Articles for American Idol Season 8

“Stripper Idol”? It is happening, on a strip club in Austin, Texas.  And it‘s something that American Idol isn‘t happy about.FremantleMedia, the company which owns the rights to the hit reality show which returns tomorrow night on Fox, has sued the Palazio Men‘s Club in federal court, claiming that the establishment‘s “Stripper Idol” contest—which sees girls dance topless for a minute, for a chance to win $500 determined by audience applause—is a violation of its trademark, which tarnishes the Idol brand and could lead the public to believe that the show is sponsoring the event. Read more »
It‘s American Idol day today, and an old friend has sauntered back into our lives.  Floppy-haired talent vacuum Sanjaya Malakar has managed to infiltrate the zeitgeist one more time, and I‘m proud to say that it might be his most embarrassing moment yet (which is saying a lot, given the picture you are currently looking at).  Sanjaya has an album coming out, and the cover of said album has been thrust onto the internets.  It may look fake, like fan art, but it has been confirmed as the real thing.  Sanjaya is smart – he knew that the only way to garner attention once more would be to do something so hideous that the world would be forced once more to stare on in disbelief at his shaggy locks and well-groomed teenstache.  I give unto you the album cover for Sanjaya‘s “Dancing to the Music in my Head.”  Read more »
It‘s back!  The beast of all television beasts, the gigantic FOX sea monster, the Seacrestian evil enterprise, has returned from its half-year hibernation to once again wreak havoc on TV ratings and the lives of the American people.  American Idol premieres its eighth season tonight, with a standard two-hour audition episode.  Do you feel warm and tingly inside, like a child about to fall asleep on Christmas Eve?  American Idol will be omnipresent over the next five months, a cultural event, the likes of which does not exist outside of the American Idol bubble.  I, Oscar Dahl, am embarking on this epic journey with you, the BuddyTV reader, starting tonight.  Every episode, every elimination, every word of incomprehensible nonsense emanating from Paula Abdul‘s lips - I‘ll be documenting it all.  Check out my live thoughts below - I‘ll be updating throughout tonight‘s two-hour premiere. Read more »
Editor‘s Note: This is a weekly guest post from the TV staff at Film.com. Check back here on Wednesdays for more Film.com stories about your favorite shows: Big Brother, The Amazing Race, Dancing with the Stars ,Survivor, American Idol and America‘s Next Top Model. .By Susan Young, Film.comSimon Cowell is cranky.Not just everyday testy in his regular "knickers in a twist" way. No, Cowell clearly wants to move on with his life, and by moving on we mean getting as far away from Paula Abdul and bad singers as he possibly can. Maybe he‘s just tired of being Mr. Mean Jeans, so he‘s lashing out in any way that he can. Read more »
Like an old friend coming to visit, American Idol premiered after 6 months off the air and wrapped the audience in its warm blanket of familiarity within minutes.  Besides the addition of Kara DioGuardi to the judges‘ table, last night‘s audition episode felt exactly like audition episodes of seasons past.  There‘s nothing wrong with this, clearly – the audition episodes have always been immensely popular.  No need to mess with the tried and true American Idol formula.  You‘d think that laughing at the horrible singers would get old after eight years – weirdly, perhaps sickeningly, it doesn‘t.  American Idol kicked off its season in Phoenix, Arizona in the midst of some crazy heat.  A total of 27 singers got a golden ticket to Hollywood over two days in Phoenix and, though we didn‘t get to know all of them, there were a few stand-outs who could go a long way in the competition.  Read more »
Now that Bikini Girl fever has died down a little bit, let‘s move on to the Midwest, shall we?  Kansas City, Missouri is tonight‘s stop on American Idol‘s nearly month-long audition tour, and I have high hopes.  Arizonans - I can generally do without them.  Now, Kansas City folk - salt of the earth, no nonsense.  There were a multitude of theatrics on last night‘s episode of American Idol, and I expect less tonight.  I also believe that some real talent will be unearthed in Kansas City.  Kara DioGuardi seemed to fit right in with the other three judges on her debut last night, and I was mildly impressed.  Everyone, please, just sit back, relax and enjoy your third and fourth hour of American Idol 8.  I will be present right here, riding this specific internet tube, for the entirety of tonight‘s two-hour audition episode.  Feel free to read along.  I would very much appreciate it.  So would my mother.  Read more »
I promise I won‘t make a typing slip this time: Jennifer Hudson didn‘t win American Idol.  Okay.  There.  But you can‘t deny that she‘s a winner of sorts—perhaps the most successful Idol contestant ever, following Kelly Clarkson.  Again, I‘ll list the achievements down: a best-selling album, a thriving movie career, not to mention an Oscar for her role in Dreamgirls.The last time we‘ve heard from her, it was her—or, actually, her representatives—denying reports that she‘s been enlisted to sing the national anthem during the inauguration of Barack Obama, which happens in less than a week.  They also said that she‘ll be making her first public appearance—after the brutal murder of her mother, brother and nephew last year—on a tribute to Neil Diamond next month.  Well, looks like the comeback is happening a little bit earlier than that. Read more »
American Idol‘s trip to Kansas City was a tepid affair.  Not as many crazy people as Arizona.  Not as many talented people either.  Just sort of in the middle, like the city itself.  My colleague John Kubicek seems to be convinced that a vast majority of the “bad” auditions are clearly staged by attention whores.  I agree that some are definitely staged (the crying rocker in Phoenix, for example), but I have enough faith in mankind to believe that most aren‘t.  However, just by the mere law of averages, it would stand to reason that as the seasons go by, less people would be willing to audition on American Idol unless they were extremely confident in their ability to sing.  Just two episodes into the season, there do seem to be considerably less delusional people.  Read more »
If Von Smith seemed familiar to you on last night‘s American Idol, you‘re not crazy.  Von Smith, the guy with the silly hat and the big, high voice, is a ringer.  Kind of.  In 2007, when Rosie O‘Donnell was still acting as The View‘s resident Jabba, she saw Von Smith singing on YouTube.  She was so, so impressed, that she invited the then 20-year-old lad to come on The View and perform.  And perform he did, with all the subtlety of a beached whale‘s death rattles.  Von Smith loves his voice, and he‘s doubtless received far too much positive reinforcement from his loved ones, because his style of singing would kindly be described as over-the-top.  Below, we not only have his performance from The View, we have a clip of Joel McHale from The Soup making fun of his performance on The View.  Plus, in case you‘ve received a massive head wound in the last 16 hours, we have Von‘s audition from last night‘s American Idol.  Read more »
After barely two nights, four hours of auditions (on screen at least) and two cities‘ worth of good contestants, the world has made hot property out of Kara DioGuardi.  Her appointment to the newly-made fourth judge seat on American Idol surprised people, and her first judging duties have impressed quite a lot of people—and earned her a lot of attention.  (Imagine everyone asking me about who she is, repeatedly, during Tuesday‘s premiere.)  Suddenly, the songwriter and occasional singer is on everybody‘s lips.To be honest, we wouldn‘t have cared for her if she didn‘t come out on Idol—well, she isn‘t really obscure, but she wouldn‘t get to this level of fame.  Suddenly people are asking her about everything, from her first experiences on the show—she still has to show off everything, after all—to her personal life.  And, with what we‘ve seen, yeah, we really have a lot to discuss. Read more »
American Idol has been off the air for six days.  Do you miss it?  Are you tired of all this political riff-raff and hankerin‘ for an easily digestible after-dinner mint like Idol?  Barack Obama may be our president, but American Idol still rules over us all.  Idol is a galactic warlord, the TV show embodiment of Lord Xenu or Optimus Prime.  Inaugural balls are for D.C. sycophants and people who are generally opposed to fun.  American Idol is where the rest of us belong.  Tonight brings only one hour of Cowell-slathered goodness, but the positive news is that tonight‘s auditions are set in San Francisco, home to a veritable beehive of crazy people.  And talented people.  And homeless people.  I will be here throughout the hour, wearing gym shorts, pouring live thoughts onto the electric page like Mrs. Butterworth onto homemade flapjacks.  Syrupy delight, your home is BuddyTV. Read more »
American Idol is in full swing, the auditions are well under way, the wannabes are being weeded out and the real talent is being kept in… and the Paula Goodspeed story isn‘t exactly over yet.  Yeah, there‘s been quite a lot of talk after she was found dead in front of Idol judge Paula Abdul‘s house, and all the talk about whether the show‘s producers could have done something to prevent a superfan—my euphemism for “stalker”, but it‘s up to you—to do this much.Then again, it seems pretty obvious that she committed suicide.  Goodspeed was panned during her audition on the show‘s fifth season, which was probably a blow to her as she wouldn‘t have a chance to be close to Paula, being obsessed and all.  Painting huge murals of the singer-turned-reality star wasn‘t enough, so she eventually ended it all—or so it seemed to be. Read more »
Editor‘s Note: This is a weekly guest post from the TV staff at Film.com. Check back here on Wednesdays for more Film.com stories about your favorite shows: Big Brother, The Amazing Race, Dancing with the Stars ,Survivor, American Idol and America‘s Next Top Model. .By Susan Young, Film.comLast week, the audience numbers were down about 9 percent when American Idol stormed the stage in the season premiere last Tuesday to the lowest number for an Idol season opener since 2004.Boo-hoo. Read more »
I think we can all pretty much agree that last night‘s American Idol was the worst audition episode of the season, and it will probably remain as such.  Very little talent, not much in the way of enjoyable outcasts, and way too much time spent on bickering between judges.  According to some reports, only about 6,000 people turned up for the American Idol auditions in San Francisco, far less than what most cities receive, which makes the lack of talent/crazy people easier to understand.  Allow me to drop a conspiracy theory on your faces - Idol purposely aired the worst audition episode of the season last night because they knew the inauguration festivities would steal viewers away.  Or, how about this even crazier conspiracy theory (also can be dropped on your face): American Idol knew that one of the audition episodes this season would air on inauguration day, so they purposely went to a city (San Francisco) that they knew would have little interest in Idol auditions so they would have a sub-par episode to air during the inauguration.  Anyway, I will be here throughout tonight‘s hour of Southern-fried auditions, wearing a fedora, drinking a Mint Julep, whipping my pet horse with a stick, and shooting live thought lasers into your unsuspecting eyes. Read more »
The initial excitement has already worn off, and I‘m ready for Hollywood.  But, alas, there is still one more week, two more hours of American Idol auditions in the offing.  I feel like this every year.  The audition episodes are, at first, exciting, but once we remember the routine, the disingenuous editing, and bathe in the lukewarm familiarity of it all, we want it to end.  I remember in years‘ past, Idol fans would proclaim that the audition episodes were their favorite parts of the season.  I hear that far less these days.  I‘ve read, in some places, that this is a bad omen for the remainder of the Idol season, and the future of the franchise.  Don‘t buy it – once we get to Hollywood and, then, the semi-finals, American Idol becomes a completely different show.  A much better show.  Read more »
It‘s 2009, which means it is time to unveil the BuddyTV Podcast of Glory.  Every week, on Thursday, you the BuddyTV reader will be treated to audio goodness, in the form of BuddyTV personalities bickering and waxing poetic about your favorite shows.  Today, we talk about the first two weeks of American Idol, last night‘s two-hour premiere of Lost and debate the merits of out Top 100 Shows of the Past 20 Years list.  You can listen to the mp3 audio below, or sign up to our podcast feed and have our podcasts automatically downloaded into your iTunes. Read more »
American Idol faced a mountain of criticism last year when they put a number of “ringers” through to Hollywood.  Ringers are singers who have had experience in the music industry and, for one reason or another, never reached a desired level of fame or success.  Carly Smithson, who had a recording contract, was a prime example.  This season, it appears that Idol is going to be a little more transparent about the ringers they bring in.  On Wednesday‘s American Idol audition episode from Louisville, Kentucky, judge Kara DioGuardi recognized one of the auditioners, a girl named Joanna Pacitti.  Joanna admitted that, yes, she had been working in LA and, at one time, was signed to a record label.  But, that was the extent of what we were told, Joanna sang (well) and was given her golden ticket to Hollywood.  What the audience wasn‘t told?  That Joanna has actually had some success in the music industry, released an album, charted with a single, and has had a few of her songs featured in various soundtracks.  Read more »
David Cook is no dummy.  The season 7 champion of American Idol broke up with his girlfriend, American Idol alumnus and all-around attractive lady, Kimberly Caldwell during the Holiday season.  Question: If you‘re a burgeoning rock star and have recently become single, what do you do?  Answer: You have your people set up a tour of America‘s college campuses.  David Cook has just announced a 37-date tour of college campuses nationwide.  Co-eds, beware - the Scourge of Kansas City is coming to a campus near you.  David Cook toured non-stop beginning July 1 all the way through September, notching fifty concerts along the way.  With the addition of these new dates, Cook will have clocked in at 87 shows in less that one calendar year.  Times are tough, I suppose.  Gotta make that dollar while you can.  Read more »
Several major U.S. TV networks have agreed to paying more than $4 million to settle two lawsuits claiming wage rule violations for workers on many popular reality shows such as Trading Spouses and The Bachelor.The suits claimed the networks violated wage and hour laws with their reality show employees, who consistently work more than 80 hours per week without overtime, and claimed to have been denied meals and forced to falsify their time cards. More than 400 staffers were part of the class-action cases which began close to 3 years ago, and some of them stand to gain tens of thousands of dollars in back wages.The suits coincided with the larger effort by the Writers Guild of America to gain a labor contract for creative workers behind all unscripted TV series, which would include American Idol, Survivor, and many more popular shows. Read more »
I was somewhat late into watching American Idol, only taking it seriously from the third season, when it became evident that it wasn‘t just any talent show, but the talent (reality) show.  It took me no time to get up to speed with the set-up—contestant works song based on a theme, judges pass judgment, viewers vote, one gets eliminated the following night.  But Idol fans know all too well that it‘s not the only thing the show has to give.  Any reality show has to show the origins of everything—in this case, how the contestant got to where they are right now.  The easiest way to do that is, of course, the very first step these contestants took: the auditions.The third season was arguably William Hung‘s season . The Cowell-described “surprise of the century” went on to become a significant success: talk show appearances were followed by small shows and, inevitably, an album, all because of the way he butchered Ricky Martin.  I saw that episode, and I‘ll admit I was laughing—err, enjoying it.  How could someone think he has the chops to join Idol, when evidently he doesn‘t?  The point back then was, of course, the “aww shucks” moment, the way he kept positive despite Simon‘s expected comments.  And I got it back then. Read more »
The process of the American Idol auditions has always intrigued me.  Every city the Idol crew visits presents an unenviable challenge for the producers – they have to both find the best talent each city has to offer and make sure that they put enough awful auditions in front of the judges to appease the audience.  They have to pare down the thousands of singers who show up down to a manageable handful for the judges.  A lot of the responsibility comes down to the preliminary judges, a group of experts who we never see on TV.  In fact, I‘m sure there are still American Idol viewers who assume  that everyone who shows up for the Idol auditions gets to sing in front of Paula, Simon and Randy.  Last week, through a random contact, I got in touch with a man named DJ Bradley, one of the “bad” auditions from American Idol 8.  I interviewed him, and we talked about his motivations, his expectations, and what the entire process was like.  You can listen to the full mp3 of the interview below. Read more »
Let us first take a look at the picture that resides next to us in this here article.  It is a picture from the Jacksonville, Florida American Idol audition episode which I, Oscar Dahl, will soon be live-blogging on the internet‘s face.  Simon is holding a dog.  I cannot imagine why.  However, if Simon Cowell did own a dog (which he might), this is the kind of dog I suspect he‘d own. It just feels right.  Then, next to Simie, we have the fourth judge, the temptress known to us mortals as Kara DioGuardi.  As BuddyTV‘s Senior Cleavage Expert, I must say that Kara (hard "a") is representing tough on the cleavage front.  Maybe she was tired of Paula Abdul stealing the boobular spotlight (the only difference, of course, being that Paula‘s cleavage is quite unsettling, in an old-woman-trying-too-hard kind of way (basically it‘s the female version of "old balls")).  Well, kudos to you, Kara.  Nevertheless, there is American Idol to deal with tonight.  Our fifth audition episode comes from the Sunshine State and it marks the first of three Idol audition episodes this week.  Hold on to your butts, Idol fans, we are in for a marathon of a week.  I, for one, am mentally prepared, having trained this weekend by live-blogging Meet the Press and 60 Minutes just for giggles.  I‘ll be here throughout the hour, birthing thought nuggets into a world in dire need of quality thought nuggets. Read more »
Editor‘s Note: This is a weekly guest post from the TV staff at Film.com. Check back here on Wednesdays for more Film.com stories about your favorite shows: Big Brother, The Amazing Race, Dancing with the Stars, Survivor, American Idol and America‘s Next Top Model.By Susan Young, Film.comOh Kara mia. What will we do with you?Kara DioGuardi‘s honesty is starting to win me over slightly, but that might just be a result of Randy Jackson becoming even less noticeable, Paula Abdul kicking some of her crazy to the curb and Simon Cowell‘sgoing over to the zen side. Read more »
BuddyTV talks to Melinda Doolittle, third-place finisher on American Idol 6.Melinda Doolittle, you might remember, is possibly the nicest human being the planet Earth has ever known.  The third-place finisher on American Idol 6, Melinda is the possessor of a monster voice, and it‘s hard to argue that she wasn‘t the best all-around singer from American Idol that season.  After a year and a half of traveling the world and performing around the country, Melinda is finally set to release her debut album, "Coming Back to You," on February 3.  We had the distinct pleasure of speaking to Melinda this week, and we discussed the album, how it came together, what she‘s been doing outside of her music career, and what her favorite music of 2008 was.  You can find the full transcript of the interview below, as well as the audio mp3. Read more »
Salt Lake City, land of 3% beer, the Mormon religion, Jerry Sloan, David Archuleta and the Osmonds.  American Idol brings its madness to Utah tonight in an episode that promises to be an interesting one.  The word on the street is that Salt Lake City provided an ample amount of talent this season, which kind of makes sense - it‘s the first time American Idol has come to the Great Salt Lake, and those Utahans are known for their singing.  OK, maybe not, but at least we‘ll get to see on of the Osmond clan perform tonight.  That‘s right, a real, live Osmond will be taking the audition stage.  Are you as excited as I am?   I own every Osmond record ever made, have been to over a dozen of their concerts and own black market DVDs of their syndicated talk show.  As always, I‘ll be here throughout the evening, watching and typing, perusing and thoughting, observing and reporting.  Such is the life an American Idol expert.  Read more »
John Kubicek and Oscar Dahl from BuddyTV podcast about Lost and American Idol.  American Idol and Lost might seem like a peculiar pair, but really, they fit the same bill.  Both are shows with devoted fan bases, both are shows which spark much debate.  Fortunately, my colleague John Kubicek and I faithfully watch both programs and, for better or worse, fancy ourselves experts on them.  In our second Podcast of Glory (podcast title is still in limbo), John and I discuss the on going American Idol auditions and last night‘s eye-opening episode of Lost, “Jughead.”  Although we aren‘t really competing at this point, it certainly felt like I took John to the ol‘ woodshed during our debate, but that‘s a determination you can make on your own.  You can find the full mp3 audio of the podcast below. Read more »
Kelly Clarkson has, once again, made history. Her newest single, “My Life Would Suck Without You” just made the largest leap to number one in Billboard history. In all fifty years of the Billboard Top 100, no song has managed to reach number more triumphantly. In just a week, Clarkson‘s single went from the number 96-spot to being the number one single in America. Granted, Britney Spears‘ “Womanizer” made a similar record-breaking jump from the 95-spot earlier this year.The list of Kelly accomplishments continues. Not only did she break Billboard records today, but she‘s also the only American Idol contestant to get a second solo #1 single. Evidently, “Since U Been Gone” only made it to number 2, which is ridiculous given its popularity and continued respect. In fact, every previous solo number 1 has been a finale performance. Read more »
In an interesting decision, FOX has decided to cram the final two audition cities into one hour of spicy American Idol goodness.  Tonight‘s the night that we finally begin the transition to Hollywood, free ourselves of the now burdensome "bad" auditions and hop-skip into the real American Idol season, the one in which we slowly eliminate the pretenders from the pack and ultimately end up with our new American Idol.  Why they decided to bunch Puerto Rico and New York together in one measly hour instead of giving, say, Phoenix one hour instead of two, is beyond me.  But, really, who can pretend to know the intricacies of TV scheduling?  Not a simpleton like me.  Also - tonight marks the first time Idol ventured outside of the fifty states to hold an audition.  However, Puerto Rico is pretty much a state anyway, so it‘s nothing to go crazy about.  So, stop going crazy about it, people.  I‘ll be here for the entire hour of Idol tonight, drinking in the delicious froth espoused by Simon, Kara and those other two.  Join me, will you?  It‘ll be fun, like puddle-jumping or wearing a particularly well-crafted sweater.  Let me be your sweater, American Idol fans. Read more »
It happened before.  Carly Smithson got on board the seventh season of American Idol not exactly as untapped talent: six years prior, she‘s already released her album Ultimate High, under her maiden name Carly Hennesy.  It wasn‘t exactly the success it was hoped to be; nevertheless, she got considerable attention, and even some awards in her native Ireland.  When that fact popped up during Idol‘s run, viewers were outraged: why would Idol let someone who‘s already had a break into the show?Surely you know Joanna Pacitti if you‘ve been watching this year‘s audition episodes.  (Err, I‘m not.)  She‘s getting the same amount of flak because of the same reasons: she isn‘t exactly a newcomer to the business.  And so the story goes: she was part of the 1996 cast of Broadway‘s Annie, only to be (somehow spectacularly) fired before things could even begin.  She‘s had a development deal with A&M records, and even appeared on an MTV reality show.  And so, the debate continues, from people who think she shouldn‘t have been let in—despite Kara DioGuardi recognizing her during the auditions, she was let through—and people who think she deserves a second chance. Read more »
The biggest change going into American Idol 8 was the addition of a fourth judge.  American Idol had spent seven seasons dominating ratings, content with the three-headed Randy/Paula/Simon monster which sat behind the judging table.  Sensing an air of unrest among the Idol faithful, or perhaps predicting the approaching departure of another judge, the American Idol executives went out and hired Ms. Kara DioGuardi, a songwriter and performer, to become the fourth judge.  Simon Cowell was not consulted about this move, nor were the other judges; one day, it was the three of them, the next day there was a fourth.  There was no controversy, however, and the judges all appeared to get along with Kara swimmingly from the get-go.  With no intra-judge strife, the onus moved to the audience: Would the four-judge experiment work?  Was Kara the right fit?  Did she bring anything to the table?  How would it effect the other judges?  These questions were debated speculatively prior to the American Idol season, in addition to many who saw DioGuardi‘s appointment as a clear sign that Ms. Paula Abdul had one foot out the door.  However, now, after three weeks and seven audition episodes, judgments can be made on The Kara DioGuardi Experiment and, thankfully for Idol fans, the results have been almost universally positive.  Read more »
So, surely, you watched the Super Bowl on Sunday, perhaps for the game itself, or perhaps for the commercials, or perhaps for the halftime show featuring Bruce Springsteen.  I was there for the halftime bit—I‘m not really a football fan—as well as for Jennifer Hudson, who was tasked to sing the national anthem.  Yes, I know her appearance has been hyped quite a bit, it being her first public performance since the tragic murders of her mother, brother and nephew.  But understandably people had quite an expectation from someone of her caliber—me included.Now there‘s a significant amount of discussion about Hudson‘s performance itself.  The American Idol contestant went up the stage, sure, and performed the anthem, but the catch is, she wasn‘t singing live.  She was lip syncing!  It was pretty evident from the first seconds of her performance, and my mind inevitably paced towards Ashlee Simpson‘s Saturday Night Live fiasco.  Some people started crying foul over it.  Me, well, I think we should cut her some slack. Read more »
FOX has yet to release any American Idol photos from the Hollywood Auditions, so I chose this picture.  It‘s Ryan Seacrest sitting on new judge Kara DioGuardi‘s lap.  Ryan looks confused, and Kara looks amused.  He‘s a spritely fellow, that Seacrest, and Kara is probably amazed at how easy it is to support his full body weight. Nonetheless, the time for crappy auditions has passed us by, making way for the ultra-intense Hollywood auditions, where some talented singers choke it all away, and others sack up and finagle a spot in the semi-finals.  This year, American Idol has extended the Hollywood Rounds for an extra week.  This is a good thing, as the coverage for Hollywood has always seemed less than adequate.  So - this American Idol season, we will witness buckets of tears escaping the ducts of wannabe Idols, we will see foolish young men and women play instruments when they should have just sang, and we will watch in awe as a select few actually impress us, the cynical, jaded, compassion-devoid American audience.  It will be fun.  As always, I will be here throughout the episode, oozing wisdom and handsomeness, guile and toughness, tenacity and frivolity, in the treacherous face of Simon‘s cockneyed wit, Kara‘s toothy smile and Paula‘s whiskey breath.  Join me, please.  Fun will be had. Read more »
Editor‘s Note: This is a weekly guest post from the TV staff at Film.com. Check back here on Wednesdays for more Film.com stories about your favorite shows: Big Brother, The Amazing Race, Dancing with the Stars, Survivor, American Idol and America‘s Next Top Model.By Susan Young, Film.comAs any Willie Wonka also-ran can tell you, just because you get the Golden Ticket doesn‘t mean someone is handing over control of Candy Land to you.And just because a few singers slipped into Hollywood with their yellow paper in hand, no one ever believed they had a shot at the title of American Idol. The words "You‘re goin‘ to Hollywood!" often just translates to a higher level of national humiliation. Read more »
(Note: FOX has yet to release any photos from last night‘s Hollywood episode.  Therefore, I was forced to post this picture of Barry Manilow where, presumably, The B-Man had just escaped a forest fire.  That, or I was fooled and this is actually a wax sculpture.  Either way, uh, sorry.)American Idol 8 kicked Hollywood Week off in a peculiar fashion, giving the 170-plus golden ticket holders a one-day Idol Boot Camp.  In the Idol Boot Camp, the singers were doted on by professional stylists, hair and make-up was made TV-ready, and everyone was given singing lessons by the Idol staff.  To top it all off, the singers were corralled in a conference room where they had to listen to Barry Manilow speak about “How to Become a Star.” (Alternate Title: “How to Remain Famous When You Look Like an Emaciated Bird”).  American Idol, in previous seasons, would immediately throw the contestants into the fire.  I can understand the reasoning behind the Boot Camp – you want everyone to be ready, and at least have some taste of what to expect when they arrive on stage.  However, I doubt the whole Boot Camp portion actually made that much of a difference.  The mediocre singers remained mediocre, there were bad song choices aplenty, and the pretenders were shown the door.  Lesson: Idol Boot Camp was probably unnecessary.  What else did we learn on last night‘s American Idol?American Idol: Top 36 Revealed Slideshow Read more »
Spoiler time, American Idol fans.  Read no further if you want to be surprised in two weeks, when the Top 36 is officially revealed.  Now, of course, we have to issue this disclaimer: this is by no means an official list, and should be taken with a grain of salt.  However, it comes from a reliable source, and if I had to guess, I‘d say the list is accurate.  We‘ll have a slideshow of these people on Monday, but until then, here is the list.American Idol 8: Top 36 Revealed SlideshowSPOILER WARNING!!! TURN AWAY IF YOU DON‘T WANT THE AMERICAN IDOL TOP 36 REVEALED!!! Read more »
Night one of American Idol‘s Hollywood Auditions went over pretty well, with many of the familiar faces from early in the season showing up and, generally, making it through to round 2.  Only 43 of the 147 Hollywood invitees were kicked to the curb after the first, a capella round of auditions, and this is just the beginning.  The show is about to get far more emotional, early season favorites will drop like flies, and there will be anger.  Oh, the anger!  And the crying!  I love the crying, but I also hate it.  Tears of joy always come off as cloying to me, or as a blatant sign of emotional instability.  Nevertheless, tonight brings the group auditions, which can provide complete disaster, or surprising success.  There will be in-fighting, there will be some wild cards who completely let down their teams, and, again, there will be tears.  Once more, I will be here throughout the night, funneling my live thoughts into cyberspace with the grace and beauty of a concert cellist.  Join me, America, and get Yo-Yo Ma-ed.  American Idol 8: Top 36 Revealed Slideshow Read more »
American Idol‘s insistence on focusing on the “drama” in all episodes leading up to the unveiling of the semi-finalists can be grating.  The first half hour of last night‘s Hollywood episode contained zero actual performances, instead focusing on the trials and travails of a few select groups, whose members were mostly shrill and unlikable.  OK, I thought, maybe the second half of the episode will be wall-to-wall performances.  Nope, not so, screamed American Idol.  While the performances were peppered in and out, the focus on team strife continued, to the point that the good performances were given precious little screen time, sometimes even tossed aside in five second clips or abrupt montages.  American Idol, listen to us: at this point in the season, the audience wants to see good singers.  We want to watch success.  Failure, we‘ve had enough of.  And, really – it‘s shameful to give people like Bikini Girl so much screen time.  Let‘s hope next week is more about the singing, less about the singers.  Besides Idol‘s obsession with drama, what else did we learn from last night‘s episode of American Idol?American Idol 8: Top 36 Revealed Slideshow Read more »
Another week, another excellent episode of Lost.  Another week, another two episodes of American Idol worthy of intense discussion.  Idol and Lost are the two most water-cooler appropriate series on TV these days, and it‘s really not even close.  While some Lost fans might completely disregard American Idol as a mess of trifling silliness, they shouldn‘t.  Even if you don‘t like the types of music on display, even if you can‘t stand the oppressive Seacrestian reign, even if Paula Abdul rankles you to the core, American Idol is worth watching if only for the pure spectacle of the proceedings.  It is a monstrous endeavor, full of real human drama, rags to riches stories, underdogs triumphing in a grand forum, and chock full of inspiring performances.  When it comes to quality, however, Lost triumphs all these days.  After watching the first four episodes of the season, all you can really do is throw your hands up in the air and scream, “Uncle!  You win, Darlton.”  Once again, I, Oscar Dahl, have joined fellow BuddyTV savant John "Kubla Khan" Kubicek for another round of the BuddyTV Podcast of Glory.  Please listen to the soothing sounds of two TV fans discussing the pressing matters of Bikini Girl, time travel, Noop Dog, and French scientists.  Enjoy.You can listen to the full podcast below.  Read more »
The NFL seems to love their American Idol contestants.  And by that, I mean a lot of love.  Early this week, Jennifer Hudson performed the national anthem during the Super Bowl‘s pre-game show in Florida, something equally significant since it‘s her first public performance since the murders in her family last year.  (We always have to mention that, yes.)  Now, another Idol graduate takes on another football event: David Archuleta has been tasked to sing the national anthem at the NFL Pro Bowl, which will be held this Sunday in Honolulu, Hawaii.And, judging from the latest blog entry in his MySpace page, the gig is something he‘s very excited about.  “It‘ll be my first time in Hawaii!” he enthused, after reminiscing about the snow that‘s probably falling somewhere in his home state, Utah.  “That means more sunshine.  Well, I hope anyway… at least more hanging out in warmer regions.” Read more »
Wednesday night is the night when we finally saw Katrina Darrell‘s fall from grace—of sorts—from American Idol.  The girl who, whether we like it or not, is better known as Bikini Girl made such a dent on the show, which is fairly unusual given it‘s still in its early stages: she showed up at the Phoenix auditions in a bikini, spurred an argument between the judges, got to kiss (forcefully, perhaps) host Ryan Seacrest, show up virtually unprepared at the Hollywood auditions, and get eliminated by waving like a beauty queen.  And, perhaps, all the vitriol she deserves, from viewers to pundits to us here.  I think.Or, in Ryan‘s words, she‘s “very polarizing.” Read more »
The 51st Grammy Awards, held in Los Angeles two nights ago, was something.  Yeah, at some points my attention span was dropping like a ball tossed from fifty feet, but for me, the show was about the performances.  And, in a night that celebrates the best in music over the past year, it didn‘t disappoint.Errr, at the risk of sounding like a Jennifer Hudson geek, I was watching her performance that night with particular interest.  I know, I watched her at the Super Bowl, but I was somewhat distracted with the lip synching—don‘t worry, I‘m not dwelling on that; I‘m just easily distracted.  But this was another chance for her to shine, after shining in such unfortunate and terrible circumstances—insert obligatory mention of the murders in her family.  As always, she didn‘t disappoint. Read more »
Errr, okay.  So Clay Aiken is appearing on America‘s Next Top Model, both as a mentor (of sorts) and a judge.  I‘ve got nothing against it, but honestly this decision felt a little weird, at least for me.  Wasn‘t it just a while ago when we loved him for his singing chops?  Nothing against American Idol contestants venturing beyond the singing talents they‘ve demonstrated when they were just taking off, but… I don‘t know.  It really is just weird.So, to console myself, I‘ve searched far and wide for wherever Idol alumni will be performing within the next weeks.  I know Archie just did the national anthem for the Pro Bowl, and I know Cookie is kicking off a campus tour, and of course I know all that Hudson‘s been into.  As for the others, well, it‘s an interesting lot, too. Read more »
Once again, the evil warlocks sitting in FOX‘s executive offices have kept promotional pictures from the world.  Why they refuse to provide American Idol preview pictures is one of life‘s great mysteries.  This is why I have posted this here picture of Megan Corkrey.  If you don‘t remember her, don‘t worry about it.  It‘s because American Idol only featured about nine different singers last week over the first two hours of Hollywood auditions.  Hopefully, tonight, we will see more of people like Megan (who gave my favorite audition of the season) or Anoop Desai or Stephen Fowler or any countless other really good singers who we‘ve heard nary a peep from since Hollywood began.  Tonight should be the night when we really get to see these people shine - with the band, playing their own instruments, and announcing to the American Idol audience that they‘re a contender.  So, once more, I kindly request that you come along and be Fozzie to my Kermit, Abu to my Aladdin, Apollo to my Rocky, as we traverse the cold, dark waters of American Idol‘s Hollywood auditions.  I‘ll be here all night, scoring points on the internet‘s face. American Idol 8: Top 36 Revealed Slideshow Read more »
American Idol 8 is hours away from officially unveiling the Top 36 in what should be a particularly excruciating two-hour “Top 36 Revealed” episode.  I‘ll enjoy it, to some degree, but aren‘t we all ready to just get on with it and see the full performances?  The whole “Judges‘ Mansion” setting for tonight‘s episode looks to be quite annoying as well.  Even so, we will finally have a solidified Top 36 tonight, the miles long preamble mercifully over, the senseless behind-the-scenes drama finished.  Joy.  If you‘ve bitten the apple and checked out the Top 36 Spoilers that have been bum-rushing the interwebs for the last week or so, then tonight will probably be a great big anti-climax.  But, to last night.  The final Hollywood audition episode actually gave us what we‘ve been asking for – wall to wall performances, with less behind-the-scenes drama.  If only Tatiana del Toro wasn‘t involved so much, it would‘ve been a pretty good episode.  Unfortunately, Tatiana‘s presence managed to put an awful stink on the proceedings.  Other than the horrific presence of The Toro, what else did we glean from Hollywood Auditions, Day 3?American Idol 8: Top 36 Revealed Slideshow Read more »
A month ago, we began the over-long death march of early-season American Idol in Phoenix, Arizona.  Tonight, the drudgery ends and viewers will finally feel the joy of reaching fertile ground.  At the end of tonight‘s two-hour episode of American Idol, the Top 36 will be officially revealed, trumpeting the beginning of the true Idol season, when drama is flung away like monkey poo, and honest-to-goodness actual performances will be seen in their entirety.  Yet, there is still tonight‘s two-hour marathon to endure, and endure it we will.  I will be here throughout the 120 minutes of agony, as we witness dreams being crushed, prayers answered, and Tatiana del Toro firing evil laugh lasers at my brain.NEW! American Idol: Who Is Felicia Barton, And Why Is She In Joanna Pacitti‘s Top 36 Slot?American Idol 8: The Official Top 36 Slideshow  Read more »
As this article was published, Fox released a statement confirming that Felicia Barton is, indeed, part of American Idol‘s top 36.  "It has been determined that Joanna Pacitti is ineligible to continue in the competition," it said.  Sources have told the Los Angeles Times that the decision was made to "avoid the appearance of impropriety"; tabloids have reported of a private relationship between Pacitti and executives of 19 Entertainment.So here I am, reeling from watching American Idol.  It‘s almost eleven in the evening, but I‘m still up downloading photos of the top 36.  I‘m frustrated that the slideshow I did went the wrong way—the last slide‘s out first—and that the new photos have arrived as I finished updating the profiles.  But it gives me a rush, and it excites me, although I have this urge to pull my hair out.  Maybe I‘m overwhelmed.  It‘s not the right time to defer a haircut, it seems.Slideshow: American Idol 8: The Official Top 36American Idol 8: The Top 36 Revealed, Live Thoughts Read more »
The Top 36 of American Idol 8 has been revealed, but has arrived with some controversy.  Joanna Pacitti, the ringer, former recording artist and judges‘ favorite, has been ejected from the competition under suspicious circumstances, FOX quietly explaining in a press release that Ms. Pacitti had been replaced by the anonymous Felicia Barton, who we saw very little of during the first month of the season.  In the past 24 hours, it has also been revealed that Pacitti may have had an “inappropriate” relationship with an executive at 19 Entertainment, the company that runs American Idol.  Ooh, scandal.  This is one of the many topics that I, Oscar Dahl, and my colleague John “Kris Kringle” Kubicek discuss in today‘s American Idol podcast.  Listen, will you?  If you like American Idol, frankly, you owe it to yourself.You can listen to the full mp3 audio of the podcast below.  Read more »
The dust has finally settled, and the initial frenzy—not at least from me, or so I‘d like to think—has died down.  Slowly, but surely, we‘re living with Joanna Pacitti‘s disqualification from American Idol, and the entry of Felicia Barton into the top 36.  If things went differently, she could be back in Virginia Beach reliving her close call—she was, as I realized days later, in the so-called overly-dramatic “final judgment”—and Joanna could be prepping for her performances.  But, alas, things have gone differently, and the past has gone to catch up with both of them.Idol host Ryan Seacrest did confirm to Fox News that Joanna was tossed because of close relationships with two of the reality search‘s producers.  Tabloid reports in the past few weeks have pointed towards 19 Entertainment producers Michelle Young and Roger Widynowski, and the former Idol contestant attributes the two to her (equally controversial) previous success in the music industry.  Young was described as her “manager” and “best friend”; Widynowski, of helping her “get where I am today.”  (It must be noted that the show only requires contestants to not have a current record deal, which is why Carly Smithson got into the top 12 despite having released an album before.)American Idol 8: Top 36 Power Rankings Slideshow Read more »
BuddyTV discusses the new season of American Idol with season 1 runner-up Justin Guarini. We have our first special guest of the season on BuddyTV‘s Podcast of Glory!  Justin Guarini stopped by earlier today to talk about what he‘s up to currently (he‘s pretty busy), but mostly we discussed the current season of American Idol.  Justin, obviously, is uniquely qualified to discuss American Idol as the first ever runner-up on the show.  The Top 36 kicks off tonight with the first batch of twelve singers performing on a special two-hour episode.  Justin and I previewed the night, and we talked about who we‘re looking out for and who our early favorites are.  Below you will find the full mp3 audio of the podcast.American Idol 8: Top 36 Power Rankings Slideshow Read more »
That‘s sort of an unwieldy article title, isn‘t it?  I thought about the best, most concise way to name tonight‘s American Idol episode and, unfortunately, that‘s the best I got.  However, we are finally here.  We made it.  We weathered the storm.  Auditions are over, and tonight we get to see real live performances from the Top 36.  Only 12 contestants will perform tonight (they are Casey Carlson, Stephen Fowler, Jackie Tohn, Ricky Braddy, Anne Marie Boskovich, Brent Keith, Alexis Grace, Michael Sarver, Stevie Wright, Danny Gokey, Tatiana del Toro and Anoop Desai), and only three of them will automatically advance into the Top 12 on tomorrow night‘s Results Show.  The show is reportedly live this evening, which is a change from previous seasons when the semi-finals were tape-delayed.  Who will shine?  Who will fail miserably?  We shall see.  I‘ll be here for the entire two-hour marathon, hatching live thoughts onto this nest of an internet.  Follow along, comment below, sing along, just do whatever you do, just make sure to do it here on BuddyTV. American Idol 8: Top 36, First 12 - Episode in Review SlideshowAmerican Idol 8: Top 36 Power Rankings SlideshowBuddyTV Podcast of Glory: Talking ‘American Idol‘ with Justin Guarini Read more »
Editor‘s Note: This is a weekly guest post from the TV staff at Film.com. Check back here on Wednesdays for more Film.com stories about your favorite shows: Big Brother, The Amazing Race, Dancing with the Stars ,Survivor, American Idol and America‘s Next Top Model. .By Susan Young, Film.comIf Barack Obama can apologize for errors in judgment, then perhaps it‘s time to confess my own: I peeked.It was just so tempting when a reputable web site offered that link right before American Idol shifted the show to Hollywood. All you needed to do was to tap that key, and you were on your way to learning who the top 36 would be. Read more »
The epic competition begins once more.  John vs. Oscar, a battle of heavyweights, lords of the American Idol arena, begins today in earnest.  Today marks the release of the first John vs. Oscar podcast of the season.  We have reviewed the tapes, researched all the sociological iterations involved with America‘s votes, and come to out own conclusions regarding who will make it into American Idol‘s Top 12 from the first heat of the Final 36.  In the below podcast, John and I cover a wide swath of issues by discussing each and every performance of the night and culminating in out potentially earth-shattering predictions.  Below you will find the full mp3 audio of the podcast. Read more »
Now the fun stuff.  Usually, we only get to see one or two really disappointed faces on the American Idol Results shows.  Tonight, nine contestants will be the recipients of bad news.  I don‘t mean to endorse American Idol schadenfreude, but after the abject mediocrity of last night‘s two-hour performance episode, I‘d say its more or less deserved.  For the record, my predictions for the night are as follows: Danny Gokey, Alexis Grace and Anoop Desai will gain automatic berths into the Top 12, while Tatiana del Toro will sneak into that fourth place automatic entry into the Wild Card round.  My colleague, the venerable John Kubicek, decided to get all outside the box on us, and predicted Gokey, Tatiana and Brent Keith to advance.  If Brent Keith advances, I vow to swallow a fork and repeatedly punch myself in the esophagus.  If you‘re on the west coast and can‘t wait until later to see the results, please follow along. If you‘re on the east coast and merely enjoy my company, that‘s great too.  If you don‘t watch American Idol and mistakenly got to this page while surfing for porn, I applaud your interest in the unknown.  American Idol 8: John vs. Oscar Podcast - Top 36, First 12American Idol 8: Top 36, First 12 - Performance Rankings Slideshow Read more »
The first three finalists for American Idol have been chosen, and two out of three ain‘t bad. On today‘s Podcast and Glory featuring BuddyTV‘s Idol experts Oscar Dahl and myself, John Kubicek, we discussed the merits of Danny Gokey, the depressing fact of Michael Sarver, who might still have a shot for the judges‘ wild card round, and what we think of next week‘s round of 12.Continue reading for more highlights and to listen to BuddyTV‘s American Idol Podcast of Glory! Read more »
Oh, Clay Aiken.  I don‘t know.Now, I‘ve nothing against the runner-up of American Idol‘s second season; I think he‘s good, although lately he‘s been getting attention for all the wrong reasons.  Or, perhaps, it‘s just me who doesn‘t give a toss about his sexuality, thinking that his coming out last year—that, after news that he‘s had a child, through artificial insemination, with a female friend of his—should not get in the way of his singing career.  So far, it hasn‘t.  I think. Read more »
A quarter of American Idol 8‘s Top 12 has been announced, but early on, there quite a significant amount of outcry over some of the decisions made.  What is Michael Sarver doing here?  Why is Tatiana del Toro nowhere?  (Or, why is she there in the first place?)  Why didn‘t Anoop Desai make it? Where the heck is Ricky Braddy?Ricky was one of last week‘s performers, and he was relatively one of the night‘s better performers, considering that most of his batch didn‘t do well as expected.  But, of course, some names stood out more than others, and he was denied a chance at the top 12, in favor of Danny Gokey, Alexis Grace, and (shudder) Michael Sarver.  But for his fans, his journey is not yet over—they have so many reasons to believe that he still has a chance to make it to the finals, through the Wild Card round. Read more »
Please let tonight‘s episode be better than last week‘s.  The debacle that was the last Tuesday‘s American Idol performance episode featured a wide swath of mediocrities.  There were a few impressive performances, sure, but there were far more that produced indifference, disgust, and even blood-red hatred from the audience.  The twelve performers tonight bring some intriguing names, not the least of which is pictured here.  That fine young gentleman, so coyly sitting on his stool, is Nick Mitchell, better known as Norman Gentle.  Nick is the single most bizarre semi-finalist ever on American Idol and, whatever he ends up doing tonight, I know it will be fun to watch.  It‘s been a week since Casey Carlson and Stevie Wright induced seizures across the nation, and the healing has been done.  We are ready, as a country, to give American Idol and its Top 36 another chance.  I‘ll be here, live thoughting my little heart away, for the entire 120 minutes of tonight‘s Idol.  If you know what‘s good for you, read along, join our epic Idol journey.  Regrets will not be had.American Idol 8: Top 36, Second 12 - Episode in ReviewAmerican Idol 8: Top 36, Second 12 - Scouting Report Read more »
Remember when word of American Idol adding a fourth judge first went out?  The first things we were thinking that Kara DioGuardi was, ultimately, out to replace Paula Abdul.  At the end of the seventh season, Paula wasn‘t exactly in tip top shape, to say the least.  Plus, there‘s the fact that Kara was introduced in a pretty sneaky manner—in the middle of the auditions.And then our fears were quelled—or, for those who cannot stand Paula anymore, furthered—when it became clear that Kara wasn‘t out to replace anyone, but would rather act as a fourth gear of sorts.  She did manage to toss the dynamic between Paula, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson.  Critics generally liked her, hailing her entry as a burst of much-needed fresh air. I personally like her informed, smart comments, although the way she does it is still up in the air—singing a song to Bikini Girl, anyone? Read more »
BuddyTV‘s John Kubicek and Oscar Dahl discuss last night‘s American Idol performance episode and predict who will advance to the Top 12.While American Idol‘s 8 second performance episode wasn‘t stellar by any means, it was far and away an improvement over the first one, and featured a handful of solid performances that were surrounded by inoffensive mediocrity.  Not high praise, but at least American Idol is on an upward swing.  John Kubicek and I, Oscar Dahl, had a somewhat contentious debate this morning in the second John vs. Oscar podcast of the season.  Our favorites differed greatly, but if there‘s one thing we agree on it‘s that Norman Gentle is a national treasure.  He won‘t be making the Top 12, not in a million years, but he sure puts on a hell of a show, and I believe this season is better off for his presence, regardless of what the curmudgeonly Simon Cowell might say.  Take a listen to the podcast below - if you enjoy American Idol, I suspect you‘ll enjoy what we had to say.Below you will find the full mp3 audio of the podcast.American Idol 8: Top 36, Second 12 - Performance RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Top 36, Second 12 - Scouting Report  Read more »
Even though I‘m fundamentally opposed to some aspects of the Top 36 system being employed by American Idol this season, it does make these first few results shows exciting.  While two of last night‘s singers appear to be locks for the Top 12 (Adam Lambert and the surprising Allison Iraheta), that third spot is a complete toss-up. Think - if American Idol only eliminated two of the performers from last night‘s batch of singers, it wouldn‘t feel like enough.  Though that‘s more of an indictment of the Top 36‘s mediocrity in its bottom half, I don‘t mind forcing the viewers to be selective in their voting.  As for the candidates to slip into that third Top 12 spot, you have my choice Megan Corkrey, the sweet-singing Southerner Kris Allen, the annoying Ms. Sassypants Jesse Langseth, clown Nick Mitchell and the over-serious teen Mishavonna Henson.  I‘ll be rooting for Corkrey, both because I‘m a big fan and she‘s the singer who I predicted would make the Top 12.  I‘ll be here throughout the hour-long American Idol results show, updating live throughout the proceedings.  Follow along as I endure the pain of excessive filler, try to make sense of Paula Abdul‘s hallucenigenic ramblings and question the place of manliner in the toolbox of the modern male.  American Idol 8: Top 36, Second 12 - Performance RankingsAmerican Idol 8: John vs. Oscar Podcast - Top 36, Second 12 Read more »
BuddyTV‘s John Kubicek and Oscar Dahl analyze American Idol‘s Week 2 Results, and preview next week‘s Final 12 and the upcoming Wild Card round.  Three more spots have been filled in American Idol 8‘s Top 12, and none of the entrants were all that surprising.  For the most part, America sided with the best performances when placing Allison Iraheta, Adam Lambert and Kris Allen into the Top 12.  Although, personally, I would have liked to have seen Megan Corkrey sitting in one of those Martian stools instead of Kris Allen, at least none of last night‘s top three was a Michael Sarver type.  Today, John Kubicek and I discuss the results, what they might mean, and who of the nine eliminated contestants have a shot in the Wild Card round.  We also preview next week‘s final batch of twelve singers, and make our early predictions for who will emege from that group into the final 12.  Below you will find the full mp3 audio of the podcast.American Idol 8: Top 36, Second 12 - Performance RankingsAmerican Idol 8: John vs. Oscar Podcast - Top 36, Second 12 Read more »
Like stink on a hobo, the week of reckoning is upon us.  By Thursday night, American Idol‘s Top 36 will be whittled down to an easily digestible dozen.  We already know half the Top 12‘s entrants (Danny Gokey, Alexis Grace, Michael Sarver, Allison Iraheta, Kris Allen and the now infamous Adam Lambert), and after tonight‘s American Idol performance episode, the voting populous will be charged with selecting three more members of that esteemed Top 12.  For tonight, it‘s hard to know who will emerge as the favorites.  Scott McIntyre (the blind guy) will surely have American hearts at his service, while Lil Rounds has been pimped by the judges since Day 1.  Von Smith sang on Rosie O‘Donnell‘s show once and, if he somehow advances, may just be the second coming of Sanjaya Malakar.  Whatever happens, let‘s just hope that tonight‘s singers are good.  They‘ve had a couple of extra weeks to prepare and learn from the Top 36 brethren, and should therefore probably be better than the first two groups.  Join me, humans, as I inject two-hours worth of live thought jelly into the donut of your brains.  It will be fun, it will be messy, and I will spend a few hundred words ruminating on Von Smith and his rampant scumbaggery.  Enjoy.American Idol 8: Top 36, Final 12 - Episode in ReviewAmerican Idol 8: Top 36, Final 12 - Performance RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Adam Lambert Has Photos of Him Kissing Another Guy. Errr... Read more »
BuddyTV‘s John Kubicek and Oscar Dahl make their predictions for who will make the Top 12 from the final group of 36.I watched a young man wearing god-knows-what sing Meatloaf.  I watched a tentative teenage girl sing Abba.  I watched a native of Puerto Rican treated like a cartoon character by Paula Abdul (who has experience with cartoon characters, remember), and then cry on national television.  It‘s been a bizarre season of American Idol so far, with last night‘s two-hour performance episode no exception.  Thankfully, we are a mere two days away from knowing who the Top 12 will be, at which point the real game can begin.  Until then, it‘s time for another installment of John vs. Oscar, in which my colleague John “The Body” Kubicek discuss the performances and make our predictions for who will make it into the Top 12 from the last night‘s group.  Podcasts are the wave of the future, America, so start listening now.  We demand it.  Your American Idol well-being depends on it.  You can listen to the full mp3 audio of the podcast below.            Read more »
Finally, we have the Top 12 for American Idol 8.  Well, not exactly—we only have nine contestants in the list so far, with the remaining three slots to be contested by eight more tonight.  And, throughout the three weeks we‘ve been watching these performers rock the stage, or crash big time, or make a fool of themselves, things have been pretty consistent: there‘s the surprise inclusion and the shoo-in.Take Lil Rounds, for example.  Obviously the judges love her.  Obviously the producers do, too, something made very obvious by the loads of screen time she got.  Or, in some cases, it‘s not whether you have a lot of screen time, but whether you have the best screen time.  Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert were also favorites—and also shoo-ins for the Top 12, perhaps obvious from as early as the audition episodes themselves—and each were the last performers in their shows.American Idol 8: Ranking the Wild Card Contenders SlideshowAmerican Idol 8: Top 36 Power Rankings Read more »
Tatiana del Toro is annoying.  It‘s a given.  From the moment she was introduced to us unsuspecting viewers of American Idol, it seemed inevitable: she will be around for quite a while. How many times did they repeat her shriek-shriek-shriek laughter during her audition?  People have compared that laugh to Fran Drescher‘s, but I don‘t think it equates—Fran‘s laughter is different.  Tatiana‘s is, well, something else.But that‘s not all there is to her.  There‘s the way she presented herself during the audition.  “Here‘s my press kit,” I recall her telling to the judges, as she extolled her many facets, from singing to dancing to modeling. And then she proceeds to sing.  By now, we all know that someone who was portrayed as silly—bordering on crazy—on American Idol is going to fail in front of the judges.  Well, she isn‘t really that amazing, but she did good enough for her to get a pass to Hollywood.American Idol 8: Ranking the Wild Card Contenders Slideshow Read more »
The complexities of life cannot be distilled while viewing American Idol.  It is a reflection only of our desire to be entertained, and holds no larger meaning.  American Idol is far too rigged for that.  The producers meddle, the contestants are vetted and the audience, willfully, thankfully, is in on the giant ruse.  Whether you want to admit it or not, American Idol influences the voters in a variety of ways - song choice allowances, performance order, judges‘ critiques - and that‘s after they have complete control of who even makes the Top 36. This is not a problem - it‘s part of the show.  For someone like me, who doesn‘t vote anyway, I can only root on who I wish to root on, and then complain fruitlessly about the voters or the judges or the producers.  Over the course of American Idol‘s Top 36 this season, the influence of the Idol powers that be have been apparent.  Each of the three performance episodes ended with a judges‘ favorite closing out the night.  Every episode, a singer who gave a bad performance was inflated by the judges, while similar performances were shot dead by those same judges.  Nonetheless, nine more contestants will be subject to the cruel hand of fate tonight, while three lucky ones will be permitted to feel the cool, metallic steel of a Top 12 stool.  I‘ll be here all night, updating the results live for your reading pleasure.  As always, enjoy yourselves and comment below with your thoughts.  They are as, if not more, valid than mine. American Idol 8: Top 36, Final 12 - Episode in ReviewAmerican Idol 8: Top 36, Final 12 - Performance RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Adam Lambert Has Photos of Him Kissing Another Guy. Errr.. Read more »
John Kubicek and Oscar Dahl discuss the previous night‘s results show and share their thoughts and predictions in anticipation of the American Idol 8 Wild Card Round.American Idol 8 will finally get on with it tonight, and name the final three entrants to the Top 12.  It‘s been a long time coming, and after taking three weeks to slowly fill out the Top 12, three singers at a time, the judges will name the last three contestants in one fell swoop.  Tonight, on American Idol‘s Wild Card show, eight singers will perform and, from them, the judges will choose three to move on.  The decision will be completely up to the judges, with no influence taken from America‘s votes.  I don‘t particularly mind the system, but I (like my colleague John "Bon Jovi" Kubicek) do have some qualms with how the Idol producers have executed it.  In our final podcast of the week, John and I discuss the final Top 36 results show and preview tonight‘s wild card round.  We also make our predictions for who will ultimately be selected for the Top 12.You can listen to the full mp3 audio of the podcast below.  Read more »
If American Idol was really greedy, they could have extended this Top 36 madness one more week, allowing for a two-hour Wild Card performance episode and a one-hour Wild Card selection show.  While I wouldn‘t have been totally opposed to that idea (especially if it came at the expense of initial audition episodes), I‘m glad the Top 36 is right about over.  The Top 12 is where American Idol really starts to get good.  The contestants begin getting over the nerves and hit their grooves.  The stage is bigger and the drama heightened.  Tonight, the eight wild card selections (Ricky Braddy, Matt Giraud, Von Smith, Anoop Desai, Megan Corkrey, Tatiana del Toro, Jasmine Murray and Jesse Langseth) will all perform and then the judges will lay the hammer down with their final decisions.  According to JoesPlace, the wild card participants will be given the option of singing a new song, or the song they performed intially in the Top 36 (though I can‘t imagine why any of them would want to repeat what got them eliminated in the first place).  The eight performances will be crammed into an hour, so expect the pace to be fast and furious.  I‘ll be around to cover the episode live as it happens.  If you so desire, we‘d love for all of you to join in these here live thoughts.  Maybe comment, or just refresh the page a bunch of times.  Really, it‘s up to you. American Idol 8: The Official Top 13American Idol 8: Ranking the Wild Card Contenders SlideshowAmerican Idol 8: Top 36 Power Rankings Read more »
For some peculiar reason, this season of American Idol has been very, very predictable.  Sure, there were a few surprises over the past few weeks—what the heck is Michael Sarver doing there?—but all throughout, we knew who was going in.  Sure, sure, Lil Rounds.  Sure, sure, Scott MacIntyre.  Sure, sure, Danny Gokey.  To make things worse, Ryan Seacrest wasn‘t as cooperative, leaving the most obvious shoo-in for the very last announcement in two out of three shows.  I was seriously considering not watching the result nights for that reason.  (But, of course, I still did.)Then came the Wild Card.  I guess that worked, because we did not have a say on who gets in.  For once, we were slightly anxious.  Why the heck is Tatiana del Toro on stage?  Why the heck is Anoop Desai still on the sofa?  You know, that feeling of control that‘s slowly slipping away from us, at least until they give it back in its entirety?  We missed it, and we were thus at the edge of our seats.American Idol 8: The Official Top 13American Idol 8: Wild Card Show - Live ResultsAmerican Idol 8: Ranking the Wild Card Contenders Slideshow Read more »
I suspect that within a month, for better or worse, Adam Lambert will become the face of American Idol 8.  He is going to be a lightning rod of controversy, and it should be fun.  Adam has an absurd rock and roll voice, the kind of range that only the likes of Steve Perry, Freddie Mercury and Stephen Tyler have ever possessed.  This is not an overstatement.  With Adam, it‘s always going to be about his ability to harness that voice and make himself seem in control.  Because of his range, there will be cries that Lambert is too over-the-top, bordering on ridiculous.  He can‘t help that he was given the voice he was given, but I can understand people‘s points.  At what point is it just showing off? American Idol 8: Analyzing the Top 13 - Main PageAmerican Idol 8: The Official Top 13 Slideshow Read more »
There are some people who are just born to perform, some people who are naturally comfortable on stage.  It is their domain.  Allison Iraheta, the sixteen year old with the red hair on American Idol 8, is one of these people.  She‘s an awkward teenager off-stage (just check out her pre-song interview with Seacrest), but when she starts performing, she‘s at ease.  Allison was easily the biggest surprise of the Top 36, coming out of nowhere to gain an automatic entry into the Top 13, and deservedly so.  It‘s tough to get America‘s votes without much in the way of early season screen-time, but Allison managed to accomplish that feat.  Being so young, we don‘t really know what to expect from Allison as the season progresses, which makes her one of the biggest wild cards as the season continues. American Idol 8: Analyzing the Top 13 - Main PageAmerican Idol 8: The Official Top 13 Slideshow Read more »
Anoop Desai was bafflingly passed over by America in week one of the Top 36 in favor of Oil Rig Guy Michael Sarver.  The judges righted that wrong in the Wild Card round, though they made Noop Dog sweat it out in the process – Anoop was the thirteenth entrant into what was supposed to be a Top 12.  Anoop is, simply put, a great singer.  Even more, his slightly nerdy looks make the voice that comes out of him all the more surprising.  He is fairly straight-laced, safe on the surface, but Anoop is more complex than that.  He has infused his performances with an inexplicable sexuality, another thing you wouldn‘t expect from Anoop at first glance.  He gains a lot of steam with his personality.  He‘s eminently likable, seemingly humble and should only benefit from America getting to spend more time with him.  Though American Idol has seen a number of singers like Anoop (pop/R&B singer with a good voice and solid performance skills), those type of singers tend to do well.American Idol 8: Analyzing the Top 13 - Main PageAmerican Idol 8: The Official Top 13 Slideshow Read more »
Danny Gokey can sing.  Sometimes, that‘s all you need.  American Idol saw a great story in Danny from the second he tried out and, ever since, have given Danny ample screen time to shine.  Gokey is a near flawless singer, possessing a great voice, always singing in tune and able to stay within himself.  Add to that an absolutely heart-breaking back story (his wife died mere weeks before he tried out for Idol) and you have the right ingredients for a possible Idol champion.  There‘s nothing controversial about Danny, nothing that gives him an edge (the guy is a church choir director, after all), but it‘s almost impossible to dislike the guy. American Idol 8: Analyzing the Top 13 - Main PageAmerican Idol 8: The Official Top 13 Slideshow Read more »
Jasmine Murray looks like a prototypical American Idol singer.  She‘s young, attractive, and brings the much desired diversity to the American Idol proceedings.  She gave a very good initial audition, and the judges fell in love with her.  That first audition was so memorable, in fact, that the judges managed to look past a poor Top 36 performance and a merely OK wild card performance in order to send her into the Top 13.  Based on her performances, this pass was completely undeserved.  But, then again, Jasmine is young, clearly has talent, and definitely has the look.  She has potential, and maybe the judges made the right decision in letting her through.  I can‘t imagine that Kristen McNamara, Jesse Langseth and Junot Joyner feel the same way, however. American Idol 8: Analyzing the Top 13 - Main PageAmerican Idol 8: The Official Top 13 Slideshow Read more »
Jorge Nunez gave a pretty good performance in the Top 36.  The judges liked it a lot, and that‘s their prerogative, but their overzealous adulation was the catalyst for the real reason that Jorge made the Top 13 – in the wake of all this praise, Jorge started choking up.  He started blabbering in Spanish, and it was pretty goddamn adorable.  Women the country over surely swooned and some likely found a new favorite singer.  Jorge is a fine member of the Top 13.  We haven‘t had any out and out Spanish-style singers on American Idol since I can remember, and Jorge‘s presence could present a nice change of pace.  Does he have the potential to win it all?  I don‘t think so, but that doesn‘t make his presence any less deserved. American Idol 8: Analyzing the Top 13 - Main PageAmerican Idol 8: The Official Top 13 Slideshow Read more »
Kris Allen is going to sneak up on people.  I wasn‘t a big fan initially, but all it took was a little jaunt on YouTube to convince me.  Kris, in the Top 36 performance that got him voted into the Top 13, sang Michael Jackson‘s “Man in the Mirror.”  While it was a solid performance that showed off a nice voice, Kris has a lot more to give us than that.  Dude can play the guitar – watch out, because we might have a better looking, more talented Jason Castro on our hands.  If that‘s the case, there might be no limit on how far Kris Allen goes in the competition. American Idol 8: Analyzing the Top 13 - Main PageAmerican Idol 8: The Official Top 13 Slideshow Read more »
Can an early favorite win it all at this point in American Idol‘s career?  It‘d be like a NCAA basketball team running the the table.  I suppose it‘s possible, but highly unlikely.  Lil Rounds has been the most highly pimped contestant since day one, receiving universally rave reviews for every single thing she‘s ever done.  Simon is in love with Lil, the producers are in love with Lil and, apparently, so is America.  But, has the bar been set too high?  If expectations start out this astronomical, can Lil even think about meeting them?  While Lil may be a very good singer, she‘s not the second coming of Whitney Houston, and she‘s definitely not one of the better singers in Idol history.  She‘s just very good – is that enough to take her to the promised land?American Idol 8: Analyzing the Top 13 - Main PageAmerican Idol 8: The Official Top 13 Slideshow Read more »
Matt Giraud owes a lot to the Wild Card system.  In previous years, his disastrous opening performance would have likely sealed his fate.  The judges kept the faith, however, and gave him another shot in last week‘s Wild Card show and Matt took full advantage of it.  Though, it must be said that, like fellow Wild Card entrant Megan Corkrey, the judges had a clear affinity for Giraud which may have gained him entrance into the Top 13 regardless of how his Wild Card performance went down.  Nonetheless, Giraud gave a drastically improved performance when he needed it most, and any cries of foul play were squashed.  Having now weathered the Top 36, Matt Giraud instantly becomes one of the more interesting contestants in the Top 13.  A dueling piano player by trade, Matt will now be allowed to perform with his preferred instrument, which, if you remember his excellent Hollywood Week performance of Ray Charles‘ “Georgia On My Mind,” has to be a scary proposition for his fellow singers. American Idol 8: Analyzing the Top 13 - Main PageAmerican Idol 8: The Official Top 13 Slideshow Read more »
Megan Corkrey has sneakily become perhaps the most divisive contestant on American Idol 8.  Reading her bio, she sounds like one of those overly-cutesy characters in a bad romantic comedy.  She‘s a quirky single mom in her mid-twenties, recently divorced.  She has a whole sleeve of tattoos on one of her arms and she makes a living as a Font Designer.  And she looks exactly like Reese Witherspoon.  Her voice is unique, different from what we‘re used to from females on American Idol – part Nelly Furtado, part old-timey jazz singer.  While, technically, she doesn‘t have the best or the strongest voice, Corkrey has an aura about her that has inspired both scorn and admiration.  Both of her performances in the Top 36 were adored by the judges, who have loved her since her very first audition.  A recipient of one of the Wild Card slots, it remains to be seen if America will get on board with her vibe.  If they do, she could be a sleeper. American Idol 8: Analyzing the Top 13 - Main PageAmerican Idol 8: The Official Top 13 Slideshow Read more »
I‘m all for people being nice.  It‘s a good thing.  However, it shouldn‘t be any sort of factor in a competition like American Idol.  Michael Sarver is a family man, a working class dude, a likable guy who happens to have a pretty good singing voice.  He didn‘t wow anybody in his very first audition, made his way through Hollywood due to his winning personality and was somehow voted into the Top 13 by America following an OK performance in the Top 36 round.  As heartwarming as his presence in the Top 13 might be, his potential isn‘t very high.  He has neither the talent or performing ability to win the competition, which makes his inclusion over other, better singers all the more unfortunate. American Idol 8: Analyzing the Top 13 - Main PageAmerican Idol 8: The Official Top 13 Slideshow Read more »
This could get difficult.  Scott MacIntyre could become one of the most interesting American Idol contestants ever, and it might eventually get uncomfortable. Scott is blind, was born that way, and has gotten by swimmingly in life without his sight.  He graduated college while still a teenager.  He‘s a classically-trained pianist.  He‘s released a number of albums of original compositions.  Scott is modest, likable, and a great story.  Unfortunately, he‘s not a great singer.  He‘s a good singer, with a workable utilitarian voice, but not the kind of pipes you want from an American Idol contender.  I don‘t want to come off as insensitive, but I think it needs to be said – if Scott wasn‘t blind, he wouldn‘t have made the Top 13.  Not that I think it‘s terrible that he has made it, just that Idol has created a situation that could get hairy in a month or so.  Will the judges have the cajones to criticize the blind guy if he gives a bad performance?  How is Idol supposed handle it if Scott avoids elimination simply because America sympathizes with him? American Idol 8: Analyzing the Top 13 - Main PageAmerican Idol 8: The Official Top 13 Slideshow Read more »
Little blonde girl Alexis Grace hit the stage on American Idol 8‘s first Top 36 performance episode a relatively anonymous no-name and left a serious contender for the Idol crown.  Grace had received a fair share of screen time over the audition episodes, but failed to make much of an impression.  She was implored by the judges to dirty herself and her image up some before she performed in Hollywood.  While the transformation was strictly cosmetic, Alexis managed to outshine most everyone and gave a great performance.  She was voted in by America – no small feat, given the fact that her screen time wasn‘t significant and that she performed early in the episode.  It remains to be seen whether Alexis was just a one-performance wonder or if she‘ll have some staying power, but she at least has our interests piqued. American Idol 8: Analyzing the Top 13 - Main PageAmerican Idol 8: The Official Top 13 Slideshow Read more »
American Idol 8 is about to get good.  Not that it hasn‘t been good so far but, really, the first two months are always about getting to where we are now - The Top 12...I mean, The Top 13.  The theme weeks begin, every remaining contestant performs on every show, and only one person gets eliminated at a time.  American Idol 8, despite some naysayers, should be interesting the rest of the way.  There are a number of diverse performers, all of whom at least bring some potential to the show.  This is also the point where those singers who can also play instruments are allowed to show America exactly what they can bring to the table.  Now that we have the finalists set, we thought it‘d be a good time to go in-depth and look at each and every one of the finalists individually.  Consider this a primer for the real season of American Idol, which will begin in earnest on Tuesday.  Below you will find links to an analysis of each and every one of the Top 13 American Idol finalists.  Read more »
Do you consider yourself an American Idol expert? Do you think you have a grasp on the will of the American public? Are you a master at predicting the eliminated contestant? Luckily for you, BuddyTV has the perfect place for you to show off your skills! Join our Fantasy TV Leagues.Now that the final 13 have been chosen, we‘ve set up a fantasy league for anyone to join. The concept is simple: you pick who you think will be dismissed each week after the performances. It‘s America‘s votes that count, so you have to put aside your own personal biases and make the right decision. Read more »
Is everyone excited for American Idol‘s Top 13?  The real season of American Idol kicks off tonight, with each of the Top 13 contestants performing for the first time on the big stage.  This being the case, we thought it‘d be a good time to take stock of which singers have the best chance of winning the American Idol crown.  Now, here‘s how I concocted my American Idol 8 Power Rankings: This is not a list of my favorites, nor is it a prediction of who will finish in what place.  It is a ranking, in order, of who I think has the best chance to win it all.  There are some singers who could be eliminated the first week who also have an outside shot to win it all.  There are some singers who could finish in the Top 6 but have little to no chance of emerging as the ultimate Idol champion.  The potential of these contestants varies wildly, and that was taken into account while I made the below rankings. Also, be sure to take advantage of one of our newest features here at BuddyTV.  After taking a gander at the Rankings Slideshow, you can rearrange the slides to create your very own rankings.  Once you‘ve done that, you can see the consensus user list, and compare your list to the original list and the lists created by other users.  It‘s a jolly good time.  The link to the slideshow can be found below. Read more »
Why, hello, everyone.  It is once again that time of year, the time of year when American Idol becomes exciting, when viewers start to form their rooting interests, trends begin to emerge, singers get comfortable and put on great performances, instruments are used and the theme weeks commence.  I can‘t help it - I am legitimately excited for tonight‘s two-hour performance episode, especially because the theme is Michael Jackson.  How much of the MJ songbook will be available remains to be seen, but considering Jackson‘s reported financial troubles, it‘s possible that everything is there for the taking, from "Rock With You" to "Black or White."  Having to choose an MJ song is an intriguing task for our Top 13, and definitely gives some contestants an advantage (Anoop Desai, Lil Rounds), while it could baffle some others (Scott MacIntyre, Megan Corkrey).  It should be a lot of fun. If you want to get a little more invested in American Idol this season, we‘ve set up an awesome new Idol Fantasy League which you can read about and sign up for here.As always, I will be here throughout the live broadcast of the performance show, attempting to corrupt the youth of America with my live thoughts.  Follow along, comment in the comment section below, ruthlessly mock my opinions - just enjoy.  It‘ll be good times.American Idol 8: Top 13 Performance RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Top 13 Perform - Episode in Review Read more »
John Kubicek, you will be vanquished this season.  You are the Washington Generals and I am the Harlem Globetrotters.  You are eyes and I am mace.  You are cookies and I am the Cookie Monster.  Our American Idol 8 Elimination Predictions begin in full force today, as the Top 13 will soon become the Top 11.  In our latest edition of the John vs. Oscar Podcast, we talked in length about the Top 13 Performance Episode that aired last night, who impressed us, who didn‘t, and who we believe will be sent eliminated and sent home to a life of devastating anonymity.  There is a new wrinkle - you all can now play along with John vs. Oscar.  Our American Idol Fantasy TV League is under way.  Make your predictions for who you believe will be eliminated from American Idol 8 tonight.  Points will be tabulated by us, and automatically updated in the league after every elimination.  So, now, not only can I lose to John, I can lose to everyone else.  I‘m an equal-opportunity idiot.  The podcast can be listened to below in mp3 form.  It‘s good one.  I crush John. American Idol 8: Top 13 Performance RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Top 13 Perform - Episode in Review Read more »
Simon Cowell, when alluding to the big shiny new twist that will be unveiled tonight, admitted that America might not be happy with the change in format, because it gives more power to the judges.  American Idol has, for all I know, stayed consistent with how they‘ve eliminated singers since the beginning - America votes and that is that.  Doesn‘t matter what the judges think, doesn‘t matter if the person with the lowest votes has potential, or was sick, or had a bad night - they were gone, logic and reason be damned.  This has been one of American Idol‘s key characteristics - America acts as the judge, the jury and the executioner.  If American Idol changes into a So You Think You Can Dance type format, where the judges get to choose who goes home out of the bottom three, well, I don‘t think that‘s a good thing.  I‘ll give American Idol the benefit of the doubt, but I fear that the SYTYCD format will begin tonight.  Either way, two contestants are going home tonight, and they could come from any one of, by my count, seven singers - Scott MacIntyre, Megan Corkrey, Anoop Desai, Jasmine Murray, Kris Allen, Michael Sarver and Jorge Nunez.  Keep your interweb dial tuned to BuddyTV tonight, because I‘ll be here throughout the live results show, squashing live thoughts like Mario squashes Goombas.American Idol 8: Season in Review - Jasmine MurrayAmerican Idol 8: Season in Review - Jorge NuñezAmerican Idol 8: Top 13 Performance Rankings Read more »
It‘s the pointlessness of it all, the protracted futility of the entire process. It must be devastating for the first two eliminated singers from the big stage.  Jasmine Murray and Jorge Nunez will not be famous, they will not get record deals.  They will be forgotten, footnotes in American Idol lore.  I suppose there are worse things, like being eliminated in Hollywood or during the Top 36, but I‘m not so sure if being torn asunder during the Top 13 is more desirable than dying an earlier, less public, less scrutinized death.  For example, take the plight of Jasmine Murray. American Idol 8: Season in Review - Jasmine MurrayAmerican Idol 8: Season in Review - Jorge NuñezAmerican Idol 8: Top 13 Performance Rankings Read more »
Billboard.com reported that Kelly Clarkson’s fourth album "All I Ever Wanted” led Nielsen SoundScan‘s March 11 Building chart. That sets her on track to debut the album at the number one spot. Her lead-off single “My Life Would Suck Without You” spent two weeks at the number one spot on the Billboard charts earlier this year.Clarkson’s album will be competing with U2’s “No Line on the Horizon,” Taylor Swift’s “Fearless,” and Lady GaGa’s climbing album “The Fame.” Fellow American Idol winner Taylor Hicks also released his newest album “The Distance” the same day. Corbin Bleu from High School Musical also came out with his solo album “Speed of Light,” which doesn’t have the slightest chance of taking over the American Idol Queen. Read more »
The NY Daily News published a story today in which a supposed American Idol “insider” - a female who works on the show – claims that the American Idol producers have already decided on who the final four contestants will be this season.  This female staffer claims the final four WILL BE Adam Lambert, Danny Gokey, Lil Rounds and Alexis Grace, and that the Idol producers really want Danny and Alexis to be the ultimate final two.  The article makes it appear as if this unnamed female employee of American Idol knows for a fact that the producers will manipulate the show to make those be the final four.  In reality, this is all a load of crap.  It‘s not true, and gossip columnists should generally be ignored. American Idol 8: Top 11 Power RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Analyzing the Top 13 Read more »
Who will it be tonight, friends?  American Idol is down to eleven contestants, and after tonight we will almost certainly be down to ten (the judges could conceivably use their Save tonight, but we all know that‘s highly unlikely).  The Grand Ole Opry theme wasn‘t as disastrous as it could have been, considering American Idol‘s past dalliances in the country genre.  A few singers were surprisingly great (Anoop Desai, Kris Allen), others disappointing (Lil Rounds, Alexis Grace), and Adam Lambert gave one of the most bizarre performances the Idol stage has ever seen. So, all in all, a good two hours of TV.  Tonight, Carrie Underwood will perform, along with some other country singers I don‘t really care about (sharpen those knives, country fans).  My prediction for elimination is Michael Sarver, but that is mostly based on my befuddlement at his inclusion in the Top 13 in the first place.  America is seeing something I‘m not, apparently.  So, strap in as I expel live brain droppings onto the interwebs.  Hang out, read along, let us know your predictions.  It will be a grand ol‘ time.American Idol 8: Season in Review - Alexis GraceAmerican Idol 8: John vs. Oscar - Top 11 Elimination PredictionsAmerican Idol 8: Top 11 Performance Rankings Read more »
The Grand Ole Opry theme proved a mild success in a lot of ways.  It gave us a good feel for how creative the Top 11 on American Idol can be with their song choices and arrangements.  It allowed a couple of singers to really emerge and show us that they‘re better than what we‘ve seen previously.  And, perhaps most importantly, it made clear the distinction between the contenders and the pretenders.  There is a very apparent line between who can win American Idol this season, and who has very little chance to do so.  My colleague John "The Drobber" Kubicek and I discuss the events of Grand Ole Opry night in today‘s John vs. Oscar podcast.  We also make our predictions for who will be eliminated.  If I could toot my own horn here for a second - I dominated John last week, predicting both eliminated contestants correctly.  This week, our predictions differ once more. American Idol 8: Top 11 Performance RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Top 11 Perform - Episode in Review You can hear the full audio of the podcast below.  You will like it, especially if you watch American Idol. Read more »
American Idol almost has as much to do with adapting as it does with actual singing, especially in the position the Top 11 find themselves in now.  Though I find this group of singers both more interesting and more talented that the previous two batches, success still hinges more on singing different genres ably, as opposed to singing a specific genre well.  It‘s better to be middle of the pack in both country and R&B, for instance, than be great in one and sub-par in the other.  Whether that makes the competition fair, unfair or something else entirely isn‘t worth discussing now, but I‘m looking forward to whatever ends up happening on tonight‘s American Idol performance episode.  The remaining eleven contestants will be performing songs from members of the Grand Ole Opry, which is a fancy way of saying "Country Week."  I have my qualms with modern country music, but there are some classics among the song choices (whose leaked list you can peruse via the below link).  Most intriguing sub-plot of the night: Will anybody have the stones to sing Trace Adkins‘ immortal tune "Honky Tonk Bedonkadonk?"  If there is a god, someone will - preferably Scott MacIntyre.  (And, oh yeah - that‘s Randy Travis in the above picture, who will be tonight‘s mentor.  He looks pretty ornery.)I will be here, sitting on a chair, hocking live thoughts in your general direction throughout this evening‘s festivities.  Grab a Guinness, an Irish lass or two, eat some potatoes, and join in on the fun.  And what wonderful fun it will be.  Comment, mock, predict, argue, anything you want in the comment section below. American Idol 8: Top 11 Perform - Episode in ReviewAmerican Idol 8: Top 11 Song Predictions, Plus Leaked Song ListAmerican Idol 8: Top 11 Power Rankings Read more »
Editor‘s Note: This is a weekly guest post from the TV staff at Film.com. Check back here on Wednesdays for more Film.com stories about your favorite shows: Big Brother, The Amazing Race, Dancing with the Stars, Survivor, American Idol and America‘s Next Top Model.By Susan Young, Film.comSimon Cowell’s never stingy with his opinions or his advice, but what was up with that warning last week to Kris Allen that he should have kept the cute wife under wraps at least for a few more weeks?It sounded like we took a Lost time travel back to the glory days of Hollywood when gay actors like Rock Hudson and Richard Chamberlain had to be seen with pretty young starlets, or married hunks had to push the wife and kids out of the picture so their swooning fans could believe they had a chance to score with a celeb. Read more »
Going from Michael Jackson to country music is quite a leap, but that‘s what the Top 11 of American Idol will be doing tonight.  This week‘s theme is Grand Ole Opry (Randy Travis will act as the mentor), which means the Top 11 will sing songs by members of the Grand Ole Opry.  Thanks to the ravenous samurai over at Vote For The Worst, who leaked the song list that the Top 11 will choose from this week, we have a good idea of who might sing what.  You can check out the full leaked song list below.  Not being well-versed in country music, I had to diligently take a listen to each and every song from the below list (not being a nincompoop, I am familiar with Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash and the like, but modern country music may as well be a foreign language).  After listening, I concocted my predictions, which you can view in Slideshow form via the below link.  American Idol 8: Top 11 Song Predictions - Grand Ole Opry Theme WeekAmerican Idol 8: Top 11 Power Rankings Read more »
That’s right. Even after country week stormed on thru, Adam Lambert still remains top dog (no offense Anoop). If you ask any casual viewer to name the contestants, every single one of them could tell you Adam’s full name. With the others, we get things like “that one girl, her name’s Allison, right?” or “the cute one with the guitar.” I don’t know what it is about Lambert, but he’s capturing the attention of America.The truth is, Lambert’s been performing most of his life. He wants to be a star and he’s honed his craft. The truth is, next to Adam Lambert, the other contestants on American Idol Season 8 look like amateurs. Adam’s aware of the camera in a way the others aren’t. He knows how to work the audience in a way the others don’t. He’s gliding by and having a laugh on the way. Read more »
Motown is awesome.  Anyone who complains about American Idol once again going back to the well for Motown Week is no friend of mine.  As I stated oh so presciently and oh so brilliantly above, Motown is awesome.  Much of America‘s best music was created during the classic Motown era, it was hugely influential in the development of pop music and it‘s full of great, great songs that any legitimate artist can adapt to their own style.  Motown Week is a true test of the American Idol contestants‘ ability to make a song their own.  I can‘t blame a person for failing at kicking a Grand Ole Opry song‘s ass.  But, if you get to choose from the likes of The Four Tops, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, The Jackson 5, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and all the stray tracks from the more anonymous Motown acts, and still fail to put on a good show for America, you really have no excuses.  Maybe singing isn‘t for you.  So, yeah, I‘m really looking forward to Motown Week on American Idol and I hope you are too.American Idol 8: Top 10 Power RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Top 11 Performance Rankings Read more »
Here‘s what I think is the life of a very famous rock star: write songs, get them recorded, go on tour, connect with fans, and perhaps deal with those who have stepped the line.  They do say it‘s part of the deal, with so many people running the gamut—from admiring you to wanting to be with you to, most definitely, something worse.  That could elicit different reactions from the big names themselves.  Beef up security, stop performing altogether… well, maybe not that drastic.Well, American Idol winner David Cook has decided to take a pretty surprising move, by actually asking fans, or at least the more aggressive ones, to respect his privacy.  “We pride ourselves on being accessible to you as fans, but in contrast, we do enjoy what little privacy we can muster,” he wrote on his MySpace blog, through an entry simply titled "Attention".  “The efforts by some fans to find our hotel rooms, call our hotel rooms, attach things to our bus … is something I have to condemn.” Read more »
This week‘s American Idol only starts tonight, thanks to Fox covering yet another press conference President Obama has called.   It‘s been the second time this year, and while I understand the need for the media to cover what the government is saying, with all the economic issues and everything else, I find it slightly funny that the show‘s been slightly derailed by these press conferences.And it‘s somewhat funnier to hear that show judge Simon Cowell hopes to have the president himself appear on an episode of Idol.  “We‘re trying to get him to do a show at the moment,” he said in a phone interview with a British radio station.  “I did get a name check from him tonight.  He was on The Tonight Show talking about how everyone in Washington is a critic and then he said: ‘Unfortunately they‘re all like Simon Cowell.‘  I‘m not sure if it‘s a compliment or not.”  (You can hear the full interview by clicking here.) Read more »
American Idol 8 heads to the mean streets of Motown tonight.  As opposed to Grand Ole Opry week, in which significant portions of the American populace were unfamiliar with the songs being sung, Motown Week should be saturated with golden oldies, songs ingrained in our collective brains even if we all aren‘t Motown fans, per se, thanks to decades of cultural osmosis and, more specifically, "The Big Chill" soundtrack.  As with any week featuring a bevy of sacred, timeless music, there will be a few great performances and a couple horrid ones (conjecture, maybe, but even though I think this Top 10 is quite talented, do you really think Scott MacIntyre and Michael Sarver will be able to pull off Motown?).  This week‘s mentor is Smokey Robinson, a man who recorded a handful of classics back in the golden years of Motown.  Even if he‘s not helpful, he‘s still pretty cool, even if he did appear in those stupid Dr. Pepper commercials a couple years back.  What can we expect tonight?  What should we be looking for? American Idol 8: Motown Week Song Choice PredictionsAmerican Idol 8: Top 10 Power Rankings Read more »
Well, here are the song spoilers for tonight, if this is something you‘re interested in.  Big ups to the crafty spies over at Joes Place Blog, who had a reader infiltrate tonight‘s dress rehearsal.  You guys rock.  Anyway, the spoilers are below, with some commentary after:American Idol 8: Top 10 Perform, Live ThoughtsAmerican Idol 8: Motown Week Song Choice PredictionsAmerican Idol 8: Top 10 Power Rankings Read more »
The Top 10 of American Idol were flown to Detroit, Michigan a few days back to get a taste of Motown, for this week is Motown Week.  I don‘t care what the judges say (the hypocrisy of Simon telling singers that they need to sound more modern when they‘re performing forty year-old tunes, blah blah blah), because I love Motown.  Smokey Robinson is the mentor tonight, a worthy member of Motown lore, and dammit, I‘m actually pretty excited.  This batch of singers we have on American Idol this season are capable of quality, diverse performances and I‘m anticipating a solid night.  Michael Sarver is my early choice for elimination, but I‘ve been wrong at every turn when it comes to Michael‘s survival chances, so it‘ll probably be someone I like going home.  Nonetheless, strap in and prepare for a bombardment of super bad ass live thoughts.  Check in and comment along if you so choose.  It will be quite the raucous party. American Idol 8: Top 10 Perform - Episode in ReviewAmerican Idol 8: Motown Week Song Choice PredictionsAmerican Idol 8: Top 10 Power Rankings Read more »
