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Reading the new ‘American Idol: The Untold Story’

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I received an advance copy of Richard Rushfield’s book “American Idol: The Untold Story” with a bit of a heavy heart. Because, yes, I know, I could have written a book like this. My wife tells me that frequently.

Rushfield, who writes for the Daily Beast,  is eminently qualified. He covered the show for the Los Angeles Times and since season 6 has spent a lot of time on the set of the show. Being here in Atlanta, I’ve always been handicapped by not having access to the show’s behind-the-scenes people. He did have that. My advantage is I have covered the show since day one.

So did Rushfield really break any big news? No. Given how much the show has been covered over the years by me and many others, that would have been a tall order. But if you want a trip down nostalgia lane with some interesting tidbits thrown, this is a quick, easy-to-read journey.

He snagged sit-down interviews with the show creator Simon Fuller, who rarely gives interviews;Simon Cowell; and Nigel Lythgoe, the three linchpins. He talked to key Fox programming executives. He spoke with the stage manager Debbie Williams, who gave him some great anecdotes. Vocal coach Debra Byrd was helpful. Some anonymous stage crew folks threw in some dirt as well.

He did not get on-the-record interviews with Kara DioGuardi, Ellen DeGeneres, Ryan Seacrest, Randy Jackson or Paula Abdul, though it’s clear he got plenty of material from her agent or perhaps Abdul herself off the record.

He did not get any fresh insights from any of the biggest alums from the show including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Clay Aiken, Fantasia, Kellie Pickler, Adam Lambert, David Archuleta or David Cook.

He relied on the second-tier folks like Justin Guarini, R.J. Helton, Nikki McKibbin, Ace Young, Carly Smithson, Matt Girarud, Megan Joy, Brooke White and Kimberley Locke. From one perspective that makes sense since those folks 1) probably haven’t been interviewed much in awhile, 2) are easily accessible and 3) are more willing to proffer the real dirt. He also set aside an entire chapter to what happened to Brian Dunkleman, which is fascinating in its odd pathos.

While the book is primarily chronological, he sets aside a few chapters on other topics such as the Vote for the Worst site.

Here are some notable tidbits I did not know about (or perhaps forgot):

- Originally, the show was supposed to have four judges, like “Pop Idol.” But the fourth judge, a young DJ from KROQ in Los Angeles, pulled out at the last second, feeling a cheesy pop music show would hurt his rock cred. The show simply had no time to find a fourth.

- Ryan Seacrest and his dad (an attorney) wrangled with “Idol” until the last second over negotiations. He literally signed on the dotted line hours before the first shoot.

- Nigel Lythgoe was arrested on his way over to the states for smoking on the plane.

- During season one, Nikki McKibbin got into a nasty argument with Simon Cowell during a dress rehearsal where he called her the b-word that rhymes with witch. And she said back, “I’ll ***in’ show you a b****!”

- The producers had the judges in the semfinals dump Jim Verraros even after the fans voted him in. Then sanity prevailed and they changed their minds. Poor Verraros was whipsawed big time that night?

- The producers also took out Simon calling R.J. Helton a “monkey” and subbed in “loser.” They even did a second “take” since that semi-final round was taped, not live. “Monkey’ in England does not have the racial connotations it has here but the producers did not want the public to think he was a racist.

- Rushfield implies there may have been something going on between Justin Guarini and the two ladies Kelly Clarkson and Tamyra Gray but didn’t have anything specific. He just hints at it.

- During season two, when Clay Aiken was not voted in by viewers in the semi-final round, Kimberley Locke recalls saying a prayer with Aiken and Ruben Studdard hoping Clay would get a spot in the Wild Card show. He did. And they ended up being the final three.

- During season four, Bo Bice was “ill” during the finale performance show. Why? He had drunk tequila all night long the night before.

- He wrote that in season seven, David Cook was the “first surprise verdict in Idol history” over David Archuleta. What? Really? I should go back in this blog and see if that was the case but I really think David Cook was favored to win by the time the finals rolled around. I just googled the topic and yes, Cook was favored to win by the end. So Rushfield got that wrong big time.

As for “first surprise,” I think Ruben Studdard beating Clay Aiken would qualify. Rushfield also made it sound preordained that Carrie would win season four but I don’t remember it that way. I honestly thought Bo still had a chance.

- During season 8, the three original judges would go out of their way to “block out” Kara DioGuardi. During commercial breaks, they’d all leave the stage and watch Simon smoke while Kara had to sit by herself awkwardly.

- In season 9, Crystal Bowersox was not easy to deal with behind the scenes, saying she had a bunch of “mini-diva” fits throughout the season.

- Rushfield sets aside an entire chapter to someone I had never heard of: Leesa Bellesi. Her husband’s a pastor. Season five, Katharine McPhee’s family joined her church. She helped Kat backstage. She would later become a place where out-of-town families of “Idol” contestants would go to for guidance and support. Amazingly, I have never heard of her and “Idol” executives tended to downplay her frequent presence backstage.

67 comments Add your comment

Mercedes S.

January 17th, 2011
12:23 am

That fourth original judge who wasn’t – does the book mention what became of him? Obviously he kept his “rock cred” … but was it worth it? Is he still at KROQ, now as an “older”, wiser DJ?

Rodney Ho

January 17th, 2011
12:48 am

Check out the things DJ Stryker has done to up his “rock cred” since 2002– house DJ for “Ellen DeGeneres” and a “Dean” on VH1’s “Charm School’ reality program.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stryker_%28disc_jockey%29

Mary

January 17th, 2011
12:51 am

I’m skeptical of the Bo story. He was ill for months, from the last part of Idol all through the tour until he ended up having emergency surgery for an intestinal blockage. That’d be one heck of a hangover.

Glenna

January 17th, 2011
1:38 am

Bo Bice was ill he had major intenstial issues which he later during the idol tour had surgery for. I think you need to do some more research before you write stuff. that is if you want to have an honest writing! If you watched Amierican idol Rewind he even mentoned it that he was SICK! and that he was in the hospital for that whole week.

[...] Reading the new ‘American Idol: The Untold Story’ [...]

Sadie Holly

January 17th, 2011
4:17 am

I think this author does not have half the knowledge of Rodney here. I bet there are enough mistakes here.

I know that Bo likes his drinks, but he was very ill on the finale. I heard that Carrie was also very ill that day. If Bo said he was drinking, then it was so, if it came from someone else, I would not believe it.

As to Carrie being pre-ordained, Yes, I remember that. I remember seeing all the Carrie bears on the boards and pretty much knew she would win. It did not hurt that it was announced in England that she won a few days before the finale.

made2105

January 17th, 2011
6:55 am

Although last minute polls and forecasts showed Cook on a clear lead for the title, before the semi-finals and throughout the show, Archuleta was the clear favourite, at least for TPTB. Mid-show, Cook and Archuleta seemed to be head to head in the audience’s preferences. Cook’s outstanding finale performance and the fact that Cowell dissed it saying he had expected something else from him and that he didn’t make the cut, made Cook’s fans vote like crazy to offset the British judge’s negative comments. The result was a clear win for Cook. The last time American Idol ever disclosed the finale figures and percentages, if I recall correctly.

Tina

January 17th, 2011
7:18 am

Just an FYI, but Archuleta was favored to win the entire season. Even after the finale, everyone thought that he would win. Yes, dialidol predicted a Cook win, but that was AFTER the votes were in. Therefore, I don’t think that Rushfield was wrong at all. It was an upset.

Rodney Ho

January 17th, 2011
7:33 am

I don’t recall season 8 being an upset at all. And even if you argue it was a surprise, it was not the first. It’s very easy to say season two that Ruben beating Clay was a surprise for a lot of people.

As for Bo, Richard quoted the stage manager on that one. But it didn’t look like he spoke to Bo to confirm or not. I’ll have to ask Bo next time I talk to him about that anecdote.

Rodney Ho

January 17th, 2011
7:41 am

I went back to what I wrote in 2008 at that time. I said it would be a close race, that either David could win it all. That would hardly merit a surprise win for either of them.

Rodney Ho

January 17th, 2011
7:43 am

And yes, it was true Archuleta was favored for a good part of the season but it wasn’t as if David Cook came out of nowhere. He was clearly a possible favorite by the time top 10 rolled around and he did “Billie Jean.”

Deirdre

January 17th, 2011
7:43 am

Morning!

Very interesting stuff, Rodney. Thanks for the tidbits.

We’ve never had Bo fan-atics here(except for Lara, of course) so it’s nice to see them.

I believe that this particular blog was about 70/30 in favor of Cook. That’s just an estimate on my part but, from my memory, we liked Cook best.

American Idol starts THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!!

Mercedes S.

January 17th, 2011
8:42 am

Thanks for link to short-sighted DJ, Rodney – seems he made a Dunkelman mistake.

The biggest upsets in Idol history: Clay and Adam NOT winning. Show is aired by super-conservative Fox… Clay and Adam both gay… hmm.

Deirdre

January 17th, 2011
8:44 am

Re the Golden Globes…I’m sending a nod to Rosita…since I haven’t seen The King’s Speech yet it may very well be that Geoffrey Rush deserved the award but, if you haven’t seen The Fighter yet, Christian Bale was amazing!

Back to the Idol book, I agree completely with Rodney that the first real surprise winner was Ruben. He and Clay battled throughout the season and, now that time has passed, I think he deserved to win. I’m actually surprised that it wasn’t a tie…

Which brings me to another question. Does the book talk about vote totals at all and do you think that we’ll ever hear from Idol on that subject?

Rodney Ho

January 17th, 2011
8:51 am

Richard said he never saw evidence of vote tampering. He provided no NEW vote total numbers from any season.Didn’t Nigel say one season he’d reveal results AFTER the season was over? They haven’t revealed percentage results in ages, have they?

I did find an article I wrote for print in 2008. I gave David Cook 3-4 odds to win over David Archuleta at 4-3.

http://www.accessatlanta.com/entertainment/content/entertainment/tv/stories/2008/05/19/is_american_idol_over_0520.html

Deirdre

January 17th, 2011
8:51 am

So, according to your logic Mercedes, the “super-conservative” watchers had to choose between a gay man and a black man. Oh the horror of it all!!!!!!!!! ;-)

Deirdre

January 17th, 2011
8:54 am

Unless a lot of money is getting passed around under the table, I see no point to vote tampering. Never mind the heavy fines the FCC would hang on Idol….it has become obvious in the last few years that Idol will try to make a star out of anyone in the top 12 who they think deserves it. The winner seems to only get “winner status” in the commercials plus the announced prizes.

Nana

January 17th, 2011
8:58 am

Good Morning!

Thanks for all the info Rodney. I have a notebook filled with notes from each season that I will pull out and read through about the top 12. It should make interesting reading. If I think any of it is worth posting, I will. I will always say that Clay should have won season 2. That has been the only season that I was really disappointed on who won. I voted for Clay like crazy. I liked Ruben, and still do, but Clay was my choice.

Going back to the previous thread on the Feb birthdays, linny and I are the bookends (1st & 28th) of the blog.

Deirdre

January 17th, 2011
9:08 am

RE Feb birthdays…I wonder if being born in Feb increases one’s proclivity toward getting on blogs. ;-)

Thanks for reading the book for us Rodney. Considering that only Idol fans will probably be buying it and that you just summarized it for a whole bunch of Idol fans…my guess is that the author isn’t going to be all that happy with you. ;-)

KPH

January 17th, 2011
9:17 am

Good morning AI bloggers. It is time for a new season so I will be back on the blog most of the time. Deirdre and I were chatting on facebook last night and I starting talking about my expectations for the show this season. I think will be much better than the last couple of seasons. Anyway we were talking about the Facons game at first and then I gave my thoughts on this seasons AI.

Horrible game last night! Where was our defense, coaching, offense, hustle in that order? All around LAME effort! Well Deirdre at least we have a new competition starting wednesday night. I am really looking forward to it. I think Tyler is going to bring an element to the show that will spark it out of the boredom we have seen the last couple of seasons and after 40 years in the music business he knows what it takes to be a star and will see it in the contestants and give an honest and at times witty opinion. J. Lo will bring another point of view that was lacking with Paula, Kara and Ellen. At least she has been in the music biz unlike Ellen and I think she will show up sober enough to give an interesting opinion of the performance unlike Paula (which one is going to show up) Abdul. Kara just seemed to have this holier than thou attitude that turned me off most of the time and I wont miss her. Going back to a three judge panel is going to be good as well. Hopefully it will free up some time to see more of the performers performing which to me is what the show should be about. I also hope they do not show hardly any of the stupid losers watering down the time that could be spent on the performers that actually have talent. I know there are more contestants that actually have talent that never get any air time and I would much rather see them than some dork dressed up like a cartoon character that cant carry a tune in a bucket. See ya on the AI blog as well as here D.

Deirdre

January 17th, 2011
9:21 am

KPH…looking forward to your return…as well as our other regulars who only blog during the season.

And I know we’ve said this a thousand times but Porter’s recovery is fantastic.

Mercedes S.

January 17th, 2011
9:24 am

I love the way everybody here takes Idol so SERIOUSLY (self included).

D: Blacks are more accepted by conservatives than gays.
D 2: I agree, Christian Bale was amazing in “The Fighter”…but Geoffrey Rush should have won a Best Supporting Globe.

Please see “Speech” and let us know what you think!

DJPCPS

January 17th, 2011
9:25 am

I don’t post much, so don’t think I qualify as a fanatic, but I, too, was glad to see some more of Bo’s peeps putting their two cents to get the story straight.

Sam-A

January 17th, 2011
9:32 am

Rosita: I agree – Geoffrey Rush was truly magnificent (as always) and deserved to win! Bale – Good; Rush – Transcending.

Nana: Agree that Clay should have won season 2 – and still thinking all was not kosher about the voting – as Ruben’s mother said she voted over 1,000 times for Ruben, and I never got thru a single time for Clay, dialing constantly the whole alloted time.

KPH

January 17th, 2011
9:36 am

Thanks Deirdre and yes our little Porter is a miracle baby for sure. Prayer does work and I thank everyone on this blog who sent prayers up for him. He is not totally out of the woods yet but things are looking very good at this point. Any more prayers would be appreciated. I am one proud and thankful Grandpa!

Nana

January 17th, 2011
9:56 am

KPH, you and your family deserve to be proud and thankful. Best wishes in the furture for Porter and family!

Sam-A: I also tried voting for Clay the last night of voting and never got through, and I was using both my cell and house phones.

Deirdre

January 17th, 2011
10:05 am

I’ll see Speech as soon as possible. Looking forward to it.

I voted for Clay and got through about half the time that I tried. Keep in mind that here in the south we are Idol fan-atics so our phone systems will clog up a lot faster than those on the west coast where, I think, Ruben’s mother probably was at the time she was voting. My guess is that Alabama was voting for their native son and South Carolina was voting for their’s so the rest of us couldn’t get through. Conspiracy theories are fun but there is almost always a logical explanation.

Blacks are more accepted by conservatives than gays. Stereotypes do not an argument make…just saying.

KPH

January 17th, 2011
10:29 am

Thanks Nana.

Rodney Ho

January 17th, 2011
10:30 am

You have to wonder if text messaging were more accepted back in season two how Clay would have fared?

Deirdre

January 17th, 2011
10:53 am

I think texting has changed Idol more than just about anything else. Would Kelly have won the first season if texting was as popular as it is today? I wonder.

JTesla

January 17th, 2011
12:01 pm

Morning all.

Do we have any evidence that text voting has greatly increased opposed to phone voting? I know that we have made that assumption for years, but let’s face it the people on this blog are a bit late to the texting party. Youth have been texting like crazy for years, even back in the days when they only had 8 keys to choose from.

As for the article, I’m more entertained by the reaction to Bo being a lush than that revelation itself. Same goes for the David vs. David claim.

BUT the best information of all:

“During commercial breaks, they’d all leave the stage and watch Simon smoke while Kara had to sit by herself awkwardly.”

Awesome.

Deirdre

January 17th, 2011
12:07 pm

“During commercial breaks, they’d all leave the stage and watch Simon smoke while Kara had to sit by herself awkwardly.”

Have to admit I laughed at that one. It sounds so high school. Then I started thinking that we here on the blog probably did the same thing…only without the smoking part. I’ve said before that I hated the idea of a 4th judge and took it out on Kara. Not really her fault but I did it anyway.

Nana

January 17th, 2011
12:14 pm

I pulled my notebooks of notes and here they are for season 1:

WARNING: POST MAY BE LONG

Top 10 Motwon Week: Kelly Clarkson; Justin Guarini; Nikki McKibben; Bottom 3 – Sung “Ben”; Tamyra Grey; RJ Helton; Christina Christian; Ryan Starr; AJ Gill; Jim Verrao – Sung “Easy” Eliminated 7/17; EJay Day – Sung “My Girl” – Eliminated 7/17

Top 8 – 1960’s Week Chiristina Christian – Bottom 3 – Sung “When a man Loves a Woman”; Ryan Starr – Bottom 2 – Sung “You Really Got Me”; AJ Gill – Sung “How Sweet It Is” Eliminated 7/24

Top 7 – 1970’s Week – Nikki McKibben – Sung Heartbreaker” Bottom 2; Justin Guarini – Bottom 3 – Sung “Someday We’ll All Be free”; Ryan Starr – Sung “Last Dance” – Eliminated 7/31

Top 6 – Big Band Week – RJ Helton – Bottom 2 – Sung “I Won’t Dance”; Miki McKibben – Bottom 3 – Sung “Hard Hearted Woman”; Christian Christian – Sung “Glory of Love” – Eliminated 8/7

Top 5 – Burt Bacharach Love Songs – Nikki McKibben – Bottom 2 – Sung “Always Something to Remind Me”; RJ Helton – Sung “Arthur’s Theme” – Eliminated 8/14

Top 4 – 1980’s & 1990-2 Week – Each contestant performed 2 songs – Tamyra Gray – Sung “New Attitude” and “Feel the Pain” – Eliminated 8/21

Top 3 – Contestant’s Choice and Judges Choice – Each sung two – Nikki McKibben – Sung “Edge of Seventeen” (her choice) and Black Velvet (judges choice) – Eliominated 8/28

Top 2 Finale – Each sang 3 – Justin – sang “Before Your Love”; “Get Here”; “A Moment Like This”
Kelly – Sang “Respect”; Before Your Love” and “A Moment Like This”

WINNER: KELLY CLARKSON

I have notes all the way through last season, if ya’ll are interested.

Nana

January 17th, 2011
12:23 pm

After posting my last post, I read it and discovered that I misspelled a couple of words toward the end, but I think ya’ll get the jest of it.

Sam-A

January 17th, 2011
12:35 pm

Nana: certainly interested in your Clay vs Rubin notes, as well as Diana vs The Devil and Bo vs Carrie.Speaking of which, Carrie looked pretty on the Golden Globe red carpet (nice dress), but her total lack of personality stuck out like a sore thumb. Hope K&CF did see her.

Deirdre

January 17th, 2011
12:58 pm

Thanks for the notes, Nana…..you’re a regular Wikipedia!

I have to agree with Mercedes from the last thread. Natalie Portman looked lovely last night. Pregnancy definitely agrees with her.

Deirdre

January 17th, 2011
1:03 pm

Also thought that Scarlett Johansen looked fabulous.

On the other side Kahley whatshername from The Big Bang Theory looked pretty ragged…Make-up and hair were sloppy, dress was unflattering.

Mercedes S.

January 17th, 2011
1:12 pm

Carrie fans… sorry, but HuffPo had Carrie’s outfit among the “horrendous” ones last night. “They” also hated Nicole Kidman’s dress, which was one of my favorites. Carrie did come off as washed- out, though. Color would have been better. Favorte piece of jewlry; Dame Helen Mirren’s $1.6 million necklace

Deirdre

January 17th, 2011
1:19 pm

The absolute worst dressed in my opinion was “worst-dressed” Hall of Famer Tilda Swinton. I don’t know what that woman is thinking most of the time but last night was particularly bad. If she was going to wear all white(always a mistake for her since she has no color other than her hair) at least she needs to pick the same white. The skirt was cream, the blouse was white and neither seemed to actually fit her.

Deirdre

January 17th, 2011
2:03 pm

Getting back to the Idol book….

In season 9, Crystal Bowersox was not easy to deal with behind the scenes, saying she had a bunch of “mini-diva” fits throughout the season.

I have a feeling that Ms Bowersox is very protective of her music. That may be why the judges started leaning toward Lee.

Deirdre

January 17th, 2011
2:16 pm

JT: Do we have any evidence that text voting has greatly increased opposed to phone voting? I know that we have made that assumption for years, but let’s face it the people on this blog are a bit late to the texting party.

I had 2 kids still in college when Idol first started. Neither one of them did much texting at the time because unlimited texting was still VERY expensive. So, from my experience with them, no, I don’t think was as big an influence then as it is now.

JTesla

January 17th, 2011
2:38 pm

Yet at the same time I knew a kid that was already sexting around that time… hence my questioning the assumption. The assumption has been made so much that it is now presented as fact, I’d just like some proof to back it up. It kind of strikes me as a “the sky is falling” “the world was a much better place yesterday” type of thinking that I simply don’t fall for. Musical tastes have also changed, but instead of giving that any weight we want to blame what we perceive as bad voting on ‘them darn kids.’ As if this were some Scooby-Doo mystery.

Sam-A

January 17th, 2011
2:38 pm

Not a Carrie fan, but I thought her dress was pretty, and her hair not so Big Country as usual.

The best dress for me, by far, was Olivia Wilde’s gorgeous ombre milk chocolate with silver sequined ball gown – gorgeous (but I’d have left out a couple of the layers so it would have been a slight bit smaller around the bottom).

Ms. Mirren is always one of the top 3 or 4 gorgeous ladies but I was a tiny bit disappointed in this year’s dress and her hair was a bit too short and mannish (can’t believe I’m using that work for this amazingly lovely woman!).

Sandra – lose the bangs – not good (too thick and long)

Deirdre

January 17th, 2011
2:48 pm

Sam I agree, Olivia Wilde’s dress was gorgeous.

And I agree about Sandra…the bangs were WAY too much.

JT….we always look for something to blame and perhaps you are correct that texting is not as big a problem as we might believe. I was just trying to address the amount of texting ability available now as opposed to back in 2003 when few parents were going to spend $25 to $30 extra a month to let their teens text whereas now, texting comes as part of the package.

Geeks and Freaks!!!

January 17th, 2011
3:21 pm

Oh goooooodyyyyyyyyy!!!! It’s time for American Idol again! You know that time of year when a few certain folks in Atlanta just can’t stay off the roho blog cuz they got NO other life! makes my day!

JTesla

January 17th, 2011
3:24 pm

Wait, how is this time of year any different from the rest of the year?

KPH

January 17th, 2011
3:44 pm

Glad we could help make your day G & F. Seems you have no other life as well seeing how you have our conversations make your day you must be lurking in the background reading what we are conversing about. Now may I suggest you do something that does not make you criticize people for doing something they enjoy to the point it makes you look like a total JERK! Bless your little pea pickin heart. :-)

Nana

January 17th, 2011
3:50 pm

Here are my notes on season 2. BTW, I am a believer of taking notes. I still my notes that I took waaayyy back in high school and college.

Top 12 – Motown
Kimberley Locke – Sung “Love is like a Heatwave” – Bottom 3; Julia DeMato – Sung “Where Did Our Love Go” – Bottom 2; Josh Gracin – Sung “Baby, I Need Your Loving”; Charles Grisby – Sung “How Sweet It Is”; Kimberly Caldwell – Sung “Nowhere to Run”; Ricky Smith – Sung “1,2,3″; Clay Aiken – Sung “I Can’r help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)”; Corey Clark – Sung “This Old heart of Mine”;Carmen Rasmusen – Sung “You can’t hurry Love”; Trenyce – Sung “Come See About Me”; Ruben Studdard – Sung “Baby I Need Your Loving”; Vanesa Olivarez – Sung “You Keeop Me Hanging On” – Eliminated 3/12

Top 11 – Movie Soundtracks
Corey Clark – Sung “Against All Odds” Bottom 2; Ruben – Sung “A Whole Newas World”; Trenyce – Sung “I Have Nothing”; Clay – Sung “Somewhere Out There”; Kimberly Caldwell – Sung “The Shoop Shoop Song”; Josh – Sung “I don’t want to miss a Thing”; Carmen – Sung “Hopelessly Devoted to You”; Ricky – Sung “It Might Be You”; Julia – Sung “Flashdance, What a feeling” – Bottom 3; Limberley Locke – Sung “Home”; Charles Grigsby – Sung “You Can’t win” – Eliminated 3/19

Top 10 Country Rock
Josh – Sung “Ain’t Going Down”; Trenyce – Sung “I Need You”; Kimberley Locke – Sung “I Can’t Make You Love me”; Kimberely Caldwell – Sung “Anymore” – Bottom 2; Corey Clark – Sung “Drift Away”; Carmen – Sung “Wild Angels”; Ricky – Sung “I’ve Done Enough Dying Today” – Bottom 3; Ruben – Sung (What else???) “Sweet Home Alabama”; Clay – Sung “Someone Else’s Star”; Julia – Song “Breathe” – Eliminated 3/26

Top 9 – Disco Week
Corey – Disqualified; Carmen – Sung “Turn the Beat Around” – Bottom 3; Ricky – Sung “Lets Groove”;
Kimberely C – Sung “Knock on Wood”; Clay – Sung “Everlasting Love”; Trenyce – Sung “I’m Evrey Woman” – Bottom 2; Ruben – Sung “Can’t get Enough of You”; Josh – Sung “Celebration”; K. Locke – Sung “It’s Raining Men”. No elimination due to the disqualification of Corey Clark.

Top 8 Billboard Number Ones
Clay – Sung “At This Moment”; K. Locke – Sung “My Heart Will Go On” – Bottom 3; Kimberely C – Sung “Everything I do, I Do For You” – Bottom 2; Josh – Sung “Amazed”; Carmen – Sung “Call Me”; Trenyce – Sung “The Power of Love”; Ruben – Sung “Kiss and Say Goodbye”; Ricky – Sung “Endless Love” – Eliminated 4/9

Top 7 Billy Joel Week
Ruben – “Just the Way You Are”; K. Locke – Sung “New York State of Mind”;Carmen – Sung “And So It Goes” – Bottom 2; Josh – Sung “Piano Man”; Trenyce – Sung “Baby Grand”; Clay – Sung “Tell her About It” – Bottom 3; K. Caldwell – Sung “It’s Still Rock & Roll to Me” – Eliminated 4/16

Top 6 – Songs by Diane Warren
K. Locke – Sung “If You Asked Me To”; Clay – Sung “I Could Not Ask for More”; Trenyce – Sung “Have You Ever” – Bottom 3; Josh – Sung “That’s When I’ll Stop Loving You” – Bottom 2; Ruben – Sung “Music of my Heart”; Carmen – Sung “Love will Lead You Back” – Eliminated 4/23

Top 5 Neil Sedaka Songs – each sung two songs
Ruben – Sung “Ain’t To Proud to Beg” and “Breaking Up is hard to Do”; Josh – Sung “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye” and “Bad Blood”; Kimberely – Sung “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” and “Where The Boys Are”. Clay – Sung “Build Me Up Buttercup” and “Solitaire”; Trenyce – Sung “Proud Mary” and “Love Will Keep us Together” – Eliminated 4/30

Top 4 – Bee Gees Week
Clay – Sung “To Love Somebody” & “Grease”, Kimberley – Sung “I Just Want to be Your Everything” & “Emotion”; Ruben – Sung “Nights on Broadway” & “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart”; Josh – Sung “Jive Talkin” & “To Love Somebody” – Eliminated 5/7

Top 3 Choices by Judges and Contestants- 3 songs each
Ruben – Sung “Signed, Sealed and Delivered”; “Smile’ & “If Ever You’re in my Arms Again”; Clay – Sung “Vincent”; Mack the Knife” & “Unchained Melody”; Kimberley – Sung “Band of Gold”; “Anyone Who Had a Heart” & “Inseparable” – Eliminated 5/14

Top 2 Finale
Ruben – Sung “A House is not a Home”; “Imagine” & “Flying Without Wings”
Clay – Sung “This is The Night”; “Here, there & Everything”; “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” (My favorite of season 2)

WINNER – RUBEN STUDDARD

Do I need to stop at season 2 or continue on? Let me know.

Sam-A

January 17th, 2011
4:00 pm

And, Nana – Kimberley Locke’s “Where The Boys Are” is, to me, the best performance NOT by Kelly C. of all seasons. Of course, I’d take any of Kelly’s over anyone elses. And I think David C’s “Music of the Night” would be my next in line.

Your notes got more detailed 2nd season!

KPH

January 17th, 2011
4:06 pm

WOW Nana I am impressed. I wish I had the patience and focus to do that while watching the show. I know where to go for my source on AI history now for sure. Yes do another one. How about the Carrie and Bo season? By the way Bo has a video airing on CMT these days that is very good. Has anyone else seen it?

Highlander

January 17th, 2011
5:13 pm

“The biggest upsets in Idol history: Clay and Adam NOT winning. Show is aired by super-conservative Fox… Clay and Adam both gay… hmm.” – Mercedes, 8:14am

Merecedes, I do believe you’re confusing Fox TV with Fox News Network. (And your bias is showing.) Fox TV has one hit show (Glee) where one of the main characters is gay (and he just won a Golden Globe) and one (House) where another character (Thirteen, played by Olivia Wilde) is gay. I’m sure there are other examples that disprove your misguided contention.

I don’t mean that in a bad way! :wink:

Nana

January 17th, 2011
5:25 pm

I will continue my note posting later with seasons 3 & 4. I will try to get all seasons posted by Wednesday night before Idol starts back up. Then I will began my notes on this season.

Rosita

January 17th, 2011
5:26 pm

Rodney, any chance of getting that meter reset to 100 posts per page by Wednesday? :=)

Highlander

January 17th, 2011
5:33 pm

I second that emotion (great Smokey Robinson song, btw!), RH.

This 50 comments per page thing is going to become tedious when the season starts. Actually, it already is tedious. At the same time, I don’t want to click on “Show All” when there are 200+ posts either.

Yeah, I know. We’re spoiled!

Deirdre

January 17th, 2011
7:34 pm

Back from seeing The King’s Speech. Colin Firth is amazing. My heart ached for him. I’ll be talking to my mother tomorrow. She was a British subject during that period of time. I’m sure she’ll have a lot to say about it.

Geoffrey Rush was wonderful. Was he better than Christian Bale? Hard to say. Totally different performances. One subtle and calm, the other,all twitchy and full of drugged energy. Loved them both.

el-dee

January 17th, 2011
8:52 pm

Long time lurker, first time poster. Interesting discussion on texting. The way I see it, you have to factor in the fact that AT&T is the only network voters can text from, and that the iPhone is AT&T exclusive. Since the iPhone has made smartphones the hip, cool thing to have, I don’t see how it can’t be a factor.

Deirdre

January 17th, 2011
9:04 pm

Welcome el-dee! And thanks for the comment. Think about joining us for the season.

JTesla

January 17th, 2011
9:08 pm

Welcome el-dee. Is AT&T the only network you can text from or the only one you can do from without a fee? Hence… free texting for AT&T, but not for others?

kelly&carriefan

January 17th, 2011
9:22 pm

Hey y’all!

Sam-A (I think it was you, but it was last page and I can’t recall…) Yes, I did see Carrie at the Golden Globes. She looked great. But so rarely doesn’t look great, that I think that would be the news. As far as her personality, she tries….and she’s a lot better. She’s just never gonna be as outspoken or bubbly like Kelly.

Speaking of, and on topic with the post, the old Kelly and Justin rumor? That’s the scoop. Wow. I want to read the book, but I’m wondering what, if anything, I’ll learn from it.

As far as the voting is concerned, in the times I’ve tried to vote for someone in the later seasons it has become harder for me to get the busy signals. I do think that texting can skew some of the results, especially taking into account that every single text is counted as a vote, while not every call results in one.

JT, I would love to know that as well. Can people on other carriers vote? I’ve never tried.

el-dee

January 17th, 2011
9:24 pm

I could be wrong (wouldn’t be an uncommon occurance), but I’m pretty sure only AT&T subscribers can text votes. Thanks for the welcome, I’m glad to be here and plan on being more than a lurker this year. I’m a bit outside your area, living in Tucson I’m 2 hours behind most of you (’cept JTesla and Sakura, of course) until you start messing with your clocks, then I’m 3 hours behind.

[...] American Idol [...]

Highlander

January 18th, 2011
7:08 am

Good Morning!

Doesn’t Verizon also have the I-Phone now? I think so. And JT and el-dee (glad to meet ye) may be right that only AT&T subscribers can text vote but I seem to recall Ryan saying, “Normal text rates apply.”

Groupy Love

January 18th, 2011
8:35 am

Just curious but WHY would anyone be “welcome” to join a fray of bloggers by the mere fact it IS a blog where ANYONE is free to come and post a comment? Not nitpicking but it seems a bit arrogant on the part of others who thinks a poster needs “permission” or “welcome wagons” just to enter this zone.

Nana

January 18th, 2011
9:23 am

Good Morning!

Groupy Love, you are welcome as well as anyone. However, those if us who have been here for years like to extend the southern hospitality that we in the south are known for. No harm in that, is there? That being said, welcome el-dee and others to this public blog where anyone can post.

On the text voting, I have tried several times and wasn’t able to get them to go through. My cell is with Verizon. Not sure if I had the incorrect number or what. Apparently, AT&T is the only one you can text from. Same way with SYTYCD or DWTS (can’t remember which one).. Since text voting is a major force in the votes, maybe AI should consider appurtenance more carriers.

DJPCPS

January 18th, 2011
12:04 pm

KPH – yes, Bo’s You Take Yourself With You video is doing quite well. It is currently #3 on GAC channel’s Top 20 videos and made their list to Top 50 videos of 2010.

Rodney Ho

January 18th, 2011
1:32 pm

Just listened in on the Steven Tyler phone conference, got a decent answer from my question. He was a lot of fun, far more fun than most. I’ll post excerpts from the conference later this afternoon or tomorrow morning.

Rodney Ho

January 18th, 2011
1:57 pm

As for the 50-message-per-page limit, I can’t seem to change it on my own. I’m checking with my boss..