Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Time crunch muzzles “Idol” judges

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USA/“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.

Cowell blamed the switch on “the girls” — meaning female judges Kara DioGuardi and Paula Abdul — whom he said spoke too much last week.

Cowell may or may not have been joking, but whatever the reason for the shift, it was the viewers who were punished. Cowell’s brutally honest comments are among the most anticipated moments of each week’s show, so when only Randy Jackson and DioGuardi gave their opinions viewers might have felt something was missing. Not to belittle DioGuardi and Jackson, but there’s a reason there are USA/four judges, right?

On “Idol,” country night takes down frontrunners

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USA/“Country Week” is always a mixed bag on “American Idol”, alternately filling viewers with anticipation and dread.

Tuesday night’s tribute to the “Grand Ole Opry,” with country icon Randy Travis as guest mentor, certainly didn’t buck that trend, taking several of the show’s frontrunners down a notch and allowing dark horses to emerge.

Scott MacIntyre and Lil Rounds thrill “American Idol” judges

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“American Idol” fans get an extra night of action this week in the form of a bonus episode on Thursday night, so the judges can bring back three contestants previously eliminated by the fans. The wildcard round will likely offer a second shot at fame for a couple contestsimon-cowell-randy-jacksonants from Tuesday night’s show, because the judges praised half of the 12 singers, and all but three of them will be eliminated by fan voting on Wednesday night.

So who will sail through to the show’s “Top 12″ on Wednesday and who will rise from “Idol” banishment on Thursday?

Who will survive “Idol’s” opening round?

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The judges on ”American Idol” broke down many of the first 12 competitors to take the cowellstage 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.

“Bikini Girl,” new judge heat up “Idol” season premiere

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idol_cast1The 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.

Cowell calls “Idol” final a “knockout” for Archuleta but was it?

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archuletathumb.jpgAfter all these months, is it really going to come down to “the Chosen One” after all?

David Archuleta, the teenage crooner whose satiny voice and babyfaced looks have stolen the hearts of teenage girls, was all but crowned the winner of this season’s “American Idol” by judges Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson on Tuesday night. Playing on a boxing theme the show took on to highlight the showdown between two guys named David, Cowell called Archuleta’s performance “a knockout” of his older rival, rocker David Cook.

Paula puts nail in Syesha’s coffin as “Idol” heads to finish

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syesha.jpgNot many “American Idol” viewers expected to see Syesha Mercado make it past this week. Let’s face it, a face-off between the two Davids, Archuleta and Cook, has been considered a foregone conclusion for weeks now.

But notwithstanding the near certainty of a David showdown, it was still a shock to see Paula Abdul administer Mercado’s death sentence on Tuesday night’s episode.

Mercado likens her “Idol” run to Civil Rights Movement

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mercado.jpgThere’s no question that Syesha Mercado is one tough “American Idol” contestant.

Week after week, the 21-year-old beauty from Sarasota, Florida, has stepped up her game, delivering performances in recent episodes that many thought she wasn’t capable of. Now, despite having been among the lowest three vote-getters a whopping five times, Mercado is the only woman to have made it to the show’s Top 4.

UPDATE!- “American Idol”: What was UP with Paula?

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paula.jpgIn seven seasons of “American Idol,” Paula Abdul has definitely had her moments.

But her gaffe on Tuesday night’s episode was either the “Kookiest Paula Moment Ever” or a sign of the judges’ apparently not-so-spontaneous evaluations of contestants’ performances.

Brooke White just couldn’t get it right as “Idol” heats up

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brooke.jpgShe started. She stopped. She started again. And still, “American Idol” contestant Brooke White never seemed to get it together. In fact, does anyone even remember the rest of the performance?

White, the 24-year-old blonde songstress who has won viewers’ hearts with her bluesy voice and down-to-earth style, is almost sure to be among the show’s bottom three vote-getters this week after stumbling over the beginning of her performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “You Must Love Me.”

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