by Mischalova at . Comments

It doesn't take much to make Paula Abdul cry. Tears flow for this American Idol judge over her assistant purchasing the wrong shampoo. Or a broken remote control. Or a poorly mixed margarita.

Last night, however, it was the performance of American Idol contestant David Archuleta that left Abdul's mascara a mess.

Pia Toscano Pic

After the 17-year old sensation completed his rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine," Paula choked back the tears and said: "That was . . . one of the most moving performances I've ever heard. You're destined for super stardom."

Take a look. Take a listen. Let us know if you agree:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIuMcL4Kz44&eurl=http://www.thehollywoodgossip.com/videos/imagine/[/youtube]

by Mischalova at . Comments

With just 20 contestants remaining on the seventh season of American Idol, it's time to chop down the list on our Power Poll.

With that in mind, here are the top five performers so far, according to our crack celebrity gossip staff:

Absolutely the Best

1. Asiah Epperson: We may be in the minority in anointing this singer as the leading contender, but no one else this season combines her poise, looks and vocal range. What a great name, too!

2. David Archuleta: The 17-year old has captured the hearts of America in a way Sanjaya Malakar could only dream about last season: an adorable sensation... who can actually carry a tune! Sign him up now for the finals.

3. Michael Johns: The only knock on this performer is that he's too established to be considered an American Idol. He's 29 old and has already fronted a band called The Rising. No matter to us. The handsome Aussie can wail.

4. Syesha Mercado: Another contestant with a winning name. Syesha has a much bigger voice than that of Epperson, but she's able to control it. Would love to see her tackle a ballad in order to determine full range.

5. Jason Castro: Apologies to Amanda Overmyer and Carly Smithson, either of whom could be in the spot. But Casto deserved props after taking the stage last week with his guitar and delivering a sweet, understated version of the Lovin' Spoonful hit ''Daydream."

Here's a look at the American Idol top 20. Who is your favorite? Leave a comment. Let us know.

by Mischalova at . Comments

Jason Yeager is a relatively unknown American Idol semifinalist.

This Grand Prairie, Texas-native hasn't received the same amount of air time as fellow male contestants such as Michael Johns and David Archuleta. Therefore, the following interview - courtesy of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram - ought to help fans get a better idea of what this singer is all about...

When the Dallas auditions came up, did somebody twist your arm to do it, or did you just jump for it?
I was about to turn 28, getting up there as far as the [Idol] age limit goes. I'd actually auditioned five years ago and got turned away. The very first preliminary round, they told me no. I swore the show off for a long time. Then just last year during the summertime, just on a whim, I was sort of curious to see when the next season was going to be starting and when the auditions were.

Oddly enough, two weeks later they were going to be in Dallas. They'd just posted the audition process online, and five minutes later I get an IM from a friend saying, 'Hey, there's an audition in Dallas for American Idol. You should go.' I thought, wow, that must be a sign.

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by Mischalova at . Comments

Should Vanessa Hudgens be jealous of Amanda Overmyer? How about Syesha Mercado?

We only ask because Vanessa's boyfriend, Zac Efron, is admitting he has profound admiration for American Idol contestants such as the aforementioned pair from season seven.

"[The show] deals with regular people who really have a dream and like to perform," the High School Musical star told MTV recently. "I have such admiration for those guys â€" they go literally from zero to 60 in a matter of days and they handle it like champs… I couldn't have done that: go to the peak of your fame within a month of starting."

A photo of Zac Efron. Don't be afraid to swoon ladies. We won't blame you.

Efron says in past seasons he's gone down to watch American Idol live.

"A few years ago, I went, like, almost every week," he says. "It's a completely different experience live. You really get to see who is a good singer, and who can really captivate a crowd. And you can tell it's really influential on the judges' decisions."

Speaking of those judges, Zac calls Paula Abdul a "sweetheart." Perhaps Hudgens should be jealous of her instead.

by Mischalova at . Comments

Despite a few female contestants being stricken with the flu during last night's American Idol auditions - Kristy Lee Cook and Joanne Borgella appeared especially affected - the women still blew away the men from the previous evening's set of songs.

Here's a look at the eight - yes, eight! - performances that we liked the most, along with a few comments from the judges related to them:

- Alaina Whitaker gave a solid, subdued performance of "More Today Than Yesterday." Simon doesn't see her going home tonight: "You are sailing through to the next round.

- Asia'h Epperson (pictured) sang "Piece of My Heart" and we fear that Simon is moving in on our favorite when he simply said: "It was my favorite of the night."

- Amanda Overmeyer rocked out with "Baby Please Don't Go." We know Paula is easy to please, but we agreed with her assessment: "I just love everything that you do... You're authentic... A one trick pony, you're not."

- Brooke White impressed with a folksy version of "So Happy Together." Like David Cook with this song the night before, we loved it. Simon said Brooke "chose the right song."

- Alexandréa Lushington turned Blood, Sweat & Tears' "Spinning Wheel" into a youthful, enjoyable tribute, all while sporting cute peace sign earrings. Randy was a fan: "You blew the doors off that ... You stayed on the note. You got it. It was hot, baby. it worked."

- Ramiele Malubay didn't sound like an amateur with "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me." All three judges called her a pro, with Simon cooing: "Tonight, you out sung every single person."

- Syesha Mercado belted out a big, loud rendition of "Tobacco Road." It left is wanting more. Paula called it "consistent, joyful and fun."

