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Idol Chit-Chat
This is your place to discuss all things "American Idol." The performances, the judges, the past contestants — it’s all right here.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

More On Crying Girl and Daniel Franco

Here are some interesting tidbits from the Los Angeles auditions, courtesy of EW.com…

Ashley Ferl, aka Crying Girl, didn’t even make it past the first round, which is why we didn’t see her in front of the judges. Ashley told EW.com that she didn’t think the producers recognized her. I would think she’s probably right since that would have been an interesting moment for the judges.

She plans to audition again next year…

And as I suspected, Daniel Franco of “Project Runway” fame, was too over the show’s age limit to make it in front of the judges. Daniel told EW.com that he auditioned anyway because he wanted to show age doesn’t matter.

For the record, Daniel was a contestant during the first two seasons of “Runway.” He is probably most famous for the song fellow contestants Santino and Nick sang about him after his elimination. You can see that here. It has nothing to do with “Idol” I just love any excuse to watch it again…

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dallas: NPH Rocks!

Those of you who read my “Stay Tuned” blog on a regular basis already know this, but let me share it with the rest of you…

I have a HUGE crush on Neil Patrick Harris. So I had high hopes that he would liven up the judges panel during tonight’s audition episode. He did not disappoint…

He was funny, honest AND not afraid to take on Simon. Much to Simon’s chagrin…

Here are my thoughts on Dallas…

Aww. Paula. Oh how I miss you…

Leave it to NPH to make fun of Julie’s (“Black Velvet”) sign before her voice…

Lloyd (“Overjoyed”) was good and a cool dude, but why did Simon adore him so much? He wasn’t that good…

Does anyone else think that NPH should have been hired as the fourth judge? Maybe he could replace Kara? Twentieth Century Fox produces “How I Met Your Mother.” They couldn’t make that happen? I love that he was unafraid to take on Simon full force…

What did Simon mean when he said to the other judges about Kimberly (her original “jazzy” song) that under normal circumstances you wouldn’t be interested? I don’t think I liked his tone…

Although the whip was a bit much, I loved Erica’s (“Free Your Mind”) song choice…

I think Dave (“Bring It On Home to Me”) and his Tourette’s could be a big story in Hollywood…

Clearly the producers realized which guest judge was the best since they gave Joe Jonas less than 20 minutes…

And I can see why. What is up with his nonchalant “yeah” when the judges vote? That is seriously annoying…

Vanessa (“At Last”) was definitely one of those who knew she was bad. She was just looking for her 15 minutes of fame. Those people drive me crazy…

All in all, 31 people from Dallas made it to Hollywood. And Joe Jonas gets the award for most pointless guest judge thus far. Although I’m sure Simon appreciated NPH’s departure…

Tuesday, we go to Denver, where the panel will once again be joined by Victoria Beckham. Then we get the special “The Road to Hollywood” episode on Wednesday, which will show us auditions from all the cities that we have not seen before…

See you then…

Photo Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

LA: Feeling "Hot" for Katy Perry

Today in my column in the “Herald-Dispatch,” I complained that the guest judges just weren’t getting it done.

And then tonight, we got Katy Perry. She had me at “I’ll throw my Coke in your face.”

Here are my thoughts on LA…

So how many of you want to run out to Kohl’s and buy that hooded sweatshirt with the horns tomorrow?...

It’s contestants like Neal (“Rock and Roll Dreams Come True”) that make me cringe. You know a large part of his act was fake. The funniest part was when he accidentally ran into the easel…

Jim (his original, “Drive”) looks to continue the hot streak of worship pastors on the show. But what was Avril doing? Her job was to decide on the voice, not whether or not he could handle a career. And then Kara almost went along with her? Huh?...

I’m just curious what Damien (“You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”) thinks he did when he said he choked…

Daniel Franco (“Project Runway”) auditioned?! Why didn’t we see that? He’s the guy who said he looked like the love child of Adam Lambert and Susan Boyle. Wonder if he sang the Daniel Franco song that Santino and Nick wrote (“Runway” fans will get that.)?...

There was a real voice inside of A.J. (“Cult of Personality”) somewhere, but clearly if Adam Lambert complimented his voice, he was just being kind…

I loved it when Katy asked if contestants were frisked before they came into the room…

Crying Girl auditioned? Of course…

Jason (“I Touch Myself”) definitely set off my cringe alert. I think Ryan was actually freaked when Jason gave him his number. Does that mean Ryan wouldn’t take my number if I gave it to him?...

I am officially in love with Katy. Anyone who takes on Kara is awesome in my book…

Katy earned even more points with me when she told Kara after Chris’ (“Stand By Me”) audition that this was not a Lifetime movie. But I disagreed with Katy and Simon’s lack of enthusiasm for Chris. I liked him…

All in all, 23 people made it to Hollywood—including one on a tie breaker decided by Simon. Sorry we missed the debate over that one…

Tomorrow it’s NPH! Woo-hoo! Remember, it’s an hour beginning at 8 p.m. on FOX…

Will Paula Be "Dancing" This Spring?

On the same day I lobbied for Paula Abdul to return to TV in my “Idol” column, TMZ.com is reporting that ABC has made her a very lucrative offer.

The website is reporting that ABC has offered her a $1 million development deal if she participates in this season of “Dancing With the Stars.”

The report also says that the network would allow her to participate as a judge on Simon Cowell’s “The X Factor.”

“Stars” begins in March, so if the report is true, Paula would need to make a decision soon. It has long been reported that she wants to compete on the show.

I, for one, hope it is true. We need her back on our TVs…

Photo Credit: FOX

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Audition Process Exposed

Until now, our best look at the “Idol” audition process came from Mandisa’s book, “Idoleyes.”

But now one of the best “Idol” writers in the business has pulled back the curtain to show us the wizard…

Richard Rushfield debunked many of the audition myths yesterday in a post on “The Daily Beast.” You can read it here.

Orlando: THIS is Officially a Snoozefest

So since Ryan FINALLY ripped out a “THIS is American Idol” and I adore Kristin Chenoweth, I was optimistic about tonight’s episode…

Sadly, my optimism was misplaced. Although there a couple of interesting moments, the hour was once again a bit of a snoozefest...

Here are my thoughts on Orlando…

Why did Ryan help Theo (“Heartbreaker”) take his glitter off? That was a little weird. And even though he couldn’t sing, I’d have to give Theo props for his song choice. More people should do that one…

Poor hungover Simon…

They couldn’t have just let Seth’s (“Someone to Watch Over Me”) son in? That was a little cruel…

I didn’t think Jermaine (“Smile”) was nearly as good as Randy thought he was…

I didn’t think Shelby (“Turn Me On”) was that good at all…

19 people went through on day one? Orlando’s already outdoing Chicago…

And the point of even having Kristin Chenoweth on tonight was what?...

I am wounded to the core that Randy doesn’t remember Blake Lewis’ name. I love him and I love Jay (“Come Together” & “Ain’t No Sunshine”). He can actually sing if Randy and Kara would have shut up long enough to let us hear it…

Brittany’s choice of “American Boy” for her audition song was a good one…

Cornelius (“Proud Mary”) definitely made an impression with his split pants, but I loved the look on that little boy’s face when Ryan picked him up. It was like, what does this guy think he’s doing…

Why did Simon prefer Bernadette (“Hit the Road Jack”) over Amanda (“I Wanna Dance With Somebody”)? I thought Amanda was better. Maybe he thought Amanda was cuter?...

Even if you hadn’t seen the constant teasers throughout tonight’s episode, you knew Jarrod (“Amazing Grace”) was going to be trouble. But what did he do that caused them to bring out the handcuffs? And even though he couldn’t really sing, I thought he sounded just like some singer but I can’t place who…

And Simon’s “yes or no” reaction is exactly why I love him and will miss him terribly…

Even though I thought he was good, I was surprised at how much Simon liked Matthew (“Trouble”). Kara said he’s going to the Top 12, but he reminds me of the kind of guy who forgets his words during Group Day and ends up getting cut…

Of course, I still don’t know if they plan on doing Group Day this year. Man, do I hope so…

All in all 31 got golden tickets. Much better than what we saw last night…

My favorites would of course be Jay.

