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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?

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?

American Idol Big Mike

Viewers watching American Idol last night were shocked to see Michael Lynche aka Big Mike in the bottom three, but what was even more shocking was when Ryan Seacrest announced Mike as the receiver of the lowest number of votes this week.

The 26-year-old singer from New York found himself in the bottom three with Aaron Kelly and Andrew Garcia, even he had an okay performance with his version of “Eleanor Rigby” by the Beatles.

In his plea to the judges for their save (a one time opportunity the AI judges have to save one contestant this season), Michael performed “This Woman’s Work” by Maxwell.

With the audience cheering on, Simon Cowell announced the judges would be using their save on him. “This is unanimous, Michael, if that’s any comfort. We have decided we’re going to see you next week,” said Simon.

Due to the judges’ save being used this week, two contestants will be eliminated next week.  One can only hope the judges’ other favorite, Crystal Bowersox, doesn’t get voted off anytime soon.  Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert will return next week to mentor the group.

TELL US – DID THE JUDGES MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION IN SAVING MIKE?

paula-abdul

Despite numerous reports linking former American Idol judge Paula Abdul as a new judge on the remake of Star Search, UsWeekly is reporting that Paula will not be a part of the show.

An insider however shares that even without Paula, there’s a good chance the show will return to TV sometime this summer.

Paula also denied the rumors earlier this week when she tweeted, “Once again, until you hear it from me, you can’t believe what you read ;) Lots of love!”

Paula continues to be in talks to be a judge on Simon Cowell’s upcoming talent show – The X Factor.

TELL US – DO YOU WANT TO SEE STAR SEARCH BROUGHT BACK TO TELEVISION?

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2010 American Idol Top 12 Girls

The top 12 ladies of American Idol performed live for the first time last night, and according to the critical judges, they mostly left a lot to be desired.

The show started with a noticeable change in the line-up of the judges, with Ellen DeGeneres now sitting furthest away from Simon Cowell. Ellen, in Ellen fashion, jokingly explained that she had to move away from Simon because he kept putting the moves on her.

When asked about the talent pool of the ladies by show host Ryan Seacrest, Simon responded, “Some are good. Some are not.” Interesting foreshadowing.

First up was Paige Miles who kicked off the competition with the Free classic “All Right Now.” She sounded just okay to me, and didn’t seem to have much of a stage presence, but she ended up receiving good praises from the judges.

Next up was Ashley Rodriguez who sang Leona Lewis’s “Happy,” and ended up getting trashed by the judges. Ashley likely received the worst criticism of the night, in a performance that didn’t seem that bad to me.

My favorite of the bunch, Didi Benami performed Ingrid Michaelson’s “The Way I Am,” which I believed was a perfect fit for her singing style. However the judges disagreed and said her performance was missing a spark.

One contestant who did seem to win over some of the judges was my second favorite, Crystal Bowersox, who sang a soulful rendition of Alanis Morissette’s “Hand in My Pocket.” “You were good tonight. I think you have greatness in you, though,” said Kara.

Last night’s episode reminded me of why I tend to stop watching Idol after the audition rounds. I can’t help but feel like the judges are somewhat too critical and go out of their way to find flaws in sometimes amazing performances. But then again, I’m no music expert but I find some of the critiques to be a bit ridic.

The top 12 boys will perform tonight, with the results show airing Thursday night.

TELL US- WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE TOP 12 LADIES? WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITES SO FAR?

howard_stern_kara_dioguardi

Ever since news hit that shock jock radio host Howard Stern was in talks to replace Simon Cowell as a judge on American Idol, a lot of tongues have been wagging, with most people being not too keen on the idea.

Though Howard himself has revealed his interest to judge AI, current judge Kara DioGuardi doesn’t think he would make a good fit for the show.

“I don’t really know if I can even speak on it,” said Kara on the Howard rumor. But then she added: “I don’t know that [Stern] has a musical background,” she mused. “I think that if you’re gonna replace Simon, you have to have that background.”

Kara continued, “You have to have somebody who knows about signing great artists and being a part of their career from the very beginning to the very end… I think that’s probably a precursor for whoever takes that position if they’re not a big artist who’s been through it themselves.”

Kara however went on to sing praises of new judge Ellen DeGeneres, who has received rave reviews for her recent performance on judging Hollywood week. “Ellen brings a sense of humor, of course, but also I think she knows more about music than we think she does,” explained Kara.

“She had a really good handle on whether a contestant had potential,” DioGuardi added. And as for those pesky rumors that Simon and Ellen have been butting heads? “You have to take every rumor you hear about “American Idol” with a grain of salt,” she said. “They usually aren’t true.”

Howard SternAI Simon cowell

Could the King of Radio be making his way to American Idol? It seems so as Howard Stern confirmed on his Sirius Satellite radio show Monday afternoon that he is indeed being considered as a possible replacement for Simon Cowell when American Idol’s tenth season begins in 2011.

“There’s not a better job on the planet than judging that f—ing karaoke contest,” Stern said.  “It might be possible, we’ll see,” he said, adding: “They’d have to pay me a ton of dough because I already make a ton of dough.”

This seems even more possible as Howard’s five-year, $500 million contract with Sirius expires at the end of this year.  So how much does Howard need to replace Cowell?  “A $100 million to judge a karaoke contest? Yeah, I would do that show for $100 million,” said Stern referring to a Fox news report that Idol would need to match his current salary.

$100 million a year salary however seems highly unlikely as even Cowell was not earning close to that.

Stern also reveals he would no longer do radio if he got the AI job, “If I do say do myself, I can’t imagine anyone else but me replacing (Cowell),” Stern said. “I mean, I don’t know. How else are they going to make that show work? Who knows how to broadcast and who knows how to be interesting? And who’s not afraid to speak their mind?”

TELL US – WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE STERN REPLACE SIMON?

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