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Aerosmith To Perform (With Randy?) On American Idol

Guess Joe Perry doesn’t think American Idol is “one step above Ninja Turtles” anymore. Judge Steven Tyler confirmed that his band Aerosmith will be joining him on Idol for a performance later this season. “I thought it was a big secret. I guess the cat’s out of the bag!” said Tyler, with co-star/ex-Journey bassist Randy Jackson adding, “I’m gonna judge, and then I’ll jump on and perform with them!” Jennifer Lopez is also set to hit the stage this season, though that a) was pretty much guaranteed from day one and b) is nowhere as exciting as The Aerosmith-Randy Jackson Experience.

Though Joe Perry is just behind Slash in the Guitarist Who Will Stand On Stage Next To Any Pop Star At Any Time sweepstakes, it’s still surprising to learn he’ll be on the show after Joe’s harsh words about Idol last year. “[Idol] is a reality show designed to get people to watch that station and sell advertising,” he told the Calgary Herald, adding he doesn’t want Aerosmith “associated with the show” and, yes, that it was “it’s one step above Ninja Turtles.” Sure, this was back when Joe and Steven were fighting over Aerosmith’s future, but we still feel like sending him some nunchaku.

[Photos: Getty Images]

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Randy Jackson Swears He’s Not Trying To Be The New Simon Cowell On Idol

If you’ve caught any part of the tenth season of American Idol, you’ve probably been pleasantly surprised by the positive vibes new judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez give. Of course, it’s a little weird watching Tyler lip-sync to and flirt inappropriately with some contestants, but over all, they’ve proven to be solid judges, while Randy Jackson has clearly become the hard-ass with the snarky comments.

Jackson called in to Ryan Seacrest‘s radio show to respond to the comment that he was “mean” on last week’s show and in the process, declared that he’s not trying to be the next Simon Cowell, really, guys, he’s not. Jackson told Seacrest “I’m a very humble, kind, mild-mannered man and I just try to give people the honest truth. We have to feed it to them the right way…” He says the perceived meanness comes out when he’s confronted with an auditioner who isn’t a serious contender.  “I think a lot of people sitting at home are probably like me, thinking, ‘Is this a serious audition or is this person just putting one over on us?’” So it’s in solidarity with the American people that Jackson takes it upon himself to shatter dreams. “I wouldn’t say I stepped into the Simon Cowell’s shoes,” Jackson continued. “I don’t think those shoes could be filled, nor would I want to be in them!” And truth be told, Simon was always far meaner than Jackson has been this season,  but he’s definitely been the toughest judge this season. Maybe the change is in us. We’re so used to “You feel me, dawg?” that we haven’t become accustomed to this new, harsher Randy.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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Producers Confirm Big Changes For American Idol

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While “head judge” Randy Jackson will undoubtedly still separate contestants into the “fire” and the “pitchy,” American Idol execs confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter that much will change when the show returns with Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez later this month. While many of the Idol alterations were rumored by the same magazine last month (coincidence?), it’s now official that the Top 24 will likely be reduced to the Top 12 or 15, online voting is in the works, and contestants will no longer have to leave their genre of choice. “We’re not going to ask a country singer to sing an R&B song, or an R&B singer to do Led Zeppelin,” said new contestant mentor Jimmy Iovine.

While the contestants will indeed be living in a mansion together, it’s not clear whether American Idol will go full Real World on us as suggested. Other big news: a revamped set (shock!) and contestants singing more original songs—songs that will be released during the run of the show. Seems the producers have realized that, by the time a contestant gets an album together after the show, no one actually cares. “The sands of time are slipping through the hour glass and you want to capitalize while the public is so engaged in the story of winning or losing,” said Ron Fair. Only two more weeks before we find out how much sand American Idol has left!

[Photo: Getty Images]

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The New Idol Judges Are Already Working Hard To Crush Dreams

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We won’t actually get to see the fruits of  their labor until January 2011, but the new American Idol judges have already been put to work tearing apart the latest crop of hopefuls. This photo of them on the set at a New Jersey audition yesterday was Tweeted by producer Nigel Lythgoe who wrote “It’s great to be back on American Idol. The judges were great.”

While some blogs have noticed that Randy Jackson is now occupying Simon Cowell‘s old spot, we think Randy, as the most senior-ranking judge at this point has tenure and deserves it. This means that Tyler gets Randy’s seat, so he’ll have to fill the “inoffensive, sometimes pandering, often nonsensical jibberish” judging role, while Lopez, seated in the center, will fill the “I’m just a dancer with a singing career, listen to my inoffensive, sometimes pandering, often nonsensical jibberish” judge quota. And just like Elijah, the producers had the good sense to leave Kara DioGuardi‘s seat empty.

[Photo: Plixi/Nigel Lythgoe]

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File Under “News We Already Knew”: J. Lo And Steven Tyler Are Your Idol Judges

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Well, it only took months of speculation, one “firing“, one “un-firing” and several contract negotiations, but we now have confirmation that Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are definitely our new American Idol judges.

It was “revealed” in a  press conference today, where Ryan Seacrest kicked off by saying “We are looking for the next star in music. We usually ask, who will be the next American Idol? We never asked this question, who will be the next judges on American Idol?” And then, in a puff of smoke reminiscent of Spinal Tap, Lopez and Tyler made their entrance on the stage, joining their fellow judge Randy Jackson and ending all speculation. And then, just as you’d expect, they each gave a statement riddled with clichés. First, Tyler said ” I want to bring some rock to this roller coaster.” For reals. Then Lopez said to no one in particular “It is about concentrating in the moment, do the best you can. Just live! Just live, it’s your moment.”And not to be left out, Jackson yelled “I am calling season 10 the remix, baby!” Because it’s the same, but different, dawg!

So with that, let the search for the next Lee DeWyze begin!

[Photo: Splash News Online]

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Your Next American Idol Is…

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It’s pretty awesome that a bunch of kids who auditioned for a reality show eight months ago got to share the stage with people like Janet Jackson (Miss Jackson if you’re nasty!), Chicago, Joe Cocker, and Hall and Oates tonight. Janet Jackson! I mean!

In addition to all the special guests on the American Idol finale, there was a winner, and his name is Lee DeWyze. Okay, if you didn’t feel happy for the guy as he cried his way through “Beautiful Day”, you have a heart filled with poo. It became pretty obvious from the way Lee nervously handled his microphone in the moments leading up to his coronation that he really wanted this. We still have total confidence that Crystal Bowersox will have a killer career, but there’s only one winner, and – God, all his crying! It was touching. Suck it, paint store!  We did enjoy the rest of the show more than we’ve probably enjoyed most other episodes of Idol, for our rundown of all the special surprises, read on.

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American Idol: Lee And Crystal Face Off

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The final performance show of American Idol was solid, making it even more difficult to foresee who will be the winner of season nine. The sadness of Lee DeWyze’s first two performances were only matched by the sadness of his puppy-dog eyes, while Crystal Bowersox showed a range of emotion, all while negotiating the glossy stairs in heels. It was like a Double Dare physical challenge watching her try not to fall. Still, it would be impossible to try to predict what the voting public will do, the winner is going to be a real toss up.
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American Idol: Why This Season Wasn’t About Finding An “Artist”

This season of American Idol had a lot to prove, and funnily enough, none of it was about finding the next great singer. Over the past five months, we’ve scrutinized America’s second favorite show (yeah, somehow (and this is the woman who wore a tearaway dress last year, revealing a bikini under it). The dialogue between DioGuardi and Casey James during his audition reads like a porn.

Casey “I’m willing to do anything that I need to do.”

Kara “What about unbuttoning your shirt a little bit?”

Randy “Take it off.”

Kara, to Victoria Beckham “Don’t you want to see it?”

Cut to Casey, bare-chested and wondering why some Forever 21-clad cougar is trying to hijack his singing career and a bag of bones dressed in Gucci is eyeing him like he’s a Coke Zero. And scene.

“Straight Up” Now Tell Me When I’m Eliminated


Poor Andrew Garcia, he gave one of the only truly interesting performances of the season when he rehashed Paula Abdul‘s “Straight Up” during Hollywood Week, but he was never able to relive that during his time in the Top 12. And the judges reminded him of it again…and again…and again. He might not have fared well in the competition, but we kinda wish he releases his cover as a single.

The Judges


So it’s Simon Cowell‘s final season of Idol before he moves on to The X-Factor.  Paula Abdul has already left and taken most of her glitter eyeshadow with her. Ellen DeGeneres made her debut. And let’s face it, the judges make this show what it is. Who doesn’t tune in just to hear Simon call someone “atrocious” or throw out an entendre or two? So people have tuned in out of curiosity – they want to bid Cowell farewell, see how Ellen and her non-musical ear will do, and lament Paula’s absence. This season marks the beginning of the end it seems, or at least the beginning of a whole lotta changes, for the series. (And by the way, the above picture is from 2003, but why wouldn’t be want to post a picture of Paula dressed like a princess?)

The First Idol Baby

Plenty of Idol contestants have been parents just trying to support their families, but we’re pretty sure we’ve never actually had a baby’s birth narrated by Ryan Seacrest. But when Michael Lynche made it to Hollywood, he had to hear his wife give birth on the other end of an iPhone. Luckily, Mama and Baby Lynche were able to come stay with Big Mike while he sang his way through the show. His rendition of “This Woman’s Work” was made more poignant by his story and even made Kara cry (for show, obvs, she’s Kara remember?) but it was one of the more touching personal moments this show has brought us.

