Gina Glocksen, my American Idol Season 6 crush, got engaged on Tuesday when her boyfriend Joe Ruzicka popped the question on stage at the Idols live show in Rosemont, Illinois, near their hometown of Naperville. Congrats, Gina & Joe!
In case anyone missed it, Jordin Sparks won American Idol last night.
Congrats to Jordin, and congrats also to Mark Gardner, winner of the BrendanLoy.com American Idol pool. Gardner tied Jay Johnson and me (i.e., Brendan Loy) with 17 points out of a possible 34, but wins because of the tiebreaker rule that “if there’s a tie, the person who erred less recently will win.” Gardner is the only contestant with 17 points who got the last two weeks right. (In fact, he got the final six consecutive evictions right!)
Here are the final standings, with point totals in boldface, followed by the number of weeks the contestant actually submitted a pick for, in parentheses. (Some contestants joined late, while others missed a few weeks.)
1. Mark Gardner 17 (14)
2. Jay Johnson 17 (13)
3. Brendan Loy 17 (14)
4. Marty West 16 (13)
5. Toni Namnath 14 (14)
6. Melissa Clouthier 12 (12)
7. Rebecca Loy 12 (13)
8. Jen Featherston 12 (13)
9. Vicki from NJ 11 (13)
10. Kate Spitz 11 (12)
11. Scott Fort 8 (12)
12. Kevin Hauschulz 8 (7)
13. David K. 7 (12)
14. Derek Walden 7 (9)
I’ll be on a flight to L.A. when the American Idol finale airs tonight, so I’m posting this now. Leave your Idol-related comments here! That includes NDLauren’s all-important comment just after 9:00 PM EDT, announcing everyone’s picks. :)
Readers on time zones other than EDT who don’t want to see spoilers, please don’t read the comments on this thread (or view the recent comments page) after 9:00 PM EDT (6:00 PM PDT). Commenters, please don’t say anything about the result anywhere other than in this thread until after 1:00 AM EDT (10:00 PM PDT). Same goes for guestbloggers writing about the result on the main page.
This is it! The American Idol finale is about to wrap up. Results will be announced tomorrow night. Who will win? Jordin or Blake? And more importantly: Mark, Jay, Marty or me? :) Contestants in the BrendanLoy.com Idol pool, please e-mail your picks to laurenelizabeth [at] alumni.nd.edu by 9:00 PM EST Wednesday!!
Also, looking back to my first post about the Idol pool, when I asked after the Top 24 show who people thought would win… nobody picked Jordin (only Becky had her in the Top 3), but one contestant — Derek Walden — picked Blake, so he is the only person who still has a chance to win that portion of the contest. (But Becky gets credit for having both Blake and Jordin in the Top 3, though she — like so many others back then — though LaKisha would win.)
Current standings of the week-by-week contest after the jump.
[Bumped to top. -ed.]
I totally forgot about American Idol last night, what with the tornado warnings and the 3L Dinner and the Backer and so forth. But the results in ~16 hours will narrow the field from the Top 3 to the Final 2… who will be gone tonight? Jordin, Melinda or Blake? Contestants in the BrendanLoy.com American Idol pool, please e-mail your picks to laurenelizabeth [at] alumni.nd.edu by 9:00 PM EST Wednesday!!
American Idol is down to the Final 4… and the BrendanLoy.com American Idol pool is going to a secret-ballot system, in order to prevent “strategic voting” from taking over during the final three weeks.
Starting this week, instead of leaving their predictions in comments, contestants should e-mail their picks to laurenelizabeth [at] alumni.nd.edu. (I can’t do it because I’m a contestant, so Lauren volunteered.) Nobody gets to see anybody else’s picks until after the deadline, which is 9:00 PM tomorrow. After the deadline passes, but before the results are announced, Lauren will leave a comment saying who everyone picked, so we’ll all know the stakes as we watch the results show. :)
Of course, you can mention your prediction in comments, too, if you want. No censorship here! But only the prediction you e-mail to Lauren will be official. That means, if you wanted to, you could lie in comments about who you’re picking! Thus, anyone trying to vote strategically (e.g., because they’re trailing and thus want to pick someone other than whoever the leader picked) can’t necessarily rely on what, if anything, is being said in comments.
As for your actual prediction, if you change your mind, your last prediction e-mailed to Lauren before 9:00 PM tomorrow is the one that counts.
Oh, and here are the current standings:
So, because nobody got kicked off American Idol on last Wednesday’s “Idol Gives Back” charity show, last week’s Idol pool votes get thrown out, and everybody gets to make two brand-new predictions. Which pair of singers will be voted off this week? Make your picks after the jump! (I’m posting this now so I won’t forget later. :)
Incidentally, here’s a YouTube clip of last week’s Elvis-and-Celine digital duet:
(Hat tip: Diane.) And here’s another clip explaining how they did it.
Make your predictions in commnts! Current standings here.
It seems Karl Rove had a rather confrontational encounter with Sheryl Crow and Inconvenient Truth producer Laurie David at the White House Correspondents Dinner last night. Like a bunch of third-graders, all participants in the snit claim that somebody else started it.
But nevermind global warming-fueled hissy fits, the real news from the dinner is that Sanjaya Malakar was there (as People magazine’s guest), and New York governor Eliot Spitzer got his autograph! Is this a tacit acknowledgement by Gov. Spitzer that he, too, only succeeded because the electorate decided to “vote for the worst“? ;)
Speaking of which, the erstwhile Sanjaya-backers at VFTW have decided to endorse Phil Stacey this week. Though Sanjaya claims they had nothing to do with his success — it was his own genuine fan base, not the “haters,” that kept him alive. Riiiight. Regardless, don’t cry for Sanjaya. It seems that Britney Spears wants to hitch her wagon to his star. Heh. Hooray for Hollywood!
UPDATE: Reggie Bush was there, too, as a guest of Condi Rice.
Just to follow up on yesterday’s post about Simon Cowell supposedly disrespecting the Virginia Tech victims, here’s a video of how American Idol addressed the issue at the top of last night’s show:
Also, if you missed it (as I did), you can watch the clip of Sanjaya being voted off. Note the crowd cheering wildly, rather than the loud booing from fans of the ousted contestants that usually predominates. Heh.
Now that American Idol has aired on the West Coast, I think it’s safe to blog this:
WOOHOO!!! Sanjaya got voted off!!!
The folks at VoteForTheWorst.com are unhappy, of course, and I’m sure Howard Stern is, too. But the vast majority of Idol’s fan base is relieved, as we can stop fretting about the possibility of Sanyaja (gasp) winning… and stop listening to him sing (or should I say, “sing”) every Tuesday night. If you missed it, here’s the ghastly performance that finally led to his ouster:
For all the hype, controversy, hunger strikes and so forth, Sanjaya didn’t get as far as the last severely under-talented contestant to make it into Idol’s later rounds: Buffalo’s own John Stevens, who wasn’t voted out until the Top 6 show of Season 3, outlasting Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson (who was voted out at the Top 7 stage, which is what last night’s show was). Of course, Sanjaya was significantly worse than John, and also, I think Sanjaya’s fan base was more cynical, voting for him because he was bad, whereas John’s fan base was more delusional, failing to recognize that he was bad. But still.
Anyway, 7 out of 14 contestants in my American Idol pool correctly predicted Sanjaya’s eviction. Only two of them, however — myself and my co-leader, Jay Johnson — picked Sanjaya this week after having never predicted his ouster in any previous week. (Mark Gardner and Kevin Hauschulz had each picked him once before; Marty West, twice; Toni Namnath, three times; and Vicki from NJ, a whopping five times. Heh.)
Updated standings after the jump.
Drudge is going ga-ga over the fact that famously acerbic American Idol judge Simon Cowell rolled his eyes after contestant Chris Richardson — fresh off a notably bad performance of the Rascal Flatts song Mayberry — offered his condolences to Virginia Tech last night. Here’s a video of the incident. Here’s another.
I didn’t notice Simon’s eye-rolling when I was watching live, but my initial reaction to Chris’s statement of condolence was: “while I have no doubt that his Virginia Tech comment was genuine, I think it will hurt him with the public. People are cynical bastards, and some of them will see that as an attempt to shore up votes by exploiting a tragedy to change the subject after a bad performance.”
