Jimmy Iovine

A cake walk with "American Idol"

Over the years, I've gone to various outdoor potlucks, the sort where a picnic table is covered by anythng from desserts to indefinable goulashes.

The weather has been usually good, occasionally not, but there's been one constant: I'm never seen people leave a cake out in the rain. If they did, they would simply bake another. Even before the Internet age, cake recipes never disappeared; they existed in little file-card cabinets and in recipes and in grandmas' minds.

Golly, miss Dolly, Janelle came close

For Janelle Arthur, the Dolly Parton
connection is sort of eternal. “It's so full-circle that it's
crazy, really,” she said Friday.

One day earlier, she'd been ousted from
“American Idol.” Viewers had her fifth among the final five;
judges said they were split 2-2 on whether to save her. “Keith
(Urban) said it was he and Mariah (Carey)” who voted for the save,
Arthur said.

'Tis not the season to be Jolley

What did we learn from "American Idol" tonight?:

1) Lazaro Arbos will keep surviving, no matter what. He was clearly the worst singer Wednesday, but didn't even get plunked into the bottom three.

2) Our sympathy may be misdirected. Lazaro told viewers he had just received the song the night before ... making us think it was the night before the show. Alas, it was the night before a rehearsal -- four days before the show.

"Idol" finale: Quiet kids seek loud success

OK, by now I'm reasonably excited about the "American Idol" finale, Tuesday and Wednesday. My original bitterness -- Joshua Ledet, maybe the best "Idol" singer ever, is gone -- is subsiding; this will still be fun.

I've sent papers two versions of an "Idol"-finale story, the second one adding comments from Jimmy Iovine, the show's mentor. Here's that version: