Your Top 12

I just posted screencaps  in the  Top 8 Guys, Top 8 Girls, and Top 16 Results recaps.

Right after Thursday night’s live broadcast, the Top 12 attended a party  in their honor at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood.   EW conducted a fun  Q&A with the  12  here. TV Guide’s Justin Guarini and Kimberly Caldwell interview the finalists here.   And, USA Today’s Idol Chatter blog has an item about the party here.  Read MTV’s article here.

Meanwhile, this wasn’t highly publicized, but, Jennifer Hudson visited the show  during last week’s Top 20 results show.  

Says Jennifer, “I just went to visit the show. I wanted to surprise the kids. I wanted to meet the contestants. It was elimination day. I still remember that day. I still get nervous on Wednesdays, because I was always in the bottom three (to be voted off the show). So I wanted to go and encourage them. The last thing I said is, ‘Remember, it’s OK if you get eliminated!’ I’m the perfect person to tell them that.”

Entertainment Weekly caught up with Paula Abdul at the Top 12 party here.

Simon Cowell, ever the diplomat says he’ll quit the show if Top 12 finalist Sanjaya Malakar  wins it all.  I think a few Idol fans might take that threat as a challenge…

The British telecast of American Idol features Cat Deeley  interviewing the Idols back stage.   Telspy has posted a bunch of these interviews on You Tube.   For your viewing pleasure: Melinda Doolittle, Antonella Barba, Antonella again, Chris Sligh, Chris Sligh again, Chris Richardson, Chris Richardson again, Blake Lewis, Blake Lewis again, Ryan Seacrest.

Listen to this week’s interview with Idol producer Ken Warwick here.

For highlights from the interviews, click on the jump.

Entertainment Weekly asked the contestants if there was any song  they haven’t sung yet, haven’t gotten cleared yet, or would really like to perform:

  • HALEY SCARNATO: ” Songbird” by Eva Cassidy.
  • BRANDON ROGERS: ”Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley.
  • MELINDA DOOLITTLE: Donnie Lane’s ”It’s Not Over, ” Vivian Green’s ”Keep On Going, ” and a James Brown song called ”Bewildered.”
  • BLAKE LEWIS: ”Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap, I kind of want to do that, with strings or maybe a Capella.
  • SANJAYA MALAKAR: ”Are You Going To Be My Girl” [by Jet] ‘  I really wanted to sing that song because it would be really fun to just rock out, but I doubt it’ll ever get cleared.
  • LAKISHA JONES: ”I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston. Yes, definitely. Man, I want to do that one a Capella.
  • JORDIN SPARKS: ”Harder to Breathe” by Maroon 5.
  • GINA GLOCKSEN: ”Who Knew” by Pink, but she doesn’t clear her songs.
  • CHRIS SLIGH: I actually tried to do one of my own songs, and they felt like the show wasn’t ready for it yet. When we get down to, I think, the final three, you get to sing your own choice. I’d love to be able to do my own song at that point. Hopefully America will love me enough to be ready for it. I also wanted to do ”Hysteria” by Muse and ”City of Blinding Lights” by U2, but neither one of those got cleared.
  • PHIL STACEY: Whatever song it is that wins the competition for the winner [of American Idol].


From Who has been the hardest goodbye so far?

  • Gina Glocksen: For me it would be my roommate [Leslie Hunt]. She lived in the same city as I do, in Chicago, and we formed a bond during the hiatus.
  • Chris Sligh: For me, Rudy [Cardenas]. We met at our first audition in Memphis. And Sundance [Head], tonight, was really, really tough to say goodbye to.
  • Blake Lewis: Sundance. He was a really great friend to me. I loved him, I loved his voice…. [On Thursday] he experienced a tragic loss in his family, as well, which makes the whole competition seem like a really small deal. My heart really goes out to him.
  • Melinda Doolittle: Pretty much everybody, because I’m kind of the older one here, so I’m like the mama and these are my babies going home, and I can’t stand it!
  • Blake Lewis: This is true. You should see Melinda on elimination day. She loves everybody.
  • Jordin Sparks: I’ve grown to love a ton of people, but it was really hard to say goodbye to Sundance and Jared [Cotter].
  • Brandon Rogers: I love everybody, but the difficult one was Jared. He and I became very close, and that’s my boy. I don’t know if the camera showed it, but Jordin and I  were sort of the first two in tears. I really didn’t expect it. I think he’s a great singer, a fantastic songwriter and a really great guy.
  • Lakisha Jones: Everybody, really, because we’ve been together for a while and everybody’s good and everybody’s talented. I wish everybody the best of luck.
  • Chris Richardson: For me, A.J. [Tablado]. He was my roommate and my best friend here, and it was really hard to see him go, but like Lakisha said, it’s so hard to let go of anybody, because you do become a family.
  • Sanjaya Malakar: Amy [Krebs]. We were representing Seattle, plane buddies and all, so that was really hard, and I really admired her for her voice. Her tone was really pure.
  • Stephanie Edwards: Antonella was my roommate and I loved her. We were becoming so close. I cried like a baby.

Sound bites from the article:

  • About last Thursday’s results from Simon Cowell: “Tons of surprises, but it wouldn’t be ‘American Idol’ without it, would it…At the end of the day, I could go out and find 12 great singers,  but that’s kind of boring. The fact that there’s people there who shouldn’t be there makes it ‘American Idol.'”
  • For the record, Cowell is actually hoping for a “battle of the divas, ” with Melinda Doolittle edging out Lakisha Jones and Stephanie Edwards. “I like her humility, ” he said of professional backup singer Doolittle. “I like the fact that she’s happy to be on the show and she’s giving 100 percent. She’s got passion.”
  • Brandon Rogers,  was “glowing” from a  congratulatory e-mail he received from former employer and pop star Anastacia.
  • Blake Lewis was excited to hear that 311 singer Nick Hexum approved of his “All Mixed Up” performance Tuesday, and  said he plans to push the envelope even further. “Maybe I’ll do some Bjà ¶rk, ” he said. “I was trying to get an R&B/rap song cleared, and it didn’t. I’m just trying to do music that inspires me.”
  • Chris Sligh says, “My Christian faith is obviously very important to me, but I don’t see myself in the contemporary Christian world, ” he said. “I did the DC Talk song because I thought the message was so universal.”
  • Phil Stacey says, “With the Navy Rock Band…I do My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy, so we’ll see.”

Ken Warwick’s Interview with

  • Ken felt the boys picked unfamiliar songs that did not “press the buttons with the public or with us.”
  • Although, Ken thought that Blake Lewis made his unfamiliar song memorable.
  • He didn’t think Sanjaya Malakar’s  hairdo did him any favors.   He thinks he’s a weak vocalist, but the young girls will vote for him.
  • Sundance Head–Ken felt that Pearl Jam has a very limited audience.   He incorrectly remembers Sundance’s song from last week as “Sweet Home Alabama”  while suggesting contestants perform songs that people will remember.
  • Ken thinks we have not heard the best from Chris Richardson yet.
  • Ken thought Jared Cotter chose a strange song.
  • He said Brandon Rogers has charisma and that we have not heard the best from him.
  • Phil Stacey chose a bad song.
  • He thinks Chris Sligh has a good voice. He’s sure that Chris will be in the Top 12.
  • A listener asks about American Idol DVDs.   Ken says that they don’t issue DVD’s of the entire series because the song rights are a nightmare to secure.
  • Ken says that they have not been able to get Eagles’ songs, although “Desperado” and “Take it Easy” have been performed on the show.
  • Jordin Sparks is lovely, and is a performer beyond her years.
  • Ken says Sabrina Sloan needs to show more personality.   He says she comes over quite “hard.”
  • Ken talks about Antonella Barba’s “scandal”. He says that Antonella’s pictures were personal.   Her spring-break pics proved that she’s not boring and what lots of girls do on spring break.   Frenchie was on an “organized website”. The two misdemeanors are not comparable.   He adds that she will have a tough time in a singing competition.
  • Simon Cowell’s remarks to Haley Scarnato upset Ken. He thought the remark about not remembering her name  was  very cruel.   It made him mad.  He thinks she’s quite commercial and that she can sing.
  • Stephanie Edwards has a great voice.
  • Lakisha Jones is a “fabulous thing.”
  • Gina Glocksen came out fighting.   It’s good she is doing “edgier” stuff.
  • Melinda Doolittle has to be careful that she has someplace to go, but she is a brilliant singer.
About mj santilli 33697 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!


  1. MJ, nor only will fans perceive Simon’s statement about leaving the show if Sanjaya wins a challenge; I feel that Vote For The Worst members are probably rubbing their hand in glee, ready to take up the gauntlet. So poor, sweet Sanjaya may be with us for a while.

  2. I think that America will quit watching the show if Simon leaves. Simon makes the show.

    Sanjaya better not win.

  3. If Lakisha does “I will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston acapella as she wants to and nails it, I predict she wins the whole competition.

  4. This has to rank up there with the worst group of 12 ever! I do have my favorites, but none of them are making me want to vote. It’s going to be a long season.

  5. Jeez, from the song choice comments, Chris Sligh seems pretty certain he is going to be in the top 3.

  6. “Songbird” by Eva Cassidy is an excellent choice for Haley … much better than the bland stuff she has been doing. Her song choices will be her downfall if she fails to pick something unique and suited to her style.

  7. If Lakisha does à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…“I will Always Love Youà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬  by Whitney Houston acapella as she wants to and nails it, I predict she wins the whole competition.

    She has to pick songs that will get her to a week where she could do it first. She has a great voice, don’t get me wrong. But she’s been boring, and I could see her leaving the competition early as she splits votes with Stephanie and Melinda.

    Plus, Dolly Parton owns the rights to the song and hasn’t cleared it for Idol thus far. I don’t know if she would even clear it or not…

  8. Diana, I was thinking that exact same thing about both Chris S. and Phil, wondering if either one of them could be the mysterious egotastic contestant to whom Sundance alluded on Ryan’s radio show last Friday ( check it here). I really want to know who he was talking about. I hope it’s not Blake because I really like him and would hate to find out that he’s that cocky. Plus, he’s representin’ for the Pacific Northwest! I prefer to merely think of Blake as confident. :ponder_tb:

    So, how can we find out for realz who the arrogant self-proclaimed winner is already?


  9. Jennifer Hudson really did that? I am surprised with Simon’s ugly comments of late that AI let her come around. That was very kind of her to give them some encouragement. Hats off to JH!

  10. Hey bad kitty.. I can almost gurantee you Blake was not the one Sundance was talking about.
    I read that Justun Guarini asked Blake how did he feel he was going to do and Blake said that his goal was at least to make it to the Top 10 because he wanted to go on tour.
    He seems confident when he performs (which is a plus to us, but he is a humble humble guy when he interviews..)

    I am leaning towards thinking Sundance was talking about Chris Sligh but maybe Sundance is just trying to stir some controversy. Just my two cents.

    Go Blake Go!

  11. I believe the ego one Sundance was talking about is Chris Sligh. He’s a little too cocky for my taste. If you watch the videos on YouTube of his interviews — he’s just way too confident.

    I have a funny —– one of the radio station DJs in my area said Phil Stacey sounded like a transvestite when he was singing the LeeAnn Rimes song…..hahahaha…..listed to it with your eyes closed and he really does !

  12. I think it’s Sligh’s humor & Sundance is taking it literally.

    As for JHUd… do you think she heard about the huge AI charity & dropped in because she would like to be invited? She is a bit mean about SimonGrowl because someone rewound previous shows for me and Simon was all for her until a very bad performance

    From Linda Sharp’s blog:

    Performance 1: You were great

    Performance 2: You proved why you are in the final 12.

    Performance 3: Youà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ve put yourself in the position to be the front runner.

    Performance 4: Youà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ve created something weà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ve never had before à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬ ¦ the battle of the divas.

    Performance 5 (which was uncharacteristically bad): Out of your depth on that one.

    And when she was voted off for that poor showing? All Simon could muster was “Tongue. Floor.” meaning he was completely speechless

  13. I would love to hear Phil Stacey sing Fall Out Boy. So far he has been the King of Muzac for song choice ( although I have always loved Missing You).

    I’d vote for Sanjaya just because of Simon’s comment, except I’m not voting this year. I don’t really want to see what would happen to the poor kid if Simon had to deal with another winner that he despised.

    I realize Sanjaya pales in grow the most in the competition and his voice is very pcomparison to the rest of the pack, but he is also the one who could ure. I kinda liked Idol a lot more back when the real amateurs with a good voice had a chance…

  14. I also think that Chris Sligh is probably the one who thinks he will win. But you have to remember a couple of things…

    1) His humor (we all heard him say he’s looking forward to singing Do I Make You Proud at the finale, hehe) and … come on, what’s wrong with thinking you are going to win?

    2) What other competition do people go into telling themselves, “I’m just happy to be here, so whatever happens, I’m satisfied”… by the way, Nick Pedro said something similar and he was eliminated in the second vote-off.

  15. I think it will definitely be taken as a challenge by some to try to get Sanjaya to win and therefore have Simon quit. . .But I don’t think we have to worry about either event taking place. Sanjaya can’t win and Simon wouldn’t quit even if he did. . this is all just Simon making good television and lots of press.

  16. Thanks for all the article links MJ! Some of these I had not seen.

    Sundance actually retracted his statement about someone having an ego:

    On Ryan Seacrest’s radio show you mentioned that you think another one of the male stars thinks he has the competition in the bag.
    I actually need to retract that statement. I love all the dudes on the show and I was baited into that question and I tried to answer it in a funny way but it spun out of control. I just want to say now that all the guys on the show are extremely genuine guys. I have no hard feelings, even for Sanjaya Malakar. He’s young, he doesn’t have a lot of confidence in his voice right now, but that’s going to come to him as he grows. He’s going to be a success in the music biz. He’s full of talent à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬’ he’s going to go real far.

    So we can all stop hating on Blake and Chris Sligh now, heh. ;)

  17. Ugh, I was evidently in the reverse-ometer when I was typing above.

    Almost everyone in the competition is a semi-pro, except for Sanjaya. He also has the biggest opportunity for growth. The old American Idol would applaud this. The new American Idol has no place for amateurs (Nick, Antonella, Sanjaya).

    I kinda miss the old Idol where a true unknown voice could be heard.

  18. Hmm, interesting thoughts on that issue…I hadn’t considered the possibility that Chris Sligh might have said it in a tongue-in-cheek way – he does have a dry sense of humor, after all.

    And, while there is really nothing wrong with thinking you might win, I just think that anyone who is that convinced they have it in the bag at this (still pretty early) stage of the game is probably more than a little bit cocky is all.

    I heard about Sundance’s “retraction” later today, but I think that came from the AI people being such bullies and censoring anything/everything they can/want. I mean, Sundance wouldn’t just randomly say something like that – it had to come from somewhere, right?

    And it’s not THAT big of a deal, but I really hate the way the AI people are such bullies with their rampant censorship (of what contestants may/may not say, on the official AI boards [the worst, re: censorship] and revoking the privilege of showing AI clips on The View because they don’t like something that was said on there. I just think it’s ridiculous – it’s like they’re the mean kid on the playground. Blech.

  19. No way would Simon walk from the show, even if Sanjaya won.

    It’s all a ploy to increase vote totals, I suspect the numbers are down from last year.

  20. I enjoyed the Cat interviews. I think she likes Blake. :wub_tb:

    I hope for the rest of the season we don’t have to hear any more Whitney, Celine, or Mariah songs. Not only are they boring to me after hearing so many idols try them but then we have to hear Randy and Simon tell them they shouldn’t attempt them unless they can do as well as the original singer. Someone should tell them that all of the songs are covers.

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