Last month, the first winner of “American Idol”, Kelly Clarkson, celebrated her 7th anniversary of that life-changing night at the Champlain Valley Fair in Vermont. The always outspoken star, who most recently chimed in on the Kanye West incident at the VMAs, has grabbed her own headlines these past months, with the release of her latest album, All I Ever Wanted, and ongoing media battles over her weight. Her performance at the Champlain Valley Fair featured a mix of both old and new favorites, plus a variety of covers that spanned genres from rock, to country, to blues, showcasing her wide-ranging vocal abilities.
While the new season of “American Idol” won’t premier on Fox until January of 2010, everybody’s already a-buzz with anticipation with the recent naming of Ellen DeGeneres as replacement judge for the now departed Paula Abdul. She’ll be joining Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell, and Maine’s Kara DioGuardi. They’ll all be judging the next crop of Hollywood hopefuls, some of which are very likely to come from New England. Back in June and again in August, the “American Idol” phenomenon hit the area, as auditions were held in Foxboro, MA and a second round later in Boston, with special guest judge Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice).