rnrnWe knew that Simon Cowell’s departure as the face of American Idol would cause some serious waves, but not even seasoned industry insiders predicted this would get this crazy! Things began sliding downhill quickly for the fading franchise last night when Ellen DeGeneres unexpectedly quit as a judge on the show, a message that she delivered via Twitter: “Dim the lights…I’ve voted myself off American Idol.” Considering the rocky way her first season went — Deadline.com reports that Ellen was “not comfortable,” “not happy” and that her stint was “not fun” — we’re not exactly shocked by her decision, but this leaves the show with a serious personality gap.rnrnOr does it? Right on the heels of this bombshell announcement came word that Jennifer Lopez would replace DeGeneres as one of the show’s judges! The Internet had been blindly (and annoyingly) speculating about Simon’s replacement for months, but after all the Elton John/Justin Timberlake/Jessica Simpson talk, J.Lo swooped in at the last moment to grab the spot. This gig couldn’t have come at a better time for Jenny From The Block, as her movie and music career have been in a serious rut of late.rnrnBut that’s not all! Returning Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe is on record as wanting to return the show to its original three judge format, which means that … wait for it … Kara DioGuardi has gotten fired! (Yes!) So now, your new American Idol judging panel is now rumored to have Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and … Steven Tyler? Yes, that Steven Tyler, the one who just got out of rehab. rnrnPhew, we’re exhausted. Thoughts?rnrn[Photo: Getty Images]
Dear people who love American Idol and people who report on American Idol,
We mean no disrespect because we are one of you, but hear us out. All this speculation about who is going to replace Simon Cowell has to stop. We went through this last year when the big question was who would replace Paula Abdul, remember? And it turned out that while, yes, Katy Perry, Victoria Beckham and Avril Lavigne did indeed appear on the show last season, they were just guests, not the new Paula. So let’s cool it with the “Who’s going to replace Simon? Is it going to be Justin Timberlake? Is it going to be Harry Connick, Jr.? Well? Is it?” stuff, because we should all know by now that we’re not going to get the answer we’re looking for till at least the fall, but more likely sometime in December, weeks before the new season airs.
So far, we’ve heard that Bret Michaels could replace Simon. And Elton John. And Chris Isaak, Shania Twain, Guy Oseary, Tommy Mottola, the aforementioned Harry Connick, Jr. and Justin Timberlake The latest news today is that Jessica Simpson is in the running for the job, too. This short list, it ain’t so short anymore. In fact, it’s sort of comically long and varied and is surely going to create so much hype that when the real successor is named, it’s going to be a let-down. Let’s do ourselves a favor and channel our energy elsewhere for the time being, because on the off chance they name someone who is like, a songwriter or producer we’ve never heard of, we’re all going to be bummed out by the non-name recognition. Call it the DioGuardi Effect if you will. It’s bad enough we’ve lost Simon, let’s not make things worse by getting our hopes dashed on a daily basis false news of his replacements too.
American Idol reject and certified diva Ian Bernardo is now claiming that AI producers told him to turn up the fabulousness during the finale as well as his 2006 audition, only to dump on him after his performance bombed. You might remember Bernardo from the AI finale this past May, when he interrupted comedian Dane Cook on stage, proclaiming, “Nobody cares! It’s all about Ian Benardo!” making us drop to our knees and pray for him to get a spin-off reality show.
Unfortunately, after his performance Bernardo claimed to have been threatened by Cook and abandoned by the producers, and has filed a claim with the New York State Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in an effort to prove it. In his allegations, Bernado claims that AI “exploited … my sexual orientation” by telling him to “gay it up” for the cameras. Now, despite the fact that Bernardo makes Clay Aiken look like Jason Statham, we have the sneaking suspicion that Bernardo was asked back not because of perceived sexual orientation, but because his try-out consisted of a bizarre spoken word rendition of “Gloria,” delivered while wearing a t-shirt with his name on it and draped in layers of fur. If that’s what gay people are like, we need to get out of our parent’s basement more. But as Coco Chanel said, before you leave the house, take one fur coat off. And before the producers at AI ask you to act like a mincing gay stereotype on TV, remember that contestants who don’t make it through try-outs are usually portrayed by AI a parade of oblivious freaks, hamming it up for the audience’s amusement.
Maybe one day someone who is as over-the-top and fabulous as Bernardo pretended to be (and who can actually, you know, sing well) will be allowed to sashay his way across the stage and into our collective hearts – besides our beloved Glambert. Until then Ryan Seacrest can only hold his breath and dream.
In the latest “O girl child, no” news, Julianne Hough recently joked that she had assumed boyfriend Ryan Seacrest was gay prior to dating him, noting, “He totally wasn’t my type … I thought he was gay.” Meanwhile, Seacrest laughed awkwardly, coughed, and then quickly deleted dozens of texts messages from his phone.
Oh boy. Where to even begin with this. You know that one girl in high school? The one who gushes about her amazing boyfriend, and how he wanted to take things really slow because he is super busy “studying” approximately 45 hours a week with the school’s running back? Well, maybe that friend grew up and became a professional dancer and singer who is currently dating Ryan Seacrest. It’s definitely a possibility, right? Anyone who has watched American Idol over the past few years has noticed Seacrest’s bizarrely stilted, oddly homophobic banter with Simon Cowell, leading everyone and their mother to suspect that Seacrest has had more beards than a lumberjack convention. Because as we all know, nothing makes you seem straighter than constantly bringing up gay people all the time.
