Posted by – November 30, 2010
Ninth-place finishers during the first nine seasons of American Idol have, for the most part, been a forgettable lot — except one. Mandisa had a unique charm and talent about her. Our countdown continues today of the top finishers at each finalist position:
Gold medal: Season 5 finalist Mandisa will always be remembered in Idol history for being the first “plus size” finalist. A large woman, Mandisa wowed the judges in auditions with her booming voice and personality and proved to popular with fans and viewers alike. Now 34, Mandisa is enjoying a successful career as a Christian singer, but it will always be the issue of her weight that is a part of Idol lore. Judge Simon Cowell made several comments about Mandisa’s weight after her successful audition. He first quipped are we “going to (need) a bigger stage this year.” Then, when Paula Abdul commented that Mandisa had a “Frenchy” growl to her voice, Cowell responded that a more apt comparison would be to France itself. These were among comments that drew the ire of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) and would be one of the reasons Mandisa would entitle her 2007 album “True Beauty.” When Mandisa presented herself to the judges prior to the final cut-down to the season’s 24 semi-finalists, she told Cowell, “What I want to say to you is that, yes, you hurt me and I cried and it was painful, it really was. But I want you to know that I’ve forgiven you and that you don’t need someone to apologize in order to forgive somebody. I figure that if Jesus could die so that all of my wrongs could be forgiven, I can certainly extend that same grace to you. Cowell told Mandisa that he was “humbled” and apologized to her immediately. Mandisa will always be one of the most-remembered finalists in Idol history. Finishing just ahead of her were Bucky Covington, Ace Young and Kellie Pickler.
Silver medal: Nikko Smith, Season 4.
Bronze medal: Ramiele Malubay, Season 7.
Posted by – November 29, 2010
Showbizspy.com says Paula Abdul “is waging war against American Idol.”
Sources say the eccentric former singer is still furious that she was booted from Idol, so she has vowed to destroy the TV show with her own, rival program.
Abdul’s new show, Live to Dance, will air on CBS at the same time as Idol airs on Fox.
“Paula wants to hit Idol bosses where it make Fox regret not meeting her salary demands to keep her on Idol,” a source told the National Enquirer.
“She wants to hit them where it hurts most — in the ratings!”
Abdul was recently quoted saying she can’t help but feel a little satisfaction at the recent struggles of Idol.
“That show meant a lot to me,” she said last month. “I was always present and passionate about seeing young untapped talent. The other part was seeing how it made me look like the biggest numbskull in the world. It was time to move on … ”
What Paula forgets is that without Idol she wouldn’t even have a career right now, let alone her own dance competition show. How soon they forget.
And about “destroying” Idol in the ratings? I guess we’ll see about that in roughly a month and a half. The numbers, as they say, do not lie.
Posted by – November 29, 2010
Former Ameriacn Idol judge Simon Cowell is expected to announce in a few weeks who will form the judging panel for his new X Factor show. He also says he’ll have a ”surprise” announcement concerning the show.
“I’m going to make an announcement within three or four weeks, which is going to tell everyone everything,” Cowell said. “There will be some surprises.”
Simon is still staying tight-lipped on who will be joining him on the judging panel, but did say: “OK, one of the judges has quite long hair.”
The 50-year-old Cowell is reportedly considering a number of big name American stars, including Katy Perry.
Cowell also hit back at American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe who recently claimed Idol will always be a better show than X Factor. He said: “It’s childish, it’s disrespectful, bearing in mind what we achieved together. I wouldn’t have liked it if anyone else said the same thing.”
X Factor is scheduled to debut in the fall of 2011.
Cowell was a judge on Idol for nine years, helping make it the No. 1-rated U.S. show each of the last seven years, but the program had gone stale in the eyes of many viewers the past couple of years. The result has been wholesale changes, including new judges and new nights on Fox.
Posted by – November 28, 2010
Jennifer Lopez won’t be hurting for pocket change, thanks to her new gig as an American Idol judge. She agreed to a salary of $12 million.
The Hollyscoop.com website said she originally asked for $15 million and a movie deal from Fox, but in the end “settled” for $12 million. (Have you seen her movies? Most of them are in the bargain bin at Blockbuster.)
A spokesman for Lopez said she was also (allegedly) approached by Simon Cowell to be a judge on The X Factor, which will air in the fall of 2011, before committing to American Idol.
No word yet on what Idol’s other new judge, Steven Tyler, is pocketing. But we’ll keep searching.
Idol returns Jan. 19.
Posted by – November 27, 2010
I found the following in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. It seems as much as Simon Cowell wants to distance himself from American Idol, the more trouble he has doing it:
“Former Idol judge Simon Cowell says he’s happy that Steven Tyler will take his place. ‘I always said it had to be someone who wasn’t better looking than me and they achieved it,’ Cowell said, poking fun at the Aerosmith frontman.
“Cowell said Tyler seems like a nice guy, and Randy Jackson told him they were having a lot of fun. He believes Tyler can adequately fill his shoes, but stopped short of saying the rock star would damage his credibility being on the show.
Cowell says the role of judge is something that Tyler wants to do and that ‘it’s a fun job. You got to take it like that. You can’t take it too seriously.’”
I’m going to miss Simon, but I still think Tyler is quirky enough to make this whole thing work.
Posted by – November 26, 2010
This was probably the easiest of the selections so far — the best 10th-place finisher in American Idol history. Chris Sligh was a bit on the pudgy side and he always looked like that mop of curly hair needed trimmed, but he had a certain charisma that remains today, judging by his post-Idol success.
Gold medal: Chris Sligh from Season 6 probably got short-changed with his 10th-place finish four years ago, considering Haley Scarnato and Sanjaya Malaka finished ahead of him. His pre-Idol performing experience was obviously a plus for Sligh, and his brief time on the show opened up all sorts of avenues. Sligh has always leaned toward the contemporary Christian genre — laced with a little alternative rock — and he appears headed for a long recording career. Sligh always seemed like a good guy and I’m glad to see the success he’s enjoying.
Silver medal: Chikezie, Season 7.
Bronze medal: Didi Bename, Season 9.
Posted by – November 25, 2010
Last season’s American Idol champion, Lee DeWyze, has found the buying public a bit stand-offish when it comes to his recently released debut albun Live It Up.
DeWyze’s inaugural effort sold approximately 40,000 copies in its disappointing first week and premieried at only No. 19 on the Billboard chart, which makes him the Idol winner with the worst first-week debut album performance. The previous low was held by Season 8 winner Kris Allen, who sold 80,000 copies the first week and was No. 11 on the Billboard chart.
Posted by – November 24, 2010
Have you been wondering why the Fox powers-to-be switched our favorite show to Wednesdays and Thursdays? This might provide some insight.
It’s a move designed to flex some powerful programming muscle, according to Deborah Starr Seibel of TVGuide.com. ”The network has confidence that its other big Tuesday night hit, Glee, will continue to be strong,” she writes. “In shifting American Idol, the strategy is designed to smash the competition on Thursdays, a night that television programmers dream of winning because it can attract major advertising dollars.”
“We’ve been trying to break that Thursday barrier for probably 20 years,” says Fox alternative programming chief Mike Darnell. “The only way anyone’s ever broken that barrier is with a big television show, like CSI, Grey’s Anatomy and Surivor. You have to make a big move, and we’ve got the biggest show on television, so that’s a big move.”
The decision became clear, says Fox entertainment chief Kevin Reilly, once CBS moved Survivor from Thursdays to Wednesdays this season. That gave Fox the chance to establish a new stronghold on Thursdays, “because there’s no reality competition.”
“We were completely locked out of that night for many years,” says Reilly. “Last year we made some inroads with Fringe, but now we’ve decided to really go for it.”
Hopefully, the move works. Fox can’t really lose with Idol, it’s just a matter of how big it can win.
Posted by – November 24, 2010
Roger Daltrey has blasted Simon Cowell, saying he is part of the reason the music industry is in decline. The Who frontman believes the music industry is in crisis — and he blames Simon, according to the www.sunvote.co.uk website.
“We really need to break away from The X Factor and American Idol — that Simon Cowell thing,” Daltrey said. “I really think the music industry will beat this slump and come back stronger. Groups like The Who, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles wouldn’t have made it past the audition stage, let alone be shown on TV. That’s the joke of it.
“The music they make on the shows is absolute tripe. He’s made a good industry out of it, but it’s belittled the power of music. He wouldn’t know what the ‘X Factor’ was if it bit him on the (bleep).”
A little harsh, Roger? I’m pretty sure there’s a lot more wrong with the music industry than Simon Cowell’s influence. Oh, and if memory serves, I believe most of today’s (and yesterday’s) major acts love to appear on the show. Their CD sales always receive an immediate spike afterward.
Daltrey, 66, sounds more like a frustrated, angry old man than anything else.
Posted by – November 23, 2010
Today we look at the top contestants who have finished 11th in American Idol competitions:
Gold medal: Amanda Overmyer was the first real rocker/biker chick ever to make an impression in the finals at American Idol. And she left us way, way too soon in Season 7.
Amanda Overmyer was voted off the island the second round of the finals three years ago, falling victim — at least partially — to a deep talent pool that season. In probably half of the Idol competitions, Amanda would have easily cracked the top six. Season 7, however, gave us David Cook, David Archuleta, Jason Castro, Brooke White, Michael Johns and Carly Smithson, to name a few.
Overmyer’s raspy, physical performances endeared her to a large portion of the audience, just not large enough. Judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson compared her sound, at times, to Janis Joplin. It’s fair to say that until Allison Iraheta came along the following season, Amanda was regarded as the most Joplin-esque singer in Idol history.
Silver medal: Michael Sarver, Season 8.
Bronze medal: Mikalah Gordon, Season 4. (She makes the list simply for being for the most annoying contestant in history. Idol still uses her in some interview situations for some of its specials during the season.)