TMZ.com, which has made a cottage industry out of ridiculing "American Idol," is churning out the dirt faster and faster. But we find this one funny, even if it does have a major "eeeew" factor. Seems that the show that is so rich that it can pay Simon Cowell $30 million a year, is too cheap to buy new wardrobe for its contestants from one season to the next.
Apparently contestant Haley Scarnato is rocking the same hair extensions previously worn by last season's runner-up, Katharine McPhee. (All together now, eeeew!)
In a conversation with Lisa Fox on Star 98.7's Morning Show, "American Idol" hair guru Dean Banowetz admitted the extensions belonged to Kat. Don't worry, Banowetz says he "washed them up" before using them on Haley.
On-set sources told TMZ that it's not uncommon for the show to recycle things like hair extensions, jewelry and other pricey accessories from contestant to contestant and from season to season. We guess that includes clothes, as well. Check out that photo: As if the extensions weren't enough, it appears that Haley is also wearing Kat's clothes castoffs (the lighting could account for the color difference, but it sure appears to be the same dress). We suppose they cleaned it, too.
Yes, it looks like "Idol" is trying to McClone McPhee. Too bad they can't steam clean Katharine's voice and give it Haley.
... And speaking of trying to imitate Katharine McPhee, the season finale "My Celebrity Home," this Saturday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The Style Network, features Kat giving an exclusive home tour. In the episode, the "My Celebrity Home" team travels to the San Dimas, Calif. home of college student Amanda Cowie, where they help Amanda makeover her messy quarters, using Katharine's tranquil Asian-fusion inspired bedroom as a blueprint. With only two days and $3000, can they get Amanda's place to reflect Katharine's style and grace? Will Amanda start wearing hair extensions and buy a low-cut purple dress? Stay tuned! Amanda, you're creeping us out.
THE HUDSON QUIVER LINE
Forget the Oscar and free Whoppers, Jennifer Hudson is hurting and she wants you to know about it. In an exclusive interview with Jawn Murray, the divalicious one said, "What you see is what you get and the stuff they are putting out there about me is not true and it hurts."
On the heels of becoming America's sweetheart with her underdog, rags-to-riches story, Hudson has faced media backlash over the past few weeks.
The New York Post's "Page Six" ran a story calling Hudson an "ungrateful diva" and claimed she almost "derailed" the "Soul Train Music Awards" after trying "to back out of performing" when she was to appear to receive the Sammy Davis Jr. Award for Entertainer of the Year.
"I appreciated being honored there just as much as I appreciated being honored at all the award shows I attended. Why would they dog me out after I was one of the only people to show up to the show," the disappointed Hudson griped, before abruptly putting Murray on hold. "I just saw a cop and you can't drive and talk on the phone in Chicago anymore. I need to put you on speaker phone before someone has me in the paper talking about that!" Hudson told Murray.
Murray goes on to say that the expose that "Extra" did on Hudson, calling her a liar after she said Simon Cowell wasn't a fan of hers when she appeared on "Idol," only showed clips of Cowell praising her on the series, opting to omit insults about her weight and negative critiques of her performances. Cowell also took offense to Hudson saying "Idol" was a "stepping stone" for her career.
"Yes, I did say 'American Idol' was a stepping stone, which it is! I didn't mean it in a bad way and as I said in my previous interviews 'American Idol' is a stepping stone because had it not been for them, no one would have known of a Jennifer Hudson to call to audition for 'Dreamgirls!' It's like everything I say referring to the show gets twisted around and makes me look like I'm being arrogant and a 'diva,' " Hudson clarified.
"It's disappointing! But they haven't mentioned or aired on television that I called them up myself recently and asked to meet with this year's contestants. I went by and surprised the contestants and the 'American Idol' cameras recorded it all. They just are focusing on the negative stuff."
Hudson said the most bizarre rumor was the one that originated in the National Enquirer claiming she "nixed a $3 million role in a Warner Bros. flick because of a nude scene." The story also claimed that Hudson's character wasn't even the one required to be naked, however "she'll never condone nudity by appearing in any flick that features it ... because she's a role model for aspiring young black women."
"Nothing about that is true! I want to do my album and my fans have waited so patiently for me to put out an album and I appreciate every one of them, that's why I'm focused on putting out my first project," she explained, before adding: "Yes, I will continue to still do movies!"
About the apparent character assassination campaign against her in the press, Hudson said, "My friends and fans keep asking me to fight back. I feel like why should I have to fight something that I did not do or did not say. I shouldn't have to defend this stuff that's so made up. This is who I am. You've seen me. You know me. People should know that the stories being told about me are just not true."
Hudson hopes that once she gets her new publicist in place - "I fired my last one more than two months ago" - that the negative media backlash will cease. "I'm grateful for all my blessings and I thank God for it everyday! No amount of fame will ever go to my head and make me think that I'm better than anyone because we are all equal! As quickly as God gave everything He has given me, He can take it away!" Amen, sister.
A DIFFERENT VIEW
Ever wonder what it's like to watch Idol from the audience instead of in front of the TV? Apparently quite a different experience according to Entertainment Weekly’s Popwatch blog.
"the darn stage is frakkin' tiny. My old high school's auditorium is bigger than Idol stage. By a good, oh, 33 percent at least. Yeah, wide-angle lenses really do work wonders. So if you heard someone giggle last night after Paula tried to soothe Brandon Rogers' nerves by describing the joint as a "big, big concert hall," well, it was probably me. Seriously, that's like calling the local YMCA's basketball gym with pullout rafters the Staples Center. And that metaphor is totally solid."
And believe it or not, the writer says that the judges talk throughout the contestants performances:
"What was most surprising, however, was how often the judges would talk with each other through pretty much a contestant's entire performance. And not just talk, but act like a bunch of eighth-graders sitting in the back of the auditorium mocking all the theater geeks rehearsing The Music Man. Not that Sanjaya really earned their undivided attention, but did Randy and Paula really have start acting out cheesy dramatic arm moves during the "Can't Hurry Love" bridge? How can Randy justify criticizing Phil Stacey's performance chops when he was nattering away with his judging BFFs for half the song?"
You can read accounts of last week's shows here (Tuesday) and here (Wednesday). The L.A. Times also sat in the audience and reported back to its readers on Tuesday and Wednesday.
... Media Daily News reports that Season 5 runner-up Katharine McPhee is pushing her music career in movie theaters. Screenvision, an in-theater marketing company, will be showing a new McPhee music video of her debut single, "Over It," starting on March 23. It will run in hundreds of theaters nationwide. Two additional songs -- "Love Story" and "Each Other"-- can also be seen on the Screenvision's preview show that runs before theatrical releases.
As part of the marketing deal, Screenvision will drive consumers to McPhee's Web site, www.katharinemcphee.com. There, consumers can get a text code allowing their cell phones to access additional info, including an "Over It" ringtone.
Screenvision's ad network has nearly 15,000 screens in 2,300 theaters. It represents just over 90% of the U.S.
... And speaking of McPhees, stage-mom Peisha McPhee apparently can no-longer satisfy her craving for attention from her voice coaching or living off the fumes of her daughter Katharine's success alone. She now contributes her invaluable views on Idol's top peformers to IdolHead Ed.com. Wasn't reproducing enough nastiness to foist on humanity for one lifetime? BTW, her writing is just as good as her singing. And that's not saying much.
Great American Country reports that when it was time to make the video for her second single, "I Wonder," Kellie Pickler said it had to be shot at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. "This is where I've always wanted to be able to perform," Kellie told Stephanie Langsdon of WKRN. "It's where all my favorite artists performed. It's almost like closure for me. At the end of the song it talks about 'your little girl is off to Tennessee.' What better place to wrap it up but here at the Ryman Auditorium, where all my dreams are coming true."
... With everyone else in her universe dropping albums, Paula Adbul couldn't resist adding her own to the pile. Celebrity Spider reports that Virgin/EMI will release "Greatest Hits: Straight Up!" on May 8. The CD will feature 18 tracks, Including all six No. 1 singles and eight Top 10 hits.
It sounds great, just what we thought when we purchased "Paula Abdul - Greatest Hits" back in 2000. The same album? Well, no, ours has two less tracks. Probably ones you don't care about anyway. So buy the new release, or save a lot of bucks getting the old version -- used or new.
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