Dish Of Salt: Wednesday TV Dish (Backstage With ‘Idol’s’ Top 7)

The seven remaining contestants took to the stage last night on “American Idol” and sang songs of inspiration. Most lacked the “wow” factor with the exception of Crystal Bowersox, who put down her guitar and truly sang from the heart. Tears flowed at the end of the performance as Crystal saw her dad sitting in the audience for the first time all season. At least, that’s what she told host Ryan Seacrest. But was there something else behind Crystal’s tears? I was backstage with the contestants after the show to get all of the scoop on the night.

Crystal’s Tears

After singing a beautiful rendition of “People Get Ready,” Crystal was overcome with emotion and choked up as she tried to get out the last words of the song. It’s been a tough week for her emotionally, as a story leaked out that she had threatened to quit the show (but that Ryan Seacrest talked her out of it). Read the story HERE.

“He hasn’t been able to see any of the shows or any of this so far,” Crystal told me of her dad. “And he wore mirrored sunglasses because he was gonna cry. So, I looked out and I saw the reflection off of his glasses and I was like, ‘I know he’s crying right now.’”

She did admit the tears were not just about missing family. “It’s just, I mean, that’s an emotionally charged song. It’s a powerful song and it’s not just about, like, me missing my family. It’s so much more than that.”

For the record, Crystal says she never wanted to quit and that what happened with Ryan was blown out of proportion. “I had no intention of quitting. It never happened,” she said. “It was a private conversation between me and Ryan. He gave me great advice. I highly respect him. He’s a good man. He does, you know, great work and leave it at that you know. There was no chasing after me and all this.”

She took to Twitter this week to try and explain what happened. “I’m not too concerned about how others perceive me. I just like, you know, truth. Stick it out there and let others say what they will. I mean, I know what’s going on behind the scenes.”

Watch our backstage interview HERE.

The ‘Idol’ Prom

Last week, I reported that Katie Stevens, although she was eliminated, would still not be able to attend her prom because of Idol tour rehearsal schedules. Well, it turns out she may have a prom after all. Michael Lynche told me that the contestants are planning an “Idol Prom” for the younger contestants. He’ll be taking Katie (as her protective big brother only) but he says Aaron Kelly needs a date. Michael looked right in our cameras and sent this message. “Air Bear is looking for a prom date. Ladies, send in your invitations.”

A blushing Aaron informed me he has a special lady in mind. “I love Selena Gomez… love Selena Gomez. That’s actually my celebrity crush.” Hmmm. I hear the “Wizards of Waverly Place” star is single again after splitting up (yet again!) from her on-and-off beau Nick Jonas. Hey, Aaron and Selena could be a cute couple!

Siobhan’s Style

During Simon Cowell’s critique of Siobhan Magnus, he made a comment about not liking the leaves on her dress. Actually, Simon, they were butterflies. Siobhan is getting used to Simon’s cracks about her outfits but she told me her style is the one thing she will never change about herself. “All these guys could vouch for me that they’ve seen me feeling distressed if I’m wearing something that isn’t right for me and I’m not comfortable in,” she explained. “If I don’t feel like myself or (I feel) that it’s something that I would not choose, then it just throws me off. So, I have no choice but to be honest in my expression in how I dress myself.”

Guitar Hero

So how was Casey James able to borrow one of Lindsay Buckingham’s guitars to jam with on stage to “Don’t Stop”? It all comes down to being nice to the “Idol” crew. “I’m friends with one of the guys that’s working on sound, Dennis, and he worked for Fleetwood Mac for a long time and Lindsay Buckingham gave him that guitar,” he explained. “Then, you know, I played it like weeks ago, just messing around. So when I picked the song I was like, ‘Oh can I play that guitar?’ and he said, ‘Yeah.’”

Watch more from our backstage interview HERE.

Inside ‘Idol’

So those of you sitting at home watching the show didn’t miss much inside the taping this week. Somewhere in the audience was “Dancing with the Stars” winner and Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson. Also former “24” star Annie Wersching sat right in the row in front of me. On the show (as FBI agent Renee Walker) she was always so serious; she looks way older than her 33 years. Last night, she was wearing her red hair in pig tails. She looked like a teenager. Thanks to the audience warm up guy Cory for ruining the fact that her character was killed off this past week for the entire studio audience. Maybe some of us haven’t watched our DVRs yet?! I heard a few groans in the crowd.

Eliminated contestants Didi Benami, Lacey Brown and Paige Miles all sat together at the taping. Katie Stevens and Andrew Garcia joined them about 20 minutes into the show. They had just come straight from the airport. The most interesting moment of the night came when the audience guy Cory was giving away Crystal t-shirts to the crowd. Crystal was waiting on stage during the commercial break before she performed and she used her microphone to tell Cory to give the t-shirt to her dad. It actually took me a moment to realize who was saying, “Give it to that guy!” In all my years of going to the show, no contestant has ever said anything into the microphone before a performance. A minute later, the stage manager walked over to pull Crystal off to the side of the stage until her performance began. Perhaps the contestants are not allowed to talk to the audience!

Tonight, I will be inside the Pasadena Civic Auditorium to check out “Idol Gives Back.” My report on that tomorrow.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter!

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