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'American Idol': How the top 3 REALLY felt about tonight's song picks. Plus, more backstage scoop

Tonight’s American Idol was full of powerhouse performances, with the top three ladies conquering a tough challenge — tonight was the first night they had absolutely no input on their song choices. (Here’s our full recap.)

So how did they feel about that? The answer to that and more scoop from behind the scenes in tonight’s backstage report:  READ FULL STORY

Harry Connick Jr. approached about 'American Idol' gig -- REPORT

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How eager is Fox to get new judges on American Idol?

Representatives of the show are reportedly flirting with singer — and recent guest mentor — Harry Connick Jr. while the current team is still in its chairs.

Fox doesn’t need an Idol judges panel in place until late summer and typically doesn’t get really serious about scouting new talent until after the previous season ends. But this week’s Idol mentor told E! that he’s been approached about taking a seat at the table next season. “You know, they kinda wanted to know if I would be interested in it,” Connick Jr. said. “It’s been talked about before, who knows what’ll happen in the future.”

The crooner seemed to downplay the odds that he’d join the show, joking that he’d want $600 million to come aboard and noting he has other commitments. “I’m going on tour this year so, like, when would I do it? It’s that kind of thing.”

Previously, there was a report that Fox dreamed about changing the panel before the end of the season, bringing back former judge Jennifer Lopez to replace Mariah Carey. Idol seemingly needs to do something to stop its ratings free-fall, though some wonder if changing the current judges will really solve the show’s problems.

Read more:
‘American Idol’ recap: No parade for you

'American Idol' eliminated contestant: 'I can actually dance.'

It was an emotional final week for one contestant who didn’t make it into the Top 3 on this week’s elimination show. READ FULL STORY

All about Eve: Would the rapper make a good 'American Idol' judge?

Amidst rumors of a shake-up on the American Idol judging panel, we’ve tried to brainstorm potential great performers who could breathe new life into the show. EW’s resident American Idol expert Annie Barrett stressed in her analysis that any good judge has to tell it like it is and not be a mouthpiece for producers. So after hearing Eve talk candidly with Soledad O’Brien Tuesday night at the XX Project Salon Session, we couldn’t help but wonder if the rapper/songwriter would make a good judge for the competition.
READ FULL STORY

'American Idol': Harry Connick, Jr. returns as mentor tonight -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTO

A throwback crooner comes back to American Idol: Harry Connick, Jr. is serving as this week’s mentor, and will be seen on tonight’s show (Fox, 8 p.m.) working with finalists Amber Holcomb, Angie Miller, Candice Glover and Kree Harrison. READ FULL STORY

Adam Levine on 'Voice' versus 'American Idol': 'We don't get involved in stupid s-- like that.'

The Voice judges aren’t starting any feuds.

When asked during an NBC press event today about the well-documented decline in ratings that Fox’s American Idol has seen this year, judge Adam Levine shut down the attempt to drum up any ill-will between the two singing competition shows. “We don’t get involved in a stupid s–t like that,” he said. “What’s the point? We love our show. [Idol] is an institution…At one point it was getting bigger ratings than we’ve ever gotten. So we don’t think about that when we make our show. We think about making our show as good as it could possibly be.”
READ FULL STORY

'American Idol' eliminated contestant: 'There's enough pop country out there'

It was an all-girls club this week on American Idol, following last week’s elimination of last boy standing Lazaro Arbos. But on Thursday’s results show, the Fierce Five shrunk to a Fab Four. The fallen idol spoke to EW. READ FULL STORY

'American Idol' eliminated contestant: 'I'm trying to contact Ryan Murphy'

Does it hurt more when Randy Jackson tells you you’re not being saved? Or when Ryan Seacrest tells you it’s time to go home?

READ FULL STORY

Fantasia to perform new single on 'American Idol' -- EXCLUSIVE

American Idol season 3 winner Fantasia is returning to her roots again next week: She will perform her new single, “Lose To Win,” during Idol’s results show on April 18 (Fox, 8 p.m. ET). The Grammy winner — whose latest album will be released April 23 — was also a performer on last season’s finale.

Tonight on the show, Idol alum Kelly Clarkson sings her new single “People Like Us.”

Read more:
Kelly Clarkson to perform on ‘American Idol’ — EXCLUSIVE
‘American Idol’: Lazaro Arbos delivers possibly ‘the worst performance’ of the series, ‘ever’
EW Special Coverage: ‘American Idol’

'American Idol' ratings up: Has the bleeding stopped?

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Is it over? Can Fox peek out from behind their fingers now? Is it safe to look at Nielsen’s morning emails yet?

Fox’s American Idol may be finally leveling off in the ratings. After weeks of sharp and alarming and consistent declines — Idol was almost tied by ABC’s Scandal! — the last two episodes of the reality veteran have not dropped. In fact, both episodes went up slightly from the previous week. Last Thursday’s hour inched up 4 percent. And now last night’s two-hour Wednesday edition climbed 7 percent. Maybe season 12 finally found its bottom.

If so, not a moment too soon. Wednesday’s Idol had 12 million viewers and a 3.2 adults 18-49 rating in the demo. Modern Family (10.2 million, 3.8 rating) easily beat it and Criminal Minds (11.3 million, 3.0) was in the ballpark.

During tonight’s Idol results show, the reality competition will try something new. Fox will put a small box on the screen showing behind-the-scenes footage of the competition during the commercial breaks — thus hoping to hold your attention while sponsors like Ford, Coke and AT&T pitch their wares. TV advertisers are now so desperate for your attention that they’ll settle for having half of it. (And why not? It’s how advertising everywhere else works — from billboards to online banner ads.)

Meanwhile, the second week of ABC’s laboriously titled new sitcom How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life) experienced a ratings drop. The Sarah Chalke comedy fell 14 percent for its second episode to 7.3 million viewers and a 2.5 rating among adults 18-49. For a show airing after Modern Family the performance by HTLWYPFTROYL is getting kind of soft.

Also last night: CBS crime dramas were up slightly. NBC’s Hannibal pilot encore picked up some additional sampling and retained nearly all of its SVU repeat lead-in. Click below for the full chart. READ FULL STORY

'American Idol' eliminated contestant: 'By the time I'm 25 I better have at least six Grammys'

Idol’s latest fallen singer had a feeling this wasn’t going to be his night. READ FULL STORY

Kelly Clarkson to perform on 'American Idol' -- EXCLUSIVE

Kelly Clarkson is returning to the show that made her famous: She’ll perform her new single “People Like Us” for the time ever on April 11′s American Idol results show. Clarkson is promoting her compilation Greatest Hits: Chapter One. She’ll hook up with Maroon 5 on August 1 for the 2013 Honda Civic Tour.

Read more:
Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson touring this summer
‘American Idol’ recap: What About Rock (No Ballads)?
EW’s ‘American Idol’ Top 7 Power List

'American Idol' drops again: How low will the ratings go?

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When American Idol season 12 premiered lower in the ratings than last year, that was to be expected — returning weaker has been the show’s trend for several years.

When Idol numbers dipped after the show moved from auditions to the Hollywood rounds, that was also to be expected too — the reality veteran’s ratings tend to sag during the middle portion of its run every year.

But Idol is dropping nearly every week and last night was down 50 percent from its Thursday night premiere this season … and that’s scary.

Thursday’s Idol fell another 7 percent down to 11.7 million viewers and a 2.8 rating among adults 18-49. Again: a 2.8 rating. For the first time ever, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy topped Idol in these early numbers. Hell, Scandal nearly tied Idol!

Here’s Idol‘s Wednesday night track in the demo since its debut this season: 6.0, 5.5, 5.5, 4.6, 4.3, 4.1, 3.9, 3.8, 3.8, 3.6. While Thursday’s trend has been: 5.6, 5.2, 4.5, 4.1, 3.7, 3.9, 3.8, 3.6, 3.1 and then last night’s preliminary 2.8, down 33 percent from last year’s airing this week. The only time the show’s ratings have gone up this season was the week after Valentine’s Day (which is a traditionally soft night for TV viewing).

Elsewhere on the grid: ABC’s regular-folks version of Wife Swap was up from its last season premiere. Grey’s was up 12 percent. A special 1600 Penn at 8:30 was softer than Parks and Recreation in the slot. CW’s Vampire Diaries perked up a tenth for last night’s punk rock episode.

Full Chart: READ FULL STORY

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