"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:
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
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.
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?
If I had my way, "America Idol" would trim back to three judges next season, possibly Randy Jackson, Bret Michaels and Shania Twain.
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:
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
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).
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.
For TV viewers, this is a great and awful stretch.
The good news includes key shows every night -- the "Lost" finale tonight, the "24" and "Law & Order" finales Monday, the "American Idol" finale Tuesday and Wednesday, plus the season-openers of two of the key summer shows, "The Bachelorette" (Monday) and "So You Think You Can Dance" (Thursday). The bad news is ... well, no more "Lost" and "24." Ever.