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Randy Jackson

And then there were eight. We’re jumping in to covering American Idol, which is awesome for me because 1) I love it; and 2) but for recapping the elimination show, I’d likely be reminded of my Pauly D and Vinny Thursday night withdrawals. The show begins as it should…Randy Jackson is smooth, dawg, Steven Tyler is swathed in an excessive amount of man scarves, and JLo is sporting an outfit I would have killed for back when I was in middle school – and mind you, that was in the late 80′s.

The show opens with the always suave and debonairly coiffed Ryan Seacrest promoting Aerosmith’s upcoming tour. The remaining nine singers are shown the celebrity tweets, which tout their favorite idols of the season. Carrie Underwood, Lifehouse, and Mariah Carey all show some love for those who chose their songs. Poor DeAndre Brackensick didn’t receive any such tweets after his performance of Eric Benet’s “Sometimes I Cry” (sidebar…I’m so excited to be recapping the AI because all season I’ve wanted to hear from y’all how much he reminds you of former contestant Jason Castro). Instead, DeAndre gets a personal visit from Eric Benet. He’s moved to tears, Ryan is excited to have Eric grace the stage, and somewhere Halle Berry is flaunting her engagement ring at her television screen while Olivier Martinez chides his future bride about being married to such a d-bag. Did I digress too much?

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American Idol returns January 22!

The popular show released a preview of what’s to come during Game 4 of the World Series letting us know, without question, all of last year’s judges: Steven Tyler, Randy Jackson, and Jennifer Lopez will be returning. Along with debonair host with the most, Ryan Seacrest!

Unlike the cantankerous behavior of former judging panels these judges are the best of friends on camera. “They’re like my brothers and they drive me crazy like brothers, too,” Jennifer described of Steven and Randy. “But we love each other, which is why we’ve become like a family.” Well, as family I wish somebody would talk to Jennifer about her on-set wardrobe! It was a standout last season – and not in a good way.

And since it’s another season without Simon Cowell to be the blunt voice of reason, Jennifer is assuring us this year the judges are “a little tougher on everybody.” Oooohh… good! No more constant praise – we want to see some snark!

Jennifer tells PEOPLE that being too nice wasn’t necessarily the way to go. “Because of last season and the standard that we set, it’s easy to go, ‘Is he as good as even our top 24 from last year?’ ” I guess Jenny has to earn that reported $20M she is getting paid to sit on the judges panel this season.

However, she is positive the talent pool is better than ever with many amazing voices to wow both the judges and the fans alike! “It’s not like you find people just like that, but the ones that we found, we know are very special,” she declared.

The preview clip is below!

[Photo credit: Ivan Nikolov/WENN.com]

ARE YOU EXCITED FOR SEASON 11 OF AMERICAN IDOL? DO YOU THINK THE JUDGES SHOULD BE A LITTLE HARDER ON THE PERFORMERS OR DO YOU PREFER A GENTLER APPROACH?

Following a successful first season on American Idol, judge Jennifer Lopez is revealing she is uncertain about a return to the show next season.

After Wednesday’s finale, Jlo, 41, refused to confirm whether she would sign on for the upcoming 11th season of the show.

“It’s too early to tell,” said Jennifer, who is believed to be in contract negotiations with FOX. Unlike her fellow judges, Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler who have multi-year deals with FOX, Jennifer only signed a one year contract for a reported $12 million.

It however seems the FOX network would love to have Jlo back on. “Everyone has multiple-year contracts. Jennifer had [a] single-year contract. We loved having her — the hope and expectation is she’ll return,” FOX chief Peter Rice said earlier this week.

This is all likely a negotiation ploy for Jennifer, who is said to have earned significantly less money from the show than Randy and Steven. Steven reportedly raked in $18 million for his first season alone.

Meanwhile, following the kiss seen around the world during the Idol finale on Wednesday, new winner Scotty McCreery is now responding to the rumors that he is romantically involved with runner-up Lauren Alaina, 16.

So are they an item? “Oh no,” Scotty, 17, said during a conference call on Thursday. “We’ve been getting that question all morning. Me and her – it’s a brother-and-sister relationship.”

So what was up with the kiss? “She told me before the show she was going to [kiss me],” he said. “It was kind of like a joke. She’s a character.” Scotty also added, “We are really close friends. I met her on day one of Hollywood Week.” So there you have it folks! They are just “really close friends.”

