Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Mercado likens her “Idol” run to Civil Rights Movement

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mercado.jpgThere’s no question that Syesha Mercado is one tough “American Idol” contestant.

Week after week, the 21-year-old beauty from Sarasota, Florida, has stepped up her game, delivering performances in recent episodes that many thought she wasn’t capable of. Now, despite having been among the lowest three vote-getters a whopping five times, Mercado is the only woman to have made it to the show’s Top 4.

For making it this, Mercado certainly deserves a lot of credit. On Tuesday night’s episode, judge Randy Jackson singled out the TV commercial actress after her performance of “Proud Mary” for “showing the heat late in the competition when you need it.”

Paula Abdul, meanwhile, told Mercado: “You started this competiton as a pretty girl with a big voice, and you turned into this beautiful woman with a magnetic voice and presence.”

Live on “Idol,” Seacrest brushes “Paulagate” under the rug

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judges.jpgIs there something rotten in the state of “Idol”?

Not if you ask host Ryan Seacrest.

The night after the show faced perhaps its biggest controversy so far this season, Seacrest just seemed to brush it all under the rug. Since Tuesday night’s performances episode, the show was tarnished with accusations that Abdul unfairly used pre-written notes to judge a performance by contestant Jason Castro BEFORE he even sang one of the songs she referred to. For a full rundown of the debacle, click here.

While Abdul herself explained the gaffe on Seacrest’s radio show Wednesday morning as confusion and misunderstanding , the incident was barely hinted at on Wednesday’s “Idol”  broadcast.

UPDATE!- “American Idol”: What was UP with Paula?

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paula.jpgIn seven seasons of “American Idol,” Paula Abdul has definitely had her moments.

But her gaffe on Tuesday night’s episode was either the “Kookiest Paula Moment Ever” or a sign of the judges’ apparently not-so-spontaneous evaluations of contestants’ performances.

Kind Cowell kills Carly in another “Idol” shocker

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smithson3.jpgThat’s it. The next time Simon Cowell actually likes a performance on “American Idol,” he should just keep it to himself. No one tunes in to see him say anything nice, anyway.

Carly Smithson’s elimination on Wednesday night’s show simply defied any rational explanation, even in the cruel and unforgiving world of reality TV. For the first time in weeks, the Irish diva on Tuesday night received uniform praise from all three judges for her passionate performance of “Superstar” from the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Composer Andew Lloyd Webber was the show’s guest mentor.

David Archuleta’s pop calls ‘stage dad’ rumors “crazy!”

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archuleta-1.jpgThe media reports about Jeff Archuleta, in some cases, have been brutal.

Celebrity web site TMZ.com has said that the father of “American Idol” contestant David Archuleta has screamed at his son and brought him to tears in rehearsals while driving him to perform ever better on the top-rated TV talent show.

“Idol” judge Simon Cowell seemed to question Archuleta’s choice of a Beatles song, “We Can Work It Out,” that the 17-year-old messed up on the show back in March, implying that it might have been Jeff who chose the song for his son.

Brooke White just couldn’t get it right as “Idol” heats up

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brooke.jpgShe started. She stopped. She started again. And still, “American Idol” contestant Brooke White never seemed to get it together. In fact, does anyone even remember the rest of the performance?

White, the 24-year-old blonde songstress who has won viewers’ hearts with her bluesy voice and down-to-earth style, is almost sure to be among the show’s bottom three vote-getters this week after stumbling over the beginning of her performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “You Must Love Me.”

“Idol’s” Kristy loses horse, wins fiance

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 Kristy Lee Cook may have lost her beloved horse in her attempt to become the “American Idol” but she left the show this week with a marriage proposal.

 Cook,  24, who won hearts by selling her horse to get to the “Idol” auditions last summer,  said her long time boyfriend popped the question on Wednesday night’s TV show when she was voted off the competition.

“Idol” Kristy Lee Cook rides off into the sunset

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klc.jpgYou have to hand it to Kristy Lee Cook.

The 24-year-old country girl and latest “American Idol” casualty hung on to her slot on the show, apparently by the skin of her teeth, week after week after week. Despite seemingly endless attacks from the acid-tongued Simon Cowell, who predicted early in the competition that she would not make it past tenth place, Cook repeatedly appeared to defy the odds.

As Cook herself noted before her offing on Wednesday night, she sure proved Cowell wrong, coming in seventh place this season. Heck, she even lasted longer than that Aussie hunk Michael Johns. Who could have predicted that after sitting through her gruelling “Eight Days a Week” performance all those weeks ago?

“Idol’s” Mariah night: was it a burger bun or a luau?

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mariah.jpgIt must have been conceived as some sort of cruel joke.

For seven seasons now, the judges of “American Idol” have repeatedly told contestants to steer clear of singing songs by Mariah Carey, ostensibly because the singing competition’s up-and-coming star wannabes could never hope to measure up to one of the great voices of pop music.

So, let’s just say it was a little strange to find Carey as the guest judge on Tuesday night’s show. Because you know what that means: the contestants were allowed to perform an old Mariah song, a new Mariah song, or any other Mariah song of their choosing.

Shock and awe as “Idol” Johns is sent packing

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johns1.jpgBoy, was he surprised.

“American Idol” delivered its first major shock of the season on Thursday with the ousting of Aussie hunk Michael Johns. The studio audience gasped when host Ryan Seacrest said Johns was being sent packing, and even Simon Cowell said he would miss Johns, who he called “a very very nice guy.” The remaining contestants, who should have been celebrating their own guarantee of another week on the show, appeared positively grief-stricken.

Carly Smithson, the Irish singer whose rendition of Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” bombed on Tuesday night, broke down in tears. Seems she thought it would be her to get the axe this week, not Johns, particularly after raising her hand when the camera focused on her, Johns and Syesha Mercado — the show’s bottom three vote-getters — and Seacrest said one of them would be going home.

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