Exclusive: Simon Cowell Answers Your Questions
Who has surprised you the most this season?
Kris. Better than I thought. Adam, we knew he was great and Danny, we knew he was great. But seven weeks ago, nobody would have predicted the possibility that the third place is Kris. HeÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s just quietly got on with the job. He didnÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t get the praise he should have gotten last week because of the cockup with the timing. I would have really, really given him a confidence boost.
‘Idol’ Meter: Rat Pack tunes could turn the tide
We’re down to a five-pack of arguably the Idol season’s best singers to tackle songs from the Rat Pack. It all sounds ominous, but standards nights have been pleasant surprises in the past. In the longer view, the Adam vs. Danny finale scenario still looks probable, but Kris is a genuine wild card and further surprises could await. USA TODAY looks at three prime contenders.
The favorite: Adam Lambert (68): Adam has solidified his breakthrough (circa The Tracks of My Tears) with a series of original arrangements and versatile vocal performances. Resistance to his image seems to have mostly melted, and he has become the man to beat. He should swing with Frank, Dino or Sammy, but with the field reduced to a strong five, he has to avoid an ill-timed polarizing performance such as his earlier Ring of Fire.
‘IDOL’S’ ITUNES SHOCKER
FOR weeks, “American Idol” fans have been pre dicting a finale between soulful Danny Gokey and the fiercely theatrical Adam Lambert.
But now there is strong evidence that another singer, Kris Allen, may take Gokey’s place in the big “Idol” showdown next month.
Last week, a glitch in the Apple software allowed fans a glimpse at which contestants are selling the most “Idol” downloads — studio versions of the contestants’ live performances — on iTunes each week.
More Idol Headlines after the JUMP…
‘American Idol’ Power List: We’re down to five — now vote for your fave!
1. Kris Allen: (Last week: No. 2) He’s delivered back-to-back powerhouse performances with the unexpected and heartfelt choice of “Falling Slowly” on Movie Night and the brilliantly rearranged “She Works Hard for the Money” during Disco Week. True, his understated vocal style never makes the judges go wild, and yes, we haven’t quite forgotten that bunky “All She Wants to Do Is Dance, ” but he’s turned a one-horse race into something a little more interesting, and for that, he gets this week’s top spot.
‘Idolatry’: Is ‘Adam vs. Kris’ the new ‘Adam vs. Danny’?
Today’s spankin’ new two-part Idolatry episode features my cohost Jessica Shaw’s request for American Idol hate mail, a discussion of Paula Abdul’s disrespectful behavior, Simon Cowell’s undershirt, Matt Giraud’s wayward falsetto, a viewer phone call in defense of (gulp!) Kara The Terrible, and the musical stylings of Fergie and the Pixies! How the heck are you not gonna press play immÃƒÆ’ ©diatement!
Is Kris Allen an ‘American Idol’ game-changer? Read on
Hands up if you thought Kris Allen wouldn’t make the American Idol tour, much less the top five.
Now, with just three weeks remaining until the show’s May 19 finale, a strong finish by the fresh-faced 23-year-old from Conway, Ark., could upset the seeming certainty of an Adam Lambert/Danny Gokey showdown.
Allison Iraheta’s Classmates Say She Keeps Her Talent Under Wraps
You might guess from the way she tears into songs on “American Idol” that Allison Iraheta is not the shy type. Her prodigious talent is not surprising, given that she’s been singing most of her life.
But her strong run on the show was somewhat of a surprise to her high school pals at Los Angeles’ Animo Ralph Bunche Charter High School, who described her as very outgoing but not in-your-face about her talent.
Adam Lambert, the singer
Adamlambert0414-250 Many responses have hit my e-mail inbox about my recent musings on Adam Lambert. Some readers appreciate my explorations of the musical scenes that inform his approach; others find them irrelevant, even disgusting. A few e-mail writers seem to think my mentioning Lambert’s ties to gay culture is an attempt to discredit or demean him Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’ as if being gay equals being corrupt or “less than.” I find this disturbing. More justified, I think, is the question some others ask: Ann, what about his singing? Isn’ t that what makes Lambert so special, after all?
Adam Lambert Dictionary Expands ‘American Idol’ Fans’ Vocabularies
At this point in the competition, the judges on “American Idol” appear to be running out of superlatives to describe how much they adore Adam Lambert’s performances. Perhaps they should try something like “Adamlicious” or “Lamberlove” or “Glambulocity.”
Those are just a few of the many, many Lambert-centric words in an Adam Lambert Dictionary, which was recently posted by some self-described “Teenage Glamberts” (noun used to describe a person in their teen years who is part of the Adam Lambert fan community) and contains dozens of Labert-ized phrases employed by the superfans to describe their favorite “Idol” contestant.
For many, her blog makes ‘Idol’ complete
BROOKLINE – Panic on a rainy Tuesday night: The “American Idol” performance show is about to begin, and MJ Santilli’s website is crashing. Too many people are visiting mjsbigblog.com, trying to learn which songs the “Idol” contestants will sing on live TV a few minutes from now. She’s set to blog the show as it airs, she can’t get onto her site, and she knows that her fans – as many as 60, 000 of them – are waiting.
American Idol Rat Pack Week Odds Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’ Who to bet on
American Idol Rat Pack night goes live on Tuesday; the latest odds to win American Idol will tell us who is most likely to go home and who we shall bet on.
First of all letÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s understand what is Rat Pack. The Rat Pac was a legendary group of jazz singers that included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.
This Week theme will make things even harder to predict despite the American Idol odds continue to indicate Adam Lambert as strong favorite to be crowned winner of American Idol, his current odds to win sitting at Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’ 350 at Bookmaker.com.
At this price you would win $35 for every $100 bet on Adam should he end up winning this season of American Idol.
Where’s the breakout star on American Idol?
You can say Adam Lambert is the breakout star of American Idol this season, and you’d almost be right. But he’s not. He’s too over-the-top most of the time (keep your tongue in your mouth!) and though he’s come closest, he still hasn’t had that “moment” Simon is waiting for. In fact, none of them have. This is about as bland a “Final Five” as we’ve ever seen.
Ruben Studdard Hopes New Album Reconnects With ‘Idol’ Fans
Second season “American Idol” champ Ruben Studdard isn’t calling his new album, “Love IS, ” a comeback, but he does acknowledge that he hopes the May 19 release will “reconnect me to the 20-some odd million people that voted for me and…are my fans from ‘American Idol.’ ”
Studdard tells Billboard.com that with his fourth album, produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis — along with Stargate and country artist John Rich — he “just wanted to do the music the fans always ask me for. Ever since I won ‘American Idol, ‘ people have always been saying they love the way I sing ballads and would love to have me do an album of love songs. I’ve been in the music business awhile now. I’ve had an opportunity to see exactly what the fans want from me and expect, and I think this is exactly the kind of album they’ve been waiting on.”
Simon Cowell Predicts the ‘American Idol’ Finale
“American Idol” is down to the Top Five: Adam Lambert, Allison Iraheta, Danny Gokey, Kris Allen and Matt Giraud. So which two singers will go face-to-face for the finale on Tuesday, May 19?
“I would put my money on Adam and Danny … It is going to be Adam and somebody, ” judge Simon Cowell told ET at a press conference for his NBC series, “America’s Got Talent, ” premiering Tuesday, June 24 at 9 p.m. “I would like to see Adam and Danny because I think they are the best two singers, and at the end of the day that is what should happen.”
This season saw the inception of a fourth judge — Kara DioGuardi — to the “American Idol” panel and Simon says, “I like Kara. The more I get to know her, the more I like her. You can’t make the same show forever. You have got to make changes because people will get bored. So anything that promotes change, I will push for.”
Simon wonÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t be judging Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‹AmericaÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s Got TalentÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢
Simon Cowell has been making waves for the other show he judges, Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œBritainÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s Got Talent, Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ but is he headed to the American version of the show?
Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œNo, no, Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ he told Billy Bush in a sit-down interview for Access Hollywood.
Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œYouÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ve taken Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‹IdolÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ to heights never before seen. Why wouldnÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t you, now that itÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s here, go to the show that you own, Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‹AmericaÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s Got Talent, Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ be a judge on there, and make history twice?Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ Bush asked.
Kara DioGuardi’s Battle
Los Angeles (myFOXla.com) – Kara DioGuardi has fought a battle, and not with Simon Cowell. For the first time she’s speaking about her eating disorder and the tools she has used to rise above it. She used to deal with her emotions with food when she was younger. But she says that once she found an outlet for her creative side, she was able to beat the problem.
She talks about it, and the current season of “American Idol” with Steve, Dorothy, and Jillian.
Web Extra! Kara DioGuardi
Los Angeles (myFOXla.com) – Kara DioGuardi is the new judge on the block on, “American Idol” but there’s a lot more to her than simply giving her opinion on the show a couple of times per week. She has overcome a serious eating disorder as well, and she talks about both of those things in this exclusive web interview.
Fox Says It WonÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t Show Obama Press Conference
President ObamaÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s prime time press conference will air on one fewer channel this week.
Fox is Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œsticking with its regular scheduleÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ on Wednesday night, The Associated Press reports, marking Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œthe first time a broadcast network has refused ObamaÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s requestÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ for airtime.
The press conference, scheduled for 8 p.m. Wednesday, will be Mr. ObamaÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s third of the year. It will mark his first 100 days in office. ABC, CBS and NBC, along with a multitude of cable networks, will carry the press conference live.
Simon Cowell On Life After Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‹IdolÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ & Dating: Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‹I Quite Like Being Single!Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢
But while heÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s having a good time, is his Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œIdolÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ time up, with his contract ending after one more year?
Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œMy gut feeling is that I probably will do a new show after Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‹Idol, Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ but you know, we havenÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t fallen out, Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ Simon said.
Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œWouldnÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t you feel bad taking even more money from [the show]?Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ Billy asked laughing?
Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œIÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ve done very well, Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ Simon smiled. Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œIÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢m not complaining, Billy.Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬
Chuck Wicks Apologizes to Julianne Hough’s Dad for Racy Moves
Chucks Wicks says he didn’t mean for Dancing With the Stars to turn into Dirty Dancing last week.
While performing the samba with his partner (and real-life girlfriend) Julianne Hough, he accidentally grabbed her bosom.
“I have to clear it up — it was by accident!” he said Monday on 104.3MYfm’s Valentine in the Morning in L.A.
He says that he didn’t have much time to rehearse last week due to his grueling music schedule.
“I was sweating it. I didn’t know the dance all the way yet, ” he explains. “We go in there, and we just kind of wing it. I knew the steps, but everything else was kind of thrown out the window.”
Injured Melissa Rycroft a No-Show on MondayÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s Dancing
After topping the leader board last week with a sizzling Argentine tango, Melissa Rycroft suffered an unexpected setback: She had to sit out of MondayÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s performance show due to an injury.
The Bachelor star suffered a rib injury and couldnÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t perform the jive with partner Tony Dovolani. She also sat out of the group dance, the mambo.
Host Tom Bergeron says Rycroft is talking with doctors, and the prognosis is a hairline fracture of one of her ribs.
Since Rycroft couldnÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t perform, the judges scored her by reviewing her rehearsal footage taped earlier Monday.
An injured Melissa misses Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‹DancingÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢
Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…â€œDancing With the StarsÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ doesnÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t usually roll out the drama the minute the contestants come down the stairs, but when Melissa Rycroft didnÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t appear, something was clearly amiss.
Host Tom Bergeron explained that Melissa suffered an injury this week and could not compete, stating that heÃƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢d be explaining later how they intended to handle her absence in terms of the competition. Not an auspicious beginning.
DWTS’ Tony Dovolani “Heartbroken” Over Melissa Rycroft’s Rib Injury
Tony Dovolani tells Usmagazine.com he feels “heartbroken” about partner Melissa Rycroft’s rib injury.
“Up until a half hour before the show, she was still trying to dance for me and she was in complete pain, ” he told Us after Monday’s show. “She has a high threshold for pain – and she still came onstage and tried to dance for me and that says a lot about her.”
Check out DWTS members’ amazing makeovers
About 15 seconds into her jive routine, Dovolani recalled, “she couldn’t breathe. So I picked her up, as I would pick up my own daughter. I brought her backstage and tried to calm her down and help her rest.”
‘Dancing With the Stars’ Recap: Mambo Kings
On last night’s Dancing With the Stars, (honorary) Single Lady Melissa Rycroft was a no-show. ABC’s reality TV darling incurred a hairline fracture of the ribs during the previous week and suffered an unsuccessful reaction to treatment on Monday. Her condition doesn’t sound too promising as of this Tuesday morning, so a graceful bow-out tonight would not be too surprising. As long as she’s able to dance next week, I hope Melissa is okay. She’s one of the best dancers of the season; plus, I cannot handle the sight of Papa Bear Tony crying again. My TV does not need to hear sweet, frustrated nothings such as ”Do not cry, sad bear! You are so well-built!”