”American Idol”: Throw Syesha From the Train
INTERIOR. A DARK HOLLYWOOD SOUNDSTAGE. Dressed in a slinky, metallic-sequined gown, a blindfolded SYESHA MERCADO is led by a pair of GOONS to center stage, where she is tied to a wooden post. One of the men lights the extra long cigarette hanging from Syesha’s mouth. She inhales, chin held high, betraying no hint of fear or desperation.
Suddenly, the floodlights are switched on. Syesha finds herself facing an angry semicircle of VIOLIN PLAYERS. From stage left, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER NIGEL LYTHGOE rubs his hands and salivates, while a deathly quiet falls over the audience. The JUDGES take their seats and prepare to speak.
Nigel Lythgoe on Jeff Archuleta: It’s about taking “some pressure away here”
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: There have been reports that Jeff Archuleta was banished from backstage, but then David’s vocal coach gave a radio interview in which he said that wasn’t the case. What light can you shed on this?
NIGEL LYTHGOE: “Banished” is a terrible word, isn’t it? It sounds like we’re in some far-off kingdom. He has been asked not to participate in the choice of music with David or be in the room when David is working out his routines that he wants to sing. He’s fine to be in the studio — nothing wrong with that. We just want David to be able to be free like everybody else to get on and do what they want to do.
‘American Idol’ Recap: David Cook Continues To Sizzle; Syesha Mercado Finally Fizzles Out
Tuesday night’s penultimate “Idol” performance show reminded us that after three long months, the seventh season crown will go to either “a high school student, ” “an actress” or “a barrrrtender.” (Considering who we started with this year, it’s a good thing America voted the way it did, otherwise Seacrest would have had to refer to a male stripper, a sushi waitress, a horse whisperer, a Rastafarian, a failed major-label pop star or a bald failed pop star instead.)
The remaining contestants each had three songs to perform: judge’s choice, contestant’s choice and producer’s choice. (I hope Nigel Lythgoe allowed executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz in on the conversations. Going by her name alone, I bet she has a lot of spunk.)
The High School Student, The Actress or the Bartender–Who’s Going Home From American Idol?
In which we try to predict whether or not Randy’s dubbing Syesha “No. 3” of the final three American Idol contestants was some sort of astrological prediction written in the star-chart shirt he wore last night’ or another piece of the mounting pile of evidence that the producers have been gaming the system for a David/David finale since the night Chikezie was eliminated. For anecdotal purposes, DialIdol ranks the hopefuls Cook-Archuleta-Mercado, while the top Idol-related search term on Google Trends is (ugh) “Switchfoot, ” at No. 57. America: It can’t get enough of that post-millennial grunge! Vote after the jump.
Many Roads to the Final 3
Just two months ago, twelve strangers stepped onto this stage, bearing the weight of a multi-gazillion dollar entertainment powerhouse on their collective shoulders. Eight weeks later, the crowd Tuesday in the Idoldome was no longer swooning for mere firmaments in the franchise galaxy, but as the fans of three individuals who have sung through fire and earned their places among Idol immortals.
Ultimately, what was quantified by this column as the most talented season in Idol history, has produced a Final Three worthy of the name, and three individuals worthy to stand with the Final Three of any season. Along the way, giants have fallen; the loss of Michael Johns and of the greatest performer in Idol history (also most electrifying) Carly Smithson, still sting. And the lights still shine bright from the supporting cast – Chikezie Eze, Ramiele Malubay, Jason Castro, Kristy Lee Cook, David Hernandez, Brooke White and Amanda Overmyer, still with two months hindsight, not a forgettable talent amongst them.
American Idol Banter: Who Are They Really
In the climactic moments of what should have been a thrill-inducing semi-final, the three most dutiful finalists ever to dominate “American Idol” fulfilled homeroom teacher Ryan Seacrest’s opening descriptions so perfectly, one suspected the producers has slipped in animatronic replacements for the nervous wrecks we’ve seen the past couple of weeks.
Not that Seacrest’s tags were that creative. He called David Archuleta “a high school student, ” Syesha Mercado “an actress, ” and David Cook “a bartender” — that last one got a mortified guffaw from the Missouri rocker. But in a show devoted to song choices from the judges, the producers and the contestants themselves, the singers’ most memorable performances mined the truth behind these simple labels.
Recap: Thrice As Nice for ‘American Idol’ Top Three
After a day that started at 5 a.m. with ABC’s upfront presentation, this writer is ready to settle in for a soothing trio of songs from the American Idol Top Three, a group described, in Breakfast Club-esque fashion as The High School Student, The Actress and The Bartender. Would Tuesday’s (May 13) performances clarify the race to the finale or just muddy the waters?
American Idol: Top 3 Perform
A high-schooler, an actress and a bartender. One of them is your next American Idol. The other two are going back to their day jobs. Who’s it going to be? We have three songs each tonight to try and narrow that down. Could there be an upset in the making? Can Super-Syesha skate back once again and escape elimination or is the wall of Davids just too strong to break? My wife officially declared that Syesha’s dress is too big for her, so I countered that David Cook’s head is too big for him. “But she can change hers, ” she retorted. Point to the wife.
‹Idol final seems a lock to be battle of Davids
With just one week to go until the …American Idol season finale, Ryan Seacrest made it clear that it anybody competition to win. Each contestant was reportedly within a million votes of each other a week ago, so it wouldnt take much to make a difference.
The judges gave everyone both compliments and criticism Tuesday night, but by the end of the hour it was clear who they were hoping for. Theyve talked about a David Archuleta-David Cook final for weeks, and if Syesha Mercado crashes the party, it wont be because Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell tried to sway the jury on her behalf.
Even the Judges and Producers have Trouble with Song Choice
Argh. It was the traditional top three night on …American Idol, where none of the judges takes his or her own advice. Simon chose a song that was not …current. Randy chose a too new song by one of the divas whose songs should not be touched. And Paula picked a freakin Billy Joel ballad.
Then there were the producers. If there any question as to why the debut albums put forth by the …American Idol winners usually suck, this night certainly provided some insight. Theoretically, these are supposed to be the most knowledgeable people about what popular out there in the pop music world. Somehow I dont think a Dan Fogelberg cover, a song from a cartoon about dancing penguins starring Frodo, and an overwrought ballad from the much-maligned …Armageddon (Why does Michael Bay get to keep on making movies?) could ever make the grade on Seacrest Top 40 radio show.
American Idol: Best & Worst FashionLooking back at this ‘American Idol’ season’s 10 fashion victories and 10 style setbacks — and you don’t get off easy, Paula
Inside the Stage Dad Controversy: David A., Producer Speak OutHow much of a stage dad is Jeff Archuleta, really? This past week, it was widely reported that David Archuleta’s dad was formally barred from the backstage of Idol, and particularly in conjunction with his overbearing approach to helping David with song selection.
In response to the rumors, however, David’s denying outright that his dad’s well-known meddling is troublesome. He told TV Guide: “I’ve heard some weird things that people have been saying, and it’s kind of a bummer. I think I, of all people, would know what’s going on, and he’s been great.” Not only that, but the young Archuleta insists he’s embracing his dad’s advice. “He’s given me a lot of good advice, ” David said, “and helped me from making any dumb decisions. He understands more than anyone what I want in music, and I’ve felt really blessed to have someone like that.”
‘American Idol’ Front-Runner David Archuleta Speaks Out About His Dad: ‘I Don’t Really Care What People Say’
“American Idol” front-runner David Archuleta has spoken out in support of his father, amid reports that Jeff Archuleta has been banned from the show’s backstage.
“I don’t really care what people say, but I know it’s affected him and stressed him out, ” the younger Archuleta said in the newest issue of TV Guide, according to UsMagazine.com.
The final straw appeared to be a lyric change Jeff Archuleta reportedly insisted on during last week’s performance show. Despite being warned against it, David’s father is said to have requested alterations to the lyrics of Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” in order to slip in a verse from Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls, ” a move that reportedly cost the production additional song-clearance costs.
Idol Syesha finds her soul and a change is gonna come
Never underestimate the value of a Halle Berry moment.
Berry, of course, is the Hollywood actress who — accepting the first best-actress Oscar ever awarded to an African-American for her performance in Monster’s Ball — visibly teared up, invoked the country’s divided racial history and turned her acceptance speech into a pop culture tour de force.
Local Syesha fans cheer on their ‘Idol’
Even though Syesha Mercado couldn’t hear it, her hometown fan base was cheering her on loud and proud Tuesday night during “American Idol.”
Some of those cheers came from Applebee’s in Ellenton at an “Idol” viewing party where fans ate dinner and watched the rising star do her best to shine.
‹American Idol: How Can Syesha Stay Alive?
This is either the hardest or easiest night of the season if you are Syesha Mercado. It’s hard because you have been dissed by the Zeitgeist. The David-versus-David finale is destiny, we have all been told. It is to be man against boy, comb-over against nervous giggle, “I found this great alternative arrangement” against “I sometimes sing this to my dog.” On the other hand, it’s easy, because Syesha is the contestant with nothing to lose, and as you know if you’ve watched a few movies about renegade cops, that makes her very, very dangerous.
VIDEO Q&A: Jason Castro Answers Your Questions
Plus, well, a few of mine own. In his TVGuide.com video sit-down, Jason talks about “packing his suitcase” at Simon’s urging, the “weirdness” of American Idol fame, his career plans and, yes, the hair. Enjoy! ‘ Matt Mitovich
Jason Castro addresses burning ‘Idol’ questions
In part one of the Dreadlocked Dude’s official Idolatry interview, he discusses whether or not he received an apology regarding Paulagate, if he treated dress rehearsals as seriously as his televised Idol performances, and why he seemed to lose some of his spark during Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Week. (More Jason footage coming Wednesday and Thursday, but I thought you all might prefer to get these answers sooner, rather than later.)
Kellie Pickler’s biological mother is taking a cue from Angelina Jolie’s father, Jon Voight, by using the media to try to arrange a reunion with her estranged child.
“I love my daughter with my whole heart and I just want to wrap my arms around her, ” Cynthia Malone told “Inside Edition.”
But the 21-year-old singer isn’t in a hurry to rekindle the relationship that ended when Malone abandoned Pickler as a 2-year-old tot.
“My grandmother was my mother and when she passed away we buried my mother as well, ” Pickler said.
‘Idol’ alum Ace Young’s dream is coming true
From Grammys and gold records to college and day jobs, life after American Idol is a mix of the ordinary and the entertaining. In this ninth and final installment, USA TODAY catches up with a former finalist:
It’s not quite the American dream, but close enough: Guy goes from selling cellphones upon arrival in L.A. to being hired by the same company to promote the cellphones.
If only the people at Cingular remembered ever having an employee named Ace Young.
Flint’s LaKisha Jones describes life after ‘American Idol’ and reality television as ‘really blessed’
GENESEE COUNTY, Michigan — LaKisha Jones sports a shorter, sassier hairdo. She’s recording a CD of R & B/soul, inspirational and “hip hopish” songs. She’s completed a three-month stint on Broadway as a cast member of “The Color Purple.”
But deep down, she’s the same Kiki who grew up in Flint and sang at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, said the “American Idol” standout.
“I’m still the same girl who had a dream of singing and wondered how I would get the world to see me, ” she said.
‹Bones recap: Swan Song?
What a way to race toward the season finale: a relatively tight murder mystery, a lot of humor, and an emotional (if not suspenseful) cliffhanger. Not to mention combining Bones with another PopWatch favorite, American Idol. Season 6’s Brandon Rogers helped set the open mic scene with his version a Pippin song, and season 5’s Ace Young (pictured) played the talented victim. As with all our vics, more than one person had motive to kill the not-so-nice and ambitious singer, from the cheated gym owner to the stalker client, Pam Nunan (Jennifer Hasty). But it was his hyper-sensitive artist neighbor who took a clay string to the stoned singer’s throat and tried to cover it up. (I do wonder, though, why, after killing someone in the name of getting peace and quiet, would he live with the ongoing alarm instead of just breaking into the apartment to silence it? Or was that supposed to be all Tell-tale Heart-esque?)
“Idol” runner-up to perform at Station Square
PITTSBURGH ‘ Kelly Clarkson, the …American Idol Season One winner, got to sing for the Pope.
Justin Guarini, the …American Idol Season One runner-up, gets to sing at Station Square.
Hey, a gig a gig, and Guarini should expect a big crowd May 24 as he starts belting out tunes for the free …Rock the Block concert outside the Station Square Hard Rock Cafe.
Afterward, Guarini will hold a meet-and-greet with fans, who will include many of the 6, 000 high school female athletes arriving in Pittsburgh that day for the East Coast Volleyball Championships.
American Idol: Season 6 Finale Performance Show The Top DVD Review
American Idol Season 7 is in the homestretch and is winding down. It wont be long before the winner is announced and the whole thing is in the record books. It seems like the season has gone by pretty quickly. Heck, it seems like only yesterday we were watching the showdown between Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis in the finale for Season 6.
If you were a fan of either of those contestants then Id recommend picking up a copy of the American Idol: Season 6 Final Performance Show – The Top 2 DVD that hitting stores today. I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of it from Koch Vision. Of course, I saw the show live last season, but watching it again I was somewhat surprised by how well the performances held up.
Ford Readies 2009 Focus Coupe for American Idol Reveal
Ford has released images of its new 2009 Focus coupe along with an announcement that it plans to show off the car to the wider American public during tomorrow episode of the hugely popular American Idol. The Ford brass should cross its fingers that Paula doesnt accidentally call it a Chevy.
The new coupe version of the surprisingly popular Focus offers most prominently a restyle, inspired in part by Ford customer feedback. Thankfully the ungainly chrome fender vents from the standard Focus have been eighty-sixed, with the coupe offering a less cluttered, if slightly slab-sided profile. There also a new front fascia, a pair of fog lamps, and a set of really nice 17-inch …Dark Chrome wheels.
They’re Your Kids Not Your Clients
A few years ago I went to an American Idol dress rehearsal and met the contestants in the make-up room. Diana DeGarmo had one of these hovering oppressive mothers. The AI staff member introduced me and mentioned some of my credits. All of the kids feigned giving a sh*t, politely said hello, and I left. Two minutes later Diana DeGarmo literally came sprinting down the hallway after me. She shook my hand, said what a pleasure it was to meet me, couldn’t have been more effusive and bubbly. And as she was doing this all I kept thinking was, “I bet her mother said ‘Diana, didn’t you hear what they just said? He’s a Hollywood PRODUCER. Get your ass out there and introduce yourself to that f**king idiot NOW!”
I felt so sorry for her. As I do for all those kids who have auditioned for me over the years.
Whenever there’s a casting call, there they are — little robots just out of school, nicely dressed, sitting obediently in a room while their stage parents read Variety, check their Blackberrys for callbacks, and scream at agents on their cellphones. Meanwhile, these kids’ classmates are playing baseball, hanging out in the mall, ripping people on Facebook, drinking when no one’s looking — you know, normal healthy kid activities.
And sometimes when the choice is down to two and they’re pretty equal I choose the one who I think would be screamed at the loudest if he didn’t get the part.
TV Guide Network Celebrates ‹Idol Mania with an Entire Week of Programming Dedicated to America #1 Show and More Than 100 Hours of Idol Programming
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–TV Guide Network will premiere more than 100 hours of special …Idol themed programming devoted to covering the final days leading up to the grand finale when America idol is chosen. Idol Finale Week on TV Guide Network kicks off on Saturday, May 17th with the following programming lineup: