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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?


There was not a dull moment on American Idol’s elimination results show Thursday night, in what some are calling the craziest Idol episode ever.

In a round of events no one could have predicted, Casey Abrams found himself in the bottom three alongside Thia Megia, not so surprising, and Stefano Langone, which was a little surprising.

Ultimately, Casey was the one who received the least amount of votes, thus having to sing for his life in the hopes of a last-minute save from judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler.

About 25 seconds into singing “Don’t Need No Doctor,” the judges cut Casey’s’ song short, letting him know they needed to hear no more. He was being saved. “We know who you are, Casey,” said Randy. “We don’t need to hear you sing anymore, do we Steven?” “We made a decision to keep you on,” added Steven.

“Are you kidding, are you kidding,” muttered 20-year-old Casey over and over, appearing very stunned and almost on the verge of collapse, before staggering over to the judges’ table to thank them.

And just like that, the judges used their one and only save of the season, which means with 11 contestants still remaining, no one else can be saved. This has left some wondering if the judges were right in their decision to use the judge’s save now. Next week, two of the contestants will be getting the boot instead of just one.

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TELL US – WERE THE JUDGES RIGHT IN USING THEIR SAVE ON CASEY?

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?

Following Simon Cowell’s exit from American Idol, many predicted it would lead to the show’s demise that is until new judge Steven Tyler stepped into the picture, winning rave reviews from fans, and even being credited by some as saving the show.

And now according to a new report by Popeater, fellow judge Jennifer Lopez is not happy Steven’s getting all the attention. “This was meant to be Jennifer’s big comeback,” an insider reveals. “The entire re-branding of the show was built around her, but now it’s all about Steven 24/7.”

The insider adds that Jlo, who is used being lavished with a lots of attention, is getting irritated with people always asking her about Steven.

“She’s mystified at how this happened and has made it very clear to the producers that the cameras need to spend a little more time adoring Jennifer’s favorite idol — herself!”

A new episode of AI airs tonight on FOX at 8/7c.

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THIS STORY? WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE IDOL JUDGE?

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.

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