Simon Cowell, of course, is the most cynical bastard of them all, and his reaction was precisely the one I anticipated, according to a Fox executive: “Simon felt Chris was cynically deflecting his criticism. It was unfortunate… he clearly was unaware the camera was on him when he rolled his eyes, and he was hardly making a rude gesture to the victims.”
Look, on the one hand, I think Simon’s cynical reaction was uncalled for. Chris is a Virginia native, and there’s no reason to believe he was being anything but genuine. Unless you’re the sort of person who always ascribes people the worst possible motives for their actions, you gotta believe that Chris’s decision to extend his condolences immediately after the judges’ criticisms wasn’t an attempt to deflect those criticisms — it was simply a consequence of the fact that that’s the only opportunity he has to speak directly into the camera during the show. (Ryan Seacrest awkwardly opened the show with a statement of condolence, and Simon added his own, equally awkward statement later — perhaps in reaction to the first wave of complaints about his eye-rolling earlier in the show — but Chris was taking advantage of his only chance to personally say something about the tragedy.)
But on the other hand, I can easily see this erupting into a massively exaggerated Imus-like controversy — Drudge is obviously pushing the story, and I expect the 24-hour news networks to pick up on it throughout the day, because Drudge moves stories and because Idol is a cultural phenomenon and this is a topical angle on today’s dominant story that’s easy to punditize about — and the fact is, it shouldn’t. Simon wasn’t rolling his eyes at the tragedy or disrespecting the victims, he was rolling his eyes at what he saw (wrongly and unjustifiably, in my view) as a cynical ploy for votes by an American Idol contestant. That’s unfortunate, but it’s also vintage Simon, and it certainly isn’t a national news story, nor worthy of the top line on the Drudge Report. Anyway, I wonder if tonight’s Idol results show will address this issue, in order to try and make it go away. And if they do, I wonder if that will just add fuel to the flames.
Some good may come of all this, though. Immediately after Chris’s performance, I thought he was doomed to be voted off tonight (in spite of Sanjaya’s bloody awful attempt at faux-karaoke) and that his condolence statement would only hurt him. Now, though, I think he’ll be saved — not so much by the statement, but by Simon’s reaction to it. If it’s true, as Drudge says, that “fans were enraged and FOX affiliates were fielding complaints” about Simon’s reaction, I suspect a fair number of those fans will have voted for Chris in defiance of Simon. So the end result of all this may be that Sanjaya actually gets voted off tonight. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
UPDATE: More from an update to the Drudge article:
Nigel Lythgoe, Executive Producer of ‘IDOL’, says Simon was not reacting to Chris.
In a statement given exclusively to the DRUDGE REPORT, Lythgoe explains:
“This is a sad time for everyone, so it is especially disheartening that a quick camera cutaway could have been misinterpreted. We’re sorry for any grief caused by this misunderstanding, but Simon was not reacting to Chris at that point. He had turned to speak to Paula and didn’t actually hear Chris’ final comments.”
Lythgoe continues: “Everyone at ‘AMERICAN IDOL’ feels compassion for those affected by this tragedy. We opened the show with those thoughts and Simon later expressed sincere condolences on behalf of the judges, recognizing the challenges we all face in dealing with this horrible event.” …
A backstage source defends Richardson: “Chris decided earlier in the day that he was going to give a shoutout to his friends.. he is hurting.”
UPDATE: Simon defends himself on the air.
Just to be sure I won’t forget this time, I’m posting this now: after tonight’s show is over, put your American Idol predictions here! Who’s getting voted off this week?
Also, for future weeks (maybe starting when we get to the Top 4), would anyone who isn’t participating in the contest be willing to serve as the e-mail point person for collecting everyone’s picks and then revealing them on the blog each Wednesday just after the deadline? There will come a point where we’ll need to vote anonymously in order to avoid blatant strategic voting. (For example, when there are only two contestants left, everyone would want to vote for whoever the leader didn’t vote for, which could in turn encourage the leader to try and change his vote at the last possible second, etc.)
P.S. Current standings after the jump.
Okay, so clearly, I suck at remembering to post these American Idol prediction threads. :) But here it is, finally. Who’s getting voted off tonight? Submit your picks by 9pm EDT!
Standings are unchanged from last week because nobody picked Gina. [sniff, sniff] Speaking of which, after the jump, a conversation between me and Becky during last night’s show.