To be honest, I don‘t really care much about group performances on American Idol.  I get the point, but I didn‘t tune in to watch ten-something people sing around awkward choreography—besides, the show isn‘t about multiple winners, right?  There can only be one (official) winner for each season.   And, well, I came for the results, to see who gets eliminated, or in this year‘s case, if anybody will.So I was a little surprised when I came across this admission, from the folks at Idol themselves, that the group performances—at least for this year—are prerecorded.   I‘m actually surprised that there‘s an outcry over this.  Perhaps, like some Idol viewers, I never really bothered to find out. Read more »
American Idol disappoints me sometimes.  Really a lot.  They are the biggest moneymaker on television.  They have the means to purchase the rights to any song they want.  And, yet, it‘s not difficult to figure out that the list of Motown songs given to the Top 10 wasn‘t terribly expansive.  Were there even twenty possible song choices on the list?  Look at the breakdown: two Marvin Gaye songs, two Smokey Robinson songs, and three Temptations songs were performed last night.  Where were The Four Tops?  The Spinners?  Lionel Richie?  For younger fans, it might seem like there were only a few actual Motown artists when, in fact, there were ton of great songs by lesser known acts, songs that would have been nice to hear on a forum as extensive as American Idol‘s.  Nonetheless, the upper tier of this year‘s crop of Idol talent did not disappoint. American Idol 8: Motown Week Song Choice PredictionsAmerican Idol 8: Top 10 Performance Rankings Read more »
Last week, my colleague John "The Truth" Kubicek took the American Idol Fantasy TV lead on me by correctly predicting Alexis Grace to go home.  I will admit that it was a very shrewd prediction, and I should have seen it coming.  This week, however, will be different.  Once again, we have chosen different contestants for elimination on American Idol, and after tonight I will retake my rightful place atop the Fantasy Idol mountain.  Kubicek doesn‘t stand a chance.  This week‘s John vs. Oscar podcast covers a wide array of topics, as we discuss every performance from last night and make our elimination predictions.  Oh, and John attempts to offend everyone person living in the middle part of the country.  Listen to the podcast below.  You will enjoy it.American Idol 8: Motown Week Song Choice PredictionsAmerican Idol 8: Top 10 Performance Rankings Read more »
It is rare to enter into an American Idol results show knowing exactly who the bottom three are going to be.  But, that is the case this evening, as there is a 99.9% chance that Megan Corkrey, Scott MacIntyre and Michael Sarver will comprise the lowest segment of the American Idol totem pole.  However, out of those three, it is completely up in the air for who is going home.  After predicting Michael Sarver to be eliminated for most of the day, I changed my mind a few hours ago just in time to change my American Idol Fantasy TV picks.  Now, I‘m predicting Scott MacIntyre to take that long, lonely road out of Hollywood.  Ultimately, it was the pink pants that put him over the edge.  Smokey Robinson will be performing on the Idol stage tonight, along with former American Idol champion Ruben Studdard.  So, that‘s something.  And, as always, I will be here throughout the show, updating live, sharing my inane opinions and complaining about the lip-synced group songs.  Screw the NCAA Tournament.  It‘s American Idol.  Read along, comment your faces off and have a good time. American Idol 8: Motown Week Song Choice PredictionsAmerican Idol 8: Top 10 Performance Rankings Read more »
There have been a lot of theme weeks in American Idol‘s long and prosperous life.  Some are difficult, painting the singers into uncomfortable and unfair corners.  Some are wide-ranging, allowing for a diverse group of contestants to sing a diverse group of songs.  The theme that American Idol‘s Top 9 will have to adhere to next has (kind of) been leaked onto the internets, and it is somewhere in the middle.  It was initially though that the nine American Idol finalists would have to choose a song from ITunes current Top 100 Song Downloads.  100 seems like a lot of songs to choose from, but when you take a machete to the list and remove all the hip/hop and dance tunes that make no sense for the finalists, you‘re not left with much.  No one is going to sing any Kanye West or Eminem.  However, Paula Abdul said on a radio show a few days back that it will not be the current list of Top 100 Downloads, but the All-Time Top 100 ITunes downloads.  Now, there is no confirmation on this.  When your only source is Paula Abdul‘s whiskey-soaked voice, you‘re going to want to wait for real confirmation from somewhere else. American Idol 8: Top 9 Power RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Motown Week Song Choice Predictions Read more »
American Idol this year has seen former contestants return to the stage every results night—we‘ve seen Kelly Clarkson on week one, Carrie Underwood on (predictably) week two, and (still sweaty) Ruben Studdard on week three.  This week, it‘s the turn of last year‘s winner, David Cook, taking a break from his nationwide tour to perform live on the American Idol stage on Wednesday night.American Idol 8: Top 9 Power RankingsIt‘s going to be a pretty hectic week for Cook; his Idol performance will be sandwiched between two stops on his Declaration Tour, held in Southern Connecticut State University and Wilmington University, in North Carolina, respectively.   (That‘s two coast-to-coast plane flights. Eeep.)  The performance coincides with the release of his latest single, “Come Back To Me”, today. Read more »
A few weeks back, pictures emerged on the internet showing American Idol contestant Adam Lambert making out with anonymous men.  There wasn‘t much uproar.  Sure, a handful of people were put off, because two dudes making out is still bothersome to a subset of the population, plain gross to others and a kick in the crotch to mankind for a small, but significant population of modern zealots.  But, the truth was clear: Adam Lambert, in all likelihood, is a gay man.  There were the telling cliches from the beginning of his emergence into the spotlight (the hair, the make-up, the theater background, the slightly effeminate way of speaking, all the things that set off a layperson‘s gaydar), but it wasn‘t an accepted truth until those pictures were released.  The matter-of-fact way in which this information has been handled by internet folks is encouraging, a sign of an evolving populous, accepting and open to the homosexual lifestyle, a transition that has been ongoing in our culture, despite occasional atrocities like Prop 8 in California.  American Idol has a somewhat shameful past regarding gay contestants, however, and Adam Lambert presents the Idol enterprise with an opportunity for atonement.  Will they take that opportunity, or will they ignore it? American Idol 8: ITunes Theme Week Song PredictionsAmerican Idol 8: Top 9 Power Rankings Read more »
Eliminated American Idol finalist Michael Sarver began his trip to the top—yeah, we all know this already—as an oil rig worker somewhere in Texas, who dropped by to audition.  The rest, as we all say, is history—he went to the Top 36, then to the Top 13, and found himself eliminated after doing something bad off a Motown song.But, obviously, that doesn‘t mean Michael will be consigned to history, either.  If he had his way, he‘d bid goodbye to something totally different: the oil rig.  He‘ll be abandoning his former career to pursue one in the music industry.American Idol 8: ITunes Theme Week Song PredictionsAmerican Idol 8: Top 9 Power Rankings Read more »
Here are the song spoilers for tonight‘s show everyone.  We got them thanks to the wonderfully evil spies over at Music Is the Heart of Our Soul.  Check them out below: American Idol 8: ITunes Theme Week Song PredictionsWill ‘American Idol‘ Let Adam Lambert Be Gay?American Idol 8: Top 9 Power Rankings Read more »
Editor‘s Note: This is a weekly guest post from the TV staff at Film.com. Check back here on Wednesdays for more Film.com stories about your favorite shows: Big Brother, The Amazing Race, Dancing with the Stars, Survivor, American Idol and America‘s Next Top Model.By Susan Young, Film.comSo it has come to this, a 16-year-old rocker chick is the one trying to shame Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul into acting like adults.What are these people and why are they getting away with this juvenile crap? Last week, the flaming-haired Allison Iraheta tore up the stage with her banging rendition of “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” during a Motown showdown. Admittedly, there were few high points during the show that included Danny Gokey disregarding the advice of legend Smokey Robinson – and turning in a less than stellar performance because of it – and Lil Rounds disappointing us all by singing the poppy “Heat Wave” instead of something with more range. Read more »
I love me some Motown, I can handle old-school country, and there isn‘t a rational human I know who can‘t get down to classic Michael Jackson.  American Idol chose well in its first three theme weeks of the season.  This week, I don‘t know.  It could be a train wreck.  The theme remains vague even at this hour - ITunes Top 100 Downloads.  Everyone‘s best guess is that the American Idol contestants had to choose from a list of ITunes Top 100 song downloads of all-time.  This means that tonight we will be hearing a litany of modern pop music which, for the sake of transparency, is a genre that I do not like very much.  Not at all.  When you look at the list, there‘s far too much Britney Spears.  There‘s a lot of hip/hop (which I generally do enjoy, but is obviously useless to the American Idol singers), and what‘s left is a smattering of random radio hits.  It could be good if the Idol singers put their own spin on things.  Most importantly, they will need to choose very, very wisely.  Also, we‘ll see if we can find some song spoilers for all of you before the show starts.  So, once again, I, Oscar Dahl, will coxswain our watercraft down the treacherous, murky waters of tonight‘s American Idol Performance Show, shouting live thoughts at the masses with the subtlety of a drunken hobo on a soapbox.  Please play along, comment below, have fun, be safe, wear a life vest.  American Idol 8: Top 9 Perform - Episode in ReviewWill ‘American Idol‘ Let Adam Lambert Be Gay?American Idol 8: Top 9 Power Rankings Read more »
We watched American Idol last night and probably thought that nothing was up—it was a pretty blah week performance-wise, not as challenging as the previous weeks, and the numbers weren’t really everybody’s best.  It was, beyond that, quite ordinary.But after the show, I got word that Danny Gokey—who performed Rascal Flatts’ “What Hurts the Most”—apparently went through yet another family tragedy over the weekend.   It was not mentioned on Idol, neither from Danny or the judges or Ryan, which is a little surprise considering the preference towards more personal stories as of late—he, after all, auditioned weeks after the death of his wife.  An online trawl confirms the news: Danny’s grandfather died last week, and he flew back to his hometown over the weekend to attend his funeral.American Idol 8: Top 9 Performance Rankings Read more »
It‘s no secret that, at times, the judges on American Idol actively attempt to skew the voting.  To what degree they attempt to do so is the question many a foolish pundit has pondered (I count myself among that group).  If you remember, last season‘s final performance show set off conspiracy claims – Did Simon Cowell use reverse psychology on America, tricking them into voting for David Cook by criticizing him much more harshly than was clearly deserved?  Maybe - I certainly think so.  Oblique Jedi Mind Tricks aside, what role should the judges play on American Idol?  Ideally, they would give their honest, knee-jerk opinion, try to remain unswayed by their fellow judges and give fair and helpful critiques.  Unfortunately, the state of American Idol judging has become a quagmire of absolute nonsense.  The criticisms conflict on a week to week basis, the basis for judgment is different for the various contestants, they pimp their favorites, and often times act like buffoons who don‘t give a crap about their jobs.  It‘s become a major issue. American Idol 8: Top 9 Performance RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Top 9 - Episode In Review Read more »
Every week BuddyTV offers expert analysis on who will be eliminated on American Idol.  See who BuddyTV users and our own experts think will get booted this week, then make your own picks at American Idol Fantasy TV.American Idol 8: Top 9 Performance RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Top 9 - Episode In Review Read more »
American Idol gave us a confusing smattering of Top 40 performances last night.  It didn‘t help that the judges were frustratingly schizophrenic.  When it comes to predicting the American Idol eliminated contestant, there are myriad aspects to consider.  Will any of the judges‘ harsh criticism make a fan base rise up and unite in voting glory?  Was anyone completely forgettable?  How much of an effect will performance order have?  At what point do the viewers ignore the judges‘ comments and vote with their brains?  I, Oscar Dahl, and my loyal colleague John "Walkin‘ on Sunshine" Kubicek broke down last night‘s American Idol performance episode in an exciting and jubilant podcast this morning.  Once again, John and I disagree on who is going home, which should allow me to overtake Ol‘ Kubes in American Idol‘s Fantasy TV league.  Check out the full mp3 of the podcast below.  You will not be disappointed.  We make fun of the judges quite a bit.Casting ‘American Idol 8: The Movie‘American Idol 8: Top 9 Performance RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Top 9 - Episode in Review Read more »
(Before I begin, let me post a disclaimer: the next three paragraphs were written before the results night last night, and was supposed to imply that Paula leaked next week’s American Idol theme.   And then, while watching last night, Ryan Seacrest suddenly blurts out next week’s theme—and this article has gone into disarray.  Well, almost.  In an act of half-defiance, I’ll post the article as is, with this disclaimer in front.  My speculation at the end shouldn’t go to waste.  Okay.   Ready?  Begin.)Paula Abdul is at it again.  We half-heard from her over the past few days that this week’s theme will be, as we all know already, top downloads from iTunes (or, as some have put it, open mic night).  This time, she’s spilled the beans about American Idol’s theme next week—and I’m actually hoping that it’s better than it sounds.American Idol 8: Top 9, Live ResultsAmerican Idol 8: Season in Review - Megan JoyCasting ‘American Idol 8: The Movie‘ Read more »
Megan Joy was eliminated from American Idol last night, and as part of the eliminated contestants media duties, Megan took part in a media conference call this morning.  Below you will find the most interesting tidbits from that conference call, in bullet form.  Please enjoy. Read more »
Megan Joy had it coming.  The single mom from Utah with the voice of a 1930‘s jazz singer wasn‘t meant for American Idol.  I do admire the show for allowing her entrance into the Top 13, at least.  Think about your favorites musical artists.  Think about the lead singers in your favorite bands.  Would they do well on American Idol?  Some of them would, but I suspect most wouldn‘t.  Despite all the superfluous nonsense that American Idol comes with every season, in the end, as the judges are prone to remind us, it is a singing competition.  And, based on pure singing ability, Megan Joy was completely out of her league.  After hearing her in the Top 36, this wasn‘t much of a surprise.  The judges alluded to Megan having troubles during Hollywood Week which, given what we know now, also isn‘t terribly surprising.  But, and this is where Idol deserves credit, they saw something in Megan.  She was different, she was unique, and they took a flier on that untapped talent.  They hoped she would improve and become something that Idol hadn‘t ever seen.  Ultimately, it didn‘t work out (and some call it an utter disaster), but at least it was worth a try.  Read more »
Here are the current standings for American Idol Fantasy TV.American Idol Fantasy TV Leaderboard:1. (t) Cheqs (9250 points)1. (t) Fireplace Man (9250 points)1. (t) gptwv (9250 points)1. (t) SummerGlitch (9250 points)1. (t) nukunuku21 (9250 points)6. (t) lisanelson (8500 points)6. (t) NathanielODell2 (8500 points)6. (t) jerrynepacina (8500 points)9. (t) jvince (8000 points)9. (t) HouseJunkie (8000 points) Read more »
What surprises await us tonight?  Alexis Grace was thrust into the tour-less abyss of anonymity two weeks ago, leaving most American Idol viewers properly shocked.  Last week, it was Matt Giraud that felt the brunt of Idol‘s surprise results, finding himself in the bottom two despite a series of good to great performances.  Who gets tossed into American Idol‘s iron maiden tonight?  Will it be another shock?  Or will the shock be that there is no shock?  Megan Joy and Scott MacIntyre appear the most likely to be eliminated tonight on American Idol, and yet, there‘s Anoop Desai sitting there in the corner, hoping and praying that Idol‘s Hand of Death can‘t find him.  Maybe it will be Allison Iraheta who Seacrest will read the bad news to tonight.  I have predicted Mr. MacIntyre to be eliminated tonight, while my arch-nemesis John "Keyser Soze" Kubicek went out on a limb and predicted an early departure for Noop Dog.  Let us all join hands and get ready for another exciting (read: filler-filled) night of American Idol results.  I will be your captain this evening, pointing out the scenery ("If you look to your right, you will see David Cook!"), and gestating the results live as they come in.  Enjoy, and please share your comments below.  Read more »
Kris Allen‘s just a dude.  A talented dude, who happens to be handsome and one of the stars of American Idol 8, but a dude nonetheless.  Witness his modest persona, his choice to wear a t-shirt and jeans on Tuesday when most everyone else was dressed up in outfits ranging from professional to the obscene.  Kris was content to take the stage in an outfit he could potentially wear out to a dive bar later that evening.  American Idol is a marathon, not a sprint.  David Cook, Jordin Sparks – the last two winners of American Idol came on steadily throughout their seasons, reaching their peaks at the right time, not exerting themselves too early.  If anyone is poised to replicate the slow burn of those last two American Idol champions this season, it‘s Kris Allen.  Adam Lambert is the singer who immediately makes his presence clear among this season‘s batch of contestants.  He‘s dynamic, loud, impossible to ignore.  Kris Allen, contrarily, is the Da Vinci to Lambert‘s Jackson Pollock, plain, maybe boring at first, but more fascinating and brilliant the closer you look.    Read more »
Megan Joy is no more, having flown away, cawing relentlessly, back to her Utahan haven, rejoining her progeny and leaving American Idol 8 with only one singer capable of baffling the audience on a weekly basis.  Out of the Top 8, Adam Lambert is the only contestant that is a complete wild card.  Each and every Tuesday, Lambert could go any number of ways and, in all likelihood, the banshee-voiced talent hoarder has another trick or two up his sleeves.  Kris Allen – often great, but consistently, clinically so.  He‘s not going to show up on stage in raccoon eye-liner and sing a Moroccan arrangement of an Eric Clapton song or anything.  Matt Giraud and Anoop Desai are of the either/or variety – they either will sing to their strengths and succeed (blues for Matt, ballads for Anoop) or they‘ll sing to their weaknesses and fail (pop/r&b for Matt, high-tempo r&b for Anoop).  Lil Rounds and Allison Iraheta will do what they do and let their voices carry the load, for better or worse.  Scott MacIntyre will keep working on his hotel lounge performing resume.  Danny Gokey will continue to lead his American congregation in the way only a Gokey could.  Only Lambert brings the madness every week.  But is there any value in that?  Is unpredictability a strength, or is it meaningless?  Read more »
Well, they‘ve done it again.  A brave spy from over at JoesPlace has uncovered the song spoilers for tonight‘s episode of American Idol.  The theme for this week is "Songs From the Year You Were Born" which basically adds up to an 80‘s theme (every member of American Idol‘s Top 8 was born in the eighties save for Allison Iraheta, who was birthed in 1992).  Below you can find the spoilers complete with my analysis.  There are some good decisions being made, as well as a couple of very bad ones.  As always, these spoilers are rumors and not confirmed by any means, so, you know, take them with a grain of salt.Along with the spoilers, I‘ve embedded YouTube videos of each song for your viewing pleasure. Read more »
Danny Gokey can go suck a lemon.  I‘m here at my computer, having listened to each of Gokey‘s American Idol performances from this season on The YouTubes, and I am at a loss.  I do not get it.  Well, sorry – I get it.  I understand why the masses are Gokey fanatics, I understand the appeal of his powerful rasp, his everyman demeanor, his designer glasses.  His wife died – it‘s hard to actively dislike someone when such a tragedy has befallen them in the past year (I‘m doing my best, though).  He‘s got some things going for him, not the least of which is an appealing voice.  But, I‘ve watched these performances over and over, and listened to the judges‘ mostly overwhelming praise (Simon gave him a pounding a couple weeks ago, though for reasons I can‘t fathom; that performance sounded exactly like all the others), and the hype doesn‘t match the product.  This is why Danny can go suck a lemon – his praise has been almost completely undeserved, and it represents one of the great American Idol hypocrisies: contestants are judged on unequal plains.  They are not held to the same standards, and if the Idol judges and producers have, for some reason or another, deemed you worthy, you get considerably more leeway than others.  Read more »
It brings me some semblance of joy to know that two of the remaining American Idol contestants are older than I am.  What makes me depressed is that one of our Top 8, Miss Allison Iraheta, was born in 1992.  I freaking remember 1992!  It‘s Songs From the Year You Were Born week on American Idol, and Allison is eligible to sing Nirvana.  I have never felt older in my life.  If you take away Allison, tonight‘s American Idol performance episode will more or less be an 80‘s Night, with seven of the eight contestants having been born in that great decade.  With Megan Joy out of the picture, where will we get our weirdness from?  Will it be from Scott MacIntyre singing a crappy 80‘s pop song?  Will it be Adam Lambert turning a normal radio hit into an over-the-top monstrosity, beloved by half of America and despised by the other?  The only thing I do know for sure is that it is time for Scott MacIntyre to take the long walk back to Arizona and let the Top 7 go to work.  Once again, I will be your trusty servant for tonight‘s live episode of American Idol.  With cunning and guile, I will conquer tonight‘s episode with the written word, shooting flaming arrows of truth and glory at you all via the internet intertubes.  Stay awhile, maybe post a comment or three below, maybe just read along, maybe openly mock my opinions.  It‘ll be good times regardless. Read more »
A new fad in the world of American Idol fandom is to deride the show‘s director, Bruce Gowers, for his inability to bring in American Idol broadcasts on time.  I tend to agree with all of the hatred spewed towards Gowers, who can‘t pace a live broadcast to save his life.  Last night‘s performance episode of American Idol is a prime example – anyone who DVRed the show ended up missing one of the best performances of the season.  Adam Lambert ended the show with a haunting version of Tears for Fears‘ “Mad World.”  It‘s downright unacceptable for a show as high-profile as American Idol to go nearly ten minutes overtime, as it did last night.  When was the last time American Idol finished when it was supposed to?  I understand the difficulties of producing an epic live broadcast like American Idol, but that only means that Idol should hire the best production staff available.  Bruce Gowers should probably be fired.  OK.  What I‘m going to discuss now involves the Dial Idol results, so if you don‘t want to be spoiled, please read no further.  Read more »
All reasonable humans agree - it is time for Scott MacIntyre to go home.  The blind man from Arizona has done nothing to deserve his spot in the final eight of American Idol.  His performances have left audiences baffled and woozy, the judges have finally turned on him, and he believes that punk music is synonymous with crappy pop songs from the mid-80‘s.  It‘s time to put the man is put out of his misery.  In today‘s podcast, John "Fraggle Rock" Kubicek and I take our anger out on FOX for constantly running way overtime with their broadcasts, discuss the relative merits of Adam Lambert and are jointly disgusted with America‘s lack of support for Kris Allen.  We also make our predictions for elimination, which are, unfortunately, one and the same.  Oh, well, I guess I‘ll have to regain my Fantasy TV lead on Ol‘ Kubers next week.  Please take a listen to the below podcast.  I promise at least a moderate level of enjoyment for any American Idol fan. Read more »
Editor‘s Note: This is a weekly guest post from the TV staff at Film.com. Check back here on Wednesdays for more Film.com stories about your favorite shows: Big Brother, The Amazing Race, Dancing with the Stars, Survivor, American Idol and America‘s Next Top Model.By Susan Young, Film.comYahoo all you little addicted-to-reality-shows buckaroos. Reality stars have gone country and are brining their fans with them.Yep, turns out the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards telecast delivered the largest audience since 1998 and posted double digit percentage increases in all categories versus last year. Read more »
Every week BuddyTV offers expert analysis on who will be eliminated on American Idol.  See who BuddyTV users and our own experts think will get booted this week, then make your own picks at American Idol Fantasy TV. Read more »
Scott MacIntyre believes in himself.  You have to give him credit for that.  Not once did he let any criticisms get to him, and he defended himself at all turns.  This trend continued today in the weekly American Idol conference call with the eliminated contestant.  Listening to Scott answer a variety of questions, it became clear why Scott did make it as far as he did, and why a lot of American Idol contestants do the same: confidence.  To take the American Idol stage live in front of millions of, by nature, judgmental viewers is a difficult prospect to wrap one‘s mind around.  Being blind was just another added variable for Scott.  Below you will find a rundown of what Scott had to say during this morning‘s American Idol conference call. Read more »
Scott MacIntyre would not have been on American Idol this season were he not blind.  It‘s OK to admit this.  No judgment is being made about blind human beings here.  Scott MacIntyre made for a good story.  You always want to root for the blind guy.  Scott MacIntyre was an automatic underdog from the second he appeared on screen, and that‘s going to make for good TV.  The question is whether FOX and the Idol judges did a disservice to the competition by allowing Scott into the Top 36 and, later, the Top 13, when there were better, more talented people left out.  It‘s not an easy question.  Scott MacIntyre never had any chance at winning American Idol.  The judges knew this, the audience knew this, it was no secret.  There‘s no denying that Scott had some level of talent – he was no Sanjaya.  I could see the Idol producers hoping that Scott turned into a Billy Joel type once he got behind that piano.  However, Scott‘s voice, as in tune as he might sing, was lacking.  Couldn‘t the producers have anticipated the awkwardness of Scott‘s presence in the Top 13?  Read more »
The time has come once again to remove an unworthy singer from American Idol.  Has the voting populous gotten it right, though?  In a just world, Scott MacIntyre would be kicked to the curb during tonight‘s broadcast.  If it‘s not Scott, then I could handle the disposal of Lil Rounds, who has shown no signs of being anything more that a girl with a good voice.  But, America and its voters are either tone-deaf or anarchists, because Dial Idol tells us that Kris Allen is the likeliest to be eliminated from American Idol tonight.  It‘s not for sure, Dial Idol isn‘t always totally accurate, but it is a troubling statistic nonetheless.  Why would Scott MacIntyre, who has not sung very well in what is ostensibly a singing competition, be anywhere near Kris Allen in votes?  It is an abomination.  If, in fact, Kris Allen is the lowest vote-getter, it does not mean he will be put out to pasture just yet, however.  The Judges‘ Save has yet to be utilized, and it would be mighty suspicious if the Save was not used on Kris tonight, assuming he does receive the lowest amount of votes.Anyway - Results Show!  MIley Cyrus will perform tonight ("It‘s Miley!"), if that‘s something that interests you.  I will be on hand for all of the proceedings, hooting and hollering at my computer, acting as your digital ferryboat captain as we stroll down the RIver of Idol Dreams.  It will be fun!  It will be joyous!  Comment below, read some stuff, take your socks off - whatever you do, just be safe.  Read more »
Scott MacIntyre is gone, and with seven more contestants remaining, American Idol is getting closer and closer… there.  As for me, I’m trying my hardest to get away from the show for at least one day, not after covering it for the past few months to the point that I’m starting to relate everything to whatever observation I make on the show—that Scott wants a hug, that Kris is shy, that Adam is, well, Adam……but I ramble.  There aren’t really that many secrets being kept this time around, and this early we know a little too many details about this week’s performances.  It’s movie week on American Idol, with songs from perhaps some of the best (or controversial, or forgettable, I don’t know) films of all time being given a spin.  And then there are the more trivial factors: Quentin Tarantino is this week’s mentor, and we’ll have a couple of pre-recorded performances come Wednesday night.  And, as much as things are becoming easier to predict, everything is still up in the air.  So, shall we begin? Read more »
Now imagine Simon Cowell announcing his departure from American Idol.Quite unimaginable, right?  Now, there’s no actual announcement yet, and sure, we’ve heard this time and again, but judging from a recent interview with British tabloid The Daily Mirror, Cowell might let go of one of his television shows—and that could be Idol.He is a very busy man, after all.   The 49-year-old is juggling three shows in his yearly schedule. Apart from judging duties on Idol, he’s also acting as judge on two British reality talent shows: The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent.  The latter just premiered across the pond over the weekend, and considering the way both that show and Idol are going, Cowell could be taking more transatlantic flights than usual. Read more »
American Idol used to commonly be referred to as “American Idol: The Search for a Superstar.”  For whatever reason (probably its unwieldy length), this moniker has disappeared in recent seasons.  But, honestly, searching for the next superstar was never what American Idol was set up to do.  It was a lucky coincidence that Kelly Clarkson won the very first season of American Idol and subsequently set the world on fire.  Because winning Idol is solely up to America and their votes, American Idol is really a popularity contest.  Your typical voter isn‘t thinking about the commercial potential of the different contestants; they‘re concerns lie with the entertainment value given in the televised vacuum of American Idol‘s structure.  Adam Lambert, the most talked about and (possibly) most talented contestant on American Idol 8 has shown an innate ability to succeed in American Idol‘s format.  But, does Adam Lambert‘s success on Idol bring us any insight into his future prospects within the music industry?  Read more »
