April 15, 2010

Idol’s Katie Stevens: It’s not the end for me

Posted: 07:46 PM ET

Ok Idol fans…we’re down to 7!

Do you agree with Wednesday night’s eliminations?  Were you surprised?  Angry?  Happy?  Indifferent?  Let us know!

For those of you who went to bed early (and managed to stay away from your television, computer, radio and friends today), here’s what you need to know:

Katie Stevens, the 17-year-old who caused Kara and Simon to argue over whether she was a country singer or a pop/R&B singer (Katie sets the record straight for us here at LKL Blog) and Andrew Garcia, who wowed America and the judges with his take on former Idol judge Paula Abdul’s hit “Straight Up” during Hollywood week (but didn’t seem to live up to the high standard he’d set for himself), left the stage for the last time last night… 

BOTH Idol contestants took some time for an exit interview with us this afternoon to talk about what the experience meant to them and what their future plans will be (how do you go back to high school after doing something like this, Katie??)

As always, let us know what you think about Katie, Andrew or anything Idol…and don’t forget to tune in Monday when Larry talks to SIMON, KARA, RANDY AND ELLEN for the hour about “Idol Gives Back”…live from our studio.

LKL Blog:  How are you feeling?  You’ve had a little time to digest what’s happened…

Katie Stevens:  I feel great.  I feel happy that I’ve made it this far.  And fortunate enough to work with all the amazing people I did.  So I’m leaving this very, very proud of myself.  It’s not the end for me.  I’m going to continue to follow my dream.  And hopefully put out an album at some point.  So we’ll see where it goes.

LKL Blog:  Were you surprised at last night’s eliminations?

Katie:  I always go into it thinking that Idol is unpredictable.  And sometimes the results are surprising.  So it could be me at any time.  And I had this feeling when I was on stage with Mike [Idol contestant Michael Lynche, who was saved by judges last week], that it was going to be me.  So I kind of prepared myself to sing my song.  And that’s what I did.  I was emotional, but I tried to do the best that I could.

LKL Blog:  It’s got to be hard.  We’ve talked about this with other contestants too – when you’ve got the judges, who give criticisms and critiques and advice, and you’ve got the producers and everyone else that you work with on the show, taking all that in but trying to remain true to yourself as a performer – how does that all come into play?

Katie:  I started off in the top 24 trying to do everything that the judges said and trying to appease all of them.  And then I realized I just needed to do what feels right to me and to be myself.  So I definitely learned a lot through everything.  I learned to take the judges’ criticism and their advice and just see what I could use and what I couldn’t for what I ultimately want to become as an artist.

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Filed under: American Idol

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April 12, 2010

'American Idol' to meet 'The Simpsons'

Posted: 05:08 PM ET

Fox knows how to work a cross over when it comes to their shows (take note of the musical themed episodes planned for “Fringe” and other series in celebration of the  success and return of  “Glee.”)

In May, the “American Idol” gang will be visiting Springfield during “The Simpsons’” season finale.

Judges Simon Cowell, Ellen DeGeneres, Kara DioGuardi, Randy Jackson and host Ryan Seacrest will be even more animated than they are during their critiques of contestants when they join Bart and the rest of the Springfield inhabitants on an episode scheduled to air May 23.

 Word is that Springfield’s beloved bartender, Moe, gets an invitation to serve as an “Idol” judge. Have we finally found a replacement for the soon to be departing Cowell?

Filed under: American Idol

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April 8, 2010

Idol: Why the Judges Saved Michael Lynche

Posted: 05:12 PM ET


On Wednesday night's American Idol, the judges used their once-per-season wild card to save contestant Michael Lynche from going home.  

An eyewitness says Kara DioGuardi and Simon Cowell "kept whispering" throughout commercial breaks while deciding if they should keep Lynche, 26, on the show.

The audience clearly wanted the Queens, New York personal trainer (who welcomed his first daughter, Laila, during Hollywood Week) to stick around. They were "chanting his name" after he performed "This Woman's Work."
While on stage, "Kara was clearly fighting for him," the insider says. "She was gripping Simon's arm and waving her hands in the air, gesturing at Mike. Randy [Jackson] also got up and went to talk to them, while Ellen [DeGeneres] leaned in. Kara was gripping Randy's arms."

After Cowell announced they'd use their wild card, "the atmosphere was crazy, with all the judges hugging and Mike blowing kisses to the crowd," the witness tells Us. "Crystal [Bowersox] leaped up and was the first to give Mike a huge hug."

"Kara ran on stage and hugged Mike. He lifted her into the air, her feet dangling. Simon went up and patted him on the back, although Mike hugged him," the insider adds.

Read more…

Filed under: American Idol

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April 7, 2010

American Idol’s Scott MacIntyre: It won’t be the same after Simon leaves

Posted: 03:52 PM ET

Editor's note: “American Idol” Season 8 contestant (and the first visually impaired finalist in the show’s history), Scott MacIntyre recently released his new album “Heartstings” and performed last month at his old stomping grounds on the “Idol” stage.

