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  #226  
Old 02-08-2010, 05:27 PM
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Jury is in on ‘Idol’ guest judges

Guest judges Shania Twain and Katy Perry. (AP Files)

By LINDSEY WARD, QMI Agency

Kiss those weeks of amusing auditions goodbye, and give Ellen DeGeneres a great big ol’ welcome hug. American Idol’s Hollywood Round has arrived.

Yes, that awkward period when the Fox judges have to ditch many of the invited hopefuls they picked up on their road trip across the U.S. begins Tuesday night. That’s also when new judge DeGeneres makes her big debut.

The queen of daytime talk shows — or soon-to-be, thanks to Oprah leaving the air — will make a fine pair with the king of reality talent shows, as long as she’s her usual hilarious self and disagrees with everything Simon Cowell says.

Heck, even if she breaks into a little dance when it’s her turn to critique, she’ll be more on the ball than her predecessor Paula Abdul ever was.

Come to think of it, everyone who has sat in Paula’s old spot so far this season has brought something unique to the panel — be it cleavage, a high-pitched voice or a ridiculous sweatshirt.

Before we move forward to the next stage of the competition, let us pay homage to the group of celebs who generously donated their time to Idol’s Season 9 auditions by grading their performances:


Victoria Beckham

Audition Cities: Boston and Denver

She had far more to say about contestants’ fashion sense than their singing voices. She wore her hair so tightly pulled back that her cheekbones nearly tore her skin, but Posh was tops when it came to putting Simon in his place. “Why did you do that? That thing where you roll your eyes?” she asked before shooting him the iciest of all mum-glares in Boston. Indeed, she proved that on this panel, two Brits are better than one.

Grade: A+


Mary J. Blige

Audition City: Atlanta

Poor MJB! Not only did she not seem to get a word in edge-wise during her guest-judging stint, but she fell victim to the angriest contestant since Alexis Cohen: Tone-deaf Lamar Royal, who said, “@#$% Mary J. Blige! That b---- can’t sing!” Adding to the irritation was 62-year-old Larry Platt, who chose her audition to stop by and perform his original track Pants on the Ground. She can rest assured knowing she’s not the only one with that song still stuck in her head. “Pants on the ground, pants on the ground — lookin’ like a foo with yo pants on the ground ...”

Grade: A


Avril Lavigne

Audition City: Los Angeles

Underneath that silly sweatshirt with the devil horns on the hood, Canada’s own pint-sized popstar was pretty good at explaining why things are so complicated in the music biz — and why family men such as Jim Ranger and sweaty guys such as Neil Goldstein have no hopes of scoring cool points with fans.

Grade: B


Katy Perry

Audition City: Los Angeles

Wearing a top even lower cut than Simon’s, the soon-to-be-Mrs. Russell Brand ignored the contestants — and dismissed the ones who impressed the other judges (Simon included!). But her bitterness wasn’t completely unbearable, especially when she used it to initiate catfights with fellow feline — sorry, female — judge Kara DioGuardi. So. Awesome.

Grade: C+


Kristin Chenoweth

Audition City: Orlando

Critique: Unlike Katy Perry, stage star Chenoweth buddied up with DioGuardi, and the two BFFs ended up calling most of the shots. Consequently, gold ticket winners included a beat-boxer, a former bank robber and guy who ripped his pants while doing the splits.

Grade: B+


Shania Twain

Audition City: Chicago

Considering she had to sit before the Human Boob-box, Canada’s country gal did a dang good job of dishing out useful comments. At least until Day 2 of the auditions, when she kept breaking into giddy giggle fits. Grade: A


Joe Jonas

Audition City: Dallas

What advice could a 20-year-old boy-band heartthrob, still riding his wave of fame, possibly have to offer? Not much. But you’d at least think he’d be able to turn up the charm.

Grade: D

Neil Patrick Harris

Audition City: Dallas

Doogie Howser isn’t a singer, but he’s played one on the stage — and his insights were actually quite helpful to hopefuls such as Tourette’s syndrome sufferer Dave Pittman.

Grade: B-

http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/Entertain...8/12792976.html
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  #227  
Old 02-17-2010, 02:51 PM
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American Idol Top 24 – The First Seven Confirmed, and Who's Waiting In the Wings

February 17, 2010

We still have a lot of question marks as far as who we have left in the American Idol pool of talent. They pulled a fast one on us, though, by beginning to introduce the top 24 last night. We have a confirmed 7 so far. The good news to that is so far no one has been confirmed that we have no idea who they are and haven't seen yet. To fin in 17 more in an hour tomorrow night, that could change.

Here's a list of our confirmed American Idol Top 24 semi-finalists so far.

Todrick Hall, 24, an actor/playwright, Arlington, TX: He performed with Fantasia in The Color Purple and for his original audition, sang a song he composed for the judges, asking Randy to be a Dawg and mentioning Simon looking unimpressed. Randy thought he was one of the best of the season, and just as he figured, Simon was unimpressed. He was part of the group Destiny's Wild. He sang Man In the Mirror for his final performance in Hollywood, and tried to get engaged by the pool while waiting to hear his fate.


Casey James, 27, a musician, Fort Worth: He was in a terrible motorcycle accident with multiple compound fractures in his arm and was told he wouldn't play guitar again, but does. Simon thought it was a bad audition, but Kara and Victoria liked his look and asked him to unbutton his shirt, as he eventually took it off and let down his hair. Randy told him on day two of Hollywood that he was a real singer/songwriter. He sang with the group Middle C. Casey sang Bubbly on the final day in Hollywood. Kara seems to be flirting big time with him.


Michael Lynche, 26, a personal trainer, Astoria, NY: He and his baby mama just found out before his first audition that their baby will be a little girl. He sang Unchained Melody at his original audition and was compared to a singing teddy bear. His wife went into labor as he was going on stage on day two of Hollywood. He sang Waiting On the World to Change, and Simon thought it was good with a different arrangement. He was part of the group Team Awesome. He sang I'm Yours on the final night of Hollywood. He nearly broke Ellen's back when he picked her up to celebrate when he made it.

Katelyn Epperly, 19, a student, West Des Moines, IA: Her father left the family recently, and it made her audition hard, as her parents always attended her performances and auditions together. She sang Syrup and Honey at her original audition, and Randy liked that she didn't sound like Duffy, while Shania Twain thought her voice had interesting character and sounded unique. She sang Bubbly on her last day in Holywood.

Didi Benami, 22, a waitress, Hollywood, CA: She auditioned in memory of her best friend, Rebecca. She knew it would be an emotional audition, and sang Hey Jude. Simon said yes with a small Y. She sang Terrified on day two of Hollywood, and Simon said he liked the idea that waitress would come on and do well. She sang In the Arms of an Angel, again dedicating it to her friend, on the last night of Hollywood.

Lee Dewyze, 23, a paint sales clerk, Mount Prospect, IL: He had to sing a capella, without his guitar, and sang Ain't No Sunshine. He sang You Found Me for his last performance in Hollywood.

Aaron Kelly, 16, Sonestown, PA: His family moved around a lot because his dad couldn't hold down a job, and his aunt and uncle adopted him before social services stepped in. He sang The Climb and said he wanted to be a role model to kids everywhere. In Group Round he was told he souded like community theater and for his lyrics. He forgot his lyrics again to In the Arms of an Angel on the last night in Hollywood, but sounded really good.

http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.a...659174697259616
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  #228  
Old 02-18-2010, 07:40 AM
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The 24 are now set.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100218..._hollywood_week

'American Idol' reveals top 24 semifinalists
By DERRIK J. LANG, AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang, Ap Entertainment Writer Thu Feb 18, 2:24 am ET

LOS ANGELES – It's good news for Tim Urban and 23 other singers on "American Idol."

The 20-year-old college student from Duncanville, Texas, was among the 17 remaining semifinalists revealed Wednesday on the Fox singing competition after seven were unveiled Tuesday. "Idol" judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi and newcomer Ellen DeGeneres delivered the news to the 36 contestants left standing at the conclusion of "Hollywood Week."

"This year it was a bit more tough," Cowell said of selecting the female semifinalists.

Observant viewers may have noticed that curly haired shoe salesman Chris Golightly, 25, of Los Angeles was among the semifinalists on stage at the end of Wednesday's episode, but it was Urban who was among the 12 dancing male semifinalists. A statement from Fox said Urban replaced Golightly because Golightly was "ineligible to continue in the competition." No further explanation was provided.

It's not the first semifinalist switcheroo on "Idol." Last season, Joanna Pacitti was shown advancing to the top 36 after "Hollywood Week" but was later replaced by Felicia Barton. Pacitti released an album in 2006 and had ties to 19 Entertainment, which produces "Idol" with FremantleMedia North America. She was also deemed "ineligible to continue" in a Fox press release.

The other male semifinalists revealed Wednesday were Andrew Garcia, 24, Moreno Valley, Calif.; Tyler Grady, 20, Nazareth, Pa.; Alex Lambert, 19, North Richland Hills, Texas; Joe Munoz, 20, Huntington Park, Calif.; John Park, 21, Evanston, Ill.; and Jermaine Sellers, 27, Joliet, Ill.

Janell Wheeler, a bubbly 24-year-old wine sales representative from Tampa, Fla., was the first crooner crowned with a spot Wednesday. Wheeler impressed the judges during her first solo "Hollywood Week" performance with an acoustic rendition of Estelle's "American Boy" but her group disappointed with Ne-Yo's "Closer" and she flubbed Taylor Swift's "Love Story."

"I just can't stop thinking about calling into work and saying I'm not coming in," Wheeler said.

The other female semifinalists were Crystal Bowersox, 24, Toledo, Ohio; Lacey Brown, 24, Amarillo, Texas; Michelle Delamor, 22, Miami; Siobhan Magnus, 20, Marstons Mills, Mass.; Paige Miles, 24, Houston, Texas; Ashley Rodriguez, 22, Chelsea, Mass.; Lilly Scott, 20, Denver; Katie Stevens, 17, Middlebury, Conn.; and Haeley Vaughn, 16, Fort Collins, Colo.

Among those cut was Angela Martin, the 28-year-old Chicago songstress who twice previously made it to "Hollywood Week." After earning her first golden ticket, she dropped out after her father was murdered. And she lost her second spot because of a traffic court summons over an outstanding ticket. DioGuardi joined her on the Kodak Theater stage to deliver the bad news.

"You know what, there are other ways to do it," DioGuardi told a weeping Martin.

The previously announced semifinalists were Didi Benami, 23, Los Angeles; Lee Dewyze, 23, Mount Prospect, Ill.; Katelyn Epperly, 19, West Des Moines, Iowa; Aaron Kelly, 16, Sonestown, Pa.; Casey James, 27, Fort Worth, Texas; Todrick Hall, 24, Arlington, Texas and Michael "Big Mike" Lynche, 26, Astoria, N.Y.

The top 12 women will perform live next Tuesday with the top 12 men taking the stage live Wednesday. Viewer votes will determine which two women and two men will be eliminated.



Steve
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  #229  
Old 02-18-2010, 12:13 PM
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John Park makes the Top 24 on American Idol!
by lawlietta on February 17, 2010


Last month, Korean-American John Park’s voice & charm won over the judges of American Idol (as well as the hearts of Shania Twain and many new fans) to secure a trip to Hollywood with over 140 other contestants. Fortunately for fans, John Park was one of the singers that earned his spot in the Top 24 tonight.

Although many people were ecstatic that John had gotten through the qualifying round, things got only harder from there. Over a short period of time, the throng of singers was cut down to twenty-four through a multitude of stages.

The selection process started off with the contestants being separated into three waiting rooms, which would either be welcomed to the next stage of the process or dismissed entirely. After Room 1 got through & Room 2 was eliminated, Room 3 (which included John) passed to the next round with great relief, narrowing the competition down to 46.

http://www.allkpop.com/2010/02/john-...-american-idol
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  #230  
Old 02-20-2010, 03:25 PM
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Crystal Bowersox from the Chicago auditions, has her guitar signed by Shania as shown on this week's epsiode, which saw the contenstants being shortlisted to 24. Although this isn't a screen cap from AI, you can see her signature. It's a brief message followed by.."Love, Shania"
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  #231  
Old 02-24-2010, 05:58 PM
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This is about the best screen cap I could make of Shania's message on Crystal Bowersox's guitar.
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  #232  
Old 02-26-2010, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amanda122
John Park makes the Top 24 on American Idol!
by lawlietta on February 17, 2010


Last month, Korean-American John Park’s voice & charm won over the judges of American Idol (as well as the hearts of Shania Twain and many new fans) to secure a trip to Hollywood with over 140 other contestants. Fortunately for fans, John Park was one of the singers that earned his spot in the Top 24 tonight.

Although many people were ecstatic that John had gotten through the qualifying round, things got only harder from there. Over a short period of time, the throng of singers was cut down to twenty-four through a multitude of stages.

The selection process started off with the contestants being separated into three waiting rooms, which would either be welcomed to the next stage of the process or dismissed entirely. After Room 1 got through & Room 2 was eliminated, Room 3 (which included John) passed to the next round with great relief, narrowing the competition down to 46.

http://www.allkpop.com/2010/02/john-...-american-idol


For anyone who didn't watch the guys on Wednesday night, when John Park came on, before his performance, they did a little flashback of his Chicago audition and Shania's funny comments & cracking up about his butt, etc. John said he would marry Shania anytime, or something like that. He seemed to be mesmerized by her. Gee wonder why that was?? Here is his audition. I got quite a kick out of it when it happened. For those of you who didn't see it, I hope you get a kick out of it too.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZfpFRXuvxc


Steve
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  #233  
Old 02-26-2010, 03:37 PM
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Park said something along the lines of, She is the best looking woman I have seen in person -- no lie!
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  #234  
Old 02-27-2010, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by talkalot24
Park said something along the lines of, She is the best looking woman I have seen in person -- no lie!


Yeah, pretty close. I don't remember exactly, but that's about it.

Steve
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  #235  
Old 03-03-2010, 01:24 PM
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Rare 'Idol' re-shuffle, plus the latest on Crystal Bowersox

An "American Idol" insider assures us that Crystal Bowersox will be back to perform on Wednesday's show. The 24-year-old season 9 contender and mother of one, who's believed to be a diabetic, was hospitalized Tuesday, causing the show to switch up its semifinals order and allow the boys to sing first. Another source reveals that the guys were alerted at around 10:30 a.m. when their call time was pushed up by an hour to allow for more rehearsal time.

The last-minute change posed its share of logistical problems. For instance, viewers who texted their votes got an automatic reply thanking them for voting for the corresponding girl (if you're curious what the girls' order would have been -- and it's telling, so we don't blame you -- here it is: Crystal Bowersox, Haeley Vaughn, Lacey Brown, Katie Stevens, Didi Benami, Michelle Delamore, Lilly Scott, Katelyn Epperly, Paige Miles, Siobhan Magnus). And while some surmised that the guys would be at a disadvantage with one less day of rehearsal, that didn't seem to be the case. General post-show consensus is that the boys made significant strides since their underwhelming debut.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/amer...-bowersox.html
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  #236  
Old 03-04-2010, 09:40 AM
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She was back last night. She did a kind of bluesy version of an old CCR song "As Long As I Can See The Light". It was awesome. She nailed it! Simon Cowell called it the best of the night. No question she is a big contender.

Steve
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  #237  
Old 03-05-2010, 01:59 AM
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When Park got voted off tonight, he was asked what was the best part about being on AI, he said "Shania, of course".
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  #238  
Old 03-05-2010, 06:39 AM
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When Park got voted off tonight, he was asked what was the best part about being on AI, he said "Shania, of course".



I wonder if he will hear from Shania.


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  #239  
Old 03-05-2010, 02:35 PM
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Yes, he did say meeting Shania was the best part for him. It was nice to hear him say it.


Steve
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  #240  
Old 03-05-2010, 05:11 PM
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'Idol' exit Q&A: John Park talks Shania and what went wrong
by Kate Ward

Shania Twain loved John Park’s bottom end. Unfortunately, not enough American Idol dialers did. Last night, we watched the 21-year-old contestant get booted from the Idol stage — and unleash his best performances to date. The morning after his elimination, Park talks about performing better Wednesday night, his absence during Hollywood week, and, of course, Shania.
You’ve had a night to think about your ouster — how do you feel this morning? I’m feeling good, actually. You know, a little disappointed, but relieved. I’m just kind of ready to go back home and see what’s in store, probably go back to school and finish my degree.

What’s your degree in? I’m in the liberal arts school right now, but I actually don’t have a major yet. I was studying economics, but I’m most likely going to drop that and do something else.

What do you think happened last night? You were one of the favorites going into the semifinals. I don’t know. I think I was really distracted by the fact that it was a live show. And the cameras being there, and worrying too much about what the judges were going to say. It’s funny, because last night, I sang “Gravity” for the last time when elimination came around. And that’s when I really released everything. I let go of everything. All the nerves and the tension. I said, “I’m just going to sing. And this is the last time I’m going to sing on American Idol on national television.” So I pretty much just gave it my all. And afterwards, the judges came up to me and they were like, “That was way better than Tuesday night’s performance.”

It was a lot better. So was it all nerves? A lot of it were nerves. Not necessarily nerves, but just distractions. And thinking way too much about what people are going to think. My voice coach told me something that kind of hit me. He said, “Don’t sing to people. Sing to God. And if you’re singing to God, then you can truly just pour out what’s in your heart, and not have to worry about what other people are going to think.” I think that’s one thing that I lost sight of — coming from the heart instead of thinking about all of these things, these distractions in my head.

Do you think it had anything to do with your song choice? You did choose two slow songs in the two weeks of semifinals. I was hoping to do an upbeat song if I made it through to next week. But “God Bless This Child” I really wanted to do. I didn’t really care what the judges were going to say about the song choice. I just really wanted to promote that song for myself and my parents. And “Gravity” — maybe I could have chosen a more upbeat song, but I didn’t. It’s just one of my favorite songs to sing. So I went with it.

Do you know what you were going to sing next week? No. Not really. I hadn’t made up my mind.

Simon was particularly harsh on you Tuesday. He doesn’t have any filters. He just kind of speaks his mind. And if he felt that way, that’s fine. I could kind of see — most of the times I see where Simon’s coming from. Maybe he could do it in a more tasteful way. But that’s just how he is.

We saw you during the auditions. And then you disappeared during Hollywood week. Were you bummed about your lack of screen time? Yeah. A little bit. I was a little disappointed. A lot of my friends were like, “Where the hell are you? Are you even competing in this competition?” They focused a lot on the drama-filled moments. I was actually in some drama during the later parts. But they didn’t show that.

What kind of drama? Well, I just had a hard time towards the end of the process. I had pretty terrible auditions. But they could only showcase a few people, because of the limited time. But there were a few people, like Paige, who weren’t shown at all before top 24.

Ryan and the judges name-dropped your a cappella group, Purple Haze, quite a bit during the telecasts. My friends would joke around and be like, “Promote Purple Haze when you’re on national television!” So I tried to drop the name as much as I could.

But Ryan and the judges dropped it more than you did! I know! So it’s great!

You reached out to Shania Twain during one of your interview packages. Have you heard from her? No, I wish. But I don’t expect to. I was joking around. On TV, I said, “You think I’m joking. I’m not.” But I was joking. I mean, Shania’s beautiful. And I love her. But I’m not delusional, so….

But it still must have been surreal during the auditions. She was so into you! I couldn’t believe it. I really couldn’t. I was just clueless. I was like, “What is going on in here?!” I couldn’t process it all.

What’s next for you? I think American Idol, this whole experience made me realize that music is my passion. Even if it’s not necessarily performing. I really want to get into songwriting, or production, or even management — it’s something I’m really, really interested in. I’m going to go home and see what doors open for me. I’ve been getting a lot of press from Chicago and even in the Korean community as well. So I’ll go back and see what’s going on. Most likely go back to school and finish my degree and decompress. And evaluate where I want to be at this point. A lot of things are up in the air right now. But I’m definitely going to pursue music after school.

http://popwatch.ew.com/2010/03/05/j...interview-idol/
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