Quentin Tarantino knows more about popular music than any of the judges.  More than Simon.  More than Randy.  More than Kara, and certainly more than Paula.  Tarantino‘s films feature astonishingly great soundtracks.  He‘s a master at digging up unknown classics and utilizing them to great effect.  It‘s only frustrating that Tarantino won‘t be able to act as a judge on American Idol tonight, as he did during Idol‘s third season.  Five judges would probably be too much. But, Tarantino will be the mentor tonight, and he will be good.  This is no publicity stunt either - he is a fan of the show (though, he might have had a difficult time watching it this season with the work he‘s been doing on his new film Inglorious Basterds), and he won‘t be afraid to give the Top 7 blunt advice.  Tonight should be a lot of fun.The theme for tonight‘s show is "Songs from the Cinema."  Yes, it is incredibly vague.  But, it should allow each and every one of the Top 7 to pick exactly the kind of song they want.  There‘s no excuse for failure on this night.  So, come along with us at BuddyTV, and follow the Live Thoughts.  There will be bad jokes, maybe a couple of misspelled words, dozens of sentences devoted to complaining about Paula Abdul and a fair amount of legitimate commentary on the performances.  Onward ho! The promised land awaits! Read more »
Here are the current standings for American Idol Fantasy TV.American Idol Fantasy TV Leaderboard:1. (t) Cheqs (11250 points)1. (t) gptwv (11250 points)3. (t) Fireplace Man (10500 points)3. (t) SummerGlitch (10500 points)3. (t) nukunuku21 (10500 points)3. (t) jerrynepacina (10500 points)3. (t) NathanielODell2 (10500 points)6. (t) jerrynepacina (10000 points)8. (t) rae (10000 points)8. (t) speavy2001 (10000 points)8. (t) Thundersplash (10000 points)8. (t) LindaKirk3 (10000 points) Read more »
Every week BuddyTV offers expert analysis on who will be eliminated on American Idol.  See who BuddyTV users and our own experts think will get booted this week, then make your own picks at American Idol Fantasy TV.  Read more »
American Idol, you damned fools.  Last week, you were lambasted, raked over the coals, called horrible names by rational humans and all-around embarrassed when your performance show ran nearly ten minutes over time.  Anyone who recorded American Idol on DVR missed out on Adam Lambert‘s rendition of “Mad World,” which may have been the best performance of the season.  You royally screwed up.  For the biggest, most popular TV show in the galaxy, this was pretty indefensible.  So, what was your response?  How were you going to right the wrongs of the past week?  What fix would you make?  Maybe shorten the video packages? Cut down the extended intro?  Place an embargo on any Simon-Seacrest banter?  Throw a muzzle on Paula?  No, out of all the easy fixes you could have made (and there were a lot of them) you decided to bastardize your own show, steal away one of the integral aspects of American Idol and only let two judges comment per performance.  Really?  American Idol could not have gone a more asinine route last night.  Read more »
Editor‘s Note: This is a weekly guest post from the TV staff at Film.com. Check back here on Wednesdays for more Film.com stories about your favorite shows: Big Brother, The Amazing Race, Dancing with the Stars, Survivor, American Idol and America‘s Next Top Model.By Susan Young, Film.comHow the mighty have stumbled and slipped as we cruise through the first half of the spring reality show season.Was it really all that long ago that Melissa Rycroft looked like she was going to waltz right through Dancing with the Stars and glide easily into the winner’s circle? And who among us didn’t have Lil Rounds as our choice for at least the final four of American Idol? Read more »
American Idol 8 is at an important juncture.  There is one contestant in the top 7 who clearly doesn‘t belong anymore (Lil Rounds), and everyone else is, at the very least, a competent performer.  The Judges‘ Save has yet to be used and, if it is to be used at all, it has to be in the next two weeks.  If Lil Rounds advances much further, it will be a grand travesty.  Even the judges, who began the season preaching the Gospel of Lil, are now off the train and very obviously want her off the show.  Which leads us to the very interesting part of tonight‘s American Idol Results Show - there‘s a very good chance that the Save will be used on anyone not named Lil Rounds.  If the judges want to be fair, that‘s how they should approach tonight‘s American Idol.  Unfortunately, fairness and American Idol are rarely synonymous.  John "The Albino Rhino" Kubicek and I recorded another in our long line of glorious podcasts this morning, and discussed last night‘s bizarre performance show and gave our predictions for who will be going home.  Listen below, and let the soothing tones of our voices warm your soul. Read more »
American Idol, for all of its positive aspects (and there are many), does not have the ability to inspire like Britain‘s Got Talent, the other show Simon Cowell is currently judging on.  Witness the case of Susan Boyle.  Boyle, a frumpy looking Scottish woman, gray-haired, soft-spoken, looking like one of your grandma‘s Bridge partners, has set the world on fire over the last 72 hours.  Boyle took the stage this past Saturday on Britain‘s Got Talent to dismissive looks and scoffs from the three-person judging panel (which includes Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan).  The crowd murmured, a sea of skeptics, readying themselves for a likely-abysmal performance from a self-delusional joke of a woman.  Instead, Susan Boyle lifted hearts, incited tears, and received an almost immediate standing ovation.  Cuing the music with a thumbs-up, Susan Boyle commenced an astonishing rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables.  Boyle‘s voice was pure, in control.  As I said, pure inspiration.  Watch the video below and see for yourself. Read more »
Well, at the very least, tonight should be interesting.  The Judges‘ Save will be on everyone‘s mind tonight during American Idol.  There is a clear schism between the haves and the have-nots.  Lil Rounds should go home, and everyone else deserves their spot in the American Idol Top 6.  This being the case, it‘s quite likely that if anyone but Lil Rounds is the lowest vote-getter (an extremely likely scenario), the judges will use their big save.  In a perfect world, Lil would be eliminated and the judges would never have to use their save.  But, we shall see.  Maybe Danny Gokey will get the lowest votes and maybe the judges won‘t save him (one can only hope).  And, hey teeny-boppers and creepy old men, guess what?!?!?  Miley Cyrus will be on American Idol tonight!!!  ZOMG!!!  Actually, she was on the Idol stage a couple of weeks ago and pre-recorded a performance.  No matter what, it‘ll be better than Flo Rida, but not as awesomely insane as Lady Gaga (I‘ve changed my tune on Ms. Gaga - while her songs may suck, her audacity is adorable).  But, to the matters at hand - You!  Me!  Results Show!  Now!  Read more »
Unless you’ve seen it elsewhere, or you’ve followed Oscar’s live thoughts, or you’ve got some other way to sense what’s going to happen, the next words in this paragraph is a major American Idol spoiler: Matt Giraud has been saved by the judges.This week somehow rattled everyone to the core.  Matt, who is still living up as a dark horse with his piano prowess and his soulful voice, got panned by half of the judges.  (I still stick to the conspiracy I floated after the show.)  On the other hand, there’s Lil Rounds, who’s been losing the plot over the past weeks, and finally gave us a reason to toss her.  Despite Simon’s brutal honesty, Dial Idol still had her ahead in the vote. Read more »
The decision on American Idol, two nights ago, to give only two judges the chance to critique each performance, unlike the usual four, provided us with a yet untapped source of entertainment, or impassioned complaints.  For one, two judges’ comments don’t exactly give justice to the performances—the viewpoints swing from one extreme to another—and it meant Simon Cowell was making weird gestures while the other judges were talking, perhaps wanting to speak up, but held back by the later-proven ineffective time-saving tactic.So those gestures.  Camera caught him slightly squirming while new judge Kara DioGuardi was talking about Matt Giraud’s performance, and the speculation button was pressed on—are they really fighting? Read more »
Time to do it again.  Matt Giraud was mercifully spared the embarrassing fate of being out-paced by Lil Rounds on American Idol last night, and the world is better off for it.  This is exactly why the Judges‘ Save was put in place.  Maybe Matt Giraud didn‘t deserve to advance based on his Tuesday performance, but that‘s not really the point of the save.  It‘s not just there to give the saved a chance at redemption, it‘s there to give America a second chance at eliminating the correct person.  In this case, that person was Lil Rounds.  Matt Giraud deserved to make it further than Lil.  That‘s why the save was used, and I‘m sure this weighed on the judges‘ minds last night.  As we look forward to Top 7 Week: Take 2, there are three troubling truths that I‘m having a difficult time reconciling: Read more »
After every season of American Idol comes the Summer Tour, and this season is no exception.  The folks behind the show have announced the dates and locations for this year‘s nationwide concert tour, featuring performances from the Top 10--Adam Lambert, Allison Iraheta, Anoop Desai, Danny Gokey, Kris Allen, Lil Rounds, Megan Joy, Michael Sarver, and Scott MacIntyre.The entire thing kicks off in Portland, OR on July 5, and will go to 48 other cities before it concludes on September 15 at Manchester, NH.  Tickets for all 50 stops go on sale on May 9.  All concert dates and locations are right after the jump. Read more »
Looks like past American Idol winners have gotten busy as of late--then again, who doesn‘t?  Two items for you, then: season 3 winner Fantasia Barrino jumps back to the reality bandwagon, while season 7 winner David Cook takes another break from his tour to run. Read more »
Justin Guarini is a name that any American Idol fan is familiar with.  The first season runner-up was integral in turning American Idol into the phenomenon it has become over the last decade, and even if his solo career hasn‘t reached the heights of his fellow season one competitor Kelly Clarkson, Justin remains ubiquitous in the realm of American Idol.  You can see him on the TV Guide channel hosting about four dozen different American Idol talk shows, and he also currently blogs about Idol over at Fancast.  You can check it out here:Justin‘s Fancast BlogYesterday, Justin and I discussed all things American Idol, from the judges performance this season, to the changes in format to a comprehensive overview of the Top 7.  Listen to the podcast below.  You will enjoy it. Read more »
It‘s been a little over one week since Susan Boyle entered all of our lives.  In the nine days since Boyle changed the course of history with her rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables, she has cured cancer, invented cold fusion, brokered world peace and swam the English Channel.  Or, at least it‘s felt like it.  I apologize for being the turd in the punch bowl here - I understand that millions of people the world over have felt legitimate happiness and inspiration because of Susan Boyle‘s performance.  I do not begrudge you that.  Hers is an inspirational story, sure, in that she doesn‘t look like your typical pop sensation.  The inspiration comes from the shattering of expectations.  Had Susan Boyle‘s performance come out of a mildly attractive 25-year old woman, no one would have batted an eye.  But, since it was an unattractive 48-year old church volunteer, the world gets whipped into a frenzy.  This was predictable, and the producers of Britain‘s Got Talent knew it.  The phenomenon of Susan Boyle is not a pure underdog story, and when you really parse everything out, it‘s more than a little disturbing.   Read more »
I don‘t think American Idol went into such a big problem with its running time in any other season but this one.  Or, probably, because I‘ve heard so many people point it out in a collective sigh of disappointment and dismay.  Performance shows, arguably full of fillers and unnecessary hoopla, bleed beyond 9pm, and in some cases ended up disappointing viewers who had the whole thing recorded on their DVRs--case in point: Adam Lambert‘s much-applauded performance (and Simon Cowell‘s subsequent standing ovation) a few weeks back was truncated.  And then there‘s the ridiculous attempt to save time by having only two judges critique each performance, which obviously didn‘t work.And I‘m still seeing the blame being tossed around.  Some are bent on pointing the finger at new judge Kara DioGuardi.  Apart from her judging style, which has earned some disappointment from fans, there‘s the fact that having a fourth judge would severely ruin the time dynamics of the show, which long settled with three judges for the previous seven seasons.  Maybe you can say Simon even blamed her, as well as Paula Abdul, for blabbering too much, leading to the time issues on the show. Read more »
Editor‘s Note: This is a weekly guest post from the TV staff at Film.com. Check back here on Wednesdays for more Film.com stories about your favorite shows: Big Brother, The Amazing Race, Dancing with the Stars, Survivor, American Idol and America‘s Next Top Model.By Susan Young, Film.comWhat reality?You don‘t even need to get out of the A-list - The Amazing Race, America‘s Next Top Model or American Idol - to realize the competition aspect comes in second to the goal of getting the most viewers to the set by exploiting personality over deserving choice.  Read more »
And the Top 7 return for one more performance night.  American Idol unleashed their first ever Judges‘ Save last week, keeping Matt Giraud from a one-way ticket home to Michigan.  Two contestants will be executed by faceless American voters tomorrow, and the field is pretty wide open.  If I were the Global Overlord, I would eliminate Lil Rounds from American Idol as my first act (Second act? Free Otter Pops for everyone!).  After Lil (and, just for my sanity, let‘s assume Lil will be one of the two singers ousted tomorrow), almost anyone could take that second elimination spot.  Matt Giraud and Anoop Desai are the most likely, but a bad performance by Kris Allen or Allison Iraheta could spell doom. Oh, and it‘s also Disco Night, the scourge of crusty, poorly-coiffed Englishmen.  I don‘t mind disco, but it has to be good disco, and oh-holy-crap is there a lot of bad disco.  I can get down to K.C. and The Sunshine on any day of the week, but please don‘t bring me your Gloria Gaynors or your Abbas (newsflash, earth: Abba sucks).  What I like about American Idol Disco Night is the potential for complete and utter failure.  At least one singer will finish the night looking like a buffoon.  This is reason enough to tune in.  So, with that in mind, please join me for another edition of American Idol Live Thoughts, the only place on the interwebtubes where Paula Abdul is unmercifully glove-slapped by the written word on a minute-by-minute basis.  Read more »
Do you get the feeling that American Idol‘s Disco Night is some kind ofsick joke perpetrated by the American Idol producers? Last night‘s showwas far better than it could have been (mostly because there wasn‘tmuch "disco" involved), but still - out of all the possible theme weeksout there, how has Disco become a yearly staple on American Idol?Aren‘t young people the target demographic? Classic rock, 80‘s music,country music - these genres have endured. Disco, more or less, haspassed us by, and no one is shedding a tear over it. It‘s possible thatDisco Night is where the truly original artists on Idol will emerge, thesingers who can turn any type of song and mold it to their ownabilities. As an exercise, I can maybe understand the mindset behinddisco night. But, let‘s not forget - American Idol is a TV show that‘ssupposed to be, more than anything else, entertaining. There are dozensof more crowd-pleasing themes available than disco. Read more »
Disco Night did nothing to change our minds on American Idol.  In what was a microcosm of American Idol 8, the Top 7 contestants only reinforced (good and bad) the opinions we‘d cultivated throughout the last three months.  Looking forward to tonight‘s American Idol Results Show, it‘s difficult to know what to think.  We know one person who should go home, though it‘s unclear if justice will actually be served.  We know a few people who shouldn‘t be eliminated, but might be anyway.  It would be downright foolish to say with any certainty who you believe will kick their American Idol bucket tonight, but in this week‘s podcast, we‘ve attempted to do just that.  Once again, I am joined by John "Colonel Sanders" Kubicek for a raucous American Idol discussion.  If you end up checking out the podcast, I promise you total consciousness.  You will find the full mp3 of the podcast below. Read more »
Yes, yes, call this a slight non-issue, all right, but someone‘s got to talk about this, right?  We did mention before, Simon Cowell‘s interview with a British tabloid about his plans to leave American Idol soon, partly because of his involvement with a couple of other reality talent shows across the pond, which is keeping him busier than he expected, it seems.Of course, folks are quick to speculate that it could be his tactic to get an advantage when his contract--which ends this year, by the way--gets renegotiated with the folks at Fox.  What‘s a better way to increase your salary, right?  Or, at the very least, it was him pandering to the Brits when he said it.  Look like he‘s serious, though.  "When I signed the latest extension on Idol through next season, it felt like that was going to be the right amount of time," he told The New York Times. "It still feels right." Read more »
The time of reckoning is upon us.  Two qualified American Idol contestants will walk the Seacrestian Plank of Doom tonight, bidding farewell to the program that has momentarily made them household names.  Disco night will be the death of a duo of singers, this we know, but who will those singers be?  In a world where justice reigns supreme, a world where crime and villainy hold no stature, Lil Rounds would be one of the two departing American Idol contestants.  Unfortunately, the Idol voters know not the joy and satisfaction of truth, and could very well eliminate two very good contestants like Kris Allen and Allison Iraheta.  I have pegged Lil and Anoop Desai for elimination, but I would not bet more than a halfpence on either.  The potential for fireworks and anarchy and complete bedlam is there tonight.  In any case, it will be fun.  Hang out with me for an hour or so.  We‘ll engage in some friendly banter, make fun of Paula Abdul‘s faulty metaphors, and generally make the best of American Idol‘s Results Show.  If reading along with some charalatan‘s banal live thoughts doesn‘t interest you (and I understand if it doesn‘t), I invite you to click on one of the below links.  There are treasures aplenty here at BuddyTV. Read more »
Anoop Desai got about as far as he possibly could have this season on American Idol, and there is no shame in that.  The confident, smooth-voiced kid from Chapel Hill became a fan favorite early on in the season, probably thanks to his self-appointed nickname "Noop Dog."  His elimination is a rare one on American Idol - it‘s not an upset, and it‘s not necessarily one the fans were clamoring for.  For all I could tell, Anoop was universally liked, though it was collectively agreed upon by fans that he simply wasn‘t good enough to win this season of American Idol.  While you could interpret the reaction to Anoop‘s dismissal from American Idol as indifferent, I don‘t believe that‘s what it is.  I think, in a weird way, we‘re proud of him.  He performed well this season.  Anoop found his niche, executed about as well as could be reasonably expected, and gave no reason to invite the scorn of the masses, which is a rare feat for any American Idol contestant.   Read more »
I was never a fan of Lil Rounds.  Here‘s what I said about her initial audition, which took place in Kansas City:  The last contestant is Lil Rounds.  She is a 23-year-old mother of three.  A tornado made the family of five vacate their apartment.  Kara likes her name.  She sings "All I Do" by Stevie Wonder.  Nothing special, a little out of tune, but good enough to get a pass to Hollywood.  She gets out of control on the high stuff.  The judges are big fans (though, they might be a little loopy after a long day).Lil never improved a lick from that first audition, and never gave oneperformance I completely enjoyed.  Sure, she had potential, and hervoice was big and strong, but there are thousands of people like thatout in the world.  Why did American Idol hitch their train to Lil?  Read more »
Here are the current standings for American Idol Fantasy TV.American Idol Fantasy TV Leaderboard:1. (t) Cheqs (14500 points)1. (t) gptwv (1450 points)3. (t) NathanielODell2 (13750 points)3. (t) jerrynepacina (13750 points)5. (t) rae (13250 points)5. (t) speavy2001 (13250 points)5. (t) pjgirl (13250 points)8. sethwd2 (13000 points)9. CarolDouglass2 (12750 points)10. (t) HouseJunkie (12500 points)10. (t) lisanelson3 (12500 points)10. (t) AlisonF11 (12500 points)10. (t) SummerGlitch (12500 points)10. (t) LatheeshLesly2 (12500 points)  Read more »
While Susan Boyle madness has infected the world over the past two weeks, her competition on Britain‘s Got Talent has more or less fallen by the wayside.  However, she does have some very stiff competition in the form of a 12-year-old boy named Shaheen Jafargholi.  Shaheen hasn‘t become the global phenomenon that Susan Boyle has, but he is every bit as impressive, if not more so.  Where Boyle‘s fame has largely been a result of her crushing the visceral expectations of the audience, little Shaheen had no such barriers to break down.  We‘ve seen spritely young singers wow audiences for years.  Nonetheless, Shaheen‘s performance of "Who‘s Loving You" by Michael Jackson showed talent beyond his years.  Whereas Susan Boyle has had decades to get her voice to where it is now, Shaheen Jafargholi has come as a pre-packaged unit of talent.  Check out the video of his performance below. Read more »
Just want the kids want - songs by three dead guys who they‘ve probably never heard of.  However, for us older, more distinguished, more worldly, musically diverse viewers, the prospect of  Rat Pack week on American Idol is enticing.  If you took only Frank Sinatra‘s song book, you could create a good night of performances.  Add in Sammy and Dean, and you‘ve got a wealth of greatness to choose from.  With Anoop Desai and Lil Rounds ejected into the Realm of Indifference by the American Idol voters, we are left with a formidable Top 5.  Every remaining singer could conceivably make the final two and even win.  Conceivably, I said - not likely.  The key for Rat Pack week will be taking these wonderful old standards and making them modern.  Who will this help?  Who will it hurt?  Read more »
Top five already?  Sometimes, after the flurry of activity surrounding American Idol became, uhh, flurrier this season, I fail to realize that we only have five contestants remaining.  It seems so many things have changed, either for better or for worse, and so many things have been said and done, and maybe they shouldn‘t have been said, but... I ramble.  The point is, some things remain constant--and one of them is the frontrunners.Thing is, they get established right from the beginning.  So, it‘s quite no surprise when Simon Cowell, in an press conference for the upcoming season of America‘s Got Talent, predicted what we‘ve been hearing for the longest time--that Adam Lambert and Danny Gokey will make it to the finale. Read more »
Editor‘s Note: This is a weekly guest post from the TV staff at Film.com. Check back here on Wednesdays for more Film.com stories about your favorite shows: Big Brother, The Amazing Race, Dancing with the Stars, Survivor, American Idol and America‘s Next Top Model.By Susan Young, Film.comJust an Idol Threat?Rumblings about Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul abdicating the American Idol thrones have people wondering about the future of American Idol minus the two star judges.It‘s like Jon and Kate Plus 8 minus Jon - and Kate handing the octo-squad over to an ill-equipped nanny. Read more »
Lesson time, children:  The Rat Pack was a group of badasses from before you were born.  That‘s all for today.  Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. were all cooler than any of the current American Idol finalists could ever hope to come close to ever being.  This is fact.  Frank Sinatra recorded more iconic songs than any artist this side of The Beatles, and if you‘re familiar with the songs of The Rat Pack, then you are likely scared of what the American Idol Top 5 is going to do tonight.  I‘m also a little excited, though I fear for the worst.  This American Idol top 5 is as talented, if not more so, than any top 5 in the show‘s eight year history.  If any group of Idols can conquer the greatness of the Rat Pack, it‘s these guys.  And, hey!  Jaime Foxx will act as mentor for the Top 5 tonight, for reasons I fail to comprehend (because, like Sammy Davis Jr., Jaime is black?).As we race head-first towards the finish on American Idol, now is the time to join me for the Live Thoughts.  You won‘t get live thoughts like these anywhere else.  So, put on your Nikes, don your white robes, and join the BuddyTV Cult of American Idol, where Abduls are made fun of and Gokeys are ridiculed.  And, guess what?  We‘re on Twitter.  Yeah, I know everyone‘s on Twitter.  Shut up.  Our Twitter is totally cool.  Check it out here:BuddyTV American Idol Twitter Read more »
Can we all agree that this American Idol Top 5 is really, really good?  The level of singing on last night‘s Rat Pack week was phenomenal, one of the best performance episodes in a long time.  The level of difficulty was off the charts, a fact that I think is lost on much of the audience.  The Rat Pack era songs pose myriad problems for anyone, and American Idol contestants probably aren‘t the ideal candidates to cover those kind of songs.  Matt Giraud, for instance, took on one of the most covered songs in the history of modern popular music with "My Funny Valentine" and, even though his rendition wasn‘t spectacular, he acquitted himself quite well.  And that was, in my estimation, the worst performance of the night.  Read more »
American Idol presented us with an impressive series of Rat Pack era performances last night, and the result was consistent competency.  We are past the days of clear bottom feeders.  Choosing who will be eliminated is no easy chore.  The bizarre performance of Simon Cowell, everyone‘s favorite curmudgeon, complicates matters even more.  Also, Dial Idol gives us little insight this week.  All we are left with is logic which, as we all know, rarely has a place in the realm of American Idol.  I, Oscar Dahl, and John "Slap Fight" Kubicek discussed the prescient matters of American Idol on this week‘s podcast and, unfortunately, came to the same conclusion - it is Matt Giraud‘s time to walk the plank. Below you will find the mp3 audio of our podcast.  Do enjoy.  Feel free to ignore the early part where John nerds out and talks about Battlestar Galactica. Read more »
That‘s right folks. Justin Guarini from American Idol season one and the critically un-acclaimed From Justin to Kelly really wants to contribute to the New Moon soundtrack. He‘s released the special song written just for New Moon onto YouTube and he‘s hoping it‘ll strike a note with Twilight fans across the country.Shaye Smith, Tammy Hyler and Guarini himself penned the song, entitled "I Can‘t Live." The main chorus sings out "I can‘t live if I can‘t touch you with my fingertips." He obviously had Bella and Edward in mind when writing the lyrics. "I Can‘t Live" could be seen from either Bella (Kristen Stewart) or Edward‘s (Robert Pattinson) point of view, depending on how well New Moon depicts Edward‘s plight. But is the song New Moon worthy? Read more »
Rat Pack Week let the American Idol Top 5 channel their inner Joey Bishop, and we were given a solid top-to-bottom performance show.  In every previous week of American Idol 8, there were at least one or two singers we could definitively say "deserved" to be eliminated based on their performances.  This week, not so much.  Everyone was good.  Some were better than others - we now have to trust that the voters can differentiate the shades of gray.  Will the voters listen to Simon Cowell?  Will they follow their hearts?  Will they do something completely random?  I think Matt should go home, I wish Danny would go home, but I‘m secretly hoping that something nutty happens tonight and all hell breaks loose.  I suppose if anyone but Matt is eliminated it will be surprising, but what if Danny of Adam is the lowest vote-getter?  Mayhem.  It‘s almost go-time, Children of Idol.  Let‘s join hands, and dance a dance around the campfire of Elimination.  Roast some s‘mores, sing some Kumbaya, eat some mushrooms - it‘s the American Idol Results Show!  I‘m all jacked up on Red Bull and Jujubes, so I know I‘m ready.  Are you?(Oh, and also - we have joined the Twitter Revolution and we think it‘d be a pretty good idea if you‘d go ahead and follow us.  We have an Idol Twitter Contest!  With Prizes!  Just start following us at http://twitter.com/BuddyTV_Idol, and tweet us "@buddytv_idol send me details on the contest.") Read more »
Having been part of the phenomenal American Idol, Taylor Hicks has decided to move on to higher things.  These days, he‘s been touring the country playing Teen Angel on a production of Grease, and it‘s a role that seems to have given him a passion for the stage.   "I‘d been offered some roles previously, but I wanted to make sure the part was right for me," he said.  Having just appeared as a guest performer on American Idol, Hicks has a tight schedule to maintain now that he‘s a theatre star.  Read more »
Adam Lambert fans were put through the collective ringer last night, as their favorite American Idol singer was placed, for the first time, in the bottom three and then the bottom two.  Cries of protest were heard throughout the country, viewers making guarantees that if Adam were somehow eliminated, they would no longer be tuning into American Idol.  Such proclamations are, of course, silly.  There‘s no reason to be angry - this show is based on votes from the public.  The masses are going to get what they want.  American Idol will attempt to sway those masses, and often succeed in convincing the public that they like a particular contestant more than they probably should, but still - it‘s all up to us.  However, Adam Lambert fans should be happy.  His first foray into the bottom of the pack ensures him at least a Top 3 finish.  Read more »
When you consider that Matt Giraud never really put it all together, his Top 5 finish on American Idol was mighty impressive.  Matt was in a constant identity crisis, never sure what type of artist he should be.  In his very first performance of the season, a disastrous rendition of Coldplay‘s "Viva La Vida," Matt made it abundantly clear that he wanted to be a Timberlake-style pop star.  The judges quickly squashed this notion and, to Matt‘s credit, he took the criticism to heart and retreated to the safe haven of Blues and Soul.  He had to, even if it wasn‘t what he wanted.  His best performance of the season, sadly, was his version of "Georgia On My Mind" from Hollywood Week.  Had he stuck to a bluesy persona, Matt might have had a chance to win American Idol.  Instead, Matt made a schizophrenic run to the Top 5, occasionally showing the potential touched on early in the season.  He rarely gave a poor performance, and some were really quite good, but there was always that nagging feeling that he should have been better. Read more »
Kara DioGuardi‘s entry as the fourth American Idol judge is perhaps the most rattling change the show implemented this season.  From the moment her entry was announced, people began speculating whether Paula Abdul was on her way out, and then people began asking whether she could contribute something good to the show, and then people began thinking whether the decision to hire her in the first place was a good one.  Seeing a fourth person on the judges‘ table, watching the performances week after week, trumped everything else, from the return of the Wild Card to the introduction of the judges‘ save.  Or so I think.All of a sudden, there‘s a flurry of speculation about whether all of this will last for only this season.  Kara told TV Guide Magazine that she‘s only signed up with the show for one year--but that doesn‘t mean she‘ll be leaving when a winner is announced in roughly three weeks. Read more »
Adam Cook, the eldest brother of last year‘s American Idol winner David Cook, has died from brain cancer on Saturday.  The singer himself announced the death of the 37-year-old, through his speech at the Race for Hope 5K in Washington, D.C., which he joined in order to raise funds for brain cancer research.  His death was due to a brain tumor."Like everybody here, I‘m affected by this disease," he said in a speech to the event‘s participants.  "I actually lost my brother yesterday to a brain tumor.  "I couldn‘t imagine being anywhere else right now."  (You can watch the full speech by clicking here.) Read more »
If, twenty years ago, you had told Slash that one day he would act as mentor for aspiring pop stars on a semi-cheesy televised talent show, he would have purposely OD‘d right then and there.  However, that is exactly what‘s about to go down this week on American Idol.  Slash, the famed guitarist for Guns n‘ Roses and Velvet Revolver, is American Idol‘s mentor for Rock Week.  It‘s hard to imagine that the Top 4 will be helped that much from Slash‘s mentoring (it‘s not like Slash is known for his singing chops), but it should be interesting nonetheless.  Is there any way that, during the taped mentoring sessions, Slash wears his top hat and sunglasses with a lit cigarette hanging out of his mouth?  Please?  It would make my year.  Read more »
Okay.  Let‘s retrace our steps, then.  This year‘s American Idol saw a significant amount of discussion about the future of the judges.  We‘ve covered it and I‘m actually getting tired of it.But the recap, anyway.  First, Simon Cowell said he‘s considering leaving the show at the end of the season, a fact that he affirmed in an interview with The New York Times.  Second, Paula Abdul--who‘s been in a bubble for the longest time--also pondered on her future during an interview with Nightline.  Most recently, newcomer Kara DioGuardi--who herself was thought to be a replacement for an exiting Paula--admitted that her contract with the show runs only until the end of this season, and hoped that it gets renewed.  We haven‘t heard from Randy Jackson, but I‘m guessing there‘s something out there, too. Read more »
The journey is nearly finished, the horizon‘s vanishing point coming into clearer and clearer focus, the end two weeks and one day away.  American Idol‘s eighth season will go down as one of its best, talent-wise.  Other legacies may include: The Kara DioGuardi Experiment, Paula Abdul‘s Death Throes, The Silliness of the Judge Save, The Year Where They Had That One Blind Guy, and Simon Cowell‘s Final Bow.  But, we should focus on the present.  Tonight, American Idol‘s final four singers will perform rock and/or roll music.  Six songs will be sung - four solos and two duets.  The mentor will be Slash of Guns n‘ Roses fame.  So, yeah - we could definitely be in store for a bizarre night.Slash used to be a degenerate bad ass, the running mate of Axl Rose, the kind of guy that, when on TV, your mother would look away in disgust.  How he‘s now been deemed an acceptable ambassador of rock music is absolutely beyond me.   I will give American Idol credit - they erred on the side of rock authenticity.  I don‘t care how big of a hipster d-bag you are, you best not talk smack about Slash.  Anyway, he‘ll be there on Idol tonight, teaching Danny Gokey how best to smoke cigs on stage, showing Allison Iraheta proper Jack Daniels-chugging form, giving Kris tips on the easiest way to bed groupies without your wife finding out, and begging Adam to replace Scott Weiland in Velvet Revolver.  Come with me, Idol paramours, and bask in the warm glow of rock and roll, for it should be a special night with magical duets and ethereal stadium anthems. Live thoughts, onward!   Read more »
Watching American Idol earlier, it felt that nothing really happened, except perhaps for what Ryan Seacrest pointed out--one of the large, revolving globes that‘s part of the show‘s set almost collapsed.  There‘s the other thing he mentioned at the start of the show: a member of the show‘s crew was injured.  Both of these events put a hold on the dress rehearsal, which meant the contestants barely had any time to practice their numbers before they went live.  A series of unfortunate events, you might say--a complete contrast to the photo to the right.  Nothing going wrong.  Or so it seemed.So what happened?  Two hours before the show, stage manager Debbie Williams fell from the retractable staircase--the one that pops up at the beginning of each episode, from behind the big screen--and sustained an injury.  The automatic staircase moved too quickly, and Williams was rushed to the hospital. Read more »
American Idol, down to only four contestants, put on a peculiar hour of television last night.  It was Rock Week, our old gnarly-haired friend Slash improbably was involved in the proceedings and FOX decided that this would be the week to introduce the first ever duet performance in series history.  What we got was one great performance, one very good one, a smattering of OK ones and one abysmal middle finger to our collective ears.  In today‘s American Idol podcast John "Rhymenocerous" Kubicek and I discuss the events of Rock Week, and who we believe will make that devastating walk of shame off the American Idol stage tonight. Listen to the podcast below in full mp3 audio form.   Read more »
Is tonight the night that The Gokerino is sent home?  Can it please be that night?  While my hatred of Senor Gokus has been readily apparent for weeks, if not months, for most of the American Idol season the Gokeheads were large in number, singing Der Gokenstein‘s praises to whomever would listen.  These people have become relatively silent over the last couple of weeks, and especially after Daniel served up the old Banshee Special on last night‘s performance episode.  But, because Americans and their texting fingers appear to have an irrational affinity for Los Gokes, there‘s a better than fifty percent chance that he remains alive in the competition after tonight (that percentage is based on nothing).  Frustration, thy name is Danny Gokey.Results Show!  Chris Daughtry!  No Doubt!  All exciting things, to be sure, but the quadruple whammy, the belle of the ball, the main attraction tonight is an event, a moment that you will likely be telling your cyborg grandchildren about decades from now - Tonight, Paula Abdul will perform her new single in front of a live national audience.  Hold on to your butts, America, and join me as I shoot my live thought beams all across the interwebs.  I cordially invite you to take part in the proceedings. Read more »
I have come to bitch and moan about Danny Gokey.  Typical, yes, and completely predictable.  I have long been an unrepentant Danny Gokey hater.  While it might not be accurate to blame Danny Gokey fans for Allison Iraheta‘s expulsion from American Idol (there is also blame to be saddled upon Allison‘s fans), I don‘t care.  Who are you people voting for Danny Gokey, and why haven‘t you given up on him yet?  After his ear-piercing performance on Tuesday, there should have been a mass exodus from the Danny Gokey Bandwagon.  Yet, this is not how fandom works.  I understand that.  People pick a horse and ride it throughout the competition.  Excuses are made for bad performances.  Voters are irrational.  It‘s just an absolute shame that Allison was thrown in front of the Idol firing squad last night when there was a much better candidate for execution in the form of Danny Gokey.  Read more »
Three dudes sit atop the final triad of space stools on American Idol8.  The women have been conquered, eliminated with little thought orcare.  This season was always touted as full of male talent.  HadAllison Iraheta not appeared out of nowhere, a teenage phenom ofgalactic proportions, perhaps the most ready of all the singers to takethe fourth-place Daughtry mantle of post-show success, we may have hadan all male Top 6.  Allison‘s Death By Gokey Scream has beenwell-covered on BuddyTV, and I will stop complaining.  For now.  Atravesty is a travesty, the past the past, and although trading ahelmet of red Troll Doll hair for a pair of designer glasses and ametro five o‘clock shadow is depressing in every way reality TV can bedepressing, there is nothing that can be done.  Time to focus on theThree-Headed Man Monster that remains alive and kicking on AmericanIdol.  How did we get here and what does it say about our country, itsvoters and the current constitution of our musical tastes? Read more »
It‘s been quite a while, but it was only last Tuesday, while watching the Top 4 perform on American Idol, did it finally dawn on me: the entire season is going for Adam Lambert.  Now, I‘m sure some of you have heard of my gripes against arguably the most dominant contestant this season.  Yes, I know many people like him--I‘m surrounded by fans every single day, actually--and I know he‘s all but won this competition.  But I‘ll dare start an argument here.  For all that he can do, I‘ll try stating the case, as to why Adam should not win American Idol.And no, I‘m not bitter or anything.  Not because all four of my favorites this year--most recently, Allison Iraheta--got the boot.  Not because of the circumstances surrounding this season, from the beginning when the judges were praising the male contestants, or of the judges going as far as to predict who will be in the finale, which is either Adam or that other guy, Danny Gokey.  Not because of who he is or what he does--what does that have to do with it in the first place?  It‘s just that, after months of performances, cracks have started to show in what was otherwise an immaculate contender.  Let me list down my points. Read more »
The filthy stench of inevitability invades my nostrils like a panini-pressed turd sandwich. As we approach the end of American Idol 8 (despite whatever Kris Allen brings to the table, and it‘s a lot), you just get the feeling that next week will find us in a death match between Adam Lambert and Danny Gokey.  Kris, in all the accolades sent Adam‘s way and all the necessary complaining in regards to Danny Gokey‘s continued advancement on Idol, has been lost in the shuffle.  His personality is somewhat at fault for this, Mr. Allen being a humble, quiet man who merely creates good music.  But, if clueless voters would get over their disturbing Gokey fetish and open their ears, they‘d find that there are two and only two acceptable finalists for American Idol 8 - Adam Lambert and Kris Allen.  That probably won‘t happen, as there are lots of people out there who are stubborn and dumb.  Not saying that it‘s stupid to like Danny Gokey.  That‘s fine.  You can like him all you want.  That‘s subjective.  But, he is outclassed at this point.  He doesn‘t deserve to move on if we are to judge based on the quality of the performances.  (Of course, Gokey will probably sing everyone‘s faces off tonight and make me look like an idiot.)Tonight, the final three choose one song on their own and are given one additional song by the judges.  Yeah, there are four judges, but Idol solved this by making Kara and Randy pick together.  Anyway, come along and lather yourself in the moist dew of one more American Idol performance episode as I whittle out some live thoughts in this fancy-shmancy, futuristic electronic forum known as the "interwebs."  Glory will be had, tears shed, beverages imbibed, babies coddled, old people shushed, and Paulas medicated.  Should be sorta kinda fun.  Read more »
American Idol 8 is one week away from completion, at which point we will likely have a new champion named Adam Lambert.  It feels like the judges and the producers want this to happen (which would be an about-face since the beginning of the season), and it would be a let-down if it didn‘t happen, given the excess media attention the man from San Diego has procured over the last few weeks and months.  Nonetheless, there is a very real possibility that any of the three men left standing in the Idol Battle Royale could walk the green mile tonight.  Dial Idol is predicting a dead heat, with all three potentially being eliminated.  It shouldn‘t be this way, and in today‘s podcast John "Lemmiwinks" Kubicek and I hope upon hope that logic and justice will defeat idiocy and madness.  We think (and desperately hope) that Danny Gokey will be eliminated.  Listen to the full mp3 of the podcast below.  There‘s a 76.9% chance you will enjoy it.  Read more »
If one were to strip away the non-sensical ramblings of the American Idol‘s four-pronged judging quagmire, last night‘s Top 3 performance episode would have been impressive.  Had you shown the six performances to someone who hadn‘t seen any of the American Idol season thus far, the reaction would have been overwhelmingly positive.  However, a show that should have been a triumph, a show that should have showcased three talented and worthy individuals, was overshadowed by judges who were simultaneously childish, incomprehensible and saddled with multiple agendas.  Not that some of the actual content wasn‘t correct or worthwhile, but taken as a whole the judges turned in a performance that was more of a hindrance than a help to the audience.   Read more »
You like free stuff, right?  How would you like to win two tickets to the American Idol Tour this summer?  BuddyTV, over the next few weeks, will be giving away a pair of tickets for every single stop on the 50-city American Idol Tour.  If that‘s something that interests you, here‘s how you can become eligible - just start following us on Twitter.  We‘re going to run our Gigantic BuddyTV Idol Tour Giveaway (official name still pending) through Twitter, so, you know, that‘s why you have to sign up.  And, yes, really - we totally have tickets for every single date on the American Idol Tour.  So, again, sign up for our Twitter feed, which you can find right here:http://twitter.com/BuddyTV Read more »
Gokeface has made the final three on American Idol, much to my music-loving chagrin.  Danny Gokey is a good singer, but he‘s the kind of singer who exists in every city in America.  A guy with a really great voice, who‘s kind of awkward and has no musical ability outside of that voice.  You won‘t be finding an Adam Lambert in Milwaukee, that‘s for damn sure. You might find a Kris Allen, but even Allen is a rare musical talent, combining a great voice, the ability to play multiple instruments and a real understanding of how to make songs uniquely his own.  There is no question that Kris and Adam are greater talents than Danny Gokey.  This is why if Kris or, somehow, Adam are eliminated tonight, all hell will break loose.  After his incredible performance of "Heartless," Kris Allen deserves a spot in the finale.  He absolutely does.  Yet, the Idol producers and the Idol judges seem to believe that Danny Gokey is the man worthy of the final two, a preference as offensive as it is baffling. Let us, then, get it on.  Tonight‘s results show will have some special guest performances (Jordin Sparks and Katy Perry), but the main event is and always will be the results.  Hopefully, I will no longer have to desecrate the Temple of Gokey this season. Hopefully, we will have an exciting final week of American Idol. Strap in, grab a tasty beverage, snack on some pistachios and join me for another raucous night of American Idol results. Read more »
We dodged a bullet there.  A Gokey came and a Gokey went, and we shall hear from him no more.  In desperate times such as these, there is no place for a Gokey, a relic of times‘ past, when a voice and only a voice could make one a pop sensation.  Danny Gokey would be an ideal candidate for American Idol if it were, as Randy so brazenly states, "a singing competition."  It is not merely a singing competition, it is a competition to become a star, and everything that comes with it.  Danny had the vocals down, but everything else was lacking, which is something I cannot blame Danny for.  He‘s a pious, kind of dorky white guy from Milwaukee.  Of course he‘s not going to move particularly well on stage.  Danny maxed out his potential, almost fooling America in the process.  Although I have been a staunch Anti-Gokite all season, I have not come to spit on the man‘s grave.  Instead, I plan to make amends, in a way. Read more »
Brooke White may have only finished fifth on the seventh season of American Idol last year, but like many others, it doesn‘t mean the trail ends right there.  Seems we‘ll be able to get that quirky mix of soul and whatever on CD.The singer is set to release her debut album, High Hopes & Heartbreak, on July 21.  The album is co-produced by Idol judge Randy Jackson, and is released under his independent record label, June Baby Records. Read more »
We are three days from the end.  Every American Idol season is amarathon, an epic event that plods on, no end in sight, for months on end.  The massive processof it all is one of the reasons why American Idol is so appealing. Once we get to the end, it feels deserved.  Adam Lambert and Kris Allenhave earned their spots in the top two.  The sample size is adequate,having separated the real talents from the charlatans, and we are leftwith two potential stars.  Judging American Idol in its own vacuum, andnot lending any credence to post-Idol potential, the Kris vs. Adamcontest should be a dead heat.  Each singer offers wildly differentthings to the audience, and it‘s difficult to imagine many votersstruggling with this decision.  Logic would dictate that you‘re eitheran Adam person or a Kris person.  With the two-part finale beginningtomorrow, who has the better shot at winning?  What can we expect fromthe finale?   Read more »
The song choices for tonight‘s American Idol finale (part 1) have been kept under wraps but we have all the rumors for you. Adam Lambert and Kris Allen will take the stage to perform three songs apiece tonight. The categories are: Simon Fuller‘s Choice, Favorite Song of the Season, and the "Coronation Song."Simon Fuller has been lip locked about his choices but we do know the other two categories. Adam Lambert will be performing his version of "Mad World" but with a surprise at the end. No word on what this surprise might be but I‘m guessing it‘ll have something to do with the costumes and lighting. Maybe some fireworks? Is that too cheesy? Kris Allen was rumored to be singing "Falling Slowly" or "Heartless" but dress rehearsals just started and it appears Kris will be singing "Ain‘t No Sunshine." The "coronation song" is called "No Boundaries" and was written by our fourth American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi herself. Read more »
Editor‘s Note: This is a weekly guest post from the TV staff at Film.com. Check back here on Wednesdays for more Film.com stories about your favorite shows: Big Brother, The Amazing Race, Dancing with the Stars, Survivor, AmericanIdol and America‘s Next Top Model.By Susan Young, Film.comPaulina Porzikova, two beautiful women stand before us. Yet we only have one photo. The name that is called is safe, and the other must clear out pronto.Tyra Banks owns the show. I think you know which model‘s name isn‘t going to be called. Read more »
Greetings, all who watch American Idol.  The sun is disappearing over the horizon, American Idol 8 less that 30 hours from extinction, and we sit awaiting the showdown of Adam Lambert versus Kris Allen.  Adam Lambert was the anointed one from the season‘s genesis, but Kris Allen, the humble, soft-spoken Arkansan, emerged slowly as the season frolicked along, dispensing with seemingly more weighty contenders like Danny Gokey, Lil Rounds, Matt Giraud and Allison Iraheta.  It‘s a small wonder that Kris Allen made it to the finals.  He deserves it, but the judges and producers didn‘t exactly do the man any favors, doling out lukewarm praise and undeserved criticism on a regular basis.  Nonetheless, here we stand, the mustache-less reincarnation of Freddie Mercury competing against an ego-less, god-fearing Jack Johnson.  Given the season we‘ve witnessed, it‘d be easy to say that Mr. Lambert has it wrapped up.  However, momentum is a key ingredient to the Idol casserole, and Kris Allen has all of it.  Tonight, each man will sing three songs, one chosen by evil executive producer Simon Fuller, one chosen by the singer (from the songs they‘ve already performed this season), and this season‘s "Coronation" song, or "Winner‘s Single."  The coronation song (which usually sucks) was co-written by Kara DioGuardi this year, so maybe it‘ll involve leather jackets and "artistry."  Man, I shouldn‘t have eaten all those Swedish Fish and pounded that 64 ounce 7-11 coffee.  I am jacked up and ready to drop live thought bombs all over the internet‘s grill.  Get ready, America. Read more »
The long, glorious journey has come to an end.  John vs. Oscar will hang up its coat and hibernate until next season of American Idol rolls around.  Oh, it has been wonderful.  John "Free Tibet" Kubicek complaining about minor issues, while I sing Adam Lambert‘s praises.  John completely abhorred by my support of Adam and Megan Joy.  John foolishly pimping Danny Gokey early on in the competition, and making an about face as the end neared.  Today, in the final podcast of the season, we preview tonight‘s big two hour finale, discuss last night‘s performances and give our predictions for who will win American Idol 8.  Give it a listen if you have 25 minutes.  If you don‘t have 25 minutes to spare, you probably aren‘t reading this anyway.You can find the full mp3 of the podcast below. Read more »
Just when we thought Adam Lambert had the eighth season of American Idol all wrapped up, one last surprised was sprung on us: Kris Allen, the 23-year-old from Conway, Arkansas, won the competition after a finale that saw a hundred million votes being cast.It is, perhaps, one of the biggest--if not the biggest--upset in the competition‘s history.  Adam, who hails from San Diego, California, was pegged as the favorite, after consistently getting praise from the judges with his impressive vocal range and showmanship.  Kris, on the other hand, remained under the radar for most of the competition; his vocal limitations were compensated by his ability to play the guitar and piano, and his ability to spin songs into something totally unexpected. Read more »
Tonight‘s the night.  After five long months of the Seacrest and Cowell Variety Hour, an American Idol champion will finally be crowned tonight in front of a live national audience.  Kris Allen, the singer/songwriter/instrumentalist, hailing from the metropolis of Conway, Arkansas, takes on the glamorously banshee-voiced rocker/theater veteran Adam Lambert in what may end up being the closest final vote in American Idol history.  Given their diverse traits, it‘s really impossible to compare Adam and Kris.  The best we can do is state our preference for one or the other and then root our little faces off (I suppose you could also vote, but who does that?).  It‘s been the Season of Lambert, Adam being the media darling/judge‘s favorite/most interesting contestant of the year, but Kris is, musically speaking, every bit as noteworthy, blending a good voice with excellent musicianship and laidback charm.  It helps that both men are exceedingly likable and on agreeable terms with one another.  Although the prospect of millions of as yet gaydarless tweens crying in agony over an Adam Lambert defeat is very appealing (at least for YouTube purposes), I‘m still rooting for Adam.  But, really, I think both of the dudes are great, and wouldn‘t be upset if either of them ended up winning.  Strap in, America!  I have been your GPS all season, guiding you through the rough terrain of American Idol, helping you machete through the pesky wilderness of Bikini Girls and Tatianas and DioGuardis and Lils and Paulas and Gokeys and Scotty Macs, and tonight we burst out of the forest, the promised land in full view, a champion awaiting their crown.  I‘ll be here all night, live thoughting the finale while pumped full of caffeine and some lingering Vitamin D.  Stick around, get comfortable, make some comments, do your thing, have some fun.   Read more »
When the top 36 of American Idol was announced this season, I had no idea who Kris Allen was.  He looked like he was destined to be a red shirt, one of the generic, nameless faces who gets one chance before getting eliminated.Kris Allen was facing the likes of Adam Lambert, Danny Gokey and Lil Rounds, all of whom received a ton of screentime in the early auditions and were the clear favorites when the real competition beganMore Kris Allen Coverage:Kris Allen‘s Season in Review>>Ranking Kris Allen‘s Performances>>Kris Allen Photos>>American Idol Finale Recap>>Final Two Performance Rankings>> Read more »
On the day after the American Idol finale, it‘s time to play Thursday morning quarterback.  All season long, Adam Lambert was the clear frontrunner in the competition.  He delivered the most praiseworthy performances, showed off the most impressive vocal ability, and won fans over with his daring fashion and arrangements.But was it too much?  With almost 100 million votes cast, was the margin of error plus or minus a few scandalous photographs?Click here to see the Adam Lambert photos>> Read more »
In the wake of Adam Lambert‘s loss on American Idol, hundreds of conspiracy theories are swirling around the Internet.  Some people think it was a calculated attack on homosexuality to make sure the nice married man won while the man who wears guyliner and kisses dudes in photos lost.  Others, like the website VoteFair.org, simply think it was a matter of texting, since Kris Allen‘s fan base is younger and more tech savvy.However, there may be something more to it.  While I would agree that many Americans are still mildly uncomfortable with homosexuality (just look at Prop 8 in California), that argument seems silly, especially since the photos of Lambert kissing other men have been around since the beginning of the competition.  Instead, I choose to look for a conspiracy within American Idol. Read more »
Uhh, right.  Clay Aiken has apologized, sort of, to this year‘s American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert for his previous comments on the singer.It all started when he wrote, on his members-only blog, last week about his thoughts upon hearing Lambert sing.  "I only turn the show on once a season, and only to see what the set looks like each year," he wrote.  "This year, I happened to turn it during the minute that Adam Lambert was singing ‘Ring of Fire‘ and, at that moment, thought my ears would bleed.  Contrived, awful and slightly frightening! ... Just not my cup of tea at all.  To each his own." Read more »
I remember watching Wednesday night‘s American Idol finale, and also following the live thoughts, and I read someone wonder where Matt Giraud and Scott MacIntyre were.  Sure, they performed along with the Top 13, but unlike the other finalists, which got their own time to shine in the spotlight, the two piano players didn‘t make it.  The question from that comment was, where were they?  Apparently, they were supposed to do something.  But, apparently, "perhaps Tatiana and Bikini Girl were most important after all."In his MySpace blog, Scott lamented against the decision by Idol producers to cut the two piano players‘ performance.  It could‘ve been, according to him, the two of them dueling to the tune of Billy Joel‘s "Tell Her About It". Read more »
Adam Lambert as Queen frontman?  After that performance on the finale, all right--it did seem like a good fit from the very beginning, the combination of one of the biggest rock bands in history with American Idol‘s resident strong-voiced glam rocker.  It seemed like that from the very beginning, with comparisons to the late Freddie Mercury on the basis of his performances in the Top 13.  It‘s just meant to happen, right?Sure, after that finale performance--when he, eventual winner Kris Allen, and the rest of the past season‘s finalists sang along to "We Are The Champions"--there were a lot of rumors going around, that Adam‘s been given an offer by the band to tour with them with him on lead vocals.  But, in an interview with Rolling Stone, guitarist Brian May dismissed such speculation as premature. Read more »
Sure, it sounds a bit like we‘re just milking the hell out of it, but I‘m still a little fascinated with the possibility of a Scott MacIntyre-Matt Giraud duet, which was almost possible but sadly ditched before the American Idol finale last week went to air.  Scott, who revealed the supposed performance in a blog entry, said the two piano players were supposed to duel to the tune of Billy Joel‘s "Tell Her About It", but was cancelled when producers decided to whittle down the performances and, since Billy wasn‘t able to make it to the finale in time, that performance was cancelled first.There‘s a catch: Billy Joel didn‘t receive an invitation from Idol producers to appear on the finale.  A representative for the singer/songwriter told Entertainment Weekly that he did not back out because there was no invitation in the first place.  "[He] was never invited on American Idol to perform with Scott," the representative insisted.  "He did not pull out.  He‘s currently on tour." Read more »
Live ThoughtsNEW! American Idol 8: Season Finale, Live ResultsNEW! American Idol 8: Final Two Perform, Live ThoughtsAmerican Idol 8: Top 3, Live ResultsAmerican Idol 8: Top 3 Perform, Live ThoughtsAmerican Idol 8: Top 4, Live ResultsAmerican Idol 8: Top 4 Perform, Live ThoughtsAmerican Idol 8: Top 5, Live ResultsAmerican Idol 8: Idol Thoughts - A Great Top 5, and Simon Cowell‘s Psychological WarfareAmerican Idol 8: Top 5 Perform, Live Thoughts American Idol 8: Top 7, Live Results 2.0 American Idol 8: Top 7 Perform, Live Thoughts 2.0 American Idol 8: Idol Thoughts - All Hail Disco NightAmerican Idol 8: Top 10 Perform, Live ThoughtsAmerican Idol 8: Top 11, Live ResultsAmerican Idol 8: Top 11 Perform, Live ThoughtsAmerican Idol 8: Top 13, Live ResultsAmerican Idol 8: Top 13 Perform - Live ThoughtsAmerican Idol 8: Wild Card Show - Live ResultsAmerican Idol 8: Top 36, Final 12 - Live ResultsAmerican Idol 8: Top 36, Final 12 - Live ThoughtsAmerican Idol 8: Top 36, Second 12 - Live ResultsAmerican Idol 8: Top 36, Second 12 Perform - Live ThoughtsAmerican Idol 8: Top 36, First 12 - Live ResultsAmerican Idol 8: First 12 of Top 36 Perform, Live ThoughtsAmerican Idol 8: Top 36 Revealed, Live ThoughtsAmerican Idol 8: Hollywood Auditions - Part 3, Live ThoughtsAmerican Idol 8: Hollywood Auditions - Part 2, Live ThoughtsAmerican Idol 8: Hollywood Auditions - Part 1, Live ThoughtsAmerican Idol 8: New York/Puerto Rico Auditions, Live ThoughtsAmerican Idol 8: Salt Lake City Auditions, Live ThoughtsAmerican Idol 8: Jacksonville Auditions, Live ThoughtsAmerican Idol 8: Louisville Auditions, Live ThoughtsAmerican Idol 8: San Francisco Auditions, Live ThoughtsAmerican Idol 8: Kansas City Auditions, Live ThoughtsAmerican Idol 8: Season Premiere, Live ThoughtsWrap-UpsNEW! American Idol 8: Season in Review - Anoop DesaiNEW! American Idol 8: Season in Review - Lil Rounds NEW! American Idol 8: Top 7 Perform (Again) - Episode in Review American Idol 8: Top 10 Perform - Episode in ReviewAmerican Idol 8: Season in Review - Alexis GraceAmerican Idol 8: Top 11 Perform - Episode in ReviewAmerican Idol 8: Season in Review - Jorge NuñezAmerican Idol 8: Season in Review - Jasmine MurrayAmerican Idol 8: Top 13 Perform - Episode in ReviewAmerican Idol 8: And Here Goes The Top 12--Well, AlmostAmerican Idol 8: Top 36, Final 12 - Episode in ReviewAmerican Idol 8: Top 36, Second 12 - Episode in ReviewAmerican Idol 8: Top 36, First 12 - Episode in ReviewAmerican Idol 8: The Pacitti/Barton Swap Post-Mortem--So What Happened?American Idol 8: Who Is Felicia Barton, And Why Is She In Joanna Pacitti‘s Top 36 Slot?American Idol 8: What We Learned From Hollywood, Day 3American Idol 8: What We Learned From Hollywood, Day 2American Idol 8: What We Learned From Hollywood, Day 1American Idol 8: San Francisco/Louisville Wrap-UpAmerican Idol 8: Kansas City Auditions Wrap-UpAmerican Idol 8: Phoenix Auditions Wrap-UpContestant RankingsNEW! American Idol 8: Final 2 Performance RankingsNEW! American Idol 8: Top 3 Performance RankingsNEW! American Idol 8: Top 4 Performance RankingsNEW! American Idol 8: Top 4 Power RankingsNEW! American Idol 8: Top 5 Performance RankingsNEW! American Idol 8: Top 5 Power Rankings American Idol 8: Top 7 Performance Rankings 2.0American Idol 8: Top 10 Performance RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Top 10 Power RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Top 11 Performance RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Top 11 Power RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Top 13 Performance RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Top 13 Power RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Ranking the Wild Card ContendersAmerican Idol 8: Top 36 Performance Rankings American Idol 8: Top 36, Final 12 - Performance RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Top 36, Final 12 - Scouting ReportAmerican Idol 8: Top 36, Second 12 - Performance RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Top 36, Second 12 - Scouting ReportAmerican Idol 8: Top 36, First 12 - Performance RankingsOp-Eds and PredictionsNEW! American Idol 8: John vs. Oscar Podcast - Finale PredictionsNEW! American Idol 8: John vs. Oscar Podcast - Top 4 Elimination PredictionsNEW! American Idol 8: John vs. Oscar Podcast - Why Danny Gokey Must Go Home American Idol 8: Disco Week Song Predictions American Idol 8: Motown Week StorylinesAmerican Idol 8: Motown Week Song Choice PredictionsAmerican Idol 8: Looking Forward to Motown Week, Power Rankings and an Early PredictionWho Doesn‘t Think Adam Lambert Will Be The Next ‘American Idol‘?NEW! American Idol 8: John vs. Oscar Podcast - Top 9 Elimination PredictionsAmerican Idol 8: John vs. Oscar Podcast - Top 10 Elimination PredictionsAmerican Idol 8: John vs. Oscar Podcast - Top 11 Elimination PredictionsAmerican Idol 8: Top 11 Song Predictions - Grand Old Opre WeekDoes Being Married or Gay Hurt Your ‘American Idol‘ Chances?American Idol 8: Has The Top 4 Already Been Chosen? How Cynical Are We?American Idol 8: Idol Thoughts - Jasmine Murray, Paula‘s Cleavage and Random AnnoyancesAmerican Idol 8: John vs. Oscar Podcast - Top 13 Elimination Predictions American Idol 8: Top 13 Song Predictions - Michael Jackson WeekAmerican Idol 8: Analyzing the Top 13American Idol 8: John vs. Oscar Podcast - Predicting the Wild CardsAmerican Idol 8: There‘s Something About TatianaAmerican Idol 8: John vs. Oscar Podcast - Top 36, Final 12 American Idol 8: John vs. Oscar Podcast - Top 36, Second 12American Idol 8: John vs. Oscar Podcast - Top 36, First 12The Shameful Joy of ‘American Idol‘ SpoilersAmerican Idol: The Golden Ticket is Just the Beginning‘American Idol‘ Audition Episodes? Sorry, I‘d Rather NotAmerican Idol 8: Examining the Kara DioGuardi Experiment‘American Idol‘ Offers Second Chance at SuccessRatings and Quality Singers Lacking on ‘American Idol‘American Idol: Simon vs. The Women‘American Idol‘ Will Never Die... And That‘s Just FineBuddyTV Podcast of GloryNEW! BuddyTV Podcast of Glory: ‘American Idol‘ Results, Previewing the Final 12 BuddyTV Podcast of Glory: Analysis of ‘American Idol‘ Week 1 ResultsBuddyTV Podcast of Glory: Talking ‘American Idol‘ with Justin GuariniBuddyTV Podcast of Glory: ‘American Idol‘ Top 36BuddyTV Podcast of Glory: Braving the Waters of ‘American Idol‘ and ‘Lost‘ BuddyTV Podcast of Glory: Time-Traveling with ‘Lost‘ and ‘American Idol‘BuddyTV Podcast of Glory: John vs. Oscar, ‘American Idol,‘ ‘Lost,‘ Top 100 ShowsSlideshowsNEWAmerican Idol 8: Rat Pack Week Song PredictionsNEW22 Things I‘d Rather Listen To Than Paula Abdul on ‘American Idol‘NEWAmerican Idol 8: Top 7 Performance RankingsNEWAmerican Idol 8: Top 7 Perform - Episode in ReviewNEWAmerican Idol 8: Movie Theme Week Song PredictionsNEWAmerican Idol 8: Season in Review - Scott MacIntyreNEWAmerican Idol: 50 Rejected Theme Week IdeasAmerican Idol 8: Top 10 Performance RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Top 10 Perform - Episode in ReviewAmerican Idol 8: Motown Week Song Choice PredictionsAmerican Idol 8: Top 10 Power RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Season in Review - Alexis GraceAmerican Idol 8: Top 11 Performance RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Top 11 Song Predictions - Grand Old Opre WeekAmerican Idol 8: Top 11 Power RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Season in Review - Jorge NuñezAmerican Idol 8: Season in Review - Jasmine MurrayAmerican Idol 8: Top 13 Performance RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Top 13 Perform - Episode in ReviewAmerican Idol 8: Top 13 Song Predictions - Michael Jackson WeekAmerican Idol 8: Top 13 Power RankingsAmerican Idol 8: The Official Top 13 American Idol 8: Ranking the Wild Card ContendersAmerican Idol 8: Top 36 Performance RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Top 36, Final 12 - Performance RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Top 36, Final 12 - Episode in ReviewAmerican Idol 8: Top 36, Second 12 - Performance RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Top 36, Second 12 - Episode in ReviewAmerican Idol 8: Top 36, First 12 - Performance RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Top 36, First 12 - Episode in ReviewAmerican Idol 8: Top 36 Power RankingsAmerican Idol 8: The Official Top 36American Idol 8: Top 36 RevealedFashion Rankings SlideshowsNEW! American Idol 8: Top 2 Fashion RankingsNEW! American Idol 8: Top 3 Fashion RankingsNEW! American Idol 8: Top 4 Fashion RankingsNEW! American Idol 8: Top 5 Fashion RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Top 7 Fashion Rankings AgainAmerican Idol 8: Top 7 Fashion RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Top 8 Fashion RankingsAmerican Idol 8: Top 9 Fashion RankingsBits We Can‘t CategorizeNEW! American Idol 8: Adam Lambert as Queen Frontman? It Could HappenNEW! American Idol 8: It Could‘ve Been A Scott-Matt Duet, But...NEW! American Idol 8: Billy Joel Wasn‘t Invited On the FinaleNEW! American Idol: Does He Really Have To? Clay Aiken Apologizes To Adam Lambert NEW! Is Lambert‘s Loss Homophobia‘s Fault or an ‘American Idol‘ Conspiracy?NEW! How Kris Allen Won ‘American Idol‘NEW! American Idol: Did Gay Photos Cost Adam Lambert the Win?American Idol 8: The Kris Allen/Adam Lambert ShowdownBritney Spears, Final Performances and Other American Idol 8 Finale RumorsAmerican Idol: Brooke White Suits Up For Debut AlbumAmerican Idol 8: Disembarking the Anti-Danny Gokey TrainAmerican Idol 8: Motown Week Song Spoilers!!!American Idol 8: Top 11 Song Choice Predictions, Plus Leaked Song ListAmerican Idol 8: Adam Lambert Has Photos of Him Kissing Another Guy. Errr...‘American Idol 8‘ Spoilers: Top 36 Revealed!American Idol 8: Joanna Pacitti is a Big Time RingerVon Smith, the First Ringer of ‘American Idol 8‘The Top 13 Adam Lambert (26; Los Angeles, CA) Currently based in Hollywood, Adam has been singing since he was ten years old.  He spent the last eight years performing in musical theater, most recently in the LA run of Wicked. 3/25: "The Tracks Of My Tears" by the Miracles 3/17: "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash 3/10: "Black or White" by Michael Jackson Analyzing Adam Lambert Allison Iraheta (16; Downey, CA) Currently a junior high school student, Allison began singing when she was five.  She can also play the guitar. 3/25: "Papa Was A Rollin‘ Stone" by the Temptations 3/17: "Blame It On Your Heart" by Patti Loveless 3/10: "Give In to Me" by Michael Jackson Analyzing Allison Iraheta Anoop Desai (22; Chapel Hill, NC) Anoop is currently taking up a master‘s degree at the University of Northern California.  During his undergraduate years at the same university, he was part of the a cappella group Clef Hangers. 3/25: "Ooh Baby Baby" by Smokey Robinson 3/17: "Always On My Mind" by Willie Nelson 3/10: "Beat It" by Michael Jackson Analyzing Anoop Desai Danny Gokey (28; Milwaukee, WI) Currently the head of a non-profit organization that he himself formed, Danny joined the show shortly after the death of his wife.  He is passionate about singing, playing the piano and dancing the salsa. 3/25: "Get Ready" by the Temptations 3/17: "Jesus Take the Wheel" by Carrie Underwood 3/10: "P.Y.T." by Michael Jackson Analyzing Danny Gokey Kris Allen (23; Conway, AR) Kris started singing and playing the guitar when he was 13 years old.  He currently studies at the University of Central Arkansas. 3/25: "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" by Marvin Gaye 3/17: "To Make You Feel My Love" by Garth Brooks 3/10: "Remember the Time" by Michael Jackson Analyzing Kris Allen Lil Rounds (24; Memphis, TN) Lil is currently a stay-at-home mother, looking after her husband and three children.  Her passion for singing began when she was just three years old. 3/25: "(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave" by Martha and the Vandellas 3/17: "Independence Day" by Martina McBride 3/10: "The Way You Make Me Feel" by Michael Jackson Analyzing Lil Rounds Matt Giraud (23; Kalamazoo, MI) Matt has lived in Michigan all his life, having graduated from Western Michigan University in 2007.  He performs and plays the piano in local clubs and hotels. 3/25: "Let‘s Get It On" by Marvin Gaye 3/17: "So Small" by Carrie Underwood 3/10: "Human Nature" by Michael Jackson Analyzing Matt Giraud Megan Corkrey (23; Sandy, UT) Single mother Megan has been singing since she was three years old.  While not raising her two-year-old Ryder, she indulges in being a self-professed "foodie". 3/25: "For Once In My Life" by Stevie Wonder 3/17: "Walkin‘ After Midnight" by Patsy Cline 3/10: "Rockin‘ Robin" by Michael Jackson Analyzing Megan Corkrey Michael Sarver (27; Jasper, TX) An oil rig worker, Michael also plays the piano, drums and guitar, and hopes to become a singer/songwriter someday.  Outside of work, he spends time with his wife and two kids. 3/25: "Ain‘t Too Proud to Beg" by the Temptations 3/17: "Ain‘t Goin‘ Down Till The Sun Goes Up" by Garth Brooks 3/10: "You Are Not Alone" by Michael Jackson Analyzing Michael Sarver Scott MacIntyre (23; Scottsdale, Arizona) Despite being blind, Scott earned his degree at the Arizona State University at age 19, before attending graduate school in London.  He also plays the piano, guitar and drums. 3/25: "You Can‘t Hurry Love" by the Supremes 3/17: "Wild Angels" by Martina McBride 3/10: "Keep the Faith" by Michael Jackson Analyzing Scott MacIntyre Alexis Grace (21; Memphis, TN) Singing since she was seven years old, Alexis was once part of the Concert Choir at the University of Memphis.  She auditioned shortly after giving birth to her baby daughter. Eliminated on 3/18 3/17: "Jolene" by Dolly Parton 3/10: "Dirty Diana" by Michael Jackson Analysis | Season in Review Jasmine Murray (17; Starkville, MS) Jasmine‘s love for the stage began when she sang at age 3.  Currently, she is a student at the Mississippi School of the Arts. Eliminated on 3/11 3/10: "I‘ll Be There" by the Jackson 5 Analysis | Season in Review Jorge Nunez (21; Carolina, Puerto Rico) The only contestant from the Puerto Rico auditions to make the Top 36, Jorge is currently a student at the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras.  He speaks English, Spanish and French. Eliminated on 3/11 3/10: "Never Can Say Goodbye" by Michael Jackson Analysis | Season in Review The Rest of the Top 36    Alex Wagner-Trugman    Anne Marie Boskovich    Arianna Afsar    Brent Keith    Casey Carlson    Felicia Barton    Jackie Tohn    Jeanine Vailes    Jessica Langseth    Junot Joyner    Kai Kalama    Kendall Beard    Kristen McNamara    Matt Breitzke    Mishavonna Henson    Nathaniel Marshall    Nick Mitchell    Ricky Braddy    Stephen Fowler    Stevie Wright    Tatiana del Toro    Taylor Vaifanua    Von Smith -Henrik Batallones, BuddyTV Staff Columnist(Images courtesy of Fox) Read more »
Yes, yes, Kris Allen won the competition.  "No Boundaries" has been rushed to the shelves; runner-up Adam Lambert could be the next vocalist of Queen, and then there‘s what coming ahead.  Kris, who pulled off an almost-upset (I revise that term now) to win the recently-concluded season of American Idol, now looks forward to establish himself further in the music industry."More than anything, to be respected and be in the music business and just sell albums and make great music, that‘s all I want to do," he told Rolling Stone.  "For me, all the stuff that I did on the show, I feel like were pretty conducive to what I‘m going to do on an album, that pop-rock kind of thing." Read more »
Sure, some are wondering why the actual results for American Idol weren‘t announced.  Could it be because it was, perhaps unwittingly, swayed by, of all people, the folks at AT&T?The mobile service provider--the only one that allows text voting to Idol--might have influenced the final vote that allowed Kris Allen to pull off an upset against Adam Lambert.  The company reportedly provided phones and free text messaging services to two parties in Arkansas, organized by Kris‘ fans after the final performance episode of the talent show. Read more »
Within the past twenty-four hours or so, it felt like a wildfire on American Idol soil.  There‘s news that AT&T, the company that allowed text votes for the show‘s past few seasons, may have influenced this year‘s votes towards Kris Allen.  And then there‘s the reaction, from disgruntled Adam Lambert fans, to disgruntled (and weary) fans altogether.  More fuel to the flame?  I guess, but I think it‘ll die down again, and the rest delegated to, uhh, urban legend.Idol producers, as well as Fox executives, issued a statement insisting that last week‘s final vote was not unfairly influenced by what some AT&T employees did in Kris Allen parties held in Arkansas, when they allegedly supplied free text messaging services for fans to be able to vote for him, as well as teaching how to send "power texts", or multiple messages through one send, which is expressly disallowed by the show. Read more »
There has been plenty of speculation regarding Adam Lambert‘s sexual orientation ever since he first arrived on American Idol.  The eyeliner, the hair, the outfits, the musical theater background and the photographs of him kissing other men all seem to point to Lambert being gay, but it‘s still just speculation.In a new interview with People Magazine, Lambert addressed the speculation with the non-admission/admission encouraging everyone to "keep speculating."  What‘s the point of saying that unless he‘s waiting for his cover like Clay Aiken, Lance Bass or Ellen Degeneres. Read more »
This is totally distracting.  It seemed like yesterday when Adam Lambert got this much praise on American Idol, with his performance of that Rolling Stones track compelling Randy Jackson to compare him to Twilight‘s Robert Pattinson.  And, as he found himself a spot on the Top 12, people online started wondering whether he could be the "next Edward Cullen," probably because of his looks, and probably because of his singing, although his voice is obviously much screechier than Robert‘s.And then, boom--photos of him kissing other guys come out.  I‘m sorry, but I think those people have lost themselves future vampire material. Read more »
As those clichéd introductions would go, "wanna be the next Kris Allen?"  American Idol is getting ready for its ninth season, with the nationwide audition tour heading to seven cities starting next month.  So, if you think you have what it takes, or if you‘re ready to (if you‘re lucky enough) get your fifteen minutes of fame in front of the judges, then better start warming up, prepare your itinerary, and block off those dates. Read more »
After months and months of speculation, everyone seems to be weighing in on Adam Lambert‘s sexuality, except Adam Lambert himself. American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi recently sat down with the ladies of The View to discuss this season‘s finalists. When asked about Adam‘s sexuality, Kara claims she never thought he was in the closet. According to her, Adam has always been out as a gay man. This doesn‘t take into account the countless interviews in which Lambert has refused to answer any question about his sexuality directly.Rumors have been flying around about Adam‘s sexuality affecting the final votes. Whether or not Adam Lambert lost to Kris Allen because people believe he‘s gay is yet to be seen. There are even rumors about AT&T influencing Allen‘s win. Read more »
Last time, it‘s Brooke White who‘s preparing an album.  Now, it‘s another one from the seventh season of American Idol: Michael Johns is gearing up to release Hold Back My Heart, his first album before joining the singing competition--and finishing eighth--last year.Twelve tracks form the album, six of which he co-wrote, with is acclaimed songwriter Diane Warren and British singer-songwriter James Morrison also pitching in some lyrics.  His early exit from the show proved beneficial to him, as he immediately plunged into working for this album. Read more »
Has Dancing with the Stars become a dumping ground for unsuccessful reality show contestants?It certainly seems that way if ever American Idol third placer Danny Gokey indeed heads to the ABC dancing competition.  The 29-year-old Wisconsin native has reportedly expressed interest in dropping the microphone in favor of dancing shoes.  The transition from Idol to DWTS, if ever, will hardly be the first of its kind.  Just this season, jilted Bachelor winner Melissa Rycroft joined Dancing with the Stars and emerged third in the show‘s eighth season, which recently concluded with Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson bringing home the mirror-ball trophy. Read more »
American Idol producers have announced two more dates for their audition tour for the ninth season of the show.  They did announce the cities where they‘ll be stopping a couple of weeks ago, and a refresher is in order: they‘ll be kicking off in Boston, and will be going to Los Angeles, Denver, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Orlando.  By then, only three cities have had confirmed dates, but now it‘s a few weeks past, there are a couple of new dates for you to watch out.  Ready for the rundown?  Here goes...  Read more »
It‘s a drip-feed of news items on American Idol since, well, it‘s been two weeks since we named Kris Allen the winner.  (Well, most of us, at least.)  So, there‘s nothing else to do but to lump them all together.  Jennifer Hudson pregnant?  Diana DeGarmo stalked?  That‘s after the cut. Read more »
50 Cities, 10 Days, 1 Chance to win!  Here is how the contest works: BuddyTV will be visiting a city near you and giving away free tickets to the American Idol Live Tour 2009 viaour Twitter page www.twitter.com/buddytv.Starting this Thursday, May 14, 5 cities will be announced daily at12pm PT (Monday-Friday) for 10 days straight, until Wednesday, May 17,when our tour wraps. When we announceyour city, enter the contest. Not before. If you enter before your cityhas beenannounced, your entry will not be counted. You have from thetime the cities are announced, 12pm PT that day, until 9am PT the nextday to enter. So, how do you enter?To enter follow these 3 simple steps: Read more »
To be honest, talk of Adam Lambert‘s sexuality is getting tiring.  American Idol‘s off-air for two weeks already, and within that time, we‘ve seen Adam tease about it, Kara say he‘s been out all this time, and all that debate on whether that question mark over his head has relegated him to second place in a competition that Kris Allen ultimately won.  But, perhaps just to keep the fire burning, well, there‘s that talk, and there‘s that talk.So, perhaps, Adam‘s trying to shut everyone‘s mouths by, uhh, finally saying it? Read more »
I love Kelly Clarkson. I love Twilight. I‘m probably equally obsessed with both. Those of you that follow me on Twitter know that I talked all day about which Kelly Clarkson song would be best for the New Moon soundtrack (it‘s a song called "Haunted" from her My December album by the way. Go listen to it now). So how did I not know that the two things I‘m most obsessed with in the world might join into a union of angst and beautiful vocals? That‘s right, evidently Kelly Clarkson wrote a song for New Moon.I read a long time ago on Kelly Clarkson‘s blog that she was currently reading the Twilight saga and was absolutely obsessed. She had the normal reactions of never being able to put the book down, reading into the wee hours of the morning, and generally having Bella and Edward on her brain 24/7. I only loved her more. During one of my "all Kelly" days where I only listen to Kelly Clarkson on my iTunes for an entire day while I work, I considered how awesome it would be if Kelly somehow got involved with the New Moon soundtrack. Read more »
It‘s a drip-feed, I tell you.  A serious drip-feed.  Maybe we‘ll get something when the American Idol auditions get swinging in the coming weeks, but for now, two quick items from the big and complicated world of the singing contest that‘s named after this country but, obviously, shown around the world.  There‘s a guilty plea, and then there‘s talk of Adam Lambert, again.  Okay.  I‘m slightly ready. Read more »
Yeah, well, there was this stretch of time during the last season of American Idol when we all ended up speculating about which of the four judges will be staying--not after Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Kara DioGuardi hinted about what‘s possibly in store for them come next year.  Well, we‘re on it again.You probably caught The Late Show with David Letterman last Thursday, where Paula was the guest, and she ended up talking about how talks for a new stint on Idol was going on.  And, simply said, she‘s note sure with how things will turn out. Read more »
It was way back in August 2004 when Constantine Maroulis made headlines for his stint on American Idol, but he‘s gone a long way since then.  For this year‘s Tony Awards, the musician has been nominated in the category Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical due to his work on Rock of Ages.  It‘s certainly a major honor for him, since he was unable to win the fourth season of the FOX reality competition."It‘s very significant to me," Maroulis said on an interview with Playbill.  "I grew up as an actor." Read more »
Notice: this is a token mention, but at least we‘ll all have something to look forward to when we pass by the magazine stands in the coming weeks.  Or, if you never considered buying Rolling Stone, you might as well buy a copy soon.  American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert confirmed that, indeed, he will address those burning hot questions in an upcoming issue of the magazine.  And it should be easy to spot: he‘s on the cover."Yes, they picked me!" he raved to reporters during the recently concluded Young Hollywood Awards, where he took home the Artist of the Year award.  "It‘s pretty crazy. I never thought I would get anywhere near that.  It‘s like, ‘What? Rolling Stone?‘  I don‘t even know what to say anymore." Read more »
As expected, the latest American Idol winner, Kris Allen, has inked a record deal with 19 Recordings and Jive Records.  Part of the perks, so to speak.  The album‘s yet to be named, but it‘ll hit shelves in the fall, and is expected to be similar to what we‘ve heard him do during his stint on the talent search."I felt like I did exactly what I wanted to do on the show that I would want to do on a record," he said in a previous interview.  "When I went on the show and did ‘Ain‘t No Sunshine‘, I felt that was the kind of stuff that I wanted to do--stuff that kind of moves people and has that feeling."  Read more »
Adam Lambert says it himself in his upcoming Rolling Stone cover, "I don‘t think it should be a surprise for anyone to hear that I‘m gay." Right you are. After months of speculation, Lambert finally decided to speak up. Why did he wait so long to address his sexuality? Although Adam Lambert gives no indication of why he never talked about during season 8 of American Idol, he does say he wanted to wait for Rolling Stone after the finale because a Stone cover would be so much "cooler."Don‘t expect Adam Lambert to become the leader of any gay causes anytime soon. He makes his intentions very clear in the article and says, "I‘m trying to be a singer, not a civil rights leader." Lambert also doesn‘t want to shy away from his sexuality anymore. "I‘m proud of my sexuality...I embrace it. It‘s just another part of me."  Read more »
How do I say this?  Oh, right.  Yaaaaaaaaaay!The rumors are indeed true--American Idol fourth-placer Allison Iraheta has signed a record deal with 19 Entertainment.  That makes her the third contestant from the past season to get a record deal, after winner Kris Allen (obviously) snags a contract with 19, and runner-up Adam Lambert takes one with RCA.  And, like those other two, she will release her debut single in the fall. Read more »
Out of necessity, I had to clump an Adam-related news item with another one, because the former standing alone makes this thing too short.  So, I shall complain again about an American Idol drip-feed, which is funny considering all that fuss about Adam Lambert coming out and Allison Iraheta getting a record deal just a couple of days ago.  But, hey, remember their duet during the week Allie got the boot?  The judges did say they should collaborate frequently, right?  So that‘s an excuse.  And the next paragraph is another one.  On this round-up, well... the title says it all, I believe. Read more »
The last season of American Idol does feel far away from us now, not after all that conversation after the winner was announced, and everything else happened.  One more nail in the coffin, then: the ninth season is seriously underway, and Boston was the first stop in the seven-city audition tour, starting off another search for that next big star--and, dare I say, Kris Allen‘s successor.  Or Adam Lambert‘s, depending on how you‘re looking at it.As you may know, auditions kicked off in Boston over the weekend--well, some would point out that it‘s in the town of Foxboro, where the Gillette Stadium stands.  7,000 contestants flocked to try their luck, and if Ryan Seacrest‘s to be trusted, the number could have been bigger--if only it wasn‘t raining. Read more »
Can I just quote the Klaxons for a moment?  Oh, they‘re a British band, in case you‘re not up to speed on them.  Anyway.  "It‘s not over, it‘s not over, it‘s not over, it‘s not over yet."  Yeah, the title did say so, but there are a few things we‘re bound to miss over the weekend, and right now it‘s getting, I dunno, weird still talking about it?  Admittedly, however, I‘ve yet to buy the Rolling Stone issue with him on the cover.  But before we get to all the Adam Lambert talk--because everybody has an opinion, it seems--something totally unrelated, and totally nice to read about. Read more »
And then I realized I‘ve been doing lots of American Idol news roundups lately.  Well, I‘ll wait for the next auditions (which, if I remember correctly, will be in Atlanta).  Or maybe I can continue goading my friend to go audition in Dallas.  Before all that, though, a couple of items, one involving a no-show at the Boston auditions, and another involving a little confusion.  Shall we, then? Read more »
While in the middle of writing this American Idol roundup, I checked my Twitter stream and noticed that Danny Gokey is trending--along with the magical D-word.  All I see are tweets about him, and Michael Sarver, and homosexuality, and... well, here‘s why.  Also on today‘s round-up, stuff from the past (read: David Archuleta and Sanjaya Malakar) and the present.  Ready? Read more »
In a separate life, I was watching American Idol without thinking about it too much.  (Compare that with the past year, and everything I‘ve done for this website.  But I digress.)  I remember being awed by some of the contestants, but I distinctly remember my mother being a fan of season 7‘s Carly Smithson, partly because she reminds her of Amy Lee, the vocalist of Evanescence, which happened to be one of her favorite bands.  She always compared the two, and was dismayed when she was eliminated.Who would‘ve thought that she‘d be with those guys soon?  In what is perhaps the most interesting thing to come out of Idol, Smithson has joined forced with former Evanescence lead guitarist and songwriter Ben Moody to form the band The Fallen.  Also on board are two other band members, Rocky Gray and John LeCompt, as well as outsider Marty O‘Brian. Read more »
Brad Paisley and Taylor Swift were big winners at the 2009 CMT Music Awards, which recently wrapped up in Nashville.Paisley took home three awards out of four nominations.  The video for his single "Waitin‘ on A Woman" took home Male Video of the Year, while the video for "Start a Band", his collaborative effort with Keith Urban, won Collaborative Video of the Year.  He also took home the CMT Performance of the Year award, along with Alan Jackson, George Strait and Dierks Bentley, for their performance of "Country Boy". Read more »
Who exactly has Adam Lambert‘s debut album?  Sure, he did sign a deal with 19 Recordings and RCA after his run on American Idol, but his debut album might come from an independent label.Sources told Billboard.com that Hi Fi Recordings and Wilshire Records and planning to release On With The Show, an album with tracks that the singer co-wrote and recorded before Idol came along.  If their plans push through, that album will hit shelves this summer, months before his first post-Idol album hits stores.  The first single on that album, entitled "Want", can be heard on Hi Fi‘s website. Read more »
And then I start asking myself why I‘m still doing these American Idol roundups just as the faucet starts running dry.  Oh, right, the tour, and the compilation album... and a little thing I want to share with you.  It‘s not really important, so I‘ll put it at the very bottom of the list. Read more »
As if American Idol judge Simon Cowell doesn‘t have that much on his plate, he‘s throwing in an extra: he is setting up a new entertainment company that will develop new shows for both his native United Kingdom, as well as the United States.While no details have yet been released, reports say he is collaborating with British billionaire Philip Green, best known as the man behind the Topshop stores.  This is not the first collaboration between the two: the retail mogul has given advice to Cowell regarding his contract negotiations for Idol.  (It must be a good partnership: some reports say he‘s been given a contract so big it‘d "surpass even Oprah Winfrey‘s estimated earnings," according to the Financial Times.) Read more »
The feeble connection with American Idolis, of course, the very first week of the finals of the past season. "Tonight, we‘re celebrating the hits of Michael Jackson," Ryan Seacrestsaid, before the Top 13 kicked off their trips to stardom singing songsfrom the so-called King of Pop.  (That episode will be aired again this Monday from 8pm on Fox.) I‘m just in my early 20s, and I‘ll admit to being too young during hisheyday, so watching that show was quite a revelation: "I didn‘t know hesang that!" was my most prominent line, once song after song after songstarted to sound so familiar.I suddenly remembered that whennews of the musician‘s death started filtering through.  The sketchydetails--of him suffering a heart attack, of being found not breathingin his home, of him being brought to a Los Angeles hospital--gave wayto unconfirmed detail after unconfirmed detail after confirmed detail. And then, the tributes, in 140-character bursts, from celebrities to myfriends who, for the most part, were too young to have a grasp of hishits. Read more »
For the first time in the network‘s history, Fox has announced that it will air an episode from the recently concluded season of American Idol, in tribute to Michael Jackson, who died earlier today of an alleged heart attack.  The episode will air on Monday, June 29, at 8pm. Read more »
Whoops.  I did think it was an Evanescence song they were singing on the video I uploaded on the last roundup.  I only realized it wasn‘t when I got my copy of We Are the Fallen‘s first free MP3--the new name‘s because some band complained, whatever--and... I‘m passing my quick verdict on that in today‘s random American Idol roundup.  That, and more details from the upcoming tour, but first... Read more »
Alternative titles to this post included: "So You Think You Can Dance:Books a Musical Guest Who Can Actually Sing," "So You Think You CanDance Musical Guest: With 100% Less Lip Syncing," "So You Think YouCan Dance: Keeping It In The Fox Family." Courtesy of a Fox press release we learn that this week‘s musical guestwill be Kelly Clarkson. Or as I like to call her, someone with actualmusical talent. Sure, she was discovered by FOX‘s other hit realityshow, American Idol, which makes it seem a bit cross-promotional butthere‘s no denying: Kelly Clarkson can sing. Kelly will perform her new hit "I Do Not Hook Up"and hopefully, unlike the other musical guests this season, she willactually sing.  Read more »
An admission is in order: I don‘t remember Ace Young, which is pretty bad since I watched the fifth season of American Idol quite closely--in a past life, of course--and rooted for Taylor Hicks.  But anyway, the detail is, he‘s engaged. Read more »
At first glance, that is a lot of money.While we‘re all still wondering about whether all four American Idol judges are returning to the show next season, an interesting detail has come out as negotiations are still underway: Simon Cowell might be offered as much as $144 million just for season 9. Read more »
That, or the other good question--do you remember who Joanna Pacitti is?Quick history lesson then: she made some ripples on the last season of American Idol, for being an obvious favorite and a shoo-in during the auditions.  She breezed towards Hollywood, and breezed towards the Top 36--that, despite Simon Cowell vowing that they will cut anyone who forgets the lyrics, which she did. Read more »
We‘ve probably had some sort of Michael Jackson overflow over the past few days, but I think this is one of the more interesting angles I‘ve seen: if not for his songs, Kris Allen wouldn‘t have won American Idol.Okay.  Tall order, that one.  Sure, Kris started his bid for votes with an MJ song, and kicked off his Top 13 campaign with a stripped down (and more comfortable, arguably) "Remember the Time", but it was in the middle of the competition when he finally established himself as one with "artistry" and eventually gave him the closely-contested win.  More so, consider that Kris wasn‘t born when the King of Pop‘s biggest hits crashed the airwaves and turned him into who he is, for better or worse. Read more »
And then I started wondering if there‘s actually anything new with the rest of the Top 10 of the recent American Idol season.  I mean, we‘ve seen contestants outside the final two get record deals and have pretty successful post-Idol careers.  This year is no exception: Kris Allen and Adam Lambert have snagged contracts, as well as fourth-placed Allison Iraheta.  And then we wonder about the rest.E! Online caught up with them as they rehearsed for the it‘s-getting-seriously-close American Idol summer tour, and then I realized that they‘re all pretty much in a state of limbo. Read more »
And the wedding bells finally sounded for American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi, who tied the knot with contractor Mike McCuddy over the Fourth of July weekend.The songwriter‘s publicist, Danica Smith, told reporters that the coupled exchanged vows last Sunday at the prospect Harbor United Methodist Church in Prospect Harbor, Maine.  Around thirty guests attended the ceremony, just as the couple wished.  Kara came in with a Vera Wang dress. Read more »
Well, it may seem that it‘s always Paula Abdul who‘s saying something about how the judges are negotiating their new American Idol contracts, and, well, can we set aside all those she-is-crazy liner for a moment?  For one, this is some pretty good news."I‘ve been invited to stay the duration of the show, however long it lasts," Paula told the Associated Press, on the set of the Lifetime series Drop Dead Diva, where she is set to play a guest role.  She added that an invitation from the show‘s producers came to her last Monday, and the only thing that‘s yet to be seen are the terms of the contract. Read more »
Ladies and gentlemen, meet busy body Carrie Underwood.For being one of the few American Idol graduates who‘ve been everywhere since the show, natch.  And here she goes again, getting her third album ready.  The yet untitled album just got a November 3 release date, with the first single off it coming out within the summer. Read more »
While Simon Cowell‘s purported $114 million per year deal is too big, well... you can say Ryan Seacrest is being a little more modest.  But the American Idol host is also negotiating his contract in between breaks, amidst all the buzz on whether the judges will be complete when the show returns next year.Oh, and he is reportedly putting the finishing touches on a contract extension for the show, which will see him take a sizeable pay raise and make him one of the highest-paid reality hosts on television. Read more »
Quick question: you a Jason Castro fan?  Well, then, August is the month you should be waiting for.  Oh, wait, that‘s next month already!Because that‘s when the dreadlocked dark horse from American Idol‘s seventh season will be releasing his debut single, with the album coming shortly after.  You might want to recall that he signed up with Atlantic Records last April, almost a year since he ended his run on Idol (and watched David Cook win in the process). Read more »
Just last week we talked about Ryan Seacrest‘s negotiations to stay as American Idol‘s host, and how those negotiations have been seemingly overshadowed by all that talk on whether Paula Abdul or Kara DioGuardi is returning, or whether Simon Cowell is really getting a hundred million dollars to stay as judge.  Which means reports that the ubiquitous television host is getting a big pay raise has been overshadowed, too.Well, Ryan is indeed staying on as host of the show for three more seasons, and he‘s really getting a huge pay raise.  Thrice as much as last year‘s, in fact. Read more »
If you‘re expecting to see Kris Allen on tomorrow night‘s The Tonight Show, well, expect someone else: he won‘t be showing up.  The American Idol winner has cancelled his appearance on Conan O‘Brien‘s late night show because of the death of his maternal grandmother."I know I was supposed to do Conan on Wednesday, but there was a death in my family," he told fans through his Twitter page.  "But everyone watch [Allison Iraheta].  She is filling in.  And by filling in, I mean [she] is gonna rock Conan‘s face off." Read more »
$144 million is still a deliriously large sum of money.  Again, still a deliriously large sum of money.   While it won‘t be a surprise to see Simon Cowell have that much money, it‘s a little daunting to imagine that he‘ll be earning that much for just one year on American Idol.   And to think Ryan Seacrest‘s new deal would fetch him just $15 million a year.Well, maybe it would happen, right?  The rumors have circulated for a few weeks now, and all the pieces seem to be in place: his new company with Topshop mogul Philip Green, who is reportedly advising him on Idol negotiations, and all that talk about him leaving Idol, or maybe another one of his three reality shows.  Or, it‘s a very active mind on our part. Read more »
There was another Kelli, a lesser known one, on the debut season of American Idol, and appearing last night on America‘s Got Talent, Kelli Glover says the NBC talent competition is her final shot at achieving her dream, six years after reaching the semifinals on Idol."After American Idol, I went to this emotional thing. It was really tough. I really wanted that. I really thought that it was my chance, but it was just so devastating. It made me not want to sing anymore," says Kelli, adding that she temporarily gave up on singing and worked in a casino. "This is the last chance. I‘m getting older. I really want to do something in music, and now I‘m here. I want to prove to American that I can really do it." Read more »
Fine, so the photo up here doesn‘t really have anything to do with the story.  It‘s the best photo I could find from American Idol‘s auditions in Denver.  But here goes the transition: being there does make you feel a bit euphoric, a little too giddy, and perhaps a little more forgetful, like that guy who was arrested during the show‘s auditions there--for leaving his dog in a car.If it‘s a little reminiscent of that storyline in early CSI, well, it is: high temperatures meant the small terrier was dead within hours. Read more »
Now I‘m confused.  Or, well, I should‘ve seen it coming, for it‘s Paula Abdul, after all.Over the weekend, Paula‘s manager, David Sonenberg, told the Los Angeles Times that the American Idol judge might not be returning to the show after all.  "It does not appear that she‘s going to be back on Idol" were his words, to be specific. Read more »
The whole will-Paula-return-to-Idol? story has taken a new twist.  A $20 million twist, to be exact.Well, maybe I should take back the "to be exact" part.  That bit‘s unconfirmed, but if we‘re to believe the folks at Radar Online, the reason for all this furious chatter about Paula Abdul not possibly returning to the ninth season of American Idol is because she‘s asked for a $20 million paycheck this year--and was turned down. Read more »
Just to add to all that talk surrounding Paula Abdul‘s floating fate on American Idol, cue Simon Cowell.  As the controversy surrounding her negotiations continue, Simon put forward his support for the Idol judge, whose talks stalled, according to her manager, because they refused to give her a good deal, which some reports pegged at $20 million for this year."I don‘t get a lot of say," he said.  "I‘ve just made it clear that I want Paula on the show." Read more »
That is, if something does go wrong with Paula Abdul‘s negotiations over her contract with American Idol.  If that breaks apart, and she ends up leaving the middle seat on that show‘s judge desk, she can count on Nigel Lythgoe and So You Think You Can Dance."We would certainly consider [Abdul as] a guest judge," he told the New York Daily News.  "Without question." Read more »
And to think we all complained about that freaking "No Boundaries" song when it was dropped on unsuspecting us during the American Idol finale.Now, I don‘t think I‘ll be able to see any of the tour stops on this year‘s Idol summer tour, as much as I‘d love to see some of them (wink wink).  But I always thought the inclusion of "No Boundaries" on Kris Allen‘s set list would dampen everything--I saw the first set lists and it was very much a high-energy or high-popularity set, and then it‘d all go pffft when that song goes in the end?  Kris saw that, and perhaps to our delight, he yanked that song off his list. Read more »
Uh-oh.  This certainly makes things more complicated.  Much more complicated.In the light of all that controversy as to whether Paula Abdul will be leaving American Idol or not, reports have surfaced that British singer Cheryl Cole has been offered $6 million to take over the slot.  However, she turned it down, because her husband, soccer player Ashley Cole, will be in England at the time. Read more »
Sad news on the American Idol front over the weekend, or at least for those who‘ve watched the audition episodes and enjoyed those who tried and failed--and, in some cases, picked it up and redeemed themselves.  Alexis Cohen, an auditioner for the show on its latest two seasons, died early Saturday morning in Seaside Heights, NJ, the victim of a suspected hit-and-run.The 25-year-old from Allentown, PA was found unresponsive on a street, roughly 300 yards from where her car was parked.  First aid workers brought her to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 6:35 in the morning. Read more »
And then another name gets thrown in that growing-but-quieting-down will-Paula-return-to-Idol? fire: Jennifer Lopez‘s.  But the actress and performer denies rumors that she is in the running to replace Paula Abdul on the American Idol judges‘ desk."The rumor of Jennifer Lopez throwing herself in the ring to take over for Paula Abdul is completely false," a representative for the actress told People magazine.  "Jennifer loves Idol, but just as a fan.  She just wrapped the feature film The Back-Up Plan, due out January 2010, and will release an album then as well." Read more »
A man was arrested in connection with the death of Alexis Cohen, the two-time American Idol auditioner who was found dead in Seaside Heights, NJ over the weekend.23-year-old Daniel Bark was charged Sunday night with leaving the scene of a fatal accident, according to the town‘s deputy police chief, Michael Mohel.  He was arrested after an "extensive investigation" and, if convicted, he could serve 10 to 15 years in jail.  Bail has been set at $35,000. Read more »
More details have come out concerning the death of two-time American Idol wannabe Alexis Cohen, who died over the weekend after being struck by a car in New Jersey.  Earlier, it was reported that a man, Daniel Bark, was arrested in connection with the death.  And, it seems, sometimes, bad things happen when you‘re in the wrong place at the wrong time.Further investigation now reveals that Bark got involved in the hit-and-run after trying to escape police from another accident.  Ocean County prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford told The Star-Ledger that Bark was apprehended by a police officer at shortly before 4am last Saturday, when he hit a parked car near a bar.  However, the suspect fled, and ended up hitting Cohen. Read more »
At least we‘re certain of at least two judges on that side of the American Idol set.  Randy Jackson?  Check.  Kara DioGuardi?  Check.While we‘re still unsure of the futures of Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul on the upcoming Idol season, reports have come in that Kara--the songwriter who joined the show last year as a surprise fourth judge--has wrapped up her negotiations and is certainly returning to the show this January. Read more »
It may have seemed that the man charged with killing American Idol auditioner Alexis Cohen is remorseful, but according to his attorney, Daniel Bark will prepare a vigorous defense in court."There will be a not guilty plea entered across the board for all of the complaints," lawyer Daniel Glassman told People magazine.  "We don‘t have anything in regards to the mechanics of how this young woman was killed.  There are a lot of unanswered questions regarding how the accident occurred." Read more »
Okay, so this bit‘s been out for the past two days, and there‘s a reason why I didn‘t write it down earlier: I thought these allegations were nothing new.  But there‘s something with Junot Joyner‘s allegations that make this set extra special: he‘s coming out fighting.Wait, Junot who?  Junot was part of the Top 36 of the past season of American Idol.  You might remember him for giving that soulful spin to "Hey There Delilah" in Hollywood that I actually loved the first time he did it--and then he performed it again during the Top 36 and I wasn‘t so struck.  He was eliminated when Lil Rounds, Scott MacIntyre and Jorge Nuñez got in, and then he was forgotten... until this, maybe. Read more »
Just to make it official, since we‘ve already mentioned this some time last week, Kara DioGuardi is returning to American Idol.  Cue the executives talking."Kara‘s spitfire personality and sharp musical sensibility infused American Idol with a new energy last year," Fox president for alternative programming Mike Darnell said.  "She clearly has a keen eye for talent--spotting Adam Lambert‘s superstar quality early on last season--and her performance on the season 8 finale was one of the most memorable in recent Idol history." Read more »
For eight seasons, American Idol has had a steady stranglehold on the top spot of the ratings totem pole. ABC reality competition Dancing with the Stars tried to give Idol some competition last season, but its efforts fell short, notching a few million viewers below the Fox juggernaut.This season, one show will once again try to pierce through Idol‘s mighty armor, and judging from the show‘s ratings history, it just might do so. Read more »
"With sadness in my heart I‘ve decided not to return to Idol."Those words on her Twitter page have made it official: Paula Abdul is not returning to American Idol after eight seasons."I‘ll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all being a part ofa show that I helped from day one become an international phenomenon," she continued. Read more »
Paula Abdul‘s left American Idol, and if you‘ve been reading up on what Nigel Lythgoe from the other side of the fence is saying, then, well, you might really want to expect to see Paula on So You Think You Can Dance--as early as tomorrow night, actually."I think we will [invite her], for the Thursday [finale]," he told TVGuide.com.  "I certainly will invite her.  There might still be time but I‘m not sure there might be seats!" Read more »
Paula Abdul finally letting go of American Idol--because, it seems, she isn‘t getting what she wants--is somewhat ironic.  Or maybe not.  Should I remind you about the time when Kara DioGuardi was hired to be the show‘s fourth judge?  All that talk about the move being a way to ease Paula out of the show, after issues surrounding her well-being?I honestly expected that we‘d just hear that Paula will be leaving the show--maybe "fired" is the better term--but we were instead treated to this long drawn-out debate after the last season ended.  She‘s optimistic, she‘s not so optimistic, she might not come back, she isn‘t coming back. Read more »
I knew Paula Abdul would get offers after she left (or fired from) American Idol.  I didn‘t expect she‘d get a lot of offers.Since her surprise departure from the show last week, she reveals that she‘s received many offers from other shows.  "At this point, there are so many wonderful things that are being offered to me," the reality star told the Associated Press.  "And I got to take a deep breath, sleep a little ... and go through everything." Read more »
The American Idol callbacks are underway, but from where I am, it seems the scenes look like that in cheesy romantic movies when one thinks about the other as they try to do what they have to do.  In this case, it‘s Paula Abdul leaving the show, and everybody else feeling the pain.  Sure, this is an old item, but we have to write this down and paint that picture, right? Read more »
I guess all that silence about Jennifer Hudson‘s status has worked--when it finally happened, we‘re a little surprised, and obviously happy.The former American Idol contestant has given birth to a baby boy, her representatives confirmed.  She and her fiance, former I Love New York contestant David Otunga, welcomed Daniel David Otunga Jr. last Monday. Read more »
Maybe the rumored $100 million per year figure initially pegged for Simon Cowell is too much, but he‘s getting a bigger paycheck, all right.  The American Idol judge is nearing a deal that will keep him as one of the show‘s judges for the next three years, and he‘s set to receive $45 million a year, or around $135 million for three--a considerable increase from his current $36 million per year deal.That‘s according to Robert Sillerman, head of CKX, the parent company of 19 Entertainment.  While he didn‘t confirm any figures, he said the contract includes two new years for Simon, apart from the upcoming ninth season of the show, which he said would be his last. Read more »
First, an admission: it is very likely that we‘re all making too much of a fuss out of this.  Who knows, maybe the intention is really just to stick around for a while rather than an all-out takeover, much like someone on holiday who, say, falls in love with Cancun.  Or maybe there‘s something that we don‘t really know, but nothing that drastic.But hey, someone started the fire, and we might as well watch it as it burns.  The magic question: is Victoria Beckham‘s guest judge stint on American Idol more than just that one-off at the callbacks? Read more »
The ninth season of American Idol is already underway: the first round of auditions have finished, the callbacks are underway, and sooner we could have an idea about who the Top 36 is.  Behind the scenes, things are getting hot, too: Paula Abdul has left the show, and the search is on for a replacement as the rest feel sad about the departure.  American Idol season 9 is shaping up to be an interesting, different and anticipated season--and that‘s without us knowing who‘ll sing on the stage.While season 9 has yet to kick off in January, we‘ve begun talking about everything that surrounds the show.  Check back here for news and other bits about American Idol, and check back here again as the season gets underway, and our coverage gets underway, too. Read more »
I know you‘ve probably heard a lot about Glee in the past couple months. Maybe you heard about it in May when FOX decided to air the pilot episode after the finale of American Idol. That was weird, right? I mean, what network wants to air the first episode of a television show and then ask its audience to wait months and months until the next episode? What kind of audience can you garner with a move like that? Maybe you heard about it after the iTunes sales of the singles from said pilot skyrocketed. Here are these professionally recorded songs from a TV show, ready to be purchased days after the episode aired. And the wonderful thing is that they‘re really good.Now I know what you‘re thinking: It‘s a musical. You don‘t do musicals. Maybe you‘re a dude (doooood!) who wouldn‘t be caught dead watching a singing, dancing piece of joy. I ask you to suspend that hegemonic mentality for a second and hear me out. Glee is more than just a musical... it‘s an awesome musical. But it‘s even more than that. To explain this, I‘ve laid out the key reasons why you should give Glee a chance. I‘m doing this for you, so pay attention.  Read more »
Yes, it‘s obvious, we love Paula, we don‘t want to see her go, but if she goes because of stuff we can‘t do anything about, well, we can‘t do anything about it.  Exactly.  Guess you got that message since we‘re still talking about the former judge‘s future weeks after she left.  Well, two weeks counts, right?  Two things on the Idol front today: one about her, and one about her purported replacement, Victoria Beckham.  Well...  so much for thinking that Posh could use American Idol as her means to take over this side of the pond. Read more »
Obviously Mary Murphy‘s statements on Paula Abdul‘s possible entry to So You Think You Can Dance‘s guest judge roster are all for publicity‘s sakes.  I mean, I don‘t think there‘s trouble between the two, and I think they‘d want some attention especially now that season 6 is (already!) just around the corner.  But at least she‘s pretty hyped about that possibility, because--let‘s face it, we‘ve only heard Nigel Lythgoe speak. Read more »
It‘s been an unusual weekend for Paula Abdul, it seems.Well, not really unusual in the sense that weird things have been going on, but they do seem unusual from where I am.  The Los Angeles Times reports that her negotiations with the folks at ABC‘s Ugly Betty have stalled, and her guest stint on the show isn‘t pushing through.  Read more »
I figured, now that we have more or less an idea of the personalities American Idol‘s looking at to temporarily replace Paula Abdul during the callbacks, I might as well start playing with what could happen.  Well, it‘s fun, and it reminds us of either the wonders of a Paula-less show, or the despair of just that, and you know I‘m gravitating towards the latter, if only because of the way this all happened.Here‘s what we know: Victoria Beckham (heretofore known as "Posh") has done two cities, Katy Perry (heretofore known as "Katy") is set for a still-unidentified callback, and Mary J. Blige (heretofore known as "Mary", but not to be confused with So You Think You Can Dance‘s Mary Murphy) will act as guest judge for the Atlanta callbacks today.  We have three names, and since my professor said three is the magic number, I can do something with it, yay!  Possibilities, possibilities.  What could happen? Read more »
The search for the ever-elusive fourth American Idol judge continues, and so does the search for those temporary stop-gap measures that will make us think there‘s nothing wrong going on, also known as guest judges.  We‘ve had Victoria Beckham and Mary J. Blige, and we still don‘t know when we‘ll have Katy Perry, but a couple more names have been tossed, in case you‘re a bit clueless about it.  Suffice it to say one‘s denied it, and the other‘s not.  Read more »
In the on-going search to find a replacement for Paula Abdul, AmericanIdol is bringing out the big guns, er voices, as guest judges. We‘vealready talked about Victoria Beckham, Katy Perry, and Mary J. Bligeacting as Paula place-holders in auditions, but we now have a few morenames to add to that list. Most importantly, season 1 American Idol winner KellyClarkson. According to a segment on this morning‘s Pop Tarts (on FOX)Clarkson will be joined by an unnamed Jonas Brother (later revealed to be Joe Jonas) as a guest judgeduring next week‘s audition. While we‘re super excited to see Kelly back on the show that made her asuper star, it‘s an interesting move for the songstress. Since winningthe original Idol, Kelly has kept her distance from the show, trying toestablish her identity outside of the FOX reality behemoth. However,someone close to Kelly says that she is "beyond excited" to go back andcontribute to the show where it all started.  Read more »
How long has it been since we‘ve heard from Paula Abdul herself?  Weeks, right?  Since she tweeted about her departure from American Idol, it‘s been week after week of guest judges, possible next gigs and the $10 million paycheck she isn‘t getting.  Now we hear from her again... oh, wait, we hear from her manager again, but at least it‘s someone from her side.The bottom line, according to David Sonenberg--the same guy who initially leaked the possibility that Paula won‘t be joining Idol next year--is this: there have been "no discussions whatsoever about Idol", and that her priorities are elsewhere.  He says that a huge amount of offers have come her way since she announced her departure from the talent show, and she‘s considering some of them.  Read more »
This is officially the moment when you really start wondering whether the producers of American Idol know what they‘re doing.  Oh, no, I do not mean to offend anyone, or drag anyone‘s credential‘s down, but it‘s just weird putting their last two guest judges in the frame of a nationwide talent search.  No, I‘m not saying they‘re devoid of talent, either, but it just really doesn‘t fit as much as we want to.Last week it was announced that Joe Jonas, one-third of the Jonas Brothers (cue screaming), will act as a guest judge on the Idol callbacks.  During the Dallas auditions earlier today, however, they grabbed what is perhaps one of the more surprising, if not baffling, decisions the show took: get Neil Patrick Harris as guest judge.  Read more »
So what exactly happened to Danny Gokey?  Before the American Idol tour kicked off, there was some talk about the path he‘ll take after his third-place finish on the show.  Just when Kris Allen (obviously), Adam Lambert (inevitably) and Allison Iraheta (half-surprisingly) got record deals quickly, Danny‘s pretty much nowhere to be found, at least until the tour began, when we saw him singing again, and thankfully the set doesn‘t include "Scream On"--oh, sorry, I mean, "Dream On".But Danny seems to know what he‘s doing.  His point is, he‘s taking things one step at a time, having a feel for things before taking his next step.  "I want my first record to be done well," he told Entertainment Weekly.  "I‘m not interested in making the million dollars.  I‘ll climb the ladder slowly and build myself up, learn the industry, learn what‘s good and not good."  Read more »
Just a couple of days ago I thought American Idol was starting to slowly lose the plot judging wise, with the decision to have Neil Patrick Harris as one of the many personalities temporarily replacing Paula Abdul on the show--while he sings, sure, it‘s still an odd decision considering his more prominent background as an actor.  And no, don‘t get me talking about Joe Jonas: I know he performs, but if (some of) his fans are laughing at the idea of him judging the show, well, something must be up.But it seems the producers are getting some sense of sanity back in their heads, by recruiting a name that I never thought I‘d associate with Idol: Kristin Chenoweth.  Yep, the Pushing Daisies star (and upcoming Glee guest star), and most importantly noted Broadway performer, is set to join Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi when the show heads to Orlando for its callback auditions later this week, according to People.  Read more »
I was just out for an extended holiday and I find this--Paula Abdul‘s finally spoken out.  Finally, after weeks of us waiting for her to talk to the press after she announced her departure from American Idol over her Twitter page.  That, and her manager mentioning a few things, like the reason why she ditched a guest role on Ugly Betty, or what offers she‘s considering (and we still don‘t know what they are).But upon reading Paula‘s interview with TV Guide Magazine‘s William Keck, I breathed a sigh of relief.  Nothing new‘s been said, really, although it‘s more significant because it‘s Paula herself who‘s talking this time, rather than her manager or someone else on her behalf.  Read more »
If I were you, I‘d save up for November and prepare to buy one, maybe two, maybe three albums from last season‘s American Idol crop.Just when we‘ve kept quiet (for just a bit, and in a good way) about the season 8 finalists, we realize that they‘ve got albums to work on, and a career after the tour, which is set to wrap up in a couple of weeks or so.  Of course, there‘s winner Kris Allen.  Of course, there‘s Adam Lambert, never mind the earlier tussle about his unreleased material.  Add in fourth placer Allison Iraheta, and you have the three contestants who‘ll release albums--so far.  Read more »
We‘ve been waiting for quite a while for this, and it‘s finally happened: American Idol third placer Danny Gokey has signed a record deal with 19 Recordings and RCA Nashville.  It‘s a pretty big thing, actually: this is the first time the entire final four of an Idol season has been given a record deal with 19, with Kris Allen Adam Lambert and Allison Iraheta signing their contracts last June.  Read more »
Welcome back to pop star sensibilities, American Idol.Canadian pop-rocker Avril Lavigne is the next celebrity to throw herself into the pot of the show‘s guest judges, one that I also lovingly call the "temporary Paula Abdul replacement" pot.  (I think I mentioned it before.)  Read more »
And pandemonium ensues.  First posted on Adam Lambert‘s Twitter page, confirmation that his first album after American Idol will be released on November 24.And I say pandemonium because of two things.  One, his album, which he promised to be an "eclectic" mix of dance pop and glam rock, will be released exactly a week after season 8 winner Kris Allen releases his. r Read more »
The Emmys are getting a viral, user-generated component this year asCBS is teaming up with Vaseline to sponsor "Breakthrough Performance ofthe Year," a category which allows viewers to vote for their favoriteTV moments of the year, with the top three and winner being revealed onthe primetime Emmy Awards telecast Sunday, September 20 on CBS.The number of things that are unbelievably stupid and wrong with thisdecision is astounding.  Even if you don‘t like the Emmys, you have toadmit that this decision is actively killing what little credibilitythe Emmys hoped to maintain. Read more »
With a third of a year to go before American Idol returns, the least we could do is this roundup.  Because there‘s a world outside the last crop of finalists--and then there‘s David Cook hitting platinum with "Light On".  Had to mention that because a friend‘s been goading me to mention it when I mentioned Adam Lambert‘s album release...  Read more »
"It‘s like comparing a carrot to a banana," Simon Cowell said over the weekend, when asked about how the chemistry between the American Idol judges has changed now that Paula Abdul has left and, it seems, is not bent on even considering a return.A quick read between the lines suggests something that we already know: Paula‘s departure has deprived the show of someone who‘ll, for lack of a better term, soften the blow that the more snarky comments might bring.  Well, because a carrot is harder than a banana...  Read more »
Seriously?  I don‘t know.  Since last season‘s top four contestants have snagged record deals--three within weeks, and Danny Gokey just getting his last week--I‘m suddenly wondering as to who will be next contestant from the last batch of American Idol contestants.I‘m asking this because, while I was away, fans of Matt Giraud and Michael Sarver banded together and turned their Twitter hashtags into trending topics: #signmattg for fans of the piano-reliant soul guy, and #weluvmikesarver for fans of the oil rig worker-turned-singer.  The objective is quite obvious: to let record labels know that there are people who‘d be willing to buy albums from these two if they do get signed.  Read more »
I think you can really call this an American Idol reunion now, the upcoming VH1 Divas concert.  We‘ve got three former contestants and a former judge.  That counts, right?Jennifer Hudson is one of the newest additions to the cable network‘s concert series; this year‘s will be on September 17.  Also joining the pool are Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge and Cyndi Lauper, who marks her third appearance on the show.  (And, to force the Idol point, she was there last year too, singing in the finale.)  Read more »
Never in my right mind did I imagine that Ellen DeGeneres being a guest judge on So You Think You Can Dance would lead to her being a permanent judge on American Idol.One, because I never really imagined her taking on another big role.  After all, she has The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which I can only imagine to be a huuuge undertaking.  Sure, you have people doing the writing and the looking for you, but it takes a hell lot to go on stage and do your thing five days a week, for most of the year.  Read more »
"I don‘t know how it happened myself," Ellen DeGeneres said, after confirmation that she is taking Paula Abdul‘s vacated seat as the new permanent judge on American Idol."I have not missed one episode of that show," she added.  "I love everything about it and I love music, as you know.  Hopefully I‘m the people‘s point of view because I‘m just like you.  I sit at home and I watch it and I don‘t have that technical... I‘m not looking at it in a critical way from the producer‘s mind.  I‘m looking at it as a person who is going to buy the music and is going to relate to that person."  Read more »
And the fourth American Idol seat goes to Ellen DeGeneres.Fox has announced that the Emmy-winning talk show host and comedian has joined Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi on the Idol judging panel, starting from the ninth season next year. Read more »
Because since Wednesday night all I‘ve heard is stuff about Ellen, Ellen and Ellen.  Well, there are still stuff about Ellen DeGeneres joining American Idol in this roundup, sure, but there are other people on the show too, you know.  It wasn‘t on for nine years for nothing...  Read more »
Ruh-roh!  Yeah, bad Scooby Doo impression.But that was what I first thought when Nigel Lythgoe spoke up regarding American Idol snagging Ellen DeGeneres as a guest judge--of course, you know, after her guest stint on the 99th episode of So You Think You Can Dance.In a nutshell, he thinks Idol "stole" Ellen from SYTYCD. Read more »
I think I got distracted by all these fall premieres that I pushed this little show known as American Idol on the corner.  Well, before I kink out my schedule and get things back to order, a couple of items, one involving job security, and the other involving actual security.  You know, that serious sort.  Read more »

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