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Last week both Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler announced they were leaving American Idol to pursue their own careers. However, a new report claims they were actually fired in response to falling ratings – and Jennifer seeking yet another pay raise!

According to The Wrap, Jennifer who was paid $15M last season, asked for a $2M raise to return. In response, Fox said no way, declining to even make her a counter offer! As for Steven, Fox opted not to renew his contract as they are seeking new blood in the hopes of restoring the show to its former dominance in the music competition marketplace.

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Former Dancing with the Stars pro Julianne Hough sat down with the July issue of Glamour Magazine to chat about everything from her new movie, Rock of Ages, to her relationship with super producer and American Idol host Ryan Seacrest. Reality Tea has a sneak peek of the interview below, including the gorgeous shots from Julianne’s photoshoot.

GLAMOUR: Are you competitive?

JH: Yes, about everything. It gets silly. Ryan and I are very alike. When we work out with a trainer, we’ll die before we stop, like, to the point where we can’t breathe.

GLAMOUR: Is the age difference between you two an issue? You’re 24, and he’s 37.

JH: No, but he’s always joking about it.

GLAMOUR: How did you meet?

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And the winner of American Idol is…nah, I won’t give it away until after the jump for those of you who decided to watch Law and Order: SVU (and by “you” I mean me) and save the Idol recap for later.  I actually learned who won right before I started watching.  Thanks DVR and internet.  It’s down to Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips.  Who will it be?  Let’s find out in what may be the most anticlimactic AI finale EVER.  At least that lead in was dramatic, right?   The final twelve perform, and blah, blah, filler, blah.  Really do we need two more hours of Idol after two hours of Idol last night?

After the initial hoopla performance, the judges and Ryan Seacrest are introduced.  Ryan and his bump-it recap the prior evening, making a two hour finale seem like just minutes with his suave style…in just a short two hours, we will have a new American Idol.  He meets with the finalists, and Jessica admits she managed two hours of sleep before her big night.  Smug Phil slept for nine hours.  I want to reach through my television and smack him.  I can’t remember the last time I slept for nine hours straight…and I need it.  I need it bad, people.

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It was the hometown visits for American Idol this week, which on the results show warrants a Simon and Garfunkel montage (loves!) as Joshua Ledet, Phil Phillips, and Jessica Sanchez head back to where their hearts are for a giant, stadium sized homecoming party.  Ryan Seacrest reminds America about the deets of the next week’s final faceoff with his hands casually resting on the backs of Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez.  Steven is doing his best Gollum/gargoyle statue impression while JLo looks awkward…probably because she’s not sure she’s going to continue with this gig.  Randy Jackson is confident in his judging abilites, sporting a leather blazer.

After Ryan announces the performers for the evening will be the King’s daughter Lisa Marie Presley and everyone’s favorite Idol alum and eyeliner abusing Adam Lambert, the final three perform a Beatles song.  Yawn.  Bring on the sofa!  As always, an idol fueled Ford commercial is highlighted, with a noticeably absent P PhillyJessica explains she’s happy to make it this far, and regardless of her fate, she’s excited to find out the results.  Phillip and Joshua echo her sentiments…and why shouldn’t they?  History tells us that the runners-up usually do better than the winner anyway.  Reuben Studdard knows what I’m talking about.  J Hud, anyone?

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Yesterday The Hollywood Reporter revealed their list of Reality TV’s 50 Most Powerful people. It’s no surprise that Ryan Seacrest, the American Idol host and the man behind the Kardashian dynasty and break-out mega hit Shahs of Sunset, landed himself in spot number one.

Beating out gazillionaire multi-hyphenate – and friend – Simon Cowell (who nabbed the 8th spot), Ryan’s reality TV endeavors rake him in an estimated $50M per year. I wonder how much he made on Kim Kardashian‘s made-for-TV wedding?

So what’s next for Ryan? The 37-year-old mogul just inked a $15M deal to remain on AI for two more seasons, he’ll be providing coverage for the summer Olympics, and he’s producing a new reality show about former teen idols, the Jonas Brothers. Oh, brother…

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There are four very talented artists left on American Idol.  Viewers are reminded that the final three get the homecoming of a lifetime.  The event is marked with stellar judge and past winner performances.  It’s almost time to crown the nation’s newest star.  Pretty exciting stuff!  Equally exciting?  Ryan Seacrest seems to be feeling much better.  The audience even gets treated to tickets for the upcoming tour.

The final four perform a Mamas and Papas tribute.  It’s great, and reminds me again how badly I wish I could sing a note.  Product placement abounds, and a Ford video is shown.  The final contestants are excited to be in a commercial…it’s electric!  Everyone touts saving the environment with Ford’s new electric car.  It’s a cute video, but let’s get to the results please!  Phillip Phillips is the first to face the music (literally).  He sang “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” and gains mad praise from the judges.  Randy Jackson calls his performance pitchy to start, but he certainly comes into his own.  Jimmy loved it.  His next time on stage, singing “Volcano” Randy touts that he’s listen to it all day long on his headphones.  Jimmy is beyond impressed.   Ryan sends him back to sofa to wait it out a little longer.  Of course he does…

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There are a mere six left on American Idol, with Wednesday night being Queen night.  What’s not to love about that?

The show opens with a Queen cover band performing everyone’s favorite “Somebody to Love.”  After a fabulous rendition, AI sends the remaining crew to TMZ for some “media training.”  Good luck with that!  The first two up are Elise Testone and Jessica Sanchez.  Jessica doesn’t get the best critique from Jimmy (the judges liked her) for her “Bohemian Rhapsody,” but she blew everyone away with her “Dance With My Father” by Luther VanDross.  Randy Jackson couldn’t find a thing wrong with her performance.  Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez loved Elise’s Queen cover, but Randy and Steven think she made a poor song choice with her Jimi Hendrix pick.  She finds herself the first contestant banished to the bottom three.

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