Paula re-signs with American Idol

Submitted by The Critic on Thu, 2006-03-30 11:48
Paula Abdul

You may recall recently all the fuss about Paula's antics on American Idol and how the producers were supposedly trying to rein her in. There was even discussion as to whether or not they would turf her out and replace her with a new bimbo, ie Jessica Simpson. Thankfully that isn't going to happen.

As it turns out, Paula Abdul has re-signed with American Idol for another three years. That should be comforting for the producers to know that there will be plenty more Paula vs Simon action to keep the fans talking about the show an asking why they never got rid of her when they had the chance.


American Idol Extra - Episode 3 Review

Submitted by The Critic on Wed, 2006-03-29 22:20
American Idol Extra

The judges were pretty rough on Lisa Tucker last night and tonight she has departed American Idol leaving 9 contestants left in the hunt. Ty joins Lisa on the stage and says that he just overheard Simon Cowell saying that he'd thought she had the best voice in the competition. Lisa is ok that she made it into the Top 10 and she's looking forward to going on the American Idol Summer Tour. They joke that Simon should say the nice stuff on performance night.

Ty tells us he was in the studio last night rocking out to the songs of the 21st century with American Idol 3 contestant George Huff. We have a bit of relook at what the judges had to say about the performances last night before we get to catch up with Mikalah Gordon and Matt Rogers who are back stage mingling with the stars. Matt talks with talkshow host Ricki Lake about singing songs of the 21st century before moving on to Kristy Swanson and Deborah Gibson before Joel McHale tells us that he'd urinate all over himself if he had to do that. Paige Davis tells Matt how much of a fan of that show that she is. Season 4 contestant Amanda Avila is also in the house adding to the string of previous contestants reappearing on the set.

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Randy says that singing songs from the 21st century was a real test to see if they've got what it takes to make it in todays business. A test he adds that most of them failed. Randy says that it's going to be harder out in the real world when you compare what the judges have to say.

Matt Rogers is backstage with Simon who is not surprized that Lisa went home. Both Simon and Randy weren't surprized with the bottom three. Matt asks if Simon feels responsible for contestants going home after their comments. Of course, Simon says not at all.

Vocal coach Debra Byrd talks with Ty again about Lisa's elimination. Debra says that Lisa absolutely nailed Kelly Clarkson - Because of You - Because of You Because Of You during rehearsals but when she went home and watch the show back, she heard what the judges heard. It was a brave song choice because she knew that she would be compared to the first American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson.

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We take a look at Lisa's first audition and Byrd says that her singing lessons were showing and that she was too polished and mechanical. She told her that she needs to remember that she's only 16 and that she needs to have some fun.

Mo'nique is backstage talking with Matt again saying that she'd be the next American Idol if she auditioned. Somehow I don't think so.

The top nine tell us the first concert they ever went to:

Taylor Hicks: Tina Turner Tina Turner and Lionel Richie Lionel Richie
Kellie Pickler:
Kenny Chesney Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban Keith Urban
Ace Young:
Eagles The Eagles
Bucky Covington:
Barry Manilow Barry Manilow
Mandisa Hundley:
New Edition New Edition
Chris Daughtry:
Live Live
Paris Bennett:
Sounds Of Blackness Sounds of Blackness
Katharine McPhee:
Christina Aguilera Christina Aguilera
Elliott Yamin:
Prince Prince

Outside the studios, the idols sign autographs. Inside, Matt Rogers has a surprize for George Huff. We take a look at what George has been doing over the last 6 months. Being from New Orleans he has been putting his energy into his community. His album George Huff Miracles has a track George Huff - Miracles - Hold On to Love Hold on to Love which he talks a little about and how essential they are to the time. George takes us for a tour through parts of New Orleans before we see him on stage helping inspire the hearts of the people. Katrina has helped him realize what is important and what isn't important. Matt gives George an album with photos that that they used on American Idol that blows George away because he lost all his photo albums and American Idol stuff in the hurricane.

Mikalah Gordon is in the studio talking to music director Ricky Minor. Ricky is rehearsing on his bass guitar. Ricky tells us that he is responsible for hiring all the musicians and directing the band as to what they play and how they play it. Ricky also tells us how the contestants go from singing acappela during the auditions to a pianist and a couple of background vocalists. Then in the top 24 there is a five piece band and three singers. In the top 12, they work with the crew that perform music at the Grammys. With a live band they've shown they can really show what they can do.

Paula tells Matt that Lisa Tucker is the first 16 year old poised for stardom before we get to catch up with Diana Degarmo from season 3 of American Idol. Diana says that she's been very busy since the show after completing the Idols tour and releasing her debut album, Diana DeGarmo - Blue Skies Blue Skies. Currently she's doing the musical Hairspray on Broadway. We get to see some of the clips of Diana's childhood perfomances. She tells us how she got the part in the musical before she gives us the tour of the theatre where she is working.

Matt is backstage with Lisa's family. Again, Lisa's mom is so proud. Lisa's dad is really sad for her though because he knows how hard she's been working and sacrificing to get here. Lisa tells her parents that she couldn't have done it without them.

Ty finally gets to sit down with Lisa and he tells her that he's really proud of her for choosing to sing a Kelly Clarkson number. Lisa says she was really happy with the song choice and was at peace about it. Ty asks if at 16 she has the ability to really take a song and making it her own. She says that she's had compliments in the past for changing songs up because she's done music for so long.We take a look at what the judges had to say before Ty asks what she thought of their comments after Simon originally thought she could win the competition. She says that Simon hurt her feelings a little but it meant a lot when he came up tonight and said that she has one of the best voices in the competition.

The remaining contestants say some nice things about Lisa and she says she is going to miss them all but is looking forward to hanging out with them all again on tour.

Ty says that she is so composed and it's hard to believe that she's only 16. She says it's hard because she has had to do 3 hours of school a day before being thrown into make up and then onto the stage. We also learn that Lisa was voted homecoming queen this year.

Lisa says hi to all her friends at John K Kennedy high school and thanks them for their support. She says it's fun being all glamed up after she used to go to school in sweat pants and tennis shoes. We get to see a montage of Lisa's time on the show. Lisa says she thinks that she has really grown a lot since her first audition. She says that she's a rocker at heart and if she was to do an album it would be pop/rnb with a little bit of rock thrown in there for measure.

Talking about next week's country theme, Lisa says that it's going to be great before she tells us about a necklace that was given to her from a special someone who she wont name but she kisses before she goes on stage to perform.

Ty says farewell and we see Lisa's final performance.


What happened America?

Submitted by The Critic on Wed, 2006-03-29 21:17
Click here to buy American Idol posters!
Click here to buy American Idol posters!

So help me out here America, I'm confused. I know Bucky Covington possibly had his best week yet on American Idol but come one. Putting Katharine McPhee into the bottom three instead? What happened? Seriously?

I wonder whether the poor performances of the first few contestants caused people to flick over to catch Scrubs on NBC and miss the better performers at the end of the show.

If that is the case then that would explain why Katharine managed to get the third lowest number of votes this week to place her in the position of wondering if her time was up. The response across the internet at her inclusion in the bottom three was fairly close to mine. How the.. what the...??!

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And then, to have Ace Young be sent back to the bleachers? No offense to Ace's fans but seriously, his performance last night really wasn't his best and fell a long way short of Katharine McPhee's version of Christina Aguilera - Voices - The Voice Within The Voice Within.

Of course, with Katharine being a hot favourite it would be in the producers best interests to have her in the bottom three. She's not going to get eliminated, but boy will she get the hackles up of her fans.

More than anything, it should incite a voting frenzy next week.

Interestingly enough, had Katharine McPhee tipped to be the one leaving.


Idolblog Popularity Tracker - March 29, 2006

Submitted by The Critic on Wed, 2006-03-29 21:04

Here is the latest Idolblog popularity tracker based on the results of our polls.

Idolblog Popularity Tracker

As you can tell, there has been some big swings in popularity between Chris Daughtry and Taylor Hicks. At this point it would appear that the only other contendor at this stage of the competition would be Katharine McPhee, despite her being in the bottom 3 this week.

The interesting thing will be to watch where contestants votes shift to as they are eliminated from the competition. Stay tuned for the weekly popularity tracker.

American Idol Episode 25 - Top 10 Elimination Review

Submitted by The Critic on Wed, 2006-03-29 19:30
Click here to buy American Idol posters!
Click here to buy American Idol posters!

After last night's shocking episode they could almost have a bottom 7. That aint going to happen though so to make up for the poor performances last night, Shakira and Wyclef Jean are in the house to perform their new single Shakira & Wyclef Jean - Oral Fixation, Vol. 2 - Hips Don't Lie (featuring Wyclef Jean) Hips Don't Lie.

Onto the weekly review of our polls and our bottom three this week as voted by you is Ace Young (2%) followed by Bucky Covington (2%) then Lisa Tucker (3%).

There is a slight gap to the rest of the field with Kellie Pickler (7%), Mandisa Hundley (8%), Elliott Yamin (9%) and Paris Bennett (10%) filling the middle places while Chris Daughtry (17%) and Katharine McPhee (16%) head the top places with Taylor Hicks (26%) is again the favourite.

When it comes down to who you want to see go home it's a close race but Bucky Covington (29%) just edges out Lisa Tucker (25%) while Ace Young (17%) isn't too far behind.

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Stay tuned for details as they come to hand.

Chris, Paris, Taylor, Mandisa, and Kellie are all safe.

Bottom 3: Lisa Tucker, Ace Young and Katharine McPhee

Going home: Lisa Tucker


American Idol Episode 24 - Top 10 Performance Review

Submitted by The Critic on Tue, 2006-03-28 19:04
Click here to buy American Idol posters!
Click here to buy American Idol posters!

Kevin Covais left American Idol last week leaving us with 10 contestants to perform Songs from the 21st Century on tonight's show. After all of your votes are tallied, before we eliminate the next contestant, Shakira and Wyclef Jean will perform their new single Shakira & Wyclef Jean - Oral Fixation, Vol. 2 - Hips Don't Lie (featuring Wyclef Jean) Hips Don't Lie. Make sure you don't miss tomorrow's elimination for that!

So who is going to rip it up tonight? I am interested to see how Lisa Tucker and Paris Bennett perform tonight singing songs from their generation considering they've been singing songs that were barely around when their parents were teenagers. Ok, you know what I mean. In any case, we should be in for a great show tonight. Feel free to post your thoughts on tonight's show in the comments below.

Lisa Tucker
Song choice: Kelly Clarkson - Because of You - Because of You Because of You
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5701
TXT Vote to 5701
My Thoughts: This is the first time I've heard Lisa sing badly. It's really bad actually and is making me wonder whether she really should stick to songs that are from her parents/grandparents generation.
Randy: Interesting way to start of the show by doing a hit song from an Idol winner and doing just an ok version of it. It was just alright.
Paula: We all know you can sing your butt off but when you take a song that is so popular you need to put a twist on it to make different and stand out.
Simon: The song was too big for your voice and there were parts that were actually painful.

Kellie Pickler
Song choice: Sara Evans - Restless - Suds in the Bucket Suds in a Bucket
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5702
TXT Vote to 5702
My Thoughts: Ok, this is painful too. The song is just boring and Kellie's personality is nowhere to be seen.
Randy: I liked the fact that you returned to your country roots but I don't think it was exciting enough for your voice.
Paula: You're way better than that song choice.
Simon: You have six years of songs to choose from and you chose some rodeo lassoing novelty song.

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Ace Young
Song choice: Train - Drops of Jupiter - Drops of Jupiter Drops of Jupiter
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5703
TXT Vote to 5703
My Thoughts: What is it with the song choices tonight? I think the first three have put their dibs on a place in the bottom three this week. I have no idea what they're thinking.
Randy: I don't know what's going on tonight. Again, completely the wrong song for you and you didn't sing it well. Where was the soul in it that you have?
Paula: You've chosen great songs in the past. You'll have to tell me about that scar on your chest sometime.
Simon: You all have a chance tonight to be compared to the contemporary artists of the day. I thought that was quite karaoke.

Taylor Hicks
Song choice: Ray LaMontagne - A Lot Like Love (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture) - Trouble Trouble
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5704
TXT Vote to 5704
My Thoughts: It's interesting to see Taylor slow it down tonight. Not my favourite performance of his by any stretch.
Randy: I guess tonight we are looking for songs that you could guys could use to make a record. That song was closer to what I thought you'd do but it didn't show you off.
Paula: It's nice to see you stand behind the mic and just sing a song.
Simon: I quite like the song. I thought it was an excellent vocal. I have a problem with the style though. It's very clay aiken.

Mandisa Hundley
Song choice: Mary Mary - Thankful - Shackles (Praise You) Shackles (Praise You)
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5705
TXT Vote to 5705
My Thoughts: Last week I thought Taylor looked like a TV Evangelist. This week it must be Mandisa's turn as she comes out preaching and dedicating the song to people who want to be free. Not a bad performance but I am wondering if she won the competition, would she release a pop album or a gospel album?
Randy: There's no doubt you're one of the best singers in this but still for me, the song choices for me tonight, I just don't get.
Paula: There's a new religion and 40 million people have just joined the church of Mandisa
Simon: I thought it was a bit indulgent. I just didn't get it.

Chris Daughtry
Song choice: Creed - Creed: Greatest Hits - What If What If
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5706
TXT Vote to 5706
My Thoughts: This isn't Chris' best song either. Man.. tonight's show is turning into a real let down. I was looking forward to that but feel slightly let down.
Randy: I like the song choice but it wasn't the best song you've done. I don't think it was your best vocal.
Paula: What if, what if, what if I told you I was your biggest fan.
Simon: I think that was indulgent as well but there is a line you don't cross. Creed wouldn't be seen dead on American Idol. I think you need to start showing another side.

Katharine McPhee
Song choice: Christina Aguilera - Voices - The Voice Within The Voice Within
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5707
TXT Vote to 5707
My Thoughts: By far the best vocal so far tonight. I don't think it's the best song for Katharine but better than what the others have chosen thus far.
Randy: It was a good song choice but you didn't bring anything new to it.
Paula: We stress all the time that if you're going to do a song like that then you have to step it up but I wouldn't change a thing.
Simon: I think it was the best tonight and was almost as good as Christina.

Bucky Covington
Song choice: Tim McGraw - Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 - Real Good Man Real Good Man
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5708
TXT Vote to 5708
My Thoughts: Great song for Bucky. I think this could be his best performance on American Idol so far. I'm not a big fan but this is definitely something that suits his personality and style. And he looks the part with the shirt and hat.
Randy: That is definitely the right kind of song for you.
Paula: Be careful with your diction so we can hear what you're saying.
Simon: I thought it was ok. But if this was a paid concert that is the point I'd be leaving.

Paris Bennett
Song choice: Beyoncé - Austin Powers in Goldmember - Work It Out Work It Out
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5709
TXT Vote to 5709
My Thoughts: This is great to see. Paris is finally back to having fun on stage. She is even dancing around. I'm not sure I like the earings but who really cares. Paris was great!
Randy: All I can say is that was fearless. That was the bomb. The best performance of the night.
Paula: That was awesome. I think the pussy cat dolls might be calling.
Simon: I thought that was precocious. It reminded me of a little girl pretending to be Beyonce. Whoppee.

Elliott Yamin
Song choice: Gavin DeGraw - Chariot - Stripped - I Don't Want to Be I Don't Wanna Be
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5710
TXT Vote to 5710
My Thoughts: Elliott just looks weird bobbing to this song. He can definitely sing but I don't think he's really pulled this off as good as he could have.
Randy: I wasn't really sure about the arrangement but we got another hot one here tonight.
Paula: I loved the arrangement. You're one funky white boy.
Simon: Great song. Terrible arrangement. Good vocal. The dancing was hideous.

Voting Numbers and Voting Information


What an impact!

Submitted by The Critic on Thu, 2006-03-23 18:26
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It's official. can't be taken seriously. Their first picks, Brenna Gethers and David Radford, didn't even make it into the Top 12 and now, Kevin Covais has been eliminated only 2 weeks into the finals. If their influence over the results is so powerful, as they claim, then why do they need to keep changing who they say the worst is when their 'favourite' keeps getting the lowest number of votes and gets sent home.

It was a good idea last year, but this year it has become embarrassing.


American Idol Extra - Episode 2 Review

Submitted by The Critic on Wed, 2006-03-22 21:06
American Idol Extra

Moments ago, Kevin Covais was eliminated from American Idol and as he sings When I Fall In Love American Idol Extra host Ty Treadway prepares backstage to give the first exclusive interview. Ty asks him how he feels and Kevin says that he's stoked to be a part of the best American Idol ever. Before we get the indepth interview, Kevin is going to go say goodbye to the people he loves - the contestants and catch up with his family.

We have a relook at the what the contestants sung this week and what the judges had to say. Mikalah Gordon was in the audience last night and admits that she's now become a Barry Fanilow. Matt Rogers is backstage with Constantine Maroulis and Ryan Cabrera is talking with Mikalah. Kate Mara from 24 was also in the audience and is a big fan of Simon. Andrew Firestone and Jasmine Trias love this season. Backstage again, Matt is trying to get some comment from the judges and contestants about Kevin's departure from the show.

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Kevin's vocal coach Dorian Holley talks with Ty Treadway about the show this week and what they had to work on this week. Dorian thought he had a bit of a rough time this week but did a great job for a 16 year old kid who has never had a true love before to stand up and sing in front of America and be scrutinized by the judges. Dorian says he loves them all and hates seeing them go. He said that he thinks it's going to be a guy winning but I think it's because he's biased since he's the coach of the men's team.

Matt Rogers is back stage with Season Two contestant Carmen Rasmusen who had fun watching the show and says that she still gets butterflies seeing the judges but thought it was the right person who went home tonight.

Matt Rogers is back stage with Simon and he says that the bottom three was right. He says Bucky was awful and Lisa has become bland after they originally thought she would win it. Simon says that unless Lisa gets some personality, she wont be around for much longer.

Barry Manilow Barry Manilow helped the contestants with their arrangements this week but now we're going to get a behind the scenes look at the advice he gave the contestants before they performed. He tells them that they need to find their own voice in the song and be original because that will be the difference between them and everyone else. Barry joins Ty in the studio. They talk breifly about his album Barry Manilow - The Greatest Songs of the Fifties The Greatest Songs of the Fifties which entered the charts at #1. He says that most of the contestants had never heard the songs before so that they got through the week singing the songs as if they'd always known them. Ty asks if he thought they had the depth to pull it off this week. Barry says that he gave them a half hour lesson about how to sing songs from the fifties and how they should stick to the melody and not put any fluff around the edges.

Matt is backstage again with Kevin and his mother and older sister. Kevin seems more upset for his parents about him going home than he himself is. His mom is sad but very proud of her son at the same time.

Carrie Underwood met with the Idols earlier in the week before she sang her Billboard #1 Carrie Underwood - Jesus, Take the Wheel - Single - Jesus, Take the Wheel Jesus Take The Wheel. Her first comment is that being back on the Idol stage has made her realise that she is about to be replaced. Carey tells us that she started recording the album during the tour. We see some of the video to her single that spent six weeks at number one.

Ty talks with Jasmine Trias about how it feels to be watching the show from the audience instead of on the stage. Jasmine was shocked to see Kevin go but wasn't surprized with the bottom three. Jasmine's advice for the contestants is to pick the right songs and be true to who you are. Jasmine tells us that she has starred in a movie when she was in the Philipines and is now moving to LA from Hawaii and is hoping to launch her acting career.

Mikalah Gordon is out front of the American Idol studios and is about to take us backstage to meet the stylist Miles Siggins and have a chat with him about how he makes the contestants look super fabulous. He tells us that they never dress to the theme because it's all about building an image. Miles runs us through what each of the contestants are wearing. It's interesting to know that they have been dressing Katharine in dresses now as she's been wearing denim and they are wanting to make her more sophisticated.

Did you know that Kevin Covais discovered he could sing 5 years ago? He was 11.

Ty finally talks to Kevin in his first interview since being eliminated. Ty says he was surprized to see him going after the judges gave him glowing reviews. Everyone, including Barry thought he did well and Kevin says he wouldn't have changed anything and was happy with everything. He hopes one day he can be the icon that Barry is. Kevin says that at this point in the competition you should always be aware that you could be in the bottom three. This week he was and he was ok with it. Someone had to go home and this week it was him.

We see a bit of a behind the scenes look at Kevin's time with Barry and he tells us that the thing he will take away from his time with him is that you shouldn't stick to the beat and that the song is all about phrasing and if you phrase it well, the audience will respond.

He says that the most important thing Barry taught him was to make the song his own. He thinks the song was perfect for him being a young kid having never fallen in love before. Kevin never thought he would become a sex symbol to anyone. He loved how Paris called him Chicken Little. He tells us how Paris and him were quite close as they were two of the youngest contestants on the show. He's looking forward to going home and catching up with all the people he hasn't seen for months since being on the show.

Kevin says that his friends were really supportive of him when he said he was going to audition for American Idol. Little did he know he'd be here a few months later. We see a montage of his journey and then Ty asks him what it was like to originally get that golden ticket. Kevin tells us that no one imagines to get that far and it's just a great experience. He says that he will miss the final 10 contestants the most. He says that he wont miss the pressure and will enjoy being more comfortable on stage. He encourages the remaining contestants to stay true to who they are.

Departing words to Cowell are "we will meet again".


American Idol Episode 23 - Top 11 Elimination Review

Submitted by The Critic on Wed, 2006-03-22 18:58
Click here to buy American Idol posters!
Click here to buy American Idol posters!

Barry Manilow Barry Manilow is in the house to perform tonight as we prepare to say goodbye to our next eliminated American Idol finalist. Barry Sings The Lush Strings - More Lush Strings for Lovers - Love Is a Many Splendid Thing Love Is a Many Splendid Thing.

A review of our shows Bucky Covington (1%) Lisa Tucker (1%) Kevin Covais (1%) are at the bottom of the list with only a couple of votes between them. Ace Young (4%) comes in in the next bottom spot followed by Paris Bennett and Elliott Yamin (5%).

The group of favourites are Chris Daughtry (31%), Katharine McPhee (14%) followed by Mandisa Hundley (13%) and then Taylor Hicks (12%) and Kellie Pickler (12%) who are tied in 5th place.

When it comes down to who you want to see go home, Kevin Covais (43%) is your most desired but he's dropped back from last week's 55% and is followed by Bucky Covington (26%) who is up considerably from last week's 9%. Lisa Tucker (9%) rounds out the three you most want to see gone this week.

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Stay tuned for details as they come to hand.

After 35 Million Votes were cast last night, finding themselves in the bottom three tonight are: Kevin Covais, Bucky Covington and Lisa Tucker - as the Polls predicted.

Going home? Kevin Covais


Access Hollywood Podcast

Submitted by The Critic on Tue, 2006-03-21 22:24

One of the producers from Access Hollywood has created a weekly podcast which is available on iTunes as an outlet for the extra content that doesn't make it into the daily 30 minute show including lots of American Idol stuff.

Check out the FREE Access Hollywood Podcast and let the Access Hollywood team know what you'd like to hear on the podcast.