The Elimination Process

This is probably our most solid case for why the show is no longer about the music. Sure, Crystal Bowersox is an amazing performer and a born musician, and Lee DeWyze can sing the crap out of a power ballad but (don’t hate us) Casey James is not and cannot. And yet he’s in the final three. Not to mention  the fact that Alex Lambert, our early favorite (despite his hair) was booted before he even had a chance to make it to the Top 12. Same with Lilly Scott – sure, her sound wasn’t music to our ears, but she was original and definitely had more talent that Top Twelvers like Paige Miles and Lacey Brown. Sure, musical taste is subjective, but ability is not.

We’re not sure if we’re optimistic about next season, to be honest. If Randy Jackson and Kara and Ellen (who, God love her, doesn’t add much to the show, in our opinion) are the anchors of the show, this, uh, ship may have sailed. (Forgive our New England-y seafaring metaphors.)  In the meantime, we’re still excited for this week’s finale and eagerly await the announcement of who America has chosen to idolize (but will subsequently forget about) this season.

[Photos: Getty Images/]


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American Idol: Judges’ Choice

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So guys, Lee DeWyze is probably gonna win this, huh? After last night, that’s kinda what we’re thinking now.

The contestants each got to sing a song of their choosing and a song that a judge chose for them on American Idol. This proved two things, the first being that the judges are objective and savvy enough to know what songs work for the contestants. The second is that these contestants aren’t savvy enough to be allowed full creative control of their careers just yet, if their own song choices were any indicator.

Casey James chose “Ok, It’s Alright With Me” which we aren’t familiar with, and the judges picked John Mayer’s “Daughters” for him, which, given Mayer’s sh*tty year, seems like a cruel setup. He was fine, but not great and sadly, we get the sense that Casey knows he’s done for. Simon Cowell said “Daughters”’ “climax is a limp guitar solo” which, once you get past the juvenile sex references, was about right. It was limp. But as always, Casey’s hair was not.

Crystal Bowersox stuck to her roots and sang Melissa Etheridge’s “Come to My Window” and even though she is basically the second coming of Etheridge, it wasn’t really all that great. Ellen DeGeneres chose “Maybe I’m Amazed” for her second song and it was much better, but somehow it feels like Crystal’s talent has leveled off. When Ryan Seacrest asked her how she felt about her performance, she responded “I’m glad I’ve got my mike stand and my friends and my health, and my son is healthy and that’s what it’s about,” which, sure, that’s if you’re looking at the big picture. But that’s not what the show is about. Health schmealth, this thing is about winning.

Lee DeWyze was the night’s clear winner despite Simon Cowell choosing one of the world’s most overdone songs for him. Look, “Hallelujah” is awesome, but it’s also a song that has been ruined by too many covers. Having said that, though, Lee hit it out of the park. He also fared well with his own choice of “Simple Man,” which suited him and his sad, paint store eyes. Kara DioTardyForTheParty said he was the “heart of the season”.  Well, maybe the heart of the last 4 episodes.

Tonight, we’re all coming down with Bieber Fever. And one of the contestants will die from it. Metaphorically speaking. Or whatever. And since the contestants all went through the trouble of visiting their hometowns, check out our gallery of images from their visits!

[Photos: Getty Images]

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Former Idol Producer: “I Would Replace All The Judges”

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There’s a chemistry on American Idol that makes the show enjoyable to watch, mainly due to Simon Cowell‘s authoritative and acerbic judging style, as well as his at-time contentious relationship with his fellow judges and host Ryan Seacrest. Former Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe thinks that once Simon leaves the show, the void will be too much for any one person to fill, which may be true. His suggestion? Clean slate – replace all the judges, not just Simon.

Lythgoe tells the blog Zap2It “I would replace the entire judging panel.” He also says frankly “I don’t think it really works replacing one person. They don’t have a great deal of chemistry at the moment. Ryan Seacrest and Simon have fallen out. It’s uncomfortable to watch. Ellen DeGeneres hasn’t worked out as well as we would have hoped.” If he had his druthers, he explains that his ideal judges’ panel would consist of “Elton JohnUsher and Paula Abdul.” Not a bad lineup, but unfortunately, Lythgoe is no longer associated with the show, so it’s doubtful that this dream team will ever come to be. We do like the idea of a complete overhaul though – Kara DioGuardi and Ellen aren’t doing it for us this year, and Randy hasn’t done it for us ever, dawg.

[Photo: Getty Images]