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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.

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Final Six Minutes...

It looks like I was right that there were angry people out there who missed the announcement of the "Idol" winner because they TiVoed it...

Ironically, one of those was Jay Leno...

Now, for those people, FOX is streaming the last six minutes at www.americanidol.com...

I REALLY hope they don't try that stunt again next year...

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Thursday, May 3, 2007

Scoop from Wednesday's show...

So here’s some scoop from Wednesday’s show…

According to “People,” Ryan spent most of the night apologizing for his comments about Paula being prettier than Simon’s puppet. During a break, Ryan asked Simon, “Are you seriously mad at me?” Simon just smiled and shook Ryan’s hand. Later, when Simon’s girlfriend, Terri Seymour, came in and let Ryan know she heard him, Ryan apologized and gave her a hug…

The biggest “scoop” from last night’s show is the audience’s disappointment in the Bon Jovi performance. I meant to warn you guys about how subdued it was going to be, but I forgot. I guess I should have sent a note to the audience instead. Fans were screaming so loud before the performance that the stage manager asked them to save it until Ryan introduced them. When the song started, the fans “sighed loudly,” according to “People,” and sat down. “Entertainment Weekly” and “People” reported that it was so quiet during the commercial break when the band was leaving the stage that Blake yelled out, “Bon Jovi, y’all!” which got the crowd back on their feet…

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Scoop from Wednesday's show...

So here’s some scoop from Wednesday’s show…

Apparently the biggest star of the night was Sanjaya. He and his sister, Shyamali, were some of the last people to take their assigned seats, so they had to move the seat fillers. And then, it was camera-time city. At one point, Debbie, the stage manager, asked Sanjaya if he was okay with all of the jokes about him and he said it was cool. He was then summoned to the judges’ table by Simon, who shook his hand and announced, “Sanjaya is back in the house!” Randy and Paula gave him hugs, as did Phil Stacey, who picked him up and swung him around in circles. Sanjaya also signed dozens of autographs….

And since the spotlight was on him anyway, the warm-up guy decided to do a Q&A with him during a break. When he asked him what’s next, Sanjaya replied, “I have a bunch of stuff right now, but I can’t really talk about it; you’ll just have to watch TV to find out.” The Internet is buzzing with the suggestion that someone should sign him to do a commercial for a hair product…

As for the Idols still in competition, the night was pretty tough for them. The videos and heartfelt performances were especially hard on Melinda and Chris, who teared up several times. After Josh Groban’s performance of “You Raise Me Up,” Chris left the stage. When he returned, Melinda and the others hugged him. Jordin was also in tears after that performance, which received a two-minute standing ovation from the Disney Concert Hall audience…

As for whether the Idols knew they were safe, Executive Producer Ken Warwick says they did not and he even apologized to Jordin after the show…

I wasn’t the only one that didn’t like the Celine Dion-Elvis duet. The audience in the Idol studio talked through the entire “performance.” There were also a few boos. And I was correct that you could see Sanjaya in the video. So why did they include the Idols at all? Were they so sure that Sanjaya would make it another week that they thought they could risk it?...

While we TV critics are united in our opinions about the Celine-Elvis duet, we are also united in our opinions about Annie Lennox’s fantastic performance. By the way, Lennox is a 19 Entertainment artist—just like the Idols. Which begs the question, why haven’t they involved her on this show earlier? Ken Warwick says a CD of the live performances is not out of the realm of possibility. I say release that song now!...

Interestingly, the show’s closing number, “American Prayer,” was co-written by Lennox’s Eurythmics partner, Dave Stewart (along with Bono). The song was written five years ago as a response to the AIDS crisis in Africa. The lyrics were displayed on the Teleprompter for the Idols since they didn’t have very much time to learn them…

It’s also interesting to me that most critics are commenting on Lisa Simpson’s Paula imitation (which was priceless) more than Simon’s attempt at singing…


