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American Idol Fifties night was...

Michael Chiklis, The Shield

American IdolFifties night was far kinder to the wannabes than Stevie Wonder night was last week. And the evening clearly belonged to Mandisa. Wow... just wow. A note to Paula Abdul: No woman wants to be compared to a horse. Paris thrived vocally on "Fever," but she's so young that the "vamp" thing didn't work so well for her. To quote the cinema classic and '50s-themed flick Grease, "she's too pure to be pink." For a minute I was so excited to see Live on stage doing "I Alone." But then I realized it was Chris, stopping once again in the '90s for inspiration instead of heading to the '50s like everyone else. He's always great, but I'm waiting for Simon to coax Chris out read more

Idol's Melissa: Exit Is No Wonder

Melissa McGhee, American Idol

Melissa McGhee got cut from Fox's American Idol (Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8 pm/ET) last week, but not before belting out a flub-free version — alas, one cut short by trigger-happy Fox affiliates in many markets — of Stevie Wonder's "Lately" as the end credits rolled. Talk about "better lately than never." The Tampa native tells TVGuide.com that she attributes her slipups (she botched the lyrics in rehearsal, in front of Wonder no less, then on stage during Tuesday's sing-off) to nerves, "definitely nerves." "I started thinking about my lyrics way, way, way too much when I got on stage," she adds. "[That] threw me off." Having repeated her major mistake, McGhee wasn't at all surprised that she didn't rock the vote. "I think it w read more

Ayla, Gedeon Discuss Idol Ousters

Ayla Brown and Gedeon McKinney, American Idol

And then there were 12. As reiterated by the nifty little "countdown" scorecard that Fox sent out to reporters this week, Season 5 of American Idol now is down to its dynamic dozen (my term — use it if you like!) finalists. Joining Kinnik Sky and Will Makar in the quartet cut last Thursday were a pair of 17-year-olds: high-school hoops star Ayla Brown and he of the megawatt smile, Gedeon McKinney, both of whom spoke with reporters the day after their dismissal. AYLA BROWN ON... ... whether greater Idol success would have sunk her Boston College basketball scholarship:"[The BC representative's] response to my father was, 'We are so incredibly proud of Ayla a read more

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