american idol

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Glee” aired it’s Whitney Houston tribute this week and IMHO it was one of their best “theme” episodes. For the most part, the cast did a stellar job on some of Houston’s classic. That being said, no one can come close to Whitney’s talent, especially on her signature songs. Chris Colfer (Kurt) was given the enviable task of tackling one of her most popular tracks, “I Have Nothing“, which brings me to this post.

The Bodyguard” ballad is by far Houston’s most covered track on talent shows. It’s soaring and powerful, yet not “I Will Always Love You“. No sane person really wants to sing that incredibly difficult, especially live. “I Have Nothing” has been covered seven times on “American Idol” tying “Against All Odds” as the most performed song during the semifinals and finals of the Fox show. I’m sure it’s probably the most covered song if you take into account all reality singing competitions. It’s popped up on most of the international Idols, “X Factor” and “The Voice“.

For the purpose of this post, I decided to just compare and rank only the “American Idol” performances. “I Have Nothing” was first covered on Season 2 with Trenyce and all the way to the current season where Shannon Magrane butchered it during the Whitney Houston theme week. Watch all the videos below and be sure to cast your vote in our poll.

watch all the performances after the jump

FOX aired its 25th anniversary special last night, celebrating the network’s finest programming in the past quarter century. Before FOX came around, the big three networks (ABC, NBC, CBS) dominated the Neilsen ratings. The upstart network started out slow, airing original shows only a few nights of the week. Eventually, thanks to their vanguard programming they became a major player in television which isn’t an easy feat. Just ask the CW and now-defunct UPN and the WB who all tried to become a major network, but to no avail.

While watching the 2-hour special hosted by Ryan Seacrest, I became nostalgic remembering some of my favorite shows from the past two decades. If FOX wasn’t around, the television landscape would definitely be different today. The network was responsible for revitalizing the nighttime soap, bringing animation back to primetime, creating the popular teen-drama format, reinventing comedies and sketch shows, and ushering the dawn of reality television. Speaking of the latter, the special reminded me of some popular past guilty pleasures including “Paradise Hotel“, “Temptation Island” and “Joe Millionaire“. So trashy, but yet so good.

Given this momentous milestone achieved by Fox, I thought I’d ask readers what their favorite FOX shows, past and present are. To get the ball rolling, I thought I’d disclose mine. A few of my beloved shows have to be “Melrose Place“, “Ally McBeal”, “Married With Children”, “Party of Five“, “In Living Color”, “American Idol“, “Arrested Development”, and “Glee“. Realistically, I could go on and on since FOX’s programming typically falls in line with my own personal tastes. Now it’s your turn. If your favorites aren’t in the poll, post them in the comments section below.

25th Anniversary: What Are Your Favorite Fox Shows?

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In terms of “American Idol” eye candy, Stefano Langone certainly ranks high amongst all the singers ever to have competed on the show. There was something about his short built stature combined with his adorable boyish looks that really appealed to a lot of my gay friends, myself included. Who doesn’t love a muscly pocket gay?

The Season 10 seventh placer just dropped his debut single, “I’m On A Roll” from his upcoming album from Hollywood Records. For an Idol also-ran, I have to admit the single is pretty good. Even though it’s an uptempo dance song, Stefano is able to let loose and let his powerful vocals shine. At first listen it reminds me of a LMFAO track but with singing and no rapping. Correction, very little since there is a rap interlude later provided by Rock Mafia and New Boyz. While I’m down with the hip-hop, I’m not super crazy about the rap interlude. I feel “I’m On A Roll” is strong enough and doesn’t need the extra gimmick to appeal to a wider demographic. Check out the track below.

listen to the track after the jump

Reality stars appearing on other reality shows is nothing new. CBS often recycles their more popular stars from “Big Brother” and “Survivor” and has them re-appear on “The Amazing Race“. Then when you factor in the three shows’ All-Stars editions, you keep seeing a few regularly. Some of them even made careers out of it. Boston Rob Mariano anyone?

While the CBS incestuous programming is not surprising, having a talented competitor appear on another show where different “talent” criteria is judged is a bit surprising. You don’t see a lot of “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance” swapping, which brings me to this post.

One former “American Idol” hopeful is temporarily ditching singing and hoping to show off his lip-syncing skills, while strutting in some serious high heels instead. Have any guesses on which Idol alum yet? Well, it shouldn’t be too difficult to narrow down. First, you eliminate all the women and straight males. Then you can check off those “gay” singers who haven’t officially come out yet which brings us to probably a handful of contestants including Clay Aiken and Adam Lambert. While the latter would make a fierce drag queen, it’s not him. Here’s another hint. He appeared on Season 7 and was one of the Top 12 boys. Find out who below.

watch his audition video after the jump

Haley Reinhart Debuts “Free” Music Video

In: Donovan, Music

A few days ago, Haley Reinhart looked like she was caught in a wind tunnel before popping up in a golden birdcage on “American Idol“. Today, the American Idol Season 10 Final 3 contestant reappears as one hot vintage pin-up in her debut music video, “Free”. The clip was directed by Christopher Sims whose previous credits include OneRepublic, Lady Antebellum, Cassie and fellow Idol alum, Daughtry. In it, Haley rocks out vintage high-waited shorts and pants that Olivia Newton-John in “Grease” would be jealous of. The bluesy empowering break-up song is the perfect way to kick off Haley’s post-Idol career. It combines all her musical influences of R&B, soul and jazz into a nicely written track that has broad appeal.

“Along with the album’s pop undertones, it definitely has key elements of soul, rock, R&B, and even some jazz,” Haley reveals. “I’m hugely influenced by the music I grew up with and you can hear that on the album. I’m so thrilled to make my visions come to life!”

My favorite part of the music video is during the chorus when some cool 360 degree camera angles are utilized. “Free” is the lead cut from her debut album “Listen Up!” hitting stores on May 22nd. If you’re aching for your Haley fix in between now and the album’s release date, you can catch the petite singer on “90210” tomorrow night on the CW performing “Free”. In the meantime, check out Haley getting her vamp “on” in her newly-dropped music video below.

watch the music video after the jump

It’s a new day: a new, parred down group of boys and a new stage as the Idol contestants first perform in front of a live studio in Los Angeles; let’s hot to hell they bring their A-Game. So far, those following my rants and very occasional raves about the progress of these kids have noticed a particularly negative and constantly underwhelmed sense of disappointment from the “talent” we’ve been offered. Particularly as we flush out the nitty gritty stuff like tone, range and song-choice (sorry, but at this stage every decision and mistake counts), I’ve been feeling the contestants have been given far too easy a ride by the oft too-kind judging panel. So, now it’s America’s turn to vote, and I hope I provide a voice to this game that at least one or two of you out there agree with! Today, I’m going to watch the performances with a totally open mind, as if I’d never seen them before, and judge them anew in an attempt to give each newly revamped contender a chance to win me over.

Our numbers this year are jacked to the Top 25 with the boys getting an extra singer as their gender alone take tonight take to the stage to prove themselves the best of the Top 13. Seacrest explains that of the Top 25 who will perform tonight and tomorrow night- the boys then girls respectively- only FIVE from each group will be chosen based on America’s votes as well as THREE WILD CARDS to make the final TOP 13 come this Thursday. It’s always a shock to lose so many singers so fast but hey, that just pumps the pressure to unprecedented levels this week and I demand somethin’ pretty amazing from the boys this odd Tuesday. So, without further adieu…

Recap & performances after the jump…

So, we’ve had more than a couple of the tops (insert gay giggle here) exposed so far but tonight’s the final cut as the drama quotient goes up and you just KNOW they’re gonna start pitting similar looks and song-styles against one another as they get down to the wire. So far, I’ve been pretty iffy about how much I’m pro the chosen leading ladies and gents, but hopefully I’ll manage to find a couple faves by the end of tonight. Personally, I do not need to love em’ all, rather have two or three pics that I ride like a mule all the way to the top while I make fun of all the others that fall along the way. Hmmm, I’m beginning to think that everyone’s right and I’m not such a good person…

Tonight’s episode has some more final, unreleased performances and a butt load of tears from both the XX and XY chromosomal kids (and possibly one XXY, sorry Deandre). So, sit back and watch as your hopefuls either get crushed for the last time this season or make it through to the infamous Top 12 Girls and Boys showdowns.

Click through

American Idol 11: The Top 24 Revealed (Part One)

In: Adam, TV Shows

“Today: 42 contestants become 24.” It’s finally here! After weeks and weeks of cutting and auditions we officially have our Top 12 Girls and Top 12 Boys announced for the world to rejoice/argue (actually, Seacrest lied, today is only Part 1 of 2). While I’ve been criticized lately for being too harsh on the kids and not “looking on the bright side of things,” I honestly have to say that this season thus far has not been the strongest I’ve seen. Yes, there have been many great performances that pull at the heartstrings but overall I’ve felt the judges have given some passes to lack luster singing way more often than they ought to have considering the talent pool they have to choose from.

But, today is about the best. Today we see those who have made it along on storyline and one or two good showings get told it wasn’t quite there and the resultant tears will flow. Fortunately for those who watch this show for the singing and not just the drama there were some great clips of final performances that I’ve included below as we get to see what talent brought these young hopefuls to the top in the judges’ minds. So, without further adieu, let’s get to the official Top 24 pics (again, just Part 1) and see what ol’ bitchy Adam thinks of the decisions!

Click through to read the rest of my review and see some amazing final audition performances

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