Great American Idol Blog

Idol Alum Opens Up About Rumored Suicide Try

Nikki McKibbin by Mark Sullivan/

Former American Idol contestant Nikki McKibbin's back, and she's opening up about her rumored suicide attempt and trying to set the record straight. In an interview with TV's Extra, McKibbin says, "I was hospitalized, but not because I tried to kill myself."McKibbin, who went in for medical treatment Feb. 21, asserts that her hospitalization was due to an allergic reaction to pain medication that resulted in the arrival of police and paramedics at her home. "The police officers handcuffed me, stuck me in the back of a squad car," she says. "It was traumatic." There was some speculation that McKibbin's ordeal stemmed from trauma over her mother's death last August, from which the single mom suffered a breakdown. Responding to reports that McKibbin had claimed she "wanted to be with her mom in heaven" at the time of her hospitalization, she says, "Honestly, I've said it before so I am not saying I didn't. But I don't remember. Honestly, I just don't remember."The singer, who came in ... read more

Idol Alum Sanjaya Headlines… a Bat Mitzvah?

Sanjaya Malakar by Charley Gallay/

So this is where Sanjaya has been hanging out lately.... He's been performing at black-tie rites of passages (for a pretty penny, we're sure) for screaming teenage girls? Take away the rite of passage, and I guess it feels just like he's still on American Idol. Well, Sanjaya isn't on Idol anymore, but he's still capitalizing on the fame he received from his top-10 stint on the show. Not only did he perform at a fancy, black-tie, 300-guest bat mitzvah in Huntington, New York, but he also scored a gig TV Guide Network hosting Idol: Where Are They Now?So what did the former Idol croon for his lucky audience and the guest of honor, Rachel Lader? He started with Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely" while the 12-year-old girl and her father shared their first dance. And, of course, the night wouldn't have been completely Sanjaya-fied if he hadn't sung The Kinks' "You Really Got Me," which he performed twice on Idol before being eliminated. That little girl must have had the time of her very... read more

American Idol Power Rankings: The Top 12

Now it's getting a bit more interesting, and a lot more serious — American Idol's final 12. As the party got started Thursday night, began polling you on your current pick to win this whole enchilada. Here's how it netted out:40.4% David Archuleta13.0% Jason Castro11.2% David Cook 8.8% Michael Johns 8.5% Brooke White6.6% Carly Smithson3.3% David Hernandez 2.8% Kristy Lee Cook2.4% Ramiele Malubay1.7% Amanda Overmyer1.0% Syesha Mercado 0.2% ChikezieLook at Archie's lead. Is it really so unclose a race? I think that one has to ask: Has the boy wonder peaked too soon?Speaking of boy wonders, a girl doesn't show up in the rankings until the No. 5 slot. Is that speaking to male dominance or a weak Season 7 female field?Who's out next? This is Chikezie's second straight week of finishing dead last. Has time run out for the lad?What's your take on these latest results?Lots more Idol coverage:• Rosie Makes "Bold, Brave, Beautiful" Danny an Offer• Asia'h, Kady, Lu... read more

Rosie Makes "Bold, Brave, Beautiful" Danny an Offer

In a video blog segment posted Friday, Rosie O'Donnell invited freshly ousted American Idol contestant Danny Noriega to sing on her cruise. "I don't know if you have to sit around the American Idol studio and, like, look sad for the next few weeks," says the comedienne, "but a week from tomorrow, an R Family Cruise is leaving from San Diego for Cabo San Luco." (A voice behind her then said that it's going to Puerto Vallarta, but whatever.) "So, Danny Noriega," Ro continued, "you've got a free cruise. You and a friend. I want you to sing 'Tainted Love,' and I think you're fantastic. I think you're a bold and brave and beautiful young man. I admire you, Danny Noriega, and you have an amazing voice.... So why don't you come on the cruise?"Cyndi Lauper, among other artists, will apparently also be onboard, and O'Donnell promised a duet op with the returning pop star — and maybe even a trio, with Rosie herself joining in. So, Danny: Are you going to go for it? If you want some compa... read more

Asia'h, Kady, Luke and Danny: Idol Castoffs Sound Off

Danny Noriega and Kady Malloy by Frank Micelotta/Fox

They came close, but received no cigar. TV Guide caught up the four American Idol hopefuls that didn't make the Top 12. Read on to see who believes she may have won by losing, who plans to make like a male Tyra Banks, and who finds Simon's nastiness rather unnecessary. — Carita RizzoAsia'h Epperson"On Wednesday, when they said, 'You're [singing] first,' I called my mom and said, 'I think this is going to be the last time I'm performing.' Knowing the strategy that goes into it — and it's 100 percent strategy — I figured that it was just too much, too quick. If I'm in the audience, [a performance of Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance with Somebody"] is just hitting you over the head. But everything happens for a reason, and clearly God just has a bigger and better plan for me. I believe this was a great stepping stone for me, this is what I needed, and that's it."Kady Malloy"Let me put it this way — it's a TV show. It's hard [to take criticism] in front of so many p... read more

TV Guide Exclusive! Inside Idol's Top 12 Party

Finalists David and Kristy Lee Cook by Kevin Winter/Fox

As the sun set Thursday on Los Angeles, it left behind a streaky pink sky... and only 12 wannabe Idols remaining. While the contestants heard the vote counts and left the stage, TV Guide's Top 12 party was getting under way at a rooftop venue. Inside the event, cameras queued up, lights were bright, and publicists, crew members and press buzzed about, eyeing congratulatory cupcakes adorned with each singer's photo.Suddenly, the contestants burst into the room, cameras started snapping and the party had officially begun. The mood was exuberant, the energy electric. was there to congratulate the contestants, find out what they loved best and feared most about the show — plus, of course, share some laughs and cake with the new top dogs of the season.I caught up with a few of them between their on-camera time and photo sessions, plus I got some observations from the party pros on how this group handled the new, and very bright, spotlight. On the "Fear Factor":For Kristy... read more

The Top 12: Who's Your Idol Now?

Danny Noriega by Frank Micelotta / FOX

Did the Power Rankings wield some power? On Thursday night's American Idol, Kady Malloy — who in this week's reader poll placed dead last on the girls' side — got sent home. Also now packing their bags are Danny Noriega and Luke Menard, who this week combined for a mere 2.5 percent of the vote on the guys' side of things. The other gal out of the running is Asia'h Epperson, handicapped in large part by a thoroughly subpar Wednesday performance.For the top 12 remaining wannabes, it's now party time — literally — and TV Guide, and TV Guide Network were on the scene for the after-show festivities. Check back Friday morning for the full recap of the soiree as well as scads of pics.For you the viewers, meanwhile, it's time to vote. Who of the remaining dozen contenders is your current pick to be named this year's American Idol? The poll is here. The new Power Rankings come out Monday.Vote here. read more

Hot Topic: Are Fans Ready for a Gay Idol?

While no contestant has ever come out of the proverbial closet during an active American Idol season, there have been whispers in past seasons about certain contestants' sexual preferences. For some reason, those whispers have resurfaced with abundance this year — perhaps due to producers proffering more "getting to know you" pieces, and our ever-increasing exposure to YouTube clips that some wannabe Idols perhaps wish would disappear. So are we getting closer to the show embracing openly gay contestants? Speaking to this issue, Idol producers would only tell the Associated Press, "We do not comment on the personal lives of the show participants." Show execs, though, may be shooting themselves in the foot — this topic could lead to them scoring some serious "buzz" ratings. Then again, does Idol crave even bigger ratings? How many yachts can you water-ski behind? —Erin FoxWhat's your take on the larger issue: Do you think Idol contestants should disclose their sexual... read more

Stalker Scare Forces Leggy Idol Alum to Run

Haley Scarnato by Jim Spellman/

Haley "Legs" Scarnato, one of last season's top 10 finalists on American Idol, has decided to leave her home in Nashville, Tennessee, after some scary run-ins with a stalker. The singer, who continues to pursue opportunities in the music arena after being voted off Idol last year, says she's had some frightening moments at her house. Scarnato told Access Hollywood that she is heading back to Texas (she's originally from San Antonio) because, "I just had some break-ins and some notes and stuff like that." She added, "I'm completely by myself and I just am scared." Here's an idea: Next time you do an interview about a stalker, you probably shouldn't tell the public (and said stalker) where you're moving to — right, Haley? — Erin FoxWatch American Idol on our Online Video Guide. read more

Idol Producer: David H.'s Stripper Past "Won't Make Any Difference"

David Hernandez courtesy Fox

On the heels of the reveal that Ramiele Malubay has a "racy" pic or two out there, it has come to light that for three years, 24-year-old David Hernandez worked as a stripper at Dick's Cabaret in Glendale, Arizona, where he danced nude and gave lap dances to a mostly male clientele.Might this jeopardize Hernandez's place in the top 16? In previous seasons, Idol execs have avoided establishing hard and fast rules about a contestant's past. (When it was discovered that Frenchie Davis posed topless for a website, she got the boot, but when racy pics of Antonella Barba showed up online, she was allowed to stay.) On Tuesday afternoon, spoke with Idol executive producer Ken Warwick about the Will the revelations about David's stripper past have any impact on whether he stays on the show?Ken Warwick: No, it won't make any difference. The truth is, we're never judgmental about what people do to earn a living. They've got to put food in people's mouths. We'... read more

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