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Mariah Carey Officially Joins American Idol

In: Donovan, Music, TV Shows

Color me truly shocked for multiple reasons. Firstly, I thought “American Idol” and Mariah Carey were going to draw this thing out as long as the Britney Spears “X Factor” negotiations. Secondly, I thought Idol couldn’t afford Carey as stated by her husband Nick Cannon recently. Lastly, and most importantly, I’m at a loss for words that the show hired a female judge that can actually SING. When a contestant is off-tune or pitchy, the constructive feedback will have much more validity now. Love Paula Abdul and Jennifer Lopez, but vocalists they are not. As mentioned numerous times, AI is a singing competition and Mariah can SAAAAAANNNNGG. Hallelujah.

“Mariah Carey is the real deal. Not only is she one of the best-selling artists and performers on the planet and one of the world’s most gifted vocalists, she also is a successful songwriter, record producer and actress,” Mike Darnell, president of alternative entertainment at Fox, said in a statement. “She has a deep knowledge of music and a career insight that will make her a really amazing asset to our judges’ table and to our contestants. It’s the dream of almost everyone who auditions for ‘Idol’ to sing like Mariah and we couldn’t be happier to have her be part of the show.”

Prior to Carey officially joining Idol, her name has been thrown around as a possible option for several seasons. She was even a potential judge for “The X Factor” as well. I wonder, what finally prompted the 42-year-old singer to agree to commit to a reality show? Perhaps, it’s to promote her upcoming studio album and new single, “Triumphant“. Or maybe it’s the substantial paycheck which is reportedly in the $12-17 million dollar range. Whatever the reason, I’m really looking forward to Mimi joining the show.

check out Mariah’s statement after the jump

After two seasons of inappropriately hitting on young teenage girls, Steven Tyler is calling it quits on “American Idol“. The Aerosmith front man made it official yesterday, citing his desire to return touring with the band as the reason why. That way he can inappropriately hit on girls half his age on the road instead of in front of America. While Tyler’s antics were a breath of fresh air during Season 10, by Season 11 his hilarious sound bites transformed into rainbow beautiful unicorn nonsensical Paula Abdulisms.

I wonder if his departure has anything to do with the producers’ desire to keep Jennifer Lopez on the show. With Tyler gone, that frees up more money to spend on J. Lo. She is one pricey bitch after all. Reports also say that Randy Jackson is on his way out. Given that he’s been on the show since the first season, I would assume he brings in a hefty paycheck. Again more cash to spend on La Lopez. Word has it producers want a major overhaul to freshen up the show for Season 12.

UPDATE: Jennifer Lopez announced today on the Ryan Seacrest Show that she’s not returning to the show. She hinted that she may return in a guest mentoring capacity but nothing has been confirmed. This leaves Randy Jackson’s status as the only one that has not been revealed.

read his statement after the jump

Kelly Clarkson’s hit, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)“, certainly lives up to its name. Not only is it the original Idol winner’s longest-running chart topper of her career, but it just became the best-selling “American Idol” single of all time. Congrats. The empowering track surpasses previous champion “Before He Cheats” sung by Season 4 winner Carrie Underwood.

As of last week’s Neilsen SoundScan numbers, “Stronger” has sold 3,510,000 singles, just narrowly beating “Before He Cheat’s” 3,509,000 units. Just in case you were wondering, Jordin Sparks earns the bronze in the Idol Olympics. Her duet with Chris Brown on “No Air” is in third place with 3,437,000 singles sold to date.

find out which record Carrie still holds over Kelly after the jump

It’s starting to look like 2010 over at FOX. Remember when Simon Cowell left “American Idol” and producers scrambled to find replacements? Contrary to popular belief, the reality competition didn’t implode after the acerbic judge’s departure.

With Jennifer Lopez potentially leaving, Nigel Lythgoe and company are working on a plan B should negotiations with Lopez fail. Just like 2010 and with the “X Factor judging drama earlier this year, multiple names are being tossed around. Names from Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, Fergie and are reportedly in the mix. Katy Perry was also a potential replacement, but the singer addressed the rumors to the Hollywood Reporter.

“People have reached out to me about the possibility of being involved, and it’s not right for me yet.” Perry adds, and “it’s a real commitment to be on one of those shows. … I have ideas for two or three big, creative things, and I want to be able to fulfill those ideas.”

Personally, I’m a little bummed about Katy. I thought she was excellent during her guest judging stint on AI a few seasons ago. She wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. With her out of the running, the producers are also looking within the Idol family as a potential solution. Find out below which former contestant is on their short list.

find out who after the jump

Which American Idol Season 11 Is Heading To Glee?

In: Donovan, TV Shows

To my recollection, I can’t think any “American Idol” contestant ever appearing on “Glee“. I’m actually quite surprised it hasn’t happened any sooner. Given that they’re on the same network, it’s bewildering. Since “Glee’s” fourth season will air following the results show of “American Idol”, it only makes sense the crossover is finally happening. But which Season 11 alum gets the honor?

Will it be winner Philipp Philipps? He’s definitely cute enough and will have the girls at McKinley High swooning? Perhaps it’s runner-up Jessica Sanchez? After all, she’s actually a high school student and age appropriate. With that said, it probably won’t be Elise Testone because she’s practically a grandmother when comparing her to the New Directions crew? You can also count out Jermaine Jones. If his criminal past disqualified him from Idol, I highly doubt Ryan Murphy will sign him on. Who do you think it’ll be? Any of the ones I’ve mentioned, or maybe Hollie, Colton, Skylar, Heejun or someone else. Find out below.

find out who below

Only time will tell if Phillip Phillips has more staying power than previous WGWG (white guys with guitars) “American Idol” winners, but he’s off to a great start. Sorry Jessica Sanchez fans (myself included), but it looks like the right contestant won. The American Idol 11 winner hit a “Home”-run with his coronation single. It doesn’t hurt that “Home” is actually a pretty good track. Kudos to writers Drew Pearson and Greg Holden for not giving us another “This Is My Now” (Sparks), “Do I Make You Proud” (Hicks) or “Flying Without Wings” (Studdard).

Phillips made an impressive debut on the Billboard Hot 100. The 21-year-old singer landed at #10. It’s the first time since 2008, that an Idol winner has cracked the Top 10 with their coronation song. Scotty McCreery and Kris Allen both hit #11 with “I Love You This Big” and “No Boundaries“. The other WGWG winner, Lee DeWyze barely made a blip with his cover of U2′s “Beautiful Day” which peaked at #24.

see how close he came to toppling Kelly Clarkson’s record after the jump

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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