Entertainment behind the scenes
Okay. So he’s no Simon Cowell. But based on his first outing on the “American Idol” judging panel, Aerosmith rocker Steven Tyler had the wackiness and unpredictability of the much-loved, and much-missed Paula Abdul.
With Jennifer Lopez breaking her heart over saying no to some of the wannabe pop stars, it was left to Tyler, 62, to inject much of the fun into the new line-up.
Whooping, clapping, hollering, and flirting with the contestants, the heavily made-up rocker also had the best of the jokes and one-liners — sometimes against himself.
“We are all here, because we’re not all there!” quipped Tyler — who has been in and out of rehab for addictions to everything from cocaine, to alcohol, to painkiller and sleep medication in his colorful 40-year stint with Aerosmith.
As “American Idol” plods its way to the 2010 finale after a lackluster season and slipping ratings, the TV show’s dwindling band of fans are getting an unusual opportunity to weigh in on what’s wrong with the show, and how to fix it.
Official website www.americanidol.com has posted a detailed survey which asks fans why they are watching less often — and less enthusiastically — this year, and invites them to rate all the judges individually, as well as the entertainment value of “Idol” mentors and the show’s celebrity guest judges.
It’s been a long three weeks of screechers, also-rans and attention-seekers as “American Idol” plows through auditions looking for a potential star. And that’s just the celebrity judges.
With the audition rounds finally coming to a conclusion, all eyes are now turning to the debut of Ellen DeGeneres in the first Hollywood rounds on Feb 9, and whether she can fill the shoes of the missing Paula Abdul.
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.
The Fox TV network and the producers of “American Idol” are scrambling to find a replacement for Paula Abdul . The network has talked about British celebrity Victoria Beckham and pop star Katy Perry as guest judges. But can anyone fill in for the “Straight Up” singer and former Laker Girl on a permanent basis?
As Time magazine critic James Poniewozik told Reuters, “The reason that people sometimes make fun of Paula is the reason that people watch Paula.”
Only “American Idol” judge Paula Abdul could break out a box of crayons, hand them to fellow panelist Simon Cowell and say, “Here you are 6-year-old. Oh, that’s an insult to 6-year-olds.” Cowell reacted by drawing on her.
Chalk up that episode from this past season to the long list of oddball moments that Abdul brought to “Idol.” With her announced departure from the program, Abdul will leave the show without its resident eccentric, a personality who has often gotten fans talking with her funny behavior.
Are “American Idol” producers really going to dump Paula Abdul after all these years?
Or is the emotional judge (or her representatives) just playing mind-games at this late stage in a bid to get a better offer for the next few years after Ryan Seacrest upped the stakes by securing a new three-year deal reputed to be worth around $15 million a year?
They went head-to-head in the final showdown of “American Idol” on Tuesday night, but if any animosity exists between finalists Adam Lambert and Kris Allen, it was not apparent when they spoke to reporters backstage after the show.
The only moment of friction, and it was all a joke, came when Lambert, the taller contestant between the two, lowered the microphone for the shorter Allen after the two stepped onto a speakers’ podium. Allen laughed at the gesture.
“American Idol” on Tuesday entered the last week of competition before the finale, and we at “Fan Fare” had the good fortune to land second-row seats in the talent show’s live studio audience. (For the record, this twist of fate had nothing to do with our coverage of the show — it was good old-fashioned standing in line combined with almost two years of being on a waiting list.)
Watching “Idol” in its natural habitat revealed dozens of quirks imperceptible to the 25 million or so viewers who tune in at home. First off, the studio was smaller than expected — even more intimate than watching a live show in a theater. One audience member in our row even remarked that it was smaller than her college lecture hall.