Next week we head to LA with Katy Perry and Avril Lavigne and Dallas with Joe Jonas and the fabulous Neal Patrick Harris.

NPH will save us from this snoozefest, won’t he?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Windy City Goes for the Gold, But...

In my column in the H-D today, I said that “Idol” was reducing the number of train wrecks in the early episodes to focus on the real talent.

Unfortunately, Chicago did not really leave them much choice but to go the other way as the golden tickets were in short supply. 12,000 people and only 13 went through?!

Here are my thoughts on the Windy City…

Did anyone else notice that “Broadway Baby” Amy (“Dr. Feelgood”) was from Westchester, Ohio?...

Love the “Growing Pains” theme for the montage…

Charity (“Summertime”) made it sound way too effortless for 16…

Did that mother who was mad at Simon actually say, “Hell to the no”? LOVE it…

It will be interesting to see what happens with Angela on her third (and final) visit to Hollywood. I think unless she really cracks in Hollywood, or gets another speeding ticket, she’ll make the Top 24…

Nick, the tall blonde, looked interesting. Either he didn’t have a good backstory or his song didn’t clear so we didn’t get to see him…

Brian (“Tiptoe Through the Tulips”) was in the military?!...

I agree with Shania. John (“More Than You’ll Ever Know”?) has a gorgeous lower register…

Paige (“Change Is Gonna Come”) is the kind of contestant who usually gets completely chewed up and spit out in Hollywood…

So my favorite from Chicago was definitely Charity. It will be interesting to see what happens to her…

What did you guys think?

Tomorrow night, we head to Orlando with guest judge Kristin Chenoweth, at 8 p.m. on FOX…

Friday, January 15, 2010

Adam Sits Down With Oprah

Adam Lambert is sitting down with Oprah…

People.com is reporting the episode will air Tuesday, January 19th. Also appearing on the episode will be Susan Boyle.

Adam will chat with Oprah and will also sing his current single, “Whataya Want From Me.”

“Oprah” airs in Huntington-Charleston at 4 p.m. on WSAZ.

Photo Credit: Frank Micelotta/FOX

A Hottie Makes a Return Hollywood Trip

Remember Justin, the hottie that overcame cancer that we met Tuesday night? We’ve actually met him before…

People.com and my hero Slezak reported that Justin actually made it to Hollywood last season. He performed on group day as a member of White Chocolate with Kris Allen, Matt Giraud and India Williamson in that classic rendition of “I Want You Back.”

I guess the “Idol” producers didn’t know his story last year. Or he’s just better this year. Hmmm…

You can see the performance here…

Thursday, January 14, 2010

In Case You Missed It...

Come on, you know everyone in your office and on your Facebook page is talking about this today…

If you missed it, here is Larry Platt doing “Pants On the Ground”…

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Atlanta Keeps Its "Pants On the Ground"

So here we are at day two of the auditions with Mary J. Blige as our guest judge…

And two episodes and still no “THIS is American Idol”? What are you doing to us Ryan?

Here are my thoughts on Atlanta…

The contestants had to go up 27 floors? That’s just wrong. I’m betting since they’ve already used the elevator, the top 24 reveal show will again feature the long walk through the garden…

Jermaine’s choice of “One of Us” was absolutely brilliant…

Christy Marie (“Love Is a Battlefield”) had a voice if she wasn’t such a drama queen…

Vanessa (“Wagon Wheel”), the bridge jumper, was one of those you were sure couldn’t sing. But Simon is right. She could get swallowed up in Hollywood. Loved it when she said she was “gonna eat peanuts on the aeroplane”…

What was the show thinking with that whole nonsense with Jesse (“If Tomorrow Never Comes”)? Their “cheap dramatizations” making fun of Jesse nearly dying were NOT funny. They should have just stuck with Mary’s laughing attack. THAT was funny. Kara covering for her and saying she was upset was the best thing she’s done since she joined the show…

Liked the use of Kris Allen’s “Come Undone” for a montage…

Yes, Antonio “Sii Bo Ski” (“I Heard It Through the Grapevine”) had a good voice, but so did Norman Gentle as you’ll recall…

