Entertainment behind the scenes
Is it really a surprise? Simon Cowell, the king of mean judge on U.S. TV talent show “American Idol,” was voted Hollywood’s most obnoxious celebrity in a pop culture poll conducted by Parade magazine’s website, Parade.com.
Cowell, known for acidic comments aimed at contestants on the show after their performance has been less than adequate, topped the list followed by real estate mogul turned reality TV star Donald Trump, “Hell’s Kitchen” cook Gordon Ramsay and “The Hills” star Spencer Pratt, in that order.
While talk show host Oprah Winfrey is easily the most wealthy celebrity as judged by Forbes magazine, Parade.com readers don’t like her as much as Ellen DeGeneres or Tyra Banks. Ellen earned 40 percent of the vote as best daytime talk show host, followed closely by Tyra with 39 percent. Oprah garnered only 11 percent.
Among other findings in the poll, whose full results are at http://www.parade.com/celebrity/surveys/pop-culture-summer-2008/results.html, comedian Jon Stewart would beat presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama in a race for the White House, 55 percent to 45 percent. Simon Cowell was not even in the race.
Well, well, well… here we are. An “American Idol” has been chosen yet again, and those of us who have been following the show moment-by-moment are in what can only be described as a post-”Idol” hangover.
That’s especially true for those of us in the media who hung around for hours backstage at L.A.’s Nokia theater last night waiting to interview the “Idol” himself, David Cook. Once he did finally appear, Cook talked to reporters about Simon’s apology, how it felt to win, and what kind of a record he wants to make.
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.
But here we are, the top two “American Idol” finalists decided after four intense months, and yet the buzz following Wednesday night’s elimination show centered not around the impending David showdown, or on the ouster of Syesha Mercado, but an over-the-top performance by an “Idol” winner from four years ago.
“Probably David Cook,” Cowell told Blender.com in an interview when asked who he thought most deserved to win.
Not 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.
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.
That’s it. The next time Simon Cowell actually likes a performance on “American Idol,” he should just keep it to himself. No one tunes in to see him say anything nice, anyway.
Carly Smithson’s elimination on Wednesday night’s show simply defied any rational explanation, even in the cruel and unforgiving world of reality TV. For the first time in weeks, the Irish diva on Tuesday night received uniform praise from all three judges for her passionate performance of “Superstar” from the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Composer Andew Lloyd Webber was the show’s guest mentor.
She 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.”
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?