It seems that torturing wannabe singers with backhanded compliments and full-frontal insults just isn't enough for Simon Cowell and American Idol producer Ken Warwick. Starting April 6 in L.A., they'll be conducting casting calls nationwide for a new NBC reality show called America's Got Talent. "We are looking for performers of all ages in every talent category in hopes of finding that next big name in lights," Warwick tells the Associated Press. Adds Cowell: "This is the show I've always wanted to make." (Funny — I thought that show was Cupid.) Gluttons for punishment can get audition details by visiting www.nbc.com and clicking on "casting."
American Idol TV Guide Channel's own Kimberly Caldwell got the very first camera shot last night. Woohoo! This really felt like the most rushed results show ever. But first, Barry Manilow took the stage. I was imagining Simon Cowell's criticism: "Barry, that was a ghastly karaoke performance. Hideous." OK, so I'm not a Fanilow, so sue me. Somehow I think Clay Aiken
American Inventor"Guys, get this! I invented this show that will totally blow your socks off! What? You're not wearing socks or something?" That was me about three months ago when I found out that my idea for a new show was already taken. Damn you, Simon Cowell, damn you! However, I do like the show. Even if I'm not sure how we Americans will do the actual voting. And speaking of Americans, and shows with "American" in the title, what's with all the Brits? First Simon and now Peter Jones? OK, so the Brits invented the invention show. I'm over it. Another judge is Doug Hall. He's my favorite, he's possibly Canadian, and he honestly seems like the most qualified for the job. But for the love of the spork, if they keep saying that
Simon Cowell, American Inventor
With $1 million in seed money at stake and a bevy of Caractacus Potts wannabes in queue, ABC's American Inventor — cocreated and executive-produced by American Idol icon Simon Cowell — offers the promise of actually impacting the millions of us who don't necessarily worship pop-music newbies. After all, the winner of this amateur-inventor competition might bring into our homes a product that is both revolutionary and desperately needed, right? Um... maybe?
At the very least, American Inventor (premiering with a two-hour special tonight at 8 pm, then airing Thursdays at 9 pm/ET) promises to bring to your television screen a parade of characters — "a million" of them, to hear Cowell tell it. "I sat through a number of the auditions quietly in the back of a room," he shares, "and I would say that 90 percent of these people h
Taylor Hicks, American Idol
American IdolThe leadoff performers, Ace and Kellie, bolstered my belief that American Idol should stay away from Stevie Wonder songs. Thankfully Ace didn't attempt to sing unnecessary falsetto notes, but I had to agree with Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell: It just wasn't the best vocal performance. Naturally Paula Abdul dissented. Eyeing Ace like he was the last chocolate chip in the Keebler tree house, she thought he "entertained everyone." Kellie professed little prior knowledge of Stevie, and then talked about her false eyelashes looking like tarantulas, something clearly less scary than calamari.
Honestly, I was expecting better from both Elliott and Mandisa. I actu
Cher and Josh, Beauty and the Geek
American IdolBo Bice sounded a bit hoarse on his single "The Real Thing," probably from new-daddy lack of sleep. I do miss Bo, but he's lucky Simon Cowell wasn't judging that one. It's not surprising that Kinnik and Will had the lowest number of votes — neither one had a good night this week. And they haven't exactly gotten much love from the judges. While America has heard every detail of Kellie Pickler's lunch orders and knows everything about Taylor but his ring size, Kinnik and Will were the very last of the top 24 picked and we've barely heard a word about them since. Both were total class acts in their farewell speeches, and they finally got to hear the words "I like you" from Simon. Kellie, Kathar
Dennis Haysbert and Scott Foley, The Unit
American IdolKatharine McPhee was rumored to be this year's Mario Vasquez, the dropout from last season who went on to superstardom. Or, rather, Starbucks. Well, Katharine said she'll be in it for the long haul, although I might have to quit Idol if Ryan Seacrest insists on saying things like "do you have the McPheever?" No, but cheese-ball lines like that do make me ill. Katharine did an okay Aretha Franklin — not quite up to Kelly Clarkson standard, but the judges loved her. They weren't quite as sold on Paris Bennett's "Conga," but she had fun anyway.
I was very impressed with Lisa, but she once again was scolded for singing an "old" song.
Noah Wyle, ER
American IdolAt the top of the show, Ryan Seacrest announced that he had good news and bad news. Four more people would leave, but Season 4 winner Carrie Underwood was on hand to perform. And I was left wondering where the good news was. The "original farm girl" took the stage to tepid applause, but Melissa McGhee was up on the balcony singing right along and studying every stage move... all one of them. I just hope the next Idol winner can move more than one arm at a time. Naturally, before elimination time we had to suffer through another awful group song. I'll give a Reader's Digest version of my notes: bad attempt at harmony, bad camera angle, bad outfits, extremely bad dancing. Can't wa
Emilie de Ravin, Lost
American IdolTaylor started off the show with an underwhelming "Easy." I like his voice, but one more "whoo" might end my goodwill toward him forever. Smooth and soulful Elliott had another fantastic night. I'm not familiar with the jazzy tune he performed, but he handled the offbeat tempo and phrasing effortlessly
I agreed with Simon Cowell about Ace's singing. He looks the part and you can just see the judges counting his eventual ticket and CD sales in their heads, but tonight he was way off; dull, flat and his high notes cracked like cheap china. Did ya catch Brenna practically body-slam the other girls to catch his "beanie"? Gedeon really surprised me, doing a fantastic job on a great Sam Cooke track,
American Idol "Find out... after the break." Haven't heard those smug little words from Ryan Seacrest in a while, but the first live results show of American Idol 5 brought out that tried-and-true phrase, as well as some Paula Abdul tears, if only in a glistening eye this time. Just wait: When/if Ace gets the boot, Paula's rush of tears will wash Seacrest right off the stage. Hmmm... I really enjoyed the vision in my head just now. All in all, not very surprising, with the exception of Becky (I guess Maxim readers were just too, um, busy to vote). Simon Cowell's backhanded compliment was actually great career advice for Becky; the girl is beautiful, and the camera loves her almost as much as Simon loves himself. Th