Entertainment behind the scenes
“American Idol” has finally announced its new judging panel, ending months of speculation about the future shape of the show.
But are Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler and actress/singer Jennifer Lopez the right choice? And will star power be enough to keep old “Idol” fans (and hopefully millions more new ones) tuning in when the show returns in January?
Tyler, the volatile lead singer of America’s best-selling rock band, will certainly bring a rock edge to a contest that has specialised in producing middle-of the-road champions for an audience that ranges from 8 to 80 year-olds.
And J.Lo, as America’s leading Latina entertainer, may entice a whole new Hispanic audience to the show. (And as for her reported “diva” demands that made the rounds a few weeks ago – “so much rubbish”, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe told journalists this week.)
Another day. Another potential “American Idol” judge surfaces.
Who knew Simon Cowell (or even Ellen DeGeneres) would be so hard to replace?
With Jennifer Lopez apparently out of the running for being “too demanding”, country singer Shania Twain’s name resurfaced on Thursday as “Idol” producers and the Fox television network searched for a new line-up in time for filmed auditions in mid-September for the show’s 10th season.
Twain proved an audience favorite after appearing earlier this year on the show, both as a guest judge and a celebrity mentor. The idea of Lopez, on the other hand, had not gone down so well with fans online, making you wonder whether her name had been deliberately floated by “Idol” insiders to gauge popular reaction before any deals were signed.
There were just two certainties on “American Idol” after inspirational theme night with mentor Alicia Keys.
1) Singing anything by Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston is going to be a no-no when Randy Jackson is on the judging panel (and singing a song that both divas have already “made their own” is just asking for trouble);
Administrators of Michael Jackson’s estate on Wednesday dismissed questions about whether his legal will is valid, after the celebrity news website TMZ reported that his brother Randy Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton, a Jackson family confidant, raised questions about whether the pop star was in Los Angeles to sign the will on the date stated in the document.
Howard Weitzman, an attorney for administrators of the Jackson estate John Branca and John McClain, said in a statement, “Despite any claims to the contrary, we are confident Michael Jackson’s will is valid, that he signed it and that it reflects his wishes. All three witnesses listed on the will recall being present when Michael signed it.”
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.
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?
“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.
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.