American Idol's Elliott Yamin
There was a time when no one wanted to hear Elliott Yamin sing. "I was always loud, interrupting my mom on the phone or my brother doing his homework," the 27-year-old Virginian recalls with a laugh. "I would annoy everybody."
Today, it's a different story. Yamin may have come in third on American Idol, but he endeared himself to millions during its record-breaking fifth run. (As of May 30, an AOL poll placed him fifth on its "Best Idol of All Time" list. Winner Taylor Hicks tied for third; runner-up
Kristin Cavallari, Get This Party Started
American IdolAh, the final night of auditions in my hometown, Boston, Mass. Did my old stomping ground make me proud? Well, no. Simon Cowell caused people to cry, swear and make rude threats, all at the same time. Usually only Boston traffic can elicit such a response. This audition was all about Kenneth "Dare to Be Cher" Maccarone and Michael "Clay for a Day" Sandecky. Kenneth, you may not have the wigs, Botox or butt tattoos (thank god), but you are Cher. No need getting grumpy at the judges for pointing it out. Wear it well, wear it proud and someday you'll have your own Oscar for your very own Moonstruck. As for Idol's own Clay Aiken doppelganger, I l
Lucy Lawless, Veronica Mars
American IdolSan Francisco certainly had an odd effect on the judges, didn't it? After tonight they need to be called Snippy Simon and Petulant Paula. As for Randy Jackson, well, he just did his thing, dawg. And his "thing" tonight was winding up Simon Cowell, who had become even testier than usual. But Simon did prove he might actually have a heart, even if it is 10 sizes too small, when he got nixed contestant Shalicia her job back. If you ask me, I think Mr. Fussy Pants just needed a nap... and a good pair of earplugs after several wretched auditions. One of the most painful was Matthew "Wolfie" Paulson, who compared himself to Clay Aiken. Sorry Wolfie, but I think Clay would only make those noises if the anesthesia wore off du
Forget T.S. Eliot's old chestnut about April. Indeed, November has been the cruelest month for American Idol alumni Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard. First, Aiken canceled the first three dates of his Joyful Noise holiday tour due to sinus troubles. Worse yet, Studdard was hospitalized in Alabama for exhaustion, right in the middle of a publicity tour for his new album, I Need an Angel. Unlike other Idols who are scrounging for work, these champs from AI's second season seem plumb worn out!
Aiken was forced to sideline himself after "too much coughing" damaged his vocal cords. He's since resumed his busy concert schedule. Studdard hasn't been so lucky. Aiken places some of the blame for his pal's recent hospitalization on Extra, which had been chronicling the plus-size singer's weight-loss efforts in a series of reports.
"I kinda felt like Extra was exploiting him and I didn't like that," Aiken tells TV G
So what if Clay Aiken's Measure of a Man outsold Ruben Studdard's Soulful album. (Billboard says Clay's peddled 2.5 million discs vs. Ruben's 1.7 million so far, if you really wanna know.) The larger-than-life winner of American Idol 2 isn't bitter and harbors no regrets over his runner-up's success. "None at all," he insists. "My album's doing great, and I don't live in a busted apartment anymore! Everything is wonderful. God is just really blessing me."
Studdard says his post-Idol career has been "everything I expected and more. I've always wanted to do what I'm doing right now. I've never had any aspirations for another career for myself. American Idol afforded me the opportunity to live out all of my dreams, and I'm pretty sure it's gonna be the same for Fantasia."
Speaking of Ms. Barrino, did he mind turning over the crown to the current AI winner? "I don't think that's the case," he
Shyness and stage fright can spell doom for performers. Especially on the ultra-competitive American Idol, where those fickle, temperamental judges and home viewers decide your fate like spectators in the Roman coliseum! So does John Stevens — that mild-mannered 16-year-old carrot top who idolizes Frank Sinatra — even have a prayer? Here, TV Guide Online probes Stevens, now one of two finalists from Group 4, to see if he really has the makings of an Idol champ.
TV Guide Online: Do you mind comparisons to Clay Aiken, the geek who made good?John Stevens: He's a star! I appreciate any comparisons that could be made between me and him.
TVGO: You're quiet for an aspiring pop star. Will you try to be more extroverted?Stevens: I guess it's always been hard for me, but I'm working on it. H