Singer Katherine Jenkins takes the lead in the finals
The first half of this season's finals did not disappoint! Katherine finished with a perfect 60 for an intense paso doble and a gorgeous freestyle routine. William and Donald are tied just one point behind her on the judges' leaderboard. Bottom line, any one of the three of them could go home with the mirror-ball trophy. But hey, this season has been a rollercoaster, so why should the finals be any different?
The stars picked their songs for the third round just after airtime and will now have less than 24 hours to rehearse before they perform live tomorrow night. Talk about pressure!
Here's a quick look at how our three finalists did in the first two rounds:
William's disco-infused cha-cha got the finals off to a rollicking start. He's done great with Latin dances all season and this one was certainly no exception. He and Cheryl moved beautifully together. William's timing was right-on and his footwork was gorgeous. The judges didn't have a single negative thing to say about this blockbuster routine. Bruno complimented William's hip action and placement while Carrie Ann praised his sophistication, musicality and the clarity of his movements. Best of all, Len said the routine was as good a cha-cha as he's seen in fourteen seasons.
In the freestyle round, William and Cheryl went completely nuts. The Latin-infused routine never let up for a second. William kept up with his partner like a champ, and the applause when he had finished was the loudest I've heard all season. I have no idea what Len said during the first few seconds of his critique because that crowd would not be shushed. Once they did quiet down, Len called the routine predictable. Carrie Ann, on the other hand, said the routine was everything a freestyle dance should be.
Katherine's paso doble evoked a traditional Spanish bullfight. Katherine and Mark danced in hold for nearly the entire routine, which was impressive, and even more stunning was her timing. The choreography was as difficult as anything I've seen on this show and she nailed it. This routine had the crowd on its feet. Bruno praised her shapes and said the routine had technical brilliance. Carrie Ann compared her to a prima ballerina. Len ... said something confusing about tapas, but it was clear he loved the routine as well. Katherine earned her first perfect 30 of the season with this one and it was well deserved.
Katherine's second-round freestyle had flapper flair. She opened the number by singing, which was a bit gimmicky, but she and Mark more than made up for it with their fabulous swing moves. Katherine's technique was flawless. Carrie Ann praised her abilities as a performer and called the routine "the dance of a champion." Even cranky Len had nothing but love. He said, "If I'm dreaming, don't wake me up. This is a freestyle.
Paso doble: 30/30
Donald's moody Argentine tango had some amazing lifts in it! The routine struck a good balance between crazy acrobatics and intense dancing in hold. Donald's posture and footwork were both top-notch. The crowd loved this one, but the judges came in with mixed reviews. Carrie Ann, who coached Donald and Peta in rehearsals, loved the routine. Len, on the other hand, called the dance "too careful." Bruno praised Donald's intensity and storytelling.
Donald and Peta's countrified freestyle routine was risky. They did a lot of line dancing in between the usual series of jaw-dropping lifts. Donald lost his footing a little bit near the end of the routine. In any other round, it wouldn't matter, but this is the finals. Carrie Ann said the routine was her favorite dance of the first two rounds while Len praised Peta for her risky choreography and called the dance "fantastic."
Argentine tango: 29/30
Who won over the judges: Katherine
Who won over the crowd: William
Who needs to step it up: Honestly? Nobody.
"Dancing With the Stars" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Report: Network cancels reality show due to public outcry
MTV has scrapped plans for "My First," a reality show that would have documented subjects in the process of having sex for the first time. According to this FoxNews.com report, overwhelming negative Internet response was to blame.
Bing: More about MTV
On May 8, MTV posted a casting notice seeking people age 18 and older who would "candidly allow MTV to accompany you on the journey toward ‘losing it.'” It asked: "Are you ready to hand over your V card?"
"Young adulthood is a time for exploration," the notice explained. "New relationships, fresh experiences and sexual firsts."
Of course, since MTV would not "film the act itself," all would be copacetic. Right?
(Loud buzzer sound.)
Twitter and the blogosphere lit up with outrage over the fame-for-sex casting call. "And so MTV sinks to a new low (even though some of us didn’t think it was possible)," read a May 18 entry to PoorRichardsNews.com. On May 17, actress Patricia Heaton tweeted: "This is so incredibly depressing."
The casting notice, posted here, was intended to run until May 28 but has been deleted. "This was a preliminary casting notice, and we're not moving forward with a pilot," a rep from the network told FOX News.
And so, although the "M" in MTV obviously no longer stands for "music," the "V" will have to stand for something else.
