Kara DioGuardi Quits American Idol

Last year, Paula Abdul left American Idol because she wanted 10 times more money than she was worth. Her replacement, Ellen DeGeneres, announced that she would be leaving the show in July after one season. She didn’t like judging people, not the best trait for a judge.

Of course, we all know Simon Cowell’s story. In order to bring X Factor to the US, he decided to quit American Idol. Next season will be the first without him, as he prepares for The X Factor in the fall of 2011.

Now, the latest domino has fallen. Kara DioGuardi, who became the fourth judge two years ago even though there was never any need for a fourth judge, has decided to leave the show as well. She did not say why she is leaving. Technically, the official story merely says she is leaving, rather than quitting. Rumor has it the producers simply were not interested in having her return, and she was fired.

That leaves just Randy Jackson as the lone judge on the rapidly shrinking panel that needs to be filled quickly.

Ellen DeGeneres Quits American Idol

Remember when Ellen DeGeneres joined American Idol? Well, that was almost a whole year ago. Ellen decided a while ago she’d had enough and will not be returning for season 10, which has already started its audition process.

Ellen says, “A couple months ago, I let FOX and the ‘American Idol’ producers know that this didn’t feel like the right fit for me. I told them I wouldn’t leave them in a bind and that I would hold off on doing anything until they were able to figure out where they wanted to take the panel next. It was a difficult decision to make, but my work schedule became more than I bargained for. I also realized this season that while I love discovering, supporting and nurturing young talent, it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings. I loved the experience working on ‘Idol’ and I am very grateful for the year I had. I am a huge fan of the show and will continue to be.”

That means that half the panel is now gone, and rumor has it that Randy and Kara may well be following Ellen and Simon Cowell out the door.

Meanwhile, Nigel Lythgoe apparently already thinks he’s on American Idol.

American Idol Season 9 Winner

Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze performed for the final time in American Idol Season 9 Episode 42, and tonight one of them will be announced as the winner. After 2 hours (and 7 minutes) of filler.

Seacrest tells us that less than 2% separated the finalists coming into the vote last night. Gasp.

Tonight marks Simon’s last night on American Idol, and quite possibly the death of the show (despite the fact that it’s the #1 rated show on television). We’ll see him again in fall 2011 on The X Factor on Fox, which is basically just an American Idol ripoff with a couple twists. Let’s hope whoever replaces him doesn’t suck.

2+ hours in. Time to dim the lights. The winner of American Idol 2010 is Lee DeWyze. Well deserved. Now he gets to sing his U2 song that beats a Kara song but is still lacking.

American Idol will be back again for season 10 in midseason.

American Idol Season 9 Episode 42

Casey James was finally eliminated in American Idol Season 9 Episode 41, leaving a final two showdown of Lee DeWyze against Crystal Bowersox. One song will be chosen by the contestants, one will be chosen by Simon Fuller, and one will be the song they’ll be forced to sing if they win.

Lee DeWyze
Song: The Boxer by Simon & Garfunkel (from inspirational week)
Randy: A great way to start it off. Pick it up and get some more energy going.
Ellen: Couldn’t be prouder if I birthed you myself. Better than the first time.
Kara: Gotta push harder, but a meaningful song.
Simon: Would expect a lot more passion and excitement. A kiss on the cheek when I want a kiss on the lips.
Numbers: 1-866-IDOLS-01, 1-866-IDOLS-03, 1-866-IDOLS-05

Crystal Bowersox
Song: Me and Bobby McGee by Janis Joplin (from Billboard #1’s week)
Randy: I hope you make a record like that.
Ellen: Stunning.
Kara: Loved it when you first did and tonight.
Simon: Brought back to the time when we fell in love with you, before the last three or four weeks.
Numbers: 1-866-IDOLS-02, 1-866-IDOLS-04, 1-866-IDOLS-06

Lee DeWyze
Song: Everybody Hurts by R.E.M. (executive producer choice)
Randy: Better. Could feel the Lee I love by the end.
Ellen: Felt you went off a couple times but really don’t care about that.
Kara: Emotionally accessible. Not a perfect vocal.
Simon: Brilliant song choice. Feeling the nerves.

Crystal Bowersox
Song: Black Velvet by Alannah Myles (executive producer choice)
Randy: Mamasox is in it to win it.
Ellen: Fantastic. (And some babbling about wardrobe, as if Paula never left.)
Kara: That’s what tonight was all about.
Simon: Almost allergic to that song, but you nailed it.

Lee DeWyze
Song: Beautiful Day by U2 (wait, what?)
Randy: By the middle of the song, you started getting your groove back.
Ellen: Love that you’ve been able to get to this place to do that.
Kara: Swallowed up a bit in that song. You’ve grown the most in this show and have one of the most commercial voices of the season.
Simon: Made the most of it. This is what this competition was designed for.

Crystal Bowersox
Song: Up to the Mountain by Patty Griffin (apparently, they’re picking more or less suitable existing songs, after Kris Allen dropped Kara’s lame song from his performances)
Randy: This is what the show is about. An amazing song by an amazing singer. One of the greatest performances at the perfect time.
Ellen: Cannot compare you to one contemporary artist. In a league of your own.
Kara: Completely emotionally invested in that song. Really blossomed with that song.
Simon: By far the best performance and the song of the night.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of American Idol 9 Episode 43, where we will find out who the American Idol Season 9 winner is, which airs Wednesday at 8/7c on Fox.

American Idol Season 9 Episode 41

The top 3 performed in American Idol Season 9 Episode 40. Tonight one more will be sent home. Well, eventually.

Okay, so now that the 53 minutes of filler’s over, it’s time for the results.

The first person in next week’s finale is Lee DeWyze. What, you thought they would announce someone else first?

Odds are pretty well stacked against Casey, although I’m amazed he’s made it this far. Joining Lee for a shot at the title is Crystal Bowersox. Casey James has been eliminated.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of American Idol 9 Episode 42 which airs Tuesday at 8/7c on Fox.

American Idol Season 9 Episode 40

Michael Lynche was sent home in American Idol Season 9 Episode 39. Tonight the top 3 perform.

Casey James
Song: OK, It’s Alright with Me by Eric Hutchinson
Randy: Kinda just alright with me, too.
Ellen: Wish you would have brought it. It was alright.
Kara: That song that not a lot of people knew did not work in your favor.
Simon: If you were having dinner, that’s the salad. Dud song choice.

Crystal Bowersox
Song: Come to My Window by Melissa Etheridge
Randy: Did not love the arrangement but did like your vocal on that.
Ellen: Melissa would be very proud of you.
Kara: Got a little lost in the arrangement.
Simon: Not the best version, but you haven’t compromised yourself.

Lee DeWyze
Song: Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd
Randy: Could see you making a record like that. Somebody’s feeling like they can win this.
Ellen: You took this thing seriously.
Kara: Showed us everything you’ve got. Round 1 goes to Lee.
Simon: Absolutely on the money. Crushed the other two.

Casey James
Song: Daughters by John Mayer (selected by Randy and Kara)
Randy: Fit you like a glove.
Ellen: Beautiful. A lot of daughters and mothers and sons voting for you.
Kara: Showed the artistic side of you.
Simon: Much better song choice than the first. A bit of a lazy arrangement. Needed a much bigger vocal moment.

Crystal Bowersox
Song: Maybe I’m Amazed by Paul McCartney (selected by Ellen), complete with lyrics like “Maybe I’m a man”
Randy: Great song, great vocals. Somebody else in it to win it.
Ellen: Couldn’t have asked for more.
Kara: Showed parts of your voice I don’t think we’ve heard until tonight.
Simon: You’ve got soul. May be thanking Ellen next week for putting you in the final.

Lee DeWyze
Song: Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley
Randy: Been waiting all season to see who’s going to throw down the real gauntlet. Biggest moment at the biggest time.
Ellen: Stunning.
Kara: What this show is all about. Incredible epic moment. Owned the entire night.
Simon: Very proud. Fantastic singer, great person.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of American Idol 9 Episode 41 which airs Wednesday at 9/8c on Fox.

American Idol Season 9 Episode 39

The top 4 performed in American Idol Season 9 Episode 38, and tonight one more will be sent home.

Casey James is safe.

Lee DeWyze is safe.

Crystal Bowersox is the final person to join the top 3, as Michael Lynche has been eliminated.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of American Idol 9 Episode 40 which airs Tuesday at 8/7c on Fox.

American Idol Season 9 Episode 38

Aaron Kelly was sent home in American Idol Season 9 Episode 37. Tonight the top 4 perform songs from the cinema with mentor Jamie Foxx. They will be performing duets to go along with their solo performances.

Lee DeWyze
Song: Kiss from a Rose by Seal from Batman Forever
Randy: Did nothing with that song. Just okay.
Ellen: Could have done more with the song, but you’re so good.
Kara: One of the most difficult songs to sing. You got lost a little.
Simon: Verging on karaoke.

Michael Lynche
Song: Will You Be There by Michael Jackson from Free Willy
Randy: Didn’t ever take off and started kinda rough.
Ellen: Little bit predictable.
Kara: Didn’t feel that from you. Played it safe.
Simon: No idea what Free Willy is and can’t make sense out of this.

Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox (talk about your stacked deck)
Song: Falling Slowly by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova from Once
Randy: Great song by two great singers. That could be a hit right now.
Ellen: Like the new Captain & Tennille.
Kara: One of my favorite moments of the entire season. Brought out the best in both of you.
Simon: Fantastic song.

Casey James
Song: Mrs. Robinson by Simon & Garfunkel from The Graduate
Randy: Kind of cool, laid back version of the song.
Ellen: Wish you would have gone further with it. I’ll turn it over to Mrs. Robinson.
Kara: Like to see you vulnerable and in touch with the song.
Simon: Didn’t think the song or the performance had the substance required on this important night.

Crystal Bowersox
Song: I’m Alright by Kenny Loggins from Caddyshack
Randy: Definitely an artist.
Ellen: Made that song better.
Kara: Completely agree with Ellen and Randy.
Simon: Back in the game.

Casey James & Michael Lynche
Song: Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman by Bryan Adams from Don Juan DeMarco
Randy: Loved the guitar playing.
Ellen: Yes, I have loved a woman.
Kara: The duets were incredible. Better than all of the solo performances.
Simon: Really good. The duets were a million times better than the solo performances.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of American Idol 9 Episode 39 which airs Wednesday at 9/8c on Fox.