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Why Was JLo ‘American Idol’ Announcement So Low-Key?

Posted by Gil Kaufman On August - 11 - 2011

Jennifer Lopez

The last time “American Idol” had news about Jennifer Lopez, they announced it with glitter and much fanfare on the “Idol” Hollywood stage. When the singer/actress joined the cast of the show last year there was much pomp and circumstance.

But on Wednesday when “Idol” executive producer Nigel Lythgoe confirmed that JLo would be back for another season alongside fellow newbie Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler and old dawg Randy Jackson, there was no confetti.

In fact, there wasn’t much fanfare at all. No press release from Lopez or the “Idol” camp, no media splash about her contract and, oddly, a “no comment” from a Fox spokesperson when MTV News asked for confirmation of the re-hire.

What gives?

“I was quite surprised that it wasn’t such a big deal,” said “Naughty But Nice” columnist Rob Shuter, who did publicity for Lopez earlier in the decade. “The last time they did it with a glitter explosion with Steven and Randy on the ‘Idol’ set, but they didn’t do that this time, which leads me to think that the rumors that the cast is still not happy about it [her reported salary].”

Considering that Tyler was the break-out star last season, Shuter suspects that the hard rock icon is angry that he signed a multi-year contract for what is said to be considerably less than Lopez’s reported $20 million per year. “Her signing for one year was genius,” he said. “He’s probably pissed that he’s sitting next to someone who is doing the same job as him, and not as well and he’s doing it for half the money.”

Shuter suspects that it’s that bitterness that may explain why there was no fanfare this time. We already knew Randy and Steven were coming back, so perhaps to appease the egos of the other two, there was no press conference to announce the JLo news because there was no way to do it without bruising egos. “If they did a press conference with all the judges and they’re there just to announce the Jennifer news they wouldn’t like it and if she did a solo conference what does that say about the other judges?” Shuter said.

That might also explain why the announcement was made on friendly turf – host Ryan Seacrest’s radio show – and downplayed a bit. Also, at a time when people are suffering financially, the stock market is tanking and so many are out of work, Shuter said there might have been something unseemly about making a big deal about Lopez’s lavish salary for a gig that basically involves two days of work a week. “There’s something grotesque about that,” he said. “It’s not something you cheer from the rooftops these days.”

A spokesperson for “Idol” had no further comment on the announcement and Lopez’s spokesperson did not return calls for confirmation.

Summer Splitsville: Fans React To Lopez’s Split From Marc Anthony

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Liv Tyler Loves Watching Father Steven On ‘American Idol’: The MTV News Quote Of The Day

Posted by MTV News On March - 22 - 2011

“I haven’t been watching every single [episode], which I feel really bad about, but I’ve been watching a lot and I love it. I feel really proud of him and happy for him. He’s had a rough few years, a couple of years in particular, and I’m really happy for him that he’s enjoying himself so much.”

-Actress and rock star scion Liv Tyler, expressing her excitement over her father Steven Tyler’s new gig as one of the judges on “American Idol.” Tyler put away his role as the singer for Aerosmith for a while in order to sit behind the “American Idol” judges’ table next to veteran judge Randy Jackson and fellow newcomer Jennifer Lopez for the show’s current season. So far, he has provided many of the show’s biggest highlights, and his enthusiasm and energy have been contagious on the “Idol” set.

As for daughter Liv, the star of the new film “Super” told MTV News that she is glad that the world is getting to see the side of her father that she always knew existed but never necessarily got the chance to be out in the open.

“He’s so happy and naturally good at what he’s doing, it’s really nice,” she said. “It’s so funny for me, everybody keeps coming up to me going, ‘Your dad, he’s so sweet and he’s so funny!’ And of course it’s the man that I’ve known my whole life, who tells all those kinds of jokes and has that big heart. I’m really happy for him.”

Don’t miss “Idol Party Live” every Thursday on MTV.com, following the “American Idol” results show, for analysis, celebrity guests and even some karaoke — get in the conversation by tweeting with the hashtag #idolparty! In the meantime, get your “Idol” fix on MTV News’ “American Idol” page, where you’ll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.

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‘American Idol’ Recap: The Top 24 Begin To Emerge From Sin City

Posted by Jim Cantiello On February - 24 - 2011

Ever watch “American Idol” and think, “You know, I like watching amateurs perform, but I wish I could watch them sing four seconds of a Beatles song surrounded by oversized props on a hydraulic-enhanced stage”? Well, Wednesday night’s (February 23) new Vegas round episode was just for you.

It was supposed to be a full two hours of people saying they’ve never heard of the Beatles, Steven Tyler waxing poetically about living in “Beatle Land” and awkward Seacrest interviews set in a makeshift Coca-Cola/Ford room that got integrated marketing execs horny. But then Jennifer Lopez had to go and have a meltdown when she told Chris Medina that he wasn’t good enough to be on the show and producers said, “Eh, let’s chop out that boring Vegas singing part. Who watches ‘Idol’ for the music anyway?”

Perhaps that’s why the Vegas-set half of Wednesday’s super-sized episode often felt like we were getting a greatest hits collection instead of a fully-formed album. Think the Beatles 1 versus Abbey Road. (Trust me, I’ll get to the big reveal of the first five official “AI:X” cast members in a little. But if I go out of order, my sleep-deprived brain will sputter like blushing bride Ashley Sullivan off her meds.)

The conceit of Vegas Night reminded me of a “Top Chef” Quickfire Challenge. “You only have 24 hours to cook up a Beatles duet or group number. Also, make a quiche. Go!” And boy, did the contestants bring their finest cheese to the stage.

Casey Abrams and Chris Medina — who bonded instantly over their mutual disdain for hair care — donned matching acoustic guitars, coordinated fedoras and bright white socks for “A Hard Day’s Night.” They also choreographed jumping on a giant prop bed because they desperately want to be the stars of some twisted fan fiction in which Chris’ fiancé Juliana will be an unwilling participant. (Just like “Idol”!)

But nobody out-cheesed Denise Jackson, Lauren Alaina and Scott McCreery. At first I felt bad for this team. Jimmy Iovine and his army of too-cool-for-school producer thugs waltzed into their rehearsal unannounced and barked that “If I Fell” needed to be changed. (Wait, is this the role that Jimmy Iovine is playing on the show? Meddling middle management nincompoop?)

The group settled on one of the most annoying Beatles tunes ever recorded in “Hello Goodbye” and jazzed it up by running around a British phone booth. Steven Tyler likened the performance to a Marx Brothers folly; I likened hearing Scott hit high notes to the Crash Test Dummies singer dude getting smacked in the crotch. Good job, Jimmy Iovine!

The new mentor had better advice for Jacob Lusk, who has a tendency to bring the hiccupping Holy Ghost to everything he sings. (Imagine Lusk’s “Happy Birthday.” Now give yourself five minutes to stop laughing before you continue reading.) Iovine compared Jacob’s vocal agility to Bono’s in some strange way that kind of made sense at the time, and then added, “If [Bono] used [his vocal power] all the time, he’d be working in a café in Dublin. Or a pub.” (As opposed to where Bono is now, using his vocal power to seriously injure Broadway actors.) But duly noted, Jimmy Iovine. You hate over-singing. Yet you’re on “Idol.” That’s like hating sunshine and moving to Florida. You best be investing in some sun block, partner.

Lusk, Haley Reinhart and Naima Adedapo took Jimmy’s advice to heart when they performed “The Long and Winding Road.” Instead of making it a tuneless 15-minute diaphragm exercise of vocal runs, they reigned it in to 12 minutes. Progress! But Randy Jackson thought Lusk lost sight of what makes him special, and compared his voice to a car with gas that’s not going anywhere. This Lusk guy, always on the receiving end of cockamamie comparisons.

And then, Jacob solidified his place in my heart by responding, “We were told to be extremely, extremely, extremely, extremely cautious, so I tried to give a little bit but I didn’t want to take it all the way to Ebenezer Baptist on y’all.” Who uses the same word four times for emphasis? Jacob Lusk does, that’s who. This is the beginning of a beautiful relationship. I’m currently taking submissions for a Lusk Fan Club name. (Lusk For Life? Lucky In Lusk?)

“I Saw Her Standing There” singers Tatynisa Wilson, Lakeisha Lewis and Jerome Bell also thought “more is more” when it came time to perform, and I’m not just talking about their vocals. Their outfits were a parade of future “What Not To Wear” episodes. Tatynisa stole an Eartha Kitt catsuit from 1968 and combined it with a zebra-print wrap/robe/Snuggie thing I imagine Eartha Kitt wore in 2008. Meanwhile, Lakeisha rocked a juvenile hair clip that made her look like a 14-year-old who dressed up like Mandisa for Halloween. And Jerome Bell’s dangling rope epaulettes? Randy Jackson wore those on an “Idol” finale four years ago, dawg! If you’re going to bite someone’s look, at least bite his or her latest fashion statement.

At the other end of the performance spectrum, understated Nashville musicians Paul McDonald and Kendra Chantelle stole the show with a tender “Blackbird” duet that barely registered above a whisper. The unlikely duo looked like a Disney princess and her twitchy troll sidekick that used to be a kinkajou, but their voices came together beautifully.

We got another look at McDonald later where he showed up to the Top 24 reveal sporting a countrified white and red embroidered flower suit and sang an original song for the judges. The Nashville native looks like Aaron Paul from “Breaking Bad,” with a low-key happy-go-lucky vibe like Matthew McConaughey. Therefore, I will call him Rhinestoned Cowboy.

Speaking of fashion, Rachel Zevita sang “Eleanor Rigby” dressed like she was going to a 1985 West Berlin funeral. It brought up an interesting conundrum: Since these people did not pack for this Beatles/Vegas trip, that means that Zevita had that crazy get-up packed in her bag for Hollywood Week. I guess she wanted to be prepared in case she got a phone call that Nena died.

James Durbin has a style all his own too, combining the ’80s suburban angst of chain wallets with a ’90s Latin gang bandana and a “towel out of the butt” look that is always timeless. But his most cherished accessory is his “Fail Wail,” a high pitched ear-piercing shriek that he thinks is a zillion times better than it actually is. Durbin’s “Get Back” duet partner, Stefano Langone, sang like a Japanese tourist at a karaoke bar and stiffly stomped around the stage like a petulant child with a load in his pants. Important to note that the judges liked these two.

The judges also dug “Fame” school graduates Pia Toscano and (MySpace’s) Karen Rodriguez, Lauren Turner and Jovany Barreto’s “Let It Be,” and especially Tim Halperin and Julie Zorrilla’s sincere “Something.” They each played keyboards while making bedroom eyes at the cameras (and at each other), causing me to wonder whether they’d be tickling one another’s ivories later that night. With his sleepy appeal and singer/songwriter vibe, I predict that Tim Halperin will win this season. On a separate note, I predict that Julie Zorrilla will be in my dreams tonight.

That is, of course, if I’m not already dreaming about my new true love Peggi Blu, the “vocal coach from hell.” Her rehearsal rant against Thia Megia and Melinda Ademi is an instant classic. “You’re gonna die on stage in front of all those people,” she hissed as the two timid teens fidgeted uncomfortably. “I’m gonna be layin’ in my bed watching you just croak. And when I get the phone call that says, ‘Did you do these two?’ I’m gonna go ‘Hayle no!’” Peggi Blu is Alec Baldwin in the “Idol” production of “Glengarry Glen Ross.” More of her please! (Side note: I know she was speaking figuratively, but wouldn’t Peggi be racked with guilt if, in some kind of freak fatal accident, a giant Sgt. Pepper logo decapitated Thia and Melinda?)

By the end of the two-day Vegas adventure, we said goodbye to Denise Jackson and Melinda Ademi, as well as a big chunk of early favorites. People like goofball surfer Carson Higgins, White House intern Molly DeWolf Swenson, New York rocker Caleb Hawley and a weepy DeBarge lookalike. It’s a shame we didn’t get to see much of the performances that did them in. Instead, we were held hostage by “Idol” editors who incorrectly thought Ashley Sullivan’s shotgun Vegas wedding was essential viewing. Ashley’s hapless husband looked just as disinterested as I was. Here’s to a lifetime of happiness, newlyweds!

The second half was devoted to the painfully slow Top 24 reveal. This season, it was set in a massive airplane hangar for no apparent reason other than they could extend contestants final walk to the judges. The longer the walk, the longer we get to hear the contestants’ echoey voice-overs about wanting to be famous. Look for this to be taped in the Mall of America next year.

These episodes live and die by the contestants’ reactions to their good fortunes, and first Top 24 member Naima Adedapo set the bar high. The emotional toilet-scrubbing dashiki enthusiast leaped out of her chair to tell Jennifer Lopez that she wanted to be an “In Living Color” Fly Girl. The only way this moment could have brought me more joy is if she somehow brought up “Gigli,” too.

Clint Jun Gamboa — who keeps mangling opportunities producers give him to apologize for making Jacee Badeaux cry — playfully expressed frustration that the judges keep successfully faking him out when they give him good news. First of all, just wait until Seacrest holds a results card in his hand. Second of all, if you keep giving producers these over-the-top reactions, they’re going to keep pulling your chain. If you found a vending machine that gave away free Cheez-Its by kicking its sweet spot, wouldn’t you go back to that vending machine every day? Who says no to free Cheez-Its?!

I can’t imagine producers messing with Haley Reinhart throughout the season. Upon hearing that she had made it into the Top 24, she acted like she had just walked into a Starbucks that was handing out free samples of a new beverage. “Oh, I’m allowed to take this? This is free? Are you sure? I don’t know about this. If it’s free, it’s going to taste like ass. I guess that’s OK. I don’t know. I’d rather just stick with what I know.”

At first, diva-in-training Ashton Jones gave the classic happy/weepy reaction. But then, as if I couldn’t love her any more (how can I resist a girl who fashions her hair to be like that crazy wig Whoopi Goldberg wore at the beginning of “Sister Act”?), she successfully tricked her entourage into thinking she had been cut. Clint Jun Gamboa ran into frame to join Ashton’s family in solidarity. “Isn’t that fake-out the worst? By the way, I don’t regret kicking Jacee out of my Hollywood Week group, OK? That kid cramps my style.”

So far, the Top 24 reveal is more noteworthy for who didn’t make the cut. (Did you change your Facebook status when you found out you’ll be able to vote for Clint Jun Gamboa? To quote Peggi Blu, “Hayle no.”)

Teen Hollie Cavanagh was the first to be dropped in a shocking moment that showed dissension on the panel. “I was out-voted here. I wanted to put you through because I honestly believe you have one of the best voices and you belong in the Top 24,” she said firmly before encouraging the youngster to try out again in a year or two. “Pssshh, I’m taking my butt to ‘The X Factor.’ Nobody’s going to care about ‘Idol’ next year,” said Hollie to her mom in the car on the ride home.

For all the hype about the teen contestants, “Idol” is showing no mercy when it comes to weeding the minors out from the final cast. Deandre Brackensick, whose Hollywood Week group earned a standing ovation from the judges, was the next to go. He took the bad news well, but I worry that his stage mom is going to refuse to feed him as punishment.

However, these two cuts (along with blink-and-you-missed-’em singers Lakeisha Lewis and Alex Ryan) were mere footnotes compared to the biggest “Idol” bombshell of the night, when the judges ultimately turned away Chris Medina.

The polarizing singer has been a headline since his initial Milwaukee audition, where he brought his brain-damaged girlfriend to meet the judges. Cynics cried “Exploitative scum!” Others shouted, “Great man! Big heart!” I wonder if Chris was aware of his celebrity when this episode taped last week, which makes his final song choice — Coldplay’s “Fix You” — either the most obnoxious or genius pick possible. Even if icky motives guided him there, his final performance was gut-wrenching — emotionally honest and in the moment, but technically a mess.

And that’s what Jennifer Lopez slowly, carefully and clearly expressed to Medina when the axe fell. “At the end of the day, this is about singing,” she said.

You could instantly see Chris’ realization that his time was up. Regardless of how you feel about Medina as a man (and after all this time I’m still undecided), his audition will go down as an important factor in why America fell in love with the new judging panel. Steven Tyler showed his true colors when he bent down and covered Juliana in kisses. Jennifer Lopez’s heartfelt elimination speech demonstrated she can handle a delicate situation masterfully. The way Steven and Randy comforted a weeping Lopez showed that their on-air chemistry and camaraderie is for real.

This is “American Idol,” and it’s officially back.

What did you think of Wednesday night’s Vegas Spectacular? Are you excited about our first five semi-finalists? Are you excited to hear Chris Medina’s upcoming single “What Are Words”? (I’m not making that up.) And did you catch J. Lo tell Ashton Jones that “Idol” is looking for someone who can sing and dance? Either Lopez thinks she’s on a different show or “Idol” is about to get even crazier.

Leave a comment below, and for more “Idol” thoughts, follow me on Twitter @jambajim.

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Steven Tyler Says Making ‘Idol’ Decisions Is ‘Heartbreaking’: The MTV News Quote Of The Day

Posted by MTV News On February - 23 - 2011

“It was a long road whittling it down from 700 [contestants] to 400, then Hollywood Week and then, aw man … letting them go. You know what? Not everybody that’s great sings good. They’ve got character, that certain something you can’t put your finger on. And man, when they sing, look out. A lot of these kids have got it, but we have to let them go and it’s heartbreaking.”

-Legendary Aerosmith frontman and “American Idol” judge Steven Tyler, discussing how difficult it was to narrow down the field of contestants during the 10th season of the televised singing contest. MTV News caught up with Tyler on the red carpet at the NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles over the weekend, and he was extremely enthusiastic about the upcoming semi-final round.

Though Tyler has become the centerpiece of the “American Idol” judges’ table, he revealed to MTV News’ Rahman Dukes that he didn’t watch the show very much before getting the gig. However, he totally relates to the contestants. “I didn’t watch ‘Idol’ because I grew up from, you had to play clubs. If you don’t play in front of the people and get your hard knocks from that and get booed, [you don't learn] how to stand up when you fall back down,” he explained. “[When] they’re in front of us, we’re the club.”

“American Idol” hits Las Vegas for another round of eliminations tonight (Wednesday, February 23), and Thursday night’s (February 24) episode will reveal the final 20 finalists (10 men and 10 women), who will start competing live next week.

Get your “Idol” fix on MTV News’ “American Idol” page, where you’ll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.

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‘American Idol’ Recap: Hollywood Week Thins The Herd, Hurts The Ears

Posted by Jim Cantiello On February - 11 - 2011

Thursday night (February 10) kicked off Hollywood Week on “American Idol,” where water bottles are liberally used as microphones, pajamas are considered appropriate TV attire and the judges can cut all the sad sacks with sob stories who they felt guilted into advancing the first time.

In other words, this is my now.

Seacrest knows what’s up. In the intro, he wistfully intoned, “Countless dreams will be tested as we start this epic journey.” I salivated with anticipation. (I also shuddered when I tried to imagine my dreams being tested. Please don’t test that one dream where I’m a house cat and I get to sleep and snuggle 23 hours a day, Seacrest. It’s my favorite ever! Purrrr.)

Unfortunately, the first hour of Hollywood Week did not live up to the hype that Seacrest enjoys perpetuating.

Before we get to the juicy drama-producing group numbers, we have to endure an obvious sudden death round. Everyone performs a cappella. There are no comments from the judges, other than a final “You, you, you, step forward. You stay. Everyone else, sashay away.”

But instead of introducing new characters or revealing new traits about singers we already met, we just got recaps of back-stories and small snippets of performances from people we’ve already heard sing. Are we having fun yet?

The most egregious waste of time was the segment devoted to people who studied the Kristy Lee Cook and Kimberley Locke playbooks by singing the same damn audition song over and over again. Baritone cowboy Scotty McCreery, old man aficionado Jackie Wilson and hat addict Jerome Bell didn’t bother learning a new tune for Hollywood Week, yet all of them made it to the next round. And this was important to share with viewers because?

Meanwhile, an early favorite like Sarah Sellers was booted to the curb without any explanation whatsoever. Couldn’t producers have given us at least three seconds of her botching a note so we can sleep at night? It’s bad storytelling! No wonder “Idol” super-fans are often kvetching about conspiracy theories and producer pimping.

While I’m on the subject, did anyone else notice the red, circular stickers on the judges’ notes? If a contestant’s picture had a red sticker, it meant “Idol” was planning to feature them in their audition episodes. Subtext: Make sure you think twice about cutting them. Ooooof.

This year, the judges had a Sisyphean task of whittling down the talent pool, since they had given Golden Tickets to every Tom, Dick, Harry or Jane willing to cry about their family secrets on television. (Seacrest told us they had let through twice as many as usual. That’s a lot of tragedy.)

So how did our favorite survivors do? Chris “Starbucks Pays Me But My Fiancée In A Wheelchair Is My Meal Ticket” Medina’s Jason Mraz was as shaky as his first audition. The mom of a special-needs daughter, Paris Tassin strained her voice during Celine’s “Titanic” ballad, cracking on the lyric, “There’s nothing I fear.” (I guess she should fear high notes.) And James “I Have Tourette’s and Asperger’s So Bloggers Aren’t Allowed To Make Fun Of My Mohawk Or My Decision To Drape Leopard Print Fabric Out The Back Of My Jeans” Durbin shrieked “Oh! Darling” in such an unpleasant way, my neighbors stopped by to make sure I wasn’t murdering small woodland creatures in my apartment.

Naturally, all three made it to the next round. (The only featured sob story singer to go home was — irony alert! — homeless teen Travis Orland. His story just wasn’t sad enough. His anemic “This Love” just didn’t cut it.)

Meanwhile, teenagers continued to get oodles of screen time. Remember 17-year-old Hollie Cavanagh, who melted into a puddle of nervous tears and dry heaves in front of the judges in Austin? Well, she’s back with a Prozac prescription and a fierce little makeover. Girl confidently belted out a Miley Cyrus song the way God intended. I like her.

Then, Jacee Badeaux (aka Stoic Cherub) opened his adorable tiny little baby mouth to let moonbeams and unicorns fly around the auditorium. He sang a Rascal Flatts song about how he’s been looking for true love for years, which means he’s been a lothario since he was, what, seven years old? This little stud. I’ve got my eye on you, Stoic Cherub. In 18 months, you’ll be inescapable and we’ll be lining up to see your 3-D biopic, “Never Say Never To Having A Personality.”

It’s hard to believe that Robbie Rosen is only 16 years old. First of all, he looks like he has been starring in a dinner theater production of “Jersey Boys” for years. But more importantly, his powerful voice attacked “Moody’s Mood For Love” and left it for dead on the side of the road. No note half-assed, no octave off limits.

One of my faves, Brett Loewenstern, lived up to his first audition with a passionate (yet endearingly neurotic) “Let It Be.” Fingers crossed he ditches the “I was bullied” angle as well as his habit of adding an extra “ugh” to the end of every line. The song isn’t called “Let It Be-Ugh,” friend!

Interestingly enough, producers’ fave Lauren “Kelly Clarkson Watch Your Back” Alaina came across less polished in Hollywood, with an unhinged “Unchained Melody” that would have had Simon Cowell storming off the set. And I’m still baffled by the appeal of ladychild Thia Megia. Her rainbow zip-up hoodie made from recycled dishrags didn’t warm me up to her over-the-top “Summertime,” either. The fish may be jumpin’ but only to get far, far away from Thia’s affected performance style.

Even the tension Hollywood week usually cultivates so well fell flat. I could see producers setting up Victoria Huggins’ exit a mile away. Between the sunny Southern belle’s overconfident bites (“I’m gonna stay for a while, because I am the next ‘American Idol’ so duh!”), and her segment was edited for maximum irritation. I imagine Nigel Lythgoe was hoping viewers would cheer when the chipper teen got a reality check. (Apparently “Idol” is not looking for head-to-toe pink outfits — cowboy boots included — and sassy interpretations of songs by Seacrest’s alleged girlfriend Julianne Hough.) I’m proud of the way Victoria handled herself when faced with the bad news. There were tears, but Higgins still kept her composure while she and her vest-sporting momager quietly left the premises with their 11 bags. Her mature reaction was the best kind of middle finger to producers who were definitely hoping for a major freak out from this girl. Good for you, Victoria. Fight the power!

Later, “Idol” separated “couple” Nick Fink and Jacqueline Dunford. On our way to a commercial break, Seacrest promised “a shocking departure” when we returned, leaving us to ponder the couple’s completely obvious fate. Nick’s rendition of “New Shoes” was even more painful than his shiny silver sports jacket, so he was told to pack his knives and go. Maybe the words “shocking departure” mean something different in England? You know, the way the British call elevators “lifts” and Oasis “good music.”

And don’t even begin to tell me that his pathetic begging for a second shot was “shocking.” The way these two played up their relationship for the cameras should have telegraphed that they would not give up their 15 minutes of fame quickly or quietly.

Exes Rob Bolin and Chelsee Oaks (who you remember from CMT’s “Can You Duet”) both survived this round. But Rob, it’s time you moved on from Chelsee. Did you see her hotel room? She’s a messy unpacker. Deal-breaker!

The one moment of spontaneity and excitement came in the form of Bronx spitfire Tiffany Rios, who boldly announced in front of everyone, “I’m tired of seeing people try to do what I know I can.” She was right, too. Nobody put tinsel in her weave, squatted and shouted quite like Tiffany. Now that’s good television.

What did you think of our first season 10 Hollywood Week episode? Do you think shouty Casey Abrams’ free hugs to the eliminated contestants came off as side-eye inducing in person as they did on TV? (I never trust a winner who is that over-eager to console losers.) Did you respect the eliminated Stormi Henley for admitting she only got a Golden Ticket because Randy and Steven wanted to do filthy things to her? And do you think accountant Steve Beghun was cut simply because his profession was deemed even more boring than “paint salesman”? Leave a comment below, and as the “Idol” season picks up, you definitely want to follow me on Twitter @jambajim to keep up with all the latest.

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