Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

“Idol” Kristy Lee Cook rides off into the sunset


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?

So, it’s back to Oregon for Cook, where she already has her next challenge cut out for her. Forced to sell her beloved horse to pay for the trip to the “Idol” audition in Philadelphia, Cook told a fan who dialed into the show on Wednesday night that she wants to buy him back. The problem is, the man she sold it to doesn’t want to sell it back to her.

horse.jpgAfter delivering the news that Cook would no longer be part of the show, host Ryan Seacrest asked the man, on live television, to sell the horse back to her. A teary-eyed Cook also appealed to him for sympathy.

Shock and awe as “Idol” Johns is sent packing


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.