Richard Rushfield’s Dishy new book, American Idol the Untold Story, detailing the birth and subsequent 9 years of our favorite show, American Idol is now available online and at book stores everywhere!
For instance? Did you know the bust-up between Simon Cowell and Nigel Lythgoe, the fight that ultimately led to Nigel leaving the show, was over…Kyle Ensley? (see his audition here)
Yep. Kyle, the nerdy singer who was cut on the green mile Season 7 drove the final wedge between Simon and Nigel.
You see, Simon wanted to cast characters, but Nigel wanted to stick with the talent. Nigel got his way after the rest of the team sided with him. It made Simon really grumpy.
But, while Nigel may have won the battle, he lost the war, because at the end of the season, an intractable Nigel, unwilling to make major changes to the Idol formula, parted ways with the show he helped create. In the eyes of the Idol team, in order to keep their most valuable player, it was important to keep Simon “really really happy.”
- Get American Idol the Untold Story at Amazon
More tidbits after the jump:
- The 3 Divas of Season 3, Fantasia Barrino, LaToya London and Jennifer Hudson did NOT get along.
- There may have been a love triangle between Kelly Clarkson, Justin Guarini and Tamyra Gray!
- In Season 1, Jim Verraros was filmed being cut “sudden death” by the judges, but the producers decided the tactic wouldn’t play well. Jim stayed.
- An entire chapter devoted to Brian Dunkleman details a career gone OFF the rails after he quit Idol. When Brian didn’t get a call back to return to Idol, he followed his gut and quit. Producers were not planning to re-up his contract anyway.
- Bo Bice got drunk on Tequila the night before the Season 4 final
- Paula Abdul had a huge entourage with her at all times, and was indeed, difficult to deal with. Nigel Lythgoe recounts literally carrying Paula into the studio at show time
One major omission: Rushfield never touches upon the reasons why Mario Vasquez, a favorite coming out of the Season 4 Top 24 mysteriously quit the Season 4 Top 12 on the brink of that season’s live shows. A few years later, he was sued for sexual harassment by an Idol employee, the case eventually settled in private arbitration. It’s probably one of Idols biggest scandals, and is worth a mention in any book attempting to cover Idol comprehensively.