Entertainment behind the scenes
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.
As judge Simon Cowell predicted at the beginning of the show, the night indeed turned out to be lackluster one for the girls because of the unavoidable comparisons between them and the great Carey herself. That didn’t stop Cowell from delivering his usual barbs, however.
“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.
With a slicker format, more stars and better jokes , “Idol Gives Back” showed just how to stage a mass charity fundraiser on its second outing on Wednesday.
Jimmy Kimmel’s roasting of Simon Cowell’s nipples (!!), his haircut (“Who parted your hair? Moses?”) and wardrobe; Annie Lennox’s emotional rendering of “Many Rivers To Cross”, and Fergie’s handstands across the stage made it a night to remember. Then there was the “Idol” stage manager who, when she had to come onstage to adjust Brad Pitt’s microphone, admitted: “I just needed a reason to touch him.”
Rocker David Cook bombed on “American Idol” Tuesday night with an unfamiliar song and cocky performance that made it seem like he believed he had already wrapped up the competition.
Cook chose “Innocent,” a song by Canadian alternative rock band Our Lady Peace, to sing on a night when contestants were told to choose music that inspires them. The night’s theme was intended as a preview for “Idol Gives Back,” the show’s charity special that airs on Wednesday.
Simon Cowell plays the King of Mean on the panel of judges on “American Idol,” telling some wannabee stars they must be deaf if they think they can sing, calling others’ dancing hideous, and telling one female contestant she looked like the Incredible Hulk’s wife. But a story emerged this week that shone a new light on 48-year-old Cowell — he gave a couple whose three-year-old daughter is suffering cancer a check of $162,000 to pay off their mortgage.
The bombastic Brit, who was recently estimated by Forbes magazine to earn about $43 million year, was so touched by the story of Madelaine Stoen when she appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s U.S. TV chat show that he declared he would be her “guardian angel.” Madelaine’s parents Amy and Randy Stoen from Claremont, Minnesota, were struggling financially after the youngster was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and would take turns traveling more than 100 miles from home each day so she could get treatment.
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.”
Tuesday night on “American Idol,” 17-year-old David Archuleta officially lost his place as the singing competition’s frontrunner. Not only did the Utah native forget the lyrics (always a kiss of death on ‘Idol’) to The Beatles’ “We Can Work it Out,” he never recovered from the mistake. Judge Randy Jackson dubbed his uninspired performance “very forced,” while Simon Cowell bluntly called it “a mess.”
To make matters even weirder, Archuleta said in his pre-recorded interview that he had been nervous about having to choose a song from the Lennon/McCartney songbook because he “wasn’t too familiar with the songs.” Seriously.