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American Idol 13: San Francisco & Austin Auditions

In: Donovan, Movies
american-idol-nikki-mckibbin-son

There was good news and bad news regarding American Idol Season 13′s premiere. Let’s start with the bad. The show premiered to its lowest rated season premiere ever, even lower than the inaugural season which had no buzz leading up to it. The opener also clocked in with less viewers than The Voice‘s most recent season premiere for the first time.

The good news, however, is that it’s the first time in Idol’s history that the season premiere was higher rated than the previous season finale. Clearly, fans were willing to give the new panel a chance after last year’s hot mess of a season. In addition, it was the #1 show of the night and most watched among the broadcast networks. I’m still optimistic that Season 13 will prove lucky and the infectious chemistry between the three judges and the awesome talent will entice more viewers to come back.

On Thursday night’s episode, leftover auditions from Austin were bunched in with San Francisco ones. Like the premiere, the second episode featured more hilarious moments with new judge Harry Connick Jr which included him fondling a male singer. I can honestly watch an entire hour with just his critiques and hijinks.

As awesome as Hatchet Harry was (J. Lo’s nickname for him), tonight’s most memorable moment came courtesy of a former American Idol contestant. The show has been around so long now, that we have offspring from former Idols now competing. We’ve officially tapped into the second generation. Insane!!! Find out which former contestant’s child auditioned for the judges below, along with other memorable ones.

check out my favorite auditions after the jump

American Idol 13: Boston & Austin Auditions

In: Donovan, TV Shows
american-idol-season-13-premiere

With a new judging panel and new executive producer behind the wheel, American Idol is looking to rebound from last year’s debacle. While the final five ladies were some of the best the show has ever seen, Season 12 will always be remembered for its floundering ratings and Mariah Carey/Nicki Minaj feud. People just weren’t in the mood for the drama and as a result, viewers fled in record numbers.

It’s too early to tell, but I’m optimistic about Season 13 based on the premiere episode. The talent was great and so was the chemistry between the judges. Harry Connick, Jr. is the best thing to happen to the show in years. He’s charming, honest and has great comedic timing. He’s the second coming of Simon Cowell but nicer. If you haven’t watched Idol in ages, I highly recommend getting yourself reacquainted with the show. New showrunner Per Blankens has made some great changes. The only thing I’m not vibin’ is that chamber. #notnecessary

Not only is Jennifer Lopez back, but so is the WGWG. After being virtually wiped out last season, the cute white guys with guitars are back with a vengeance. There was at least a handful of them featured tonight and they were all good. Check out my favorite singers from the Boston and Austin auditions below.

check out my favorite auditions after the jump

American Idol XIII Promo: The Stats Don’t Lie

In: Donovan, TV Shows
american-idol-13-promo-statistics

Up until now I’ve refrained from posting any of FOX’s American Idol promos. With their latest though, I couldn’t resist. As I’ve said before, until The Voice can produce a bonafide superstar like Idol has, the veteran competition will still be on top. The statistics don’t lie as evident in their latest promo.

408 #1 hits, 19 platinum albums, 11 Grammys, and an Academy Award. It’s safe to say that no one has a track record like American Idol! Hell, they even have a Dancing With The Stars mirrorball trophy thanks to Kellie Pickler. The only thing missing from their mantle is an Emmy. That’s the one category that The Voice has bragging rights. The NBC show recently dethroned The Amazing Race for Best Reality Competition.

American Idol returns to FOX on January 15. Though they’ll never return to their glory days, I predict Season 13 will be a comeback of sorts. Harry Connick, Jr. is the best thing that’s happened to the show in ages. The chemistry on the new judging panel is undeniable and infectious. Check out the new promo below, along with the previously released ones. I highly recommend, “Who Will Be Next?,” “Inside Look At Season XIII,” “Fun With The Judges,” along with “The Stats Don’t Lie.”

check out all the promos after the jump

The auditions for American Idol Season 13 begin today in Boston. It’s only fitting FOX officially unveil its latest judging panel line-up. Question is… can they save the show?

Initially, music producer Dr. Luke was to fill the third slot, but due to a professional conflict of interest, he had to step down. This sent the show’s producers into a panic trying to find a last-minute replacement. Enter Harry Connick, Jr. Personally, I’m not sure why it took this long to bring him on board. He’s always been a great mentor and never been afraid to mince words with the other judges, but not in a Mariah Carey-Nicki Minaj uncomfortable way.

