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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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We’re getting down there in numbers as far as this season’s American Idol is concerned.  Ryan Seacrest reveals that Wednesday’s show garnered 53 million votes, which is a record for the season.  The remaining seven perform a group number, and I have to say that these are not my favorite…although I do love Fox’s excessive use of balloons in the opening number.

After the necessary product placement for Ford, Ryan engages in witty banter with the final seven.  He asks Hollie about how last week’s save of Jessica has affected the relationships with the remaining singers.  She gives a politically correct answer before she and Joshua are called to the stage.  After Joshua’s two songs on Wednesday, JLo calls him “beautiful” while Randy Jackson touts him as one of the most gifted singers ever to grace the AI stage.  Steven Tyler believes Joshua climbed inside him…in a good way.

Hollie channeled Adele.  While the judges loved it, and I am no critic, I stand firm that it’s always a bad idea to try to recreate a song which is still popular…and sung by someone so revered in such a small amount of (American pop culture) time.   I loved her “Son of a Preacher Man” rendition, but I don’t think she can hold a candle to Adele, so she shouldn’t have even forced the comparison.  Jimmy is pulling for Joshua, while he thinks Hollie has improved.  Joshua is safe while Hollie finds herself the first in the bottom three.

Taylor Hicks crawls out of that bar I once saw him at in Birmingham to announce he’s got a Vegas tour in the works.  Sure you do…and I am a big fan of THicks.  He also introduces recent Idol winner Kris Allen who debuts a new mediocre song.  The next two up for results are Skylar and Elise.  Skylar rocked a country version of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and I think Gaga herself would be proud.  Her rendition of “Heard It Through the Grapevine” was just as impressive.  Elise is from my home state, so I am glad that she garnered love from JLo and Steven Tyler...but I am not her biggest fan.  Loved Skylar, liked Elise in a “I hate people get voted off this show” sort of way.  Ryan informs Elise that she must join Hollie in the bottom three.

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Last night’s American Idol elimination had the remaining eight contestants worried about their fate after a night filled with eighties tributes.

Ryan Seacrest approaches Joshua Ledet who had been feeling faint.  He seems very thrilled to have his health issues highlighted on the live show.  Ryan announces that JLo is introducing a new, sexy video.  He questions whether Jennifer had some sort of connection with any of the back-up dancers.  A blushing JLo pleads the fifth.  Oh, Idol…you’re so coy!   A sneak peek of the video reveals that it is very desperate sexy.

Not letting go of the fact that Joshua is sick as a dog, they show a video of a pre-school class in Vietnam wishing him luck.  Huh?  Last night’s results are based on duet teams.  Joshua is strong enough to make it to center stage with Jessica Sanchez.  Joshua sang “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” to rave reviews from the judges.  Jessica channeled Whitney Houston with “How Will I Know.”  Steven Tyler calls her (and her voice) absolutely “beautiful.”  Jessica fumbles, telling the crowd she doesn’t have a voice for eighties music.  Both are safe.

The Wanted, a British pop group, is introduced and makes quite a debut.  I like this song…I didn’t know they sang it!  However, enough is enough, let’s get back to the results!  Skylar Laine and Colton Dixon are the next pair in the hot seat.  Skylar belted out a country version of “Wind Beneath My Wings” and Randy Jackson called it her best performance to date.  She received a standing ovation.  Colton sang my favorite Cyndi Lauper ballad “Time After Time” and I loved it.  Jimmy didn’t agree.

Ryan wants to keep the anticipation high, so he calls Hollie Cavanagh and DeAndre Brackensick to the stage with Skylar and Colton.  Hollie flashed back with everyone’s favorite Flashdance theme, singing “What a Feelin’” and I wish I had on a cut-off sweatshirt.  The judges didn’t love it.  Perhaps, I loved the song more than her rendition, but you have to admit, it’s a fab, open your sun-roof and sing your head off song.  On the other hand, Jennifer loved DeAndre’s version of the El Debarge hit.  I concur with Jimmy on this one…the judges loved him, but I found it mediocre at best.  But his mediocre is better than I’ll ever be!  Unfortunately, he finds himself in the bottom three, and Hollie joins him.  Both Skylar and Colton are safe.

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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?

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