Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

A night for crayons and Motown on “American Idol”

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Earlier this week, “American Idol” judges Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson said on late night program “The Tonight Show” that they expect a male contestant to win the singing competition this year.

Well, they’re the experts and on Wednesday night it was male contestant Adam Lambert who brought the heat, eliciting a standing ovation from celebrity mentor Smokey Robinson for his version of “The Tracks of My Tears” (which, incidentally, Robinson also wrote).USA/

Then, judge Kara DioGuardi stood up herself and called it “one of the best performances of the night.” Cowell himself went so far as to say it was the night’s best performance.

Unlike last week, when Lambert soured the judges during “Country Week” with an eccentric Middle Eastern-inspired version of the Johnny Cash classic “Ring of Fire,” he sang his Motown song with a restraint that cunningly played down the soaring crescendos of Robinson’s composition. Lambert’s acoustic version of the song pleased all the judges.

13 becomes Anoop Desai’s lucky number on “Idol”

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And then there were……13??

The judges expanded the “American Idol” top 12 to include Anoop Desai and make it a top 13 for the first time in a suspense-generating stunt.

 But Tatiana Del Toro, with all her tears, ambition, drama and unpredictability, will have to find a stage other than “Idol” to emote on. Is the show better off?anoop-desai

Nick Mitchell goes Gentle into the “Idol” night

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ai_group“American Idol” contestant Nick Mitchell was eliminated from the show on Thursday night, as his brand of campy comedy left voters unamused. His stage name of Norman Gentle and his intentionally overwrought performance, unlike anything the show has ever seen (perhaps not in a good way), lost out to the kinds of straight-ahead performances contestants give every week.

Allison Iraheta, Kris Allen and Adam Lambert advanced to the next round of the competition, cutting out the other nine contestants. Eventually, some of those contestants could be back when the judges pick three wildcard contestants on Thursday, giving them another shot on the show.

With Norman Gentle, will comedy upend singing on “Idol”?

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gentleIt was a pretty humdrum night on “American Idol” until Norman Gentle took the stage.

Until this season, every contestant to make it this far on the ultimate talent show has been unfailingly serious about their quest for fame (though, admittedly, the seriousness of Sanjaya Malakar’s 2007 turn is open to debate). They may tug at viewers’ heartstrings by saying they only want fame for the sake of family members who depend on them, and they may smile and joke, but none of them make a joke of the often humiliating process of laying it all out there on the “Idol” stage.

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