by Mischalova at . Comments

Before American Idol fans hear the soothing voices of Blake Lewis and Jordin Sparks tonight, let's listen to the cranky judge everyone loves to hate.

What does Simon Cowell have to say about this week's season finale, along with the futures of various past and present Idols?

American Idol Top Nine

On Finale Predictions
"I think they will both chose their favorite song from what they've done over the past 11 weeks â€" and I'm hoping [Blake Lewis] will do the Bon Jovi song because I thought it was his best performance. And I don't know what Jordin will do."

On Fighting with Ryan Seacrest
"It's rather like having a silly little dog who wants to jump up on your lap and you just swat the dog off. Occasionally in a very stern voice you have to say 'no.' And that's how I deal with Ryan."

On Melinda's Next Stop
"I don't think she should try and compete with too many of the R&B artists out there at the moment. I think she's more of a throwback to people like Gladys Knight and Tina Turner. And I think [Melinda Doolittle] should play to her strengths."

On Contestants Talking Back
"I encourage it. I don't think they do it enough because I think they all think they're going to be voted off if they're rude to me. I think it's the opposite. I think the more rude they are to me, the more votes they'll get. I think off camera they're going completely nuts complaining about me. Then on camera they're just smiling and I don't understand that. I think it should be two-way. If I'm rude to them, they're more than entitled to be rude to me back."

On Sanjaya Malakar Fever
"I would never want to be in a situation where we cast the 12 as just normal people because I think it would be boring. The panel is wacky enough and therefore I think the contestants should be a bit strange as well. And I thought the whole Sanjaya Malakar thing was hysterical. I'm happy now because he's out. I don't think I'd be happy if he was in the finals, so I can now be quite smug about it."

On Kelly Clarkson's New Record
Kelly Clarkson is not an artist who's in it for the money. She has a lot of integrity and this is a record she wanted to make. And I admire her for that. ... It's not as commercial as her last record, but any Kelly Clarkson record at the moment is a pretty good record compared to the competition because she's an incredible artist.

by Mischalova at . Comments

The night is almost upon us. When American Idol broadcasts its season finale this week, millions - and millions and millions - of eyes will be upon the show.

Before we learn who will follow in the winning footsteps of Carrie Underwood, though, let's hear from the final two contestants.

Katie Stevens Promo Pic

Both Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis talked with reporters after they moved on in the competition last week. Here are some highlights, beginning with Jordin:

If she loses: If I don't win, it won't be the end of the world. It's not going to be, ‘Oh my God, I'm never going to sing again.' I'd be happy if I win. I'd be happy if Blake wins.

Simon Cowell saying she sounded old last week: Simon's comments always stay with you. But at the same time, I can't really base what I'm doing on that. Sometimes I do. But he says what he feels. It was old fashioned. But it was a song I loved. I just wanted to sing it really badly.

Favorite judge and best advice: I loved meeting Martina McBride. I've listened to her music for so long. She's amazing. I loved meeting Gwen Stefani… I think I cried when I met her. The best advice came from Jennifer Lopez. She was just so amazing. She made us feel so relaxed. ‘Don't worry. Sit down, let's talk awhile.'

Favorite past Idols: I love Kelly Clarkson… the way her career has gone so amazingly well for her. She manages to stay out of the tabloids. She is so amazing. Also, Carrie Underwood has had an amazing career so far.

Now, let's hear what that hottie, Blake Lewis, had to say...

Continue Reading...

by Free Britney at . Comments

Learning that her journey on American Idol ended Wednesday night was the first time Melinda Doolittle had taken a breath in a really long time, the singer said yesterday.

"Knowing that I had made it this far and knowing that I was going to be able to sing from here on out without being judged and voted... it was just like this sigh of relief," Doolittle told Ryan Seacrest on his morning radio show. "Now I'm getting ready to sing just because I love it."

Idol Contender

The former backup singer called Seacrest's 102.7 KIIS FM show and told the host that she didn't feel any resentment after being voted off - despite receiving immense and consistent praise from the American Idol judges.

"Two amazing people are in the finale right now and I couldn't be more proud of them," Doolittle, 29, said, referring to next week's pair of finalists, Jordin Sparks, 17, and Blake Lewis, 25.

"Those are still my babies. I'm still their mama. I'm so proud about it and don't feel cheated at all. There are always opportunities out there to grab onto and to take a hold of so I'm just ready for that."

According to Doolittle, Simon Cowell may be prepared to help her find the right opportunity.

"Simon was especially supportive and said, 'I want to see you succeed,'" she said. "That means the world to me. It was great to hear last night."

The ousted American Idol hopeful admits the rigorous process of rehearsals, performances and getting judged on reality TV week after week was difficult.

"I felt like I was working so hard and when [the judges] would say good things I was so excited to hear it... it would put a look of shock on my face."

That isn't the only thing that shocked Melinda Doolittle, who said that the level of fame and recognition she has achieved so far also surprised her.

"Nothing could have prepared me for this. I knew that the show was huge. I did not know that it was this huge," she said. "The fact that it awarded such a big opportunity to me is just the most amazing thing ever."

In other Idol news, Petty Officer Third Class Phil Stacey has been given the go-ahead by the U.S. Navy to join this summer's American Idol tour.

"It is absolutely true," U.S. Navy spokesman Bob Anderson confirms. "They are working on the logistics right now: what he'll be paid, wear, stuff like that."

Stacey, a married father of two (his second child, McKayla, was born while he was trying out for American Idol), will join the top 10: Haley Scarnato, Sanjaya Malakar, Melinda Doolittle, Lakisha Jones, Blake Lewis, Gina Glocksen, Chris Richardson, Chris Sligh and Jordin Sparks as part of the American Idols Live! tour.

Sadly, Shyamali Malakar won't be there. At least not on stage. We think.

The nationwide tour kicks off July 6 in Sunrise, Fla., not far from Phil's Jacksonville home, and wraps up on September 22 in Manchester, N.H.

"I give the Navy all the props in the world," Stacey said the day after his elimination May 2.

"I have loved every moment in the Navy... to do my duty and be a part of what was happening in the war against terror. I don't have any plans of getting out early."

"The Navy is proud of him," adds Anderson. "He's done very well. We want the best for him."

So do we. We're looking forward to seeing Phil on tour. And seeing Jordin Sparks win it all next week. No offense to Blake Lewis, who's an awesome talent with a bright future, but the Gossip has made its choice. We hope you'll make the same one and vote Jordin Sparks!

by Mischalova at . Comments

Let's go behind the scenes of last night's surprising American Idol results show, shall we?

Melinda Doo-So-Much
After the most shocking moment of season six, when Melinda Doolittle, by far the best singer this year, got her walking papers, half the audience gasped in disbelief while others cheered that their favorite, Blake Lewis made it through. But Doolittle kept her cool throughout, gave another great performance and managed to thank the most important people other than the Idols onstage â€" Ricky Minor and the band.

On the Finale

Rather than keep the beautiful bouquets given to her by finalists Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis, she walked over and handed them to the backup singers. Then it was hugs goodbye and a congratulatory embrace for Melinda as well as Jordin and Blake. Simon Cowell, Nigel Lythgoe, Ryan Seacrest, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson came up to congratulate them all for getting so far, give advice, and say goodbye to Melinda.

Mario's House
Last season's Dancing with the Stars winner Mario Lopez was instantly spotted by the warm-up guy, as well as fans while chilling in the front row of Wednesday's audience and was given a Lewis-like welcome when they did so. When Corey the warm-up guy shouted, "Mario Lopez in the house" the crowd lit up like he was the next American Idol. "I love you, Mario" was heard so much throughout the show, he might as well have been onstage with the other three Idols.

Big Love for Kiki
LaKisha Jones was larger than life as she made her way over into the front row of Nigel Lythgoe's section. Corey the warm-up guy quickly shouted, "LaKisha â€" what up, girl?" sending the fans into frenzy, cheering and even giving her a standing ovation as she made her way into the room. Other former Idols that made the scene: leggy Haley Scarnato and season two's Josh Gracin.

Judges Have Left the Building
For the first time since the season started, it was Ryan Seacrest who made the first appearance of the night with only three minutes to air. Then it was Randy, of course, Simon, and then the Idols ... where was Paula? With only 40 seconds to make it to her seat, Abdul casually cruised down the aisles and right into her chair without batting an eyelash.

