Paul McDonaldJames Durbin, Casey Abrams, Haley Reinhart, Pia ToscanoNaima Adedapo, Karen Rodriguez and Jacob Lusk (the minors – Scotty, Lauren and Thia – had school!) plus FOX’s Mike Darnell, executive producer Ken Warwick and judges Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler all gathered at the Los Angeles convention center tonight to sit on a panel at Paleyfest.

The next best thing to being there is reading the tweet stream! After the jump, check out the running twitter commentary. It gives you a good idea of the discussion.  Plus, check out the photo gallery!

Winning tweet is from @LyndseyParker: Idol producer Ken Warwick says last week’s Michael Jackson group number was best in show’s history.

Wut? 

The crew signed autographs after the discussion. Read on after the jump for more lulz. (check back for more photos!)

@thefutoncritic: @AmericanIdol EP #MikeDarnell knew on his first mtg with #StevenTyler that ‘We found the guy’ to fill judge spot.

@TVGuide: Steven Tyler was the 40th person Fox had seen for the job as an Idol judge

@paleycenter: Ken: The one thing we knew going into this season was not to try to “replace” Simon. He’s unique.

@paleycenter: Steven admits he had to really think about the offer to be a judge.

@TVGuideMagazine: “Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most,” Steven Tyler

@TVGuide: Steven Tyler has a habit of writing down interesting phrases as he sees them — thats where his crazy expressions come from

@paleycenter: Another change this season is there will be a limit to the playing of instruments. It became a crutch last year.

@TV Guide: “Idol producer Ken Warwick. explains J. Lo’s breakdown over Chris Medina: “Real life isn’t in her face as much as it is for the rest of us.”

@TVGuide: Casey Abrams says he’s feeling “really good.” Says he felt supported when he wasn’t there and thanks Stefano for taking his part

@paleycenter: Jacob thought Randy was playing him when he said his “God Bless the Child” was the best performance ever on Idol

@paleycenter: Jacob: Everyone here this season sings because they really believe — they LOVE singing.

@lyndseyparker: Jacob Lusk says music about “blessing” people. He’s getting teary-eyed.

@TVGuide: James Durbin says it’s “cool” to be like a spokesperson for Tourette’s Syndrome: “It’s affecting a wider variety of people now.”

@lyndseyparker: Paul McDonald talking about how it was hard to see Kendra Chantelle go. Wants to collaborate w/ her when he’s back in Nashville.

@paleycenter: Paul: I’ve been touring 5 years, doing the same moves. Nobody had a prob with them b4, but now I’m “out of control”

@thefutoncritic: FYI, the Top 10 (not 12) will be on the @AmericanIdol tour says #KenWarwick and #MikeDarnell.

@lyndseyparker: Naima’s fave word is “overstand” (deeper than understand). Sounds like something Steven Tyler would say

@lyndseyparker: Paul McDonald talking about his dance. “It’s called entertaining…I’ve learned that over the years, or I don’t get paid!”

@lyndseyparker: Idol producer Ken Warwick says last week’s Michael Jackson group number was best in show’s history. Wut?

@paleycenter: Ken: It’s generally chosen to prevent too many similar performances in a row, like ballads, etc. (asking about how performance order is chosen.)

@TVGuide: Does order matter? Warwick says, generally, a different person will go first and a different person will go last every week

@lyndseyparker: Moderator pointed out the first 4 girls and first 5 guys who sang in top 24 all got voted off. Going first apparently sucks

@lyndseyparker: Producer Mike Darnell says Idol middle rounds always problematic, so this year they went straight to top 13. (Note: I disagree w/ Darnell)

@TVGuide: Steven says Idol has been “hard on his heart” and he’s had to pull back at times. Says he’s used to being judged himself

@paleycenter: Steven: I recognize the importance of being nurtured. I benefitted from that early on myself.

@thefutoncritic: Awwww…little girl (maybe 5 yrs old) asks for a pic with Steven/Randy…she goes on stage

@paleycenter: Paul says he hopes to go back to his band after Idol.

@TVGuide: Pia, Stefano and Naima all admit that they thought they were going home on top 24 cut day

@thefutoncritic: Randy just saw #StevePerry from Journey. Tour again? Randy told him ‘If you do it, I’ll do it!’

@paleycenter: Aud q: Every year Randy says “This is the best group of kids ever!” This year it’s true.

@thefutoncritic: EP #KenWarwick says ‘They’ll never work harder than they will on this show…’ Of the contestants.

@thefutoncritic: ‘These are the things that set them apart,’ says #RandyJackson on why song choice is the most important thing.

@thefutoncritic: ‘Do you have any plans tonight?’ a nine-yr old boy asks #PiaToscano. Hilarious! (She says she’ll be rehearsing)

@paleycenter: Steven says this guy who wears his heart on his sleeve is the real him, he just never had an outlet to show it.

@TVGuide: Steven on Idol: “It gave me an arena to be who I really am.” Says his true self had been hidden under a rock ‘n roll hood

@paleycenter: That’s our show Folks! The Panel was great!

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  • iluvai

    This is a really cute group.

  • NOLA

    Where is Scotty?

  • Trina

    Well at least Ken said it was LAST year where instruments were like a crutch, I actually agree it was the case for some. I like the use of them but sparingly.

  • JudyOhio

    Nola,

    (the minors had school!)

  • iluvai

    This is my top 10 list. No order.Jacob, Karen, Naima, Stefano, Pia, Haley, James, Lauren,This is my top 8 list, I guess.

  • NOLA

    ty Judy, I saw that; but it didn’t click that he is also a minor. LOL

  • J9BT

    Scotty is apparently in school with Lauren and Thia.

  • JudyOhio

    Just want to say I heart Steven Tyler!

    Ok, and that said, also want to say that Randy seems very relaxed and VERY happy this hear. Nice to see.

  • Zastine4974

    @lyndseyparker: Idol producer Ken Warwick says last week’s Michael Jackson group number was best in show’s history.

    Idol really needs to muzzle Ken “The Tool” Warwick. He’s not even close to knowing what is the best.

  • Junior

    Scotty, Thia, and Lauren all seem to be MIA. Is there something about this event that they aren’t old enough to participate in?

  • x57x

    Scotty, Thia, and Lauren all seem to be MIA. Is there something about this event that they aren’t old enough to participate in?

    Maybe their schooling is getting in the way of practice? Since they are minors.

  • iluvai

    Just want to say I heart Steven Tyler!

    Ok, and that said, also want to say that Randy seems very relaxed and VERY happy this hear. Nice to see.

    Yep. :) I was a Liv Taylor fan before a Steven fan. But, I think he’s doing a great job. Randy looks happy. :)

  • lili_anne7

    @paleycenter: Paul says he hopes to go back to his band after Idol.

    Is Paul even allowed to say this? I mean I knew that he never wanted to be a solo artist the way he was promoting his band, but I just did not think he would admit it so openly in front of the press and the producers.

  • Elliegrll

    @lyndseyparker: Paul McDonald talking about his dance. “It’s called entertaining…I’ve learned that over the years, or I don’t get paid!”

    This makes Paul sound like a jerk, but I bet Naima feels this way too, and that’s why we got Naima as the cabaret singer the first week, and hip-hop Naima last week. We’ve yet to see who she really is, because she’s probably one of those people who had to take on the character of different performers in the past, instead of performing her own music. I don’t care about Paul, but I hope Naima doesn’t let this line of thinking keep her from making the top ten, or from staying around long enough to earn a recording contract.

  • JudyOhio

    Paul McDonald talking about his dance. “It’s called entertaining…I’ve learned that over the years, or I don’t get paid!”

    oh, ok then…so hoppy hoppy skip skip, skippy skippy hop….is part of his entertainment package……he’s entertaining me, got it!

    Um, I’m starting to feel a little bit “snarky” right now so I’ll just leave it at that, lol. :)

  • lili_anne7

    oh, ok then…so hoppy hoppy skip skip, skippy skippy hop….is part of entertaining me, got it!

    Well it did make me LMAO, so I guess in that sense he’s entertaining us.

  • springboard

    Well it did make me LMAO, so I guess in that sense he’s entertaining us.

    I also found his performance very funny and entertaining because of it. Not really what Idol is looking for of course!

  • jammasta

    James’s hair/expression, Haley’s dress that puts pounds on her belly, Stefano’s shoes, Paul’s pants, and Jacob’s facial expression.

    Something about this picture is an endearing tragedy.

    Pia and Karen look red-carpet ready to me, though.

  • khomphuong

    My top 3 are on the left.

  • platoken

    My top 3 are on the left.

    Sausage fest?

    Lol anyway, I think it would be best if Paul didn’t win or get signed by idol. He wants to stick with his band and wouldn’t do well under the idol contract.

  • Dlynne

    Steven Tyler is a very stylish dresser. He manages to look relevant without looking stupid. And it looks like his love of scarves has rubbed off on Randy. :wink:

    I hope Paul is able to return to his band, too. They are very talented musicians. I’d love to see them signed by a major label afterwards, even if he doesn’t make it to the finale.

  • Tess

    Never thought I’d say this but I am really getting tired of the gals dressing as though they are attending a cocktail party 24/7. I’m all for dressing up for the occassion, and I’m not into jeans and t-shirts for gals (socially) but there is just something so “barbie doll” happening.

  • tripp_ncwy

    Scotty, Thia, and Lauren all seem to be MIA. Is there something about this event that they aren’t old enough to participate in?

    lyndseyparker Lyndsey Parker
    Thia, Scotty & Lauren aren’t here because they’re at school #idol #paleyfest

  • Grammie Kari

    Casey Abrams says he’s feeling “really good.” Says he felt supported when he wasn’t there and thanks Stefano for taking his part

    I felt so bad for Casey and hope he has his illness under control. I do believe that the extra exposure (with singing) really helped Stefano. He deserves to be in the TOP 10.

    Haley is really short, isn’t she? As is Stefano.

    Not only is it cool for James to be a spokesperson, it is one of the best decisions Idol has made in recent years. I also felt having Scott in Season 8 was inspirational.

  • MayMirabella

    Never thought I’d say this but I am really getting tired of the gals dressing as though they are attending a cocktail party 24/7. I’m all for dressing up for the occassion, and I’m not into jeans and t-shirts for gals (socially) but there is just something so “barbie doll” happening

    And from the pictures we are seeing, that really seems to be the case this season more than some other seasons.

  • lili_anne7

    I love the fact that the girls are dressing up this season b/c that’s what big stars do, they dress up for events. However, I’m not crazy about what they wore. The only dress I like is Pia’s.

  • springboard

    Pia and Naima are fine for me, but a big NO to Karen and Haley.

  • Weng

    Wow.. I enjoyed reading those tweets. I agree with Steven Tyler saying nurturing is important! Positive motivations have better effects than a negative one.

  • Grammie Kari

    I think the best Group Performance on a non-Finale night was Season 7 – tribute to Neil Diamond.

    Looking at what the guys are wearing and what the girls are wearing – are they going to the same event? LOL!

    Thanks, MJ for providing this information!

  • jersey

    LOL, I was thinking the same thing! The girls are dressed for a night on the town; the guys, not so much.

  • BootStar

    LOLOLOL at Steven’s outfit. God, I love that man.

    LOLOLOLOLOLOL at Ken’s comments about last week’s group number. He’s either completely tone deaf of didn’t bother to actually watch the performance.

  • Trina

    I can think of some group performances going all the way back to season 2 that were way better than last weeks. I agree about the season 7 Neil Diamond medley, also the amazing IGB Shout To the Lord number. Ken is an idiot.

  • cookcricket

    @lyndseyparker: Paul McDonald talking about how it was hard to see Kendra Chantelle go. Wants to collaborate w/ her when he’s back in Nashville.

    Yay! I’ll buy this album. :D

  • http://mjsbigblog.com/luvadamlamberts-american-idol-tour-2009-washington-dc-re-cap.htm luvadamlambert

    Ken sounds like a douchebag

    Everything else seems ok