Archives For February 2012

In the first report I’ve ever filed for MTV News, I recapped New Edition’s show and reaction to it on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.

The show took place hours after Whitney Houston’s funeral service in Newark, NJ. Click here to read the full article.

– It seemed the big theme that carried over from last episode to this one was illness. The number of people not just feeling under the weather but throwing up or passing out was just absurd. It gets to the point where, and I said this about last episode, something needs to be done. Either it’s staged or the conditions are so poor, that there needs to be some type of labor oversight or overhaul. I understand this is a competition and showbiz can be tough – but when is enough, enough? Furthermore, what type of message does it send to kids who want to sing for a living? Not to mention, the shock value of watching someone pass out on “Idol” is gone now – we almost expect it every episode.

– Heejun Han, the awkward Asian-American from Flushing, NY, is my favorite person. He does have a great voice too, but his candidness is absolutely hilarious, and I’m rooting for him.

– I’m still not a fan of Phillip Phillips. This is the kid who earlier in the season ruined “Thriller” for me.

– I became a fan of Reed Grimm this episode. He showed versatility (way to not sing just show tunes) and flexibility (drums and vocals on “Georgia” were amazing).

– Shannon Magrane is a mini-Carrie Underwood in my eyes – she could go very far.

– Joshua Ledet is one of those singers that might not win “Idol” but will still do very well for himself.

– Jen Hirsh’s “average girl” look and voice could resonate with a large audience.

– Still a big fan of Angie Zeiderman. She’s different in the right ways (kind of like, Lady GaGa).

Bobby Brown attempted to attend Whitney Houston’s “Home-Going” in Newark, NJ on Saturday. Later in the evening, he attended his own homecoming in New England. Hours after the world paid its final goodbye to Houston, Boston’s New Edition performed in front of a sold-out crowd of over 7,000 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.

Brown took a planned absence from the night’s first three songs, then entered stage right for “Hit Me Off.” As the band introduced themselves one by one before “Jealous Girl,” Brown acknowledged the woman he was married to for almost 15 years.

“I want to give blessings to my ex-wife, Whitney Houston. I love you,” Brown said, motioning towards the sky. “I want to give a lot of blessings to my kids, my fiancée, my brothers, and all of you.”

By “brothers,” Brown was referring to his New Edition band-mates. The sextet powered through a set that lasted almost two hours. Songs performed Saturday evening spanned from New Edition’s 1983 Candy Girl debut to Brown’s 1988 solo smash “My Prerogative” to Bell Biv DeVoe’s 1990 hit, “Poison.” Michael Bivens and Ricky Bell founded New Edition with Brown. Ronnie DeVoe joined a few years later.

With Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill also on board, the group had the crowd inside Mohegan Sun on their feet for most of the evening. As the night wound down, the six members sat on stools while the group’s lead singer addressed the crowd again.

“I lost three great people in my life, in the last year,” Brown told the audience of over 7,000 before New Edition wrapped with “Home Again.” “But, nothing makes me happier than to be right here, right now.”

Brown’s brothers were happy to have him there, and had his back. Bivens recognized the emotions that everyone was feeling due to the funeral. The singer said that Bell was “like a bull in a china shop,” watching TV coverage of the event.

“I told (Bell), hit them with your voice, not your fist,” Bivens said to the crowd.

Some New Edition fans, like Lisa Pollock of Bridgeport, Conn., were simply happy just to see Houston’s ex-husband in the building.

“(New Edition) just held it together. I can’t imagine what today was like for them,” Pollock said after the concert. “For them to come and do a show for all of us, definitely exceeded my expectations.”

Pollock thought that in the wake of Houston’s death, Brown is being portrayed unfairly by the media.

“We all have free will in this world,” she said, a nod to the notion that Brown was the direct reason for Houston’s eventual demise. “I’m not going to say what people did or did not do, but he’s his own person (Houston) was her own person.”

Serita Outlow of Norwich, Conn. also attended the show unsure if Brown would make it.

“I think he did an excellent job considering what he must have been feeling,” she said. “I don’t know what he went through with his voice today but I think he still pulled it off. I’m very proud of him.”


Chris Brown has had quite the week. Amid a flurry of controversy and opinions, the R&B singer returned to The Grammy Awards last Sunday, performing twice and winning once for “Best R&B Album.” After some celebrities and certain members of the media spoke out against Brown’s involvement with the awards show, the crooner lashed back in a series of Twitter updates. Those messages were later deleted from Brown’s account. This week, the performer also released his new music video for “Turn Up The Music.” Senior Editor Terron Moore simply believes Brown needs to learn how to act in the public eye. Moore pointed to John Mayer as an example of what to do so that you can repair your image and not cause futher damage after an incident.


