Articles for American Idol Season 7

Deborah Byrd (or, as she like to be called, simply “Byrd”) is someone you probably haven‘t heard of.  Byrd, however, is one of the key cogs of the American Idol juggernaut.  She‘s been there since the show‘s first season, working as a vocal coach and arranger.  She‘s worked personally with almost every single Idol contestant and she should share a hefty portion of credit for the phenomenon that is Idol.  With a long history in the music business, Byrd has done everything from big-time duets to rock to opera, plus everything behind the scenes.  We got the chance to speak with her at a FOX press junket last week.Below you will find the full mp3 audio of the interview. Read more »
I hope this picture hasn‘t made your eyes bleed.  It‘s not that I searched for the absolute most disgusting FOX promo picture for tonight‘s season 7 premiere of American Idol...it just kind of worked out that way.  So, here we are, back again, at the outset of one more season of American Idol.  It‘s been seven long months without Ryan Seacrest and now he‘s about to re-enter our lives and shepherd us down a long and winding five month trek, at the end of which a new American Idol will be born.  During this 40-plus episode journey, we at BuddyTV will be here with the world‘s most extensive Idol coverage, which includes live thoughts, live results and recaps for every single episode of American Idol.  In fact, that‘s what you‘re reading now.  Crazy, right?  We update these live thoughts every few minutes during the episodes, so feel free to comment and refresh as much as need be.  Tonight, we get our first Idol audition episode, this one coming from the home of Rocky, steak sandwiches and sports fans who throw batteries at their own players.  That‘s right: Philadelphia! Read more »
To borrow a phrase from Charles Laughton’s The Night of the Hunter, the American Idol auditions are the story of right hand, left hand, love and hate. Somehow, American Idol manages to represent the best and worst of reality television at the same time, balancing on the high wire of taste and common decency. Making fun of William Hung? Funny. Making fun of a developmentally disabled kid as they did last year? Not so much.For the first auditions of American Idol season 7 in Philadelphia, we’re off to a typical start. There’s a little to love, a lot to hate, and sometimes, the two go hand-in-hand. There were crazies of every shape and size, emotional manipulation by the producers, and a handful of great auditions, so long as you didn’t blink. Read more »
American Idol returned tonight with the premiere of its seventh season.  We all know how it goes at this point.  There‘s almost an entire month of audition episodes and, well, there‘s a reason for this: America loves them and they routinely receive some of the best ratings of the season.  If you were to view this cynically, you might come to the conclusion that America likes laughing at the buffoons and half-wits who show up and think they can sing, only to be torn down from the pedestal of their misguided confidence by a cranky Englishman.  Tonight‘s two hour premiere event showed us the Philadelphia auditions, which took place over two days. and, as always, viewers got their fair share of characters, fools and, of course, undiscovered talent. Read more »
Audition night number two is tonight, and we‘re getting two hours from Dallas, Texas.  I have high hopes for the episode, if only because I suspect the great state of Texas is going to provide a hefty amount of crazy people.  I also love those Texas drawls.  Let‘s get it started.  I‘ll be here throughout the entire two hours with constant updates.One of the people waiting in line had to be ambulanced out of line...because she had to have a baby.  These things happen.Jessica Brown, is a stay at home mom with two little girls.  She‘s getting her life back on track.  In college, she dabbled in meth.  Former meth head.  Yikes.  They actually show pictures from her meth days and, yeah, they‘re gross. Read more »
Although I mentioned it in the Live Thoughts earlier tonight, I‘d like to extend my thoughts on Paula Abdul.  Our favorite former Laker Girl has endured a few rough and tumble years as of late, often acting bizarre and sometimes downright insane whilst participating on the biggest television show in the universe.  She was almost fired at one point, her reality show made her look plain awful, she‘s appeared loopy/intoxicated during episodes and just last year she gave that crazy, maybe drugged out of her mind TV interview.  It‘s not that I just wasn‘t a fan – it was that I didn‘t understand her continued roller coaster involvement on the show. But, somehow, incredibly, she‘s appeared to have turned things around this season.  I didn‘t notice it last night, but tonight it became clear: Paula Abdul is the best she‘s ever been.  Her commentary and criticisms have been valid, she‘s been totally lucid, her banter with both her fellow judges and the contestants has been entertaining, and all the while I feel like I‘m living in an alternate universe.  What the hell is going on?  I don‘t know, but let‘s enjoy it while it lasts. Read more »
The audition episodes that mark the first month of the American Idol season are noteworthy for the crazy people and mental cases who trot out whatever unique brand of awful they have to offer.  Even after seven seasons of Idol, the well has not run dry.  If America can do anything, it‘s provide an excess delusional singers.  The first two episodes this week, featuring the auditions from Philadelphia and Dallas , did not disappoint.  In fact, I‘d say that a few of the bad auditions will have some staying power, especially one with a very special man named Renaldo Lapuz.  Below you will find videos of what I consider to be the three Best of the Worst Idol auditions from season 7‘s first week. Read more »
The Dallas auditions of American Idol brought a very strange phenomenon, and I‘m not talking about “We‘re Brothers Forever.” No, it was the total ambivalence and lack of passion from the judges that caught my eye. Though 24 people made it through to Hollywood, we only saw performances from 10 of them. Of those 10, half only made it by a vote of 2 to 1. Though Simon Cowell was often the lone holdout, both Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul also cast negative votes for successful contestants, disproving any theories of collusion against Simon.  Even for the singers who got three votes for Hollywood, the American Idol judges had some reservations. Read more »
It‘s incredibly difficult to judge a singer based on their American Idol auditions.  Last year, for instance, my favorite audition in a landslide was that of Sundance Head.  It was incredible but, as it turned out, Sundance folded on the national stage, failing thanks to a combination of terrible song choices and a propensity to sing out of tune.  I also thought that Sanjaya Malakar had a good audition. (Shaking my head in shame.)  Then, there‘s people like Blake Lewis and Taylor Hicks, who only received two out of the three judges votes and, well, we know how they fared.  It‘s an inexact science.  Singing a capella in a room with good acoustics is an entirely different sport than singing into a microphone on national TV with a live band behind you.  Nonetheless, I‘ve whittled down the good auditions from American Idol‘s first week to three stand outs and, not surprisingly, they‘re all ladies.  Videos are included. Read more »
American Idol does their best to keep the names of the top 50 and top 24 finalists a secret until the Hollywood episodes come to air, but it‘s near impossible.  With so many bitter and eliminated contestants having internet connections, there‘s bound to be loose lips.  A couple weeks back, the list of the top 50 finalists leaked to various blogs.  However, until the first two audition episodes aired last week, those names meant nothing.  But, seeing as we have come to know some of the singers from Dallas and Philadelphia who made it to Hollywood, some of those top 50 names ring a bell.  Below you will find those Dallas and Philly singers who are rumored to have made the American Idol top 50. Read more »
The American Idol auditions decided to forgo the usual stop in Los Angeles this season and instead took their circus down a hundred miles or so to San Diego.  I was actually in San Diego right before the auditions began for a little thing called San Diego Comic-Con and let‘s just say that the tourists were abundant.  Tonight‘s episode was only one hour, and thank goodness.  I love the audition episodes, but two hours is just excessive.  American Idol actually featured an inordinate amount of quality auditions tonight, which was a pleasant surprise.  Of course, there were also a fair share of wackos.  Read more »
American Idol takes its audition train down into Southern California tonight, but this year it isn‘t Los Angeles, it‘s San Diego.  I applaud this decision.  I‘ve been to San Diego dozens of times and know, for a fact, that the city is full of delusional human beings.  And, isn‘t that what Idol wants out of these audition episodes?  It doesn‘t hurt that lots of these delusional San Diegons look great in a bikini either.  It‘s a great city, and let‘s hope we get to see some real talent tonight, along with your typical brain dead debacles.  We‘ll be here all night giving live updates on the action.  Read more »
Last night‘s San Diego auditions of American Idol proved that now that episodes are down to an hour, we‘ll be seeing a much smaller percentage of Hollywood-bound singers. Ryan Seacrest told us that 31 people made it, but we only heard from six.From those six, one thing became abundantly clear: there are no frontrunners. The winners we saw were a mixed bag. Some were OK, some were quite good, but half were totally unlikable. Read more »
This morning, FOX held a conference call with none other than Ryan Seacrest, who you may know from, well, everything.  Seacrest is currently the host of American Idol, the daily host of E! News Live, and a morning radio host in Los Angeles.  He‘s also been hosting a number of specials recently, including New Year‘s Rockin‘ Eve, the Emmys, the SAG Awards and, in two weeks, Ryan will preside over the biggest event of them all: Super Bowl XLII.  Seacrest discussed the FOX Super Bowl pre-game show this morning, which he will be hosting for FOX.  FOX is going with a new format this year for the pre-game show – Seacrest will host a live red carpet and interview celebrities as they head into the game.  It‘s an experiment, and Seacrest discussed the possible perils of combining football and a red carpet.  Of course, he also managed to include some American Idol tidbits in the conference call, including Paula Abdul‘s scheduled pre-game performance.  Read more »
Do you think American Idol purposely timed this Charleston audition episode to air in the same week as all the political intrigue currently permeating the great state of South Carolina?  I can tell you, for a certain fact, that I have never been to South Carolina and I know less than I should about the state.  In fifth grade, I did a state project and my state was South Carolina (not my choice, clearly) but all I remember from that is SC‘s state fruit is the peach.  I‘m not even sure if that‘s true, though.  Anyway, hopefully we‘ll get some fine down South talent on tonight‘s one hour episode of Idol.  During the episode, watch for FOX to relentlessly pimp The Moment of Truth, their new controversial game show which will premiere after Idol tonight.  Do you love being uncomfortable?  Then, The Moment of Truth is for you.  I‘ll be here throughout the hour, giving live updates as the episode goes along.  Feel free to chime in with your thoughts below. Read more »
Early in tonight‘s American Idol audition episode from Charleston, South Carolina, Ryan Seacrest said in a voice over that the people of Charleston was recently named the nicest people in the country.  The next 59 minutes disputed this statement.  Never in one hour of American Idol auditions have we seen so many contestants bitch and moan about how the judges had wronged them.  These contestants knew they could sing, it was just that judges didn‘t understand.  After baring witness to dozens of audition episodes over the years, I‘m no longer disdainful of the truly awful auditions, the humorous ones – these people simply have something wrong with them.  The only auditions that truly bother me these days are from the mediocre singers who insist (in the face of unequivocal rejection) that no, the judges are wrong, they are good.  Really, really good and they should be the next American Idol, they deserve it.  The gall these people have is remarkable and (possibly) indicative of something intrinsically wrong with America.  As Tyler Durden once said, “We‘ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we‘d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won‘t.” Read more »
Some people just have IT. It‘s hard to quantify, but, like pornography, you know it when you see it. On the Charleston auditions of American Idol season 7, we saw some people who have IT.But not a lot. Of the 23 singers who made it to Hollywood, we only saw four, and two of those were siblings who performed in a single audition. For the most part, it was a dull episode of American Idol full of mediocre people. There were no amazingly awful people, just a lot of pointless filler. Read more »
Week 2 was disappointing in terms of terrible auditions for American Idol.  There was a load of mediocrity, but not much transcendent awfulness.  Still, I managed to cobble together three different auditions for this week‘s Best of the Worst.  Only one of these will go down as a classic bad audition, and that‘s just because the dude was an unforgettable and bizarre character.  Another was of an audition that I liked, nothing crazy, and the third was just a glorious visual gimmick that made me smile.  Last night‘s Charleston auditions on American Idol were disappointing all-around.  We only saw four quality auditions and none of the bad auditions were incredibly bad – all just poor singers, often with a heightened sense of their own talent.  Hopefully, next week‘s episodes will get back on track.  Read more »
As has been well-documented on BuddyTV, this past week of American Idol auditions were underwhelming, to say the least.  The South Carolina auditions were especially poor.  But, what are you going to do?  Some places (like Charleston) simply have a less talented population than others.  Maybe it‘s something in the water, maybe it‘s the public schools system.  I‘ve picked out who I consider to be the three best singers from this week‘s batch of audition episodes and I can see two of them being strong contenders for the top 24.  Read more »
Do you like to sing, or do you prefer judging other people‘s singing talents?  Are you brutally honest when it comes to giving your opinion, even if it means hurting other people‘s feelings?  Are you usually drunk?To find out what kind of judge or host would you be like if you were on American Idol, just take BuddyTV‘s latest personality quiz: Which American Idol Personality Are You? Read more »
Anxious fans have already begun that full-time job known as watching American Idol.  FOX announced a detailed schedule for the series to make it easier for everyone to plan their weeknights for the next few months.  The show kicked off with a two-night, four-hour event on Tuesday, January 15, and Wednesday, January 16.  Continue reading for all of the details on when your favorite Idol episodes will air. Read more »
Omaha, Nebraska seems an exceedingly random place for American Idol to set up shop for a day of auditions.  Wikipedia just informed me that Omaha has a population of 427,872 (Also, did you know that Omaha actually means “Dwellers on the Bluff?”  I feel like Alice Cooper).  I bring this up because there are much grander metropolises out there in our great country that American Idol has never visited, especially ones with other big cities in close proximity.  Omaha is close to corn, and that‘s about it.  In the one day of auditions in the heartland, the Idol judges sent 19 lucky singers on to the Hollywood rounds which, for one day, isn‘t an awful showing, but I‘m willing to bet that, for example, Portland would have done better.  Just a thought. Read more »
American Idol hits up Omaha, Nebraska tonight and my expectations are not high.  I‘m not saying this because I‘m cynical, it‘s just that we haven‘t seen a whole lot of talent per audition episode this season and I‘m starting to get worried.  I don‘t know much about Omaha (I hear it‘s very flat), but I‘m hoping for an influx of great Midwestern singers tonight.  It‘ll also be interesting to see if any of the names leaked on the Top 24 list show up in audition form tonight.  We‘ll be here throughout the hour giving live updates as the episode rolls along.  Feel free to offer your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below. Read more »
Homosexuality on American Idol has been a controversial issue from the beginning. In season 1, FOX pressured finalist Jim Verraros to tone down gay-friendly comments he made on various websites. Last night‘s Omaha auditions proved that perhaps the show has come a long way.Without being too presumptuous, the episode started and ended with likely homosexual contestants. Chris Bernheisel was a bit of a stereotype, singing Paula Abdul songs in the halls with a fairly effeminate voice. Leo Marlowe at the end wasn‘t quite as stereotypical, but was quite open, proudly boasting that his mother calls him a “perfect homecoming queen.” Only Leo made it to Hollywood, but that doesn‘t mean we‘ve seen the end of Chris. Read more »
I guess Miami doesn‘t have much talent.  American Idol spent two full days of auditions down in Florida and only seventeen singers received tickets to Hollywood.  That‘s terrible.  Can you imagine being one of the judges, and logging two twelve hour days, seeing countless auditions and then only deeming seventeen of them worthy of a chance in Hollywood?  Oh, wait, they make truck loads of money.  It doesn‘t sound that bad at all, actually.  Nonetheless, out of those seventeen that went through, I thought a couple that viewers got to see weren‘t all that great, which makes it even worse. Read more »
American Idol is in sunny Miami tonight and, as such, I‘ve decided to post this picture next to us here for the occasion.  It comes from FOX‘s large batch of Miami audition photos and I chose this one, because when I think of Miami, one of things that comes to mind are popped collars.  Now, I‘ve never been to Miami, but when I picture it, I picture this guy.  Surely this is an off-base stereotype, but this guy DID audition in Miami and he IS popping his collar.  We‘ll be here all episode with live updates.  Feel free to comment below. Read more »
During the final audition of last night‘s Miami auditions for American Idol, Simon Cowell was so disgusted he got up and walked out. The performer was Brandon Black, a man who reeked of desperation to be on TV, putting on some awful comedy schtick and then singing as poorly as he could.Certainly there‘s a place on this show for people who are just trying to be on TV, but after seven years, it‘s grown a bit tired. It‘s not enough to just be a bad singer or to act like a buffoon. My biggest problem with Brandon Black wasn‘t that he sucked (which he did), it was that he wasn‘t creative. Read more »
Despite what appeared to be a severe lack of quality talent over the last two American Idol audition episodes (Omaha and Miami), when we look at the leaked top 24 list we find that, in actuality, those two cities have provided us with four legitimate Idol candidates.  It‘s always difficult to judge a singer‘s full potential after a couple of a capella minutes in the audition room, but I got a good vibe from these four singers.  Now, if you haven‘t heard yet, what appears to be the final list of this season‘s top 24 leaked a couple of weeks back and it appears to be the real thing.  These are spoilers, so if you want to be surprised during Hollywood week, I advise you to read no further. Read more »
Raise your hand if you actually watch the Super Bowl pre-game show.  That‘s what I thought.  Not very many of you.  The ratings say you do watch, however.  Always, when the TV ratings for Super Bowl week come out, the pre-game show is usually the number two program of the week.  I am completely convinced that these ratings do not reflect the actual viewership.  At Super Bowl parties around the country, at bars around the country, anywhere the Super Bowl is being watched, the pre-game show is simply put on the television while everyone waits for the actual game.  No one actually watches it – it‘s just on.  The fact that it‘s four hours long and every conceivable issue regarding the game has been covered from every possible angle over the past two weeks is enough to make even the biggest football fans disinterested.  This is why FOX‘s decision to add a red carpet to the pre-game show this year, with American Idol‘s Ryan Seacrest presiding over it, was largely ignored.  The pre-game show had a very American Idol feel to it today, but I don‘t feel like anyone really cares one way or the other because, as I said, no one really watches it anyway.  If you did watch it earlier today, however, then you know that Seacrest interviewed a few celebrities and FOX aired the video for Paula Abdul‘s first single in over a decade.  It went about as well as could be expected. Read more »
It‘s a little unfair watching these last few American Idol audition episodes, now that the top 24 for this season has been leaked to the masses.  Watching last week‘s auditions in Miami and Omaha, we were introduced to a few of those people who, we think, will eventually make the top 24.  I‘m not going to reveal to you who they are, but I will say that I like the level of talent that we‘re going to see in the the top 24.  It‘s definitely better than what we saw last year.  For this week‘s American Idol Best of the Best, I chose three singers who all had big-time voices.  While they may still be a little raw, they have the potential to make a big run once they get to Hollywood.  Read more »
Tonight‘‘s American Idol auditions from Atlanta were refreshing.  There were no horrendous, water-cooler worthy auditions, there was a whole load of quality singers and the requisite sob stories were handled with unusual grace by the American Idol producers.  I know America enjoys the terrible auditions and the people who make complete fools of themselves, but it was nice to have an almost completely straightforward episode for a change.  Perhaps this was just a result of the crowd who showed up for auditions in Atlanta – if no real crazies show up, then you have no real crazies to air.  Read more »
American Idol holds its final true audition episode tonight, this time from Hotlanta.  I‘ve never been to Atlanta, but I presume it‘s often quite warm there.  I know that Nelly comes from Atlanta and I‘ve always had an explicable dislike of the city, most likely because of the Atlanta Braves and their despicable Tomahawk Chop I witnessed on TBS throughout the nineties.  I picked the picture above because I liked that dress the young woman is wearing.  It‘s very colorful.  I have no idea whether we‘ll actually see her in tonight‘s episode.  Tomorrow, FOX will air a special Best of the Rest audition episode, where FOX takes the best un-aired scraps from all the audition cities.  It‘s filler until Hollywood week begins.  We‘ll be here throughout the episode, giving live updates as the episode moves along. Read more »
American Idol‘s Atlanta auditions were more of the same. Some good, some bad, and quite a few sob stories (dead dads and homeless teens!). Perhaps the oddest trend of this year is that the crazies are actually making it through to Hollywood. Earlier in the season we had the dude collecting his fingernails, and last night we had bug-eyed Joshua Jones and Josiah Lemming, who wants to be the male version of Jewel, only from Tennessee instead of Alaska and with a British accent instead of British teeth.But forget the singers. To be perfectly honest, ever since the top 24 list leaked a few weeks back, I just don‘t care about these singers anymore. What‘s important are the judges, and it looks like crazy Paula might be back. Read more »
Tonight‘s American Idol is the reality equivalent to an eighties sitcom clip show.  With "Best of the Rest" the American Idol producers piece together the best un-aired footage from all the previous audition cities and present them as a "best of" compuilation from the entire audition process.  Yes, it is a cheap way to wring another audition episode (and just another episode in general) out of the Idol franchise, but people like their audition episodes and they always get the big ratings, so why not?  I have no idea what to expect from tonight‘s episode, but I presume we‘ll be seeing a bunch of bad auditions, but not so bad that they aired in an original audition episode. I chose this picture for obvious reasons.  I‘m a sucker for glorious fro-manes.  Read more »
Tonight‘s episode of American Idol was the final audition episode of the season.  It‘s been a long month of watching the talented and the foolish face the three-headed Idol judging panel, and now we can move on to actually caring about the singers.  Starting next week, viewers will begin to form opinions and have actual rooting interests, and that‘s when the fun begins.  As for tonight, well, we saw scraps from every audition city.  It was a clean-up episode for FOX.  They got to include all of the pertinent Hollywood personalities before next week begins.  Read more »
Some people say 10 hours of American Idol auditions might be too much. Everyone else says it‘s definitely too much. It‘s actually quite impressive that American Idol can go from highly anticipated to overexposed in four short weeks.Last night American Idol cobbled together one more audition episode out of the bits and pieces they didn‘t air from the seven audition cities. Good, bad, crazy, yawn. We all understand the economics of it. FOX doesn‘t have an abundance of hit shows, especially with 24 being sidelined due to the writers‘ strike. So of course the network has no choice but to stretch American Idol as thin as possible because, even when fans get bored, they still watch. Read more »
It‘s been an arduous, often painful four-week journey, but we‘re finally finished with the season 7 auditions of American Idol.  As my compatriot John outlined earlier today, there has to be a better way to do the auditions and the Hollywood round.  Ten hours of auditions is simply way too much.  But, as is bound to be the case, there were some highlights that didn‘t involve terrible singers.  Today, I‘ve chosen my four favorite auditions from the past month of American Idol.  I suspect most of you will disagree with me on the favorites.  That‘s fine.  I‘ve put them in random order, so don‘t read anything into their placement below.  Read more »
Carrie Underwood once again thanked American Idol for getting her career started last night as she took home the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.  The 2008 Grammy Awards were held last night, aired on CBS, and they marked the 50 year anniversary of the event.  In a star-studded three-plus hour event, Underwood (the season 4 winner of American Idol) not only took home the Grammy for her hit song “Before He Cheats” but also performed the same song live.  Whereas some American Idol alumni have either ignored the influence Idol had on their careers or occasionally made disparaging remarks about the show, Carrie Underwood has always been gracious towards the series and its effect on her career.  Read more »
This year’s Hollywood week of American Idol was different for any number of reasons. First, the singers were allowed to use instruments, which more often than not resulted in disaster. Second, there were no groups, which was an even bigger disaster because they’re the best part of the Hollywood week. And third, the way they chosen the top 50 was even more convoluted than it usually is.First, all 164 finalists got to sing, either by themselves or with an instrument. If the judges approved, they got an instant bye to the final round. If not, it wasn’t over, because this is a double-elimination style American Idol. The non-winners lined up and each got to sing a few seconds a cappella, and from that, the judges selected who would go to the final round with the original winners. In the finals, each singer got to perform with a band and back-up singers, after which the judges immediately voted on whether the singer made the top 50. Read more »
It‘s finally here, the Hollywood round of American Idol.  After seeing all the painfully bad performers and a few good ones, tonight we see the best fight for a spot in the top 24.  In addition, we get our first glimpse into the new rules of American Idol as some performers take the stage with their own instruments.  My fingers are crossed for some emotional breakdowns and some alluring hook-ups, and I‘ll be here all night providing live commentary.  So in the immortal words of Ryan Seacrest: THIS...is American Idol!Over a montage of screaming winners, Ryan tells us 164 people will come to Hollywood, but they have no idea what‘s to come.  The contestants and judges meet up on stage.  After their first performance, they get an instant bye to the final round, or they get a "No" and have a second chance. Read more »
Here we go, tonight American Idol whittles down the final 50 to the top 24, 12 men and 12 women, who will sing for your votes starting next week.  It might seem a bit anticlimactic, because more than a month ago a list of the top 24 was leaked, and pretty much everyone has seen it and knows exactly who will be making it through.  I‘ll be here all night providing live commentary with a printout of the leaked list by my side to see how accurate it is.To follow along at home, here is the Leaked List of the American Idol Top 24.  To date, I can safely say I recognize 17 of those names, which doesn‘t bode well for the other seven, who have yet to get even a sliver of quality screen time. Read more »
Now that the American Idol top 24 is official, we must look to the future. Who will make the finals? Who will be eliminated in the early rounds? We‘ve seen most of them sing at least a little bit, and based on that little knowledge, their appearances, and the fickle histories of American Idol voters (Phil Stacey, really?), here are BuddyTV‘s initial American Idol Power Rankings.First up are the men. I use that term loosely, because five of them aren‘t even old enough to have a beer, legally. There aren‘t a whole lot of recognizable faces here, about half of them didn‘t show up on our screens until Hollywood week. That said, there are two clear frontrunners among the men, guys with great voices who have been given plenty of screentime to become America‘s favorites before the actual competition even begins.Also check out the TOP 12 WOMEN POWER RANKINGS Read more »
Yesterday, I ranked the top 12 guys on this season of American Idol, determining that Michael Johns and David Archuleta had the best shots of going far. In fact, I believe Archuleta will finish third and Johns will finish second. But who will win?Well, since you didn‘t find out yesterday, it‘s obvious I believe season 7‘s American Idol will be a woman. Thus far, history is on my side, as four of the six American Idols are female. However, when it comes to the final two, it‘s dead even, with six men and six women, thus making my split-gendered finale a likely occurrence. More importantly, continue reading to see how I rank the top 12 women this season.Also, check out the TOP 12 MEN POWER RANKINGS Read more »
Read More About Who We Think Will Win:Top 12 Men Power RankingsTop 12 Women Power RankingsAmerican Idol “officially” announced the top 24 singers for season 7 tonight. I write “officially” in fake quotes because all 24 were correctly identified on a list leaked more than one month ago. So these auditions were truly a waste to us fans, who already knew who‘d be singing for our votes.In this one-hour episode of American Idol (wow, only one hour, how did they squeeze all that information into such a small period of time!?), we saw my second favorite part of Hollywood week, after the group sing (which was sadly nowhere to be seen). It‘s the ELEVATOR! Read more »
Click Here for the Latest News on the American Idol Top 24Click Here to Read Our Predictions for:Top12 WomenTop 12 MenMajor, major spoiler alert for all of you American Idol fans out there.  If you want to be surprised in a couple of weeks and don‘t want all the intrigue of the audition episodes completely drained, read no further.  What we have here is the rumored Top 24 for season seven of American Idol.  Last week, the final Hollywood episodes were filmed in Los Angeles and, according to “JoesPlace” (a reliable inside source), the 24 finalists have been selected.  Granted, this is still a rumor at this point and should not be construed as official, but I‘m willing to bet this is right on.  JoesPlace, before the season even started, but together an almost perfect list of the Hollywood top 50.  So, again, Spoiler Alert!  Go no further if you want to keep the top 24 a surprise. Read more »
The real season beings tonight.  Everything we‘ve seen over the last five weeks on American Idol has been pre-amble.  Tonight is the night where America gets to formally meet the American Idol Top 24 and see how they fare in the format in which they‘ll be competing in for the rest of the season.  As always, story lines have emerged over the past five weeks, and the biggest one is also a positive one: this looks to be the most talented Top 24 we‘ve seen in a while, maybe ever.  This infusion of talent can be attributed to the handful of ringers American Idol has brought in for this seventh, but talent is talent no matter how you get it.  Today, we‘re going to take a look at five different sub-plots that we think are important to keep in mind as the real American Idol season gets underway. Read more »
With the first performance episode of American Idol done, we now have a much better idea of who the best and worst are among the Top 12 men.  Some vocals were good, some performances were good, but overall, there was a lot of mediocrity ad boring people.  Some formerly anonymous faces showed up ready to go, and some early favorites continued their trek to the finals.After watching the first performance episode of American Idol, I certainly have my favorites.  As such, I put together a list of the 12 men, ranked from best to worst.  This isn‘t based on who has the best chance of winning the whole thing, or even who the best singers are.  This is my ranked list of the best performances from tonight‘s episode.  And I have no shame in admitting that I actually rather enjoyed both Elvis songs.Also Read:Who Will Go Home?Top12 Men Live Thoughts Read more »
After 17 years of auditions, we finally get to vote on some performances on American Idol. 12 men, 3 judges, 2 hours, and 1 delectable host in a pear tree. For guys in American Idol‘s Top 12, the pre-performance hype is going to David Archuleta and Michael Johns, both of whom endeared themselves to fans during the audition phase, while many of the other guys didn‘t get a whole lot of screentime. I‘ll be here all night with my live commentary on the Top 12 performances by the men.THIS…is American Idol!Also Read:Who Will Go Home?Ranking the Top 12 Male Performances Read more »
This is what I knew about the Top 12 Guys prior to last night‘s American Idol episode:1) The American Idol producers love David Archuleta.2) David Cook can sing rock n‘ roll.3) Michael Johns is a favorite to win it all.4) Danny Noriega has a nice voice, but makes Elton John look like Bruce Springsteen.5) Robbie Carrico used to be a boy band member, and no matter how much he dresses like Kurt Cobain, he‘ll never live his Boy Band days down.And that‘s about it.  Last night‘s American Idol was our first extended look at most of the top 12 guys and the results were as expected: abundant mediocrity, some pleasant surprises, and a few disasters.  In a new feature here at BuddyTV, we‘re going to take a look at who will most likely be sent home by America on Thursday‘s elimination episode of American Idol.Also Read:Ranking the Top 12 Male PerformancesTop12 Men Live Thoughts Read more »
The Top12 women on this season of American Idol are, overall, better than the men. I‘m pretty sure you can‘t even dispute that fact. Shortly after the Top 24 was announced, I ranked both sides, and while I think my choices for the men proved very accurate, the women were another story. After hearing these women sing, many for the first time, there are some very good singers.Now, as I rank the performances from tonight‘s episode of American Idol, I see that two of my top three were singers I predicted would be voted out in the first two weeks. I also notice that, going far down my list, I still want to hear more from nearly all of these performers. In fact, the bottom two are the only ones I think should definitely go home, which is something I couldn‘t say with the men.Also read:Top 12 Women Live Thoughts Read more »
Last night the Top 12 men performed on American Idol, and despite the hype, it was largely underwhelming (with the notable exception of Jason Castro‘s overall awesomeness). In fact, many of the guys were so boring, some fans seemed more concerned with the fact that Irish lass Carly Smithson was absent from the Dawg Pound. Was she cut because she already has a recording contract? Was she deported thanks to an “anonymous” phone call from Lou Dobbs? Did Hayden Christensen “jump” her away to Egypt for the night just to make Ryan Seacrest jealous? To answer these questions and more, I‘ll be live blogging all night as the Top 12 women take the stage, so refresh this page early and often.THIS…is American Idol!Also read:Ranking the Top 12 Female Performances Read more »
That was underwhelming.  Maybe American Idol should have waited a week or two before proclaiming this the most talented top 24 in the show‘s history.  The Top 12 Ladies performed last night and, just like with the men, they served up a large helping of mediocrity.  Not only were the women uninspiring, but they were far more boring than the guys, some of whom failed spectacularly, while the women were just plain forgettable.  I have a bone to pick with the judges for their performance over the last two nights.  Their shameless pimping of David Archuleta and Carly Smithson was terrible – both singers are clearly talented, though neither was all that good in their first performance.  I generally agree with Simon‘s critiques, but I hate how intensely he focuses on the singers turning in “modern” performances. Sometimes, it‘s OK to just sing a song really well.  I don‘t want everyone to sound like Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake.  For instance, I thought Kady Malloy gave one of the best performances of the night yesterday.  It was subtle and near flawless, but none of the judges gave it a vote of confidence and, as a result, Malloy may go home tonight.  Read more »
Well, I‘m a little excited, to be honest.  It‘s our first results show of American Idol 7, and after tonight two guys and two girls will say goodbye and head home.  Being one of the first four contestants voted out doesn‘t bode well for your future prospects - usually, we never hear from them again. Here are my predictions: Garrett Haley and Jason Yeager will be eliminated from the Top 12 Guys.  Amy Davis and Joanne Borgella will be eliminated from the Top 12 Girls.  I‘m probably wrong, and I‘m sure there will be a surprise departure among the four eliminated - that‘s why we watch.  I‘ll be here throughout the show giving live updates, so keep refreshing and find out who gets voted off. Read more »
The first American Idol Results Show of season seven was as painless a results show as I can remember.  This is what happens when you‘re eliminating four people within an hour, but still, Ryan Seacrest made it as quick and dirty as possible.  There was one sort-of surprise elimination, but nothing earth-shattering.  Mostly, all four singers who were sent home tonight had zero potential going forward and would not have done anything in the Top 12.  Also, FOX decided to air, in its entirety, Paula Abdul‘s new music video.  It was bad, but not as bad as it could‘ve been.American Idol 7: Top 24 Live Results Read more »
Four soon to be anonymous singers were eliminated from American Idol last night.  It‘s a little bit sad to think about those four.  Getting past the thousands of people in the audition period, emerging out of the vast talent pool of the Hollywood and then to crap out after one week in the Top 24 has to be a massive disappointment for these singers.  Then again, just being there has to be a great experience.  Earlier today, FOX held conference call interviews with each of the four eliminated American Idol singers: Garrett Haley, Amy Davis, Joanne Borgella and Colton Berry.  This is a recap of those interviews. Read more »
American Idol is an unstoppable corporate machine.  This is FOX and Idol‘s dirty little secret.  On a few occasions, the executive producers of American Idol have admitted as much: Idol was created for the sole purpose of finding and selling new pop stars to a large populace.  The producers own the recording companies who produce all the albums for Idol alums.  This massive, inescapable contrivance has been largely ignored because it hasn‘t really affected the integrity of the competition.The talent that‘s appeared on American Idol was undiscovered at the time and, even if FOX and 19 Entertainment used the singers as pawns in their own large-scale game of Monopoly, what we saw on TV was pure – young, hugely talented artists who rose from anonymity to fame in a mere five month span.  After six seasons, however, a problem emerged (at least in the eyes of the producers): what happens when the undiscovered talent dries up? Read more »
The 2007 Academy Awards were on last night, and to be honest, I found it a snoozefest. The Oscars are so long and tedious and self-important. Even if I agree with who gets the awards or not, I don‘t ever enter Oscar pools, so I don‘t have a whole lot riding on the hours-long event anyway.But what I do love watching are all the beautiful gowns that the actresses wear on the red carpet. It‘s my one bit of celeb envy. I wish that I regularly had fabulous gala events to attend, while wearing custom-made gowns costing thousands of dollars, too. And because Schadenfreude is my middle name, I also love to criticize the hideousness that some stars insist on wearing. I‘m sure you‘ll agree, it‘s more fun to criticize the bad looks anyway.Read on to see who my picks were for best and worst dressed. Read more »
The ten remaining men on season 7 of American Idol range from extremely talented to “what the hell are they doing here?”  My problem with the audition episodes is this: there‘s no excuse for American Idol to not show at least some of the auditions for each of the top 24.  I know there are copyright issues for the initial auditions, but in Hollywood the contestants are all singing approved songs.  I want to know what convinced the judges to put Jason Yeager, Garrett Haley and Luke Menard into the top 24.  These rankings are not based on my preferences.  I‘m a realist – the list is who I think has the best chance to advance far in the American Idol competition this season.  Read more »
Ranking the men of American Idol 7 was pretty easy.  There are a couple of obvious front-runners, a few challengers, and some obvious weak links.  The women are something entirely different.  By my count, there were only three poor performances from the ladies in the Top 24 performances, and two of those singers are no longer with us.  Just looking at everyone not named Kristy Lee Cook on this list, I can see a scenario in which each of them could advance to the top 3.  Really, that‘s how wide open it is for the ladies on American Idol right now.  Read more »
Voting out American Idol‘s red-headed stepchildren was a good start, but last week proved there‘s a lot more empty filler on the men‘s side this year that needs trimming. Tonight is the second opportunity for these Top 10 men on American Idol to sing for your votes, and judging by the photos released earlier today by FOX of the performers, we‘re in for not one, but two guitarists! Will Paula Abdul see all the colors of the rainbow once again? Will Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest have undeniable sexual tension? Will Randy Jackson use the phrase “Pitchy Dawg” at some point?THIS…is American Idol! Read more »
Last week on American Idol, there were a whole lot of bad male performances, so many I could only narrow down my list of potential losers to five. This week, the men almost all stepped it up. Many of last week‘s worst are now at the top of my list. It‘s much harder this week to predict who the second person going home on the American Idol results show will be (since we all know Jason Yeager is a lock to be voted out).Anyway, here are my instant, visceral reactions to the Top 10 male performances. This isn‘t a list of who I think will win it all or even who will be eliminated. It‘s a list of my favorite performances. And this week, it‘s very good to be named David. Read more »
This David Archuleta thing was bound to get out of control.  I got a call from my father last week and he couldn‘t stop gushing about that Archuleta kid – this is when I knew we‘d be in trouble.  If last night‘s American Idol Top 10 Guys performance show was any indication, the powers-that-be at FOX and 19 Entertainment may just steamroll Archuleta all the way into the finals.  How?  Just look at last night, when Archuleta was handed the keys to one of the five best songs of all-time (John Lennon‘s “Imagine”), given the prime last-performance-of-the-night slot, and then roundly congratulated by all the judges, culminating with Simon Cowell saying that David was far and away the favorite to win American Idol.  No, they aren‘t propping Archuleta up at all, are they?  Enough about that (oh, and don‘t worry...I‘ll be discussing this all week) – let‘s get to the issue at hand: which two men will be ceremoniously executed by Ryan Seacrest on national television this Thursday? Read more »
I guess we‘d have to give week two to the men on American Idol. Tonight the Top 10 women had some good songs, but there were also some painfully bad ones. If the judges have made one thing abundantly clear, it‘s that song choice is all that matters. Some performers found the box they fit in while others are still looking. Unlike the guys, no one female is standing out as a frontrunner for the title of American Idol, but we have a few worthy candidates.As always, this list is about my favorite performances from this episode of American Idol, not the most likely to stick around. I proved that last week when I declared Colton Berry was in my top three. Read more »
The Top 10 guys from American Idol stepped it up last night, delivering much better performances than last week. Will the women match it? Also, and perhaps more importantly, who will falter as the women take on songs of the 1970s? Last week, everyone who watched the performances instantly knew which two women would be eliminated, and we were right. Will we have another easy night of predictions? All we know for sure from the official FOX photos is that one lady picks up a guitar, which thus far has proven highly lucrative for the guys.THIS…is American Idol! Read more »
Quite the turnaround this week on American Idol.  In the Top 24, it was the women who shined and the men who served up a large helping of mediocrity.  This week, in the Top 20, it was the reverse.  The American Idol judges say it over and over again, but it cannot be stressed enough: song choice is just about the most important part of the competition.  For the most part, all of these people can sing and, given the correct song, can win over America.  If it‘s the wrong choice, even if you‘re a great singer, you may just stamp your ticket home.  Despite some fans being quite certain that so and so will be sent packing tomorrow night, for the ladies, there are definite question marks.  There are five ladies that have a legitimate shot of being eliminated tonight.  Read more »
Tonight was a night of surprises on American Idol.  I fancy myself something of a professional elimination predictor, but even my finely tuned prognostication skills were only able to correctly predict one of the four eliminated singers.  I even named a handful of contestants who I thought could legitimately go home tonight, and one of those who actually did go home wasn‘t on my list.  Such was the craziness of American Idol tonight.  Even the judges seemed baffled at the results.  Read more »
American Idol is sending four poor souls home tonight: Who will they be?  The four eliminated singers will almost certainly come from this group: Jason Yeager, Luke Menard, Robbie Carrico, Chikezie Eze, Amanda Overmyer, Kady Malloy, Kristy Lee Cook, Asia‘h Epperson, and Alaina Whitaker.  I wouldn‘t be surprised if any of those contestants went home tonight on American Idol.  It‘s a very wide open field.  With the large group of singers left, there‘s bound to be some big surprises - I guarantee the audience tonight will be caught totally off-guard with at least one of the eliminations.  I‘ll be here throughout the hour updating live on who is safe and who is taking that long ride into the sunset.  I‘m all jacked up on coffee and rarin‘ to go.  Keep refreshing the page to get the most recent updates. Read more »
I think we sometimes forget how stressful and difficult it is to appear on American Idol.  I can‘t imagine trying to learn a song in a couple days (possibly one you‘d never heard before) and then perform it in front of very harsh judges and millions Americans.  For someone like Jason Yeager, who seems like a very good guy, it can‘t be fun enduring the wrath of Simon Cowell on a national stage.  Today, all four eliminated contestants from last night‘s American Idol (Alexandrea Lushington, Alaina Whitaker, Jason Yeager, and Robbie Carrico) conducted conference call interviews with the media. Read more »
Song choice, song choice, song choice.  The American Idol judges will not shut up about the freaking song choice.  The fact is, and always will be, that American Idol contestants are going to make incredibly poor decisions when it comes to what songs they sing.  Part of this is simply bad judgment, but we have to be fair – the contestants are often ham-strung by clearance issues.  From what former contestants have said publicly, the American Idol contestants are given a specific list of songs and are told to list their preferences in order.  But, they don‘t always get the songs they want.  This season, Top 24 finalist Garrett Haley told the media that he didn‘t get to sing any of his top 3 choices.  Just for fun, we decided to pretend that song clearances were no issue and choose the perfect song for each Top 16 American Idol finalist.  Today, we‘ll look at the guys, ladies tomorrow. Read more »
Slim pickings this week.  American Idol traveled to Omaha and Miami this past week for auditions and, not only was there a lack of talented singers, there was a decided lack of crazy people to entertain us with their overall ineptitude.  There were a few auditions that were cringe-worthy and I‘ve picked those for week three‘s Best of the Worst.  One of my choices was Brandon Black from last night‘s episode. You know, the guy who thought he was a comedian?  I didn‘t want to include him because he was more question-your-faith-in-humanity bad than humorously bad.  But, as I said, the pickings were slim. Read more »
This is why the audition episodes of American Idol are so popular, no?  America craves the terrible auditions.  We love to mock the delusional and the bizarre.  We revel in their failure and it‘s a nice conversation starter with other American Idol fans.  Season seven of American Idol didn‘t have as abundant a crop of horrible auditions as past years.  It may be the case that we‘ve run out of freaks.  Seven seasons in, the weirdos know the score – if you suck and audition, you will be made fun of.  Historically, the best bad auditions come from those innocent souls who mean well, but just don‘t get it.   William Hung, for instance.  Hung was so popular because he truly believed in his awful-ness.  It was infectious.  This season, there was no William Hung, though Renaldo Lapuz came close. Read more »
It is undeniable that David Archuleta has become the darling of American Idol this season.  The seventeen year old from Utah is blessed with a mature beyond his years voice, an infectious stage presence, and an innocent modesty.  All three American Idol judges have had nothing but great things to say about the kid and the country has been buzzing since his stirring performance of John Lennon‘s “Imagine” last Wednesday.  There has been some mild Archuleta backlash, but that‘s to be expected when someone as saccharine and safe as David hits the national stage.  This hasn‘t stopped Archuleta from becoming the early favorite, going away, to win American Idol this season.  But, who is David Archuleta?  Where does he come from? Read more »
“Idol Gives Back,” the Emmy-Award winning charitable campaign that spanned two episodes of American Idol during its sixth season, is back for another fundraising concert in attempt to raise awareness and help charities worldwide.  This year, the star-studded event is slated to commence on Wednesday, April 9 at 8pm ET/PT on FOX.Fans can expect this year‘s affair to include a huge pool of international talent, including Bono, Brad Pitt, Reese Witherspoon, Hannah Montana‘s Miley Cyrus, Mariah Carey, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Fergie, Annie Lennox, John Legend and Snoop Dogg, who currently stars on the reality series Snoop Dogg‘s Father Hood. Read more »
I‘ve never met a male stripper.  As far as I know, I‘ve never known anyone who has known a male stripper.  I‘ve never seen a male strip club establishment.  The only ones I know exist are in Vegas, where Chippendale‘s and Thunder Down Under entertain middle-aged female tourists.  So, it was with great shock that I read the news about American Idol‘s David Hernandez‘ past as a male stripper.  It was revealed today that Hernandez was formerly employed at Dick‘s Cabaret in Glendale, Arizona where he gave nude lap dances for a mostly all-male crowd.  American Idol has not yet commented on this news, though I suspect we‘ll hear something from FOX in the coming days.  As for now, all we can do is speculate on what this news might mean for David Hernandez‘s future on American Idol.  Read more »
This is the final three-night week for American Idol. Tonight the top 8 men sing, tomorrow the top 8 women, then on Thursday, we‘ll meet the Top 12. Last week the guys surpassed the women and one fresh-faced little boy was declared the winner of American Idol. It‘s unclear why they‘re even wasting time with having the next few months, but whatever, let‘s go along for the ride.Tonight‘s theme: the 1980s. I get that they‘re going through the decades, but then why is next week The Beatles and not the 1990s? And what of the ‘00s? I don‘t know a whole lot about music, but my fellow writer Oscar Dahl expertly selected Which Songs the Guys Should Sing. It‘s quite reasonable and it will be interesting to see how close or far off he is. Read more »
I get upset when people complain about how bad the 80‘s were for music.  When they say the 80‘s were a terrible time for music, what they really mean is that the 80‘s were a bad time for popular music.  There‘s a huge difference.  For instance, nowadays no one really complains about the quality of music because, even if you don‘t prefer Top 40, the internet and iTunes and iPods have allowed everyone and their mothers to search for and find exactly the type of music that suits their fancy.  The Top 40 music is as bad now as it was in the 80‘s.  But, if you look hard, you‘ll find that the eighties provided a great deal of quality music.  We don‘t have to judge the 80‘s solely on Flock of Seagulls (“I Run” is a pretty cool song, actually).  American Idol is venturing into 80‘s music this week and, as I did with the guys yesterday, today I‘ve chosen 80‘s songs for each of the female performers.  These are my ideal choices and, though I know American Idol would never clear some of these tunes, in a perfect world this is what Wednesday‘s show would look like. Read more »
This is hard. In the first week of American Idol performances, Jason Castro was my top pick. Last week, it was David Cook. This week, they rank numbers one and two. It‘s clear that I‘ve settled on the two guys I adore and will root for as hard as I can.But the hard part at this point in American Idol is that reasonable arguments can be made for why any of these eight guys will and should stay. However, predictions for who will go home are for later. First, here are my personal rankings of the top 8 male performances. Remember, this has nothing to do with who I think is staying, just the ones I loved and hated the most. Read more »
This season, American Idol really is all about the guys. Jason Castro and David Cook are easily my two favorite performers and singers in the whole competition. Danny Noriega is by far the most entertaining. And David Archuleta is the odds-on favorite to win the whole thing. The women are going to have to do some serious work to crack any of those categories.Tonight, for the last time on this stage, we‘ll see the Top 8 American Idol women sing songs from the 1980s, and after tomorrow‘s eliminations, it‘s on to the Top 12, on to a bigger, better stage, and on to The Beatles. Who will join Kady Malloy as one of the next women to go home? Oops, sorry, I meant to put a spoiler warning on that. Read more »
What are we to make of these American Idol men (and one boy)?  Touted as one half of the most talented batch of semi-finalists ever, they have been both a massive disappointment and a sight to behold.  It all depends on who you ask.  Expectations create bizarre judgments.  Any way you slice it, this year‘s Top 24 has been exponentially better than last year‘s.  Are they the best ever?  Probably not, but I‘m inclined to agree with FOX‘s claim that they are the most talented ever.  However, a number of the singers have yet to live up to their massive potential.  I would argue that, given their abilities, three of the top 8 men have been severely underwhelming (they would be Michael Johns, Danny Noriega, and Luke Menard (who I still maintain can be good given the right song)).  Two have exceeded any reasonable expectations (David Archuleta and Chikezie Eze) and the other three have done about as well as we can expect, which happens to be quite good (David Hernandez, Jason Castro and David Cook).  What does this have to with who‘s going home tomorrow?  I believe that the voting public has a keen sense of potential, whether they realize it or not.  Read more »
These first three weeks of performances on American Idol are like a base coat of paint. The singers all get to solidify themselves and set themselves up for the real competition of the Top 12. Though half of the Top 24 is eliminated, even more than that show that they have no shot at winning this competition.Tonight the Top 8 women performed, and unlike the guys, these women are all very close in their talents, for the most part. As of now, no one has stepped up as the clear favorite. In fact, I‘d argue that as many as four of these women have exhibited signs of becoming the frontrunner, but none has completely seized it. Right now America is faced with a few good and a bunch of average performances. At that point, it‘s all about who has the biggest fan base. Read more »
Brooke White isn‘t receiving nearly enough love.  Last night, for the second week in a row, Brooke gave the best female American Idol performance of the night and it wasn‘t close.  If it wasn‘t for the buzzsaw that is David Archuleta, Brooke might be the presumptive favorite to win it all.  Remember the lesson learned from Blake Lewis – creativity, ingenuity, and adaptability are incredibly important as the season goes on and on.  Brooke has proved (like David Cook), in two weeks time, that she can take any genre of song and make it her own.  Why am I focusing on Brooke White?  Because she was the only interesting part of an otherwise boring broadcast.  It‘s not that the ladies were terrible last night, it‘s that they chose terrible songs. It‘s hard to predict which ladies are going home tonight after last week‘s shocking eliminations.  Will this week be more predictable?  For my sake, let‘s hope so.  Read more »
Enjoy tonight‘s results show, American Idol fans.  Seriously, in a couple weeks you‘ll look back on tonight with fond memories.  Starting next week, American Idol‘s Results Shows will go from sending four singers home to only sending one. From the Top 12 on, it‘s one at a time.  One elimination in one hour.  That means an incredible amount of filler, lots of guest performers you don‘t care about, and group songs we can all do without.  Comparatively, tonight will be a breeze.  I figure that the four eliminated singers will come from this large pool: Chikezie Eze, Luke Menard, David Hernandez, Danny Noriega, Kady Malloy, Asiah Epperson, Kristy Lee Cook and Amanda Overmyer.  That‘s right – half of the top 16 appear to be in danger of elimination.  It‘s wide open.  I‘ll be here throughout the hour, giving live updates as Ryan Seacrest ruthlessly, without mercy, kicks four singers to the curb.  Read more »
It was a tad bit anti-climactic tonight on American idol.  The Top 12 is now set, and it‘s a top-heavy group.  There are six singers who I can say, with the utmost confidence, will be in the top 8.  There‘s a group of three or four who will most likely be eliminated over the next month, and because of this, I expect the rest of American Idol‘s March to be rather plodding.  Season 6 runner-up Blake Lewis showed up tonight to show the contestants that, even if they don‘t have the greatest singing voice, creativity, personality and a great stage presence can take you a long ways.  Read more »
Danny Noriega was booted off American Idol last night.  It wasn‘t a big surprise.  His sassy and flamboyant performances were not big hits with the audience or the judges, though the on line community did turn little Danny into a somewhat buzz worthy persona.  Whether you liked Danny or not, he was a big personality and he brought a lot of Danny-ness to the stage every time he was on TV.  Some thought that Danny would become this season‘s Sanjaya Malakar, but unfortunately for Danny, there was someone else this season who stood to take the teenage female vote and his name was David Archuleta.  Even though Danny is now gone from the Idol competition, he lives on in infamy.  Earlier this week, TMZ got a hold of a MySpace video recorded by Danny in high school.  It‘s a Christmas video, but Danny shows little holiday cheer.  Read more »
American Idol named its Top 12 last night, with four singers coming oh-so-close but ultimately falling just a bit short.  Danny Noriega, Asiah Epperson, Luke Menard and Kady Malloy were all sent home during Thursday‘s American Idol Results Show.  None of the eliminations were much of a surprise and it‘s safe to say that, even if any of these four had made the Top 12, none of them had any sort of chance at winning the entire thing.  That being said, I felt that both Danny and Kady have the potential to be minor stars in their own right.  Those two were hurt by poor song choices and the inability to find their niche quickly enough.  Asiah has a good voice, but it‘s nothing special.  Luke, I‘m sad to say, probably won‘t be heard from again.  He‘s a good guy, though.  All four eliminated singers took questions during a series of conference calls earlier today, and I was there to jot down the highlights. Read more »
The Beatles are, pretty much, my favorite thing ever.  As a cultural entity, there has been nothing I have enjoyed more than the music of The Beatles (In fact, if I had to name my Top 5 Cultural Entities Ever, they‘d probably be 1) The Beatles 2) The 1996 Seattle Supersonics 3) Bill Murray 4) Tom Robbins 5) The 1995 Seattle Mariners).  This being the case, I was a little horrified when American Idol announced that they would be doing Beatles Week for the Top 12.  It could either be an absolutely appalling couple hours of television or one of the best American Idol episodes ever.  As always, it will come down to song choice.  So, as we‘ve begun doing here at BuddyTV, we‘re going to choose the ideal song choices for each of the Top 12 contestants on American Idol‘s Beatles Week.  Read more »
Beatles Night on American Idol was not a disaster.  Great.  This marks a victory for this crop of American Idol contestants.  I only counted four performances that I would deem “poor” tonight, which was less than I expected.  Speaking as a Beatles super-fan, I never understood the uproar regarding American Idol contestants performing songs from the beloved Lennon/McCartney song book.  Being allowed to sing great songs is never a bad thing.  Sure, there was the possibility that they would butcher these incredible songs, but doesn‘t that happen all the time with Beatles songs?  Regardless, I was more or less pleased with tonight‘s two-hour episode of American Idol.  I‘m sure you readers will have some serious qualms with parts of my rankings below – feel free to comment and tell me where I‘m wrong.  Remember, these rankings are only about my favorites of the night – they aren‘t about who I think will be going home.  Read more »
