—was parlayed into the saucy send-off “Brit Slap!”
Now signed to DNA’s Young Pals Records International, Gentle has evolved his image into the Gentle band, a take-off on “Idol” finalist Chris Daughtry’s ubiquitous group Daughtry. Gentle features players DelGaudio, a world-class guitarist who has toured with Billy Joel, written songs for indie films and served as Musical Director for Broadway’s “Movin’ Out”; and Sahin, who has written and produced musical stage shows in his native Turkey that have been performed in 18 countries.
Gentle’s web site gentleofficial.com, offers daily updates about his whereabouts, tips for living “Gentle-y,” and his steadfast support for animal rights, alongside other rants and raves about pop culture.
Telephone: 617-997 6554
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