Entertainment behind the scenes
The judges on ”American Idol” broke down many of the first 12 competitors to take the stage Tuesday night, saving their praise for a widower and a 21-year-old mom. Who will survive and who will go down on Wednesday night’s results show?
If “Idol” voters take their cue from the judges, the three competitors who will make it through will be Alexis Grace, Danny Gokey and either Anoop Desai, Rick Braddy, Michael Sarver or Tatiana Del Toro. The judges had very little good to say about the rest of the contestants.
As far as how much voters take their cues from the judges, that became a matter of debate on Tuesday night’s show. When his fellow panelists told Simon Cowell it was up to the voters to decide which contestants advance, Cowell had a ready reply.
“Yes, but they listen to me,” he said.
If the voters did listen to Cowell, they must like the sounds of Alexis Grace, a 21-year-old mother of one from Memphis, Tennessee. All the judges had nice things to say about Grace, who sang the Aretha Franklin hit “I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You.” Even the notoriously tough Cowell told the singer she reminded him of Kelly Clarkson, who won the first season of “Idol” in 2002 and is one of Cowell’s all-time favorites.
The eighth season of “American Idol” kicked off on Tuesday night, bringing back all the hijinks viewers have come to expect from the world’s most popular reality talent show.
The huddled masses of singers yearning to be the next Kelly Clarkson or Chris Daughtry came out to a sweltering Phoenix, Arizona, where the now four celebrity judges either cooed over or mocked them as only “Idol” judges can.
Simon Cowell may have the casting vote in early audition rounds of “American Idol” but it sounds like new judge Kara DioGuardi and Paula Abdul bring some girl power of their own to the tart-tongued British judge they call a ‘”bully”.
“He’s the bully brother!. Sometimes we love each other, and sometimes I try to change seats. He’s annoying sometimes. I have to reel him in. Kara finally sees what it’s like for me – my own private hell,” Abdul told reporters of her love-hate relationship with Cowell.
Songwriter and producer Kara DioGuardi joins the “American Idol” judging line-up when the talent show returns for an 8th season this coming Tuesday, adding a fascinating twist to the Paula-Randy-Simon dynamic that has been as much a part of the TV’ show’s attraction as the contestants themselves.
But how will she fit in? DioGuardi, who has worked with former Idol Kelly Clarkson and written songs for Carrie Underwood, described her own persona on the panel as “pretty feisty and opinionated but also coming from a good place and who is trying to help the contestants.”