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fantasia

American Idol Winner and platinum-selling R&B artist, Fantasia Barino will soon join the list of celebrities turned reality star as she will star in her own VH1 reality show.

The 8 episode, 30 minute docu-series will focus on Fantasia juggling her career as a single mother. Fantasia, a young single mother found fame after winning the 3rd season of American Idol. In addition to staring in her own reality show, she is working on her most anticipated album. Fantasia for Real will premiere January 11, 2010 at 10pm on VH1.

Below is the press release:

VH1 will give viewers a close-up view into the complex, touching and surprisingly relatable life of recording artist, actress and American Idol winner Fantasia. The series follows Fantasia as she juggles her career and single-motherhood while devoting her energy into recording her highly anticipated third album. The 8 episode, 30-minute docu-series Fantasia For Real is slated to premiere January 11, 2010 at 10PM on VH1.

Six years ago, Fantasia was a young single mother from High Point, North Carolina singing in her church choir and struggling to raise her daughter, Zion. On a whim, she tried out for the third season of American Idol, and seemingly overnight the world discovered Fantasia’s tremendous voice. Five years and 8 Grammy® Award nominations later, life couldn’t look more different for Fantasia. Her first album, Free Yourself, was a platinum-selling, chart-topping success, bringing her wealth, fame, and recognition as an accomplished artist. Fantasia has worked with many music industry legends, including Elton John, Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, and Missy Elliot. In 2007 Fantasia was chosen to star as Celie in the acclaimed Broadway musical The Color Purple. Her book Life is Not a Fairy Tale made the New York Times bestseller list, and she also starred in a made-for-television movie based on her life.

As Fantasia’s fame has grown, her personal life has increasingly become more complicated. The sole breadwinner for her large family, Fantasia struggles to balance career, family, and the demanding life of a highly successful performing artist. Fantasia’s VH1 series delves into how she has dealt with the seismic aftershocks of fame, all while managing the daily demands of life on the road and writing and recording new music that will connect with her fans.

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Justin Guarini, runner-up to Kelly Clarkson in the first season of American Idol, is getting married this weekend.

The 30-year-old singer will tie the knot with fiancee, Reina Capodici this Saturday on a private estate along the Delaware River near both their families’ homes in Pennsylvania, Usmagazine.com has learned.

Though Justin and Reina dated for a few years, they’ve known each other since they were teens. Justin will become a stepfather to Reina’s 4-year-old daughter Lola, from a previous relationship.

A female minister from the Universal Church will preside over the ceremony and the couple intend to recite vows they’ve written themselves.

Last weekend, Justin covered the Emmy Awards for the TV Guide Channel. He also plans to return to the studio to record his third CD.

Paula Abdul and Ellen DeGeneres

Fox recently announced that Ellen DeGeneres has signed on to be the fourth judge on American Idol, replacing Paula Abdul. Paula however has nothing but positive things to say about Ellen.

“I think Ellen will b a great judge on Idol,” she Twittered Thursday. “She is wildly funny, talented and I wish her the best of luck!”

Former judge, Paula Abdul, abruptly announced she would not be returning to the show on her Twitter page back in August. It is said to have been due to contract negotiations. Paula felt she deserved more money than what AI was offering. In an interview with Ryan Seacrest, Ellen promises to be the “honest” judge who will “bring compassion” to the show. In addition, she intends to keep fellow judge Simon Cowell in check.

“I’ll tell him the same thing I tell him when he’s on my show — that he’s mean,” she said. “You can be constructive, and you can criticize someone in a way that’s helpful and not mean-spirited.”

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Even though Paula Abdul is leaving the show, American Idol will still have four judges, Fox chairman Peter Rice told the FOX Television Critics Association on Thursday.

“There is going to be a search,” he said. The search is for a permanent replacement, while there will be guest judges taking her place during the auditions.

According to Peter, the producers “were hoping” Abdul would come back. “We love Paula. She’s been a really wonderful part of the show for eight years.”

Sources say that Paula asked for a $20 million deal which producers were unwilling to meet. She also rejected a thirty percent raise.

According to FOX, guest judges including Victoria Beckham and Katy Perry will join Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi in the seven weeks of audition rounds, which starts Friday in Denver.

