Got your attention? OK, it's not our headline, it's TMZ's, but we just couldn't resist using it. The site that loves to stir things up on Idol -- and use the most unflattering pictures of executive producer Nigel Lythgoe that they can find -- says that Simon Cowell does not get his best lines from Lythgoe.
Star magazine reported in its current issue that "The executive producer of the show, Nigel Lythgoe, watches the rehearsals and writes notes on who Simon should make snarky comments about. That's what's on the sheets of paper on the judging desk. Simon is not the evil guy you think he is. . . . The truth is Ryan is just as focused on the show's popularity as Simon. There's no real drama. It's all for the cameras!"
TMZ spoke with Lythgoe, who says it's a bunch of baloney. "I don't make notes," Lythgoe says, adding, "Simon keeps to himself in his trailer before the show with a feed, so he can listen to the music." Lythgoe also told TMZ that none of the banter between Ryan [Seacrest] and Simon is scripted -- "If I would have written any of that it would have been a lot funnier, to be frank," adding "I wouldn't have kept this gay angst going for so long. They would have both come out by now in my story." Hmmmm, OK.
SHE'S NOT A DIVA BUT ...
You'd think winning an Oscar would be enough publicity for Jennifer Hudson for a couple of months. But the former Idol finalist just can't seem to stop generating negative vibe. And this time it looks as if she's the victim of her own peeps.
Latest word comes from -- surprise! -- TMZ.com. The Web site says it has learned that Hudson was drop-kicked by Starbucks after her agent made some crazy demands over a performance.
Sources say Hudson was slated to perform Wednesday (3/21) at the Starbucks annual shareholders meeting in Seattle ... until the demands started pouring in, among them five town cars for herself, hair and makeup artists, security and her assistant; and humidifiers backstage. The final straw was when Hudson's William Morris agent notified Starbucks that singer would need baked chicken wings at 10:00 AM. At that point, the TMZ says, Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz had enough and pulled the plug because he didn't like the way the agent was dealing with his people.
The site also said that they've learned that Hudson had no idea that these demands were being made and that her agent put together a wish list on her own, and it was sent over to Starbucks with Hudson in the dark. William Morris had no comment. Maybe Hudson should burst into a chorus of "I Am Changing" ... agents!
DANCING WITH THE FOX
Fox has announced that on Tuesday, March 27, Idol will be extended by 7 minutes and will conclude at 9:07 p.m. "to accommodate all 10 live performances." "House" will follow in its entirety.
So, what's the big deal? ABC is said to be seething over Fox's decision to step on its toes and run Idol 7 minutes into the opening of "Dancing With the Stars' " first Tuesday results show.
In January, ABC announced that "Dancing With the Stars' " fourth installment would move from its fall Tuesday/Wednesday schedule to a Monday/Tuesday schedule. The move would avoid having "Dancing" go toe-to-toe with "Idol," a ratings gamble that ABC wasn't willing to risk.
"The great thing about this air schedule is that fans won't have to choose between the two reality hits this spring," ABC Entertainment president Stephen McPherson stated in the network's press announcement at the time.
But when "Dancing" premiered to big ratings on Monday, Fox apparently decided to act, claiming that although it's known the March 27 broadcast would feature 10 finalists since Idol's season began back in January, and that the sudden seven-minute expansion of next Tuesday's Idol was being done "to accommodate all 10 live performances."
On Thursday, The Washington Post reported that the rest of the television industry isn't buying Fox's explanation for the Idol broadcast's sudden expansion and considers the scheduling change to be a "kill-it-in-the-cradle school" counter-programming strategy.
BIG THINGS IN SMALL PACKAGES?
When Paula Abdul appeared on David Letterman's show Monday, Dave kept prodding her about her love/hate relationship with Simon Cowell. Eventually, Dave asked Paula, if it wasn't true that she really hated Cowell "because he's smug and he's arrogant and he thinks that you want to have sexual activities with him." After laughing and thinking about it for a few seconds, Abdul retorted, "Well, you are right about that, but that would never happen because I found out that in the U.K. his nickname is 'Small Ben.' " You can watch a clip here ...
Paula also sat down with Extra's Terri Seymour (Simon's girlfriend) and told her, "I love the show because it's just so unpredictable." She also said that she expects more Simon and Ryan fireworks in the future, "Every single night it's the joke. It's a contest to see who can throw each other off," but admitted that she prefers to stay out of the line of fire when it comes to dealing with the dueling egos: "Good thing I'm small, and I somehow fit in the middle," she teased. "If I gain anymore weight I'll be in big trouble."
Talking about her romantic life, Abdul said "People perceive and misunderstand me completely. Just because I'm famous doesn't make me exempt from love. I’m just uber-busy …the schedule provides a lot of area to do other things."
STUFF MAGAZINE: RYAN YOU'RE A WIMP
Stuff Magazine has named Ryan Seacrest one of the wimpiest men on TV, saying being a TV star might get you fame, but it doesn't always make you manly. It continues, for every tough guy like Michael Chiklis and Christopher Meloni on TV, there's at least one wimp trying to win audiences over with their boyish charms. Some people find it endearing. We find it a little sad … and sometimes really hilarious.
American Idol's Ryan Seacrest
Wussiness factor: 10 jumbo-size jars of hair gel
Since a lot of people here in America aren't very familiar with pretty boy David Beckham, many consider Seacrest to be the poster boy for metrosexuality. With always-perfect hair and clothes he didn't buy just because the cute sales girl at Abercrombie thought they were "totally awesome," Ryan is prettier than most of the female contestants Idol has seen over the past few seasons.
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