I would’ve said no to both Carmen and Lauren (the BFFs). Man, do they need to stop it with the makeup. And I don’t care what Lauren said. She was mad…

LOVED Mary’s “Oh God” and slapping her hand over her mouth in the middle of an audition. That was classic…

It was unfair that Simon didn’t stay for Bryan (“Superstar”), the singing police officer, but he’s one of those contestants that Simon doesn’t usually like anyway…

Wonder what Simon would have said to Lamar (“Kiss From a Rose”). They were being way too nice to him—even if he didn’t think so. And I agree there was a voice in there somewhere…

And what can you say about the final contestant, 62-year-old General Larry Platt? I think Randy is probably working on a demo of “Pants On the Ground” now…

In all, 25 people received a golden ticket. Remember you can meet them all beginning at 3 a.m. ET on AmericanIdol.com…

My MVP from Atlanta would definitely be Jermaine, followed by Bryan…

Next week it’s Chicago with Shania Twain and Orlando with Kristen Chenoweth…

Meet The Golden Ticket Gang

One of the biggest complaints about “Idol” in the past is that we don’t get enough of a chance to meet the contestants who advance to Hollywood. Well now, the show is doing something about that…

At midnight PT each night after the audition episodes, you can go to the “Idol” website and watch interviews with all of the contestants who made it to Hollywood.

However, the website does not show every audition, just select ones—both good and bad. The good ones are Katie, Maddy and Tyler, which makes me wonder if they won’t be important later…

Here’s a look at Tyler’s audition, which I called the best of the night last night…



I’ll be back in a little while. Remember it’s 90 minutes tonight…

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Did Beantown Bring It?

One audition episode down, seven more to go before we hit Hollywood…

Here are my thoughts on what Beantown had to offer…

Instead of the sappy beginning the show did last year, “Idol” decided to take a different route and show us previews of upcoming contestants—something they don’t usually do. It’s all part of their “They all start somewhere” theme for this season…

And was it just me or could that receptionist have been Kellie Pickler’s sister?...

Nice to see the show take on the headlines head on. But when they say “a new beginning” why do I feel like it’s the beginning of the end?...

When they said Simon was “steering the ship” I think I almost teared up…

Am I the only one who thinks that this was Victoria Beckham’s audition to be the fourth judge? She is represented by “Idol” guru Simon Fuller after all. But did anyone else notice how many horrified looks she gave the cameras?

Was it just me or did Janet (the “Idol” karaoke master) remind anyone else of Mary Catherine Gallagher (“SNL”)? However I think I will take her advice and jump up and down in front of the mirror every morning and say I’m awesome…

I think Maddy, the 16 year-old with 11 siblings (four of whom have Down’s Syndrome), will be a big story in Hollywood. “Hallelujah” was an excellent choice and a very mature one for a 16-year-old…

Did anyone else feel a little sad when Simon told Pat he was “something to look forward to” for next year?

Apparently at this point we saw some good female auditions, but since my local FOX affiliate felt the need to fire their local break in the middle of them, I can’t tell you anything about them. So if anyone out there actually got to see them, please let me know who they were…

I think Amadeo (“Hoochie Coochie Man”) will be a big story in Hollywood…

Loved the use of “Return to Innocence” for Derek’s (“Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word”) piece. Who else laughed out loud when he said he liked how Chris Brown touched kids? I think he had an actual voice in there somewhere if he would just make up his mind about it…

And the show couldn’t have thrown Clay Aiken a little bone and used his version of “Sorry” for their montage?...

I could possibly put Luke (“Girl Like You”) on my hottie list…

What was up with Kara having such a short fuse with Andrew (“House of the Rising Sun”)? I can see her being irritated, but…Loved Simon changing his mind about him when Kara said she hated him…

Ashley (“If I Ain’t Got You”) was gorgeous and good but she’s the type of contestant that gets swallowed up by Hollywood…

LOVED Tyler (“Let’s Get It On”). I’m with Victoria. His look was great…

Lisa (“Vision of Love”) had an actual voice in there somewhere. Maybe it was hiding in her backside that the judges couldn’t take their eyes off of…

Mike (“Yesterday”) is one of those contestants that usually I like but doesn’t get to go through. I’m glad that wasn’t the case this time. Loved the Boston accent. But why did Simon and Randy leave? And what exactly does he do as an actor on Codzilla?

I loved the lower register of Katie (“At Last”), but she could also get swallowed up in Hollywood. And poor Ryan. When he told Katie to call her grandmother, did he forget that she can’t speak English?

Why is Simon so antsy?...

I really liked Joshua (“God Bless the Broken Road”). I understand what Simon was saying about the immaturity of his voice for a 28-year-old, but I’m glad they let him go through…

Justin (“Feelin’ Good”) is what you call the total “Idol” package: looks, voice and touching personal story (had to overcome cancer). But I was totally surprised by his audition. It was very different. I’m putting him on my hottie list…

After hearing about his Nigerian heritage, I was a little surprised to see the graphic say Bosa (“You Look So Good in Love”) is from Columbus. He was a nice guy with a good story, but I wasn’t all that impressed. I don’t know if he’ll last that long…

What is up with all of the big families?...

Leah (“Blue Skies”) was so good she got the sly Simon smile, but I can see Hollywood chewing her up and spitting her out—especially if they do Group Day (which I don’t know if they’re doing or not)…

In all, 32 from Boston made it through to the next round…

My favorite from Beantown would definitely be Tyler, with Justin coming in second…

What did you guys think? Do you think we saw the next American Idol tonight?

Tomorrow night we head to Atlanta with Mary J. Blige in the fourth chair for a 90-minute episode beginning at 8 p.m…

And by the way, AmericanIdol.com is promising that we'll be able to see everyone who advanced to Hollywood from Boston on the website beginning at Midnight PT (3 a.m. ET). I hope you guys will forgive me if I don't stay up for it...

Earth to FOX 11 Control Room...

Okay, kids, it’s really tough to do this job when your local FOX affiliates plays the local commercial break right in the middle of someone’s audition…

Earth to FOX 11 control room…

I’ll be back later with thoughts on the auditions I actually got to see…

Something to Get Us Ready

So here’s a little something to get us ready for tonight…

As I was looking for a videotape to tape something, I found where I recorded an episode of “American Idol Rewind” featuring what I consider to be one of the best “Idol” performances ever.

And I wanted to share it with all of you. I’ll be back in a while…

More on "The X Factor"

As a reader pointed out to me, I didn't really get all the details down on "The X Factor" (what I gave you was from the show's official website).

Thankfully, People.com gives a much better explanation today on its website. So I'll forgive them for stealing my headline...

You can read the article here.

Tonight It Begins...

It seems like only yesterday we watched the confetti fall on Kris Allen as he struggled through another dreary coronation song. But tonight we will once again hear Ryan Seacrest say those four magic words: “THIS is ‘American Idol.’”

Normally there aren’t a lot of questions during the show’s hiatus. It’s usually just things like: How successful and/or good will the winner’s CD be? What format changes will the show make for next year? Can “Idol” stay on top of the TV ratings? But as the auditions begin unfolding tonight there are so many questions it’s hard to keep track as this has been the wildest “Idol” off-season ever.

The biggest question, of course, is how the show will be different with the addition of Ellen DeGeneres as a judge. I’d like to look in my crystal ball and tell you that “Idol” will still be the same show we’ve always known and loved. But I just can’t do that.

Let me say for the record that my biggest concern is not DeGeneres herself. It’s the other judges. I worry that the judges’ comments may end up becoming a one-liner competition which will completely take the focus away from the contestants. I still firmly believe that it was Kara DioGuardi who “Idol” should have let walk out the door and not Paula Abdul. The truth is that regardless of how good DeGeneres may be, “Idol” as we have always known it is no more.

And in some cases that wouldn’t be such a bad thing. After the dark place the show went to last season with the judges trying to manipulate our votes and the ugly backlash over the results, the show could probably use a little lightening up. I believe DeGeneres will do that not only with her humor but by putting Cowell in his place when it’s necessary.

Right now, it’s time for my least favorite part of the season, the auditions. I know that some of you live to see the clueless people make fools of themselves but some of them actually make me cringe. I love it when they’re finally over and we get to the good stuff.

But that won’t happen until February 17 when the judges name the top 24 as the show goes back to its familiar 12 males and 12 females format. In the meantime we’ll sit through the best and the worst seven US cities have to offer. And since DeGeneres will not join the show until the Hollywood rounds, we’ll get guest judges like Katy Perry, Joe Jonas and the one I’m most looking forward to—Neil Patrick Harris. Victoria Beckham gets us kicked off tonight.

I always say that the return of “Idol” is the moment my life ceases to be my own as for the next five months I hand it over to the phenomenon that will take us on a crazy and often frustrating journey. I hope you all will consider going on that journey with me.

“American Idol” returns with a two-hour episode tonight at 8 on FOX. I’ll be posting my thoughts on the premiere at the end of the episode…

Monday, January 11, 2010

Should "Idol" Go Too?

A friend of mine told me this week that he’s not sure he’s going to watch “Idol” this week. You’ll have to convince me why, he said…

At the time I didn’t have a good argument, but now I do. The reason to watch is because after this season, the “Idol” we know and love will cease to exist.

And it’s quite possible that it might cease to exist at all…

Yes, that’s right. Put me in the camp of people who feel that “Idol” cannot survive without Simon Cowell. Yes I know that FOX will try, but it won’t work. And “Idol” will end up going out a mere shadow of what it used to be, as opposed to going out on top.

My idol, Michael Slezak of “Entertainment Weekly,” wrote today that “Idol” can survive without Simon and his departure could cause the show to make a lot of necessary changes—especially during the auditions. And maybe he’s right, but I just can’t see it.

It’s always sad when an athlete sticks around a sport past his or her prime and ends up leaving as just a shell of their former selves. I can’t help but wonder if that’s what will happen to “Idol.”

Maybe it should find a way to stop that from happening and leave when Simon does…

What Is "The X Factor"?

So what exactly is “The X Factor”? And how is it different than “American Idol”?

In all honesty, they aren’t that different. In fact, in England, “Factor” replaced “Pop Idol,” which was the precursor to “American Idol.” The key difference is that in the semifinal round, the judges (one of whom is Simon) mentor the contestants. So it almost becomes a competition between the judges as well as one between the contestants. The most famous “Factor” alum in the US is Leona Lewis.

So why would Simon leave “Idol” for “Factor”? Simple. Simon makes a killing from “Idol” (more than $30 million according to reports), but because he created and owns “Factor,” he would make even more. You may recall that Simon almost left “Factor” once before when “Idol” creator Simon Fuller sued him because he felt “Factor” was an infringement on the “Idol” copyright. That was settled out of court when Simon Cowell signed his new “Idol” deal.

No doubt the speculation will begin that FOX plans to use “Factor” as a replacement for “Idol” once Simon leaves. But reports have FOX trying to sign a deal to keep “Idol” on the air for three more years—even without Simon.

I can’t help but wonder if FOX will end up reconsidering once they experience a season without Simon…

Poll: Viewers Will Watch Less Without Simon

Just hours after the news broke that Simon Cowell was leaving “American Idol,” this press release hit my inbox…

In a study conduced by HCD Research, 47 percent of those polled said they would watch “Idol” less if Simon wasn’t on it. 58 percent of those who said they would watch it less, said they wouldn’t watch at all without Simon.

The study polled 800 “Idol’’ viewers via the Internet.

In a related poll of 1007 people (viewers and non-viewers), the number one choice to replace Simon was Piers Morgan of “America’s Got Talent,” followed by Diddy and Quincy Jones.

Morgan would be my #1 choice as well, but I don’t know if Simon would let him go from “Talent”…

"Fantasia For Real" Review: I'll Root For Her Now

When Fantasia Barrino was a contestant on “American Idol” I didn’t root for her. It wasn’t that I had anything against her, she just wasn’t my favorite. I was a Diana DeGarmo fan.

