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!


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."

by Mischalova at . Comments

Now that American Idol has whittled down its contestants to the final 24, our Power Poll gets serious.

Only talented competitors remain in what many followers consider to be the show's most impressive season to date. But who is leading the pack heading into tomorrow night's performance of the top 12 males. Let's find out...

Spanish Sensation

1. Michael Johns (last week: #2): He has the looks, experience, singing talent... and the best accent in American Idol history. The Aussie's professional background may turn off some viewers, however.

2. Asia'h Epperson (last week: #8): Young and enthusiastic, reminds us of Melinda Doolittle with her innocence and charm. Possesses more personality than this finalist from last season.

3. David Archuleta (last week: #4): Arguably the favorite for many, but we've got a Simon-like question about this talent: does he really have music superstar written on him?

4. Carly Smithson (last week: #7): Similar to Johns. Great look, sound, experience and accent. But will voters not wanna reward someone who has already put out a label-sponsored album?

5. Kristy Lee Cook (pictured, last week: #1): Also signed with a record label in 2001, but that's almost part for this year's American Idol course. Has been a contender since the first night of auditions.

Continue Reading...

by Mischalova at . Comments

The top 24 contestants on this year's American Idol know how to sing... and party!

The group got together last night in Hollywood to celebrate its achievements.

Between intense rehearsals, the reality show newbies joined American Idol finalists from the past, such as Ace Young and Justin Guarini at the Day After Lounge in Hollywood.

"The judges have always been saying, 'this is the best year ever' and so on, but this year I really think they got it right," Guarini told Us Weekly.

The contestants posed for photos and flirted with each other.

Kady Malloy, who sang "Unchained Melody" during tryouts, held hands with Colton Berry â€" who was the last person selected to go on to the finals â€" at the desert table. Is there an American Idol love connection already?!?

Meanwhile Kristy Lee Cook, known for her a capella rendition of "Amazing Grace" confidently strutted around the room with a few girlfriends. Hot stuff!

by Mischalova at . Comments

It's official: the top 24 contestants on this year's American Idol were announced last night. Were you satisfied with the selections? Any obvious snubs?

We think the commercials touting this season as the most talented ever might actually ring true, as The Hollywood Gossip staff was impressed by singers male and female, young and old, rocking and serenading.

Mary J. Blige on Idol

Here's our breakdown of the American Idol top 24...

Finals Favorites: Anything can happen once viewers control the vote, but color us shocked if the following contestants don't make the final 12.

  • David Archuleta (pictured)
  • Carly Smithson
  • Asiah Epperson
  • Amanda Overmyer
  • Michael Johns

Serious Singers: Following the probable finalists listed above, here's who we think stands the next best chance of advancing to the next round.

  • Chikezie Eze
  • David Cook
  • Kristy Lee Cook (pictured)

Possible Spoilers: Any of the following could make a deep run this season, as they've possessed more talent than screen time so far.

  • Alexandréa Lushington
  • Ramiele Malubay
  • Kady Malloy
  • David Hernandez
  • Alaina Whitaker
  • Syesha Mercado

And the Rest: No Sanjaya Malakars in this group, but they'll all need a world of luck to make it far.

  • Danny Noriega
  • Brooke White
  • Colton Berry
  • Joanne Borgella
  • Jason Yeager
  • Amy Davis
  • Robbie Carrico
  • Luke Menard

by Mischalova at . Comments

We didn't include him among our top five performances from last night's American Idol auditions in Hollywood, but David Hernandez deserves a shout-out.

He hasn't received the same sort of screen time as contestants such as Michael Johns and Carly Smithson, but Hernandez may now be considered a dark horse following this rendition of "Love the One You're With."

Didi Benami Live Performance


by Mischalova at . Comments

So long, ear drum-shattering dreamers!

Hello, true American Idol hopefuls!

Bowersox! Bowersox!

That was the basic message behind tonight's Hollywood auditions, as contestants faced off against the judges on the same stage that will crown the winner in May.

Here are the top five performers from this round of important auditions:

1. Michael Johns (pictured): As Simon so rightfully said, the best of the night. By far.

2. Syesha Mercado: Recovered from a rough start to end the evening with impressive vocal range.

3. Asia'h Epperson: After her initial audition, was best known for tragic accident that recently befell her father. Proved that she belonged in the finals tonight on pure singing talent alone.

4. Carly Smithson: The Irish crooner joins Johns as a foreign-born talent who seems destined for the final 12.

5. David Archuleta: Young. Adorable. Talented. The only contestant that didn't seem flustered by the pressure of the evening.

Who was your favorite of the night?

American Idol Quotes

Brooke White's tears come from the authentic, good soul that she is. Her heart was breaking because she was overwhelmed with the experience she had with the show and the gift that it brought.

Paula Abdul [after Brooke White was eliminated on season seven]

I read some of this online this morning and just for the record, the rumors — they’re not true. She’s part of our family and we love her.

Ryan Seacrest [on rumor of Paula Abdul being drunk on the show]
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