‘Idol’ Chatter

Kellie Gets Picked Off of “American Idol.” “Idol” Pickles Kellie Pickler. Pickler Picked to Leave “Idol.” Pickler Not “Idol’s” Pick. Pickler Picked Off “Idol.” Ok, people, stop with the silly headlines about Kellie Pickler getting voted off! We get it. She has the perfect name for someone who has been eliminated.

I know a lot of folks were disappointed that Kellie did not get to sing her goodbye song. Unfortunately, the show ran long and they had to cut to commercial while she was still talking to Ryan Seacrest. I can tell you that Kellie did, in fact, get to sing her swan song for the studio audience. She sounded great - much better than her dismal Tuesday night performance of “Unchained Melody.” She started off on stage and then walked down and sang to each of the judges. Paula Abdul sweetly grabbed her face and then patted her gently on the head while she sang. Even Simon Cowell had a smile on his face.

The judges in general were in a great mood last night. Paula came out about two minutes before show time and gave Randy Jackson and Simon huge happy hugs. They all laughed and joked around together, too, during the first commercial break. Simon stuck around for at least twenty minutes signing autographs and giving fans kisses on the cheeks. Normally, he says goodbye to the booted Idol and heads off backstage fairly quickly.

Katharine McPhee’s mom is obviously a huge Andrea Bocelli fan. I’ve never seen a woman jump out of her seat so fast when he performed. She was so cute, like a groupie at a Rolling Stones concert. I even saw her wipe away a tear at the end.

These Idol appearances by musical legends have certainly been a boon to their record sales. According to SoundScan, sales of Rod Stewart’s Great American Songbook collection spiked 253% last week after his two appearances on “Idol.”

So, the lady sitting next to me was all excited to see Lisa Tucker. She thought it was so sweet that she came back to support her friends. I didn’t want to break her heart and tell her that the reason Lisa was there sitting up front was so Fox could promote her cameo appearance on “The O.C.” tonight.

Ryan headed straight from Idol over to the US Weekly Hot Hollywood party, where he told our producer, “I was not surprised about Kellie leaving. I was disappointed. She has such a great personality for the show and her naivete was genuine. A lot of people ask, ‘Is that real? Was she that naive? The answer is yeah, in a real genuine, cute way.”

Also at the party were Tori Spelling and her fiancé, Dean McDermott, who were in the audience Tuesday night. Dean’s eight-year-old son is the fan and he got his dad watching “American Idol.” Tori’s been a diehard fan since the first season. She said, “I have gone almost ever single year to the tapings. Yeah. I’m a big fan.” When we broke the news to Tori and Dean that Kellie was booted, they replied, “We met them all last night. They are all so sweet and talented but someone has to go. There can only be one.”

So, unlike Shakira, who blew off meeting the Idols the week she performed, Tori took time to go backstage to chat them up. Tomorrow we are sitting down with Shakira in New York City, where you can bet we will be finding out why she wasn’t interested in meeting the contestants.

They didn’t get a chance during the show last night to announce next week’s theme. So, here it is from Fox, for all who are interested. The TOP 5 FINALISTS WILL PERFORM TWO SONGS EACH - ONE FROM THE YEAR THEY WERE BORN AND ANY FROM THE TOP-10 BILLBOARD CHARTS THIS WEEK - ON NEXT WEEK’S SHOW TUESDAY, MAY 2ND, ON FOX.

Be sure and check out my interview with last week’s booted Idol Ace Young, and what Mariah Carey thinks of Simon, now available for download on our free podcast.

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