It‘s here: Beatles Night on American Idol.  I‘ve been waiting with both excited anticipation and sheer dread for the Top 12 to perform tunes from the legendary Lennon/McCartney songbook (I doubt anyone will do a George Harrison song – maybe “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” or “Taxman”).  I have no doubt that at least a couple of The Beatles songs will be butchered tonight, but I also am optimistic that we‘ll hear a handful or worthy covers.  The simple truth is that almost every Beatles song is a great song, which makes it that much easier for the American Idol hopefuls to concoct a good arrangement.  Word on the street is that EMI/Capitol/Michael Jackson/Apple/whatever only released 25 Beatles songs for the Idols to choose from tonight.  This bothered me at first, but let‘s be honest – they‘re all exceptional pieces of music and 25 is more than enough to choose from.  I‘m not going to let “limited song choice” become a legitimate excuse for a poor performance tonight.I‘ll be here throughout the two hour telecast, giving my thoughts and updating the action live, so don‘t forget to refresh the page and comment below with your own personal musings.  Read more »
The art of American Idol elimination predictions is not easily mastered.  There are many variables to take into account, including quality of performance, past performances, each singer‘s target demographic, the judges‘ comments, the song choice, the order of the songs, and the singers‘ relative attractiveness.  Since no one person can be the be-all, end-all expert on American Idol eliminations, we‘re going to try something new here at BuddyTV.  Starting this week, BuddyTV writers John Kubicek and Oscar Dahl will be discussing (arguing) about who we believe will be sent home on each American Idol Results Show.  Read more »
Cross-promotion is a an important part of modern advertising.  I understand this.  But, for the love of everything that is holy, is it necessary to pimp Horton Hears a Who while The Beatles “A Day in the Life” plays in the background?  Whenever I hear “A Day in the Life” I think of John Lennon and it makes me sad that he‘s dead.  It shouldn‘t be used to advertise an animated film.  OK, no more soapbox.  Tonight‘s American Idol Results Show went about as expected – one of the two or three people who we expected to be eliminated was.  Until that moment, though, we had to endure an awful group song and an OK performance from former American Idol Katharine McPhee.  Read more »
American Idol‘s Top 12 is about to be reduced to 11.  It‘s the first single elimination Results Show of the season and, really, I‘m not looking forward to it.  These episodes drag on forever, and will especially do so now that FOX and American Idol decided to extend all Results Shows from a half hour to a full hour.  So, to recap, now American Idol will spend an hour doing what could be done in five minutes.  Ech.  After the mildly impressive Beatles Night yesterday, these are the contenders to go home tonight – Kristy Lee Cook, David Hernandez, Syesha Mercado and Ramiele Malubay.  My prediction for the bottom three is this: Kristy Lee Cook, David Hernandez and Syesha Mercado, with Syesha getting the ticket home.  I‘ll be here throughout the episode to give live updates as the show moves along. Read more »
David Hernandez was, not surprisingly, eliminated from American Idol last night.  The past two weeks have been quite a whirlwind for Hernandez, the man from Glendale, Arizona.  When the story broke last week that David had spent some time working as a male stripper at a mostly gay cabaret, Hernandez was forever catapulted into infamy.  The American Idol conspiracy theorists would like you to believe that Hernandez‘s elimination last night was no coincidence.  I‘m pretty sure this is not the case, but I won‘t rule out the possibility that his stripping past contributed to his lack of votes.  Today, David conducted a live conference call with the press.  These are the highlights: Read more »
Today, American Idol and FOX announced some more details about the highly anticipated second edition of Idol Gives Back (airing Wednesday, April 9), the American Idol star-studded charity special. In the press release, FOX gave the names of all the charities who will benefit from the Idol Gives Back money raising efforts.  They include the Children‘s Defense Fund, The Global Fund, Make It Right, Malaria No More, Save The Children and the Children‘s Health Fund.  Idol Gives Back will start at 7:30pm this year and run for a full two and a half hours.  Artists such as Bono, Miley Cyrus, Annie Lennox, John Legend, Snoop Dogg, Fergie, Mariah Carey, Chris Daughtry, and Carrie Underwood will appear – some will perform.  In addition, celebrities will appear in droves, including Brad Pitt, Reese Witherspoon, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning.  FOX will announce more performers and appearances for Idol Gives Back in the coming weeks.  Read more »
American Idol isn‘t very easy to predict.  All we have to do is take a glance at the results of last season, when both Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis came out of nowhere to finish in first and second place, respectively. Jordin was always a mild favorite, but she really turned it on in the second half of the season and improved considerably as the season moved along.  Blake Lewis was almost an afterthought entering the Top 24 – no one expected him to emerge like he did.  This season on American Idol, some prohibitive favorites have been identified early in the season.  I was thinking about coming up with my own odds to win for each remaining American Idol contestant, but then I realized that I‘m no a Vegas handicapper – might as well leave these things up to the experts.  So, I took the current Vegas odds for each of the Top 11 (courtesy of Sportsbook.com) and looked to see where Vegas‘s head is at regarding this season of Idol.  Read more »
That was bad.  Simon Cowell said was everybody was thinking near the end of tonight‘s American Idol when he remarked that maybe doing The Beatles two weeks in a row wasn‘t such a good idea.  It‘s not that there were a lot of poor song choices tonight, it‘s that the songs weren‘t utilized properly.  The show and the contestants just appeared to run out of steam.  If last week saw everyone performing hit singles, tonight everyone was singing B-sides.  You won‘t find better songs in the world than Beatles songs, but they just aren‘t right for American Idol.  After the top two or three performances tonight, the quality dropped off significantly. Read more »
Beatles Week...again!  I‘ll take more Beatles anytime, no complaints.  American Idol is down to its Top 11, and the field is still wide open.  That is, if you assume (like I optimistically do) that America will eventually come to their senses and stop blindly handing votes to David Archuleta (“Flubbed lines, awkward singing, vacuum-like stage presence – who cares?  He‘s cute!”).  It‘s another historic night for American Idol, what with the second week in a row of legalized Lennon/McCartney song poaching.  I‘m looking forward to the show and am hoping that some of the singers learn from the mistakes of last week (I‘m looking at you Kristy Lee Cook).  No more ruined Beatles songs, please.  I‘ll be here throughout the night, giving updates as the episode rolls along.  Remember to refresh and comment below to let your opinions be heard.  Read more »
Now that both Beatles weeks are behind us on American Idol, we can just completely forget that they ever happened.  There were a handful of performances  from the American Idol Beatles Massacre of 2008 that I wish could be erased from my mind.  The two worst were by Oregonian cowgirl Kristy Lee Cook.  I didn‘t think a Beatles song could be arranged worse than her Top 12 rendition of “Eight Days a Week.” That was until last night, when Kristy clubbed America over the head with a horrifying cover of John Lennon‘s “You‘ve Got to Hide Your Love Away.”  In our second John vs. Oscar face-off, John Kubicek and I agree on who we believe will go home (can you guess who?), but we discuss far more than just Kristy.  Also, for the first time, we have recorded our American Idol discussion. Listen to the mp3 below.  Read more »
American Idol featured some very surprising results.  You can‘t completely argue with who was eliminated, but I thought it‘d be someone else, and so did everyone else.  There was also one major surprise in the bottom three.  An American Idol singer who no one thought was even a bottom three possibility found herself there and I have no idea how it happened.  Maybe it will galvanize her fans going forward, or maybe it‘s indicative of a smaller fan base than we had anticipated.  Kellie Pickler performed, looking lovely, and acting as ditzy as ever.  Ryan Seacrest announced four mentors who will guest on American Idol at some point over the rest of the season, and we endured a ton of filler. Read more »
Most of us are expecting an anti-climactic night on American Idol, with long-time punching bag Kristy Lee Cook finally punching her ticket home to The Beaver State.  This leads me to believe that Idol may have a surprise in store for everyone.  I feel like when everyone is agreement on who‘ll be sent home on American Idol, that person never goes.  All the evidence points to Kristy Lee getting the boot - she was bad last night and she‘s been in the bottom two for three weeks running.  It‘s her time.  Kellie Pickler returns to the Idol stage tonight to perform what I can only assume will be a cleavage-y, yet bland pop-country song.  I‘ll be here for the entire episode, giving live updates as the results come in. Read more »
In a somewhat mild surprise, Amanda Overmyer was eliminated from American Idol last night.  Amanda was the rocker from the South with the Janis Joplin voice who rides motorcycles and worked as a traveling nurse prior to American Idol.  Amanda, it‘s been conceded, was the most different and unique singer in the Top 24.  Amanda was definitely her own personality, and she just put herself out there with no apologies.  Her elimination was surprising because, while her performance this most recent Tuesday wasn‘t all that great, she was coming off two very good and well-received performances in the previous weeks.  Today, Amanda talked to the press in another American Idol conference call.  Read more »
It hurts my brain to do these American Idol rankings.  The mere act of placing David Archuleta ahead of so many better and more interesting singers is enough to give me a headache.  We can‘t know exactly who the people are that vote for Little Mr. Archuleta every week, but it stands to reason that the demographic is young and female.  The overwhelming screams that rain out from the crowd every time he takes the stage is evidence enough, and historically the teen vote has been about the most important type of vote on American Idol.  I hate to say it – but the signs point to Archuleta winning the competition.  Anyways, these American Idol rankings are not based on my personal views.  They are meant to be objective as possible. Read more »
If Ellen DeGeneres is a fan, then good things will come.  Apparently.  American Idol 7 hopeful and darling of the audition rounds Josiah Leming has reportedly inked a record deal with Warner Brothers, according to RealityTV Magazine.  You may remember Josiah as the sad-looking teenager who had been homeless for the better part of a year, traveling the country and sleeping in his car.  He was one of the final cuts before American Idol‘s Top 24, and after his elimination there was an unexpected outcry among fans.  Leming was one of the more unique singers Idol has ever seen.  He didn‘t have a technically sound voice (he often sang out of tune) but the distinctiveness was both undeniable and almost haunting.  It appears that Josiah made a big enough impression on the industry, and now owns a record deal thanks to the exposure of American Idol.   Read more »
American Idol‘s top ten performed tonight and the theme was a massive sham.  According to Ryan Seacrest, the theme of the night was “songs from the year you were born.”  Every American Idol contestant would perform songs recorded the year they were born.  However, almost half of the singers cheated.  Apparently, it was OK for the contestants to do songs that were recorded long before they born (or conceived, or even before their parents met) if those same songs were re-recorded by no-name artists in their year of birth.  Just once, I‘d like American Idol to say "we cleared a bunch of random songs from all different time periods and the singers chose from the list we gave them."  No one really cares about the theme, especially if the various songs are going to span genres anyway.  Tonight‘s episode was better than last week, and I have no real idea who will head home tomorrow. Read more »
American Idol‘s Top 10 perform tonight, and given the way this season has gone, each and every performer has to bring their A game.  Carly Smithson, one of the assumed favorites coming into the Top 12, found herself in the bottom three last week and threw a ton of conventional wisdom out the window.  It wasn‘t that she gave a poor performance last Tuesday - she just wasn‘t special, she was forgettable, and the voters responded with apathy.  If Carly can find herself in the bottom three, who in this top ten can‘t?  The obvious, and right, answer is David Archuleta.  Little David, America‘s darling, the fake-modest sweetheart who excites the loins of female teenagers across the country, is the prohibitive favorite to win American Idol this season.  I want to see him give another poor performance, not because I‘m evil, but because I want to see how everyone reacts.  Will the judges rip him a new one?  Will the voters sour, even a little?  Will a Sanjaya-esque backlash begin?  I‘ll be here throughout the entire 90-minute episode tonight, updating live with my thoughts on every performance.  Don‘t forget to refresh, and feel free to comment below with your opinions.  Read more »
The American Idol Top 10 performed last night, and by the end of the day, it will be a Top 9.  Who will be the next contestant to leave us?  That is quite a difficult question this week.  For the third week in a row, my fellow BuddyTV writer John Kubicek and I sat down and held a long discussion on who will be the next eliminated American Idol singer.  This week is so difficult because there‘s no one that‘s close to a consensus pick – everyone has vastly different opinions on who will go home and who should go home.  While there may be two specific contestants who I think should be eliminated, I‘m confident that neither will, for one reason or another.  What, then?  Well, we have to look at the past couple weeks, analyze the voting patterns and who has previously found themselves in the bottom three.  John and I disagree on our predictions, but don‘t necessarily disagree on each other‘s prediction rationales.  Like last week, we recorded the conversation, and you can listen to the entire mp3 below. Read more »
American Idol eliminates one more singer tonight, and the results are completely up in the air.  Depending on who you ask, any of these singers could be leaving us tonight: Ramiele Malubay, Kristy Lee Cook, Chikezie Eze, and Carly Smithson.  It should be an exciting night.  My personal prediction is that Carly Smithson will be eliminated tonight on American Idol, not because she deserves it, but because I think her fan base is much smaller than what most people assume.  With last night‘s silly "song from the year you were born" theme, I wonder what the group song will be.  I‘ll be here throughout the episode giving live updates as the results pour in.  Read more »
This is all getting very tricky.  The bottom three American Idol singers have been incredibly difficult to predict week in and week out.  There are no real discernible patterns that I can see regarding each week‘s bottom three.  Tonight‘s bottom three very much surprised me, though the eventual eliminated contestant wasn‘t a shock.  Given the way the last two American Idol results shows have gone, it‘s impossible to forecast the remainder of the season.  This is clearly a good thing, because a foregone conclusion isn‘t something anybody wants.  Conventional wisdom has been of no help, and the American Idol voters are increasingly unpredictable.  Which means the next couple of months will be fun. Read more »
Chikezie Eze, we can all agree, appears to be a good guy.  The man always looked like he was having fun, was energetic in all of his performances and was probably the biggest over-achiever on this season of American Idol.  In a conference call for the press today, Chikezie discussed his time on American Idol, and he had no regrets.  Listening to him speak, one got the sense that Chikezie relished every moment on the Idol stage and decided to approach the show in a unique way – he didn‘t worry about winning, or pleasing the judges, but just having a good time and putting on a show.  These are the highlights from the American Idol conference call.  Read more »
American Idol is gearing up for the second annual Idol Gives Back charity extravaganza.  The two and a half hour event (which will air Wednesday, April 9, starting at 7:30pm ET/PT) is going to be an excessively star-studded affair, featuring celebrities from all areas of popular culture.  Today, FOX revealed a list of recent additions to this year‘s Idol Gives Back and the names are actually quite impressive.  Included are former American Idol contestants Elliott Yamin and Fantasia Barrino, and High School Musical actresses Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale.  They join already announced names such as Bono, Brad Pitt and Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus. Read more »
Logic is a difficult thing to employ when it comes to American Idol.  There are countless examples in the show‘s history of singers making it further than any logic would dictate (Sanjaya Malakar, anyone?) and even this season has had its share of baffling moments (Carly Smithson‘s brief appearance in the bottom three comes to mind).  So, take everything going forward with a grain of salt.  American Idol voters have shown to be fickle customers – the week to week vote fluctuations are often astonishing.  What I‘m going to attempt to do here is predict the final finishing order of American Idol‘s Top 9 using (gulp) logic.  What else is there to go on, really?  My gut feelings regarding eliminations this season have been abysmally off base and I‘m seriously beginning to rethink my future career as a reality television prognosticator.  Let‘s give this a whirl.  Read more »
American Idol is a shameless self-promoter.  It seems like every single former American Idol contestant has popped up on a subsequent Idol season to perform a song from their debut record that isn‘t selling very well.  There‘s nothing wrong with this, it‘s the smart thing for Idol and FOX to do.  What‘s become clear, however, is that success on American Idol (votes and whatnot) does not equal success out in the real world.  Albums are difficult to sell these days for anyone, and being on American Idol does not make one immune to this fact.  Jordin Sparks, Blake Lewis, Katharine McPhee, Taylor Hicks – none of these artists set the world on fire with their debut albums.  Regardless, American Idol still attempts to help out their own “products” by giving them air time on the world‘s most popular television show.  This week, The Clark Brothers will perform on American Idol.  If, prior to the last sentence, you were unaware of the existence of a band called The Clark Brothers, don‘t worry – you are not alone.  Read more »
Paula Abdul isn‘t really taken seriously by anyone, except singers needing praise after a poor performance.  In this way, Paula plays a key role on American Idol.  She shifts the awkwardness from the singers onto her.  If three judges ripped a singer‘s performance apart right in a row, the viewing audience would feel bad watching the contestant try to deal with such criticism.  Paula not only provides the (often) lone voice of positivity, she generally makes a scene while giving off that positivity.  Not a big scene – just Paula being Paula.  This is comforting to the average viewer.  Given Paula‘s usual inability to speak ill of American Idol contestants, I was surprised when I found out today that Paula had made her final four predictions for this season.  Read more »
It‘s going to be difficult to argue that tonight‘s American idol wasn‘t top to bottom the best of the season.  There was not a bad performance on the night.  There were some forgettable performances, sure, a couple of hiccups here and there, but I was generally surprised and impressed by the overall quality of the episode.  I did not expect this.  When American Idol has a mentor whose song book I‘m largely ignorant of, this typically spells doom.  For me, at least.  With Dolly Parton on hand during tonight‘s American Idol, I was expecting to be bored and indifferent throughout the episode.  Much to my surprise, I enjoyed (to some degree) pretty much every singer.  This is doubly impressive when you consider my lack of fondness for country music in general.  Tonight‘s American Idol performance rankings are below.  Read more »
Dolly Parton Night.  Get excited everyone.  American Idol promised before this season began that they would use fewer “mentors” and rely less on themes each week, but I guess getting Dolly Parton changes all of that.  While I may not be familiar with too much of Dolly‘s music (I love “Jolene,” and I know “9 to 5”), she‘s been recording for over forty years – I‘m sure these nine American Idol finalists can scrounge up something to their liking.  The only contestant that having Dolly on blatantly helps is Kristy Lee Cook, who has found her most (cough) “success” while singing country music.  Other than that, I don‘t know what to expect tonight. I‘ll be here giving live updates throughout the hour-long episode. Read more »
American Idol has been nearly impossible to predict this season, and last night‘s Dolly Parton mentored episode isn‘t making things any easier.  The episode featured top to bottom solid performances, and amateur elimination prognosticators like myself are left scratching their heads.  Who will go home?  Who should go home?  Will Ramiele Malubay‘s mind-bending streak of avoiding the bottom three come to an end?  Will a memorable song choice keep Syesha Mercado out of the bottom?  Will Kristy Lee Cook survive elimination by the skin of her teeth yet again?  In our fourth edition of John vs. Oscar, the two of us are in agreement over eliminations for the first time this season.  It‘s actually fitting, as John is out of town today and, thus, we were unable to record our discussion.  Thank goodness for the magic of e-mail. Read more »
Nigel Lythgoe, the executive producer and man behind the curtain for American Idol, held a conference call today to discuss Idol Gives Back, the epic charity event that American Idol will host for the second year one week from today.  Idol Gives Back will air on FOX Wednesday, April 9 from 7:30pm to 10pm and feature a boat load of celebrities and performing artists in an effort to provide aid for the world‘s needy.  Last year‘s Idol Gives Back raised $76 million and Nigel hopes that this year‘s event brings in even more.  He spoke about the show to the media today.  These are the highlights from the conference call. Read more »
American Idol will send one more young singer home tonight, though no one really knows who it will be.  Depending upon who you talk to, it could be Ramiele Malubay, Kristy Lee Cook, Carly Smithson, Syesha Mercado or even Jason Castro.  Tonight, The Clark Brothers will perform on American Idol.  The Clark Brothers, if you‘ve never heard of them before, were the winners of last summer‘s failed FOX series The Next Great American Band.  My predictions for the night are as follows: Kristy Lee Cook going home, with Ramiele and Brooke White in the bottom three.  I‘ll be here throughout the episode with the live results as they come.  Read more »
Even though I didn‘t correctly predict tonight‘s eliminated contestant on American Idol, I did guess the bottom three exactly right.  This might not be so noteworthy on some Idol weeks, but my surprise choice for bottom three banishment actually ended up in the bottom three.  I rejoiced, until the final results were read and my ultimate (and only one that really mattered) prediction fell flat.  Nonetheless, tonight‘s American Idol was relatively painless, as far as results shows go.  Two bottom three entrants were there for the first time, Dolly Parton‘s old bones performed and Ryan Seacrest took more phone calls from America (does anyone, at all, care about that last part?).  Read more »
Ramiele Malubay was eliminated from American Idol last night.  In some ways, this was a surprise.  Ramiele had never been in the bottom three before.  It appeared that her voting base was large, and mysteriously so.  However, she went from being safe and out of the bottom three to elimination in just one week‘s time.  There was nothing wrong with Ramiele, nothing that drew the ire of fans – she was simply a cut below the other remaining singers on American Idol.  Today, Ramiele held a conference call with the media and answered every American Idol question that came her way. Read more »
FOX is airing four and a half hours of American Idol next week.  This may seem like a lot (OK, it is a lot), but it‘s because Idol Gives Back is set to air next Wednesday and that‘s going to last for an incredible two and a half hours.  It‘s for a good cause, and it should a star-studded night of good times, but still – nearly five hours is a big commitment.  Unlike last season, the producers aren‘t even going to try and pretend that they‘ll eliminate a singer during a charity event, so the results show will air on Thursday.  Because there‘s not much in the way of American Idol news right this second (and my predictive powers are finely tuned right now – I guessed the bottom three exactly this week), let‘s try out some predictions.  Read more »
American Idol‘s charity benefit Idol Gives Back will air on Wednesday in an epic two and a half hour affair, but much of what viewers will see Wednesday was taped last night at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.  Last year, Ellen Degeneres hosted that portion of Idol Gives Back.  Degeneres was supposed to host again, but backed out last week.  American Idol‘s own Ryan Seacrest was forced to take the reins of what was a star-studded event.  Thanks to various spies, we know who performed and what they performed.  We probably won‘t see all of it come Wednesday (I‘m guessing FOX will edit judiciously), but we can look forward to much of it being broadcast in a couple days.  I guess we could call these “spoilers,” so if you want to be totally surprised come Wednesday, read no further.  Read more »
Idol Gives Back, the American Idol charity benefit, airs tomorrow night (Wednesday the 9th) on FOX, and the list of celebrity guests that will be appearing is simply astonishing.  FOX, just this morning, released their final (yet still tentative) list of scheduled celebrity appearances and it‘s absurd how comprehensive the list is.  It really makes you realize how massive American Idol is.  If you were to name a random super-famous person off the top of your head, chances are they‘ll appear on Idol Gives Back.  Perhaps predictably, all three of the presidential hopefuls (John McCain, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton) will all make an appearance in some fashion.  Maybe they‘ll sing a Peter, Paul and Mary song together.  Below you will find a full list of the assembled talent for Idol Gives Back.  Read more »
With all the hoopla surrounding Wednesday‘s Idol Gives Back, we should remember that American Idol‘s Top 8 will be going at it this week.  From what we can glean from recent American idol results shows, this is a very close field.  Every single performance is very important, and one bad show can equal your elimination.  So, tonight we‘ll get the Top 8 performances, tomorrow we‘ll see the two and a half hour Idol Gives Back event, and on Thursday will be the one hour American Idol results show.  I have a hunch that this is the week Syesha Mercado goes home, but don‘t hold me to it - I‘ve been wrong too many times this season.  I‘ll be here throughout the episode with my live thoughts as each of the Top 8 perform.  Feel free to comment below, and don‘t forget to refresh.  Read more »
I can only explain it like this: I would rather listen to Modest Mouse than Christina Aguilera.  I would rather listen to Bright Eyes than Ne-Yo.  I would rather listen to Wilco than Michael Bolton.  My point is, I would rather listen to a mediocre singer sing good songs that a great singer sing mediocre songs.  This was the thought that most came to mind as I watched tonight‘s episode of American Idol.  Across the board, the performances were technically sound, so how am I supposed to rank them?  The answer is easy: in a completely subjective manner.  The rankings below pretty much only reflect how much I liked the song each contestant sang as opposed to how well they sang it.  Maybe that‘s not how we‘re supposed to judge American Idol, but it‘s all I got. Read more »
I applaud American Idol for what they did last night.  Every one of the Top 8 singers were told to choose an “inspirational” song.  What this basically meant is that they were allowed to sing any song that was available.  What‘ someone finds inspirational is completely subjective.  American Idol, last night, was therefore a free-for-all.  Each singer picked their favorite song from the available list and gave a very telling performance.  A couple singers are completely in tune with who they are as artists (Jason Castro, Brooke White and Kristy Lee Cook).  Others aren‘t.  What the episode didn‘t leave us with was a clear idea about who will be eliminated come Thursday.  Fellow BuddyTV writer John Kubicek and I have our ideas and we discuss them below in a special audio mp3 recording.  Read more »
American Idol‘s Idol Gives Back charity event is a great thing.  When a media empire like American Idol comes into being, they have a responsibility to use their power for good, and that‘s exactly what they do with Idol Gives Back.  No matter what qualms you may have with the Idol brand, you can‘t argue with the $76 million they made for charity last year.  The second edition of Idol Gives Back is up tonight and will bring us two and a half hours of star-studded entertainment, as well as show us where our donated money will go.  I‘ll be here throughout the night, blogging along with the action.  If you‘re going to read along, feel free to comment below.  Also, if you wish to donate money to Idol Gives Back, Click Here Read more »
Idol Gives Back aired tonight and it was everybody bit the event we should have expected.   The epic two and a half hour show, however, felt different than last year‘s show.  It goes without saying that the second edition of anything won‘t have the new car smell of the first one.  However, what last year‘s Idol Gives Back had was the audience‘s assumption that one of the American Idol singers would be eliminated at the end of the night.  Of course, no one was eliminated and this fact actually angered some fans.  This year, American Idol decided not to attempt that ruse again and just put on a straightforward charity event.   Which is fine, because Idol Gives Back is a great cause.  However, it‘s not an episode of American Idol, and judging by the lack of comments in our Live Thoughts, I‘m guessing this year‘s Idol Gives Back received a lot fewer viewers than last year‘s.  I suppose we‘ll find out for sure tomorrow.  What follows are the highlights from tonight‘s Idol Gives Back.  If you would like to donate money to Idol Gives Back, Click Here Read more »
American Idol is unpredictable.  All you have to do is look back on this current season and look at who was eliminated and when.  No one I‘ve seen has predicted the eliminated singers exactly correct, and I don‘t think anyone will ever do it.  Reading the minds of the voters or correctly guessing which demographics and fan bases will come out in force during a particular week is impossible.  Usually, we have voting patterns we can look at for American Idol, but this season has defied the well-worn patterns.  Nonetheless, we have to keep trying.  Yesterday, we published John vs. Oscar: American Idol Top 8 Elimination Predictions.  These are some BuddyTV users responses to that article.  Read more »
America can be confusing.  I‘m just one person, and I know where my head is at and I know how I rationalize things, but no matter how much I can pretend to understand the reasoning of the rest of America they are, and always will, remain a mystery.  Tonight‘s American Idol left me speechless.  The end result was out of nowhere, though this is something I should have expected – the American Idol results have been shocking all year.  In addition to the results, American Idol aired a lot of leftover Idol Gives Back footage from last night.  Most interesting: the mini-speeches given for Idol Gives Back from the three presidential candidates apparently weren‘t good enough for Idol Gives Back.  Read more »
All right, enough of that giving money to charity and saving lives nonsense - let‘s kick one of these eight American Idol contestants to the curb.  Who‘s with me?  It‘s a little bit weird going back and forth between the cutthroat nature of the American Idol contest and the greatest television charity event ever, but we have to do it.  Who, then, is on their way out?  American Idol has been full of Results Show surprises this season, and we could be in for another one tonight.  In my estimation, half of the singers are in possible danger of elimination: Kristy Lee Cook, Syesha Mercado, Michael Johns and Carly Smithson.  My on-record prediction is that Syesha will be sent home, and will be joined by Carly Smithson and Michael Johns in the bottom three.  I‘ll be here for the entire episode, giving up-to-the-minute updates as the results come in.  Feel free to comment below, and don‘t forget to refresh. Read more »
Michael Johns received a shock elimination from American Idol last night.  This may not have been a bad thing for Michael.  The Chris Daughtry comparison has been thrown around regarding Michael (but more so for David Cook), and the fact that being eliminated at this point in the season will give him a lot of freedom when it comes time to make his first album.  Johns has more commercial potential than most of the American Idol singers this season, and is one of the very few singers whose album I might give a listen to.  This morning, Johns conducted a conference call interview with the press and discussed his elimination and his time on the show.   Read more »
A few pieces of news in the world of American Idol today.  Nothing monumental, though one of the pieces of “gossip” is pretty funny.  But, we‘ll get to that in a little bit.  First, the news that every American Idol fan has been waiting for – Idol has released the list of the Top 20 Finalists for this season‘s American Idol song writing contest!  Oh, I forgot – nobody was waiting for this news.  Nonetheless, if you want to listen to the twenty songs vying for inclusion in the Idol finale this season, click on this link.  Part of me really likes the idea of the whole song writing contest – it‘s kind of a cool way to find a single for the Idol winner.  Unfortunately, those songs are never any good.  Also, I find it a bit weird that the Idol winner‘s first single wasn‘t written specifically for him or her.  Some songs just don‘t work for certain people.  However, this year it should all be fine– the song writing contest always produces a big, cheesy ballad, which is exactly the type of song that future Idol winner David Archuleta performs well.  Read more »
After the surprise departure of Michael Johns, what shockers does American Idol have in store this week?  I‘m going to go ahead and say none.  No one would be surprised if Carly Smithson, Syesha Mercado or Kristy Lee Cook got eliminated Wednesday.  One of them probably will.  This week is Mariah Carey week at American Idol, and it‘s the kind of theme show that I don‘t like very much. Each contestant will be performing a Mariah song, and this significantly narrows down the options for a lot of singers.  Syesha and David Archuleta should be fine, but there‘s no reason for someone like Jason Castro to ever sing a Mariah Carey song.  But, I suppose, therein lies the fun.  I‘ll be here throughout tonight‘s episode, updating live as the performances come.  Read more »
I‘m always wary of mentor nights on American Idol, especially when I‘m not intimately familiar with the mentor‘s discography.  Tonight, Mariah Carey‘s song book was opened up to the American Idol contestants, and the results were somewhat peculiar.  Mariah grew on me as a person as the episode went along – more so than any mentor I can remember on American Idol, she seemed very interested in nurturing the contestants and making their performances better.  The men had more success with the Mariah songs than the ladies, and Simon Cowell believed this was because the men didn‘t bring on comparisons to the original tune as much as the women.  I agree.  Mariah has a voice that you just can‘t mimic – the ladies were going to pale in comparison, no matter what they did.  Read more »
American Idol 7 has had many an exciting results show.  Will tonight be another one?  Since the Top 12 began this season on American Idol, every eliminated contestant had previously never been in the bottom three.  For that to happen again, either David Cook or David Archuleta would have to be eliminated.  However, it seems that almost every American Idol fan believes that the Davids are destined for big things and have no chance at being eliminated tonight.  That‘s probably true, so who will it be?  The contenders appear to be Syesha Mercado, Carly Smithson and Kristy Lee Cook.  Personally, I think that it will be Carly going home.  I‘ll be here throughout the episode, giving live updates as the results come in. Feel free to comment below and don‘t forget to hit refresh. Read more »
Predicting the American Idol eliminated contestant has turned out to be a tricky little task.  As of right now, I have predicted zero (0) of the eliminated contestants correctly, while my cohort John Kubicek has correctly predicted only two.  While I have been dead on in predicting the bottom three the previous two weeks, this sort of futility is difficult to swallow.  To be fair, this season of American Idol has been one shocking elimination after another, with little rhyme or reason for each week‘s departed singer.  In our latest audio edition of John vs. Oscar, John and I are in complete agreement on who will go home. If the history of this season continues as it has, then we will both surely be wrong in our predictions.  However, I believe this will finally be the week I get off the shnide.  Below you will find a full mp3 audio of our American Idol conversation.  Read more »
American Idol has been difficult to figure out.  So, given this, I‘ve come to the conclusion, just a few minutes ago, that American Idol is literally impossible to figure out.  It‘s completely random and does not adhere to any patterns.  It all hinges on the ever-changing whim of the voters who, like all people, can not be understood no matter how hard one might try.  Tonight‘s American Idol was no different from previous weeks.  The eliminated contestant wasn‘t the one most of us expected, though it was a singer that we all expected to be gone weeks ago.  The bottom three held one major surprise (at least to me), and both Mariah Carey and Elliott Yamin performed on the Idol stage.  Read more »
Kristy Lee Cook embarked on a most interesting path when first taking the American Idol stage a couple months back.  In the beginning, Kristy Lee seemed a less that formidable American Idol contestant, the pretty blonde girl with an OK voice who would be eliminated early in the Top 24.  She didn‘t particularly impress anybody, constantly found herself in the bottom three, but she was a survivor.  She could not be taken out for good, and then, a couple weeks ago, she started improving and improving, culminating in this week‘s performance, which was probably her best of the season.  Kristy Lee held an American Idol conference call earlier today to discuss her time on the show.  Read more »
As I do every Thursday, yesterday I got to be a part of the American Idol eliminated contestant conference call.  There‘s never much in the way of super juicy news, but the conference calls are generally pretty enlightening.  One question that gets asked every week, and one that‘s a favorite of mine, is “What song were you preparing to sing next week?”  It‘s always a great mystery how the eliminated singer would have performed said song, but it‘s fun to speculate.  I bring this up because Kristy Lee Cook was asked this same question yesterday, and she gave her answer: she was going to perform “Don‘t Cry for Me, Argentina,” from the musical Evita.  You see, next week is Andrew Lloyd Webber week on American Idol.  Admittedly, I‘m not the biggest Kristy Lee Cook apologist, but c‘mon, there‘s no way Kristy Lee was going to perform that song well, right?  Her answer, in one quick moment, has made me incredibly fearful of what we‘re going to see come next Tuesday. Read more »
The American Idol Top 6 is being judged unfairly.  The beginning of the season featured constant and unrelenting claims of “best Top 24 of all-time.”  Whether this was true or untrue is arguable and unknowable, but let‘s not kid ourselves – this top 6 we have right now on American Idol is formidable.  All remaining singers are commercially viable and reasonably talented.  That‘s a subjective take, yes, but I can see where all six of the finalists could succeed in the music world.  With Kristy Lee Cook‘s departure, the last so-so talent was purged from the American Idol competition.  Despite the fact that all pundits (including every Idol watcher at BuddyTV) believes David Archuleta will win the competition, this does not effect either way the other five‘s future prospects as individual artists. Therefore, it makes sense that we should take a little gander at what kind of artists these final six might become in their frightening post-Idol careers. Read more »
David Archuleta is the presumptive winner of American Idol.  His eventual victory is assumed by many to be already cemented – no matter what kind of tricks David Cook or Brooke White or Jason Castro pull out of their hats, it will not be enough to combat the tween, saccharine-sweet appeal of The Archuleta.  Unless, that is, an epic scandal erupts.  There have been rumblings throughout the season that David‘s father, Jeff, has been a behind-the-scenes nuisance on American Idol.  Rumors have abounded for much of the season, but no one has gone on record until now.  Naomi Judd, in an interview on The Today Show, said this when discussing David Archuleta and his time on Star Search, on which Judd was a judge: “His dad is like the worst stage dad." Read more »
The American Idol top 6 will be singing songs from musicals tonight.  The mentor is famed musical theater master Andrew Lloyd Webber.  Or, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber if you care about such titles.  Now, I can fully admit that I‘m not big into musicals.  I‘m sorry.  I also don‘t think that this late into the season the American Idol finalists should be performing in a genre that has absolutely nothing to do with what they‘ll be recording in their future.  Maybe FOX saw the success of High School Musical and decided to give musicals a shot.  Whatever their reasons, I disagree with the decision and am thus very, very scared at what we‘ll be seeing tonight on American Idol.  I‘ll be here throughout the episode giving my live thoughts as the episode rolls along. Read more »
American Idol made the brave, and probably foolish, choice of making Andrew Lloyd Webber this week‘s mentor.  Over the episode, I came to like Lord Webber – he actually gave constructive criticism, was not afraid to say something negative, and was a genuine nurturer throughout.  That doesn‘t mean I liked the fact that he was involved in episode, however.  What tonight‘s American Idol did was allow a couple of the contestants to play to their strengths, leaving the others in an impossible situation: singing in a genre that they had no chance of succeeding in.  Simon Cowell always says that American Idol is a singing competition.  If it is, why would Idol consistently give specific singers distinct advantages?  Big voices can sing musical theater – soft voices cannot.  It‘s not fair.  But, we take what we can get from American Idol, and the rankings are probably going to be right in line with most everyone‘s thoughts on the night.  Read more »
American Idol‘s Top 6 faced the silly task of singing musical theater last night, and the world is worse off for it.  Perhaps that is being harsh, but American Idol‘s decision to bring in Andrew Lloyd Webber as the most non-contemporary mentor ever was dubious at best.  Two singers – Jason Castro and Brooke White – were leagues and leagues out of their element and suffered greatly for it.  In another edition of John vs. Oscar, Mr. Kubicek and I both agree on our bottom two, but we have different predictions on who exactly will be eliminated.  We‘re both fans of Brooke and Jason, but one of them will probably be put out to pasture on tonight‘s American Idol, thanks only to the poor choice of theme by FOX and the Idol executives.  Read more »
American Idol will say goodbye to a quality singer tonight.  This final 6 is a talented group, and there are going to be a lot of upset American Idol viewers at the end of the night - the Top 6 have very distinct and rabid fan bases.  The front-runners for elimination have to be Brooke White and Jason Castro, both of whom turned in mediocre performances of Andrew Lloyd Webber songs last night.  Lord Webber is supposedly involved in tonight‘s show again in some way, but I‘m not sure in what capacity (I‘m hoping he does magic or juggles).  My prediction is that Brooke White will go home.  For the record, if this occurs, I will not be happy about it - I‘m a Brooke fan.  But, it‘s not like she wouldn‘t deserve it. I‘ll be around for the entire episode, giving updates as the results come in.  Don‘t forget to hit the ol‘ refresh button.  Read more »
It‘s over.  There‘s no use anymore, people.  There is no cracking the American Idol code.  Season 7 of American Idol is officially a crap shoot.  It wouldn‘t be surprising if David Cook and David Archuleta found themselves in the bottom two next week.  After a night when there were two clear bottom of the barrel performances on American Idol, two singers who gave good-to-great performances found themselves on stage with Ryan Seacrest at the end of the live broadcast.  The enigmatic Idol voters have taken on an almost mythical quality.  We all live and die at their inexplicable whim.  Come to think about it, I don‘t know anyone who has ever voted for American Idol.  Where are these 38 million votes coming from?  What are the voters‘ agenda?  Such are the mysteries of American Idol.   Read more »
The field of contestants on American Idol has been whittled down to just 12 performers. They will perform tonight, and in tomorrow‘s results show, one will go home. Who will it be? Well, you‘ll just have to wait until tomorrow, won‘t you?But in the meantime, you can relive American Idol from seasons past with an anthology of essays written by just about everyone who has ever been on the show, including Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks, Ruben Studdard, Clay Aiken, Blake Lewis and many more, with a special forward written by Paula Abdul. BuddyTV has seven copies of Chicken Soup for the American Idol Soul to give away. Three copies are signed by none other than Sanjaya, one copy is signed by Constantine, and three copies are signed by both Constantine and Tamyra Gray. Read more »
American Idol fans rejoice, for tonight comes forth another season of the ubiquitous singing competition.Blake Lewis is and always will be one of my favorite singers on American Idol, and I‘m pleased to announce that BuddyTV is giving away one copy of his album Audio Day Dream as well as a poster autographed by the beatboxing sensation himself. Read more »
Carly Smithson was never able to put it all together.  The Irish, tattooed singer was highly-touted coming into the season, thanks to a failed first album and conspiracy theories about American Idol bringing in ringers.  She advanced to the Top 24, then the Top 12, and was mostly deserving of that advancement.  Her voice is a big one, but Carly never seemed to live up to her perceived potential. She did end up giving America a handful of good performances, and acquired a large fan base, big enough to keep her around until the final 6 on this season‘s American Idol.  She was eliminated last night, very unexpectedly, but seemed OK with her dismissal.  Carly likely realized that she wasn‘t going to win the whole competition anyways.  Today, Carly held a conference call with the media about her time on American Idol, and we were there.  She was refreshingly candid and upbeat.  These are the highlights.  Read more »
One of the most entertaining aspects of this largely inexplicable season of American Idol has been the media‘s insistence on assigning reasons to the unreasonable.  Voting patterns have been theorized and discussed and beaten into the ground, but none make much sense.  It‘s a human inclination to try and explain things away using logic, but sometimes logic just doesn‘t work.  Why is it so hard to agree that sometimes things are just completely and totally random?  American Idol has featured a parade of shocking eliminations over the past couple months, and the only explanation I can give (and the only one that can‘t be easily refuted) is this: the Top 12 are so tightly grouped in their voter bases, that the eliminated contestants are merely victims of inevitable random voting fluctuations.  However, we know that this explanation will not fly with fans and pundits, so we have silly conspiracy theories like the latest one: Carly Smithson was eliminated because her rendition of “Jesus Christ Superstar” was perceived as blasphemous and offensive.  Read more »
Don‘t be a hater – you like Neil Diamond. It‘s possible you don‘t realize it, but trust me, you do.  I just spent an hour or so scouring the Internet, listening to all the classic Neil Diamond tunes and they‘re all pretty great.  I wouldn‘t call myself a Neil Diamond fan – there‘s a certain stigma that goes along with such a label (mostly, being old).  American Idol is having Neil Diamond come join the top 5 as their mentor this week and all five of the singers will be performing Neil Diamond tunes.  I‘ve seen American Idol fans around the Internet claim to be unhappy with this choice of mentor – they shouldn‘t be.  Neil Diamond week is going to be good – the man has a ton of great songs that fit the diverse abilities of American Idol‘s top 5.  Read more »
Over his career, Neil Diamond has sold over 120 million records worldwide.  This is what Wikipedia tells me.  He‘s written and recorded more songs than one can count and, at the age of 67, is still going strong, selling out arenas across the globe.  You may not like him for what he‘s regrettably come to represent, mostly thanks to the stereotyped make up of his fans, those being lame Baby Boomers.  The American Idol viewing audience, I‘m sure, is chalk full of Diamond lifers, and for them tonight promises to be a treat.  I could personally do without most of his song book, but I readily admit that he‘s got about 15-20 great songs notched on his large belt.  Those who are inexplicably dreading this night because it‘s another theme might just be pleasantly surprised by tonight‘s American Idol.  It will certainly be better than last week‘s.  I‘ll be here throughout the episode, chiming in with my live thoughts as the episode moves along.  Please feel free to comment below with your thoughts on the performances, and don‘t forget to hit that refresh button. Read more »
That was bizarre.  Paula Abdul ingested some peyote before the live broadcast, Simon Cowell was openly laughing at her, Randy Jackson shamelessly toed the party line, and Ryan Seacrest told a story about sitting in the backseat of a station wagon.  American Idol celebrated its Top 5 with a quick-fire procession of Neil Diamond covers, which ranged from great to vomitous (I made that word up for tonight).  There was barely any time to breathe in the hour long American Idol – the ten performances were too much for Paula Abdul to handle and she couldn‘t even remember who sang when.  It was kind of embarrassing.  The American Idol rankings tonight are a little bit tricky, seeing as each member of the top 5 gave two performances.  I‘m going to combine their respective merits, and give my rankings based on how they fared overall on the night.  Read more »
There are those who are believers and there are those who are not.  David Archuleta has become as divisive a figure on American Idol as Sanjaya Malakar was last year.  After last night (especially after last night), American Idol viewers either love him or hate him.  There is no in-between.  Being a well-known Archuleta hater, I can‘t fathom how anyone could have watched last night‘s American Idol and thought he was anywhere near good.  But, I can‘t see into the minds of his fans – music is annoyingly subjective that way.  In our newest podcast, John Kubicek and I spent a lot of time eviscerating Archuleta‘s performance last night and have some differing thoughts on who exactly will be eliminated on tonight‘s American Idol results show.  Read more »
Who will it be?  American Idol eliminations have been surprising time and time again this season - are we in for another one tonight?  Here‘s the thing, though - the only "surprising" eliminations possible tonight are from David Archuleta or David Cook.  No one else (Syesha Mercado, Brooke White, or Jason Castro) would be much of a shock, and everyone is assuming that the Davids are safe.  However, if American Idol continues on as it has all season, than it is certainly possible that a David might be kicked off the show.  Maybe I‘m just trying to convince myself that it‘s possible David Archuleta could go home, because I really, really want him to.  My prediction for the night: Jason Castro eliminated.  I‘ll be here throughout the results show, giving live updates as the results come in.  Feel free to comment below with your thoughts. Read more »
American Idol finally bucked the trend tonight.  The elimination that came during tonight‘s Idol results show was not a surprise by any stretch of the imagination.  One could argue that the lack of a surprise was the surprise, but I wonder what this might mean for the last few weeks of the season.  Will everything continue to go as planned, with the Davids facing off on the American Idol finale?  Or, will a Daughtry-esque elimination rock the Idol world?  We shall see.  As for tonight, the only surprise was a certain dread-locked human‘s omission from the bottom two, but that may only be a surprise to people who don‘t find Mr. Castro pretty.  Neil Diamond and a British pop star were on hand as well.  Read more »
American Idol is intense.  The insane pressure that all of the American Idol contestants face on a weekly basis would destroy the weak-willed, and has turned great singers into shriveling piles of goo.  Knowing that you are being watched and judged by tens of millions of people is intimidating, no matter how good you are.  Brooke White was one of those people, it turns out, who was effected by the pressure of American Idol.  If you watched close enough, I‘m sure you could have guessed this was the case - nerves were clearly taking their toll emotionally on Brooke during the American Idol season.  Earlier today, Brooke held a media conference call and discussed her time on American Idol. Read more »
American Idol will be fine.  Let‘s get that out of the way first.  At least for the next couple seasons, American Idol will continue to grace the shameless and oft Moment-of-Truthed airwaves of the FOX Network.  The shows is still the biggest one on television.  That being said, the ratings have been slipping on a consistent basis, and there is certainly reason for the American Idol producers to worry.  On Wednesday, American Idol received its lowest ratings in five years with “only” 22.1 million viewers, down 1.2 million from its previous five-year low, which was set last week.  It‘s a troubling trend, indeed, and speaks to the fans‘ disappointment with this season. Read more »
FOX is without scruples.  Shame left them decades ago.  Rupert Murdoch is a merchant of cross-promotion, and cross-promotion within cross-promotion.  There is no end to his treachery.  The geniuses, the evil geniuses, at FOX have perfected the pimping of their own TV shows during other TV shows.  Perhaps the greatest example of this is the way in which FOX launched So You Think You Can Dance a few summers back.  By piggy-backing the series onto American Idol after a cacophony of Idol-tinged promotions, another successful franchise was built.  However, I believe that on Wednesday, FOX went too far.  In the middle of American Idol (in the middle of the actual show, NOT during a commercial break!) they ran a “preview” of the upcoming season of So You Think You Can Dance.  Of course, this preview was nothing but a minute or so long commercial.  Yes, that‘s right, FOX has broken new ground here: they aired a commercial during non-commercial time.  Read more »
Paula Abdul is not good at her job.  This is non-negotiable.  There are millions upon millions of American Idol fans, though you‘d be hard-pressed to find anyone who disagrees with the above statement.  Abdul has consistently under-performed, been a source of comedy and ridicule, and has endured a multitude of embarrassing moments on national television in front of the biggest audience in the world.  Her most recent, and highly-publicized, misstep occurred last week when she critiqued a performance during the live American Idol broadcast she had only seen during dress rehearsal.  It was a bizarre moment, though I didn‘t find it as big of a deal as others.  Some are calling for her head, saying that the mistake is grounds for termination.  In a vacuum, it wasn‘t that big a deal, and she should not be removed from American Idol simply for that one instance.  What people seem to be over-looking, however, is that this latest flub is just one in a series of incidents that have shown Abdul to be an inept employee, one not qualified for her job and a person whose continued employment by TV‘s number one franchise is baffling.  Read more »
Tonight‘s American Idol performance show provided a profound dilemma.  It‘s one that was discussed briefly earlier in the season, but tonight brought it to the forefront: How do you judge a performance that is technically excellent, yet not your cup of tea, versus a performance that was technically poor, yet in a style you enjoy?  This question has permeated this season of American Idol, especially with contestants like Brooke White and Jason Castro who are, in vocal terms, much more style than substance.  Complicating matters has been David Archuleta, who‘s been robotic in his excellence – vocally head and shoulders above most of his competition, but full of annoying habits that have kept me and countless others from jumping on the Archie bandwagon.  Granted, since this is music, everything I say is based on a subjective opinion.  There‘s a difference between saying a singer is bad, and saying you don‘t like a singer.  I will admit that Archuleta is a very good singer.  That doesn‘t mean I like him.  But, am I obligated to rank him high on a night where he excelled at what he does (which I don‘t enjoy) or rank him on a purely personal level? Read more »
And then there were four.  Jason Castro was not expected to make it this far.  The dread-locked, laid back Texan wasn‘t featured once during the audition episodes (usually a bad sign) and even when he made the Top 12, I‘m not sure anybody thought he‘d outlast the likes of Carly Smithson and Brooke White.  Same goes for Syesha Mercado - she was "supposed" to be eliminated weeks ago.  Yet, she‘s steadily improved and sung well enough to forever become a part of American Idol lore.  American Idol is winding down, folks, and the favorites remain David Cook and David Archuleta.  While it was once assumed that Archuleta would win American Idol going away, Cook has been picking up momentum for weeks.  Tonight, the theme has something to do with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which should provide a broad base of available songs, and hopefully increase the quality of the performances.  Paula, get your notes ready, because here comes your American Idol top 4. Read more »
For the first time in weeks and weeks, there is an absolute, prohibitive favorite to be eliminated tonight on American Idol.  Thanks to one abysmal performance and another one scarred by forgotten lyrics, Jason Castro is probably on his way off the grand American Idol stage.  Some of you are probably thinking “it‘s about time.”  Fair enough.  Castro isn‘t your typical Idol performer – not blessed with a big voice, an upbeat personality or a rabid desire for stardom, Castro‘s ascension was more or less an anomaly.  That doesn‘t mean I don‘t like him, but I understand those who have been calling for his head.  Both John Kubicek and I are picking the dread-locked wonder to be eliminated tonight, and we discuss that and a whole boatload of other topics on our most recent edition of John vs. Oscar. Read more »
American Idol has surprised me every week.  I am zero for the season in my elimination predictions and, frankly, it might be kind of fun to keep the streak of futility going.  Tonight‘s American Idol results show appears to be a foregone conclusion - almost everyone believes that Jason Castro should be, and will be, eliminated.  My prediction is for Jason Castro to go home.  Something has to give - either my streak of futility ends, or American Idol‘s streak of surprising everyone ends.  David Archuleta and David Cook are 99% for sure safe.  Syesha Mercado seemingly saved herself a spot int he top 3 with two solid, if not spectacular performances.  However, if someone is the victim of a shocking elimination, it will most likely be Syesha.  I‘ll be here throughout the entire American Idol results show tonight, giving live updates as the results roll in.  Read more »
You know exactly what American Idol wants.  They want David vs. David.  They want The Youngster vs. The Old Pro.  David Archuleta and David Cook are completely different singers, appealing to vastly different kinds of American Idol viewers.  We‘re not to the final two just yet, but it‘d take a miracle to stop the inevitable David showdown.  Tonight‘s show did nothing to derail that train.  With only four singers left, there wasn‘t much in the way of results to show on-air.  Ryan Seacrest told two singers at the start of the show that they were safe, and then we all waited forty minutes for the final results.  Tonight‘s Idol was better in terms of the quality of filler, with Maroon 5 and Bo Bice filling the wait time between initial and final results.  Read more »
Jason Castro is a likable dude.  Listening to his conference call with the media this morning, you can‘t help but like the guy – he has no ego, is remarkably laid-back and doesn‘t take himself at all seriously.  Unlike some American Idol contestants, the modesty is real.  When Castro was eliminated from American Idol last night, he was relieved – never has someone been happier to get the boot from American Idol.  The reason was simple – he had a hard time learning two songs in a week, learning three was going to be near impossible.  Below you‘ll find the highlights of the conference call Jason held this morning.  Read more »
On next Tuesday‘s American Idol Top 3 performance show, each of the final three singers (David Cook, David Archuleta and Syesha Mercado) will perform three songs each.  The Top 3 week is a notorious one for the remaining singers.  Not only are they faced with the task of singing more songs than they‘ve ever sung before, they have to take a trip back to their hometown for an impromptu concert.  When you add the additional pressure of, you know, simply being in the American Idol final three, you realize that the three finalists are in for a tough week.  Which got me thinking: which of the remaining singers is best prepared to endure the rigors of the next week?  Read more »
American Idol finalist David Archuleta has won the hearts of millions of Americans.  To his fans, he is idyllically sweet, naïve, and a representation of what American Idol is about – the emergence of fresh, new talent.  However, there have been rumblings, rumors throughout the American Idol season that not everything was apple pie and unicorns in the Archuleta camp.  David Archuleta‘s father was said to be overbearing, a brutal stage dad who made all the decisions for little David, including song choices, how he performed his songs, etc.  Earlier in the American Idol season, Jeff Archuleta denied that was a stage dad, and that all the reports were basically untrue.  He was lying.  On the heels of last Tuesday‘s Top 4 performance show, Jeff Archuleta has been banned from appearing backstage by American Idol.  He can no longer be in any practice room, in contact with the other singers, the vocal coaches, the band, anything.  He‘ll be allowed to attend the live shows this week and next, but that is all. Read more »
American Idol needs to rethink their format.  FOX, 19 Entertainment, the judges – changes need to be made.  Tonight, on the most important American Idol episode of the season, the judges were plain terrible.  There was an extended discussion about penguins, Randy and Simon had a round-long pissing contest and Mr. Cowell called the cheesy ballad from Armageddon one of the greatest songs of all-time.  Not to mention Paula Abdul, who found amazing new ways to confound the audience.  Even if the three judges are under contract for three more seasons, why not just cut them loose before they get even more embarrassing?  They clearly don‘t care all that much anymore.  Anyways, it was a fairly lackluster show that will likely make the American Idol final two look exactly like the final two we‘ve been expecting for weeks.  Read more »
