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  #31  
Old 02-05-2009, 10:52 AM
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Default 'Idol' cuts more hopefuls in 2nd Hollywood round

LOS ANGELES (AP) - "American Idol" is another step closer to revealing its 36 semifinalists.

Following group performances by the remaining 104 crooners, host Ryan Seacrest announced at the end of Wednesday's episode that about 75 hopefuls made it through to the next round of Hollywood Week on the eighth season of the popular Fox singing competition.

Much of the episode focused on bickering and sobbing singers rather than their group routines performed for the judges.

Among the hopefuls cut: Katrina "Bikini Girl" Darrell, confrontational Nancy Wilson, happy-go-lucky Austin Sisneros, dreadlocked Rose Flack, Southern belle Deanna Brown and David Osmond, the son of the eldest singing Osmond brother.
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  #32  
Old 02-11-2009, 02:13 PM
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Default 'American Idol' Hopefuls shine in solos

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Adam Lambert was among several "American Idol" hopefuls who gave the judges something to believe in during the final round of Hollywood Week.

Lambert, the theater actor who wowed the judges with a stripped down version of Cher's "Believe," was one of the contestants put through to the next stage of competition on the Fox singing contest.

During Tuesday's episode, 72 hopefuls performed with a band, backup singers and - if they chose - instruments.

A few of the contestants, including Joanna Pacitti and Casey Carlson, flubbed the lyrics. Stephen Fowler also forgot the words - twice. That didn't seem to matter though because they made it, along with such hopefuls as oil rig worker Michael Sarver, mother-of-three Lil Rounds, over-the-top comedian Nick Mitchell and blind pianist Scott MacIntyre.

The oh-so-emotional Tatiana Del Toro received the most screen time during Tuesday's episode. At one point, the cryin' crooner was shuffled from one room of anxious hopefuls to another.

She thought that meant she was out of the competition.

Surprise!

Del Toro and the others will perform at the "judges' mansion" during Wednesday's episode, in which the 36 semifinalists will be revealed.

Among those who didn't make the cut: rapping college student India Morrison and Michael Castro, the little brother of last season's fourth-place finisher, Jason Castro.
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  #33  
Old 02-13-2009, 04:55 PM
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Default What Former Idols Have to Say About Ousted Joanna Pacitti



Former American Idol finalists opened up to Usmagazine.com about Joanna Pacitti getting the boot from Season 8's Top 36 after it'd been suggested she had a close relationship with executives in the company that produces the show.

Season 2 Winner Ruben Studdard: "This opportunity wasn't for her. Maybe God has something else for her."



Season 1 Runner-Up Justin Guarini: "I believe in second chances. I don't think I'd be here without a second chance, and probably a third or fourth chance. Everyone needs to be held up to the same standards on American Idol, and I think that's important, I think that's important for the reputation of ours. Unfortunately, she was disqualified from the show, but I think the exposure is going to be huge for her. Hopefully she gets the break that she absolutely deserves because she is fantastic and I think that she just hasn't quite hit it. Hopefully now this'll give her the push... I remember Simon saying, 'You forget your lyrics you're going home,' and she did it twice. You have to be held up to the same standards. There are other people who've sung well who've had to go home. I applaud Idol for being consistent.



Season 6's Chris Sligh: "I just heard about it! I think a lot of contestants don't actually read the contracts that they give you. I actually read every word of it so I knew that I couldn't have a record deal, which I didn't have, I couldn't have a publishing deal...So if you're dumb enough to be that dumb, then oh well."


Season 7's Michael Johns: "One thing you cannot do is know people who work for Coke or Fox or 19 [Production Company] or anything like that. That's why I could never go on Wheel of Fortune: me and Pat Sajak go way back. It's never good to hear that she never got a chance."


Season 7's Carly Smithson: "I'm not sure why she was disqualified; I don't know what it was about. I had previous experience, several other people last year had previous experience, and it just means that I pretty much worked my whole life to get where I'm at. It's American Idol, it's the American Dream -- of course everyone wants to follow it."
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  #34  
Old 02-13-2009, 05:04 PM
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Default Disney World Launches 'American Idol Experience' With Star Studded Party



It’s already known as the place where dreams come true. Now Disney World is giving the nickname a whole new meaning with its launch of The American Idol Experience.

The new attraction at Hollywood Studios gives park visitors a unique opportunity to experience the different stages of the American Idol journey, from auditioning for casting directors and producers, to getting help from hair, makeup and voice coaches, to performing live in front of three judges and massive audience with the power to take them to the top.

“There are a couple of layers to it,” Director of Creative Development Reed Jones told FOXNews.com. “Some of our guests will get the opportunity to be on stage and perform for thousands of guests a day, and then there’s the point of view of the audience who gets to watch and vote for their favorite singer.”

