The Biggest News Stories of 2013

I wasn’t gonna do it, but I finally broke down and put together an end of year list.  Here are the biggest news stories of 2013 posted on the blog, based on hits and comments received. Sorry if I left out stories some of you may feel passionate about.  Feel free to mention them in comments!


Kris Allen Car Crash Photo – The American Idol Season 8 winner required several surgeries on his wrist, and may never recover full range of motion. But the important thing was that everyone involved, including Kris’s pregnant wife Katy, was alright. Katy would later give birth to a healthy son named Oliver.

Beyonce Lip Synced the National Anthem at the Super Bowl – Another Superbowl, another lip sync controversy. Only, not the year before, when Kelly Clarkson sang it live, gloriously.


Angie Miller You Set Me Free Full Version – I got a ton of hits on a low quality video of Angie singing “You Set Me Free” at her family’s Salem, MA church. The American Idol 12 hopeful had wowed the judges in Hollywood and set the blogosphere abuzz with her original song. She went on to the finals, finishing the competition in 3rd place.

Kelly Clarkson – I Refuse to Be Bullied – After Clive Davis told a revisionist version of the Kelly Clarkson My December Fiasco, which basically disputed everything Kelly every said about it, the singer fired back, accusing Clive of bullying her. Of course, Clive fired back, standing by his version of events.


Nicki Minaj Tweets: “Saves are Bullsh*t…Simply Be Gracious – By March, American Idol 12 was falling down a rabbit hole of bad ratings, aided by the completely charisma-free panel, that included feuding divas, Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey. But Nicki didn’t reserve her ire for just Mariah. After Devin Velez was eliminated, he called Nicki out for the way she treated the boys after a disastrous trio performance that included Devin, Curtis Finch Jr. and Lazaro Arbos. Davin accused her of having multiple personalities and acting like a 3rd grader. She called him ungrateful to the judges who put him through to the voting rounds.

Melanie Amaro’s Album Delayed Indefinitely –  She won the 1st season of X Factor and the 5 million dollar prize. But her debut album, which was recorded and ready to go, was basically shelved, never to see the light of day. Sad for Melanie. Hope she got some of that money, at least.

Phillip Phillips’ “Home” Now the Best Selling American Idol Single Ever – Whoda thunk it.  The American Idol season 11 winner’s coronation song “Home” went quadruple platinum plus, surpassing Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” as best selling song from an Idol alum ever.  It also continued to be ubiquitous in 2013, featured in advertisements and movie promos.


Lazaro Arbos: One of The Remaining Girls is Crazy and Thinks She’s in the Hunger GamesLazaro Arbos was the Thing That Wouldn’t Go Away. Bad performances that included forgetting lyrics, missing a key change and singing horribly off pitch, didn’t seem to be enough to keep people from voting for him. His backstory, as a bullied young man with a severe stutter pulled enough heartstrings to bypass the need for, you know, talent. Lazaro made excuses for poor performances, or called people out. Here, he accuses one of the girls of wanting fame at any cost. It was pretty easy to guess who he was referring to. When Burnell Taylor was eliminated the week before Lazaro, his castmastes didn’t even try to hide their displeasure.  Fellow Idol contestants called him out HERE too.

Season 7 American Idol Winner, David Cook, Releases new single – “Laying Me Low” was David Cook’s first single after parting ways with RCA. Ya’ll were real excited about that!


FOX Considering Filling American Idol 13 Judges Panel With Alums – With American Idol 12 falling fast in the ratings (The Voice 4 was beating it, regularly) the producers considered filling the judges panel with American Idol alums. Jennifer Hudson, Adam Lambert, Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aiken were in the mix. Later, rumor had it that Jennifer Hudson had signed a contract. But then new management decided to go with celebrity singers, and we got Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. instead.

Paulina Rubio and Kelly Rowland join X Factor Panel –  FOX announced Simon Cowell would be surrounded by women when X Factor returned in the fall.  Latina singer, Paulina Rubio and pop star Kelly Rowland (she had served on the X Factor UK panel) would join Demi Lovato, a holdover from season 2. “The Beauties and the Brit” the press release announced.

The Voice Ratings Outpaces American Idol – The Voice, averaging a 5.2 rating in the key demo, beat American Idol for the first time.  Additionally, it was the first time in 10 years, since the 2002-03 season, that FOX’s “American Idol” had not ranked #1 among reality series in 18-49.

American Idol alum, Kellie Pickler, wins Dancing with the Stars – Kellie and her pro partner, Derek Hough, won the spring series of Dancing with the Stars. Hooray!

Candice Glover Wins American Idol –  The talented Candice Glover was the first female to win American Idol since Jordin Sparks took the crown in 2007.  Unfortunately, the show garnered the lowest ratings ever, down a whopping 44% from the previous year.


Danielle Bradbery of Team Blake wins the Voice – The Voice 4 wrapped up in June, conveniently pushing it’s lowest rated section of the competition outside of the spring ratings window. Danielle, at 16, was the youngest winner of all seasons. It was Blake Shelton’s 3rd straight win.

American Idol Live Tour Cancels 10 Dates – It was a blood bath, yo. The American Idol Live concert tour shaved off 10 dates. And even then, sales turned out to be the lowest ever.

American Idol fires Nigel Lythgoe –   Dang. Nigel Lythgoe tweetrf confirmation that he was fired from American Idol. The blood bath  would also see the exit of  FOX reality chief, Mike Darnell, nearly the entire judges panel, except Keith Urban (Randy Jackson would return as mentor, replacing Jimmy Iovine) producer, Ken Warwick and music director, Ray Chew (Rickey Minor is set to return to his former job). A slew of new producers and a new director, came on board to help save the sinking Idol ship.

Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young Get Married – These two American Idol alums–Diana was the Season 3 runner up and Ace competed on season 5–were engaged on the Idol finale stage the year before. The two tied the knot on June 1.


Cory Monteith, Dead at 31 – The Glee star was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room of, what was confirmed later by the coroner’s report,  a heroin and alcohol overdose. An absolutely tragic loss of a young and promising talent.

Adam Lambert Parts Ways with RCA Records – After reports that RCA wanted Adam Lambert’s 3rd studio album with the label to be a set of 80s covers, news broke that the singer and the label had decided to part ways. In the same month, it was announced that Adam would join the cast of Glee. And a few months later, he would close a night of the iHeartRadio festival as the frontman for Queen.  Adam is currently working on his next album.

Scotty McCreery Sued By Former Manager, Todd Cassetty – Former manager, Todd Cassetty claimed the American Idol season 10 winner strung him along, never finalizing an agreement with him.  Scotty’s people claimed the manager wanted an unreasonable amount for 5 months of work.  The singer joined forces with Cassetty in 2012 after leaving Simon Fuller’s group, XIX Management.

Kree Harrison Label Update: Not Signed By UMG Nashville – For the first time ever, the record label (in this case, UMG) would not be picking up an option to release an album from the American Idol runner-up.  At the end of 2013, Kree Harrison still has not signed a record deal, although she is working steadily on an album.

Big Brother 15 Cast Member Loses Modeling Gig – Big Brother housemates were recorded saying all sorts of homophobic and racist stuff. After their eliminations, Aaryn Gries and Gina Marie Zimmerman, were met with the news that they lost their jobs.  After arbitration through the railroad union, Spencer Clawson eventually lost his job as well, his job prospects not helped by him joking about child porn.  The winner was a gay man, Andy Spencer, who made his share of racist remarks. Gina Marie was the runner up. Congratulations?

Kris And Katy Allen Welcome Baby Oliver Neil –  American Idol 8 winner, Kris Allen, and his wife Katy welcome Baby Oliver on July 30. Look at how CUTE he is!


Simon Cowell Expecting Baby with Best Friend’s Wife – OH SCANDAL. A report that X Factor head, Simon Cowell, had knocked up the wife of one of his best friends turned out to be TRUE!  Tabloids went absolutely crazy with the news, but the frenzy eventually died down after girlfriend, Lauren Silverman, divorced her husband and Simon appeared to be doing right by his child’s mother.  The baby is a boy, and these days (other than dismal X Factor ratings) Simon seems pleased as punch.

American Idol Season 12 alum, Amber Holcomb Is Pregnant  Amber Holcomb, who finished in 4th place in the competition, posted a sonogram via social media, effectively announcing her pregnancy. The 19 year old’s hometown boyfriend, Lamar Denson, is the father.

Miley Cyrus Shocks Viewers at the VMAs Miley Cyrus, ground up against Robin Thicke for an audacious performance of “We Can’t Stop/Blurred Lines” that also involved self-touching with a giant foam finger and twerking. Later, she would lick hammers while naked and light up a joint on stage, amongst other antics.  Oh, and there was that VERY public feud with Sinead O’Connor. And Kelly Clarkson had an opinion.


X Factor 3 Premiers and it’s Full of RingersLillie McCloud had a hit song in the 80’s. And Rachel Potter was an acclaimed Broadway actress.  Their experience didn’t take them to the end of the competition. Rachel would be eliminated week 3 and Lillie week 6.  Both singers were members of Kelly Rowland’s Over 25 group.

Fik-Shun and Amy Yakima Win So You Think You Can Dance – Congratulations to them! We also got the great news that SYTYCD would be renewed for an 11th season.

Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. – American Idol Dream Team – After months of speculation, the American Idol judges panel was announced. Now, it was time to get the party started.  At a Boston press conference, the first audition city, the trio seemed to have chemistry. It’s a notion that the producers would never let us forget as they promoted the show throughout the fall.

American Idol Winner Candice Glover’s Album Postponed Until February – First, the album, titled, Music Speaks, was moved from July to October. With no promo in sight, it was announced in September that the album would be released in February, way late for an Idol winner’s release. Well, at least Candice got another single, titled “Cried.”


Katharine McPhee’s Marriage Over? Caught Kissing Smash Director – WHOOPS. Katharine McPhee was snapped canoodling in broad daylight with her very married (to actress Mary McCormack)  Smash director, Michael Morris.  In addition, the American Idol season 5 runner-up was separated, but still legally married to Nick Cokas.  The singer has been keeping a low profile ever since.

Kelly Clarkson Gets Married! Announces pregnancy! – The American Idol original winner wed Brandon Blackstock on October 21th in a private ceremony at a Tennessee resort.  Kelly would gush about how she couldn’t wait to have babies. A month later she would announce that she was pregnant, and puking everywhere, making it tough to promote her Wrapped in Red holiday album. The baby is due in April.


Glee Star Amber Riley Wins Dancing with the Stars! – Glee star Amber Riley, and her pro partner, Derek Hough win Dancing with the Stars! The gleeks didn’t let them down, voting them into the #1 position.  It was two wins in a row for Derek, who took the mirror ball trophy with Kellie Pickler in the DWTS spring cycle.

Ruben Studdard Returns to The Biggest Loser – American Idol Season 2 winner, Ruben Studdard, was eliminated from the reality show, The Biggest Loser, only to be brought back under fishy circumstances.  Did trainer, Jillian Michaels really break some rules, or were the producers looking for an excuse to bring back a celebrity player? Because Jillian had given caffeine supplements to her team, the producers invalidated Ruben’s elimination and he was able to come back.  Ruben started out as the heaviest player in the competition, and has since lost over 100 pounds.

The Voice Introduces the Insta-Vote – For the first time, fans will be able to vote via twitter to save a contestant from the bottom 3.  It was a little awkward, as west coast fans had to follow blogs, or the official The Voice twitter to know if their fav was in trouble (not to mention drop what they were doing to vote). But the 5 minute voting frenzy  was kind of fun, and raised the show’s profile on social media.  The hash tag would trend for hours.


Carrie Underwood Stars as Maria in the Sound of MusicCarrie Underwood took a huge risk starring alongside Broadway vets in a live broadcast of The Sound of Music, based on the 1959 stage musical, for NBC. She got some criticism, but in the end she scored for network, which saw its best Thursday night ratings in years, Not prepared for mean people on social media, Carrie lashed out at them. But with a solid performance that made NBC happy, and the support of her fellow actors, who cares what people on the internet think?

Tessanne Chin and Team Adam win The Voice 5 – The big voiced singer had mid-pack written all over her when the competition began. But, Jamaican native, Tessanne Chin, slowly gained momentum throughout the competition, with consistently great vocals. Teenage blues/soul singer, Jacquie Lee was runner up, and Will Champlin, who fought his way to the final came in third.  When Tessanne took the stage to sing her winner’s song, the Ryan Tedder-penned, Tumbling Down, it ended the reign of Blake Shelton. Maybe coach Adam Levine will begin a new dynasty.  The ratings, however, dropped sharply compared to previous finales.

Alex and Sierra win The X Factor 3 – Ironically, the lowest rated singing competition in 2013, may have produced the most commercially viable winners in the folk/pop duo of Alex & Sierra. The lovey-dovey pair re-imagined pop songs to fit their indie style. Even when their vocals weren’t on point, you never mistook them for anyone else.  After Simon lost his country group, Restless Road, he got on board with the pair and wisely allowed them to do their own thing.   Simon has had great success with some of his X Factor UK acts, but not so much here in the US. While Melanie Amaro’s album was shelved (See March), it looks like Season 2 winner, Tate Stevens was dropped from his label too.  Neither made an appearance on the finale.

Simon Cowell says X Factor Will Come back, But He May NotSimon Cowell believes X Factor will return to FOX next year, but maybe not with him on the judging panel. Demi Lovato announced her plans to depart. (Insensitive video packages like this one didn’t help.) But Simon hinted that a big shakeup is forthcoming. Also, if the show returns, it may air only once a week. The finale ratings for the struggling show fell below 2.0.

Duck Dynasty Star Makes Anti-Gay Comments, GLAAD, A&E Respond –  Duck Dynasty patriarch, Phil Robertson, made anti-gay and racist remarks. A&E, the network that airs the show suspended him indefinitely. Family and friends circled the wagons.  Phil said he won’t back down.  A&E caved, reversing the suspension. Phil ended the year by saying more gross stuff about underage marriage.  We’ll have to wait til next year to see if A&E responds, but somehow I doubt it.

About mj santilli 33098 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!