Some other tidbits…Ryan’s flub of the opening was edited out of the West Coast feed…Simon still hadn’t taken his seat at the judges’ table when Ryan started (Maybe that’s why Ryan was distracted?). But he looked good when he got there, didn’t he?...Blake laughed hysterically when Ben Stiller mentioned him in his video…Ellen did some of her signature dance moves for the Disney crowd before the show started and got a standing ovation…The front row seats at the Disney Concert Hall cost $1000…The Idol studio audience was asked to not lift their signs or cheer too wildly since this was a “more somber show.” The Disney audience, however, got raucous several times—especially when Paula appeared on the stage with Ryan displaying her assets…The thirty million dollars was just from the East Coast feed. Look for the total to be much higher after the West Coast airing and all of the iTunes downloading (I still have some of that to do myself!)…

But the most interesting tidbit I read yesterday about the show comes from “Entertainment Weekly” writer Shirley Halperin who is now suggesting (after a reader called her attention to it last week) that Chris and Melinda have an “extra-special bond.” According to Halperin. Melinda was the one that consoled Chris when he needed it during the show, keeping her hand on his knee with his hand on hers. Halperin writes, “If it didn’t happen six or seven different time, I’d chalk it up to the hard-hitting images we all had to face, but I suspect there’s more to it.” Hmmm…

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Monday, April 16, 2007

"Entertainment Weekly": The "Strangest Season Ever"

This week’s “Entertainment Weekly” features a cover story about “the strangest season ever” of “American Idol”…

There are a few interesting highlights from the piece, including some great quotes from Simon and some interesting revelations about Blake…

No doubt Ryan will have questions about Simon’s statement that this group is “not the best bunch of kids we’ve ever had.” Simon also had something to say about all the finalists who say they’re just excited to make the tour:

“I think that we suffer from Jennifer Hudson and Chris Daughtry-it is, which is people who didn’t win getting great careers and now a lot of the contestants believing it absolutely doesn’t matter. Sometimes there’s part of me thinking, ‘You genuinely couldn’t care less what we’ve got to say; everything’s going to go your own way now.’”

As for a final prediction, Simon says it’s “as close as it’s been in any season,” telling “EW” it’s a five-way race between Blake, Chris, LaKisha, Jordin and Melinda (By the way, this statement was made when there were still eight.).

Now to the interesting scoop on Blake. It seems that Mr. Lewis is a bit of a rebel. He admits to breaking the 10 p.m. curfew and staying out until 1:30 a.m. Blake’s response? “What are they going to do? ‘You can’t sing anymore?’” He said he was reprimanded by having to sing last “which is probably the best thing that can happen.”

You know this only makes me love him more…

Blake also provided some candor that previous contestants haven’t about the living arrangements. “I have to share an apartment with three other dudes, which is terrible. [Producers] are like, ‘View this as your job.’ I’m like, ‘Well, you get to go home after your job.’”

Blake also pointed out something we already had—the contradictory statements of the judges. About his rendition of “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” (my current ringtone, by the way), Blake said the judges tell the finalists “you’ve got to make it yours and keep it fresh. Then they gave me criticism about that”…

As for interesting points about the other finalists, Simon said that if Chris would “start taking himself and his vocals a bit more seriously” he could challenge Blake as the most contemporary recording artist of the group. He must really be taking those vocals lightly…LaKisha admits she’s “chosen to sequester herself somewhat from the other singers.” That would explain all the reports of her being cold to the other contestants during the results shows…

And then there’s Sanjaya. Simon’s response to Sanjaya-gate: “There’s always going to be that teen vote for the underdog. There’s nothing wrong with that, by the way. As long as they don’t win”…

The most telling quote of the whole piece, though, comes from “Idol” Executive Producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz. When asked what would happen if Melinda, LaKisha or Jordin went home before Sanjaya, she responded: “It’s not gonna happen. Trust me. Eventually America gets it right. We’re not worried. We love Sanjaya, but he’s not going to win.”

After a statement like that, there’s no way Sanjaya will win now, whether it’s America or the show that decides it, so don’t give up hope yet…

The “Idol” issue of “Entertainment Weekly” is on newsstands now…
Photos courtesy of "Entertainment Weekly"

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Scoop from Wednesday's show...

Here’s some scoop from Wednesday’s show…

With only five minutes to airtime, none of the judges were anywhere to be found. The stage manager asked Sharon Osbourne, who was in the audience, if she would fill in, but with just minutes to spare, they showed up…

Chris Sligh was in the audience and Leah Remini (“The King of Queens”) asked him to pose for pictures with her…

Jennifer Lopez’s performance was so hot, the stage manager ordered all the doors in the studio opened to release the smoke afterward, and the judges’ makeup had to be touched up during the break…

Pink taped a performance for “Idol Gives Back” after the show. I find it interesting that she’s willing to perform, but she’s not willing to clear her songs…

Nigel Lythgoe announced more stars for the “Idol Gives Back” lineup, including Micky Dolenz of the Monkees, who was in the audience Tuesday night…

Jennifer Lopez said that Simon told her that she gave “the best performance ever on ‘American Idol.’” She told “Entertainment Weekly,” “Isn’t that amazing? Coming from him? I’ll take it”…

J-Lo’s husband, Marc Anthony, lip-synched a rendition of the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” after the show. It was recorded as part of an “Idol Gives Back” charity project in which multiple stars sing along to the song. It will be available to download at a later date…

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Monday, April 9, 2007

The Hour-long Stallfest Gets Worse...

So now that the producers have gotten their way with the return of the hour-long results show, they need something to fill the time with.

So what will we get? Taped performances from various artists! Isn’t that exciting?

Remember I told you the show taped a performance by Robin Thicke? Reports say that one will air this Wednesday. A performance by Fergie, which was taped after last week’s results show will reportedly air April 18th.

Are you kidding me with this stuff? If you don’t have enough live material to fill an hour then why put us through the torture? A half-hour is plenty…

Please note, however, that none of this has been confirmed by FOX, so stay tuned…

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Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Breaking News: Tony Bennett Calls In Sick

Here's some breaking news for you, courtesy of "Access Hollywood"...

Tony Bennett will not perform on tonight's results show. He apparently has a cold.


Producers are scrambling to find a replacement and "Access" reports that the leading candidate is Michael Buble.

I guess we'll find out tonight...

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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Coming Attractions: Akon, Robin Thicke, the songwriting contest and more...

After Wednesday’s results, the show taped a solo performance by Akon doing the #1 hit, “Don’t Matter.” In fact, they had to do it three times after they didn’t like the first one and Akon cracked up during the second. Then, they taped a performance by Robin Thicke (with what audience was left). The show plans to air the performances at a later date (the “Gives Back” show maybe?). By the way, when you do see them, you won’t see Randy, Simon and Paula. They left right after the show and stand-ins took their place at the table…

So what’s the latest on that promised songwriting competition? It’s on hold, according to Executive Producer Ken Warwick. Warwick told “TV Week” they would still like to do some kind of Internet competition, but the special with former Idols singing the songs has been pushed aside for “Idol Gives Back”…

And there’s some bad news for Bon Jovi fans who were hoping to hear the Idols do their songs. It looks like that week will be a rock music theme and not just Bon Jovi…

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"Idol" vs. "Dancing": The Saga Continues...

Here’s an interesting twist to the “Idol” vs. “Dancing With the Stars” battle. The two shows share production space…

The shows tape next door to each other on the CBS lot in Hollywood. They share a hallway, bathrooms and some of the dressing rooms. “Idol” Executive Producer Ken Warwick says that security keeps thing separate and makes sure everyone’s in the right place.

Warwick also swears to “Access Hollywood” that this week’s extra seven minutes was not meant to mess with “Dancing” saying, “I can actually honestly say we didn’t (do it on purpose).” Warwick said they asked FOX weeks ago if the Gwen Stefani show could be two hours or even ninety minutes. FOX came back and said “the most we can give you is seven minutes. That doesn’t cause too much trouble with the affiliates.”

So how were the ratings? “House” topped the 9 p.m. hour with 22.18 million viewers, but that was 2.3 million fewer than for its last new episode. “Dancing” was watched by 17.6 million viewers, which was up 1.5 million over season three’s first results show.

The saga continues…

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The Return of the One-Hour Stallfest...

Since the results show was able to get everything in this week—including more corporate begging—it pains me even more to tell you this…

Starting April 11th, the results show will go back to an hour, and will stay that way through May 2nd.

According to “Variety,” the change was made at the request of “Idol” producers, but I’m sure that FOX had no problem extending its cash cow…

“Til Death” will wrap up its season April 11th at 8 p.m. with a one-hour finale…

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Important Programming Note About Tuesday's Show

If you’re taping Tuesday’s show to watch it later, be sure to set your timer for an extra seven minutes as Tuesday’s “Idol” will run until 9:07 p.m.

So do the producers think that Gwen Stefani deserves an extra seven minutes? No. This is a clever attempt by FOX to try and keep people from turning over to the “Dancing With the Stars” results show.

And since “Idol” is followed by the return (again) of “House,” I think it just might work…

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Next Week's Theme And the Rest of the Calendar...

Since the corporate begging and Brad Garrett plugging caused the show to run over, Ryan didn’t get a chance to tell us next week’s theme…

I still don’t have full details yet, but according to “TV Guide,” the guest coach will be Gwen Stefani, as “Access Hollywood” had reported earlier. In an earlier interview, Stefani said the Idols would not only sing her songs, but also songs that have inspired her (whatever that means).

Who wants to take bets on Sanjaya doing “Hollaback Girl”?...

“TV Guide” also reports that Stefani will perform “Sweet Escape” with Akon on Wednesday’s results show…

Based on information culled from various websites, here’s how the rest of the calendar shakes out. Remember that this information is not from FOX, so it could change…

April 3rd—Since I can’t find any information for this date, process of elimination tells me it’s Tony Bennett. I’m guessing the theme will be something to do with standards.

April 10th—Jennifer Lopez will guest coach a Latin music night. And no, that is not a joke.

April 17th—Martina McBride is the coach, so I’m guessing either her songs or country in general.

April 24—“Idol Gives Back” night. The top six will sing “life anthems.” If you plan to skip a week, this is probably the one.

May 1st—Bon Jovi will coach the top five through their hits. Woo hoo!!!

May 8th—Barry Gibb is the coach so I’m guessing the theme will be music from the 70s or disco. The most logical guess would be the music of the Bee Gees, but since they already did that in season two with Robin Gibb (the night I fell in love with Clay Aiken, by the way), I don’t know if they’ll repeat it. Do you think any of the Idols will ask him about “The Barry Gibb Talk Show”?

May 15th—Since this will be the top three, that usually means they sing a song of their choice, a song chosen by the judges and a song chosen by Clive Davis

May 22nd—The final performance show, which usually means some snoozer of a ballad and other songs of the top two’s choosing

When I get more details about Gwen week, I’ll let you know…

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Guest Coach Scoop!

Here’s some new information on the performers that will be appearing on “Idol” this season…

It will be Bon Jovi, not just Jon Bon Jovi, who will be appearing. The contestants will perform Bon Jovi songs (Good luck trying to top Chris from last year!) and then Bon Jovi will perform its new single on the results show. Bon Jovi has not yet released a date.

And yes, Jon was a little irritated when they only announced him, according to “Access Hollywood.” Interestingly, Jon says he has never watched the show…

When Gwen Stefani appears (reportedly on March 28th), the contestants will be singing not only Gwen songs, but also songs that have inspired her. That’s good, because I’d really hate to see one of the contestants try to break out “Hollaback Girl.”

They’ll probably try to make that a group sing…

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

British Invasion Night Set!

Peter Noone has announced that his appearance on "American Idol" is scheduled for March 21st.

That means Tuesday, March 20th will be British Invasion night for the contestants and we should see clips of Peter and Lulu (who is scheduled to appear with him) coaching the contestants...

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Whatever happened to Ebony and Jenry?

Because of the abbreviated Hollywood episodes, we lost track of several early standouts. Two of them were Ebony, the roller-skating car hop that totally outsang her two friends, and Jenry, the cutie that looked like Tyson Beckford.

Well, "People" magazine has answered the question of what happened to them...

Ebony was cut early in the Hollywood rounds. Speculation has swirled on the Internet, though, that she was cut because of her stint as a Lingerie Football League model. Ebony insists that's not the case...

Jenry says he froze in Hollywood and was cut early. He says he'll be back next year, though, which I'm sure will make Paula happy...

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Friday, February 23, 2007

The Day After: Noonatics Rejoice!

Almost lost in all of last night’s elimination hullabaloo was the announcement of some of the artists who will mentor the contestants this season. I’m guessing the show felt it was necessary to divulge some of the names since they were already starting to leak out…

As I told you yesterday, Jennifer Lopez and Gwen Stefani are on the list, as are Jon Bon Jovi, Martina McBride, Diana Ross, Barry Gibb, Tony Bennett and for a British Invasion night, Lulu and Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits.

This morning, I talked with a Noonatic, as Peter Noone’s fans are called, and she told me that Noone’s phone has been ringing off the hook since last night. Noone’s manager said it had been pretty hard for her not to spill the secret. No date has been set yet, but you know I’ll pass it on when I get it.

By the way, I should mention that Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone will be in concert April 21st at 8 p.m. at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth (along with Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees). For more info, visit www.rocknrollhouseparty.com...

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Scoop!: Tonight's Special Announcement and Upcoming Guests?

If you can't wait until tonight for Fantasia's special announcement, keep reading. Otherwise, you'll want to stop now...

"Access Hollywood" is reporting that Fantasia will announce that she is joining the cast of "Oprah Winfrey's The Color Purple." See what I mean about taking "special announcement" for what it's worth?...

"Access" is also reporting that Gwen Stefani will appear on the show March 28th, while Jennifer Lopez will make an appearance April 11th, citing reliable sources.

Stay Tuned...

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Simon and Ryan Getting Nasty?

If you like to surf the "Herald-Dispatch" website as I do, you may have seen an AP article about how Ryan and Simon were getting nasty with each other on last night's show.

It pointed out the whole "sweetheart" exchange from last night and mentioned that Ryan did not thank Simon at the end of the show.

Puh-leez, you're not actually buying that, are you?

Let's remember that this is a television show and as boring as the contestants were last night, someone had to create some drama.

Now, I do think that Simon was unhappy with Chris' comments and Ryan was genuinely surprised that Simon called him "sweetheart" (as I think Simon was too), but Simon and Ryan are great friends. The two of them--along with Randy--even go out after every show. So don't read anything into their comments to each other.

However, you can bet that they'll still be sniping at each other tonight--especially if the girls are as flat as the guys...

You can read the AP article for yourself at http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/P/PEOPLE_COWELL_SEACREST?SITE=WVHUN&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2007-02-21-12-25-47...

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

A Major News Announcement Coming Soon...

In an interview with TVWeek.com (Thanks to Derek for passing this on to me.), Executive Producer Nigel Lythoe said to stay tuned for a major news announcement in the next couple of weeks.

Lythgoe promised it would be the "biggest thing to happen to 'Idol' in five years." He went on to say that it "does include 'American Idol' and it does include America."

Hmmm...

People are guessing everything from Whitney Houston appearing to the return of a former contestant. But since the interviewer had just asked a question about the songwriting competition, I'm guessing that it has to do with that. Lythgoe has been lobbying FOX for an all-star edition of "Idol" where former contestants would sing the song finalists and then America would vote for the winner. I'm guessing that FOX has wisely agreed to go along with it...

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"How do these rumors get started..."

You may have heard the rumor that Michael Jackson was going to be a guest on "Idol" this year. Apparently, even "Today" was reporting it.

Well, I hate to disappoint you Michael Jackson fans, but it's not true.

Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe, in an interview with TVWeek.com categorically denied the rumor saying Jackson "will not be on 'American Idol' this year."

I'd say that's a pretty definite no...

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

"TV Guide" Tidbits


As we tick off the minutes until tonight’s episode, here are some tidbits from this week’s “TV Guide” cover story:

The Seattle auditions were originally scheduled to be a one-hour show, but after producers saw how many strange auditions they got, they expanded it to two…

173 people went to Hollywood. We’ll see the judges get rid of a lot more people than normal on the first day…

When the finalists get down to the final six, there will be a “big celebrity show” that producers promise will be bigger than last season’s finale…

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