Joshua Ledet

The tears are gone; the shoes remain

On the day after her despondent
departure from “American Idol,” Amber Holcomb was cheery again.

The tears were gone and a suitcase
crisis had been solved. She heads into the world with an abundance of
optimism and shoes.

“I see myself in magazine, on
billboards, on television, all that good stuff,” she told reporters
today (Friday).

OK, we're sort of happy for Phillip

It wasn't the ending I wanted, but it was the one I expected. And in its final moments, when Phillip Phillips was too emotional to sing his own song, "American Idol" had achieved one of its goals: A true unknown, a talented rustic, had come from nowhere to win.

I prefered Joshua Ledet or Jessica Sanchez, who finished third and second. With the exception of Adam Lambert (another runner-up) and maybe Carrie Underwood, they are the best "Idol" singers ever.

"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:


Joshua leaves; despair arrives

What is true stardom like? How should an "American Idol" winner sound and feel?

Tonight, we saw two splendid examples. Alas, neither will be an "Idol" champion.

First was Adam Lambert, the most talented male the show has ever had. He finished second (to Kris Allen, likable and forgettable) in 2009. His guest performance tonight was sensational, as usual.

Then was Joshua Ledet, the second-most-talented male the show has had. We now learn that he's merely finishing third to Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips.

A quick look at CBS and Idol

This has been a busy day, so let me rush through  two things:

-- After some bold moves by the other networks (see previous blogs), CBS had only a couple surprises.

-- And for "American Idol," I see a Joshua-Phillip finale. Details:

1) CBS' big surprise involves nudging "Two and a Half Men" over to Thursdays, where a better show ("Big Bang Theory") can boost it. That makes room for one new comedy (from the "Will & Grace" guys) on Mondays, with "2 Broke Girls" at th crucial 9 p.m. slot.

"Idol" finalists: Swinging kids in a grown-up world

Amid the multi-million-dollar glare of
“American Idol,” it's easy to forget the basics: These are kids –
teens, often – in a grown-up business.

Listen to Hollie Cavanagh – who made
the final four before being eliminated Thursday – talk about
Wednesday, when she and Jessica Sanchez were singing while on swings:
“We had fun with those swings during rehearsals,” she said. “We
were trying to swing higher.”

"Idol" re-defines the California sound

This may be the broadest definition ever offered for music's "California sound." Tonight's "American Idol" even included a song performed by Josh Groban.

Hey, it doesn't work that way. Cole Porter grew up on an Indiana farm, but that doesn't mean he wrote country music. Classical pianist Ruth Laredo grew up in Detroit, but that doesn's mean she had the Motown Sound. And Groban grew up in Los Angeles, but that doesn't make his powerhouse, classical-tinged music any relation to the Beach Boys and The Eagles.

On "Voice," "Idol" ... and, of course, Justin Bieber

Three quick music comments:

1) It was great to see Jermaine Paul named tonight as this year's "The Voice" champion. The former Alicia Keys back-up singer has immense talent.

2) Let's hope Joshua Ledet can win this year's "American Idol." Like Paul, he has a stunning voice, rippling with bits of gospel and soul.

Skylar's gone; life is fair

Several things:

1) OK, I didn't actually see tonight's "American Idol" results show. I was watching a swimming lesson.

2) It was, however, a fine lesson. Near the end, everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to Lon.

3) Lon was very pleased with this. He had only had four previous birthdays and during one of them (the first), he slept through half of the party.

4) Lon was NOT named after horror-film star Lon Chaney. Any implication that he was only reflects immaturity on my part.

"Smash" soars; so do (some) "Idol" singers

Let's talk a lot about tonight's "American Ido," after a quick detour:

1) Already the year's best new show, "Smash" is ending its season wonderfully. I just had a chance to see the final new episodes (10 p.m. May 7 and 14); they are brilliant. There's a tad too much melodrama, but the characters are beautifullu drawn and the closing numbers -- a gospel tune May 7, an original May 14 -- are stunning.