However, if Seacrest is not trying to cover up his sexuality through sweaty, off-putting repartee, then he apparently is just a creeper. As Hough continues, “He was after me since I was 18”, which, EW. EW. EWWWWWWWWWWW.
– Halle Kiefer
It’s been a while since we’ve checked in with our American Idol top ten, and there’s plenty of news to report this week. First and foremost, Crystal Bowersox posted this photo to her Twitter account showing off her new teeth. Yes, our formerly gap-toothed chanteuse has fixed that hole. She writes “whats NOT missing in this picture?????? Yeah. That’s right.” We love Crystal no matter what her teeth look like, but we wonder if she took up that offer by an L.A. dentist to fix them for free?
In other Idol news, it looks like ticket sales for the American Idol Live! summer tour weren’t doing so hot, because organizers have decided to cut off the last two weeks of the tour, scrapping eight cities from the roster. Sorry Buffalo, Cleveland, Kansas City, Omaha, Portland, ME, Portland, OR, Toronto and Winnipeg – forget about seeing soul-patchy Lee DeWyze croon or asking Big Mike to bench press you. It ain’t gonna happen.
Proving once again that it’s not so bad coming in second place on American Idol, this year’s runner up Crystal Bowersox has signed a recording contract. Mama Sox made the deal with 19 Recordings/Jive Records (19 Entertainment is the company that produces the reality show, so Bowersox is staying in the Idol family).
The dreadlocked singer-songwriter said in a release “I’m really grateful to be given this opportunity to make an album and let people hear my music.Ã‚Â And IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m looking forward to working with all of the folks at 19/Jive.” Bowersox is also gearing up for the American Idol Tour which starts on July 1 and hits 49 venues across the country this summer. She’ll be sharing the stage with this season’s winner Lee DeWyze and the rest of the top ten.
What happens when Adam Ant, Boy George, and the Mad Hatter breed in the woods? Well, we suspect you get something that looks like Adam Lambert‘s latest video for the single “If I Had You”. Lambert takes the glam, gothy look he’s cultivated and added some dry ice, dreadlocked hair extensions (what?) and a forest to the mix for a dramatic backdrop to the song. Our favorite part though? The cameo from his Idol pal Alison Iraheta. (Miss you, girl!) So is the song summer jam quality or what?
Lee DeWyze may have been more popular than Crystal Bowersox with American Idol voters, but compared to previous champions he may have the smallest fanbase yet. His first single, “Beautiful Day,” only made it to #24 on the Billboard Hot 100, a chart that Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks all topped with their debuts (Ruben Studdard and David Cook just missed the top spot, while Jordin Sparks and Kris Allen sat just outside the top ten). Lee sold 95,000 copies of the U2 cover, 30,000 less than Allen did last year with “No Boundaries.” Crystal’s “Up On The Mountain” only made it to #57.
The lukewarm response to “No Boundaries” (which wasn’t even put on Kris’ album) may have inspired producers to skip the usual “coronation” song in favor of covers this year, but with “Beautiful Day” not even the most popular song to air on Fox that week (the Glee cast’s “Poker Face” hit #20), next year’s winner (presumably another humble guitar player who beats a long-time judge’s favorite) may find themselves singing a prom theme again. But unless Simon Cowell‘s replacement is a big hit, this show might not see the top ten again anyway.
[Photo: Getty Images]
When Lee DeWyze was named this year’s American Idol over the odds-on favorite Crystal Bowersox on Wednesday night, he looked to be just as shocked as the rest of us. After an emotional performance of U2’s “Beautiful Day” (complete with confetti streaming down from the rafters of the IdolDome), we were able to catch up with the favorite son of Illinois — sorry Abe Lincoln, your time has passed — and chat with him a bit about how surreal his moment of victory was and what his upcoming plans for the summer are.
Crystal Bowersox didn’t just lose American Idol this week, but her boyfriend as well. The runner-up revealed to Ryan Seacrest this morning that she split with Tony Kusian hours before her final performance—explaining her “hard morning” comment on Tuesday’s show. “Big Tony, he went home. He wasn’t cool with the lifestyle,” she said. “I didn’t break up with him, it was a mutual thing.” But to paraphrase Bill Hicks, “mutual” usually means one person said “we’re breaking up,” and the other said “Ok”—and it sounds like Tony’s the one who started it.
“It’s cool though, we’re both logical, grown adults,” she rationalized. “He’s a small town guy and that’s fine, I’m a small town girl, but I want this. I want this more than anything, this career, this lifestyle. I didn’t think he was up for it…he didn’t think he was up for it…I was a little sad that he did it on performance day, but then again it set that fire to my belly.” Kusian had already hinted at the awkwardness to People. “Some days are more fun than others, but it’s been hard to find friends out there. I want to keep it low key. I don’t need the attention.” Hey, bud, if you’re looking to avoid attention and make friends, try not to dump America’s sweetheart the day of her final performance. You’ll have a hard time living that one down in Toledo.
[Photo: Getty Images]