Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Will Carrie Underwood steal Kenny Chesney’s crown?


carrieCarrie Underwood has become country music’s biggest star since she exploded onto the scene after winning American Idol in 2005, but so far she’s been passed over as the Academy of Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year, which has gone to only six women in 39 years.

In fact in recent years, country superstar Kenny Chesney has had a lock on the Entertainer of the Year award, taking it home in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

But this could be the year for Carrie, who has achieved enormous crossover success, winning four Grammy awards already in her short career. She is the lone woman nominated in 2009, facing off against Brad Paisley, George Strait , Keith Urban and – of course – Chesney. (Updates to four Grammys).

And remember, Chesney touched off a country music furor last year when, after winning Entertainer of the Year for the fourth straight time, he criticized the Academy for allowing the award to be chosen by fans voting on the Internet.

Who would the “Idol” judges save?


Top 9 contestant Megan Joy danced off the “American Idol” stage on Wednesday night after she said midway through the show that she did not care that judge Simon Cowell disliked her performance on Tuesday night. Cowell responded later on by telling her: “Megan with the greatest respect, when you said you don’t care, nor do we.” So with no chance that the judges would save her, when Megan sang Bob Marley’s “Turn Your Lights Down Low” one more time, it was all about the pathos.USA/

When will the judges step up and use their save? Although there was some lively discussion on the panel last week when oil worker Michael Sarver sang his last song, few were surprised when the judges declined to save him.

The Osbournes get unloaded by some Fox stations


ozzy-and-sharon-osbourneThe Fox variety program “Osbournes: Reloaded” has run into a buzzsaw, with the Washington Post reporting that at least 16 stations refused to air the Tuesday night gross-out show from heavy metal king Ozzy Osbourne, his wife Sharon and children Kelly and Jack.

Medium-sized market Cincinnati, Ohio, was among the stations that declined to air it, while the Fox affiliate in Denver, Colorado, was one of 10 stations that bumped it to a late-night time slot, when few young viewers were tuned in. 

“Idol” Top 9: Cowell zingers and a turnaround for Scott


BOXING“American Idol” is already down to nine singers, and as the contestants have honed their performances, judge Simon Cowell has refined his famous one-liners. This week he was in top form, sparing only a select few from his special brand of humiliation.

Here were his top proclamations of the night for each contestant:

Anoop Desai, who performed Usher’s “Caught Up”

Simon: “It was a little bit like a college boy wanting to be a pop star and failing. It actually gave me a headache.”

“Idol” lip-synching controversy: how bad is it?


USA/“American Idol” bid an unsurprising farewell to Texan Michael Sarver on Thursday night, but what might have surprised fans of the popular singing competition this week was the revelation that their Idols lip-synch during their group numbers.

The admission by an “Idol” spokesman, which first appeared in a story in the New York Times on Wednesday, was sure to leave some die-hard fans scratching their heads. Isn’t this show, after all, all about the singing? And if it’s okay in the group numbers, will it one day be okay in the individual performances?

A night for crayons and Motown on “American Idol”


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/

Jennifer Hudson to return to “American Idol”


Singer Jennifer Hudson will return to “American Idol” on Wednesday night to tape a performance for broadcast later, a source in her management office said. jennifer-hudson

Hudson first gained fame on “Idol” in 2004, when she finished a disappointing seventh in the competition. The 27-year-old singer went on to have a more illustrious career than some of the show’s champions, winning a supporting actress Oscar for her role in the 2006 movie “Dreamgirls” and this year winning a best R&B album Grammy for her self-titled 2008 release.

“Idol” Top 10 — How does this year stack up?


With Alexis Grace’s elimination from “American Idol” on Wednesday night, the show has its Top 10 and the viewers can ask themselves how this year’s pack compares to last year’s crowd.USA/

“Probably as strong a group in the years that I have been watching ‘American Idol,’” country singer Randy Travis, who was this week’s guest mentor, said on Wednesday’s show.

On “Idol,” country night takes down frontrunners


USA/“Country Week” is always a mixed bag on “American Idol”, alternately filling viewers with anticipation and dread.

Tuesday night’s tribute to the “Grand Ole Opry,” with country icon Randy Travis as guest mentor, certainly didn’t buck that trend, taking several of the show’s frontrunners down a notch and allowing dark horses to emerge.

“American Idol” launches collectible cards



You’ve seen the show, laughed at some contestants, voted for others, bought the records, downloaded the songs, watched them on tour…. and now you can keep them all in your pocket courtesy of the ”American Idol” collectible cards.

The makers of the hit TV talent show have teamed up with a collectible cards maker to issue a set of 138 cards — some of them autographed — of the Top 2 finalists from each of the last seven seasons and some fan favorites who didn’t quite make it — think William “She Bangs” Hung.