Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

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.

The praise from Cowell was enough to make Smithson, who last week accused Cowell of being too hard on her, whip out a blue T-shirt that read “Simon Loves Me (This Week).”

But besides Smithson’s standout performance, rival contestants Brooke White and Jason Castro were both panned up and down both on the show and in the blogosphere, including right here on Fan Fare. One of them surely appeared headed for the axe on Wednesday.

“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.

“Give back” those two minutes of our lives, David Cook!

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davidcook2.jpgOh no he didn’t.  Unfortunately, oh yes he did.

Rocker David Cook bombed on “American Idol” Tuesday night with an unfamiliar song and cocky performance that made it seem like he believed he had already wrapped up the competition.

Cook chose “Innocent,” a song by Canadian alternative rock band Our Lady Peace, to sing on a night when contestants were told to choose music that inspires them. The night’s theme was intended as a preview for “Idol Gives Back,” the show’s charity special that airs on Wednesday.

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