The week in 'American Idol': Top 5 to take on British theme, Carrie Underwood promotes new album and more

The British are coming on next week’s American Idolat least in song. The top 5, Hollie Cavanagh, Skylar Laine, Joshua Ledet, Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez, will choose tunes for the British-themed show. Carrie Underwood and Coldplay are also set to perform. What would you like to hear the Idols sing?

Colton Dixon returned to The Ellen Degeneres Show on Thursday after being eliminated last week. Some of you may remember when he visited Ellen last year after he was cut from Idol just shy of the Top 24. Sister Schyler and his mom were in the audience to cheer on his performance of Billy Joel’s “The Piano Man”.

Carrie Underwood is out promoting her forthcoming album Blown Away. The Season 4 winner talked about her life and career in a segment that ran on ABC’s Nightline Wednesday night.

Also out promoting a new album is Haley Reinhart, who recently visited Conan O’Brien on his late night TBS talk show. Haley entertained Coco and his audience with a sultry performance of her first single “Free” from her debut album Listen Up!, due in stores May 22.

Congratulations to season 4 runner-up Bo Bice and his wife Carolyn as they welcome their fourth child into the world! Merrin Elizabeth Joy Bice, was born on April 23 at a healthy 8 lbs 11 oz. Little Merrin joins her big brothers Adain, Caleb and Ean as the latest member of the Bice family. Maybe they’ll start a band someday!

Ryan Seacrest hosted Sunday night’s FOX 25th anniversary special, and what would be a special celebrating the success of the upstart network be without a lengthy tribute to American Idol, its most popular show?

Watch the 5+ minute clip, that includes all 10 of the winning finale moments, David Archuleta singing “Imagine” in a montage, Adam Lambert performing with Kiss, Clay Aiken surprising a super fan and many more highlights from Idol’s 11 years on the air.

American Idols were all over announcements made this week for upcoming music award shows. Carrie Underwood lead all nominations in the CMT Music awards, earning nods for Video of the Year, Collaborative Video of The Year, CMT Performance of the Year, and she’ll go up against Season 5 alum, Kellie Pickler, in the Female Video of the Year category. Season 10 winner and runner-up, Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina, are nominated in the USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year category. Click for the full list and information on how and when to vote. The CMT Music Awards air on June 6.

And over at the Billboard Music Awards, current champ Scotty McCreery has been nominated for two Billboard Music Awards in the New Artist and Country Album categories, while Season 5 alum, Mandisa nabbed a nomination in the Christian song category. Oscar winner and Season 3 alum, Jennifer Hudson earned a nod in the R&B album category. Head over to Billboard to see the entire list of nominations. The Billboard Music Awards will take place at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand and be broadcast live Sunday May 20, 8/7c on ABC. Carrie Underwood is scheduled to perform at the ceremony.

Speaking of Scotty McCreery, he had a little scare pitching for his high school baseball team last week when he took a blow to his throat from a stray ball. Thankfully, he wasn’t hurt and even managed to throw out a guy. “He has been throwing very well and will continue to help our rotation,” says Scotty’s coach Derik Goffena. “He took a grounder to the chin, but is OK. Scared him more than anything.” It’s nice to see Scotty wedge normal teenaged activities into his busy schedule.

Congratulations to Taylor Hicks! He’s just signed on for an eight week engagement to headline at Bally’s Las Vegas this summer. The Season 5 winner’s stint begins Tuesday, June 26. He’ll play the The Indigo at Bally’s Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 7 p.m. Get your bags packed, Soul Patrol.

Eliminated Idol finalist, Colton Dixon, tells ABC News Radio that Phillip Phillips–who is still in the competition and as a fan favorite, has a shot to take it all– is definitely hurting from a kidney stone ailment that has been plaguing him throughout the competition. “Phillip’s had [a] rough go,” Colton says. “He’s had some trouble with his kidney or whatever and I’ve gotta give him props for it ’cause he’s always professional about it…he never lets you know about it.” Colton adds, “I almost wish he would let me know something so I can, you know, help him out if I can…he’s still giving it his best or as much as he can on the competition.”

Lastly, in the WTF category, John Lydon aka Johnny Rotten, who fronted the notorious 70’s punk band, The Sex Pistols claims American Idol wanted to use one of the band’s songs. In an interview with NME he said, “We had a ridiculous situation with American Idol when they wanted to use ‘Pretty Vacant’ for this contestant because he was the ‘rock singer’ – the long hair and the scraggly beard and the leather jacket. No, you cannot use it. Stop it. I don’t need someone imitating in that way. You’ve got the genuine article. What on earth do you want a fake phony version like that for?” I smell a joke contestant!

Related:
‘American Idol’ exit Q&A with Elise Testone: ‘I really didn’t expect to go today’ — VIDEO
‘American Idol’ scoop: Coldplay to perform on May 3 results show
‘American Idol’ exit interview with Colton Dixon: ‘I was expecting it’ — VIDEO

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