The e-mail arrived just before the start of Wednesday night’s American Idol. I almost didn’t open it. After all, it was time for Idol.
But let’s just say I’m glad I did.
The e-mail came from one of our Florida friends of the blog, Brian Ackley of Lake Wales. He thought “Idol Nation” readers would appreciate the following from the St. Petersburg Times:
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. –Police said a St. Petersburg woman took a TV dispute too far Tuesday night when she stabbed and scalded her boyfriend over American Idol. Police arrested Cynthia E. Bettis-Ware, 52, on a charge of first-degree attempted murder of Kevin Johnson, 47.
The couple were watching American Idol when they began arguing over something that happened on the show, according to the report. He changed the channel to stop the argument, a police spokeswoman said, but she kept arguing so “he decided, ‘Well, I’ll go to bed.’ ”
He awoke to Bettis-Ware wielding a 10-inch butcher knife. She stabbed him five times in the back and twice in the chest, an arrest affidavit states. Police said she also severely burned Johnson with hot cocoa.
Johnson took the knife from her and ran (outside), the report said. Bettis-Ware chased after him with another knife, she said. Soon a crowd formed and someone called police, who arrested Bettis-Ware … She was being held without bail in the Pinellas County jail Wednesday.
Neil Patrick Harris and Joe Jonas were the guest hosts for Wednesday night’s auditions from Dallas and the clear winner was NPH, the former “Doogie Howser.” He was attentive, cut right to the chase, had that likable, dry sense of humor and was not afraid to mix it up with the Prince of Darkness (yes, that would be Simon).
Joe, the only Jonas brother without curly hair, was better than Avril Lavigne as a judge but not close to Doogie in terms of personality. Little Joe did not even make an appearance until the the final 15 minutes of the show.
Doogie and Shania Twain have easily been the top two guest judges of to date.
1. Lloyd “Big Sexy” Thomas: Don’t let the nickname turn you off, this is one smooth, soulful dockworker. He threw a little Stevie Wonder at us and definitely proved to be Hollywood worthy. Key comments:
Randy: “I like your vibe.”
Simon: “My favorite audition of the day.”
Big Sexy: “Oh my goodness, oh my Lord Jesus … I wish you could taste what I taste right now.”
2. Christian Spear: Though just 16, she’s an 8-year cancer survivor. A great, great voice, but a little rough around the edges, mostly because of her age. I went back and forth on whether she or Big Sexy should be No. 1 for the night, but Thomas came across a bit more polished. Christian sang “All I Can Do Is Cry” by Etta James. Key comment:
Kara: “I did not sense any fear from you.”
3. Dave Pittman: Another interesting story — and talent. Dave battles Tourette’s syndrome, but it does not affect him when he sings, and oh how he can sing. His “Bring It On Home To Me” by Sam Cooke was spot on. Key comments:
Randy: “Your voice is just great.”
Simon: “I thought you were terrific.”
4. Erica Rhodes: She was the girl with the knee-high boots and whip. Can you say “dominatrix”? Ironically, not to mention incredibly, Erica used to be on the “Barney and Friends” kids TV program as a child. Erica has grown up! I have no idea what she sang. I couldn’t get past the boots and whip. But she sounded good (and looked even better). I would have loved to have listed some key comments, but I didn’t hear a word the judges said. I was still looking at Erica.
Others who deserved “good” status: Maegan Wright, Todrick Hall, Dawntoya Thomason.
SEASON TOP 15
1. Matt Lawrence, Orlando
2. Andrew Garcia, Los Angeles
3. John Park, Chicago
4. Tyler Grady, Boston
5. Katelyn Epperley, Chicago
6. Jermaine Purifoy, Orlando
7. Tasha Layton, Los Angeles
8. Maddy Curtis, Boston
9. Ashley Rodriguez, Boston
10. Antonio “Skii Bo Ski” Wheeler, Atlanta
11. Lloyd “Big Sexy” Thomas, Dallas
13. Christian Spear, Dallas
13. Jermaine Sellers, Atlanta
14. Katie Stevens, Boston
15. Dave Pittman, Dallas
1. Dexter Ward: Before he sang some unintelligble song, Dexter insisted he had this year’s competition all wrapped up. Game over, he said. Well, he was half right. Key comment:
Randy: “That looked like it hurt.”
2. Julie Kevilghan: She appeared way back on thes eason one auditions of Idol and was atrocious. This time she was simply bad, providing us with “Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles. She never had a chance from the minute she walked on the stage carrying a sign that read “This Is My Year.” Key comments:
Doogie: “That was not good … that was just annoying.”
Simon: “Everything was wrong.”
Julie: “I should have taken a deep breath.”
Vanessa Johnston: She was dressed in blinding pink and had one of those voices that made you wince every time she went for a high (or, for that matter, low) note. But she was perky, I’ll give her that. Key comments:
Simon: “If anyone ever asked what my nightmares sound and look like, that’s it.”
Vanessa: “At least you’re dreaming about me.”
I never thought I would be saying this, but maybe it’s time to cut back on the number of audition shows Idol feeds us, either that or condense the number of weeks used for that portion of the journey. How about two weeks of two, two-hour shows on Tuesdays and Wednesdays? That would satisfy those who want to see as many train wrecks as time permits, plus making it possible to get to Hollywood Week much quicker.
An Idol friend of mine says he thinks Kara is sporting more “attitude” this year. I think he’s right. The all-encompassing shadow of Paula has been removed, and with a year under her belt, I think Kara is showing the spitfire quality Idol decision makers were hoping she would.
This is only in the thought process right now, but I’m considering having an X Factor blog when Simon’s new show debuts in the fall of 2011.
The general consensus is Avril Lavigne might have been the worst guest judge in Idol history. She even made Posh Spice (a.k.a. “Skeletor,” according to one writer) appear to be an extrovert.
FROM AROUND THE IDOL NATION … everybody wants to be a judge!
From MTV News: “I make ‘em cry all the time,” Tuesday night guest judge Katy Perry joked. “The American Idol experience was awesome. If I was offered that job as a permanent host, I would ditch my career and take on that career. It’s kind of like judging a talent show. American Idol was great fun. It was so easy. I didn’t really make anybody cry, but I did tell the truth to some kids that might have needed to hear it.”
From Fancast: He’s catty, not afraid to get petty, and he’s not opposed to showing a little chest hair. So naturally, Perez Hilton believes he’d be a great pick to replace Simon Cowell next season on American Idol. And if that doesn’t work out, he’d be more than willing to join Cowell behind the judges’ table on the U.S. version of X Factor. Basically, he’s trying to say that he’s available either way. “I think that Simon Cowell leaving American Idol is amazing, because those are two potential jobs that I may have in the future,” Hilton said. “If they’re looking for a new judge on American Idol, I am available. I haven’t asked Simon Fuller, who created the show, but maybe I should.”
From Popeater: Rosie O’Donnell is a huge fan of Simon Cowell, but is she thinking of taking over his duties on American Idol? O’Donnell, 47, said she had heard the rumors that she may be tapped to fill Cowell’s empty judging seat on Idol next season. “I read that too, but I don’t think it’s true,” Rosie says of the rumor. “He’s irreplaceable.”
From Television Without Pity.com: (Tuesday night contestant) Andrew Garcia is a guy with a neck tattoo, and you know what I say, which is that a guy with a neck tattoo is the kind of guy who should not be making major choices for himself.