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Lauren Alaina May Be Your Next “American Idol”


Last night, “American Idol” unveiled its first real frontrunner, Lauren Alaina. The 15-year-old Georgia native was inspired to sing by her cousin Holly, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor three years ago. (Heartbreaking story alert!) Lauren, who was described a “beyondo cute” by Steven Tyler (who also may have been referring to her when he said the judges found “the one”), first sang Faith Hill’s “Like We Never Loved At All,” which made judge Jennifer Lopez cry. Then Lauren sang her favorite song, Aerosmith’s “Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” (convenient!), pointing at Steven Tyler to join in. The judges were clearly enamored with her and while I think she has a very good voice, I don’t know, I didn’t find her to be particularly special or different. PopDust also points out that Lauren suffers from an affliction faced by many an “American Idol” hopeful — the insistence on smiling through the entirety of an audition, “to ingratiate [themselves] with the judges,” even if the lyrics to the song they are singing are downright depressing. It’s annoying, but maybe no one else cares. [PopDust] Keep reading »

“American Idol” Contestant Shares Heartbreaking Story, Sings For Injured Fiancee


Was Fox in cahoots with Kleenex for last night’s “American Idol” episode? Because the brand of tissue might as well have been the episode’s unofficial sponsor, considering the simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming story shown during the last 10 minutes. (The rest of the episode, save the weirdo who participates in Civil War reenactments with the hippie dad, was basically throw away.)

A few years ago, after dating for six years, Chris Medina proposed to his girlfriend Juliana. Two months before their wedding, Juliana was in an accident that left her with a traumatic brain injury. Their wedding was put on hold and Chris, along with Juliana’s mother, is his fiancee’s caregiver. “I was about to make vows just two months from the accident – through thick and thin, ’til death do us part, for better or worse,” he said. “What kind of guy would I be if I walked out when she needed me the most?” Chris told his story to the judges and then sang “Breakeven” by The Script, saying that making it through to Hollywood would give his fiancee something to be happy about. After hearing him sing — which he did well, thank goodness — the judges invited Juliana into the room. Steven Tyler leaned down to whisper in her ear, in a moment that seriously had me heaving with sobs, “I just heard your fiancé sing. He sings to you all the time. I could tell. That’s why he sings so good because he sings to you.” That’s love, y’all. Keep reading »

“American Idol” Plays Nice, Turns On The Waterworks


Last night’s “American Idol” sure was a tearjerker, huh? While the first episode of “Idol” on Wednesday had a bunch of standout bad auditions, last night’s most memorable performances were all good. First up, my new spirit animal, Brett Loewenstern, a 16-year-old ginger hippie freak from Florida, who I loved instantly, even before hearing him sing, because of his look and his story. Maura over at Popdust writes in her recap of the show, “Brett’s whole audition arc, which felt like a prologue to an It Gets Better video, made it obvious that the show is taking an anti-bullying cue from its Fox sibling ‘Glee.’ … That ‘Be Nice’ would be more of an unofficial show motto in the absence of Simon Cowell was a given, but the idea that ‘American Idol,’ which has trafficked in raking in ratings for ridiculing the oddballs during its first nine seasons, would embrace the outcasts is definitely a sea change for the show’s overall tone.” Keep reading »

Shocker: “American Idol” Season 10 Doesn’t Suck!

I’ll be honest. I did not have high hopes for the new season of “American Idol.” I was sure that the show without Simon Cowell would be like an Italian dinner without red wine. But as I am learning from my drinking sabbatical (now nine days in!), it is possible to enjoy a bowl of pasta without a bottle of Chianti, just as it’s possible to still be entertained by hundreds of amateur singers without a British guy in a tight T-shirt there to snark at them. Keep reading »

“American Idol” Taylor Hicks’ Cruise Caught In Drug Scandal

Sometimes scandal comes from the most unlikely of places. Like, say, a jam cruise featuring little-remembered “American Idol” Taylor Hicks? Hicks was set to perform, along with The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir and Maceo Parker, on the six-day “Bonnaroo at Sea” to the Caribbean. But then federal agents raided the ship before it even set sail and seized marijuana, LSD, mushrooms, hash oil, Ecstasy, and prescription drugs, along with drug paraphernalia. After the raid, the ship was allowed to leave port and it’s unclear whether any charges were pressed against any of the performing musicians. Who knew that the gray-haired Joe Cocker sound-a-like would be the biggest partier of ‘em all? [Spinner] Keep reading »

Crystal Bowersox’s Wedding Reeked Of Patchouli

We’re sorry you weren’t invited to “American Idol” runner-up Crystal Bowersox’s nuptials this past weekend. If you were, then you could confirm what we suspect—that there was a drum circle, a caravan of VW buses, and a strong scent of patchouli emanating from the crowd. The actual details just aren’t that far off. Keep reading »

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