Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Lady Gaga has monsters, Cheryl Cole has soldiers

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Has Cheryl Cole gone Gaga?

The British singer, who is not the global phenomenon that is Lady Gaga, has written a message to her fans following her embarrassing fallout with the makers of the U.S. version of “X Factor”, who apparently did not want her on the judging panel having initially said that they did.

Cole’s website was silent throughout the fiasco which dominated British tabloid headlines for days, but she has finally broken her silence with a missive posted on Sunday reassuring the world that she is fine despite the setbacks and has been spending time with her friends, family and “doggys”. Well, in fact she doesn’t mention any setbacks, but merely describes the last few weeks as “the weirdest”.

What struck me about the post was her reference to her fans as “my little soldiers” who “mean the world” to her. It recalls Lady Gaga’s description of her most avid followers as “little monsters”, a term of endearment which hints at a relationship beyond the normal star-fan connection. Some people view this axis as unhealthy, and liken it to a personality cult, whereas many of the millions of fans in question embrace Gaga and say she is an inspiration to them. Will Cole be able to replicate this kind of bond with her devotees?

“X Factor” hits wrong note

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Cheryl1Britain’s “The X Factor” has struck a bum chord, even before the main knock-out phase of the hugely popular TV show begins. Judge Cheryl Cole has incensed thousands of viewers with her selection of three finalists from a shortlist of eight contestants. Hopeful Gamu Nhengu, 18, was rejected by Cole, despite impressing with her audition and being among the early favourites to win the show.

One reason for the strength of the reaction — nearly 90,000 people have already leant their support to a Facebook page supporting Zimbabwe-born Nhengu — is that Cher Lloyd went through to the finals, despite being able to sing barely a note due to a sore throat. Katie Waissel also succeeded, despite failing to impress many who watched the show at the weekend. Only Cole’s choice of the accomplished Rebecca Ferguson was universally popular.

Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez — right fit for “American Idol”?

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tyler “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?

UK’s X Factor gets off to rocky start

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cowell3The X Factor, one of Britain’s most-watched television programmes, has got off to a rocky start this year with its integrity called into question after it came to light that some contestants’ performances had been enhanced using computer software. A spokesman for the show, a pillar of ITV1′s annual scheduling, admitted that post-production work was sometimes necessary due to the number of microphones used during filming. But he also told British media that judges make their decisions during the audition stages based on what they hear live, and that later shows are all genuinely live.

The revelations have prompted negative media comment and online complaints from some fans, although few people expect them to have too much of an impact on viewing figures. The first episode of this year’s series was watched by 11.1 million people, up from last year’s figure of 9.9 million.

Is Steven Tyler right fit for “American Idol”?

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steventyler Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler looks to be on his way to join “American Idol” in what would be the first bona fide rock star judge on the show’s panel.

But is Tyler, 62, the right fit for a show aimed squarely at middle America? And if Tyler is in place, as widely reported, can the “Idol” judging panel carry a second major artist if rumors about country star Shania Twain, or Jennifer Lopez, or even Jessica Simpson turn out to be correct?

Shania Twain for “American Idol”? Judge auditions drag on

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shania twainAnother 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 JLoidea 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.

Goodbye Ellen, Hello….who? to “American Idol”

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Like it or not  “American Idol” will be getting a whole new talent line-up next season — and that’s just the judges.ellenD

But with Fox keeping their mouths firmly shut on who will replace Simon Cowell and Ellen DeGeneres, it seems to be anyone’s guess as to what the karadinew panel will look like, or even how many judges there will be.

“American Idol” asks fans for a fix

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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.

idol judges blog 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.

Crystal disappoints, Siobhan storms back on night of “American idol” surprises

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In the words of Simon Cowell,  Tuesday night was a shocker on “American Idol”. bowersox

For the first time this season, front runner Crystal Bowersox failed to impress.  Simon went so far as to describe her happy-clappy version of Shania Twain’s “No-One Needs to Know”  as ”limp”.

Joining (or leaving?) the ranks of singing divas on “American Idol”

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There were just two certainties on “American Idol” after inspirational theme night with mentor Alicia Keys.bowersox

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);

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