Idol Chit-Chat
This is your place to discuss all things "American Idol." The performances, the judges, the past contestants — it’s all right here.

Friday, July 30, 2010

When Will We Know?

So when will we hear officially who the new “Idol” judges are?

The announcement could be made Monday…

The Television Critics Association Press Tour is going on in LA as we speak and FOX’s day is Monday. No doubt they would like to make a big splash by making the big “Idol” announcement.

If so, the press release will probably come down sometime Monday afternoon. And I will get it to you just as soon as I can…

Is J-Lo In?

This is all getting pretty crazy, so just bear with me… is reporting that Jennifer Lopez has been signed as a judge for “Idol.” According to the site, the deal was made this week, which is why Ellen DeGeneres went ahead with her announcement.

Both and is reporting that Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler has been offered a slot on the panel as well. is also reporting that Kara DioGuardi has been fired and will not return. If this report is true—and you know I’m hoping—it wouldn’t technically be a firing since her contract was year-to-year. It would just be a non-renewal. I’m sure her people and FOX will spin it nicely.

There was also an interesting tidbit in “The Hollywood Reporter” about Ellen’s departure: “A source in the DeGeneres camp said she was prepared to meet the terms of her multiyear contract but told friends that her comedy wasn't effective on the show and that FOX president of alternative entertainment Mike Darnell had told her privately that he blamed her chemistry with fellow judges Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi.”

When I said last night that I didn’t buy it, I meant that I didn’t buy that the exit had been planned for months. But now I’m starting to. I think Ellen knew it wasn’t working and she saw a way out and took it. I actually respect her for that.

On the other hand, I’m not really sure what to say about Jennifer Lopez. The “Reporter” story says that the producers consider her the best “Idol” mentor ever. I agree that she was really good, but judging is different—unless they plan to take a page out of Simon Cowell’s “X Factor” book and have the judges mentor the contestants.


And let’s not forget Randy Jackson. He reportedly has one year left on his contract, so he might end up sticking around. But at this point, anything is possible.

It’s important to note that the J-Lo or Kara stories have not been confirmed by FOX. As soon as something is, I will pass it along to you…

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Breaking News: Ellen Out!

Let the reinvention of "Idol" begin...

Five minutes ago, FOX released a press release that Ellen DeGeneres was bowing out of “American Idol.”

Here it is directly from the release:

Ellen DeGeneres has decided to bow out from her role as a judge on AMERICAN IDOL next season. DeGeneres served as a judge during the ninth season of IDOL, the No. 1 hit series on television.

“A couple months ago, I let FOX and the AMERICAN IDOL producers know that this didn’t feel like the right fit for me,” said DeGeneres. “I told them I wouldn’t leave them in a bind and that I would hold off on doing anything until they were able to figure out where they wanted to take the panel next. It was a difficult decision to make, but my work schedule became more than I bargained for. I also realized this season that while I love discovering, supporting and nurturing young talent, it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings. I loved the experience working on IDOL and I am very grateful for the year I had. I am a huge fan of the show and will continue to be.”

“We love Ellen and understand and support her decision to bow out of IDOL,” said Peter Rice, Chairman of Entertainment, Fox Networks Group. “We were fortunate to receive the humor, energy and love for talent that she brought to the show.”

“It was a joy to work with Ellen,” added Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. “She brought an incredible spirit to IDOL and was a great new addition to the team. While we’re saddened by her decision, we are very appreciative that she gave us ample notice so that we could work through it together.”

“I loved Ellen’s passion for the artists and her nurturing skills,” said IDOL creator and executive producer Simon Fuller. “She brought honesty and optimism to our judging panel and I will miss her greatly.”

“We will miss Ellen, she has been the consummate professional throughout her time on the show, and she’ll always be part of the AMERICAN IDOL family,” added Cecile Frot-Coutaz, IDOL executive producer.

Okay, is anybody else buying this, because I’m not. Clearly, Ellen could see the writing on the wall, or she got some pressure from FOX. You have to hand it to her, though, for not making FOX work to end her contract.

For the first time in quite some time, I’m actually starting to get excited about “Idol”…


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Report on the "Idol" Tour Stop in Columbus

Last night, the Idols tour made its stop in Columbus, Ohio. And no, I was not there. I was invited to take part in the media festivities, but I just couldn’t bring myself to go.

And from what I hear, that was the right call…

Someone who worked the show told a friend of mine that the Idols were terrible and that the crowd never even got on their feet. The upper tiers were moved down to the lower bowl to make Nationwide Arena look fuller because not even the floor was sold out.


Were you at the Columbus show? Feel free to agree or disagree with this assessment by posting a comment below…

Monday, July 26, 2010

Is "Idol" Switching Labels?

“Idol” could end up being completely different when it returns in January if a report in today’s “New York Post” is correct…

The paper reported that “Idol” guru Simon Fuller is talking to other record labels about being the home of the “Idol” winner. Universal Music Group is believed to be a major contender because of Fuller’s friendship with the CEO. Sony Music has been the home of the “Idol” winners (and runners-up) from the beginning.

So why the possible change? I’m thinking it has something to do with the fact that Simon Cowell’s “The X-Factor” is produced by Syco, which is jointly owned by Cowell and Sony Music.

JT? Elton John? Nigel Returning?

So let’s kick off my return with the latest rumors on who will replace Simon Cowell…

Last week, Harry Connick Jr. and Chris Isaak rose to the top of the list. But today, “The Hollywood Reporter” is adding Justin Timberlake and Elton John to the list.

But that’s not all…

“Reporter” is also saying that Nigel Lythgoe is going to return as Executive Producer. As you may recall, he said in April that if he was still in charge at “Idol,” he would get rid of the entire judges’ panel. So if the story is true, everyone could be in trouble.

Ellen DeGeneres has a multi-year contract and Randy Jackson has one more year on his deal, but it wouldn’t be totally out of the question for FOX to buy those contracts out.

As crazy as Nigel would drive me sometimes (Remember the Syesha debacle from three years ago?), I have to admit that the show has missed him. And it’s a possibility that he could join the panel as well. He’s no Simon, but if he gets rid of Kara, he could be my new hero…

What do you guys think?

Photo Credit: Mathieu Young/FOX

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Stay Tuned...

No doubt you’ve noticed that I’ve been a little distracted lately, as I’ve missed more than a few things. And now I will be away from the blog for the next week.

I promise that all will be revealed when I return, so Stay Tuned…

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"Idol" Keeps Fighting

Just when I declared the franchise dead, it comes back fighting…

19 just sent out a press release to remind me that the Top 10 Idols will be appearing on “Good Morning America” this Friday (July 9th) at 8:30 a.m. (on ABC) as part of GMA’s Summer Concert Series.

I’m thinking they should learn last year’s concert closer for the occasion—“Don’t Stop Believin’”…

Photo Credit: Craig DeCristo

The Fall of the "Idol" Empire?

Could we be witnessing the fall of the “Idol” empire?

Eight—yes EIGHT—shows on the “American Idols Live” tour have now been cancelled. Eight others have been rescheduled so that the tour will now end in August as opposed to stretching into September.

I guess someone wants to put it out of its misery…

The cancelled shows are in Portland, Oregon; Omaha; Kansas City; Winnipeg; Toronto; Buffalo; Cleveland; and Portland, Maine.

The rescheduled shows include both Lee and Crystal’s hometowns of Chicago and Toledo, as well as Bridgeport, Connecticut; Pittsburgh; Des Moines; Minneapolis; Cincinnati; and Indianapolis. Be sure to check or for the very latest.

Remember that this comes after tickets were offered at $20 not once, but twice.

I admit I didn’t take them up on that offer. And after seeing the set list from the show, I’m glad I didn’t bother.

If you don’t want to see who’s singing what, stop reading now…

Here is that set list, courtesy of MJ’s Big Blog:

Didi Benami: “Lay It On Me” by The Rescues, “Terrified” by Katharine McPhee

Andrew Garcia: “Straight Up,” by Paula Abdul, “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5

Katie Stevens: “Here We Go Again” by Demi Lovato, “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera

Tim Urban: “Better Days” by Goo Goo Dolls, “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay

Siobhan Magnus: “Paint It Black” by the Rolling Stones, “Spiderwebs” by No Doubt, “Stockholm Syndrome” by Muse

Aaron Kelly: “Somebody Like You” by Keith Urban, “Walking In Memphis” by Marc Cohn, “Fast Cars and Freedom” by Rascal Flatts

Didi, Andrew, Katie, Tim, Siobhan and Aaron: “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus


Michael Lynche: “Woman’s Work” by Kate Bush, “Ready For Love” by India.arie, “My Love” by Justin Timberlake

Casey James: “I Got Mine” by The Black Keys, “Don’t” by Shania Twain, “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman” with Michael Lynche, “It’s All Over Now” by The Rolling Stones

Crystal Bowersox: “What’s Up” by 4 Non Blondes, “Come to My Window” by Melissa Etheridge, “Up to the Mountain,” by Patty Griffin, “Piece of My Heart” by Janis Joplin

Lee Dewyze: “Beautiful Day” by U2, “Rocket Man” by Elton John, “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, “Treat Her Like a Lady” by Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose, “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon

Finale: Lee and the guys sing “It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi. The girls and guys do “My Life Would Suck Without You” by Kelly Clarkson

I have to say that list leaves me a little dumbfounded. Tim Urban doing Coldplay? Where’s his gushy ballad to make the girls swoon? “The Climb”? Seriously? What’s up with Big Mike doing three gushy R&B numbers? Wouldn’t you use him to get the crowd back into it with an uptempo number after the break?

But worst of all, how could you not have Crystal and Lee sing a duet? That would almost be worth paying for. Maybe they couldn’t get the performance rights to “Falling Slowly,” but they could’ve figured out something.

It’s almost like they’re trying to fail, isn’t it?

What do you guys think? Is this a sign of the beginning of the end? Or is it just further evidence that this year was really, really bad?