American Idol

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:

By MIKE HUGHES

J Lo: Didn't you read the job description?


So there was Jennifer Lopez, saying she'd watched "American Idol" for nine years. Now she was looking forward to being a judge.

Then she found she had to say no to people. "Why did I sign up for this?" she asked. "I wanna go home."

Hey, J-Lo, during those nine years you probably should have noticed that judges reject people. I'm pretty sure it's in the job description.

On "Idol," Hooters and Michael Feinstein


A few random comments, from my temporary Hollywood outpost:

1) During a Los Angeles bus ride this week, I saw a Hooters restaurant and was confused. Why, in Los Angeles, would anyone need to go to a Hooters?

"American Idol" -- mostly, questions


If I had my way, "America Idol" would trim back to three judges next season, possibly Randy Jackson, Bret Michaels and Shania Twain.



"Idol" champion: Life soars after a slow start


The best thing about this "American Idol" season is the way two everyday people -- each 24, from Northern roots -- soared.

Earlier (see previous blog) I sent papers a story on Crystal Bowersox, the runner-up. Here's my story on Lee DeWyze, the winner:



Crystal: Life-changing moments


Everything in Crystal Bowersox's life seems to be changing at a blurring pace. Here's the story I just aent to papers. I'll be back in an hour with a separate one on Lee DeWyze:



By MIKE HUGHES

"Idol": Well, I used to be right


This is sort of like politician double-speak: I was right about "American Idol" before I was wrong.

I had predicted (see an earlier blog) that Lee DeWyze would win. Then -- after Crystal Bowersox's sensational work Tuesday (ignore the previous blog) -- I switched to her.

Consider that wishful thinking. Instead, viewers have taken the same route for two straight years -- choose the likable guy with a pleasant voice (Kris Allen, Lee) over the fresh and stunning talent (Adam Lambert, Crystal).

A real surprise: Crystal can win


Some elections have an "October surprise," some baseball games have a 9th-inning rally, some football games have a Hail Mary pass. And on "Amerian Idol," it's not over until the pleasantly pudgy lady sing.

That's Crystal Bowersox; her final performance -- a rousing, gospel-style version of "Up to the Mountain" -- wrapped things up. I think she'll be the surprise winner on Wednesday.