Entertainment behind the scenes
Like it or not “American Idol” will be getting a whole new talent line-up next season — and that’s just the judges.
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 new panel will look like, or even how many judges there will be.
Fox’s senior executives have refused to confirm or deny any of the rumors of recent weeks that have suggested that Jennifer Lopez, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, Jessica Simpson or even Justin Timberlake might be joining the show.
And they also refused to speculate on whether Kara DioGuardi or even Randy Jackson will return.
The stars of Fox’s “American Idol” expect great things from new judge Ellen DeGeneres , but they are all saying something different about her addition to the judging panel of Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi, and her replacement of songstress Paula Abdul.
Host Ryan Seacrest told Fox News at the Primetime Emmy awards on Sunday that DeGeneres, a comedian with her own daytime chat show, is a “superstar.”
But is Ellen the right fit for the show?
Fans are split and even media watchers were stunned by the move, which serves the dual function of closing the door permanently on Paula, and making the show talked about all over again after a summer of shock announcements.
Adam Lambert and Kris Allen will be getting all the attention on Tuesday when they sing for the “American Idol” title. But new judge Kara DioGuardi will also be sharing the limelight.
Songwriter DioGuardi, who has worked in the past with Kelly Clarkson and co-wrote Ashlee Simpson’s hit single “Pieces of Me”, is credited as co-writer of “No Boundaries” — the new song that will be released as a single by the winner of the TV talent show, music industry sources say.
In contrast to last week on “American Idol” when it seemed the contestants could do no wrong, the judges found plenty of stones to throw at the Top 4 on Rock Week. Except for Adam Lambert, who as usual thrilled the panelists.
Lambert, coming off his shocking first trip to the Bottom Three last week, sang British supergroup Led Zeppelin’s hit “Whole Lotta Love” and struck all the high notes, jerking his head to the side in rhythm with the band and glowering with an expression Elvis Presley might have worn if he was fused with John Travolta. The judges loved it.
On “American Idol,” it appears to be a man’s world after all.
It’s no secret that male contestants like Adam Lambert and Danny Gokey have trounced their female counterparts in the singing competition since early this season. And, with just one woman in the show’s Top 5, viewers on Tuesday night were left wondering if the final four contestants would all be men for the first time in “Idol” history.
It’s been a long time since two women — Fantasia Barrino and Diana DeGarmo — competed for the “Idol” title in the finale of the show’s third season in 2004.
Before he went on stage, the camera swooped down on “American Idol” contestant Adam Lambert as he stood beaming in the crowd. But as usual, Lambert was more than just a face in the crowd on Tuesday night, as he again wowed the judges and solidified his frontrunner status.
It was Disco Week on “Idol,” and true to the theme Lambert sang the Bee Gees hit “If I Can’t Have You,” effortlessly hitting the high notes and inspiring judge Paula Abdul to gush that his performance made her feel his “pain.” Abdul was not alone. All the judges said they loved the performance, with alpha judge Simon Cowell commending Lambert for surprising him by picking a Bee Gees song.
Abdul, who is widely considered “Idol’s” least harsh judge, was asked by ABC News show “Nightline” whether Kara DioGuardi, who joined the show this season as the new fourth judge, could replace her on the show.
“American Idol” fans were robbed of one of the show’s biggest draws on Tuesday night, after the producers decreed that only two judges would evaluate each performance.
Calling the change “unfortunate,” judge Simon Cowell said just two judges would speak at a time because the show ran several minutes long last week. Many viewers with digital video recorders had complained because they missed the show’s final performance by Adam Lambert.
“American Idol” judges Paula Abdul and Kara DioGuardi appear to have a difference of opinion. Abdul, an original member of the reality talent show’s judging panel, was quoted by OK! magazine as saying that having four judges instead of three is not the best fit for the show.
“It takes up so much time for each of us to give our opinion that it slows down the pace of the show,” Abdul told the magazine.