It‘s a foregone conclusion, is it not?  The David Archuleta/David Cook finale has always been there on the horizon, ever since the American Idol Top 12 was named.  The frustrating part, as it has been all season, is that there were always other deserving singers.  Brooke White, Jason Castro, Michael Johns, Carly Smithson – all, at times, had rightful claims to become a top 2 American Idol finalist.  Both John Kubicek and I are beyond certain that Syesha Mercado will exit stage left tonight, leaving us exactly what it appears the American Idol producers wanted all along – a David vs. David finale.  Weirder things have happened, and it wouldn‘t upset either of us if David Archuleta was blindsided by the voting public, but that just doesn‘t seem to be in the cards.  Read more »
We‘re really here.  We made it.  Give yourselves a pat on the back, American Idol fans - the finish line is within sight.  In what has been an up and down season, we have finally arrived at the Top 3.  David Cook and David Archuleta were pegged as favorites to reach this point very early in the season.  Syesha Mercado was not.  Brooke White, Carly Smithson, Michael Johns, Jason Castro - these were the people who had a chance to make it to the Top 3.  Syesha has been a survivor and, if everything breaks right, could sneak into the top 2.  Tonight, each American Idol contestant will perform three songs, which is a difficult task for anyone.  One thing to look out for - how will David Archuleta fare without his father‘s help?  I‘ll be here throughout the episode, giving live thoughts as the episode moves along. Read more »
David Cook.  David Archuleta.  Syesha Mercado.  One of these three singers will be sent home on tonight‘s American Idol.  It probably won‘t be one of the Davids.  The inevitability of tonight‘s results show is mildly depressing: it‘s not that Syesha Mercado is so obviously deserving of a spot in the final two - she‘s not.  It‘s that she wasn‘t given much of a chance in the first place.  On American Idol, almost every contestant has been an afterthought compared to the Davids.  It is unfair, but American Idol is inherently unfair - that‘s what happens when the people who make the show have a stake in the contestants‘ future.  I‘ll be here throughout the results show (presumably so lots of you don‘t have to be) giving live updates as the action goes down. Read more »
American Idol got what they wanted.  There‘s no easier way to put it.  That‘s taking nothing away from the two finalists; they are talented people who have cultivated vast fan bases.  However, it has been abundantly clear to anyone watching American Idol this season that there was some favoritism on display.  It may have been slight and, ultimately, unprovable, but it was definitely there.  It‘s not a particularly bad thing, either.  At this point in American Idol‘s existence, where you end up placing isn‘t important.  Exhibit A: Chris Daughtry v. Taylor Hicks.  So, even if you wanted to get upset about possible foul play by Idol in engineering this final two we find ourselves with, there‘s no use.  Tonight‘s results show was saturated with 58 minutes of filler before we finally got the results we already knew were coming. Read more »
Syesha Mercado, aside from the top 2 finalists, can be considered the biggest story of the American Idol season.  Spending all sorts of time in the bottom three and bottom two, Syesha kept fighting and improved more and more as the stakes got higher.  Syesha emerged as an artist late in the season, becoming one of the most theatrically adept performers American Idol has ever seen. While she may not have been the best pure singer this season, Syesha gained fans throughout the season.  Earlier today, Syesha held a conference call with the media to discuss her time on Idol and what she has planned for her future. Read more »
Despite the seemingly universal admission that the seventh season of American Idol has been lackluster in almost every way imaginable (the ratings back this up, as do the BuddyTV user comments throughout the season), American Idol 7 has had its share of great and memorable performances.  It also has had its share of cringe-inducing low lights.  American Idol is always good at producing the good and the ugly, with those performances lying somewhere in the middle fading away into oblivion.  Next week, we are going to take a retrospective look at both the ten best performances of the season, as well as the ten worst performances of the season, and we need your help.  Yes, you, BuddyTV user.  Below, if you could, we‘d love to hear what you believe were the best of the best and the worst of the worst on American Idol this past season.  Read more »
The long, hard, bizarre journey is almost over.  An American Idol season is near impossible to judge while your in the midst of it.  It‘s much easier to look back after some time away.  The legacy of American idol 7 will inextricably be linked to the two Davids, and I suspect that years from now pundits will look back and wonder how the hell the schmaltzy teenager vanquished the polished rocker.  I wouldn‘t jump to conclusions (David Archuleta will win tomorrow) if the entire American Idol production hadn‘t.  But they did.  It was an almost uncomfortable experience watching all the non-singing moments of the final American Idol performance show tonight.  I can‘t pretend to know whether the judges are simply shilling for the Idol overlords, whether they‘ve worked themselves into such an Archuleta lather that they truly believe what they‘re saying, or if they‘re just poor judges of talent.  Whichever is the case, it led to massive frustration from this viewer, and I presume a lot of you felt the same way. Read more »
Here we are.  David Archuleta vs. David Cook in the final American Idol performance episode of the season.  The American Idol audience saw this coming weeks away and now that it has actually come to fruition, it feels right.  I don‘t believe that the two Davids were the two best contestants this season, but they are undoubtedly the two who connected with viewers the most.  Just looking around BuddyTV for the past few months, the passion of the fans for each David has dwarfed the competition.  Not only that, the rivalry between the two factions is very real.  There are a lot of Archuleta haters out there, and there are a lot of people who don‘t think Cook is as good as his fans think he is.  Tonight, the two will face off and America will vote for their American Idol.  Each David will sing three songs tonight - one chosen by the fans, one chosen by record producer Clive Davis and one chosen by the singer themselves (Archuleta‘s choice: "Imagine").  I‘ll be here throughout tonight‘s performance show, giving live updates as the episode moves along. Read more »
There‘s been a lot of talk about how disappointing this season of American Idol has been.  In a lot ways, this is a valid complaint.  With FOX and Ryan Seacrest openly declaring that this was the most talented group of finalists American Idol has ever seen, the season was ripe for disappointment right from the beginning.  It‘s hard to imagine any of these finalists achieving Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson levels of success.  David Cook has a chance to be Chris Daughtry, Brooke White has a chance to be Regina Spektor, Jason Castro has a chance to be Jack Johnson, Michael Johns has a chance to be Jamie Lidell, and David Archuleta has a chance to be Leif Garrett, but there are a bunch of ifs in there.  Despite all this, it was difficult whittling down this list to the top ten best performances of the American Idol season.  There were a lot of good ones. Also Read: 10 Worst Performances of the Season Read more »
There were some bad performances on American Idol this season.  This is the case, of course, every season.  However, I‘d argue that on most American Idol years, the poor performances are given by the same people, over and over again, until those singers are eliminated.  This season, in that regard, was a little different.  For whatever reason, many of the top 10 finalists on American Idol 7 were severely hit and miss.  Take Brooke White, David Archuleta and Jason Castro.  Their best performances were awe-inspiring, their worst were dreadful.  We had some consistent performers (David Cook...uh, I guess that‘s it), but this will probably go down as the season of the inconsistent.  Thanks to help from you, the BuddyTV readers, we‘ve compiled the top 10 worst performances from this past Idol season.  Read more »
In the first six seasons of American Idol, there have been two male winners, though neither can be considered among the top two male Idol contestants in terms of album sales. This season will bring American Idol‘s third male winner, and if history has taught us anything, it‘s that both David Cook and David Archuleta had better be rooting for their opponent to win.There‘s more to a career in music than winning a reality TV show, and though I, like many others, feel Cook is far more talented and viable as an artist than Archuleta, this does not mean I‘ll be rooting for him to win on Wednesday. After looking at the numbers, I‘m actually rooting against him, if only for his own benefit. Read more »
David Cook is a pretty normal dude, or at least that‘s how he comes off on TV.  From Middle America, wearer of silly facial hair, former high school musical participant, and not one of those rockers interested in being super-cool all the time, David Cook is a likable person.  Maybe you aren‘t a fan of his music, or his various interpretations of the songs he sings, but you have to admit that he‘s found a niche, stuck to it, and consistently performed at a high level throughout the entire American Idol season.  If you remember, Cook was often derided by Simon Cowell early in the season for his lack of personality.  To his credit, this Cowell chiding did not inspire a change in persona from Cook.  He remained resolute in his unassuming nature and, in the process, came off as genuine – a trait imperative for any up and coming rock singer.  If you stay on American Idol long enough, the media and the judges and the whole entire production will create a shining persona for you.  But, all of that wouldn‘t mean anything if David Cook wasn‘t immensely talented – thankfully, he is. Here are the reasons why David Cook will win American Idol.To Read Why David Archuleta Will Win, Click Here Read more »
David Archuleta is a nice, seventeen year old kid with an overbearing father.  He has a good singing voice with which, it could be argued, he adds too many runs and vocal gymnastics then need be.  He is innocent, naïve, modest to a fault and, as a result of these things, lacks a distinct personality.  He is a blank slate, which may actually be a reason for his season long success on American Idol.  With no clearly defined persona, David Archuleta can be anything for anyone who watches American Idol.  Perhaps you, teenage girls,  see him as the perfect boy – talented, cute and pliable.  Perhaps you, grandmothers, see him as the boy you wish your grandkids were.  Perhaps you, 30 year old hipster, see him as a talented and un-ironic foil to your typical likes.  David Archuleta, blessed with a distinctive voice and cursed/blessed with a father who systematically constructed him a path to stardom, is one night of voting away from winning American Idol.   These are the reasons why he will emerge triumphant on Wednesday night:To Read Why David Cook Will Win, Click Here Read more »
It was the war of the Davids.   For almost the entire season, we had all assumed that David Archuleta was going to win American Idol.  He was the chosen one, the teenage wonder boy who American Idol had shamelessly pimped all season.  He acquired a phalanx of teenage fans across the nation, the text messaging crew.  He slowly found an ever increasing number of American Idol viewers turn against him, after performance after performance that sounded exactly the same.  It‘s not like he didn‘t deserve to be where he ended up, in the final two of American Idol.  It was that the too-much credit, the undue judges‘ praise, that angered the masses.  Still, the early season momentum of Archuleta seemed impossible to overcome for the other David.  It wasn‘t until the last few weeks when a noticeable shift occurred.  All of a sudden, it seemed like, yeah, maybe David Cook could win this thing.  Tonight, on the two hour American Idol finale, it actually happened.  David Cook won American Idol.   Read more »
You know what is awesome?  When you try and publish the Live Results to the American Idol finale and your computer freezes.  So, sorry for the delay, everyone.  Well, this is it.  The end of the road.  It‘s either going to be David Archuleta, the teenage boy wonder, or David Cook, the 25 year old bartender.   Seacrest said that, last night, 97.5 million votes came in last night.  That‘s the biggest vote total by 23 million.  One David received 56 percent of the vote, the other 44 percent.  That‘s really not all that close.  I‘ll be here throughout the entire results show, and please feel free to comment below wherever you see fit. Read more »
Over the course of the season, I‘ve written a novels‘ worth of content on American Idol.  Really.  Becoming fully immersed in anything to that degree, you can lose some perspective.  Remaining objective amidst an ever-increasing amount of history and baggage and your own previously published opinions is nearly impossible.  American Idol toys with your expectations, conditions you to believe one thing when the opposite may be true, and generally wears you down over the course of five months and 6,000 episodes.  This is all, of course, an important part of American Idol‘s appeal: it is an epic event, a methodical and winding journey, a one-of-a-kind phenomenon.  American Idol is an endurance competition – the winning contestants have to stay on the viewers‘ good side for the better part of four months.  Re-reading some of the things I wrote earlier in the season, I realize that this endurance/viewer fatigue aspect of American Idol is more important that I‘d realized. Read more »
FOX‘s Spring schedule is much more interesting than its Fall counterpart.  It also contains the single greatest announcement I‘ve heard all week: the American Idol Results Show is going back to a half hour.  That wasn‘t so hard, now, was it FOX?  FOX has mastered the art of different, high-profile shows sharing time slots in different parts of the year.  As a result, FOX airs less re-runs and makes up for the fact that they run one hour of television less per night than the other three major networks.  FOX January and onward schedule is below, but remember – FOX is always very flexible with their schedule. Read more »
On the heels of David Cook‘s maybe/sort of surprise American Idol victory, why not jump the gun and see where he stacks up against all the other American Idol champions?  In a preliminary ranking like this, how does one base their judgments.  We haven‘t seen what David Cook is going to do with his first album, if he‘s going to form a band, if he‘ll go solo, or how much creative control he‘ll be given out of the gate.  Still, there‘s nothing wrong with premature speculation.  David Cook, it seems to me, is poised for a commercial breakthrough in a way that David Archuleta would not have been.  He has broad appeal, and might actually produce some good songs.  Read more »
At this point in the career of American Idol, we have a variety of templates for American Idol alums and how they may fare in the cruel world of the music industry.  American Idol, despite its massive cultural impact as a television show, hasn‘t produced as many legitimate music stars as one might imagine.  A vast majority of former American Idol finalists find themselves in the midst of modest musical careers.  For every Kelly Clarkson, there are a handful of Justin Guarinis.  With this in mind, we thought it‘d be fun to peer into the old crystal ball and guess where each of the Top 12 season 7 Idol finalists may end up five years from now. Read more »
It‘s all worked out for Josiah Leming.  The season 7 American Idol hopeful, who gained a legion of fans despite not even making the Top 24, was renowned for his heartfelt, yet unpolished style.  No one would consider Leming‘s voice excellent (or even good), but as a singer/songwriter it doesn‘t need to be.  When America first laid eyes on the teenager, he had left home and was traveling the country, performing anywhere people would have him and sleeping in his car.  He cried on national television, gave one of the most unique (if not one of the best) performances of the season, but was heartbreakingly left out of the American Idol Top 24.  Typically, this is an Idol hopeful‘s cue to recede into anonymity, but media exposure (thank you, Ellen DeGeneres) gave young Josiah some juice.  Now, three months after his last national television experience, Leming is in the studio, having signed a record deal with Warner Brothers.  Not bad for an Idol reject.  Read more »
David Cook has been busy.  It‘s only been one week since the former bartender was crowned the American Idol champion, and he‘s already gone on a date, conducted thousands of interviews, rehearsed for the American Idol tour and found 17 of his Idol songs on the Top 100 Digital Music charts.  Not bad for someone who was completely anonymous six months ago.  Below, we‘re going to go through the laundry list of activities that Cook has endured over the past week.  Tomorrow, we‘ll take a gander at David Archuleta‘s week but, since he was second place (and, really, second place is first loser) we‘re checking up with David Cook first. Read more »
What if I were to tell you that a Schwimmer from FOX‘s So You Think You Can Dance is currently "hanging out" and may be romantically involved with a David from FOX‘s American Idol?  Could you guess who it is?  So many possibilities.  If you guessed David Hernandez and Benji Schwimmer, you‘re close, but incorrect.  It‘s being reported that American Idol Top 6 finalist, and a favorite to reach the final results show, David Cook has been breaking curfew and "hanging out" with So You Think You Can Dance participant Lacey Schwimmer.  The two met first when practicing for the So You Think Can Dance/American Idol opening number for Idol Gives Back.  Though this "romance" may appear to be a simple rumor, Lacey‘s publicist all but confirmed the fact a couple of days back, saying the two have been "hanging out a lot lately."  Things got more intriguing after last night‘s American Idol results show, when a female fan asked David Cook if he were single.  Cook responded by looking straight into the camera and said, "Yes, yes I am." Read more »
David Archuleta, the golden boy, the presumptive favorite to win American Idol since the Top 24, the teenager who inspires the fluttering of female hearts nationwide, the Stage Dad-addled Mormon with the preternaturally mature singing voice, did not win American Idol.  This, for his fans, the population of Utah and the Archuleta family, has to be chalked up as a disappointment.  Despite what some David Cook fans might believe, at no time during the final two months of the American Idol season was Mr. Cook some kind of indestructible singing force.  Archuleta was capable of vanquishing the goateed bartender, but he just barely, by the smallest of margins, misplayed his cards.  Why and how he did this isn‘t easy to discern.  It was an amalgam of events – the Stage Dad press, the general backlash, the too-modest live interviews, the reticence (or inability) to break out of his cheesy-ballad mode.  What‘s done is done, however, and in the past week since Idol runner-up status was permanently branded on poor Archuleta in a painful, two hour-long procedure, Little David has shown impressive grace and humility in his various media obligations.  Though not much in the way of concrete news regarding his future has emerged, there are some juicy tidbits here and there to report on.  Read more »
This is a befuddling story.  Consider me befuddled.  Former American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken is going to be the father of a child.  And, yet, it‘s not because he had sex with a woman.  Jaymes Foster, a record producer who‘s produced a couple of Aiken‘s records, has been artificially inseminated with Clay Aiken‘s seed, if you will.  Foster is reportedly in her late 40‘s, and is supposedly a good friend of Aiken‘s – when in LA, Clay lives at Foster‘s home.  According to sources, the 29-year old Aiken will be an active participant in raising the child.  This news was broken by TMZ and a variety of other gossip sites.  While it isn‘t official just yet, the story appears legit.  And, if all this is true, it is incredibly weird.  Read more »
The American Idol tour is a yearly extravaganza, with the Top Ten American Idol finalists from the past season criss-crossing the country, playing to (sometimes) full arenas, performing all the favorites from the season and all sorts of different group combos.  I say this, of course, not ever having been to an American Idol concert, but I presume they put on a fairly good show.  Or, at least it‘s probably a fair representation of what viewers saw on TV during the season.  The craziest thing about the American Idol tour is the schedule.  Good god, the schedule.  I can‘t fathom doing what the Top 10 finalists do every year.  FOX and American Idol just released the dates for this year‘s tour (tickets are now available for purchase) and the schedule is absolutely, completely insane. Read more »
With seven seasons of American Idol under our nation‘s collective belt, there is never a shortage of news to report on.  There is a veritable stable of American Idol alumni clawing to regain their fame or taking advantage of the new-found fame that Idol has afforded them.  For some, like David Cook, their star is still on the rise.  For others, like Sanjaya Malakar, their careers are on life support (for good reason, too).  Still others, like Katherine McPhee, remain in a holding pattern, stardom still a possibility.  Though one would like to believe that the trajectory of former American Idol contestants‘ careers are based solely on the quality of their musical output, it‘s actually much more of a crap shoot than we‘d like to believe.  That being said, let‘s catch up with a few of American Idol‘s most (in)famous singers, including our most recent Idol champion. Read more »
In the most unsurprising news of all time, David Archuleta has signed a record deal with 19 Entertainment/Jive Records, the exact same company that American Idol winner David Cook signed with, and the record company that also produces American Idol.  Every Idol finalist that 19 Entertainment believes has the potential for success signs with them.  It‘s part of the deal the American Idol contestants sign up for – it‘s completely up to 19 Entertainment, not the singers themselves.  In other David Archuleta news, it is being reported that a concert Little Archie had planned in Salt Lake City as a “thank you” to fans has been nixed by the Idol bosses, citing contractual issues and to the timing of the upcoming American Idol tour (which begins on July 1). Read more »
Continuing a yearly American Idol tradition, David Cook will perform the national anthem at Game 3 of the NBA Finals.  For the last couple years, the American Idol winner has sang the national anthem at one of the June NBA Finals games.  Game 3 between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers will take place on Tuesday, June 10 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.  You can tune in at 9pm ET/6pm PT for the game.  Chances are you will be anyway; the Lakers/Celtics finals is expected to be the highest rated NBA Finals in years. Read more »
Being a city kid, Wal-Mart has never been on my radar.  I‘ve seen them here or there while on road trips, even stopped in a couple times when it was convenient, but I‘ve mostly kept Wal-Mart at a distance.  People hate Wal-Mart, people love Wal-Mart; for some, it‘s an absolute necessity.  The one thing that boggles my mind is the sheer enormity of the company, its overwhelming presence in the world of retail and, especially, its increasing power in the music industry.  The Eagles made a big splash recently with their Wal-Mart exclusive album.  Some called them sell-outs, but it‘s just pragmatic.  With the music industry and Wal-Mart working side-by-side, the Arkansas based company gets a few perks, one of them being the insanely star-studded “Shareholder‘s Meeting.”  The meeting, open to the public, is held annually in the University of Arkansas‘s 16,000 person capacity arena, and features a cavalcade of popular musical acts.  This year‘s event took place last Friday over four hours and featured American Idol winner David Cook, Tim McGraw and Queen Latifah, among others.  Read more »
The National Anthem is a very difficult song.  The vocal range needed to sing the anthem properly is vast, and even good singers can have a hell of a time performing it well.  American Idol contestants, after their season, often get the chance to perform the anthem at sporting events.  Both David Archuleta and Syesha Mercado performed it at a sporting event during their Top 3-prescribed trip home (Syesha for the Tampa Bay Rays, Archie for the Utah Jazz).  Last night, David Cook performed it on a grand stage (though nothing compared to your typical episode of American Idol), singing the anthem before Game 3 of the NBA Finals at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.  Since we‘ve seen all three sing the anthem (and since I‘ve received a healthy amount of criticism for an Archie remark I recently made), it seemed like the right time to grade the respective performances of the American Idol top 3.  Read more »
American Idol must have a hefty legal team.  There are innumerable legal hoops that Idol has to jump through every episode in order to get proper clearance for every song that is performed.  It stands to reason, then, that no matter how careful American Idol is when going through the proper channels to ensure what they are doing is completely legal, there will still be a small oversight here or there.  Not being anything close to a law expert, it‘s overwhelming to read about the complicated rules involving royalties.  A couple of days back, it was reported that American Idol is being sued by the American Federation of Musicians for the supposed illegal recording tactics involved with a 2007 Idol highlight show.  Read more »
David Archuleta wouldn‘t appear to be a divisive figure at first glance. But, don‘t let that toothy grin and aw-shucks demeanor fool you; American Idol fans have come to blows because of Archuleta.  The little sprite awakens ancient demons deep in the hearts of Idol watchers across the country.  You speak an ill word of the Utahan, and his supporters will tear your face off.  Contrarily, if an Archie hater comes into contact with another Archie hater, much venting will ensue (example: any of the BuddyTV Idol podcasts with John Kubicek and I).  This being the case, writing anything about David Archuleta has become an increasingly touchy subject, especially if the story reflects at all negatively on Little Archie.  But, what the hell?  Archuleta supporters, put up your dukes, I smell a bout of fisticuffs: It is being reported that David Archuleta will drop out of Murray High School in Utah, and finishing his studies via home schooling, if at all. Read more »
When making an opinion about an American Idol contestant, one issue that typically comes up is how genuine they actually are.  False modesty is difficult to recognize during a season, but sometimes you just get that nagging feeling that a contestant is displaying a persona out of touch with who they actually are.  On American Idol 6, for instance, Melinda Doolittle was the constant recipient of this criticism; people didn‘t think it was possible for Doolittle to really be so modest.  Turns out that she probably was, but there are always a few singers that, over the course of the season, put an act on for the camera.  Last season, the one person who I can almost guarantee was being genuine is Brooke White.  It‘s something you can just tell.  Brook reeked of kindness and decency from day one, and she continues to even after her American Idol season has ended.  It was recently announced that Brooke would be the spokesperson for the ‘Save the World Summer” campaign. Read more »
Do American Idol, 19 Entertainment, Clive Davis, RCA and Arista Records have any sort of obligation to former American Idol contestants?  Technically and legally they do not.  The music industry is a cutthroat business, and the record companies are obviously free to sign and drop artists as they please.  But, given that the talent is what makes American Idol tick, shouldn‘t the record companies give former Idol contestants every chance to succeed?  Katharine McPhee, Taylor Hicks, and Ruben Studdard are three high-profile former Idols who have been dropped by their record labels.  American Idol news abounds today, including the latest Idol to be dropped from their label, Ruben‘s marriage, David Archuleta‘s debut album and Simon Cowell‘s jaunt into the film business.  Read more »
American Idol 8 is over six months away, but today is an important one for any young singer who fancies themselves the next big thing.  This morning, FOX released the dates and cities for the American Idol 8 auditions.  FOX and American Idol are always looking out for new, fertile markets for quality singing talent.  Last season, it appeared that FOX was of the belief that much of the talent had run dry and Idol ended up bringing a number of “ringers” in to audition, singers who had music industry experience that hadn‘t yet broken through into the mainstream.  The auditions kick off July 17 in San Francisco, and finish August 19 in New Jersey.  We have the full list of cities, dates and venues below.  Read more »
Is getting pregnant a trend these days?  People are claiming this in the media, and there is a good bit of circumstantial evidence to back the claim up.  You have Jamie Lynn Spears, you have Ashlee Simpson, you have those 18 girls on the east coast from the same high school.  Maybe babies are the new Uggs.  Or whatever used to be the hottest accessory.  Regardless, if anyone out there has a good explanation for all these pregnancies besides “sheer randomness,” enlighten us in the comment section below.  We have some American Idol baby news for you today, as well another record deal for an alum of the latest American Idol season.  Read more »
Do you have tickets for the American Idol tour later this summer and are wondering what to expect ?   Or, are you just curious as to what goes on during these American Idol tours?  Well, thanks to a thorough concert reviewer from the Bay Area, we have a full set list for you.  Unlike last year, when the American Idol top ten collaborated on a number of songs, even forming “bands” for various performances, this year it‘s more by-the-book.  Which means it‘s more boring.  It‘s basically a countdown, starting with my man Chikezie, who finished tenth last season, and culminating in a set by winner David Cook.  There are a couple of group songs, but no real intermingling.  Below you will find the full set list. Read more »
There is a new category this year for the Prime Time Emmy Awards, and it has me quite excited.  Probably far more excited than I should be.  It is for the Best Reality Show Host.  The Emmy Nominations will be announced next Thursday morning, July 17, and while we have a fairly good idea who the contenders are for the major awards, thanks to leaked short lists that have hit the internet over the past couple of weeks, we have no idea who the contenders for Reality Host will be.  While the categories for Best Reality Show are split into Reality Show and Reality Show – Competition, the Host category is a veritable free-for-all.  If you host any sort of prime time reality series, you are eligible.  Since prognostication is part of the BuddyTV repertoire, we thought it‘d be nice to take a look at who likely will be nominated and who, in a perfect world, should be. Read more »
The American Idol Truth Tour.  At first glance, what do you think this means?  What is American Idol covering up?  According to the Writers Guild of America, a lot.  Not just American Idol, though, but the entire reality industry in Hollywood.  Long have reality series and game shows had writers who weren‘t really considered writers.  This is only because, if they were considered writers, they would be part of a powerful union.  That means no more long hours, more pay, and more benefits.  Starting today, the WGA is going to hold protests in cities where American Idol is holding its auditions; they will be protesting what they consider poor treatment of writers in the reality industry. Read more »
The American Idol season has begun.  We won‘t be seeing it, of course, until January of 2009, but the nearly year-long process has kicked off with the first round of auditions in San Francisco. American Idol auditions are a bit different in reality than the way they‘re portrayed on TV.  You don‘t just get to show up at the site, wait in line for a couple of hours and then waltz in to see Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson.  No, you have to show up early, wait a long time, get a ticket, come back another day, wait some more, make it past the preliminary auditions and, if you‘re good or bad enough for the cameras, then you come back to see the holy judge triumvirate.  It all began last Thursday morning at the Cow Palace (no actual cows) in San Francisco.  Reportedly, 7,000 aspiring singers showed up for the auditions.  Today, the American Idol Audition Road Show made its way to Louisville, Kentucky. Read more »
American Idol‘s Ryan Seacrest was bitten by a shark over the weekend.  Today is the first day of Discovery Channel‘s much beloved Shark Week.  Is there a connection between the two?  That‘s for you to decide, but you can color me suspicious.  It wasn‘t a big shark that bit the American Idol host.  He was about eight feet out in four foot deep water, when he felt something go by him.  "I thought it was a stick,” Seacrest said on his radio show.  It took a bite of the Crestman and left, apparently.  Seacrest sustained no serious injuries and was back at work on Monday, discussing the shark attack.  Read more »
My colleague Oscar Dahl has made his thoughts on American Idol runner-up David Archuleta quite well-known.  Oscar is enjoying a much deserved vacation this week, so I‘m here to admit something to all of you: I like David Archuleta.  The kid won me over the instant I heard his sob story about vocal paralysis during American Idol‘s seventh season.  I rooted for him during the entire competition, even when I grew completely bored with his insistence on singing ballad after ballad for weeks on end.  If you ask me, little Archie deserved to make it to the final two.Archuleta‘s first single, entitled "Crush," appeared all over the Internet last week.  Will it be a smash hit, or will it end up as forgotten as Justin Guarini‘s first release? Read more »
I don‘t know what to make of the Clay Aiken baby scenario, but then I don‘t really know what to make of Clay Aiken in general.  He simultaneously repulses and frightens me, but I know that there are many fans of the American Idol runner-up who would disagree.  Back in May, it was announced that Aiken helped his 50-year-old record producer and friend, Jaymes Foster, get pregnant through artificial insemination.  What once sounded like a rehash of a Will & Grace plot line is now a reality, as the Clay baby was delivered at 8:08am today.  Parker Foster Aiken was born at the singer‘s home in North Carolina, and tipped the scales at 6 pounds 2 ounces. Read more »
American Idol and politics.  They don‘t really go together.  Yes, there are some politics within any specific American Idol season, but on a national level, there‘s not much.  I could try and argue some far-fetched point about who you supported last season (David Cook or David Archuleta) says something about your political leanings, but no one wants that.  Chris Daughtry, the most famed runner-up in American Idol history, is entering the realm of national politics in a roundabout sort of way.  Daughtry has teamed up with CNN to create the theme song for the cable news networks‘ League of First Time Voters initiative.  League of First Time Voters is meant to get first time voters excited and motivated for November‘s presidential election between Barack Obama and John McCain.  For the initiative, Daughtry recorded his own take on Foreigner‘s 1977 hit “Feels Like the First Time.”  Read more »
This battle will never end.  David Archuleta versus David Cook will go down as the second most important election of 2008 (maybe governors and congresspeople are actually more important, but not to rabid American Idol fans).  David Archuleta‘s first single, “Crush,” debuted at number 2 on the Billboard charts this week.  This is notable because David Cook‘s debut single, “Time of My Life,” only managed to reach the number 3 spot on the charts.  It‘s the first time an Idol runner-up outsold the American Idol champion‘s first single since 2003, when Clay Aiken one-upped the Round Mound of Sound, Ruben Studdard.  David Archuleta fans may trumpet this as a resounding victory for their favorite teenage Utahan, but not so fast.  There are mitigating circumstances. Read more »
American Idol has a new judge.  Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul are all staying on as full-time judges, which means that, yes, American Idol is shifting from three to four judges on a permanent basis.  The new judge‘s name is Kara DioGuardi.  The 37-year old multiple Grammy nominee is a pop song writer of epic proportions, having written and co-written hit songs for and with some of the biggest names in music.  DioGuardi was previously a judge on ABC‘s The One: Making a Music Star.  American Idol‘s eighth season will premiere sometime at the beginning of January 2009.  Read more »
Kara DioGuardi is the new American Idol judge.  She‘s a prolific songwriter, clearly a smart woman, and from everything I‘ve heard, is up to the challenge.  The news hasn‘t appeared to resonate like I presumed it would.  I guess the appointment is a little too abstract at this point; no one has really seen Kara in person just yet, and no one knows how this is going to work (the judges included) until America views her at the judging table, interacting with the Terrible Trio.  If we can agree that it‘s currently impossible to say anything about how good Kara will be on American Idol, then there‘s just one thing to discuss: Why?  Why did the American Idol producers decide that now was the time to bring Kara DioGuardi into the fold, at the tail end of the nationwide auditions? Read more »
Paula Abdul is happy that Kara DioGuardi is the new American Idol judge.  Or, at least that‘s what she‘s telling everyone right now.  Kara DioGuardi was unveiled to the public yesterday at American Idol‘s New York auditions, to much fanfare and much speculation.  Everyone wanted to know why she was chosen but, more important, how she‘s going to fare in the midst of the three judging veterans.  In front of the press, Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell are saying all the right things; mainly, that they are very excited to work with Kara.   Read more »
The American Idol finale, for years, has been the most-watched non-football television event of the year.  The Super Bowl is always the highest-rated piece of TV each year, and is occasionally followed by one or two other NFL playoff games.  Last week, however, this changed.  America, apparently, has come down with a severe case of Obama Fever.  The final night of the Democratic National Convention last Thursday garnered more viewers than the American Idol finale, clocking in with nearly 40 million viewers across the nation.  Thursday night featured the electric acceptance speech from Barack Obama. Read more »
Kara DioGuardi, that prolific song writer, the sneakily attractive new American Idol judge, remains a mystery.  America may have been introduced to Kara, but only in a brief manner.  We will only truly know who this Kara is when we see her in action, crushing dreams of stardom next to the English Guy, the Black Guy and the Ramble Machine 3000.  The more I ponder this move by Simon Fuller and the American Idol brain trust, the more it comes across as a stroke of genius.  Adding a fourth judge gives Idol an incredible amount of flexibility, both in the short-term and long-term.  America can start to get to know Kara early, and if they like her, she could be the New Simon once all the originals hang up their judging shoes.  If they don‘t like Kara, she can easily be terminated after the season (or mid-season for that matter).  If you want a sneak peak at the mysterious 37-year old, Kara DioGuardi will make a guest appearance on the season premiere of Talk Show with Spike Ferensten Saturday, September 13 at 12am ET/PT on FOX.  Read more »
American Idol winner and proud wearer of a promise ring Jordin Sparks had had enough of host Russell Brand at Sunday‘s MTV Video Music Awards.  Brand had repeatedly mocked the Jonas Brothers and their promise rings, rings that symbolize their vow to not have sex until they are married.  Jordin Sparks, heated, decided to take advantage of her award presenting duties and went off-book, blasting Brand and endorsing promise rings, saying "It‘s not bad to wear a promise ring because not everybody, guy or girl, wants to be a slut."  Sparks found herself having to answer to press after the show, and she didn‘t totally back down.  "I don‘t feel bad for what I said (but) I didn‘t mean to offend anybody if I did,” Sparks said. Read more »
American Idol winner David Cook has announced an official release date for his debut album.  In order to get the album out in time for the holidays, Cook moved up the release date to Tuesday, November 18.  There is no official name for the album just yet (though I suspect it might be self-titled), but that information should be released within the next month or so.  Cook‘s record will be released on the 19 Entertainment/RCA Records label, the same recording companies that are so closely linked to American Idol.  David Cook enlisted award-winner Rob Cavallo for producing duties on his album.  Cavallo has produced for such big names as Green Day, Kid Rock and Eric Clapton. Read more »
Is The Daily Show with Jon Stewart the most important news show in America?  That may sound like a cynical question, but think about it.  There‘s so much competing noise these days in the cable news world that The Daily Show probably is, at least on cable, as formidable in the news world as Bill O‘Reilly or Keith Olberman.  The Daily Show has won the Emmy for Best Variety, Music or Comedy Series for five straight years.  There‘s no reason it won‘t happen again, but the competition isn‘t anything to sneeze at either.  The Emmys are only two days away, folks.  Below we‘ll take a look at the Best Variety, Music or Comedy Series category, as well as the Best Reality-Competition Series category.  Read more »
BuddyTV writers John Kubicek and Oscar Dahl make final predictions for American Idol 7.Tempers are flaring.  Last night‘s final performance episode of American Idol‘s seventh season was as divisive an episode of television as I can remember.  David Archuleta has been the ultimate love him/hate him contestant on American Idol – it‘s hard to find an Idol fan indifferent about the Archuleta experience.  David Cook, on the other hand, hasn‘t been nearly as hated, though he has inspired a lot more “meh” reactions from fans.  However, the major complaints regarding last night‘s performance show stem not from the contestants themselves, but from the judges‘ reactions to those contestants.  To the objective viewer, it appeared that David Archuleta received a plethora of undue praise, while David Cook wasn‘t given the love he should have.  This viewpoint is obviously somewhat biased, but considering it appears to be shared by a significant percentage of American Idol viewers, it can‘t be that far off off base.  In our final podcast of the season, John Kubicek and I discussed the judges‘ performance last night, the overall quality of the songs, and who we believe will be crowned the American Idol winner tonight.  Read more »

News from our partners