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Recap of Cher Appearances and New Ones

Marie_Antoinette_amusement_at_VersaillesThe Mirror interivew was interesting in that Cher talked about her lack of freedom and how frustrating this is for her. She talks about not being able to go out at all anymore. I was thinking about this last week because it's ridiculous and serious how rude people have become. I remember how people used to spot icon Katharine Hepburn in New York City when I was living there and there was this understanding not to approach her and to leave her alone. I think we're way too self-absorbed as an American society now and Hepburn  would probably be harassed into a hermit if she were still living today. Is there no country where Cher can be anonymous anymore? Or any such country with good shopping? It's like she's become Marie Antoinette and she will need to build a little village to walk around in for the pretense of feeling normal. The lights in the X Factor performance made Cher appear to be locked in a light cage that reminded me of her predicament.

Xfactor Cherprima3

 

 

 

 

Cher appearing on X Factor (UK) and DeeJay (Italy)

 

 

 

Mr. Cher Scholar promised to help me through the French and Italian interviews last week but we haven't sat down to it yet. Touche pas à mon poste was like The View. Cher said she still wants to do a Carnegie Hall album of standards and a country album. The only thing she liked about the "Woman's World" video was the other women in it...who they picked off the street. She calls P!nk Alecia and says they share management with Tina Turner, Sade and Joe Cocker. She said the recording of "The Greatest Thing" was so convoluted because Gaga broke up with her producer Redone and she didn't want to work with him on her vocal. Cher also talked about her trip to Armenia in the 1990s and how they slept three in a bed it was so cold. 

On Le Grand Journal she says she "didn't think to do it" when talking about the new album which is better sounding that to say she forgot. This was an odd show. There was a long question about a book (I need Mr. Cher Scholar's french-speaking skills to decipher this) and the book tied in somehow to the paparazzi. Then there was a weird guy who came on and wanted to kiss her. Good for her that she refused. My feeling is this show was trying to be quirky like Graham Norton and Watch What Happens but failing.

In part one of the Italian DeeJay interview (part two has since mysteriously been taken down), they talk about how people say her name in different countries, how things have changed for women in the music business, what she thinks about being an icon, and why she didn't date Elvis or Marlon Brando.

On the interview with Blake Shelton on Entertainment Tonight, Blake tells a story about what a big fan his Dad was of Cher and how they both felt Blake finally made it when Cher said his name on the Country Music Awards a few years ago. Is Cher wearing Sonny's Sicilian horn necklace?

Chart news

My friend chart-watching friend Christopher said:

"As I suspected, Cher climbs her way back into the Top Ten this week after all six of last week's Top Ten debuts tumble out of the top ten. I guess Closer to the Truth's staying power lends further credence to Cher's "long legs" in both a figurative and literal sense! Paul Grein over at Yahoo! Music had some extra details regarding the album's performance relative to her past chart achievements:

"Cher's Closer To The Truth rebounds from #11 to #8. This is its third week in the top 10. Of Cher's dozens of albums, either on her own or with Sonny, only three others have logged this many weeks in the top 10. Look At Us (with Sonny) held tight for 14 weeks in 1965; Believe for 11 weeks in 1999; and The Very Best Of Cher for 10 weeks in 2003."

I spoke with Christopher about how the album is accomplishing its feat considering her singles haven't been getting much traction on the radio. He wondered if it might be her appearances on The Voice, a show currently in the Nielsen Top Ten. But I haven't seen the show plug her album even once. 

New Clips

Cher News & Cher World

  

Recap of Cher's Mentoring on The Voice

ChervoiceCher was on the most recent four episodes of The Voice as a mentor. She may come back on later in the season to do a duet with Blake. It looks like they were teasing around that idea in some of the interviews. Stay tuned.

In any case, I am disappointed at the lack of coverage Blake Shelton's contestants received in the last four episodes, which made for a dearth of Cher appearances as well.

The first episode showed some saucy Cher interactions. The second episode showed less stern but fewer clips, the third show same, and by the fourth show, we didn't even get to see one full Cher segment! In fact, for all four coaches, (Blake, Christina, Cee Lo and Adam), they all showed segments at about 2-to-1 everyone else compared to Blake, meaning for every one session they showed of Blake and Cher, they showed two from everybody else. And they never caught up! Not only is this a disservice to his contestants and their air-time (we never get to know them in recaps), but we barely got to see any Cher compared to Ryan Tedder, Miguel, and Ed Sheeran (and much of their advice was boring, sorry to say). In the fourth episode, we just received one lousy recap. I missed it believing it was a teaser for the next segment. I had to catch it again on Hulu. WTF!

Mr. Cher Scholar and I were left to wonder if Blake's contestants made bad performances, if there wasn't enough Cher advice to mine into enough clips (I doubt that because we saw out-takes of more good stuff), or if Blake is getting short-shift because he's already won three times.

In any case, here is a recap of the Cher advice (paraphrased) that appeared on the show:

Episode #7

  • Don't just sit on your ass and push a button (that was a freebie to Blake)
  • To hit a high note that seems beyond you, think high.
  • Sometimes you have to learn harmony like it is the melody. Cher admits she's not got at this either.

Episode #8

  • If you're gonna riff, know where you're gonna end up.
  • If you do a bad note, do something else to make the audience forget the bad note.

Episode #9

  • Sometimes if you have a powerful voice, you can over-depend on it.
  • You can be too cerebral and aware of yourself and how you're doing.

Episode #10

  • We need to see your eyes to see your emotion.

Cher also had advice for breath issues and using or not using your body or the mic to get at notes. Blake introduced Cher as "y'all's adviser" when they came in for their sessions and they all had flabbergasted faces. Most surprisingly, bearded-country-guy was the biggest Cher fan, apart from Blake himself. I noticed Cher tapping when she hugged the contestants and she called them chickadees. One contestant noted: "When Cher gives you notes, you listen."

MTV breaks down their view of all the mentors.

 


Cher Outside

HopeI want to take some time to say I really love this CD single cover. For many reasons: I love the new Cher name font (I got sick of the old one), I love the hair, makeup, shoes, those awesome pants!

But I love that the photo is outside!!

Finally, some outdoor Cherness. I love this so much better than yet another studio shot of Cher (like the nwe album cover). Even if we have to see Cher outside at twilight in her own backyard, so be it. I love the sunset, the birds, the shadows....all of it.

I don't know, maybe I just like the idea of Cher getting some Cher-air.


Cher: Strong Enough and 1970s Variety Shows

Cher-strong-enough-josiah-howard-paperback-cover-artThe new Cher biography has finally arrived, Cher Strong Enough by Josiah Howard. From what Cher scholars have been telling me, this is an interesting read with a particular focus on the variety shows of the 1970s.

Which is why I'm holding off reading it for a few weeks, as freakin' hard as that is, because I want to finish watching the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour/Sonny & Cher Show shows so I have a good idea of all the minutia I might catch in this scholarly area. Then I can watch The Cher Shows if they are referenced in the book (although I only have a few of those and cut to a half hour at that). 

From two really juicy two backstage photos that appear in the inserts of the new book, I'm sure this is the right strategy (albeit obsessive and crazy). There's a photo of Cher being costumed in a big snake head outfit and one in a Shakespearean outfit. Those are from Vamp sketches in the same episode (#23, aired 10/6/72, guests were Tony Curtis and Barbara McNair). I know this because I just watched that episode two days ago! I was thinking how unattractive that Scheherazade snake outfit was and how beautiful the Lady MacBeth outfit was (one of my favorite costumes from the show). I thought it was ironic to see the worst and best in one Vamp segment.

I'm enjoying the show so much more this round than I did the last (second) time I went through them in the late 1990s. I think this is because I've watched so many foreign and independent films since then and am much more attuned to subtext and a slower variety skit pace (unlike the speedier skit comedy I was enjoying then on Mad TV).

My favorite thing so far has been Cher's impression of Mary Hartman (which I caught yesterday).

Van-elizabethWhen Cher was co-hosting for TCM and doing a night of war movies, she talked at length about Van Johnson who had a brief appearance in The White Cliffs of Dover. Which reminds me: why does Jimmy Cliff reference the white cliffs of dover in "Many Rivers to Cross"?

Anyway, I wonder if Cher remembers that Van Johnson made a cameo appearance on The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour (episode #26, aired 10/27/72 guests were Rick Springfield and William Conrad, "Headlines in the Papers" segment) where Cher buys Van Johnson in a Hollywood studio auction. I couldn't find a picture of the segment but here is a handsome shot of Van Morrison with Elizabeth Taylor.

 


More Cher-a-palooza 2013

ChiefsThe great Cher train rolls on! Cher maintained her top ten status for week two (#8) with her album and then fell to #11 last week. My Billboard-watching friend thinks she can get back into the top ten next week. He says there was a barrage of new albums debuting last week she had to compete with.