Photo Credit: AdMedia/WENN

TELL US – DO YOU WANT JLO TO RETURN NEXT SEASON? DO YOU BELIEVE SCOTTY & LAUREN ARE NOT DATING?


Scotty IS the new American Idol!

In the season finale of American Idol the country showdown between finalists Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery finally came to an end as a new idol, Scotty was confetti’d! Last night was a show-stopping affair filled with amazing duets, the return of the eliminated idols, a whole slew of celebrity performances, and tons celebs in the audience (did I see Maria Shriver?). A record-breaking 122 MILLION votes were cast nationwide to determine the Season 10 winner.

The all-star line up of celebrity performances (including two from our esteemed judges – more on Jennifer Lopez’s later) featured: Beyonce, Tony Bennett, Lil Jon - fresh off ANOTHER reality show, the resurrected TLC, Tom Jones, Bono and The Edge, and judge Steven Tyler. Kicking off the celebrity duets was James Durbin, A.I.’s metal king in a crazy performance with Judas Priest. James definitely has the perfect voice for metal, but whatever he was wearing looked more at home in The Village People! Jacob Lusk, who Ryan Seacrest accurately described “took us to church” this season performed “I Smile” with Kurt Franklin and Gladys Knight. I have to say when he is in his genre Jacob’s voice is amazing! Casey Abrams returned with his celebrity soulmate Jack Black!! They were so hilarious. Their rendition of Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls” was my favorite performance of the night.

Lauren and Scotty performed duets with two of country music’s biggest stars. It was Country Superstar meets Country Beiber in a show-stopping duet with Tim McGraw and Scotty singing “Live Like You Were Dying.” Lauren took the stage with her idol and former Idol winner Carrie Underwood for a performance of “Before He Cheats.” We also met Lauren’s and Scotty’s high school music teachers – who were so cute and so excited to be there – they were both gifted a new Ford Focus!

Marc Anthony, husband of J.Lo, also gave a performance, which surprise! featured his wife. And I have to say I was blown away by J.Lo – and not in a good way. Her portion of the performance consisted of booty jiggling, gyrating, butt thrusting, weave tossing dirty dancing while wearing a fringed leotard. J. Lo – too much. Too, too much. Also, in a booty gyrating, inappropriate for prime-time performance was Lady Gaga wearing an outfit that was 90’s Madonna meets Bret Michaels, who simulated s.e.x. and suicide in the most annoyingly repetitive song I’ve ever heard. I was on the edge too, Gaga – on the edge of extremely annoyed! Oh, for DVR at that moment so I could fast forward.

Finally, the winner was announced and the newest American Idol is: SCOTTY MCCREERY! The country cutie from North Carolina took the prize! Scotty performed his new single “I Love You This Big” (which my friend’s sister dubbed the Barney – as in purple dinosaur – song). Scotty was so choked up after the big win that he could hardly get through the song. During the touching performance he hugged his entire family – but forgot to hug Jack Black who was sitting next to his family. Congratulations Scotty –you were superb from day one – you have a fan in me. Also, congratulations to Lauren for a fantastic season with many outstanding performances. And following last night’s finale, many are now wondering today if Scotty and Lauren are dating? No clear answer on that yet but what do you think?

Well that concludes Season 10 of American Idol. Casting for Season 11 begins soon so if you think you have what it takes to be the next American Idol, try out and let me know if you make it through so I can interview you!

Do you think Scotty should have won?

Last night on American Idol it was The Boy Next Door vs. The Southern Belle as Scotty McCreery the 17-year-old from Garner, NC and 16-year old Lauren Alaina from Rossville, GA – the youngest finalists ever – went head to head in the only all-country finale in Idol history.

To kick off finale week, judge Jennifer Lopez took the stage immediately after leaving her figure skating practice in a green sparkly leotard looking umm… dress and Ryan Seacrest fancied it up in an impeccable tux. I don’t know what Randy Jackson was wearing, but it was something… In a shocking bit of information we learned that Lauren sprained her vocal chords during rehearsals! In fact, TMZ reported yesterday that 2nd-runner up Haley Reinhart was backstage and ready to take Lauren’s spot in the case she wasn’t able to perform. The AI doctor however came onto the stage to let us know that Lauren had been heavily medicated but he felt she would be able to perform just fine.

Each finalist went through three rounds performing three different songs with the judges deciding who won each round as part of their critique. Round One consisted of the contestants choosing their favorite song of the season. Scotty went first singing, Montgomery Gentry’sGone” giving a show-stopping performance. Then Lauren took the stage singing her rendition of “Flat On The Floor” in a saucy, high-energy performance. The judges determined that even thought it was close Scotty took round one, with Randy saying he felt like he was at a “Scotty concert.”

In Round 2, AI added a new twist by having the Idol’s own idols choose a song for the contestants to perform. Scotty’s musical idol, George Strait, chose “Check Yes or No.” Scotty played guitar himself during the performance and personally, I love this song and I thought he did a great job. Lauren’s idol was none other than past Idol winner Carrie Underwood who chose Pam Tillis’ “Maybe It Was Memphis” for her to perform. Lauren accompanied the song with a Grand Ole Opry style dress and cowboy boots. Round Two went to Lauren only because she is prettier than Scotty according to Steven Tyler! Actually all the judges felt she did a fantastic job with her rendition of the song and were really impressed with her performance.

Round 3 featured each contestant’s first single if they win American Idol. Jimmy Lovine explained how they chose each song for the idols. Scotty’s single “I Love You This Big” was a country ballad sure to get the teenaged girl army swooning as the Country Beiber crooned into the microphone. The judges felt the song really exemplified Scotty’s range and how far he has grown in the competition. Lauren’s single, “Like My Mother Does” was a special homage to her mom. During the performance Lauren walked off stage with a Seacrest escort and found her mom in the audience, giving her a hug. Both Lauren and her very proud mama were moved to tears. The judges loved it with Randy announcing: “Lauren Alaina has arrived America!” Despite her vocal injury Lauren aced Round 3, as well, with the judges deciding she had won it hands down.

Tomorrow AI comes to a close with a live 2-hour Season Finale and the winner is confetti’d!

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Who do you want to win American Idol Season 10? Who was the better performer yesterday?

On Wednesday’s episode of American Idol the Final Four remain and things got Gagalicious as Lady Gaga descended upon the competition from her home planet Gagalore, sans pants, to mentor the remaining contestants on glitz, glam, and all things related to being a truly fantastic performer. The show’s theme which seemed to be inspirations or legends, was about as hard to figure out as Lady Gaga herself, and had the Idol finalists choosing any song that inspires them and another from legendary songwriting duo Leiber & Stoller.

For the most part the judges felt each artist made his or her mark on the songs they chose. James Durbin nailed both his performances – especially Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin” and Randy Jackson felt he was “having a moment” each time he sang. Haley Reinhardt covered Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song,” in round one, but had some difficulties since the song just wasn’t really compatible with her vocal range – Randy said it sounded like “screaming.” In the second round Haley majorly redeemed herself with a performance of Ben E. King‘s “I Who Have Nothing”, which got a standing ovation from the judges – another one! Haley’s big rock n roll voice is certainly perfect for the classics.

Country cutie Scotty McCreery – who seemingly can do no wrong on Idol – had two high notes with his performances: an emotionally charged rendition Alan Jackson’s of “Where Were You” that included him playing guitar and a hilarious Gaga-ized version of The Coasters’ “Young Blood.” Of course, the saucy humor he brought performing to his girlfriend, “the microphone” excited judge Steven Tyler who exclaimed: “You made Gaga’s yaya go lala.” Um… I’m not sure what a yaya is but something tells me it might not be family friendly! Keep it in check, Steven. Also, going Gaga was blue-plate special Lauren Alaina, whose performance featured a sparkle-encrusted ensemble that matched her spunky personality, and an amazing rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Trouble” which Jennifer Lopez dubbed “really, really good!”

Thursday night’s results show started with Jlo experiencing her weekly fashion fiasco with some scary drop-crotch MC Hammer looking pants as she walked out on stage and I think Steven was wearing a jacket with J.Lo’s face on it. Not sure – but something crazy was happening there!

With a whopping 72 million plus votes cast to determine who would be getting the deluxe trips home, Ryan Seacrest announced Lauren was the first person to make it into the Top Three. And then Idol teased us with not one but two celebrity performances and a sneak peak of Steven’s new very un-Aerosmith video. Seriously – I couldn’t stand the suspense! Ryan, finally, got around to announcing the rest of the results and Haley moved into the second safe spot. The final spot went to none other than Scotty, meaning the teenage girl army was out in full-force voting furiously by any means necessary.

Sweet, sensitive James was sent home leaving Jennifer in tears. James departed by serenading us with an emotional version of Paul McCartney’s Maybe I’m Amazed and reminding us to “give metal a chance!” James – America will totally give metal a chance and I agree with J.Lo, you are “magical!”

Next week the final three get to arrive via private jet for first-class hometown heroes visits. Do you think James should have been sent home? Who do you think will make the final two?


On Wednesday night’s episode of American Idol, the theme was “Now and Then,” giving each Idol hopeful the opportunity to perform a song that was popular back in the 60’s and 70’s and one that has been a recent chart topper.

Idol fave, Scotty McCreery managed fantastic performances in both categories, choosing Montgomery Gentry’s “Gone” and Elvis Presley’s “Always on My Mind” which caused an excited Steven Tyler to exclaim that Scotty – the sweetest of country boys – had “danced with the devil!” Good job Scotty – and of course, as long as teenage girls in America have access to phones, Scotty isn’t going anywhere! Despite Scotty’s successes, it was underdog Haley Reinhart who stole the show with a performance of The Animals’ “Houses of the Rising Sun” that resulted in a standing ovation from the judges and Randy Jackson declaring it the best performance of the night.

Thursday night’s results show began with J. Lo debuting an ill-advised gold lame pouf skirt she wore to her prom in 1985 as she walked out on stage and Steven debuting his new autobiography: Walk This Way to Sweet Misery: How Bad Plastic Surgery Ruined My Life. Just kidding! It’s actually called Does the Noise in my Head Bother You?: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Memoir.

With 60 million votes cast determining who would move forward to the final four, Idol decided to drag out the suspense by not revealing which side of the stage featured the safe contestants; Ryan Seacrest asked Haley and James Durbin to stand on one side and Lauren Alaina and Jacob Lusk to stand on the other, with Scotty receiving the last critique from mentor Jimmy Lovine. Since, of course, Scotty was moving forward – even if his performance consisted of yodeling – Ryan unfairly asked him to choose the side of the stage he felt featured the safe contestants. Scotty chose wisely, opting to stand with Haley and James, who as it turned out turned were the other members of the top three, leaving Lauren and Jacob as the bottom two.

In the middle of all this drama of who’s safe, who’s not, we were treated to a performance of Jennifer Lopez’s new song: “On The Floor” featuring Pittbull. I couldn’t even pay attention to the song because I was so distracted by J. Lo’s second unfortunate outfit of the night which featured silver sequined harem pants (oh so terrible) and a fringedyes FRINGED! – sequined, crop-top with Dynasty pouffed sleeves. Oh the nightmare… Isn’t J. Lo supposed to be a fashion icon?

After a rocky performance of Jordin Sparks’ and Chris Brown’s “No Air”, Jacob was eliminated. Jacob has an amazing voice and I am excited to see where his talent will take him. The man who Randy thought had one of the best performances ever on Idol and who Steven Tyler decided had been brought to Idol by “divine intervention” went home with a beautiful and fun performance of “A House Is Not A Home.” Good Luck Jacob!

Next week – the final four! Who do you think will go home next?

It seems the judges’ decision to use their one time save early on this season came back to hunt them.

In what is being called one of the most shocking eliminations in American Idol history, fan favorite Pia Toscano, 22, was sent packing on Thursday night.

After being in the bottom three with Stefano Langone, and Jacob Lusk, host Ryan Seacrest announced Pia had been eliminated from the show.

Everyone, especially the judges, were shocked at Pia’s exit.  “I have no idea what just happened here. I’m shocked, I’m angry…I don’t even know what to say,” said a tearful Jennifer Lopez. “A mistake is one thing, but lack of passion is unforgivable,” said Steven Tyler chiding the home audience for failing to vote for Pia.

“I’m gutted. You’re one of the best singers in this!” added Randy Jackson. Even the twitterverse was up in arms with many fans, celebs and past Idol contestants voicing their disappointment. “I can not believe they just eliminated pia ! ReAlly..???? Long as she walked away with that voice she will be alright !! Just hate to see talent like that go!” tweeted Jennifer Hudson.

Pia remained a trooper as she closed the show with a performance of “I’ll Stand By You,” receiving a standing ovation following her performance. She broke down in tears after the song as her fellow contestants rallied around her.

Pia’s exit makes the fifth consecutive female eliminated from the show this season. None of the men have been eliminated with only two girls remaining in the top eight now, almost guaranteeing a male will win the show.

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON PIA’S ELIMINATION? DID THE JUDGES MAKE AN ERROR IN USING THEIR SAVE TWO WEEKS AGO?

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