But there’s something about her new VH1 reality show that makes me want to root for her now...

Maybe it’s because she’s admitting her mistakes. Maybe it’s because she’s finally realizing that she can’t let people mooch off of her the rest of her life. Or maybe it’s because I’m such an “Idol” fan, I just can’t stand to see an Idol fail…

“Fantasia For Real” follows Fantasia as she struggles to balance rebuilding her career with her family life. In the premiere, she is working on her third album and is fighting with her label over what the first single should be. Meanwhile she is struggling to support six people (including her daughter) who all depend on her income.

Fantasia comes off just as likeable as she did when she was on “Idol.” But she’s clearly got her issues—the biggest of which actually steals the show right out from under her. That would be her brother “Teeny” who would rather go test drive cars than go look for a job—much to the frustration of his aunt and mother. There’s a pretty funny—yet sad—moment in the premiere when Teeny gets one of his crazy ideas and starts carrying it out without asking anyone.

There is not that much drama in the premiere but the way is paved for some significant drama to come. However, the way is also paved for a happy ending. And after seeing this, you’ll believe that Fantasia deserves it.

I may have not rooted for Fantasia when she was on “Idol,” but I am definitely rooting for her now. And I will be watching her show to see her succeed…

“Fantasia For Real” premieres Monday, January 11th at 10 p.m. on VH1…

Photo Credit: VH1

Breaking News: Simon Leaving “Idol”

It’s official, kids. This will be Simon Cowell’s final season on “American Idol.”

Simon made the announcement today during the Television Critics Association Tour. He is leaving in order to concentrate on bringing his British smash, “The X Factor,” to FOX in the fall of 2011.

And you read that correctly, that means we’ll go an entire 16 months without Simon Cowell on our TVs…

I’ll have MUCH more on this later…

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Simon and Ellen Speak Out For the First Time

We’ve all been waiting for it and now here it finally is…the first interview with Simon Cowell and Ellen DeGeneres. And you can read it in this week’s “Entertainment Weekly” which hits stands this Friday…

Here’s an interesting excerpt courtesy of the fine folks at "EW":


EW: Many Idol fans really had the knives out when Kara DioGuardi joined the judges’ panel last year. Are you scared that there will be negativity directed at you, Ellen?


DeGeneres: Yeah, sure. And I understand it. I was one of those people that was skeptical, like, “Why are they adding a fourth judge? I don’t understand this.” But I do think that Kara adds a lot to the show now. And also, it’s not just a new judge. It’s a new judge in the place of someone that they loved. I mean, a lot of people loved Paula, and I don’t want to be the person that took Paula’s job away from her. Which I wasn’t. I’m not going to be able to please everyone. I gave up trying to do that a long time ago

Cowell: Join the club.

DeGeneres: I am who I am. People either like me or they don’t like me, and it’s got nothing to do with if I’m a new judge on Idol.

Cowell: I also think the day people stop screaming at the TV set disagreeing with us, it’s over. If we’re all on the same page, it’d be the most boring thing in the world.

You can read more here.

Photo Credit: Entertainment Weekly

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Are You Ready?

It’s hard to believe, but one week from tonight another season of “American Idol” begins…

You guys who have been on this journey with me these past three years know that I can’t stand the audition episodes because they make me a little uncomfortable. This year I’m a little more psyched for them because the great NPH—Neil Patrick Harris—will be sitting in as a guest judge. I’m hoping for the best even though he has to split his episode with Joe Jonas…

The show will begin with a two-hour episode showcasing the Boston auditions. Victoria Beckham will be the guest judge.

In the next several days I’ll be getting you ready for Season 9 with all of the latest news and the rundown of how things will work this year (Hollywood Week gets three episodes!).

Are you ready?

“American Idol” premieres Tuesday, January 12th at 8 p.m. on FOX…

Photo Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

Kat's "Unbroken" Hits Stores

Katharine McPhee’s second CD, “Unbroken” hit stores today…

I haven’t been able to get my hands on a copy yet, so until I do, those of you who have heard it are welcome to share your thoughts by posting a comment…

In the meantime, you can see the video to Katharine’s current single, “Had It All” here…