Last weekend I went to the Chiefs game in Kansas City with Mr. Cher Scholar. He is a huge Chiefs fan and recently commented on the fact that both of our obsessions begin with "Ch." This is why I love him. Anyway, as he is so supportive of my freakish Cher obsession, I am committed to supporting him with his Chiefs obsession. Although I know nothing of football, I take it the game went very well by all the hollering and the Chiefs, now 6-0, did something I was told was extraordinary by pushing back the Oakland Raiders to a 3 and 48 which (don't laugh too hard if I get this wrong) means that it was their 3rd down and they had 48 yards to go.

Anyway, of note to Cher fans, the Chiefs cheerleaders did a cheer set to a large chunk of Cher's "Woman's World" and it was a pleasure to see fat, drunk men in the row ahead of us doing some girly dance moves.

I also Bewitchedheard Cher in the supermarket yesterday and I almost couldn't place the song! This was because it was her "Bewitched" duet with Rod Stewart which I have never listened to fully because I am allergic to Rod Stewart.

Cher's special video, Dear Mom, Love Cher, also came out last week. There is 20 minutes of extra footage being Cher's original birthday video for Georgia. Much is clarified in this extra footage, Georgia's experience in Oklahoma bars, her father's struggles with her in Los Angeles. There are many, many more family photos here. I really enjoyed them, especially the Cher and Georgia beach photo marked "Cher was afraid of the ocean."

Cher also talks about her favorite tracks from Georgia's album and listening to their duet I finally hear a younger Cher voice circa late 1970s/early 1980s. Cher is amazed she can't remember cutting the duet in light of the fact that she remembers everything, like falling off the stage. When did this happen?

I also enjoyed Cher talking about country music with her mom. When they hug, Cher does Cher-tapping. Cher also does this when she hugs contestants on The Voice. In Cher Zine 1, I talk extensively about Cher tapping.

The Perth Now interview was good. Cher talks about listening to old albums and songs, twitter haters, her love of Pink's "Dear Mr. President," her support of still using auto-tune, and her appreciation of Cher impersonator Charlie Hides.

In the iTunes fan interview  Cher talks about why she sequenced the album the way she did. She doesn't like albums where the slow and fast songs are intermixed. And although I do prefer that, I appreciate Cher's intentions for the sequencing. She talks more about her plane crash but not when it was.

I tracked down the Gianni Morandi video on Cher's forum and it wasn't that great. However, the German appearances were:

I love, love, love that Cher prop on the Wetten Dass performance, the whole set was gorgeous. Listening to a translated interview was too hard and early on I dismissed the old guy sitting next to her as some grumpy German. This turned out to be Harrison Ford.

MolinaMy friend Julie sent me this interesting Q&A from Mail Online. Cher talks about something very mean Sonny said to her when they split. Sonny was so complicated, it's frustrating to either like him or dislike him. She talks about getting lost in the woods as a child, her love of Alfred Molina (I'm so there), her longtime fear of being poor and ending up in a sad LA apartment, and her feelings about Downton Abbey.

If you haven't seen this video, go there right now: Australia’s Sunday Night interview with Rahni Sadler. It's a great, long interview in the vein of Barbara Walters.

I finally read the Readdit interview. It was mostly annoying navigating her answers around all the inane chatter. She talks more about saving someone from a mugger with Meryl Streep, her feelings about Madonna, about Sonny as a ghost, about loving her Richard Avedon and Normal Seeff photos and her Estudio Machado and Cicala Morassut photos (see beow), why Elvis was an inspiration, about motherhood and what isn't "all about me" in Chaz's transformation, among many other fly-by topics.

Lastly, Cher was on two segments of The Voice last week. I was on the road Monday and missed that episode. But you can always catch them on Hulu, along with this extra clip. You can also see Cher's mentoring interview here.

Cherblake

First of all, Cher looked great. I thought she was edited a bit school-marmishly cross, especially in the teasers.

Rolling Stone accused her of chewing out contestants and scolding them:

"Cher is not messing around when it comes to being an advisor to Blake Shelton's team on The Voice. After meeting bluesy Monika Leigh and single dad Ray Boudreaux, the iconic singer dug into them during rehearsal for the second night of the battle rounds.

When Ray's voice cracked on a high note and he said he "hoped" he could hit it on the day of the big performance, Cher sternly replied: "You shouldn't have to worry about, on that day can you do it? You should be able to know that you can do it."

And the tough love didn't stop there. When Monika sang the pairing's battle song, "Some Kind of Wonderful" by Grand Funk Railroad, differently than rehearsed, Cher called her out on it: "If you're gonna riff, make sure you know where you're gonna end up." When Monika asked for an example, Cher snapped, "Well you sing it different every time. I don't mean to play it safe, but you've got this one chance – be secure before you go there."

Cherstare2I think this editing led to the brouhaha about a tiff between Cher and Blake as seen in the supermarket rags this week. Cher is intimidating. She gives you that crazy Cher stare. I wonder if she picked this up from the crazy Sonny stare. And I admit to never wanting to be on the scolding end of it. I got scared when she used that stare in the tennis scene from Witches of Eastwick! Watch the full scene.

But Cher and Blake have professed their mutual love to each other in various interviews. And Blake gives it back plenty. My favorite was when he asked her to list her favorite Adam Levine songs. I want to talk more about her advice later on, after more episodes air. She gives good tough-love and contestants really seem to take her words to heart.

Would I ever sing in front of Cher? Hell to the no.

More Cher news I have yet to consume:

from Cher News:

from Cher World:

Enjoy chickadees!

New Estudio Machado photos:

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New Cicala Morassut:

494390-a9f5b1f8-2713-11e3-abe3-b1f1d77b1129

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


More TV Appearances (VCR Alerts)

Cher-blondeThe Voice

Stay tuned for Cher appearances next week. If you been watching the show, you've seen the previews which have provided some saucy Cher moments. You can see her deliver such tips and barbs to Blake Shelton as "I've been busy working...I haven't been sitting on my ass pushing a button!" and telling a contestant if you do a bad note, do something big to make them forget you did a bad note. And if you are trying to sing a high note, think high. I can't wait for more of this.

 

 

Kelly & Michael Kelly1

Kathie Lee and Regis have now morphed into Kelly and ex-Giants player Michael Strahan. I actually like this combination. You can see Cher's appearance in three clips:

This has been a season (forget that, a half a year!) of great Cher interviews, maybe the best Cher interviews ever. But the Live! with Kelly and Michael appearance went beyond the pale. 

First of all Kelly Ripa is a bona fide Cher fan, and a thoughtful Cher fan as well, meaning she tries to deconstruct her fan-ness. Which is something the literary-trained Cher Scholar was raised to do. I'm sure my college professors expected me to do more service to the high literary arts but...what can I say?. I love this about Kelly Ripa but it seems pretty intense for Cher. 

In the backstage interview, Cher looks almost palpably overwhelmed by the onslaught of Kelly's insistent affections. And what normal, non-narcissistic, person wouldn't be. Cher's response is understandable and all the more amazing that she doesn't "eat it all up." That's some character there.

CherpicWhen Cher walks out to the official interview, she steps to personally shake hands with people in the crowd and the response is overwhelming. It's like she's attained a Queen status. Forget about some kind of Goddess of Pop. I feel we've left that station months ago. Goddess implies a kind of free-floating greatness which is admired from afar. But that's not what we're seeing here. We're seeing people feeling an intense Elvis-like emotional connection and treating her like...well like royalty. I wonder how unsettling that might be for Cher to be the underdog for so long and to finally break out like this...again and larger than ever.

But speaking as a fan of almost 40 years, (which is nothing: I have Cher friends who've been fans for 50 years), the adulation is long past its overdue date. In any case, the responses from the hosts who interview her and the audiences has all been way beyond Believe-era responses.

In the interview, Cher talks about a childhood friend named Della and sharing a hair brush (love those childhood stories!). They play a game called Would You Share (what's with all these Cher games this year?? Not that I hate them or anything). While Mr. Cher Scholar was working late in our office, Michael made a very funny joke about sharing a bathtub and I heard Mr. Cher Scholar bust out laughing in the other room.

In the backstage interview, Cher talks about being mentored by Sonny. She also talks on stage about her experience mentoring singers on The Voice for two days and how unexpectedly attached she became to the contestants, and how surprised she was how much she knew about performing and had such good advice to give. I hope she liked it well enough to keep doing it. From hearing Barry Manilow talk about mentoring on American Idol, it seems so fulfilling and positive.

Billboard

If you haven't heard already, Cher's album hit a debut spot of number three, the highest debut of her solo career. So impressive. My friend sent my this interview link from Billboard. I haven't watched it yet. I haven't even finished the fan chat interview yet either or all the links below!I've had a cold and am talking this crazy-intensive University of Pennsylvania online poetry class that sucks up like 4-5 hours of my evenings. But I will catch up!

I did buy the vinyl copy of the album this week and the Japanese version is available as well.

I also bought my tickets this week to see Cher in Phoenix. I've never seen an opening night before, but this was the closest city I could reasonable get to, considering I am living in the middle of a desert.

More Cher News

from EuropeCher World:

Cher News:

Pics from Cher's album party: