American Idol

It’s official! Fox is finally announcing what we’ve all known for weeks, which is that Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez are the newest additions to the American Idol judging panel.

In a live press conference Wednesday afternoon hosted by Ryan Seacrest, the network introduced Steven and Jlo alongside Randy Jackson, the only judge remaining from the previous season, to a cheering audience.

“I’m looking for the next Michael Jackson,” said Jlo, 41. “We’re looking for the best American Idol ever.”

Steven Tyler, 62, also had some words to say.  “[It] feels like the perfect feathered nest,” he said. “It’s being a part of something much bigger than yourself. I want to bring some rock to this roller coaster.”

Jennifer, who is slated to earn $12 million for judging one season of the hit show addressed the Idol hopefuls in attendance at the press conference.  “I love you guys. I am so excited,” she told the crowd. “It is about concentrating in the moment, do the best you can. Just live! Just live, it’s your moment.”

The new season of American Idol will officially kick off in January, 2011.

Jennifer Lopez

It’s a done deal! Ending weeks of will she or won’t she speculation, Jennifer Lopez has officially signed a deal to become a judge on the next season of American Idol.

Multiple media outlets including TMZ and PEOPLE are confirming the news. According to PEOPLE, Jlo signed a one year deal to the tune of $12 million! Yes you read that right, $12 million for a year’s worth of work.

TMZ adds that Jennifer is expected to be at the judges’ table for auditions starting next week. While sources close to the show claim Jlo is not a diva, PEOPLE adds that the deal almost fell through last month due to Jlo’s diva demands, which included wanting movie and TV development deals, a larger Idol salary as well as input about her new co-judges. AI reportedly said no to all the extras.

And despite AI’s attempts to defend their new judge, sources tell Rob Shuter of Popeater that Jlo is indeed a diva who makes ridiculous demands.

“Of all the people I have ever worked with, no one was more difficult than Jennifer,” a magazine editor tells Rob. “When we shot her for a cover, her list of demands were crazy. She needed an all white room scented with Jo Malone candles. She insisted on having a banquet of food — that she never touched — and even had the nerve to ask for a specific type of private plane.”

As for who will be joining Jlo on the judge’s panel, Randy Jackson is still in, while Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler is expected to be the final addition.

TELL US – ARE YOU EXCITED TO WATCH JLO JUDGE AMERICAN IDOL?

Kara DioGuardiShania Twain

While Kara DioGuardi has remained mum since news of her firing from American Idol made headlines weeks ago, her dad is now speaking out on her behalf and what he had to say is a bit shocking.

Kara’s dad, Republican senate candidate Joe DioGuardi, told Capital Tonight that Kara found out about her firing the same way the public did – from reading about it.

“She read it the way you did and I did,” said Joe. “Would you believe she did not hear — and still has not heard — anything?”

Joe added, “Her disappointment is that that’s the way she’s being treated and she feels that’s not proper. I think they’re trying to create a lot of buzz… they’re trying to reformat the thing.”

Though Fox has yet to publicly confirm the firing, TMZ and multiple reputable media outlets broke the news on July 30. Yikes.

In other Idol news, TMZ also reported AI was negotiating a deal with Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler to be the replacement judges. News however broke a week ago that negotiations with Jlo fell through due to her many diva demands.

However, TMZ is reporting AI is still in talks with Jlo, but they do have a back up plan in case the talks fall through. The back up plan? None other than Shania Twain. TMZ refers to the country star as “plan B.”

TELL US – WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE WAY KARA FOUND OUT SHE WAS FIRED? WHO DO YOU WANT AS A JUDGE? JLO OR SHANIA TWAIN?

MAJOR shake ups in the American Idol judging line up.  Ellen DeGeneres announced late yesterday that she has quit the show, after just a year.

In a statement released to multiple media outlets, Ellen stated, “A couple months ago, I let FOX and the American Idol producers know that this didn’t feel like the right fit for me. I told them I wouldn’t leave them in a bind and that I would hold off on doing anything until they were able to figure out where they wanted to take the panel next.”

Ellen, 52, replaced Paula Abdul as a judge for the show’s ninth season.  “It was a difficult decision to make, but my work schedule became more than I bargained for,” her statement continues, before adding that “it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings.”

The AI news did not end there as TMZ then confirmed this morning that fellow judge Kara DioGuardi has been fired, and that the show will be going back to a three-judge format.


Jennifer LopezSteven Tyler

And who will be replacing Ellen and Kara on the judging panel?  According to GossipCop and TMZ, it will be none other than Jennifer Lopez aka Jlo and rocker Steven Tyler.

GossipCop was the first to report the news, when they ran a story last night stating that American Idol had offered the two spots to both Jlo and Steven.

TMZ also confirmed this morning that assuming all deals are finalized, the judge’s panel will consist of Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler. Adding that the only way Kara will get her job back is if Jlo rejects the offer.

American Idol is reportedly hoping to announce their new judging line up on Monday.

TELL US: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE CHANGES IN THE AI JUDGING LINEUP?


Lee Dewyze American Idol Finale

The ninth season of American Idol came to a dramatic end last night as Lee DeWyze was crowned the Idol winner, beating out favorite Crystal Bowersox.