Joshua Ledet's departure sets up a Phillip-Jessica showdown for the finale
No more drama! The ""American Idol top 2 are revealed tonight. Who will join Phillip in the finale? Have we all pretty much resigned ourselves to the fact that he will win? You can just tell by the sound of female screams and panties dropping in the audience, and all the girls pressed up against that chain link fence for a sniff of that grey shirt!
Starting out, we get a group number -- our last terrible group number until the finale, which is sure to be chock full of them. Jessica looks cute in that little dress with the cutouts. Phillip is really into the music. Jessica and Joshua are just phoning it in. Do they know they're bound to lose this thing? The group number ends, and that was the best thing that could have happened for it.
But the torture's not over. We have to watch this Ford music video in which the contestants play silent movie characters. Well, Joshua and Jessica played silent movie characters. Phillip was, once again, excused. I guess he got a doctor's note.
The top 3 contestants say that they've already won and are excited for whoever wins. They're very nice to one another. Joshua Ledet is up first to hear what Jimmy thought of him. Jimmy said it was not Joshua's best night, but it was a good night and the judges over-praised "I'd Rather Go Blind." He overcompensated on "Imagine," which didn't work. Jimmy called it overblown and over-emotional. I agree, and I think I also over-praised that first performance in the rankings. Jimmy thought there was something missing Wednesday night and criticized himself for giving Joshua a song with not enough melody.
Oh, my God. Then Jennifer Lopez, whose devil-owned soul is being sold for $1 a minute, had to take part in a product placement for whatever "Ice Age" movie is happening now. She was a voice in it, so I guess there's a joke there somewhere. Then the top 4, which Phillip was not excused from, had to "check out" some songs from "Ice Age: Continental Drift." Then they had to sing the most boring part of this stupid song -- something about being family before the dawn of man. Wow, that was no fun at all! Thanks for giving us that little glimpse into the exciting life of "American Idol contestants," Ryan.
Then Lisa Marie Presley performed, inspired by Lana Del Rey. I hope the "Idol" set designers don't get too many ideas from this set or from "Ice Age: Continental Drift." They already have too much stuff up there. This performance was recorded right before Dracula came to collect his bride.
Up next, Jessica Sanchez hears what Jimmy thought of her "triple play." Jimmy thought everyone needed a "shock and awe" moment at this point, and "My All" didn't come together enough for him. He also thought it didn't all come together for "Don't Wanna Miss a Thing." And what did he think of his own choice? He is doubting himself again, because Michael and Jermaine both sang that song. Jimmy said she was good enough to sing in the Grammys, though.
The producers are making the signal for Ryan to stretch the show out. So, he asks Jimmy and the women sitting next to him what they think of Donna Summer's passing. And with that somewhat awkward introduction, it's Adam Lambert singing "Never Close Our Eyes." Adam has really developed into the type of artist he wants to be, which I think he knew from the beginning. His glitter-rock, modern throwback is working. He couldn't give less of a rat about returning to the "Idol" stage, I'm sure. But it was nice of him to throw Nigel a bone and come back. Overall, with this plus Lisa Marie Presley's performance, it's turning into a somewhat creepy show. Adam sounded just like Freddie Mercury, and I think it was a great showing for him.
Now let's hear about Phillip Phillips -- if we can hear over the screaming. Jimmy thinks "Beggin'" was very good and proved once again that Phillip is original. Jimmy likes that Phillip is "willing to risk everything," but thought "Disease" was a snoozefest. And "We've Got Tonight"? Jimmy congratulates himself with Phillip's winning the night. Jimmy called it his best performance and flawless, and thought he dug deep down into the emotion of the song. All right, Jimmy.
Jessica and Joshua hit the stage to join Phillip. It's about to happen ... any moment now! Randy wishes them all luck. I just hope Joshua Ledet doesn't have to go out of this competition in that shirt. Jennifer talks a lot. Then Steven talks a lot. Anybody else have anything they want to say? (The producer is still making the "stretch" gesture).
So Joshua Ledet leaves, with one final standing ovation. Sigh. There's little justice. I imagine this will be an even easier win for Phillip now. But hey, maybe Jessica will blow it out of the water for the finale. For his final performance, Joshua performs "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" one last time. I'm sad. I loved him! I hope he gets a record deal singing old soul hits, somehow, somewhere.
The "American Idol" finale airs Tuesday, May 22, and Wednesday, May 23, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
Season 7 promises fun meditations on lying, cheating and cosmetic enhancement
Mike Sorrentino must skip court date to shoot 'Jersey Shore'
Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino has reconfirmed his participation in Season 6 of MTV's "Jersey Shore." And he's done it via the legal system.