Those audience members vote by hitting a number on a keypad located on the right arm of every seat in the theater.

“We have our preliminary shows throughout the day and then at the end of the day we take everyone through the day who got the most votes in there preliminary shows,” Jones explained. “All seven of those people compete in our final show, and then the person who wins the finale show wins a dream ticket and gets to go the Idol auditions of the idol show and cut to the front of the line.”

The prize is no dud. That ability to head straight to the judges and skip the preliminary rounds of the hit show’s audition process significantly increases a competitor’s chances at making it through to Hollywood.

“Something like this is awesome,” American Idol Season 4 winner Carrie Underwood said. “They get to come and live their own Idol experience and feel what it’s like, and hopefully you get a fast track to the actual real deal Idol auditions.”

And Underwood suggested the benefits go beyond just skipping a few rounds. “They may even have a leg up, because they’ve kind of been on the stage and stuff before,” she said.

But what might be even more impressive than the opportunity the attraction gives Idol wannabes is just how much the American Idol Experience theater resembles the real thing.

“It’s amazing how real the set looks on the inside we were all blown away,” Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard told FOXNews.com.

Season 7 winner David Cook said it all brought back some interesting memories:

“It’s eerie, you know I’ll walk on stage and feel completely transplanted,” Cook said. “I keep waiting on Simon to tell me it’s a karaoke performance … it’s about as close to Idol as your going to get without actually being on Idol.”

And Season 1 Runner-Up Justin Guarini thought the attraction showed just how much the show has grown … in more ways than one.

“It brought back a lot of memories — mostly of the fact that my stage looked nothing like that. It was about the size of a postage stamp compared to the stage they have nowadays,” Guarini joked.

As for the judges panel, they too bare a striking resemblance to the shows veterans Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell.

“We have the hip industry insider and nurturing soul, and then we have the one that’s a little more frank,” Jones said.

Staying true to that nurturing persona, Abdul had nothing but rave reviews for the American Idol Experience.

“It’s an exciting collaboration,” she said on the red carpet. “It shows you how big American Idol is and it’s stood the test of time.”

To audition for the American Idol Experience you can sign up in person or online at www.disneyworld.com/Idol. The attraction opens to the public Saturday, while the real American Idol opens its voting to the people Tuesday night.
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  #35  
Old 02-16-2009, 02:05 PM
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Default Felicia Barton learned about 'Idol' return during Top 36 broadcast

As home viewers were learning Felicia Barton would not make American Idol's eighth-season semifinals, she was apparently receiving news to the contrary.


The 26-year-old mom from Virginia Beach, VA learned she would be replacing Joanna Pacitti as a Top 36 semifinalist via a phone call from Idol executive producer Ken Warwick during Wednesday night's East Coast broadcast of the "Final Judgment" episode which revealed the season's semifinalists, her husband Loren reportedly posted on her Facebook page over the weekend.

"Sure enough, smack dab in the middle of 150 viewers that were gathered at [Freedom Fellowship church] to watch the show, Ken Warwick called Felicia's phone," Loren wrote in the since-removed Facebook post, according to The New York Post.



"She ran into the girl's bathroom to take the call, and she was bouncing off the walls when Ken told her to pack her bags, because she was now in the Top 36!"

After surviving the initial Hollywood Week rounds, Felicia was informed by the Idol judging panel during the pre-taped "Final Judgement" that she would not be moving onto the semifinals.

"As the show began, I could see Felicia's eyes watering up as she sat, prepared to relive her Great Disappointment," Loren wrote, according to The Post.

Despite eventually learning that her fate was better than what was being shown on Idol, Felicia had to keep the good news on the down-low until after the conclusion of the West Coast broadcast of the "Final Judgment" episode.

"We had to [pretend] as if she never got the call!" wrote Loren, The Post reported.

Minutes after the West Coast broadcast concluded, Fox released a statement that Pacitti had been determined to be "ineligible to continue in the competition" and Felicia would be her replacement.

The news presumably didn't go over so well when Pacitti was notified of her disqualification, which Fox reality chief Mike Darnell has since acknowleged was due to her previous relationships with two executives at one of Idol's production companies.

However Pacitti apparently took the news in stride.

"WHEW-craziness!" wrote Pacitti in a Facebook message that has also since been taken down, according to The Post.

"But everything happens for a reason. STILL NOT GIVING UP... you guys know me better than that."

Pacitti's mom also reportedly tried to get her daughter to look at the silver lining of the situation by posting a note that pointed out that her daughter could "now finally go public" with the fact that she's also dating Dancing with the Stars professional Mark Ballas, according to Billboard.
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