American Idol

"Idol": The save makes sense

When “American Idol” hatched its
“judges' save” scheme, I was skeptical. Would it be used
properly? Would it make a difference?

So far, it's “yes” to both.
Tonight's save of Casey Abrams was another good one.

The first person saved, in 2009, was
Matt Giraud. As a result, he finished fifth, not eighth.

The second was Michael Lynche, the
giant powerhouse. He finished fourth, not 10th.

"Idol": The guys keep soaring

I've always liked the women on "American Idol." That may be due to my sexuality (hetero) or some other personal quirk. Whatever the reason, it's an ongoing thing; twice in the finals, I was rooting for the female (Katharine McPhee, Crystal Bowersox) who lost to a guy.

So this wasn't an easy conclusion for me: This year, the guys totally and completely dominate "Idol."

"Idol" hint: When growing up, it's all about location

For a childhood, as for real estate, the key can be simple: Location, location, location.

Karen Rodriguez might have been ignored elsewhere. Instead, she grew up in New York, amid opportunities, scholarships and LaGuardia High School, made famous in the "Fame" movies and TV shows.

Rodriguez was voted out of "American Idol" Thursday, finishing 12th (see previous blogs), but made a strong impression. Here's the story I sent to papers, after a group interview today:


"Idol": Sometimes, just ignore the judges

A couple years ago, Paula Abdul told Scott MacIntyre he should skip the piano sometime and just stand and sing.

It was a reminder of a prime rule of "Idol" survival: Sometimes, you just have to ignore the judges.

(profiled in the previous blog) mostly ignored them; he needed that
piano to stay in his comfort zone. This year, Karen Rodriguez sort of
followed a suggestion; she promptly became the second person voted out this

Scott MacIntyre: Life after "Idol" includes engagment, CD's, more

Each spring, my blog becomes a sort of Idol Central. There are comments after every show and interviews with each ousted person. Now I wanted this interview with Scott MacIntyre.

He finished eighth in 2009, which was one of the good years, crackling with the firepower of Adam Lambert, Allison Iraheta and Lil Rounds. (The show sagged in 2010, then rebounded strongly this year.) Now his life seems packed with music, speaking appearances and his recent engagement. Here's the story I sent to papers:



The guys rule "Idol"

In years past, "American Idol" judges would proclaim a "guys' year" or a "girls' year" or such. This time, alas, there's no discussion; the guys rule, big-time.

Yes, the women did pretty well tonight, especially Pia Toscano (as usual) and Lauren Alaina (with an instant comeback). But none would or could do anything to match four transcendent guys.

In Ashton Jones' busy life, leaving "Idol" is kinda minor

Now it's time to start meeting the "American Idol" contestants -- talented ones, mostly -- as they depart.

The previous two blogs have my predictions -- thoroughly incorrect -- for the bottom three and my reaction when Ashton Jones was sent home. There's one more step, though: On most Fridays, I'll catch the departing person in a conference call and then send a quick-turnaround story to papers. Here's the one about Ashton:


Ashton Jones: Right talent, wrong song

"I'm going to start following up on Diana Ross," Ashton Jones told one interviewer recently, "because I'm told that I look like her."

Hey, it's lucky she doesn't look like Tiny Tim; she might have sung "Tiptoe Through the Tulips."

Jones -- the first person in this year's "American Idol" to be ousted by viewers -- succumbed to a common fate: Raised on Southern church singing, she instead on Wednesday sang a bland pop song (Ross' "When You Tell Me That You Love Me").

"Idol": OK, now let's get serious

"American Idol" has finally reached the good part, trimming someone each week. That means it has my full attention; a few comments about Wednesday's show and then a prediction:

Simon's new show -- five million real dollars

I have to step out in a minute to start taking singing lessons. Also, charisma lessons. Also ...

Anyway, today Simon Cowell announced that he'll give a $5 million prize to the winner of "The X Factor," a show he'll produce and star in this fall. Cowell talked with reporters this afternoon; here's the story I sent to papers: