Saturday, February 27, 2010 0 comments


'Startalk' Mamamaalam Na Rin Sa Ere?

Posted: 26 Feb 2010 12:46 AM PST

Nakakaloka di ko ito kinaya, may umuugong na tsismis sa lob ng ABS-CBN compound. Na mayroon na namang Kapuso show ang sisipain ng Kapamilya sa ere, at letter "S" din ang start ng letter like RIP 'Sis', and 'SOP'.

Ang show na ito ay ang 'Startalk' na matagal na rin sa ere. Di na yata umubra sa 'Entertainment Live'? But let's see if totoo itong chismis na ito

Luningning, Milagring at Mariposa Nag-Resign Sa 'Wowowee'

Posted: 26 Feb 2010 12:39 AM PST

How sad, kasi ngayong araw na ito ay nag-resign na ang 3 sa kilalang ASF Dancers na sina Luningning, Milagring at Mariposa sa 'Wowowee'. Kung ano mang rason ay di ko pa alam

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The Unofficial Danny Gokey FanSite

Friday, February 26, 2010 0 comments

The Unofficial Danny Gokey FanSite

Link to The Unofficial Danny Gokey Fan Site

Andrew Garcia of American Idol 9 looks like Danny Gokey?

Posted: 25 Feb 2010 11:19 PM PST

You have probably heard of Andrew Garcia. He is one of the Top 24 American Idol Season 9 hopefuls who wowed the judges and won the audience with his memorable Hollywood week performance, resurrecting Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” acoustic version.

He is this season’s Danny Gokey. Not quite because of his back story but because our friends think Andrew looks like our Danny Gokey!

Ok, ok. We are not the first ones to point this out. A lot of websites have been writing about it. Even on Andrew’s MySpace photo albums, he labeled one of his pics “Not Danny Gokey.” Even before his new stint as Idol contestant, he already has people come up to him and say that he looks like Danny Gokey.

Enlighten us. Do you agree that Danny Gokey looks like Andrew Garcia or does Andrew Garcia looks like Danny Gokey? We get that, they both wear eye glasses but really??! For the fun of it, we dug up photos of the two and placed them side by side. Tell us what you think!

Top 12 Girls Song Choice List

Posted: 25 Feb 2010 06:06 PM PST

The Top 12 ladies kicked off the Season 9 live shows with some great song choices. All of the songs performed by the guys and girls this week are Top 10 hits from the Hot 100 chart. A quarter of the girls sang songs by The Beatles. There were many modern song choices and a few timeless songs performed.

Check out the song list:
Paige Miles All Right Now by Free
Ashley Rodriguez Happy by Leona Lewis
Janell Wheeler What About Love by Heart
Lilly Scott Fixing A Hole by The Beatles
Katelyn Epperly Oh Darling by The Beatles
Haeley Vaughn I Want To Hold Your Hand by The Beatles
Lacey Brown Landslide by Fleetwood Mac
Michelle Delamor Fallin by Alicia Keys
Didi … read more
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Top 12 Guys Song Choice List

Posted: 25 Feb 2010 06:06 PM PST

The Top 12 guys took the stage to perform live for their very first time. Just like the girls, the guys performed Top 10 hits from the Hot 100 chart. Some contestants went with out of the box picks, and others stayed within their comfort zones. Either way, there were some great songs performed live on the American Idol stage.

Heres the list of songs performed:

Todrick Hall Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson
Aaron Kelly Here Comes Goodbye by Rascal Flatts
Jermaine Sellers Get Here by Oleta Adams
Tim Urban Apologize by OneRepublic
Joe Muoz You And I Both by Jason Mraz
Tyler Grady American Woman by The Guess Who/Lenny Kravitz
Lee Dewyze Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol
<a href="http://www.americanidol…. read more
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Kris Allen Talks About His Trip To Haiti

Posted: 25 Feb 2010 06:06 PM PST

Last Friday, Kris Allen went to Port-au-Prince, Haiti with the CEO of the United Nations Foundation, Kathy Calvin, to witness the impact of the work being done by the UN to help Haiti recover from the devastating earthquake that hit in January. The American Idol winner will show footage from his trip and perform Let It Be on tonights live results show. At this time, Kris will help kick off Idol Gives Back with the UN Foundation, one of the shows charities, and encourage people to donate to help Haiti.

In the past, Kris has taken part in mission trips, and he said that hes noticed in times of devastation, people pull together. I think people were hurt by [the earthquake] and everyone was affected by that, but I think you could see, especially the way the UN was helping, the smiles on the kids faces they know that everything is going to be okay. It is going to take a long time, but everything is going to be hopefully better than it was.

A lasting memory Kris took with him was when he went into the womens tent and visited with the mothers and their babies. I got to sing a song for them and hold a couple of babiesIt was a really cool experience. The Idol winner saw some shocking things. There were buildings down all over the place, people living in tiny little tents that are blazing hot six or seven to a family. It was a pretty rough experience for them.

During his short trip to Haiti, … read more
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Farewell Anthem for Season 9

Posted: 25 Feb 2010 06:06 PM PST

Have you been trying to guess what Season 9s contestant elimination anthem would be? It has been announced that Leave Right Now by Will Young will be played when a contestant leaves the show, starting tonight. Does Wills name sound familiar to you? He was the winner of the first season of Britains Pop Idol. Leave Right Now is a hit single off of Wills second album, Fridays Child. The single went to number one on the UK Singles Chart, selling 117,700 copies in its first week of release.

Vote off songs from recent season include Daughtrys Home for Season 6, Ruben Studdards Celebrate Me Home for Season 7, and Carrie Underwoods version of Home Sweet Home for Season 8.

Tune in to American Idol at 8/7c tonight to find out which four contestants will be exiting to Leave Right Now.

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The ‘American Idol’ Judge Power Rankings: The Top 24

Posted: 25 Feb 2010 06:06 PM PST

Simon Cowell may be out the door, but all of the "American Idol" judges have something to gain if they make a good showing this season. Kara DioGuardi and Randy Jackson have just one year left on their contracts, and nothing spells ka-ching! like a renewal. Ellen DeGeneres is signed up for multiple seasons but still has to prove that she, to borrow an oft-used phrase, can make this judging thing her own. And Simon has one final chance to prove he's the real star of the franchise in order to pull viewers over to "The X Factor."

We'll be weighing in on which judge has got the power, for whatever reason, each week:


Baring chest hair: It's a change from the tight black T, so the tuft gets points. +2
Lift off: "If you lose it here tonight or you forget the words, your career is over." "Idol" without Simon is going to be rough, dawg. +10
Number of eye rolls at Kara's expense: We lost count, but we're already bored by the "tension" between the two: -2
Reference to "Little House on the Prairie": Advising the boys to think of Laura Ingalls when they need to calm down? A new high point in weird for Simon. +7
Reference to death two minutes later: To dancer-turned-singer Todrick, "What you did was completely murder the original song." +7
Slamming Ryan Seacrest without making a dumb gay joke: To Joe Munoz,  after he warbled through Jason Mraz' "You and I Both," "[The performance was] a bit limp, a bit forgettable, rather like our host." +25
Being the first to put finally Andrew Garcia in his place: +10
Totally knowing "Idol" is lost without him: +5
Point total: 64

Rank: 1

Randy_mug RANDY

Soul patch: Twitter friends questioned if that was real chin hair or not. -2
Knowledge of facts: Before the boys' round began, Randy told the men, "You gotta hold your own now. The girls blew it out last night." False. -5
Sound advice: To Todrick: "You never want to take a song and obliterate it." +10
Giving false hope: "I think you're better than that," he told the last-minute contestant Tim Urban. False. -5
Being right when Simon is wrong: A rare role reversal! Lee Dewyze sang Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars," and Randy correctly pointed out that it was too soft for Lee's harder rock voice. +10
Spot-on comment about trying to make Fall Out Boy's "Sugar, We're Goin' Down" soulful: "That was a little 'try hard.'" +5
Point total: 13
Rank: 2

Kara_mug KARA

Being embarrassed by Ryan Seacrest: Kara blushed when he mentioned her baring her bikini bod at the end of last season. Kind of like letting Jay Leno get in a dig at you. -5
Telling Joe Munoz that he was the night's best singer: -8
Putting Tyler "Bell Bottoms" Grady in his place: Yes, they all did, but she did the best job with, "It's like Jim Morrison is all up in your room, all up on your walls…. You gotta do something more than the shtick." +8
Reminding everyone she does (mostly) know what she's talking about: Just because you can do those vocal riffs, doesn't mean you should (see: Mariah Carey). Kara reminded the otherwise-talented Jermaine Sellers of that: "When you do those runs, make them meaningful so they impact the audience. Not running here, running there, not running all over the place." +7
Crushing on Casey James, and having Simon brand her a cougar: -20 (If she wasn't lusting over the aspiring hippie, it'd only be -5)
Channeling Paula: Hearing Kara say, "I want to give you a hug right now" will never work. She needs to stop trying to work the nurturing angle. -5
Point total: -23
Rank: 3

Ellen_mug ELLEN

Lift off: "At home, you hear every single flaw, so if we're saying you don't sound so good here, you sound worse at home, and that's the most important place to sound good." Too true. If only Lacey had known… +10
Proving four judges is too many right off the bat: Speaking last to aspiring Bryan-Adams-by-way-of-David-Archueleta Aaron Kelley, "Ditto to all that." -5
Channeling Paula:
Telling Tim Urban, "You couldn't hit those high notes so that was hard … but you're  adorable." No, no, no Ellen. -4
Obsession with needing the young girls' voting bloc:
She told John Park that his poor decision to sing Billie Holiday's "God Bless the Child" "is not gonna get a lot of young girls to pick up the phone and vote for ya." Not her first mention of tweens. -7 She then added the Paula-esque "but I liked it and I thought you sounded great." Sigh. -7
Channeling Simon's odd metaphors: She compared her love of mullet-happy Alex Lambert's budding talent to her love of … tropical fruit: "I love bananas and sometimes a banana is just not quite ripe and you're like, 'Oh, I wish it was riper because I would like to eat that banana right now." It didn't work out so well. -2.
Overall lameness: Sure, Michael Lynche maybe earned Ellen's "You've got such a great personality and I love watching you" more than anyone else, but is that the best Ellen can do? Where's her comic wit? For saying that to any of the night's bland boys. -5
Mumbling: -8
Point total: -28
Rank: 4

– Denise Martin

Photo: Simon Cowell (Charles Pulliam / Associated Press), Randy Jackson (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times), Kara DioGuardi (Peter Kramer / Associated Press), Ellen DeGeneres (Michael Rozman / Associated Press)

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Trouble brewing for Didi Benami? Exploring the nebulous ‘Kara Connection’ [Updated]

Posted: 25 Feb 2010 06:06 PM PST

MLB_7886 Just when you thought Golightly-gate would be the last of Season 9's mini-scandals, now comes word of another potential conflict of interest involving de facto front-runner Didi Benami.

The controversy? That Didi had once worked with singer-songwriter Jason Reeves on a song called "Pretty Fool" and even posted a message on her MySpace back in April 2009 thanking  Reeves for "being a magical genius collaborator."

So what's the big deal? Well, Jason Reeves happened to co-write "Terrified" with Kara DioGuardi (see video below of them singing it together), the song Didi tried out with in summer 2009. The talented Iowa transplant is also signed to Warner Bros. Records, where Kara serves as vice president of A&R. In fact, he was her first signing, she boasts in the clip. The song also appears on Katharine McPhee's latest album, "Unbroken," as a duet between the Season 5 winner and Reeves. In fact, Didi's performance of the song prompted digital sales to jump more than 10,000% and, according to a source, is now a contender to be McPhee's next single. A no-brainer, if you ask us.

For his part, Jason Reeves has already tweeted in Didi's defense, writing, "For the record, I never told Kara anything about Didi, or any of the judges. She made it in as fair as everyone else." Kara has yet to respond to the allegations, which were originally uncovered, where else, at

The news can be interpreted one of two ways: An argument could be made, and it's a valid one, that songwriters worth their salt (like Kara and Jason, who also co-wrote Colbie Caillat's "Bubbly" and "Realize") work with all kinds of singers and aspiring artists, sometimes numbering in the dozens. This is Los Angeles, after all, where the music business lives. So just because Didi and Jason worked together doesn't necessarily mean Kara was involved in any way.

On the other hand, if Jason and Kara are super tight, as they seem on the video below, could he have brought up Didi once he saw her audition episode? Even just to say, "Hey, I know her!" Or did it occur to him that any mention of having worked with a contestant could, if not handled carefully, derail her "Idol" dream? Or how about this scenario: During their writing session, Didi tells Jason she wants to try out for "American Idol," and he says, "Sing this Kara DioGuardi song this way, I know she'll love it!" 

Look, we adore Didi. We want her to compete and maybe even win, but "Idol" has been harping on the issue of fairness for nearly a decade now, which means even the perception of impropriety raises a big red flag. Look no further than last year's Joanna Pacitti dismissal for proof. [Update: 12:15 p.m: An insider tells Idol Tracker that Didi did reveal the Jason Reeves connection during the background check process. "She was forthcoming, so the show did not consider it a conflict," says our source.]

Barring any sort of substantial evidence, it's doubtful this issue will live past the weekend. Then again, it's "Idol"; you really never know. In the meantime, we've reached out to reps for Kara, Jason Reeves and the show for an explanation. Fox has no comment. What do you make of it?

– Shirley Halperin

Follow @IdolTracker on Twitter

Photo: Didi Benami performs "The Way I Am" on "American Idol." Credit: Michael Becker / Fox

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Today in ‘Idol:’ Kris Allen, Allison Iraheta perform; Katharine McPhee sings ‘Terrified;’ Four go home

Posted: 25 Feb 2010 06:06 PM PST


A third night of "Idol" (Fox, 8 p.m.) brings the happy return of last year's winner Kris Allen and the always adorable Allison Iraheta to the stage. They're both performing, and Kris will also share footage from his recent trip to Haiti (see video), where he joined the United Nations Foundation (one of this year's "Idol Gives Back" beneficiaries) to raise awareness for the country's continuing need. "This thing is not going away," he said on Monday's conference call when asked about his travels. "They need so much help right now."

Kris is performing The Beatles' "Let It Be" on the show and says fans will have a way to text in and raise funds for Haiti. Allison will sing "Scars" from her debut album "Just Like You."

And over at the "Bonnie Hunt Show," season 5 runner-up Katharine McPhee performs "Terrified" for the first time on TV. That's the Kara DioGuardi song Didi Benami used for her audition number, which appears on Kat's record "Unbroken" as a duet with singer-songwriter Jason Reeves (more on his connection to Didi here).

And, oh yeah, four people will be eliminated tonight! Who will be the unfortunate firsts forced to take the walk of shame? Tim Urban? John Park? Todrick Hall? Jermaine Sellers? So many to choose from, where does one start?

– Shirley Halperin

Follow @IdolTracker on Twitter

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Ellen DeGeneres and Simon Cowell: friends or foes?

Posted: 25 Feb 2010 06:06 PM PST

Ellen Some rumors are just too delicious to die.

Despite Simon Cowell's best efforts to shoot down widespread speculation that he and new colleague Ellen DeGeneres do not get along, America just doesn't seem willing to part with the alluring notion of Ellen-Simon friction.

"I wouldn't say that we didn't get on well. I don't know Ellen that well," Cowell told IdolTracker's Shirley Halperin during a conference call with reporters last week. "It was a difficult position for her because she started work on the Hollywood Week, which is quite a difficult show to do. There was one story I read that I turned up an hour late or something and that she wanted to film. I mean, the truth was I think I turned up 15 or 20 minutes late because I did a press conference earlier in the day and they did start filming, but that wasn't a particular problem. But no, there was no fallout. I was trying to guide her through the week, and that was about it, really."

Well, that nice talk is all very well and good, but it hasn't stopped TMZ from reporting Thursday morning that, according to "American Idol" sources, Cowell and DeGeneres simply can't abide each other … "and the tension is building."

Cowell "Our insiders say Simon and Ellen aren't even trying to hide it," the site stated. "Ellen can't stand what she believes is Simon's cruelty toward contestants. And, we're told, Simon actually enjoys [angering Ellen]  with his blistering critiques."

And you know how Cowell and DeGeneres sat next to each other at the start of the season and are now seated at opposite ends of the table? "Producers separated the two," says TMZ, "but the tension has gotten worse."

Our take? We're frankly skeptical. Cowell seems amused by DeGeneres' lighthearted pokes in his direction, smiling, for instance, when she did that whole why-we're-seated-separately riff on how he couldn't keep his hands off her. Also, because Cowell is not one to mince words when he doesn't like someone, to put it mildly, why would he bother to say that he and Ellen are cool if they are not?

What's more, TMZ's "American Idol" sources may have a vested interest in fanning the fantasy of intra-judge conflict: As the site points out, it's been a big boon for ratings. As much as the TV-watching public adores aspiring singers, there's little it loves more than a good fight. Real or imagined.

Just look at the controversy about Adam Lambert slamming Susan Boyle — the great Idol war that wasn't.

– Amy Reiter

Upper photo: Ellen DeGeneres. Credit: Michael Becker / Fox

Lower photo: Simon Cowell. Credit: Michael Becker / Fox


Ellen addresses tension with Simon

Kara Dioguardi defends Ellen, addresses Simon rumors


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‘Idol’: Must be the season of the hippie hopeful

Posted: 25 Feb 2010 06:06 PM PST

Something we noticed as Season 9's auditions were getting under way? The proliferation of Birkenstock-wearing, dreadlocked, folksy contenders who wouldn't look out of place at a Phish show. Crystal Bowersox is the most obvious example, what with her whole Dylan vibe and strapped-on guitar-harmonica combo, but favorite Didi Benami, whose real name is Vered (meaning "rose" in Hebrew), also seemed to embrace her inner hippie last night with a sweater vest that looked like it came straight out of the '60s section of the thrift shop. There was also Siobhan Magnus, sporting the classic flower in her hair. And remember Maddie Curtis from the Boston auditions and repeat customer Rose Flack, also rocking the dreads? On the boys side, Jim Morrison wannabe Tyler Grady fits the bill, and you could make a case for long-haired Casey James.

So what has made "American Idol" a haven for hippie hopefuls this year? We place the blame — or credit, depending on how you look at it — on a couple of factors: the popularity of the game Rock Band (especially the Beatles version) and Jason Mraz.

First, Mraz: Were it not for his reggae-flavored feel-good acoustic hit "I'm Yours," which barely budged from the Top 10 for the better part of two years, the term "singer-songwriter" may have suffered the same fate as the word "alternative" did at the end of the '90s. But thanks in part to Mraz (along with Adele and artists of that ilk on the girls' side), whose previous hits include 2002's "The Remedy (I Won't Worry)" and 2004's "You and I Both" (which Top 24 contender Joe Muñoz performed on Wednesday night), we can look at the success of Colbie Callait and make a direct correlation. It should also be noted that Colbie tried out for "American Idol" with her own song "Bubbly" and didn't even make it past the first round, which just goes to show what a dramatic turnaround we've seen in how "Idol" values a contestant's musical marketability.

As for Rock Band, we've already seen several songs from the game make appearances on the show, including Kansas' "Carry On Wayward Son" and Boston's "More Than a Feeling," both of which were audition options during Hollywood Week. But one game extension whose influence can't be understated is the Beatles Rock Band, which was released in September 2009 and whose plastic instruments have become a permanent living room adornment of millions of households. Wondering why a quarter of Tuesday's female finalists all chose Beatles songs? Look no further than the game that brought to life the seminal band's classic hits, complete with year-appropriate artwork and a distinctly psychedelic sheen.  

Now we shouldn't expect bearded wonders the Fleet Foxes or My Morning Jacket to make guest appearances on "Idol," nor should we hold out hope for Dylan, Joni Mitchell or Trey Anastasio to come in as mentors, but how about a contestant take on Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb?" Or some Neil Young? Or "Tambourine Man"?

Just so long as Kara DioGuardi never repeats what she told Katelyn Epperly after her version of "Oh Darlin'" on Tuesday night. "You really switched it up in a way that I thought improved the song." Really, Kara? An "American Idol" finalist made a Beatles song better? For shame.

– Shirley Halperin

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Photo: Crystal Bowersox (left) and Tyler Grady (right) compete for a spot in "Idol's" Top 12. Credit: Michael Becker / Fox 

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Ann Powers: The Boys take their chances

Posted: 25 Feb 2010 06:06 PM PST

AI9_CaseyJames-red_014  "Dude, believe in yourself." That was Randy Jackson, addressing one of the 12 trembling mangenues who took the stage during Wednesday's overall fiasco of an "American Idol" episode. Dawg should write a book — a self-help book, with plenty of lists and clear directives about generating and then managing confidence — and then pass it out to the singers who filled two hours that would have been better spent watching Olympic ice sports with flubbed notes, horrific over-singing, and deer-in-the-headlights stares.

 If the women who'd performed the previous night lived or died by one Idol platitude — "It's all about song selection" — the men mostly perished by getting stuck between two contradictory ones: "That was risky" and "You need to take a risk." Whether they sought to fulfill the stereotypes already thrust upon them or actually dared to try something they seemed to believe in, the guys fell down, with only a tiny handful retaining even an ounce of grace and dignity.

How scared were these guys? Well, they had a right to be. All night, the judges behaved more like inquisitors than mentors, with Simon trashing nearly everyone, Kara and Randy offering tepid support at best, and even Ellen — clear-eyed, warmly neutral Ellen — occasionally taking the bait. Her best line will go down in the annals of back-handed compliments: comparing an extremely jumpy Alex Lambert (no relation to last year's consummate performer) to a banana, and declaring herself a fan of said fruit, she concluded, "Sometimes a banana is just not quite ripe. You need to ripen." That was her being sympathetic.

For the most part, the night unfolded like a 16-car pile-up — or an over-chopped fruit salad, I guess — with each striver skidding out of control and the judges jumping in, not to rescue anyone but to add to the mood of disaster. Ryan Seacrest was subdued, a rare occasion, but what could he have added to the mess? Worst of all was the "sexy" interplay surrounding poor Casey James, who's been designated the season's himbo and special object of Kara's lust. Before and after the 27-year-old Texan sang a competent version of the Bryan Adams weeper "Heaven," he was mercilessly teased for overloading the songwriting queen's pheromone meter, to the point where Ryan's quips about sexual harassment seemed more like straight reporting than satire. A female contestant would have never had to put up with such treatment; it's demeaning to all involved.

Yet compared to many of the night's onstage turns, even the cheapest banter was bearable. One after another, the men got caught between the Scylla and Charybdis of wish fulfillment ("Don't be too risky") and surprise ("Take a risk"). Those who tried something tough — Todrick Hall, with his dirty soul arrangement of Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone," or John Park, who didn't properly showcase his low range on the Billie Holiday favorite "God Bless the Child" — failed to communicate. Yet the ones who sought to fulfill the roles in which they'd been cast during (or even before) Hollywood Week didn't do much better.

Consider Tyler Grady. He was a retro rocker before he auditioned for "Idol"; he's been steered in that same direction since making the cut. Yet after he delivered a fine, hip-shaking version of the moldy arena rock fave "American Woman," he got a lashing for, you guessed it, doing exactly what everyone has encouraged him to do.

The same thing happened to James, in a way, though the judges were more complimentary about his somewhat stolid, vibrato-dominated reading of that Adams song. He wasn't lambasted for being cute; instead, his cuteness became the butt of an ugly joke. That probably won't hurt him, vote-wise; it might even make him the front-runner, since, as the plethora of dating-oriented reality shows proves, Americans love to dwell on what makes somebody sexy.

Andrew Garcia isn't getting the sexy vote, but until this week, he'd earned the one for intelligence and musicality. Attempting "Sugar, We're Going Down," however, he took a bit of dive. The sweet and obviously intelligent dad and Youtube sensation strummed through a lightly funky take on the Fall Out Boy hit; what he did kept pace with his previous accomplishments, even if the song's wordiness proved a challenge. The judges expressed disappointment, though. Garcia had taken a risk, but the wrong kind.

These were clear examples of Idol strivers playing with destiny or against it, and losing either way. Others simply fumbled, singing off-key or bellowing. Few looked like they were having any fun.

Except for one: Michael "Big Mike" Lynche, who seemed to rise right above all the tension surrounding him as he got his Dave Matthews-style groove on, performing "This Love" by Maroon 5. Maybe it's because his particular schtick is seriously life-changing; he became a father the same week he learned he was in the Top 24. For whatever reason, Lynche isn't taking the risks of "Idol" all that seriously. After his peppy turn, Kara expressed delight that he'd brought some sunshine into the room, and even though Simon trashed him, the light didn't dissipate. Dude is cool with the choices he makes. That's a good way to manage the perilous path of "Idol."

– Ann Powers

Photo: Casey James; Credit: Michael Becker / Fox

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Getting to know Joe Muñoz: the hometown interview

Posted: 25 Feb 2010 06:06 PM PST

AI9_JoeMunoz-outside_0028 He's been described as a cross between David Archuleta and Anoop Desai with a voice to match! Wednesday night, we see our hometown hope, Huntington Park native Joe Munoz, take his place among the others vying for a Top 12 spot.

We spoke to Joe on Monday as he finished rehearsals, and though he was out of breath at the start and exhausted by the end, we learned a lot about this bilingual candidate who just loves Carrie Underwood.

Read on for our Q&A…

How long have you been at it today?

All day. Our call time was at 9 and we've been going until now [8 p.m.]. But it's been so exciting!

This was your second time trying out, correct?

Yes, I auditioned last year, but I didn't even really get past the first stages of the audition, and I didn't get called back. 

So you must have had some really good performances during Hollywood Week. What songs did you do?

For my first audition for the judges, I did "Who's Loving You" by the Jackson 5, then on Hollywood Week, I did "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" for Day 1 and on group day, we did "Get Ready." On Day 3, I did "Man in the Mirror."

What does it feel like to stand in front of the judges and await their verdict? Does it take forever, as it looks on TV?

It doesn't last that long, but since you're so nervous, it seems like a long time up there when you're just waiting for them to tell you how you did. It's nerve-racking all the way through. Stepping foot on that stage is so overwhelming. If you're not like really concentrating, it can get the best of you, really. 

On a scale of 1 to 10, rate your nerves going into the semifinal round?

Its not so much nerves, it's excitement, which would be a 10. My nerves would be like a five. I try not to think
about it and focus on something positive.

So you have Simon Cowell on his last season and Ellen DeGeneres on her first. Thoughts on the two ends of the judging panel?

Ellen is great. I was actually surprised to hear her give really
good advice, [knowing] she doesn't have much musical experience, which is 
what she said, but she was giving really good tips. Like, on the first song, they were telling me to relax a little bit. After that, everything went much better. And I am so happy we got to have Simon for this season.

Tell us about where you grew up?

I was born here in L.A. and I moved to Mexico when I was 10 and spent my teenage years there in a little town called the Guaymas, which is close to the beach and really cool. In L.A., I lived in Huntington Park which is close to downtown. I went to Middleton Street school until fifth grade, that's when I moved to Mexico and I graduated high school in Mexico. My mother and sisters still live there, but they show "American Idol" on cable.

How did you discover a love of music?

I've always been in love in music. When I was young, I would sing Whitney Houston songs around the house, and once I started watching MTV and I saw the live performances — artists being up there, doing their thing, singing in front of so many people, I was, like, "Wow, I really want to do that one day." But I really love Broadway musicals. The first time I saw "Rent," my mind was

If you could play any character in the play, who would you be?

It's not the kind of character that would be expected for me, but I just love Mark, He sees everything that's
happening around him, he gets to be there for the whole experience
that they're going through, because everybody is sick or has a lot of
issues, and he really gets to feel what everyone
else is feeling.

What was your first concert?

It was actually in my small town during Spring Break. They would bring in Mexican artists and I saw a group called O.V.7.

With Allison Iraheta making it to the top four last year, and you, Ashley Rodriguez and Andrew Garcia in the running this year, is it time for a Latino Idol?

I hope so! I would love to bring that Latin flavor to the show, and I think me and Andrew have really different styles, so it will be interesting. I'm all for Latinos.

Who's your favorite former Idol?

I love Carrie Underwood. She's not my style or anything, but i just love her.

What's your favorite Carrie song?

I love "Wasted" because it's such a great story. Country is all about that — telling a really good story. 

So what's going through your mind at this point?

I'm just looking forward to doing my best, and hopefully make it to the Top 2. You have to be ambitious and do your best to get all the way, so I hope I get far. I want America to see me for who I am. I've said, "You see this
on TV, but you never think it's going to happen to you," so I just really want to do my best. 

– Shirley Halperin

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Photo credit: Patrick Ecclestein / Fox

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