“We’ll have these guest judges do one week each during the audition [period]… there is no thought right now that any of these judges will be long term judge for us,” Rice said. “All of the people we are talking to have successful careers. I don’t even think they’d be available to judge full-time. We have now until January to introduce a new energy to the panel.”

There are also rumors that Kandi Burruss of The Real Housewives of Atlanta is being considered as a judge, but those are simply rumors for now.

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Speculations over Paula Abdul’s return to American Idol can finally be put to rest as she will not be returning as judge on American Idol, reports PEOPLE.

 “With sadness in my heart, I’ve decided not to return to Idol,” Abdul, 47, writes on her Twitter page. “I’ll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all being a part of a show that I helped from day one become an international phenomenon.”

She adds: “What I want to say most, is how much I appreciate the undying support and enormous love that you have showered upon me. I do, without any doubt, have the BEST fans in the entire world and I love you all.”

Paula’s reps have refused to comment except provide a confirmation that she is leaving. The show will begin taping for the 9th season, with auditions starting in Denver. 

FOX TV also released a statement saying, “Paula Abdul has been an important part of the American Idol family over the last eight seasons and we are saddened that she has decided not to return to the show,” “While Paula will not be continuing with us, she’s a tremendous talent and we wish her the best.”

With Paula gone, the three other judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi will return.

Tell us: Are you going to keep watching AI without Paula?

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Over the weekend, there were talks that Paula Abdul may not return for season 9 of American Idol according to her manager. American Idol fellow judge, Simon Cowell is however not concerned because he believes the contract will be finalized amicably and Paula will be back on the show.

“She’ll be fine. She’ll be on the show,” he tells Extra” I don’t get a lot of say. I’ve just made it clear that I want Paula on the show.”

AI host, Ryan Seacrest also says, “I think as far as I know, you’ll see everybody back. I hope so.”

David Sonenberg Abdul’s manager, raised concern over the weekend, telling the Los Angeles Times that the singer-dancer hasn’t been offered a contract yet.

In the meantime, a “Keep Paula” campaign has been launched on Twitter to keep Paula on the show. Idol alums, Matt Giraud, Anoop Desai and Danny Gokey have also joined the campaign showing support for Paula.

Abdul also took to her Twitter page over the weekend to thank fans for standing by her. She wrote: “I’m actually moved 2 tears upon reading the enormous amount of tweets showing me your kindness, love & undying support. God bless all you! If it weren’t for you, this specific time and situation would feel a lot worse! XoP”

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The American idol judges and host are finalizing contract negotiations before the show returns for the ninth season. Ryan Seacrest recently renewed his contract for three years, a $45 million deal to continue as host, perhaps making him the highest paid host in the history of reality tv.  Randy Jackson also signed on through 2011 while Kara DioGuardi has expressed interest to return. Though Simon Cowell will return for another season, his long term future on AI remains uncertain.

There were several reports that Paula Abdul will be returning to the show, however Paula’s manager is not certain of her return since the producers are not agreeing to their demands.

“Very sadly, it does not appear that she’s going to be back on Idol,” Abdul’s manager, David Sonenberg, who has yet to receive a proposal for her return, told The Los Angeles Times.

According to Sonenberg, who began managing the star in June, he told the network Abdul would “love to be on the show,” but is yet to get a response from the producers.

“She’s not a happy camper as a result of what’s going on. She’s hurt. She’s angry,” Sonenberg said. “I think at this point we’re going to be considering everything, including some kind of a competition show. She has tremendous ideas for a whole variety of shows.”

Tell us: Will you continue to watch American Idol without Paula Abdul?

idol_02-judges-wall_0045_1 It seems all four American Idol judges will be returning for season 9 after all. According to RadarOnline.com, Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Kara DioGuardi will be returning to the next season of American Idol despite initial rumors surrounding the show.

Since Abdul’s contract was up, there were speculations of her not returning to the show and that Kara may not return since she only signed a one year contract. Having four judges seemed to be problematic for the live show because it slowed down the pacing says Abdul and Cowell.

Timing issues will be addressed on the next season. At the moment, Abdul and Dioguardi are still in negotiations though sources believe the contracts will be finalized in a few weeks. Sources also believe a formal announcement will be made in a few weeks.

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