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'American Idol' exit Q&A: 'I wanted to come out of my shell a little bit'

SPOILER ALERT: Read no further if you don’t yet want to know who was eliminated Thursday night on American Idol.  READ FULL STORY

Nicki Minaj set for 'American Idol' appearance?

If hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj doesn’t have her dates mixed up, she’ll be performing on American Idol next Thursday. “American Idol performance on 3/29!!!!!!!” the singer tweeted to her followers on Wednesday afternoon. Representatives for the hit show declined to comment on the report.

The last time we saw Minaj, she performed a controversial, and somewhat baffling exorcism-themed version of her song “Roman Holiday” at last month’s Grammy Awards. Minaj is currently promoting her latest record, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded in Japan. “I’m in the future,” Minaj tweeted early this morning, “Its 230pm in Japan on Thursday. Headed to sound check for my show.”

Hopefully, Minaj won’t be too jet-lagged when she takes the Idol stage next Thursday.

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Nicki Minaj levitates, lights fires, speaks in tongues for Grammys performance of new single ‘Roman Holiday’

Diddy to mentor American Idols tonight

Tonight the American Idol Top 10 will be performing the songs of Billy Joel. Who better to mentor the finalists than… P. Diddy?

That’s right — the hip hop artist and music mogul just announced on twitter that he’ll be assisting mentor Jimmy Iovine as the kids tackle the songs of the legendary piano man. “Set your DVR!!” Diddy tweeted, “I’m guest mentoring with Jimmy Iovine on American Idol TONIGHT!!”

Diddy has appeared on Idol before, appearing with his R&B/Hip-Hop collective, Diddy Dirty Money, to perform the single “Coming Home” last spring in front of his ex, Jennifer Lopez. The Idol judge dated Didd, a.k.a. Sean Combs, back in the late ’90s when he was still known as Puff Daddy.  (The two split up after an incident at a New York City nightclub in 1999 that resulted in a weapons charge for Diddy.) READ FULL STORY

Thursday ratings: 'Idol' wins, 'Missing' holds up

Though TV usage was down, American Idol still finished Thursday as the top-rated show in adults 18-49 (4.5 rating/14 share) and viewers 17.1 million), according to early results. The competition show was down 8% from last week but apparently, 5.4 percent fewer adults tuned into primetime from 8 to 9 p.m. (Maybe folks were held up at The Olive Garden?) The results show still ruled among young adults and teens.

ABC came in second for the night with the debut of the Ashley Judd starrer Missing, which earned a 2.0/6. Grey’s Anatomy posted a 3.0/8 , a series low, while Private Practice earned a 2.2/6.

NBC was third with its comedy block. Community (2.2/7, up 47%) had a particularly good night: It won its time period among adults 18-34 and men 18-34 against Idol and was NBC’s No. 1 series for the night among men and adults 18-34.  30 Rock earned a 2.0/6, up 43% from last week, followed by The Office (2.3/6, down 12%) and Up All Night (1.7/4). And Awake? Oh man: It earned a 1.6/4, flat versus last week.

CBS aired NCAA Basketball playoffs that failed to crack the 2.0 rating threshold in adults 18-49. (I got bored just writing that.) Let’s just use the time to bag on Survivor’s Colton instead.

For more:

TV recap: ‘American Idol’
TV recap: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’
‘Community’ review: Purging all weirdness
‘Missing’ review: Ashley Judd deserves better

'American Idol' week in news: Jermaine Jones says on-air DQ 'hurt a lot,' Kellie Pickler performs, and more

Jermaine responds to booting
Jermaine Jones spoke to HLN about his disqualification from American Idol on Wednesday’s show because of past run-ins with the law. The 25-year-old singer said that he had no idea what was going to happen when he was called into a room with producers Ken Warwick and Nigel Lythgoe, where the two informed him  – on camera – that he was being kicked off the show. He described it as a “very humbling experience” and said he was “very disappointed… it hurt a lot.” READ FULL STORY

The 'American Idol' week in news: Jessica Sanchez wows Jennifer Hudson, Ruben Studdard preps new record, and more

Fall behind keeping up with headlines on Twitter? Never fear, has your round-up of this week’s biggest American Idol news. 

J-Hud Loves J-San
After Jessica Sanchez earned a standing ovation for her powerhouse rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” Wednesday night, she got a special Twitter shout out from season 3 alum and Oscar winner, Jennifer Hudson! “Yes Jessica! That’s it!!” Jennifer tweeted. Jessica told Access Hollywood, “Me and my uncle were in the same room when we saw the tweet and we were, like, crying and freaking out.” Hudson recently sang the song at the Grammys as a tribute to the late singer.


'American Idol' exit Q&A: 'I want to go cry a little bit'


“We’re saving Elise.” And with that quiet statement from a sparkly heeled Jennifer Lopez, Jeremy Rosado became the first Top 13 contestant to be eliminated — judges’ choice, remember — from American Idol‘s 10th season. EW was on the scene at CBS Television City in Los Angeles for the live taping, and there is only one way to describe the vibe of Rosado’s exit: totally emotional.

Rosado was on his knees during the pre-elimination commercial break — and there was a sense that he knew what was coming the whole time he was on the stage, likely spurred by those harsh video comments from mentor-in-residence Jimmy Iovine.

(Although, to be fair, Iovine was harsh to nearly all the contestants and — in one particular comment — the entire human race.) Although visibly crestfallen at the news, it was a comfort to see Rosado smile while watching his exit video — he even turned around during it and mouthed the words “thank you” to Lopez. After the taping was over, too, Rosado seemed to be a bit happier, as the judges and fellow contestants swarmed the stage to offer hugs and words of encouragement. “Go ahead, Jeremy, go ahead!” stage manager Debbie told him, as he ran off to give his father a hug before being whisked away to the bowels of the Idoldome.

After about an hour and a half of meetings and briefings at Idol HQ, Rosado — who had bloodshot eyes — made his way down to the press tent, where he talked to reporters about how he was feeling, his love for Jennifer Lopez, whether he’ll go back to work at the doctor’s office, what’s next, and much more. Read a quick Q&A with an emotional Rosado here:


'American Idol': Tommy Hilfiger joins as Image Advisor for finalists

American Idol contestants certainly get enough vocal coaching and critiquing, so why not add an image advisor to the mix? Starting next week, fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger will debut as the newest mentor on the Idol team, advising the finalists on how to transform their style on the Idol stage into pop star material.

”I am honored to be joining Ryan, Steven, Jennifer, Randy, and Jimmy for the 11th season of American Idol,” said Hilfiger in a statement. ”My own experiences at the beginning of my career inspired my commitment to mentor young people who are dedicated to pursuing their dreams. Musicians can bring such a unique vision and personality to the stage. I admire risk takers who share my belief in the power of fashion to transform and influence, and I look forward to working with the artists to guide them in defining their performance style and identity.”

Hilfiger will make his Idol debut next Thursday during the week’s results episode.

Read more:
EW’s ‘American Idol’ recaps
‘American Idol’: 10 Best (and Worst) Theme Night Performances
‘American Idol’: Jessica Sanchez covers Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’ — VIDEO

Meet the 'American Idol' Top 13! (Q&A with every finalist)

America was introduced to American Idol‘s season 11 top 13 this week: Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez, Hollie Cavanagh, Joshua Ledet, Heejun Han, Shannon Magrane, Skylar Laine, Elise Testone, Colton Dixon, Jermaine Jones, and wild cards Erika Van Pelt (Randy’s choice), Jeremy Rosado (Jennifer Lopez), and DeAndre Brackensick (Steven Tyler).

Entertainment Weekly caught up with the finalists at Idol‘s top 13 party in Los Angeles Thursday night and asked them everything from thoughts on their strengths and weaknesses, to makeover hopes and fears, to their feelings about the judges so far this season.

We also caught up with Steven and Randy to get their opinions on the finalists this year — and asked Randy what he thinks about the show’s ratings being down this season.

What sets you apart from the other contestants?

DeAndre Brackensick: Other than my hair? [Laughs] I do have a big, big range. I have a low voice, and I have a very, very high voice. I try to use the high to my advantage, not too much. But hopefully the high can push me through at least to tour.

Skylar Laine: I’m the only country person left in the group, so that sets me apart. READ FULL STORY

'Idol': Nigel Lythgoe strikes back at News Corp's ratings diss on Twitter

Is there a feud brewing between American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe and Fox parent company, News Corp?

One day after News Corp COO Chase Carey spoke to investors about Idol, calling its ratings “disappointing” (“The ratings aren’t what we hoped they would be,” he continued) and insisting that the show “can and should provide fresh energy” following the appearance of new competitors The X Factor and The Voice, Lythgoe took to his Twitter to respond.  READ FULL STORY

'Big Bang Theory' beats 'American Idol' outright for first time

For the first time in five years, another TV series has beaten American Idol outright in the Nielsen ratings to win the night.

After weeks of near-topples and ties, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory overtook Fox’s Idol on Thursday. And when it finally happened, the margin wasn’t small in the adult demo: Big Bang had 16.1 million viewers and a 5.2 rating in the adult demo, while Idol had 15.4 million and a 4.4 rating. Idol fell 14 percent from last week to a new low (clearly the strategy of draaaagging out revealing the Top 24 contestants didn’t work out).

Though there’s been “Big Bang tops Idol” headlines for weeks now, they’ve been based on somewhat premature math, slicing up Idol into half hours like it’s loaf of sourdough instead of a TV show. But now there’s no doubt: Another show beat Idol to win the night. It’s the first time a show has pulled that off since Grey’s Anatomy in 2007. Plus, on the weekly chart, NBC’s The Voice will rank as the highest-rated series, since it topped Wednesday’s edition of Idol, which had a 5.1 to The Voice‘s 6.0.  READ FULL STORY

Wednesday's 'American Idol' ratings slip below 'The Voice'

Now it’s a fight. Fox’s American Idol (15.9 million viewers, 5.1 adults 18-49 rating) slipped 16 percent in the ratings Wednesday night, finishing firmly lower in the adult demographic than Monday’s episode of NBC’s The Voice (16 million, 6.0). Though Idol will likely improve a 10th or so in the national ratings, last night’s episode won’t overtake NBC’s show earlier this week. Fox still has a shot of keeping Idol on top of the weekly TV series charts, however, when another episode of Idol airs tonight. (ABC’s Oscars telecast on Sunday is expected to win the week overall.)

If Voice beats both Idols for the week, it wouldn’t be unprecedented. But the first couple weeks of The Voice season 2, premiering out of the NBC’s mega-rated Super Bowl coverage, wasn’t really an apples-to-apples comparison to Idol, which had already been on the air for several weeks. Now things have settled down and the shows are proving to be extremely competitive. Last week, The Voice came within a 10th of a rating point of toppling Idol on the charts and this week it’s poised to win.

The landscape could shift again after The Voice finishes its chair-spinning audition phase and gets into the less-hypnotic battle rounds. One could argue The Voice is in the most popular phase of its competition while Idol is in one of its weakest (revealing the Top 24). READ FULL STORY

'Big Bang' beats 'Idol' at 8 but Fox rules night

Everyone taking a winter vacay or something? Viewership has been oddly soft this week for broadcast TV: The Big Four were either down or flat versus last week, according to early results. Though American Idol helped Fox to win Thursday among adults 18-49 (5.0 rating/13 share) and viewers (16.5 million), the show was still down 14 percent in the demo versus last week.

Idol still dominated among adults 25-54 and teens.

CBS came in second for the night with a 3.3/9 in the demo and 13.3 million viewers. Big Bang Theory beat Idol in the first half-hour among 18-49 (5.0/15 versus 4.6/13) and viewers (15.5 million versus 15 million), but it was still down 11 percent from last week. Rob! earned a 3.2/9, down 3 percent from last week, and 10.9 million, followed by Person of Interest (2.9/7, down 12 percent from last week, and 13.2 million) and The Mentalist (2.8/7, down 7 percent from last week, and 13.6 million).

ABC was third in the demo with a 2.4/6, with Wipeout earning a 1.5/4, which tied its season low, and 5.1 million, followed by Grey’s Anatomy (3.1/8, down 23 percent, and 8.1 million) and Private Practice (2.6/7, up 8 percent from last week, and 7 million). NBC hobbled in fourth place, with 30 Rock earning a 1.4/4, down 13 percent from last week, and 3.6 million, followed by Parks and Recreation (1.7/5, flat, 3.5 million), The Office (2.2/6, down 12 percent to a series low, and 4.3 million),  and Up All Night (1.5/4, down 12 percent to a series low, 3 million). That was a repeat of Grimm.

Read more:
‘American Idol’ recap: Vegas Babies
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ recap: Be My Freakin’ Person
’30 Rock’ recap: Jack Attack 

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