Life & Style Weekly writes in the magazine’s latest issue about Adele’s response to comments by designer Karl Lagerfeld that the singer was “a little fat.” Senior News Editor Jordi Lippe says Adele takes pride in representing average women. Also covered: Jennifer Lopez thinking about marrying her boyfriend Casper Smart, Kevin Jonas and wife take in NY Fashion Week, and in late breaking news, L&S confirms that Chris Brown is featured on Rihanna’s single, “Birthday Cake.” The song will be released next week.

I stopped by WBRE’s “PA Live!” for my weekly segment, “The Ralphie Report.” This week, I recapped my interview with “Dancing With The Stars” pro Mark Ballas. Also covered: “The Voice” contestant Raquel Castro calls Christina Aguilera, “a very good role model,” and Adele’s manager casts possible doubt on the singer’s 2012 tour plans.

The Fray’s Isaac Slade first told me last October of the song, “Run For Your Life.” He fought his band-mates for it to be the first single from Scars and Stories.

“There’s another song called, ‘Run for Your Life’ that I think is probably my favorite song on the record,” said Slade during the phone interview. “It’s real ballad-y, beautiful, and heart wrenching and kind of like, whatever you think of The Fray to be, kind of our cliché.”

Then when the lead singer and I met in person last December, I revisited the subject.

“It could be one of two songs,” Slade revealed of the possible second single during out sit-down. “But one of them is (‘Run For Your Life’), yeah.”

Despite completing the album last year, Slade said The Fray wanted to release Scars and Stories around Valentine’s Day. The LP hit stores February 7.


Polaris Marketing Research recently conducted a study and found that the biggest cause of stress in women is life. For men, worked stressed them out the most.

Brett Cotter is the founder of and broke down the symptoms and the sure way to relief stress on “The Ralphie Radio Show.

Brett’s Tips:
– Be aware of your heart rate.
– Slow your breathing.
– Silently tell yourself that you’re okay (once per breath).

Cotter cautions that the entire technique can take about three minutes to work.


Who would’ve thought that there could be a person or persons that would ignite more of a social media thunderstorm than Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber?

By the way, as of press time, the storm has yet to subside.

Entertainment reporter Jill Wilderman checked in from Hollywood with the latest on the “Jelena.” The couple was spotted last weekend not in Los Angeles for The Grammy Awards, but in New York. Gomez and The Biebs ate at a trendy Thai restaurant in Manhattan, and the actress was spotted wearing a ring on her way out. Wilderman said the idea that the piece of jewelry is of the engagement variety is probably false. Reportedly the schedules of the teen stars were not allowing them the chance to see each other on Tuesday for Valentine’s Day.

But all of that was soon overshadowed by Wilderman’s introduction of Jin Akanishi. The Japanese pop star has already attracted a very large and passionate following across the globe. Akanishi now has his eyes set on America – with a handful of tour dates that will take him from Los Angeles to Honolulu to New York. Last November the singer dropped a single, “Test Drive,” which was produced by J.R. Rotem and features Jason Derulo. Akanishi released his latest track, “Sun Burns Down,” last month. It shot to the top of the iTunes dance chart.

Don’t believe the hype? Check out how many mentions, retweets, and favorites I received on Twitter here. Plus, read more about Akanishi’s migration to the States on Wilderman’s blog.

After a three year hiatus, Chris Brown returned to The Grammy Awards on Sunday in near-unprecedented fashion for someone of his age. The 22 year-old performed twice and scored the award for “Best R&B Album” with his 2011 release, F.A.M.E.

While “Team Breezy” celebrated the comeback, there were quite a few others that were not pleased to see Brown back on the Grammy stage. In 2009, the crooner and then girlfriend Rihanna were both scheduled to perform at the awards show. But a physical altercation the night before the show left the songstress bruised and beaten. Brown would be charged felony assault and making criminal threats, and pled guilty to a lesser charge later that year. Since the plea deal, the singer completed his year of domestic violence counseling and six months of community service.

With Brown’s personal track record since the incident and the caliber of music he’s released, I felt it was appropriate for the Academy to, at the very least, invite him back. You can read my comments in the full article on, here.

But despite paying his debt to society, and receiving the forgiveness of the person he abused, there are many that still will not give Brown a second chance.


Stacey Nelkin of The Daily Affair is one of those people. She feels it was wrong for the Recording Academy to shine a spotlight on Brown given his past.