Blake Lewis

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April 17, 2007: "I Learned the Truth at 17..."

“... that love was meant for beauty queens and high-school girls with clear-skinned smiles....” Who could this be about?Martina McBride, country superstar and mentor to the Idols, showed up. And after she won award after award, year after year, with the same haircut, Martina got a weave for the Idolites. Her advice to the Idols was to “tell the story” of the song — sounds like the same advice Tony gave them, J.Lo gave them; I think even Diana Ross may have said something similar. Only Gwen neglected to share with them that bit of wisdom. So with Martina, her weave and Phil Stacey’s shiny noggin, we began the top-seven countdown.Philly boy, nice save. With the help of Keith Urban’s “Where the Blacktop Ends,” Phil was able to come back from the depths of never-never and skid into middle earth. He actually sung the song from beginning to end. He brought it with the first note, and he took it all the way through to the last note. The song was... read more

April 11, 2007: These Legs Were Made for Walkin'

Ryan walked past the Idols and asked the magic question, “Who will be going home tonight?” He gave a very long look to Sanjaya, knowing full well the king of hula was not going anywhere. (I thought the real question was, “How many white strips do those kids put in their mouths each night?” Because the whole lot of them have the whitest teeth I have ever seen.)Next we had the money shots, Eva Longoria and Sharon Osbourne, our resident audience stars of the evening. Ryan introduced the judges, which wasn’t really interesting except that when he introduced Simon, Simon winked at Paula. It was frankly a bit creepy. Let me take a moment here to say, “Poor Randy.” Simon and Paula get all of the attention and Randy just sits there. What exactly is his function? Aside from the various glasses he shows off each night, the vibrant shirts and the “Dawg, you blasted it out da house tonight,” I’m not sure I know what he’s doing there. Well y... read more

April 10, 2007: "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You"

Welcome to the dull week. We knew it had to happen somewhere in 22 weeks. There was nary a performance worth writing home about and the good ones were slim to middling. I don’t know what that means, but I know had I fallen asleep in the beginning of the show, I would not have missed much. Evidently, the entirety of Latin music consists only of Miami Sound Machine, Santana with a little Marc Anthony, (or is it Antony? “Oh, Cleo, drop that asp.”) How about a little Gipsy Kings? Have you ever heard of Ricky Martin? Shakira? When will the producers let us, the public, select the songs for the contestants? How about a week with Rufus Wainwright mentoring and the kids can all sing songs from his Judy Garland concert at Carnegie Hall? Just an idea. It can’t be any worse than some of these current theme weeks. J.Lo recently released her first Spanish-language album, Como Ama Una Mujer. According to Babelfish that means “As It Loves a Woman.” I don’t speak ... read more

April 4, 2007: I Don't Want to Smile

If I wasn't blogging AI for TV Guide, I would stop watching this show right now. Before I even get to a brief blow-by-blow, I have to step out of my usual banter and say something about the state of this competition. I understand "drama" makes for good television. I understand that the producers can’t be happy with everything going along as it should. “Life isn’t fair,” I can hear them shout. But that any lackluster singer can remain safe while perfectly great singers get sent home is just a travesty to the competition and to singing in general. I realize that since pop music often consists of “artists” who have no voice to speak of and are merely offering manipulated tracks under heavy musical artillery (Paris Hilton, Ashlee Simpson, you get the point), it makes complete sense that AI voters are engaged in keeping Sanjaya, Phil and Haley around. Unfortunately, I am really discouraged by the outcome of this week’s show, (though losing AJ, Sabrina a... read more

April 3, 2007: "And Then There Were Nine"

Wow, the good ones get better and the bad ones, well, you get the picture. There were nine contestants going into this week of Idol and as far as I am concerned, there need only be six, possibly five. I will name names at the end. Actually this was a pretty good show. Aside from the aforementioned three or four, the remaining performances were outstanding. I would pay money to see a few of them. Wait, I rescind that. Justin Timberlake (the original one) is performing in L.A. to the tune of $150 a ticket, and that’s before the astronomical fees that that horrific master of tickets adds on to every seat. So by the end of the day, you’d pay over $200 to see JT. I’m not saying he’s not worth it, but I could fly to Hawaii for just a few dollars more, and frankly, Maui sounds blissful by comparison. What I am rambling to say is, if the tickets were a reasonable price, I would go. I would download Melinda, Chris R. and Gina’s performances this week if I could get a... read more

Idol Chat: Who's on Fire as the Competition Heats Up?

Kimberly Caldwell and Rosanna Tavarez take on American Idol.

Was Chris Sligh the architect of his own undoing? Which of American Idol's nine finalists has the most momentum heading into "American Classics" week? And is an early favorite not doing what she needs to do for success? TVGuide.com asked Kimberly Caldwell and Rosanna Tavarez, the hosts of TV Guide Channel's Idol Chat, Idol Tonight and Reality Chat, for their expert takes on what's next for the most popular television show read more

March 28, 2007: Madonna, Those Gams!

Finally, I got one: I won the American Idol office pool this week by predicting the timely demise of Mr. Sligh from our little show. I’m sorry to see him go before both Haley and Sanjaya, but he has been consistent only in his lack of caring and he was bound to get tossed off the island soon. I liked Phil on Tuesday night’s show. I know why he made it into the bottom three, but I’m hoping he can hold on for a couple more weeks. Haley remained, and I have no doubt it was the shorts and heels of last week’s show. “She's got legs, she knows how to use them!”The saddest moment in the show was poor Gina’s face (she looked simply crestfallen) as she was told along with Sligh that one of them was in the bottom three, and then they had to sit through that dreadful song of Gwen’s until they found out. I knew she'd be safe because her Pretenders cover on Tuesday was fantastic.Now, as I’ve mentioned previously, I always liked No Doubt, but Ms. Gwen&... read more

March 27, 2007: High on the Hills with the Lonely Goatherd

No Doubt singer Gwen Stefani, who traded ska for yodeling, graced the Idols with her presence this week. She is one pretty girl. It’s hard to believe this is the same pleasantly plump high school student from the O.C. who started singing in a band as a teenager and is now married to Gavin Rossdale. Gwen has been performing to sold-out crowds for 20 years, but I don’t know that I would run to her first as a singing coach. But her divine presence meant it was "pop" week! (Not to be confused with "contemporary pop" week.) Yippee! LaKisha opened the show with Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” and it was pretty darn good. Not much else to say. She looked good and everyone loved her boots. Chris Sligh sang The Police's "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" after joking that he knits and crochets in his spare time backstage. Gwen told him in rehearsal that his tempo was off and the judges agreed with her. In fact, we all did. It was a bland performance from Chris. He ha... read more

Dancing with the Stars: This Week's Backstage Buzz!

Dancing with the Stars' Laila Ali

At Monday night's Dancing with the Stars, the fun began even before the big band blasted its first notes. But to get the whole picture, you need to understand a few logistics: ABC's Dancing is shot live at CBS Television City (which rents out its popular Los Angeles sound studios) and in the very same building as Fox's American Idol. What that means is that in the corridors, washrooms and elevators, stars can collide.  Which they did, tonight, when Idol's beat-boxing contestant Blake Lewis stepped out of an elevator, only to be greeted by Dancing pro Tony Dovolani. "Hey, man, how're you doing?" asked Dovolani. Dovolani congratulated Lewis on la read more

Idol Chat Looks at the Most Improved, Gwen's Visit and More

Kimberly Caldwell and Rosanna Tavarez take on American Idol.

And then there were 10. The British invasion was very, very good to most of the wannabe American Idols, yet not kind enough to Stephanie Edwards, the latest to be sent packing.  As the action picks up tonight, TVGuide.com asked Kimberly Caldwell and Rosanna Tavarez, the hosts of TV Guide Channel's Idol Chat, Idol Tonight and Reality Chat, for their expert takes on the most-improved singers, read more

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