- Carly Smithson (pictured) closed the night in style with"The Shadow of Your Smile." Randy summed her up with: "The best vocal of the Top 24."

Who was your favorite? Who do you think will be voted off tonight?

by Mischalova at . Comments

After last night's weird rendition of "Jailhouse Rock," we may not be seeing Danny Noriega on American Idol for much longer. Along with Garrett Haley and Jason Yeager, he's a favorite to be voted off tomorrow.

We're not sure yet about the chances of Ramiele Malubay on the show, as she joins the other 11 season seven semifinalists for ladies' night this evening.

Regardless of how Ramiele Malubay performs, though, she and Danny Noriega will have something in common: their looks!

Compare these American Idol contestants now:

The resemblance is not at all canny. Last night, Ryan Seacrest also told Robbie Carrico that he resembles Justin Timberlake. What do you think?

by Mischalova at . Comments

It wasn't the greatest American Idol audition of Robbie Carrico's life last night.

The semifinalist performed "One is the Loneliest Number" by Three Dog Night and was told by Simon Cowell that he's "not quite sure yet whether [Robbie is] very comfortable in this rock thing or whether [he's] a pop singer."

American Idol Top 13 Photo

Ouch. But it actually got worse, as Ryan Seacrest told Carrico that he may be dressed "like a rocker, but kind of looks like Justin Timberlake!"

A compliment, right? Except that both Carrico and Timberlake both have dated Britney Spears. Awkward alert, folks!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYBxDRce4qk&eurl=http://www.thehollywoodgossip.com/videos/robbie-carrico-audition/[/youtube]

by Mischalova at . Comments

We know it's early. The top 12 American Idol men have only performed one time during the semifinals.

And certain competitors were pleasant surprises: David Hernandez put on a smooth performance last night and Jason Castro has a unique sound to him.

Still, we feel confident already in saying the male side of things on Idol this season is all about three singers. Let's take a look at them now:

  • Michael Johns (pictured): Come on, viewers, didn't he light your fire? Belting out this classic by The Doors last night, the former lead singer of The Rising is the most polished and mature of all semifinalists, male or female.

  • David Archuleta: Can we just anoint him into the final five already? Simon said Archuleta's rendition of The Miracles' Shop Around was the best of the night. We're not sure we agree... but how is a guy with this voice just 17 years old?
  • David Cook: This hopeful rocker put on our favorite performance of the evening. He took the slow tune, "Happy Together," and made it current and enjoyable. Perhaps it's the professional resumes possessed by the prior two contestants, but there's something innocent and fun about Cook.

Our picks to be eliminated tomorrow night: Garrett Haley and Jason Yeager.

Who was your favorite singer from last night? Who do you think is going home? Let us know!

by Mischalova at . Comments

Carly Smithson is at the center of an American Idol debate: should singers with a professional background have an opportunity to audition on the show?

The contestant recently talked to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about her previous recording contract and failed album "Ultimate High," released in 2001.

Brielle Von Hugel Photo

"I kind of had a bad experience," the American Idol finalist said.

Smithson (known then as Carly Hennessy) worked with Gregg Alexander, lead singer of the New Radicals and he pushed her toward a more alternative record that she was ready for.

"Gregg pushed the envelope with the lyrics," Carly said. "I thought it was a great, cool record. I listen to it to this day. It had some great tracks on it. He helped me find exactly what my sound was. I was pleased."

Given the adult nature of the CD, MCA waited until Smithson was 18 to release the single "I'm Gonna Blow Your Mind" (about oral sex, Antonella Barba fans).

It was gaining traction, she said, but then 9/11 happened and "nobody was interested in shopping a new record."

At that time, the label tried to promote the CD in Europe. Carly moved there, but she said the record company went away at that point and promotion really stopped.

"The [Wall Street Journal article that documented her failure] forget to mention all that," she said. "It looked like I put out a record and it went nowhere."

She said the reacton to the story "was kind of crazy. One article can have such a snowball effect. They believed everything in it."

Continue Reading...

by Mischalova at . Comments

As we reported a few weeks ago, American Idol finalist Carly Smithson is no stranger to the music business.

The Irish crooner released a CD in 2001 entitled "Ultimate High." Despite a $2 million promotional campaign from MCA records, the album tanked. Now, Carly is getting another shot at stardom on Idol.

Woman Lover

Many fans believe this to be unfair. But executive produce Nigel Lythgoe doesn't understand the controversy.

"We have never not shown their past when we can," Lythgoe told reporters during a conference call Friday, claiming the show never intended on hiding Smithson's professional background. "There is nothing wrong with saying she had a deal and she didn't get anywhere in that deal and now here she is. I've got no problems with that whatsoever."

Do you care that Carly Smithson had a recording contract years ago? Chime in now in our American Idol forum!

According to show rules, contestants simply must be free from any recording contracts when they audition.

"[Fellow American Idol 7 Top 24 semifinalist] David Archuleta won [the CBS Star Search revival] Arsenio Hall [hosted] when he was 11. That's fantastic. That's all part of their careers," said Lythgoe. "I'm not worried about that. I don't honestly know what the angle is, because all we're saying is this girl is extremely talented. It's within the rules of the competition. What's wrong with it. She's not broken any rules."

In the end, Nigel reasoned, fans will have the final say.

"They're going to have to decide, 'Is she good enough to be on the show?' It's not what's happened in her past. She's not breaking any rules of the competition. I don't see the logic. I don't see any logic in there."