Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

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


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.

The new judge, Kara DioGuardi, even got into a singing faceoff with one of the contestants, a woman named Katrina Darrell who showed up in a string bikini, delighting male judges Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson and earning the scorn of DioGuardi and Paula Abdul. It’s unlikely that DioGuardi would have put her own singing pipes to work in an effort to show Darrell how it’s done, if not for the teeny weeny bikini.

“Honestly, you don’t have the chops to sing that song,” DioGuardi told the contestant, who the show dubbed “Bikini Girl.”

The Emmys: Hosts, hosts everywhere


klumpants.jpgFor the 60th Emmy Awards , the show’s organizers made a bold decision to scrap the one-host format typical of awards shows.

Instead, they opted for not one, but five hosts — the five being Ryan Seacrest of “American Idol,” Heidi Klum of “Project Runway,” Tom Bergeron of “Dancing with the Stars,” Howie Mandel of “Deal or No Deal,” and Jeff Probst of “Survivor.” All were nominated for the newly-created category award for the best host of a reality or competition series.

Can “Idol” finally win the top Emmy?


They did great things for “American Idol” by thrilling fans in one of the closest contests on that TV talent show in years, but can David Cook and David Archuleta turn the tide for “Idol” at the Emmy awards this year?

“Idol” might be the most watched show on U.S. television but it has struggled to get some love from Emmy voters over the last six years. The show with a huge fan base has won only one of the U.S. television industry’s top honors –  for technical direction for the 2007 charity special “Idol Gives Back.” But it has lost out for five years to “Amazing Race” in the contest for the top honor in its genre, best competitive reality show.

Cry? No way! Jason Castro exits “American Idol” laughing


castro.jpgJason Castro may not have shot the deputy, but with a swift but painful rendition of a Bob Marley classic, he annihilated his hopes of becoming the next “American Idol.”

Now ask him if he cares.

The dreadlocked, easygoing Texan was sent packing from “American Idol” on Wednesday night in what was arguably the most jubilant exit of any contestant ever.

Live on “Idol,” Seacrest brushes “Paulagate” under the rug


judges.jpgIs there something rotten in the state of “Idol”?

Not if you ask host Ryan Seacrest.

The night after the show faced perhaps its biggest controversy so far this season, Seacrest just seemed to brush it all under the rug. Since Tuesday night’s performances episode, the show was tarnished with accusations that Abdul unfairly used pre-written notes to judge a performance by contestant Jason Castro BEFORE he even sang one of the songs she referred to. For a full rundown of the debacle, click here.

While Abdul herself explained the gaffe on Seacrest’s radio show Wednesday morning as confusion and misunderstanding , the incident was barely hinted at on Wednesday’s “Idol”  broadcast.

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


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.

“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?

“Idol’s” Mariah night: was it a burger bun or a luau?


mariah.jpgIt must have been conceived as some sort of cruel joke.

For seven seasons now, the judges of “American Idol” have repeatedly told contestants to steer clear of singing songs by Mariah Carey, ostensibly because the singing competition’s up-and-coming star wannabes could never hope to measure up to one of the great voices of pop music.

So, let’s just say it was a little strange to find Carey as the guest judge on Tuesday night’s show. Because you know what that means: the contestants were allowed to perform an old Mariah song, a new Mariah song, or any other Mariah song of their choosing.

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.

“Idol” Hernandez’s loss: the stripping or the singing?


david1.jpgMaybe it was the stripping. Or maybe he just wasn’t up to snuff.

Either way, David Hernandez won’t be strutting his stuff on “American Idol” anymore.

The 24-year-old Arizona native, who reportedly was a stripper before making it onto the singing competition, got the boot on Wednesday night following what judge Simon Cowell called a “corny, verging on desperate” performance of the Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There.”