In new documents filed in his ongoing court battle with Abercrombie & Fitch over the company's GTL-themed apparel, the Sitch begs the judge to allow him to skip an upcoming court appearance. According to this TMZ report, the docs state that he can't make June 14 because MTV contractually requires him to be at the "Jersey Shore" house, 24/7, from May 22 to July 7.
Season 6 of "Jersey Shore" is expected to premiere this fall on MTV.
Phillip Phillips and Joshua Ledet still looking strong as top 3 make hometown visits
By Carla Patton
We're in the home stretch! Speaking of home, that's where the top 3 remaining contestants are going (or have returned from, if we're talking real time).
They have successfully completed the "Hometown Hero" level of this game, and we'll watch the results of that interspersed with the judges' song choices for them Wednesday night.
Wow, the final 3 could not look more exhausted. And, in making-Jessica-look-crazy news, she's wearing a floor-length evening gown! That's totally appropriate for her age and not drowning her at all! And she looks totally natural standing next to Phillip in flannel and jeans. I don't know. It's easier to criticize that than to actually choose something. How do you dress a 16-year old who sounds like a 28-year old? Debacle.
Next week, the performance show is on a Tuesday and the finale on a Wednesday! Make note! And in this episode there are three rounds: judges' choice, contestants' choice and Jimmy's choice. I bet Jimmy's choice will be the best. He just knows! At least the kid from "Touch" is here. And somewhere in the vicinity, Kiefer Sutherland is looking for him, whisper-screaming, "Jake!"
Joshua Ledet is up first, and Randy chose "I'd Rather Go Blind" by Etta James, a classic, for him. Joshua is doing well enough with this song and the old-timey microphone. I'm not familiar with this song, but it seems like a good choice for him. It's more laid-back, so it's not like he's going to push a diamond out first thing. We've got a long night ahead of us. But the thing about Joshua is that he always gives it his all, and even this first, expendable performance has some real oomph behind it. And of course, the judges can't help but rise to their feet, trained like Pavlov's dogs.
Ryan Seacrest asked Joshua how this night is different for him from watching a sporting event, and he paused, "Uh, I don't really know how to answer that." I really like Joshua. And that question was baloney.
The rest of the top 12 are here, watching in the audience! Oh, I miss Heejun. Remember Heejun? Things were really fun when he was on the show.
Jessica Sanchez will be singing "My All" by Mariah Carey, per Jennifer's request. The staging is really nice. They literally put her on a pedestal and turned on the fog machines. All Jessica has to do is stand there and not act weird about it, which she does successfully. I think this was also a good choice for Jessica, showing more tenderness and a less belt-y side of the ballad. It was really pleasant -- or whatever a more intense version of pleasant is. Randy called it one of the best times a Mariah song has ever been performed on TV. That's fair. Jennifer acknowledged that it was a hard song they threw at her. Steven predicted that Jessica would also win. Everyone wins, as Steven lives in multiple realities and dimensions.
Before the commercial break, Phillip Phillips is reunited with Heejun Han, and they're back to their old comedy routine. I miss them together. They need to figure out some sort of guest correspondent position for Heejun.
Phillip Phillips was assigned "Beggin'" by Madcon. At first, I wasn't sure how this would fit, but it turns out to be a pretty savvy arrangement. There isn't a way to make this song cooler than it is already, but this was an interesting take. Very classic Phillip. The audience loved it -- maybe more than I did. It sounded very DMB. Jennifer said it was great. Randy (who @ replied me during the commercial break! The "YO" pin is coming back!) said he felt like he was at the Phillip Phillips concert.
Ryan saunters over to the judges and asks for a Round 1 winner. The audience screams for Phillip. Randy gives the edge to Joshua, vocally. Jennifer says Phillip, to much applause, and Steven agrees that Phillip is magic.
Now, Joshua Ledet chooses "Imagine" by John Lennon to sing. I don't know. There are a few songs that should be retired from the show forever, and this is one of them (along with "Hallelujah" and "Falling Slowly"). I like that this song eases back a bit, though, as Joshua can sing the crap out of any song whenever he so chooses. I wish he had picked a better song or at least something a little less squeaky clean. But that's who he is! His genre is "inspirational music." The judges loved it. It's out of their hands as far as they're concerned. Joshua chose this song for the message. And good for him, but I really want him to sing some Cee Lo.
Jessica Sanchez chose to sing Aerosmith's "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" in front of Steven Tyler! Like that's even a factor. This is another song that's overwrought, over-sung, and can ride on cheesy. It's not her finest moment, but we've known for a while now that she doesn't always choose the best songs for herself. It's even, dare I say, pitchy? But she finally looks great. So, that's something. The last note faltered, went flat and cracked. Maybe she's sick or blew out a vocal cord. The judges pretend it was spectacular.
Phillip Phillips gets a clip package next, and I'm sure the ladies will love it! I bet it's entertaining because he's a nice guy. I liked that shot of a guy holding a sign saying "Phillip, you still owe me $10." And he had a dish named after him at his favorite restaurant! That's cool. The girls are pressed up against the chain-link fences to see Phillip in Georgia. Naturally, he returns to the pawn shop, where more girls and overweight middle-aged women are waiting for him. Nobody buys anything at the pawn shop, though. I love Phillip's dad (Phillip Phillips Sr.), from the tears in his eyes to the gun in his belt. "I just wanna squeeze 'im till I cain't no more!" Phillip's mother says. His parents are so great. The parade makes Phillip tear up, and it's just hard not to love him as a person. If Phillip was singing music that was more like the kind of things that young girls like to listen to, he would be absolutely unstoppable, like Justin Bieber.
Phillip Phillips chose "Disease" by Matchbox 20. It's refreshingly within his range, allowing him to really sing, rather than reach. I don't agree with the judges on Round 1, but I think Phillip is definitely winning Round 2. The set designers love people sitting on instrument cases and amps, don't they? There's just too many there, though. It's not natural. Maybe Phillip chose this song because he actually has a disease that has put him in the hospital several times during this competition? Jennifer didn't feel like this was the "wow performance," and the audience boos that. Randy had a convoluted lead into "I didn't like it either." The judges want more. They want more of a moment and criticized him for performing something he could do in his sleep. But I liked it!
Jimmy chose "No More Drama" by Mary J. Blige for Joshua. Oh, that is awesome. Good job, Jimmy. Mary J. is current, but this song still brings it to church, which is Joshua's wheelhouse. I love his jacket! This is a good performance, but I'm not sure it really proves that Joshua could be relevant as this type of artist. I'd much rather attend a concert of him singing some soul classics. But he really drove it home at the end, doing what he does best, which is connecting to every song so deeply. Hollie and the other contestants really enjoyed it in the audience, which was adorable. He really has the best performance level of the three contestants remaining.
Jessica Sanchez got a giant AT&T box with a Beatbox and a phone with a text from Jimmy pre-loaded onto it. Oh, her brothers are keeping that phone! Jimmy chose "I'll Be There" by Jackson 5. Jimmy chose it to appeal to an older audience but still keep Jessica's youth. Admittedly, she sounds better than young Michael and his family did on it (I swear to God Tito or Jermaine is flat as hell on the backup in that song). The set designers gave her a roller coaster/Ferris wheel backdrop. Whatever, guys! It was nice, but it wasn't a moment. It just wasn't as exciting as some of the other stuff she's done in this competition. Randy liked it OK but didn't love it. That's how I feel, Randy. I'm tired. Oh, and her outfit was terrible again. Not even a hypnotic chartreuse bandeau top under a too-tight red leather jacket can cheer me up now.
Phillip Phillips is next to get a Beatbox and voicemail from Jimmy. Jimmy told him to sing "We've Got Tonight" by Bob Seger. Ah, Bob Seger! Of course! That's such a good choice for Phillip. Phillip looks nervous. But it's endearing, of course. He's really singing the melody. And his voice is pretty clear! This is a good Phillip. The ladies go crazy for Phillip and a string background! The judges do, too, rising to their feet and securing Phillip the win. Way to go, Jimmy. Way to just hand the win to your favorite.
Were you bored? Do you think anyone had any moments or were they too few and far between? Who had your favorite hometown visit?
What do you think of Wednesday night's performances? Who's next to go?
"American Idol" airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
Too busy juggling her own music career and kids?
Bing: More about 'American Idol' | Photos: See Season 11 highlights
This E! Online report quotes unnamed sources saying that J.Lo has no plans to return for a third "American Idol" season because "she's just too busy" with tour plans.
"That's so very true," the report notes, before going into detail about the plans.
While she hasn't said as much herself, Lopez did not exactly squash the rumors while asked about them on "Ellen" on Tuesday. Instead of touring, however, she provided a different motivation.
"I don't know if I can go for a third year," Lopez said. "I miss doing other things. It really does lock you down, which was nice the first year with the babies being three, but now they're getting more mobile, they're about to go into school ... So I just don't know."
Of course, this could all just be a negotiating ploy. Lopez's contact comes up every year and hefty pay raises are the norm. (According to E!, she earned $12 million for her first season and $20 million this time.)
"American Idol" airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
Emily ascends to the throne as this season kicks off
By Diane Vadino
Special to MSN TV
Doesn't it seem like just yesterday that Brad and Emily made out on a South African hilltop and pledged undying love to each other? Yes? Well, we all know how that went (poorly) -- and so Emily's back, with her six-year-old Ricki and sad stories and incredibly white teeth. She's 26, she wears tight sweaters and red pants to the park, and she's set on finding love so she doesn't have to go through that hassle ever again. ("I thought I was done dating!" she tells Chris Harrison about her post-Brad conclusions.) Here's the thing about Emily: 95 percent of the time she is incredibly, watching-water-boil, staring-at-paint-drying boring, just a nervous smile and tremendously big eyes. Then there's five percent of the time where she just drops the act and snarls -- she did this once on "After the Final Rose" and it was, no joke, electrifying. Please God let us see more of the interesting Emily and less of the perfectly coiffed pageant queen, or this season is going to be deadly.
As we get up to speed on the realities of Emily's life in Charlotte, NC, as a single mom and collectively try to figure out how she afforded that McMansion she shares with her daughter, we meet a few of Emily's bachelors. We have: douche-y Kalon ("I used to be a womanizer"); cutie Ryan, who has the world's happiest golden retriever ("I played eight years of pro football"); single dad Tony ("I buy and sell lumber and plywood"), sole African-American guy Lerone, who has the world's smallest dog and does not look like Shemar Moore but seems to think he is equitably attractive; singer/songwriter David ("Emily is exactly the kind of woman I'd want to be with ... well-postured"); Charlie ("I may have had a head injury but there's nothing wrong with my heart"); entrepreneur Jef ("I like being underestimated"), and race car driver Arie ("There's one thing I'm worried about...."). Regular viewers will remember that Emily's PDF (poor, dead fiancé) was also a race car driver, and en route to a race when he died in a plane crash.
What does Emily want? She wants not to discuss the PDF ("To be honest i don't want to talk about that anymore" -- we'll see what the producers think of that) and "a minivan full of babies." "Let's not open with that speech to the guys," Chris advises her.
Of course, Emily could be actively vomiting on the ground, and it wouldn't slow up the fawning greetings she gets as the guys exit their limos. This episode of "The Bachelorette" is like the first 10 minutes of a war movie where you're still trying to figure out who's sticking around for the rest of the show. We have: Sean; single dad Doug ("I'm a hugger, is that okay?" -- surprise, it is); "fitness model" Jackson; Joe; Kyle; Chris; Aaron ("I am high school biology teacher but I'm here to have chemistry with you," he says -- and his students self-immolate from hysterical laughter); Alessandro (who lists his hometowns as, variably, Brazil and Minneapolis); and "party MC" Stevie (with a boombox). Someone says, roughly, that "Life's not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments life takes our breath away" cliché. But we have too many more guys to stop and really let that soak in -- there's Randy ("You stuck out in my mind"), accountant Nate ("You smell really good"), Brent, "Wolf," Travis ("This egg is a symbol of you and Ricki"), rehab counselor "Music Mike," marine biologist Jean-Paul, and Alejandro from Medellin. And then -- of course, somebody has to arrive by helicopter. This season, it's Kalon. "Whoever this is, we're all going to hate him," someone else says, and that someone else is right. "She's a princess, and she looks like it," Kalon says, annoyingly.
Next we have the evening's cocktail hour. The guys basically all bleed into one big, fawning mass except for the guy with six kids; Jef, who comes off as surprisingly cool, and Sean, who gets into some sort of weird passive-aggressive fight with Kalon. Then there's Doug, who, in lieu of an ostrich egg, has brought Emily a letter from his 12-year-old son, attesting to his own positive attributes. It is an utterly successful move, and it wins Doug the first-impression rose. "I'm just glad helicopter guy didn't get it," says Sean, while the rest of the guys grumble in agreement.
Faster than ever, we have the rose ceremony. A million boring white guys get roses. Lerone does not, which is disappointing, as it would be nice for this experiment in diversity to last longer than a single hour. Father-of-six Brent is out and drawing all kinds of inappropriate conclusions from his dismissal. Jean-Paul, too, is gone, along with David the singer -- which means, if nothing else, we'll be spared reprises of the “Emileeeeeeee” song we heard earlier in the evening.
"The Bachelor" airs Monday, May 21, at 9 p.m. ET/PT and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC, beginning May 28.