Scott spoke to Larry King Live Blog about how his life has changed since being a contestant, how he’s evolving as an artist and why HE thinks he could step into Simon’s shoes next season!  He also opens up about his kidney transplant and talks about how the experience makes him appreciate life so much more…

LKL Blog: Give me a sense of what life after “American Idol” is like? 

Scott: You know, life after “American Idol” has been absolutely amazing.  The opportunities that have come my way as a result of being on the show have been incredible.

As a part of the American Idols Live tour last year, we went through 52 arenas across the U.S. and Canada.  And since then I’ve been traveling.  I’ve been in meetings, in concerts.  But also as a keynote speaker.  Because of my story, I do a lot of inspirational speaking  [Scott has been visually impaired since birth].

It’s really taken off.  From the moment I got of the show, my new album, “Heartstrings” has been in the works.  I knew exactly where I wanted to take the project.

And the day after it was released, it was number 19 on the iTunes Pop Album chart.  Which was amazing.

LKL Blog: You must be thrilled by that?

Scott: It was amazing.  To be among such notable artists was incredible.  My first album since Idol.  It’s an album I’m very proud of.

LKL Blog: You wrote all the songs yourself?

Scott: Right.  I wrote every song on the album.  And it’s got a very singer/songwriter meets pop-rock aesthetic to it.  But even more than hearing a great pop-rock album, I really hope people can pick up the CD and really take something tangible away from it.  I’ve put so much of myself in every song on the album.  It’s kind of like 12 snapshots of my life, things I’ve been through, things my friends have been through and it’s about love, loss, hardships and a situation in my life that’s seemed hopeless but I’ve been able to find hope.  All these things have had an effect on my heart in my life, hence the title “Heartstrings” and the theme of the album.

LKL Blog: In terms of “Idol” – obviously it’s made things easier for you.  It’s given you an audience, some recognition, some training.  I wonder if the “Idol” experience makes it any more difficult of you as an artist?

Scott: You know, it’s a mixture.  The interesting thing is when you come off “Idol” everyone knows you.  You’re a TV personality.  And you have to make that bridge from being an “American Idol” contestant to being Scott McIntyre, the artist.  I think this album definitely helps to bridge that gap.

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Filed under: American Idol • Larry King Live • LKL Web Exclusive

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Idol Recap, Complete With Commentary

Posted: 11:46 AM ET

By Lisa DeMoraes

Another John Lennon-Paul McCartney night on "American Idol."

After the traditional verbal brawl between show host Ryan Seacrest and outgoing judge Simon Cowell - this time in re whether the Idolettes should change up their Beatles tunes or stick to the script - teen Aaron Kelly kicks things off, singing a "Long and Winding Road" that's more like "Fighting to Stay Awake on this Long and Winding Road.' And yet, the Mosh Pit Chicks feel compelled to do The Wave.

Aaron apparently has taken the judges' advice to believe in the lyrics too literally. He says he picked this tune because the whole 'Idol' thing has been a long and winding road for him, and we're getting the strong impression that at this stage in the competition Aaron's mostly ready for a long nap. The four judges recite various versions of "Every week it's the same performance/you've got to become young and relevant" speech and put him to bed.

After explaining to Seasbiscuit that five guys have asked her to be their prom date and she's going with whichever can prove he has texted in the most votes for her in the singing competition, Katie Stevens sings the no-worries anthem, "Let It Be" but with a little country twist on it. Her performance is calm and controlled. Smart girl: Katie has grasped two of the bedrock principles of success on 'Idol': 1) give the judges a story arc they can peg you with, and 2) Listen to Simon. Judge Kara DioGuardi fills in the story arc, saying Katie is "blossoming on that stage" right before our very eyes. Judge Simon Cowell notes she's fought he way back from a run in the Bottom 3. He also points out that she listened to his advice to go "country" instead of pop/R&B like Kara and judge Randy Jackson advised her. Against all evidence, Kara and Randy shout out that Katie did do the tune R&B. No growth for those two, thank you very much.


Filed under: American Idol

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April 2, 2010

Idol’s Didi Benami: “This is not the end!”

Posted: 08:47 PM ET

Editor's note:  Singer and songwriter Didi Benami was the latest contestant to be voted off “American Idol” this week.  The judges liked her, but not enough to “save” the 23-year-old from the audience’s vote Wednesday night.

She spoke to the Larry King Live blog today about the experience, what her future plans are and why “Idol” is sort of like summer camp.

LKL Blog:  You’ve had two days to sort of analyze this and maybe get a little perspective.  How are you feeling about your time on “American Idol?”

Didi:  It was a really great experience.  I feel like it is only the beginning for me, really.  It was really great that I got to get onto the show.  And people really know who I am now.  I can get my music out there and write and do my thing.  

So you know, regardless of what happened – it sucked that I got eliminated so early, I wanted to stay longer – but in the long run, I’m fine. 

LKL Blog:  As much as this hurts or is disappointing to happen, there’s not really any bad outcome.

Didi:  No.  Really, there’s not.  And almost, it’s kind of a relief in a way.  Because there’s a lot of stress, a lot of pressure and it’s amazing to perform in front of that many people, but at the same time I was starting to get really sick towards the end of it and I didn’t want to keep pushing myself too hard because I knew I was going to get worse.

It’s an interesting thing.  I’m glad that I went through it. 

LKL Blog:  You mentioned stress and pressure, how difficult is it?  You’ve got different people telling you different things.  You’re trying to take the judge’s advice and criticism…but also trying to stay true to yourself as a singer and songwriter…

Didi:  It’s tough because you have so many people that you’re working with.  You’re still trying to do your thing and people are telling you what they think you should do – they want to see something different and exciting and new.  That can cause you to be like, “huh?”

More than anything I wanted to keep the show interesting.  I didn’t want people to know what I was going to do week after week after week.  I wanted to them to keep tuning in to watch and to see. 

It’s a lot of different perspectives and people encourage you to branch out and do other things.   I kind of went with that and it did not end up working out in the long run [laughs].

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Filed under: American Idol

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March 23, 2010

Miley Cyrus to Mentor “American Idol” Contestants

Posted: 04:26 PM ET


There’s going to be a “Party in the U.S.A.” — or at least in Hollywood — when Miley Cyrus lends her musical expertise to the remaining contestants on American Idol this week.

FOX confirms that the teen pop sensation will be the celebrity mentor during the Billboard No.1 hits-themed show on Tuesday.  Of the 11 contestants left, three are teens:  Siobhan Magnus, 19, and Aaron Kelly, 16, and Katie Stevens, 17.  Tim Urban is 20 years old.

But last week’s theme — contestants performed from The Rolling Stones‘ song book — proved age is nothing but a number as Magnus, Kelly and Stevens all pleased the judges with their take on classic songs by the legendary rock band.

On Wednesday’s results show, Miley will be back to perform her hit song, “When I Look At You,” and new couple Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato will sing their duet, “Make A Wave.”

Filed under: American Idol

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March 18, 2010

Lacey Brown: "I had the strangest feeling that I was going home'

Posted: 09:00 PM ET

Lacey Brown says she wasn't shocked when she learned of her elimination from American Idol Wednesday night. In fact, she felt it coming.

"I woke up yesterday morning and had the strangest feeling that I was going home," she told reporters during a conference call Thursday.

That premonition gave her time to make peace with her fate.

"It wasn't a downer moment for me; I wasn't upset," she says. "It was just, 'Okay.' It wasn't comfortable. … I wish I would have been wrong about that feeling, obviously."

Lacey says she's trying to stay positive and make the most of her situation. "I haven't put my focus on anything negative going on.

"This is a reality show, and this is a show that someone has to go home every week. The fan base is very, very, very important. I think it has been a shocker sometimes, but that's just the nature of the beast that is American Idol. That's how the show rolls."


Filed under: American Idol

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March 16, 2010

'American Idol' judge wants your vote – for her father

Posted: 06:17 PM ET

Washington (CNN) – He's a Senate hopeful who's the father of an "American Idol" judge. And he wants to replicate the success of a senator who's the father of a former "American Idol" contestant.

Will former Rep. Joe DioGuardi, R-New York, be able to do what Senator Scott Brown, R-Massachusetts, recently did: carry a historically Democratic state as a Republican? Not to mention that Brown's daughter, Ayla, was a finalist on Fox's "American Idol" – and DioGuardi's daughter, Kara, currently appears on the show.

Today, Joe DioGuardi announced he's running for Senate for New York. In a statement, the certified public accountant says, "America has rightly rejected Congress's spend more, tax more, borrow more philosophy."

He adds, "Washington doesn't seem to listen for long. As a New York Senator, I would stand up for the commonsense economic and fiscal policies that would bring jobs to New York and put America back on the right track."

Filed under: American Idol • Politics

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March 12, 2010

Idol fans are missing Paula!

Posted: 03:35 PM ET

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(CNN) - The success of "American Idol" hasn't just been about the singing talent.

As much as viewers tuned in to rally behind their favorite performer, they also came for the chemistry between the judges. That helped elevate the show beyond just a search for America's next music star.

Never has the importance of that dynamic been more evident than in Season Nine, which has plenty of fans sharing a common complaint: "We miss Paula."

"I think the chemistry they had before with the judges is really affecting the show this season," said Lindsay Powers, staff editor with US Weekly and an "Idol" fan.

"What Paula brought to the show was not only someone with a musical background, but also very endearing, compassionate, goofy and funny. Just like people tuned in to see what mean thing Simon would say, they would also tune in to see the whacky thing that Paula was going to say each week."


Filed under: American Idol • CNN • Paula Abdul

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