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American Idol fans saw judge Jennifer Lopez break down Wednesday night as she informed Illinois native Chris Medina that he did not make the top 24 contestants.

“It was just honestly a pleasure to meet someone like you,” a teary Jlo 41, told Chris, 26. “It was a blessing and a moment in my life I’ll always remember. Jennifer then got even more emotional “I just didn’t want to tell him no,” a sobbing J.Lo expressed. “I felt so bad.”

Jennifer continued to sob despite being consoled by her fellow judges Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson. “I didn’t feel like I told him in the right way,” she said. “You did it in the best way possible,” consoled Randy.

Chris wowed the judges and viewers during the audition rounds, not only due to his voice but also due to his personal story of his paraplegic fiance. Chris’s fiance Juliana Ramos was in a car accident that left her with brain damage two months before they were set to be married.

“What kind of guy would I be if I walked out when she needed me the most?” said Chris during his first audition. But despite getting emotional upon hearing the news that he would not be part of the top 24, Chris vowed to focus on his music and his fiance.

“I’m going to go home and keep writing music,” Chris said. “I’m going to take care of my fiancée and make a miracle happen.”

And despite his elimination for AI, Chris’s story does seem to have a bit of a happy ending as fans have donated a handicapped van, a home furnace and more than $29,000 to his girlfriend. Plus Chris is also scheduled to perform on The Tonight Show this Friday.

TELL US – WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON JENNIFER’S BREAKDOWN PLUS LAST NIGHTS AI EPISODE?

A number of critics have panned the new season of American Idol, but did the audience also tune out?

Well, it seems at least some of them did. According to an AP report, the ratings for AI are down this season from the previous year. While the premiere episode was one of the most watched television shows of the year, averaging a total of 26.2 million viewers, it was still down 13% from the nearly 30 million who watched last season’s opener.

The decline continued onto the second episode of the season, averaging 22.6 million viewers.

Season 10 officially made it’s debut Wednesday, January 19 with a two-hour opener which was mostly dedicated to showcasing the new judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, who joined the sole returning judge Randy Jackson.

And following two weeks of auditions, some are wondering if these new set of judges are simply not Simon Cowell too soft as a high number of contestants were reportedly let through to go to Hollywood.

“I’m beginning to see why the Hollywood Week group was so large this year (a reported 325),” Brian Mansfield of USA Today wrote. “This group of judges are a much softer touch than previous crews. They’re much more likely to put somebody through on the strength of their personalities. Simon would have shut 75 percent of those people down.”

Critic Emily Yahr of the Washington Post stated the “same dramatic music, same talk about making people’s dreams come true, same sob stories with predictable tickets to Hollywood. It’s comforting, or it’s a snoozefest — take your pick.” Interesting.

TELL US – WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE NEW SEASON OF AI? ARE THE JUDGES TOO SOFT? DO YOU MISS SIMON?

When it comes to the upcoming 10th season of American Idol, it seems the judges aren’t the only changes being made.

In a new interview with TV Giude, AI executive producer Nigel Lythgoe reveals that the finalists will now have to face new challenges, you know, other than having to sing live on national television in front of millions of viewers.

Those changes will include contests to make the best music video, to promote themselves, and to work with a band and dancers for an awards show-style performance.

However the biggest change will be the elimination of the top 24 round as the show will now go right to the top 12 finalists. “I didn’t think [the top 24] were very good, I was bored with them by the time they got there,” says Nigel of previous seasons.

What is unclear is how the show and judges will narrow down the contestants to the top 12 especially considering the fact that Nigel reveals more contenders are being sent through to Hollywood this season.  Nigel also promises there will be a wider range of talent including many country, indie and jazz singers.

The new season of American Idol premieres January 12 on Fox. The new judging panel, pictured above, includes Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson.

TELL US – ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT THE NEW SEASON? THOUGHTS ON THE CHANGES?

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?

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?


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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?

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Could the Semifinalists of American Idol’s ninth season have been revealed? That answer is yes according to Joesplace, who has managed to correctly reveal the identities of American Idol’s semifinalists for the last two years. He has now released the alleged names of nearly all of the ninth-season’s Top 24 semifinalists.

Four of those alleged semifinalist include contestants — Katie Stevens, Tyler Grady, Ashley Rodriguez and Jermaine Sellers — whose auditions aired last week during American Idol’s two-night premiere, from Boston and Atlanta.


This spoiler list is even more likely to be accurate because unlike previous AI seasons in which Hollywood Week occurred in the fall and ended with the final 50 contestants returning to California to learn their fates at a later date, this ninth-season’s Hollywood round took place just last week with the contestants learning their semifinalist status on Friday.

American Idol’s ninth-season Hollywood coverage which will feature the introduction of new judge Ellen DeGeneres, is set to officially begin airing on Tuesday, February 9, continuing into the following night. The top 24 semifinalists — 12 males and 12 females — will then officially be revealed on the February 17 show.

According to Joesplace spoilers, 20 of the ninth-season Top 24 semifinalists are:

- Lacey Brown, a 23-year-old from Amarillo, TX

- Michelle Delamor, a 19-year-old from Miami Beach, FL

- Lee DeWyze from Chicago, IL

- David Duke, a 23-year-old from Waxahachie, TX

- Katelyn Epperly from Des Moines, IA

- Andrew Garcia from Moreno Valley, CA

- Christopher “Chris” Golightly from Orange County, CA

- Tyler Grady

- Benjamin “Ben” Honeycutt from Ringgold, GA

- Casey James from Dallas/Fort Worth, TX

- Aaron Kelly, a 16-year-old from Sonestown, PA

- Alexander “Alex” Lambert from North Richland Hills, TX

- Michael Lynche

- John Park from New Jersey

- Ashley Rodriguez from Boston, MA

- Lillian “Lilly” Scott from Denver/Boulder, CO

- Jermaine Sellers, a 25-year-old from Joliet, IL

- Katie Stevens

- Haeley Vaughn, a 16-year-old from Fort Collins, CO

- Janell Wheeler from Orlando, FL

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