Elliot Yamin Fever
Every time Elliot Yamin's name came up the fans went absolutely wild. Maroon 5 also performed on the show, but maybe it was home-court advantage because fans were giving Yamin a standing ovation before he even began his set. But there was definite Maroon 5 lover in the house: Blake Lewis, who covered one of their songs the night before. The guy had definite "Levine-envy," as he mouthed the words to their new tune, as well as ogled the front-man before making his eager way over to the band members one-by-one to shake their hands and meet them after their set.

Evil Ryan
Why does Ryan Seacrest keep singling out young Jordin Sparks at each results show? Tonight he made her cry for a second time when he dimmed the lights and read the judges' comments again tricking her into thinking she was out just before announcing that they're they were going to break. Once cameras stopped rolling, Ryan went off to do his thing while poor Jordin was left to her tears and the couch. But it was mama bird Melinda Doolittle that came to the Idol's rescue, quickly comforting her as she helped wipe the tears from her face and bringing Jordin to giggles and making it all better.

by Mischalova at . Comments

We've got two words for you, Melinda Doolittle:

Chris Daughtry.

An Idol Tradition

After last night's shocking ousting, the American Idol vocalist can find solace in the success of last year's surprising, early exit by Daughtry. The man has certainly found success since then.

In reality, though, were you that surprised when Ryan Seacrest sent Doolittle home to end the show? While one of the best singers this reality show has ever seen, it's evident by now that voters are looking for a lot more than mere range and talent.

They want Blake Lewis, his charm, style and beat boxing skills.

They want Jordin Sparks, her looks, charisma and and youthful innocence.

And they want to drive those that believe this is purely a singing competition, such as Simon Cowell, insane.

Fortunately, all types of American Idol viewers can be happy if Jordin wins. She has the look, personality and talent of a deserving winner. Vote for Sparks, folks, and we could easily have another Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood on our hands.

by Mischalova at . Comments

We'll get to our take on last night's American Idol auditions in a moment. First, pleasant news for a former winner of the reality competition:

Paige Photo

Carrie Underwood took home album of the year, top female vocalist and best video honors at the Country Music Awards last night. This can only help her standing in the rivalry with Season One champion Kelly Clarkson that The Hollywood Gossip staff is attempting to instigate.

Other winners on the night included Kenny Chesney, who took entertainer of the year for the third year in a row and said "it never gets old." Also, 17-year old Taylor Swift earned buzz with her performance of her hit "Tim McGraw."

But enough about established stars. What about the wanna-bes?

The three finalists performed a trio of songs each on American Idol last night. Melinda Doolittle continued to perform consistently with her strong vocals, but concerns remain about her lack of mainstream appeal. Don't her attempts at sex appeal and sass come off as contrived?

Blake Lewis, meanwhile, kept the girls screaming with takes on modern day hits such as Maroon 5's "This Love." As fun-loving as he is, though, Blake doesn't possess the actual singing talent of an American Idol champion.

Then there's Jordin Sparks. She can sing ballads, she can take it up-tempo, she's as complete as any contestant in the history of the competition.

With a week to go until the finale, the young beauty has our vote.

by Mischalova at . Comments

The Hollywood Gossip is about more than just pleasing our male readers. Sure, we talk a lot about the Kristine Lefebvre Playboy issue.

And guys can check out pics of Holly Madison nude any time they want.

Trying to Stay Alive

But we aim to satisfy the ladies, as well. Why else would we post photos of David Beckham nude? Or Matthew McConaughey without a shirt? (Not like he gives us a choice, though.)

Anyway, with the fairer gender in mind, here are a slew of Blake Lewis pictures. We know how women swoon over the beat boxing skills and boyish charm of this American Idol finalist.

It's just too bad Antonella Barba has reportedly gotten to him first. Guess oral sex photos do work out in the end for some.

by Mischalova at . Comments

Now that Lakisha Jones is off American Idol, everyone has the same question:

What was it like to kiss Simon Cowell?!? She gets to that answer and a few others below:

Kelly, Aaron

HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT
"People kept wanting that "And I Am Telling You" [like Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls] moment every week and when you're singing different genres of music, those styles don't necessarily have that big sound everybody's looking for each week. I did the best I could with what I was given and I gave it my all."

DAUGHTER KNOWS BEST
"[My daughter Brionne is] four now and I was crying last night and she looked at me and said "Mommy, I'm not mad." [Laughs] "I just thought that was really cute â€" it's almost like she was telling me "I'm proud of you â€" I'm not mad!"

SIMON AND LAKISHA SITTING IN A TREE…K-I-S-S-I-N-G!
"[Simon Cowell] is a good kisser and I would do it again! His lips were really soft and thin."

COWELL'S CATTY COMMENTARY
"My favorite comment from him would have to be "She's in a league all of her own. [Least favorite was] you're shouting!"

REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO GOOD
"[I'm excited to see] Sanjaya Malakar. He was like a little brother that got on your nerves all the time. He has all this energy! I appreciate the fact that he trusted my judgment, took my advice and was there for me when I needed him."

WHAT'S UP WITH WHO'S LEFT?
"Jordin's so doggone cute and she has a really good, genuine spirit about her. I love [Blake Lewis]. He keeps me going. He has originality and personality. Melinda has so much soul and power."

FEELINGS ABOUT FOURTH PLACE
"All I can say is look at Chris Daughtry."

by Mischalova at . Comments

A lot happened on American Idol last night.

Lakisha Jones was voted out, of course. Ryan Seacrest announced a new reality show dedicated to finding the next great American band. And a well-known, beautiful actress made an appearance ..

A Standout

Fantastic Four Meets the Final Four
Jessica Alba
was the delight of the night, as she accompanied her Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer costars Michael Chiklis, Chris Evans and Ioan Gruffudd to watch Idol's final four face the music. Just before the start of the show, Simon Cowell switched seats with Paula Abdul to get a better look at the star because, as Paula put it, "she's so hot!"

And while Seacrest was about to introduce the cast and a clip of their movie, Alba, who plays the Invisible Girl, left her seat empty and hid behind the host, tickling his back as he pretended that she had vanished.

But having the beautiful actress so close proved too much for Seacrest â€" he almost fumbled his lines completely.

Unbreakable Bond

In the final break before learning their fate, the Idols turned toward one another and formed a big group hug that couldn't be broken. Seacrest was already in place when Blake Lewis was still giving kisses on the cheek to Jones, Jordin Sparks and Melinda Doolittle. But the Idols wouldn't budge â€" even after holding the position for almost three minutes during the commercial break.

It was only when the cameras came back on that they let go of each other.

Follow the Signs
Wednesday's audience was as loud and aggressive as ever, but it was the fans of Jordin and Blake who made most of the noise. In fact, it was so loud and out of control at times that the stage manager had to police the situation and remind fans that they must keep it down. There were far more showing support for these two than Melinda Doolittle, however.

Politics Aside
Politically Incorrect
host Bill Maher left the politics at home and took a front row seat to watch one of his idols, Barry Gibb, perform live. Maher, known more for controversy, let loose at American Idol, bobbing his head while mouthing each and every word in unison during Gibb's performance of "To Love Somebody."

Now we see how he won over Karrine Steffans.

by Mischalova at . Comments

At least one part of American Idol came as no surprise last night:

Viewers voted out soulful singer Lakisha Jones. It was universally agreed upon that Blake Lewis - who finished with the second least number of votes - delivered the worst performance Tuesday night, but the departure of Jones could be seen coming for the last three weeks.

The Other Lambert

Not as easy to see coming? The announcement by Ryan Seacrest that American Idol producers would be sponsoring a new band show. It will be called, well, Band Show. And we can only pray this spin-off idea goes better than the one Grey's Anatomy writers have come up with for Kate Walsh.

As long as you're involved in a group that is comprised of at least two members and everyone plays an instrument, you're eligible. We can only imagine how annoyed Diddy must be at this news, considering he launched such as idea with Making the Band.

Then again, the guy has Kim Porter and beautiful twin girls at home. How upset can he get?

But back to American Idol news: The Hollywood Gossip staff picks Jordin Sparks to take home this year's crown. That 17-year old can wail. In a great way.