Lee, a shy 24-year-old painter from Chicago, appeared shell shocked after being announced the next winner of AI by host Ryan Seacrest.  “This is amazing!” said Lee. “Thank you guys so much for everything… I can’t believe this… I’m so happy right now. I’ve never been happier in my life!”

Lee continued, “Throughout the season, the word ‘confidence’ has come up with me a lot. I think looking confident and being confident are two different things for me,” he said. “If I wasn’t confident, I wouldn’t be able to do this.”

However the night wasn’t all about Lee, as it was also judge Simon Cowell’s last night on the hit show. Simon, who is leaving AI after eight years to become a producer and judge on the American version of The X Factor, set to debut in 2011, got a bit teary eyed during his farewell.

“I didn’t think I was going to be this emotional, but I genuinely am,” said Simon as he joined past AI contestants onstage. “The show will go forward, it’ll be different, but I just want to thank you for the support, the fun and… everyone, your sense of humor, thats what’s been the best part.”

Along with past Idol contestants, former judge Paula Abdul also returned to bid farewell to Simon.  The finale show also included a hot performances by Janet Jackson, Christina Aguilera, Alice Cooper, and Alanis Morisette, as well as a surprise performance by rocker Bret Michaels.

TELL US:  DID THE RIGHT CONTESTANT WIN AI? WHO DO YOU THINK WILL HAVE A BETTER SINGING CAREER?

american-idol-top-3

The final 2 battle has been set on American IdolCrystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze are the last two standing and will battle each other for the “American Idol” title next week.

With over 47 million votes cast, eliminated last night was Casey James, a native of Forth Worth, Texas. “I never thought I’d get this far,” said Casey to Ryan Seacrest. “But to me, it’s like winning $10 million in the lottery and $100 million in the lottery. It’s so much more than I expected, so it can’t be bad.”

Lee was the first to be announced safe last night, which was no surprise judging by his amazing performance of Leonard Cohen’s classic “Hallelujah” on Monday night.  A performance which moved both the judges and the audience.

And while Crystal, 24, has been the front runner all season, Lee, 23, is steadily catching up. Judge Randy Jackson said Wednesday that Lee had “blossomed beyond belief” since the start of the season.

Next week is the two-part finale during which the 2010 “American Idol” will be crowned live on May 26, and will win a recording contract.

TELL US: WHO SHOULD WIN THE AMERICAN IDOL TITLE? CRYSTAL OR LEE?

michael-lynche-ai

Michael Lynche found himself the latest hopeful to be eliminated from American Idol on Wednesday night.

The 26-year-old St. Petersburg, Fla. native also known as Big Mike was touted one of the early favorites to win the show. However his numerous appearances in the bottom two made his elimination not so surprising.  According to Ryan Seacrest, almost 37 million votes were cast this week, the most this season.

“It’s been unbelievable, man,” he said. “I just sit here right now and I think, ‘I wasn’t even supposed to be here.’ Thank God for the judges saving me, I got to spend more time here, and be with the people, perform for my wife, you know? It’s all good, man.”

Michael had performed Michael Jackson’s “Will You Be There” on Tuesday’s movie-themed performance night.

And this brings up to the final three.  Casey James, Lee DeWyze, and Crystal Bowersox now have a one in three chance of winning a $1 million recording contract. The three will also be filmed visiting their home towns and their fans next week.

TELL US: WHAT IS BIG MIKE’S TIME TO GO HOME?  WHO DO YOU THINK WILL WIN IT ALL?

AARON KELLY

17-year-old Aaron Kelly saw his luck run out Wednesday night as he was the latest hopeful to be eliminated from American Idol.

Aaron’s rendition of “Fly Me to the Moon” failed to impress the home viewers after a tough Frank Sinatra-themed week for the five remaining Idols. “I’ve had a great time. I’ve had a blast,” said a shocked Aaron upon hearing the news of his elimination.

Rounding up with bottom two with Aaron was surprisingly Michael Lynche, despite receiving praise from the judges for his performance of “The Way You Look Tonight.” Actor and singer Jamie Foxx will be on the show next week to mentor the 4 remaining finalists.

In other Idol news, ratings continue to dip for the show, in what some are calling the worst season ever. The ratings have dropped a drastic 20% in just the last three weeks.

That is not the worst news however, as a new report shows Tuesday’s episode brought in the lowest ratings for the show since 2002. The Tuesday night show averaged 17.1 million viewers, compared to Dancing With The Stars which averaged 19.6 million viewers this week.

Some are wondering whether the departure of longtime host Paula Abdul and the pending exit of Simon Cowell, might be part of the reason for the ratings dip. What a lot of people seem to agree on however is that this season has a lackluster of contestants.

The reason I can’t bring myself to like Idol is simply because I feel the judges nitpick the contestants’ performances. And then we have the four judges giving very conflicting criticism to the contestants. I mean hello, are they all not watching the same performances? But that’s not all. The judges also seem to play favoritism, giving constant, sometimes undeserved, praises to their favorite contestants. Think Crystal Bowersox and Michael Lynche this season. It seems these two were made to be the frontrunners very early on the season. So the question is why waste my time watching for 12 weeks if Crystal and Michael will likely be in the final 2?

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TELL US – WHAT DO YOU THINK IS TO BLAME FOR AMERICAN IDOL’S LOW RATINGS?

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