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Here we are, folks, the American Idol finale pitting vocal powerhouse Jessica Sanchez against growly, face-contorting Phillip Phillips. In an action packed 60-minute show we get three songs from them both (Simon Fuller’s choice, Contestant’s favorite song from over the course of the season, and Winner’s Song). Jessica starts us off with “I Have Nothing” by the great Whitney Houston which has the judges visibly salivating but leaves me cold as she often does. It was clearly not the right song fit for her. Phillip gets “Stand By Me” and while the judges didn’t say anything about his performance, they
Here we are kids, the time we find out who will be duking out in the American Idol finale next Tuesday, and while any matchup is almost unbearable to think of with these three I greatly prefer any scenario involving Joshua Ledet. Is that happening tonight? Not a snowball’s chance in hell, kids. Now we get to the part of the show where mentor Jimmy Iovine tells us what he really thought of last night’s performances. Joshua Ledet is called down first and Jimmy says Joshua had a good night last night but wouldn’t have given him a standing ovation

American Idol Top 5: Who Came Up Big, Who Should Be Packing Their Bags?

It hasn't been Idol's most exciting season but the drama is ratcheting up as we get near the end...
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So here we are, American Idol watchers, with only five left vying to be your next American Idol, boy how time flies when you’re having fun. I know it seems I’ve been MIA since Erika Van Pelt left us at Top Ten elimination but, no my friends, alas, I was there! I cried when Heejun Han left, laughed like a maniac when Deandre Brackensick finally left us and felt a little angry and elated when Colton Dixon left two weeks ago and nothing but angry with no elation when Elise Testone was the bottom vote getter last week. Tonight’s theme

American Idol Top 9 Perform Songs By Their Heroes (Video)

In case you missed it, here are the performances from your AI Top 9
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The Top 9 contestants on Season 11 of American Idol performed last night and tonight one of them will go home. Our Chief AI correspondent and resident expert Heather will be weighing in with her thoughts on last night's performances. In the meantime, you can catch up on what you missed if you were unable to watch or suffer from situational ADD and can't stand to wait through the commercials, ridiculous product placement, and (often) inane judge banter. My understanding of last night's themes is that the contestants -- Colton Dixon, Phillip Phillps, Jessica Sanchez, Heejun Han, Hollie Cavanaugh,
It’s time again for the American Idol Top 10 results show but, never fear – no matter who gets eliminated this group will tour all summer to support the American Idols Live! Tour. Tonight we get performances by “Indie-pop sensation” Lana Del Rey as Ryan Seacrest calls her, and last season’s third place finisher, The Growler herself Haley Reinhart. The finalists kick off the show with Billy Joel’s “The Longest Time” (for those of you who missed it, Billy Joel songs were the theme for last night's performances) in the almost-always-unnecessary group number. Two bonuses tonight were it appeared they

Still Rock & Roll To Me: Phillip, Elise, Colton Win Night With Songs Of Billy Joel On 'Idol'

Tough night for Deandre, Erika, and Joshua. Who will go home tonight?
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Tonight on American Idol the Top 10 finalists celebrate the songs of Billy Joe,l which I feel might be a bit of a disaster with such a young contestant pool but there could also be a few pleasant surprises; let’s hope for more of the latter. Deandre Brackensick kicks off the show with “Only The Good Die Young” and while it’s a good song for him because it allows a lot of movement which Deandre proved is a strength of his during the “Stevie Wonder” theme, this was just campy and like a karaoke performance. Randy Jackson said it didn’t
American Idol finally found a way to drum up some ratings for their lackluster season so far and booted a contestant who had hidden a criminal past. Jermaine Jones was confronted and asked to leave on camera, which was so trashy and sensational, obviously meant to be titillating and get us talking. It worked. Tonight they’re pressing forward with eliminations as planned. The ten (or eleven like last season) who make it tonight will be guaranteed a spot on the American Idol Summer Tour (barring a hidden criminal past of course). After a hideous Ford commercial and Tommy Hilfiger

American Idol Evens The Score; Top 12 Revealed as One Contestant Departs

Who didn't see this one coming?
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American Idol’s final 13 lose a member tonight, but not before we’re tortured with the first of many Ford commercials featuring all the contestants. I already speculated that this season is skewed toward a girl to win or at least a strong girl in the finale and the way we’re doing the vote off with the judges having the final say ( I predict a guy will go home regardless of the girl being weaker) all signs are pointing to yes. Then Jimmy starts off the show by saying essentially to lay off the girls because no one can

Jessica Sanchez Shines, Hollie, Skylar Soar; Colton Dixon, Elise Testone, Shannon Falter On 'Idol'

The songs of Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder got the 'Idol' treatment...
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Tonight on American Idol is the Top 13 contestants will sing the songs of Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston for your votes, but not really. In another “we stole this from The X Factor” move, judges Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler, and JLo will be the final say in who is first to leave by selecting from the lowest vote-getter of the guys and the girls and selecting between the two who will stay. Up first we have Joshua Ledet who is singing “I Wish,” which is what I selected for him when choosing which song each contestant should sing. Jimmy

American Idol Top 13 Tackle Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston: What Should They Sing?

Let's play our guessing game, kids...
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Welcome to this season of American Idol’s first installment of “What Should They Sing?” something I will try to do all season long, where I pick what song I think each contestant will or should sing, based on that week’s theme. Now that we’re down to our Final 13 we get our first official theme which is Whitney Houston songs for the girls, and Stevie Wonder songs for the guys. I think both genders got a little screwed with this, none of these chicks can hang with Whitney and while it’s true for Stevie as well the guys at least

American Idol: Meet Your Top 13

The crowd has been thinned out. How does the field look to you now?
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Tonight’s American Idol narrows the field from 25 to the final Top 13 who will sing for your votes every week hoping to be crowned the next American Idol in May. The Top 13 will be comprised of the top five guys and the top five girls voted in by America with three wildcard spots chosen by judges Steven Tyler, Randy Jackson and JLo who get to choose one contestant each to save with this coveted second chance. Host Ryan Seacrest tells us repeatedly that over two nights of voting they received more than 33 million votes for these

Sisters Weren't Doing Much For Themselves as American Idol's Ladies Take Center Stage

Does this year's crop of female talent have a lot of upside or are they really this bad?
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Tonight on American Idol it was the girl’s turn as the Top 12 Girls tried to wow the judges and America for votes and a shot at the final Top 10 voted in by the viewers or even one of the three Wildcard spots chosen by judges Steven Tyler, Randy Jackson, and Jennifer Lopez. Ryan also reminds us that a girl hasn’t won the competition in the last five seasons. Kicking things off is Chelsea Sorrell, who takes a stab at Carrie Underwood’s “Cowboy Casanova” and it’s a good thing she’s a pretty girl because she did nothing for this song.

Phillip Phillips, Heejun Han, Colton Dixon Stand Out As Idol's Top 13 Males Compete

The competition kicks off: is there anyone out there watching?
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Tonight’s the night approximately 20 percent less of you than last year actually care about– the start of American Idol’s live performances, which to me is the official start of the season. There’s very little lead-in or nonsense for a change and we get right to our first performer, so let’s get started and see how they did. I know everyone’s big on comparing Reed Grimm to last season’s jazzy, multi-instrumental Casey Abrams but he reminds me more of Paul McDonald from the same season. He’s slick, has natural showmanship, always vocally solid and a bit of a lovable weirdo.

Get To Know Your 2012 American Idol Top 24; Learn How To Vote For Your Favorite

Everything you need to know to get dialed in for the season's remaining episodes...
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Now that American Idol has set its Top 24 (to be changed to a Top 25 on Wednesday’s live show) semi-finalists we can finally get down to business and set this train in motion.  Top 13 Guys compete for your votes on Tuesday, February 28; Top 12 Girls compete Wednesday, February 29; with the Finalists announced Thursday, March 1, on FOX.  Things finally start chugging along nicely and we can likely expect another week of two nights for performances and a drawn out elimination show. I hope they have ramped up the spectacle this year and give us some

American Idol Has Its Top '24' And I'm Trying Hard To Care About Any Of Them

The Top 24 means 24 contestants, right? Stop me when you've heard this one before...
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The American Idol judges brought this season’s hopefuls to the Vegas show Le Rêve: The Dream before offing the remainders to get to the Top 24, which by now you’ve heard will be a (short-lived) Top 25 in a “we stole this from The X Factor” move. Yes, you heard me correctly: in what may be the proverbial final nail in American Idol’s coffin or perhaps just the latest “jumping the shark” moment, Idol has decided to give us a Top 25 instead of a Top 24 this season. After the Top 12 Girls and Top 12 Guys were

American Idol: For Some, What Happened In Vegas Ended In Vegas

Down to 42 contestants...
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Tonight’s American Idol takes us to Las Vegas where the remaining 70 contestants sing and dance for Steven Tyler, JLo and Randy Jackson in hopes of not being instantly cut. They will be singing music from the ‘50s, after they perform with a group and costumes they will find out then and there if they make it forward. The first group up has Skylar Raine, Colton Dixon, Cari Quoyeser and Chase Likens and they’re dressed as if they’re going to a prom in 1955. Their song is “Dedicated To The One I Love” and while it wasn’t bad at all,

'American Idol' Hollywood Week Group And Solo Rounds: Next Stop, Vegas!

The field is winnowed down further as 'AI' preps for The Elvis Experience
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It’s Group Night again on American Idol and we’re in for crying, fainting, pleading, shattered dreams and belching. After zero singing last week, I’m looking forward to seeing some (good) singing and some of my favorites that haven’t been nearly enough screen time, like Colton Dixon. Groove Sauce is comprised of early favorites Reed Grimm, Creighton Fraker, Nick Boddington, Aaron Marcellus and Jen Hirsch and they kill it on “Hold On I’m Coming” with harmonies, memorable solos, capable backing vocals and even some clean choreography. I have a feeling all five are making it through and after accolades and

More Barfing Than Singing On Night Two of 'American Idol' Hollywood Week

'Idol' a snoozefest on Night 2 of Hollywood Week...
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Tonight’s American Idol begins the most train wreck part of Hollywood Week: Group round! Where dreams are shattered, egos bruised, and stars are born. Tonight’s episode was high on drama and low on immunity and singing. Let’s recap, shall we? Symone Black ended the show last night with a bang, literally and leave it to good ol’ American Idol to turn that into a product placement dream for Coke….anyone have a Coke? Coke? Coke! She appears to be okay and is whisked to the hospital to be checked. While she’s away the judges decide she’s safe along with Jeremy
American Idol Season 11’s Hollywood Week kicks off tonight and over the course of three shows we will see the over 300 contestants whittled down to 70 for the semi-finals. Steven Tyler, Randy Jackson, and the lovely JLo take some time to give the large group a pep talk and a brief rundown of what they expect in this first round of “Hell Week.” Let the games begin! Ft. Lauderdale’s Johnny Keyser chooses Amos Lee’s “Dreamin” for his first time in front of the judges since the initial audition, he bored the tears out of me and the judges
American Idol auditions keep on truckin’ , this tme out to the Gateway To The West, St. Louis, Missouri which gave us Season Four’s mega-superstar winner, Carrie Underwood. Johnny Keiser is up first and hails from Pompano Beach, FL, goes to school in Orlando, and sings “A Change Is Gonna Come” and I’d say with that audition, he changed his life. He even riffed with Steven a little and JLo kept cutting him off to talk then said “keep singing!” He has the sun kissed, all-American look and the voice to more than back it up. I predict Top

American Idol Portland: Jermaine Jones, Britnee Kellogg, Naomi Gillies Win Night; Jessica Phillips Wins Hearts

Strong performances in City Of Roses as 'Idol' preps for Hollywood Week...
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Tonight the American Idol crew headed to the City of Roses- Portland, Oregon; this is the first time Idol has ventured up to this particular, beautiful Pacific Northwest city which is very close to the birthplace of HippyGirlHeather. Before I continue speaking in third person, let’s carry on and see what PDX had in store for us, shall we? We all know JLo loves Luther and so does Jermaine Jones, who performs a splendid rendition of “Superstar” in Luther’s style. It was a bit of a mess in spots but the potential in his lower, softer notes is really

American Idol Goes Deep In The Heart Of Texas: Skylar Laine, Baylie Brown, Kristine Osario Delight

A bad night in Aspen is quickly forgotten as some real talents stand out in Houston...
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American Idol auditions move to Houston, Texas and if everything’s bigger in Texas, I hope it’s the talent and not the amount of crap like we had in Aspen last night. Skylar Laine is a firecracker who sang a spot on rendition of “Hell On Heels” by the mega-talented Pistol Annies and it took less than five seconds for all the judges to give her a Texas-sized yes. We will see her in Hollywood; I predict her to be a Top 12 Girl contender. Baylie Brown is another re-do that is auditioning for a second time (seems to be a trend

'American Idol' Gag Reel: Magic Cyclops Headlines Forgettable, Regrettable Night In Aspen

Haley Smith, Shelby Meredith, and Jairon Jackson stand out on a bad night of auditions...
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American Idol auditions keep on rollin’ and tonight they rolled into the land of pretty people wearing UGGs year round; Aspen, Colorado. Lest you think it’s just all puppies in purses and furry boots, we also were “treated” to ugly yellow jumpers, a Magic Cyclops, and Rocky Mountain Oysters. After three talent-laden episodes, it was only a matter of time before we got to the gag reel of auditions. We were told 31 Golden Tickets were given out however only nine of those were featured on camera and of those nine, only three made any sense to me whatsoever,

American Idol San Diego Auditions: Beautiful City, Weak Contestants

You will all pay dearly if one of these contestants wins Season 11...
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Sunny and beautiful San Diego, California is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the nation and the American Idol judges are hoping it’s also offering up talent that’s even half as inspiring as they take in both aboard the USS Midway.  Right out of the gate we get the “average looking girl with a hot body wearing way too little clothing” while singing in a key not invented, or accepted by human ears. She was creepily ogled by all and sent on her tacky little way, sans Golden Ticket.  Single mom Ashley Robles is next and she

Eban Frankewitz, Hallie Day, Heejun Han Standout on 'American Idol' Season 11 Auditions, Pittsburgh

Another audition and a few more candidates for the crown emerge...
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Night two of American Idol auditions took us to Pittsburgh, PA for the first time in the show’s history which is really hard to believe; after such a long wait the city did not disappoint as 38 golden tickets to Hollywood were handed out. I find that number a little staggering because in the entire hour long episode, only two really stood out to me (for the right reasons, at least. I’ll get to the “planker” here in a minute). We had a charming little sweetheart named Eben Franckewitz who apparently gets Justin Bieber comparisons a lot for his floppy

Phillip Phillips, Colton Dixon, Shannon McGrane Dazzles On 'American Idol' Season 11 Debut

The opening night gives us some contestants likely to be with us all season long...
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Welcome to the 11th season of American Idol. We have one episode already in the books and if the talent pool from Savannah, Georgia is any indicator, this will be a season chock full of talent and big, trainwreck-ish personalities. I’m a huge fan of both but we all know I can’t resist a good awkward silence and the sweet sound of contestants imploding under all the Idol pressure. Steven Tyler, JLo, and Randy Jackson all return as judges with the ever-annoying and never-aging Ryan Seacrest back on hosting duties. First up is 17 year-old David Leathers from North Carolina who
Now that the turkey coma has sufficiently subsided and moving is a little more comfortable, it’s time to catch up with those wacky American Idol kids. It may be X Factor season, but our AI friends James Durbin, Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina were all busy this Thanksgiving Day. For some, Thanksgiving means eating more quantities of turkey than is absolutely necessary, ever, and football. For others, it's parades and American Idol. I multitasked, just for you. Here are the highlights of my sacrifices from this past weekend! Thank God Nickelback didn't come up through the American Idol ranks or

Judging American Idol: America Has Spoken, Scotty McCreery Wins!

I saw this coming from the auditions...
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OK, we’re at the end of the road here... we got our closure, seeing Pia Toscano, Paul McDonald, James Durbin and the three of you who still care got to see Casey Abrams on the Idol stage for the final time this season. There have been a lot of positive and cringe-worthy happenings over the course of this tenth season of American Idol. We lost Simon and then lost everyone except Randy and in the process gained a music legend and a diva at the judges' table. The three shined brightest in the auditioning process with JLo sat smack

Judging American Idol: This Is The End

The final performances have been given; it's all in your hands, America...
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Tonight’s show starts off with the introduction of the two remaining Idol contestants- Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina. Ryan refers to the match up as the “boy next door” versus the “Southern belle” and informs us they both love country music, both are merely teenagers, and both want to win this season’s American Idol. Ryan addresses rumors that were swirling around right before the show began regarding Lauren's lack of a voice in rehearsals. One rumor was that Haley Reinhart was prepping to take Lauren's place in tonight’s finale, just in case. Ryan called out the show’s doctor who

Judging American Idol: Final Words

It all comes down to this...
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The night we as American Idol fans wait for is finally upon us! Tonight, Tuesday May 24th, Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina will perform for your votes for the final time. One thing is absolutely certain-whoever wins will release a country album, which is okay with me because the last three winners (David Cook, Kris Allen, and Lee DeWyze, respectively) have all been one-note and virtually interchangeable with minor differences. I’ll be happy to have them pollute the country waves and leave mainstream radio alone. I kid, I kid- I don’t even listen to “real” radio anymore. And while I’d

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