Monday, May 10, 2010
‘AMERICAN IDOL’ FINALIST NORMAN GENTLE’S DEBUT SINGLE ‘BRIT SLAP!’ FOSTERS A FIRESTORM OF MEDIA ATTENTION
Accompanying Video Clip, Radio Are Next, With Biggest ‘Slap’ Waiting In The Wings
The release of Norman Gentle’s debut single Tuesday, May 4, became the slap heard around the world. The “American Idol” season eight top 25 finalist’s saucy toast to outgoing judge Simon Cowell, “Brit Slap!” has generated a firestorm of media attention from the likes of USA Today, Dallas Morning News, votefortheworst.com and more.
The simultaneous launch of gentleofficial.com—which includes daily updates about his “Gentle-cosm,” including opinions on “American Idol,” tips for living Gentle-y, being a proper Gentle-man, Random Acts of Gentle-ocide, and other rants and raves about pop culture—fostered more than 12,000 hits in its first week.
In addition, Gentle’s cumulative presence on Youtube.com now exceeds 1.35 million hits. On Google, “Norman Gentle” brings in more than 2 million results. The up-tempo sing-along “Brit Slap!” was also released to iTunes and amazon.com, last week.
The next slap-happy event is destined to hit mid-month, with the debut of Gentle’s music video for “Brit Slap!” on a national network. The clip features a cameo from “America’s Top Model” judge Nigel Barker (www.nigelbarker.tv), a cast of Broadway dancers—and Cowell himself (okay, as a stand-up cardboard cutout)—which literally stopped traffic in Manhattan’s Times Square when it was lensed in March, as thousands of passers-by joined in the tribute.
Following release of the video, Gentle will launch at top 40, hot AC and dance radio, followed by a cross-promotional campaign that will highlight his pet causes: support for animal rights and a fervent anti-fur stance. And there’s more in store: with the biggest and best slap waiting in the wings, to be announced Tuesday, May 25.
Norman Gentle’s giant following has made the comedian a hero among “Idol” worshippers. When his alter ego, 27-year-old Nick Mitchell from Brookfield, Conn., ambushed the No. 1 TV show in North America last year, the character’s slapstick persona served up unexpected vocal finesse, via a memorable performance of “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” from “Dreamgirls,” which drew high praise from three of the four “Idol” judges. Perhaps not surprisingly, holdout Cowell scowled, “I hope I’m speaking on behalf of America when I pray you don’t go through to the next round.”
But it was too late: The media fell in love with the headband-wearing, tuxedo jacket-sporting, khaki shorts-donning character, recognizing a bona fide talent. MTV News deemed his appearances an “insanely brilliant—if not brilliantly insane—move. We’ve made up our minds. Norman Gentle is the greatest contestant in ‘American Idol’ history.”
In 2010, Gentle was booked as a correspondent on the syndicated “Wendy Williams Show” (www.wendyshow.com), offering predictions about “American Idol” season nine. He appears weekly, opening the show and chatting with Williams about the leading finalists.
Gentle also signed with New York-based Young Pals Records International, which is issuing “Brit Slap!” with a succession of releases to follow that will capitalize on the comedic talent, while evolving him in surprising new directions.
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