American Idol

Fox's new season: Lots if flash ... but only one more year of "Idol"

As the “American
Idol” finale nears, fans have received a sudden jolt: Next season
will be the last.

It will be “a
season-long celebration,” insisted Gary Newman, the Fox Network
co-chairman. It will try for visits by past stars and past judges; it
could even invite the original co-host.

It's slow-build Urban on fast-track "Idol"

Is it still possible to get excited about "American Idol"? Yes, actually, because many of the young singers are good, a few have been great and these three judges -- Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. -- really know what they're talking about. The season starts Wednesday and Thursday (Jan. 7-8), here's the story I sent to papers about Urban and "Idol":


For the "American Idol" finalists, there's been basement magic


The "American Idol" finalists will soon be working to arena audiences. Some of their big moments, however, also came in basements, to audiences of one or so. Here's the story I sent to papers:  


This "Idol" finale was easy to predict ... or maybe not

If you like epic rock -- the sort that digs deep and pushes hard -- this is your week. Caleb Johnson and Jena Irene provide a powerhouse pair on Tuesday and Wednesday; then the winner will sing at the National Memorial Day Concert (see previous blog) on Sunday. Here's the story I sent to papers:

"Idol" returns, putting on a fresh accent

"American Idol" returns tonight (Wednesday), freshening a form that already works. Here's the story I sent to papers:


How to politely lose on "American Idol"

This may have taken Southern manners to
an extreme:

Twice lately, an “American Idol”
finalist handed a big advantage to a competitor. In 2011, Scotty
McCreery survived the gesture; this year, Kree Harrison didn't.

Angie Miller: Family permanence is tattooed

We've heard that the family that prays
together stays together, but here's one step further:

Angie Miller, just departed from
“American Idol,” has a praying family that tattooed together. “My
whole family surprised me and they all got tattooed …. It's so
permanent,” Miller said.

That involved the slogan (“Dream
Big”) that she'd already had as her own tattoo.

"Idol" changes the rules (again)

The cool thing about having your own TV show is that you can keep changing the rules. "Survivor" does that a lot; now "American Idol" does it, too.

On Thursday, "Idol" said Candice Glover and Amber Holcomb were in the bottom two ... then announced that neither is leaving. Since the judges never used the "save," there's an extra week to account for; everyone moves on.

That's sort of good news, but also not: This week's votes carry over to next week, putting Glover and Holcomb behind before the new round begis.

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.