Connick Jr. joins Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban on the panel. Lopez makes a return after a season break, while Urban is the only returning member from last year’s lineup. Randy Jackson also returns, but in a mentor role. He takes over for a departing Jimmy Iovine. Just when I thought I was finally rid of Jackson, he returns. I just hope Idol doesn’t dedicate too much time for his input. I’m so over him. Check out what everyone, including Ryan Seacrest have to say about the upcoming season below.

Read the rest of this entry »

So much for those rumors about an American Idol alum judging panel. BOOOOO. I was really hoping that would come to fruition. It’s exactly what the show needed (IMHO) to usher in a new era without Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick as producers. Instead, they’re going with the familiar.

During FOX’s turn at TCA Press Tour, Kevin Reilly, the chairman of entertainment for FOX, discussed the upcoming season of American Idol. He confirmed Keith Urban signing on for another stint on the judging panel. He also addressed rumors that Jennifer Lopez is THIS close to returning to the show. “Most of what you’re reporting or you read is true. … [Jennifer Lopez] has been a close part of the show all along. There have been discussions there. There is no deal with her or with anybody else.”

Since Simon Cowell’s departure, the veteran reality show became all about the celebrity judges. Reilly is hoping to change that.

“We want some judges in that are good at the job, that people like, that refocus the attention on the contestants. … It really became too much about the judges. The show’s always been about the contestants. … Let’s really focus on some great stories with the kids,” says Reilly.

Personally, I don’t think that’s ever going to happen. Do you? Excited that Urban is back for Season 13 and potentially J. Lo? Sound off below.

American Idol 12: Top 8 Elimination

In: Donovan, TV Shows

I really hope America gets it right this week. None of the girls should be going before the boys. Absolutely NONE of them. Jimmy Iovine also agrees with me. In his recap, he believes the bottom three should be all the guys. Fingers crossed that’s true. I would hate to lose Amber this soon. Side note: Kree got a shout out from Aretha Franklin praising her performance. That’s pretty dope.

Tonight’s show was all about filler (even more so than other weeks). There was this random segment where the Idols went to some school to teach them Phillip Phillips’ “Home” ?!?!?! Performances by Colton Dixon, Keith Urban and OneRepublic featuring Katharine McPhee were on deck. Speaking of the latter, why Seacrest introduced her as “recording artist Katharine McPhee” instead of Idol alum or Smash star was kinda odd. Don’t you think? After 45 minutes, we finally get to the eliminations.

find out who was eliminated after the jump

It’s one step beyond a duet, with three big name country music stars joining forces in a new song called “Highway Don’t Care.” The trifecta collaboration is Tim McGraw‘s and features Taylor Swift and Keith Urban and it has just leaked online. The song is the last track on McGraw’s thirteen track standard edition album, Two Lanes Of Fredom.

The country ballad is really good and I can really see it taking off and beyond that, I can see them performing it live together as well. In the chorus, they sing, “I can’t live without you / I can’t live without you baby / The highway won’t hold you tonight / The highway don’t know you’re alive / The highway don’t care if you you’re all alone / But I do, I do / The highway won’t dry your tears / The highway don’t need you here / The highway don’t care if you’re coming home / But I do, I do.”

Listen to the track / make-shift lyric video below before it gets taken down. Enjoy!

Track after the jump…

Well, that was anti-climatic!!! It’s the episode everyone has been waiting for since TMZ leaked the video of Nicki Minaj tearing a new one into Mariah Carey. Would Nigel Lythgoe air the Jerry Springer-worthy catfight or chicken out? All episode long, Lythgoe teased audiences by building up the tension between the judges. In the end, he pussy’ed out and aired only the PG-rated portions. Perhaps, it was to keep the show more family friendly, or he has a bigger master plan like saving it for the season finale. You never know with him. Whatever his reason, I’m a little bummed. I wanted to see the battle in high-definition and not on some grainy TMZ footage.

Oh well, now that anticipation for the infamous fight is over, we can place our focus back on the contestants. The Charlotte auditions episode is what I hate most about American Idol. The producers focused too much time on the trainwrecks than on the talent. The show began with two back-to-back contestants who were neither good, nor entertaining. Sufficed to say, they aren’t going to Hollywood. That said, there were a couple of standouts, including a 16-year-old bluesy singer and a mother who performed the theme song of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Check out my favorites below, along with Nicki’s tantrum.

PS. While I don’t agree with Nicki walking off the set, I’m totally on her side with her viewpoint regarding the judges’ disagreement. Mariah, Keith and Randy practically brownbeated the contestant until she gave responses they liked. Check out the clip at the very end of the post to see what I’m referring to.

watch my favorite auditions after the jump

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