The Shmooze

Mariah Carey Speaks Hebrew on 'Idol'

By Renee Ghert-Zand

We all knew that Mariah Carey can sing, but what we didn’t know was that she can also speak Hebrew. Well, at least she knows three expressions—and can use them correctly.

Shira Gavrielov

Carey surprised us when she greeted American Idol contestant Shira Gavrielov, the 23-year-old daughter of Israeli singer-songwriter Miki Gavrielov, with a friendly “Shalom.” She also appropriately threw in a “Shana Tova,” given that the audition was taking place early in the new (secular) year.

And then once Gavrielov wowed the judges (especially Nicki Minaj, who gushed about Gavrielov’s being a superstar in the making) with her soulful rendition of Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie,” Carey sent her off stage with an encouraging “Sababa!” — leaving us to wonder where she picked up this Israeli slang word for “Cool!”

This time around, the singer definitely showed significantly more advanced Hebrew language skills than she did with her “L’chaim” tweet from last year. What’s next for the diva? A year of ulpan on kibbutz?

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: shira gavrielov, mariah carey, jewish, israeli, hebrew, american idol

Barbara Walters Scores 'Idol' Feud Scoop

By Reuters

getty images
Nicky Minaj

Pop diva Mariah Carey said she hired increased security following what she described as threats reportedly made against her by fellow ‘American Idol’ judge Nicki Minaj, according to an interview on ABC News.

Carey, 42, one of three new judges to join the “American Idol” panel for the hit talent show’s new season on Jan. 16, told Barbara Walters in an interview airing on Monday, “it felt like an unsafe work environment.”

“Anytime anybody’s reeling threats at somebody, you know, it’s not appropriate,” Carey said.

“I’m a professional. I’m not used to that type of environment,” she said, adding that she hired extra security.

The diva was alluding to widely reported tension between her and Minaj, who were seen arguing with one another in a video from the show’s audition phase.

Walters has reported that, according to Carey, others on the “Idol” set heard Minaj go further and say, off-camera, “If I had a gun, I would shoot that bitch.”

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: nicky minaj, mariah carey, gun, feud, barbara walters, american idol, threat

Israeli 'American Idol' Judge Arrested

By Nathan Burstein

Wikimedia Commons

Forget Hamas, forget the massive housing protest. Right now Israel’s attention is squarely focused on Margalit Tzanani, a major music and TV star who has been jailed on charges of extortion.

Best-known in recent years as a judge on the Israeli version of “American Idol,” Tzanani was arrested at her home this morning, in a surprise raid. The singer will spend tonight in jail, and will appear tomorrow in court, where prosecutors will attempt to prolong her detention as the investigation continues.

A star so big she’s generally referred to simply as “Margol,” Tzanani is suspected of hiring thugs to intimidate and extort a talent manager, Assaf Atedgi, with whom she is fighting over hundreds of thousands of shekels in royalties. The 57-year-old singer and her lawyer have categorically denied the charges, noting that she and Atedgi have hired a mediator to settle the dispute.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Margol, Extortion, Margalit Tzanani, American Idol

Starlet Quits Israeli 'American Idol' After Dad Admits To Skewing Vote

By Nathan Burstein

Following a voting scandal caused by her own father, a teenage singer has quit the Israeli version of “American Idol.”

Seventeen-year-old Tamar Yahalomi announced today that she will not compete in the semi-finals of “Kochav Nolad” (“A Star Is Born”), the popular Israeli edition of the singing contest. The decision came several days after it was revealed that voting irregularities had influenced the results of earlier episodes of the show — and that Tamar’s father stood behind the skewed results.

“Although it’s clear to everyone that Tamar had no connection whatsoever to the votes, [she] has decided that, because of the atmosphere created around her … she has no desire to continue in the competition this year,” the father, Dekel Yahalomi, wrote in a letter made public by the show’s producers.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Tamar Yahalomi, Kochav Nolad, American Idol, A Star Is Born

Why Is Jewish 'X-Factor' Contestant So Unpopular?

By Nathan Jeffay

Kate Middleton, fiancée of Prince William, is old news. The British public is fixated on another celebrity Kate — a 24-year-old Jewish woman named Katie Waissel.

Rarely in the history of television talent shows has so much attention been focused on a single contestant.

Waissel is a singer on the television show “ X-Factor,” the British equivalent of “American Idol.” She grew up in Jewish youth movements, and as you’ll see from this interview with the Jewish Chronicle, as recently as January had the more heimishe last name Vogel. She seems like the nice Jewish-girl-next-door type.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Katie Waissel, Facebook, American Idol, X-Factor




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