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from Photographers' Blog:

Another Idol is crowned

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I was assigned to cover the 11th season finale of "American Idol" at the Nokia theatre in downtown Los Angeles. The show culminates after months of nationwide eliminations and crowns a new winner in a two-hour televised show.

The show features the last two finalists and generally an array of high profile music performances. Our shooting position was next to the teleprompter, so my setup was a Canon Mark IV with 400mm, 5D Mark II with a 70-200 and another Mark IV with either a 300mm or a 16-35.

Seasoned show host Ryan Seacrest got the finale off the ground, accompanied by a joyful and supportive crowd that quickly filled up the theater and cheered for an opening duet by the two finalists. The show definitely kicked into a higher gear with a laser-enhanced performance by Rihanna and an energetic performance by American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez.

The evening passed through performances by music icons like John Fogerty, Neil Diamond and Chaka Khan while the top male finalists honored the memory of Bee Gees founder Robin Gibb, who had just passed away.

from Fan Fare:

Steven Tyler — “American Idol’s” new Paula Abdul?

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Okay. So he's no Simon Cowell. But based on his first outing on the "American Idol" judging panel,  Aerosmith rocker Steven Tyler had the wackiness and unpredictability of  the much-loved, and steventylermuch-missed Paula Abdul.

With Jennifer Lopez breaking her heart over saying no to some of the wannabe pop stars, it was left to Tyler, 62,  to inject much of the fun into the new line-up.

from Fan Fare:

Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez: right fit for “American Idol”?

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tyler "American Idol" has finally announced its new judging panel, ending months of speculation about the future shape of the show.

But are  Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler and actress/singer Jennifer Lopez  the right choice? And will star power be enough to keep old "Idol" fans (and hopefully millions more new ones) tuning in when the show returns in January?

from Fan Fare:

Is Steven Tyler right fit for “American Idol”?

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steventyler Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler looks to be on his way to join "American Idol" in what would be the first bona fide rock star judge on the show's panel.

But is Tyler, 62, the right fit for a show aimed squarely at middle America? And if Tyler is in place, as widely reported, can the "Idol" judging panel carry a second major artist if rumors about country star Shania Twain, or Jennifer Lopez, or even Jessica Simpson turn out to be correct?

from Fan Fare:

Shania Twain for “American Idol”? Judge auditions drag on

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shania twainAnother day.  Another potential "American Idol" judge surfaces.

Who knew Simon Cowell (or even Ellen DeGeneres) would be so hard to replace?

With Jennifer Lopez apparently out of the running for being "too demanding", country singer Shania Twain's name resurfaced on Thursday as  "Idol"  producers and the Fox television network searched for a new line-up in time for filmed auditions in mid-September for the show's 10th season.

Twain proved an audience favorite after appearing earlier this year on the show, both as a guest judge and a celebrity mentor.  The JLoidea of Lopez, on the other hand, had not gone down so well with fans online, making you wonder whether her name had been deliberately floated by "Idol" insiders to gauge popular reaction before any deals were signed.

from Fan Fare:

Goodbye Ellen, Hello….who? to “American Idol”

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Like it or not  "American Idol" will be getting a whole new talent line-up next season -- and that's just the judges.ellenD

But with Fox keeping their mouths firmly shut on who will replace Simon Cowell and Ellen DeGeneres, it seems to be anyone's guess as to what the karadinew panel will look like, or even how many judges there will be.

from Breakingviews:

American Idol creator gambles on an encore

By Rolfe Winkler

Pop impresario Simon Fuller is ready for an encore. He wants his hit TV show American Idol back. This time it's shaping up to be a duet, as Fuller has another deep pocket to join his own. The empire is bigger too, with image rights to Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali added to the mix. But Fuller may yet come to regret a return to the same stage.

With a fortune built on the back of the Spice Girls, Fuller sold his TV talent show to CKX in 2005 for $174 million. He's now ready to fork over $600 million, with one of Britain's wealthiest bankers, Roger Jenkins, to buy back the whole company, according to the Wall Street Journal. That works out to about $6.50 a share.

from Fan Fare:

Crystal loses boyfriend, along with “American Idol” title

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Loser. Double Loser.Bowersox

Turns out Crystal Bowersox, the "American Idol" season front-runner, lost more than the coveted title this week.

On the morning of  Tuesday night's performance finale, Bowersox and her boyfriend split up and he  headed back to their Toledo, Ohio hometown as she prepared for the biggest night of her life.

from Fan Fare:

Bret Michaels gives doctors the slip for “Idol” performance

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Singer Bret Michaels made a surprise appearance on "American Idol" on Wednesday to perform his signature song "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," after spending the past few weeks recovering from a potentially fatal brain hemorrhage, a mini-stroke and learning that he has a hole in his heart.RTR2EESO

The frontman for the glam band Poison said that he tried to keep his guest  role on "Idol," during which he sang with former contestant Casey James, under wraps. It was his first live gig since suffering a series of medical emergencies in April.

from Fan Fare:

Glambert backs Mamasox for “American Idol”

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"American Idol" is nearing its season finale next week amid questions about the show's lackluster ratings and abouCrystal Bowersoxt who will replace alpha judge Simon Cowell. But if anyone has any questions about who everyone's favorite runner-up, Adam Lambert, favors among the final three contestants, those doubts have been put to rest.

Glambert likes Mamasox.

The singer nicknamed Glambert last year for his "glam" persona and wild costumes  told television network MTV that he favors Crystal Bowersox, the contestant nicknamed Mamasox, who is a 24 year-old  mother with a young son. "I like her anti-establishment rebelliousness," Lambert told MTV in a story posted on its website Tuesday.

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