Jennifer Hudson perform onstage during Fox’s ‘American Idol’Finale Results Show at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on May 16, 2013 in Los Angeles
*E! News says it has confirmed that the first “American Idol” alum turned judge will be Jennifer Hudson.
The Oscar winner, according to E!, has signed a deal to join the judges panel for season 13, and the other two spots may be filled by former “Idol” contestants Kelly Clarkson and Adam Lambert or Clay Aiken.
This is reportedly FOX’s new direction for next season, after the just-wrapped season 12 drew the lowest ratings in its history. A Fox source said of the new direction, “It’s Idol alums bringing in the next generation.”
Arsenio Hall and Adam Corolla on NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" (May 20, 2012)
*Donald Trump said “I’ve never been so torn,” before announcing whether Arsenio Hall or Clay Aiken would be crowned this year’s “Celebrity Apprentice.”
“I’ve been a runner-up before. I’m going to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” vowed Aiken, who was lost out on the “American Idol” title in 2003 to Ruben Studdard.
But when all was said and done, Aiken is a runner-up again. Arsenio was announced the winner on the live broadcast. In the final “Apprentice” task — throwing a charity fundraiser — his team raised $167,100 for his charity, the Magic Johnson Foundation. Clay raised $301,500 for his charity, the National Inclusion Project, a foundation he started for children with disabilities.
Before the crowning and confetti, Trump welcomed back nearly all of the fired star cast members to discuss how they’re doing and how they felt about the season. Lou Ferrigno announced that after having surgery six weeks ago, he can now, for the first time in life, hear without a hearing aid. Aubrey O’Day apologized if anyone took anything she did or said throughout the season personally. Adam Carolla felt humor wasn’t a bonus on the show. “It helped about as much as it helps in golf or porn — not a lot.”
And Penn Jilette, who had butted heads with Aiken throughout the season, said he thought Aiken should win. “He worked wicked hard.”
Dee Snider and Debbie Gibson also said Clay should win the title. Lisa Lampanelli said she wanted Clay to win, but added that Arsenio deserves a late-night talk show. Dayana Mendoza and Teresa Giudice were rooting for Arsenio.
*During his return to “American Idol” this week, 2003 champ Ruben Studdard announced that he and his runner-up Clay Aiken will co-headline a summer tour across the United States.
The outing launches Jul. 23 in Asheville, NC and wraps up Aug. 14 in Biloxi, MS.
The two former adversaries plan to perform separately and together, and promise surprise guests at different tour stops.
“It is truly a blessing and an honor to be on the stage with my friend,” Studdard said in a statement. “The relationship that we have built over these past eight years will definitely translate into a great show for our fans. And I’m really looking forward to singing the timeless classics every night.”
“I couldn’t ask for a better tour mate. To be able to share the stage with him again is so exciting,” added Aiken. “He is such a talented artist. He inspires me daily and I think that respect and admiration will truly be reflected in our show.”
Below are the Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard tour dates:
Jul. 23: Asheville, NC (Biltmore Estates) Jul. 24: Jacksonville, FL (Florida Theater) Jul. 25: Melbourne, FL (King Center For Arts) Jul. 26: Clearwater, FL (Ruth Eckerd Hall) Jul. 29: Snoqualmie WA (Mountain View Plaza) Jul. 31: Reno, NV (Silver Legacy Casino) Aug. 1: Los Angeles, CA (Club Nokia) Aug. 3: Milwaukee, WI (Potowanami Casino) Aug. 5: Windsor, ON (Caesar’s) Aug. 6: Chautauqua NY (Chautauqua Institution Amphitheatre) Aug. 7: Mashantucket, CT (MGM Grand Foxwoods) Aug. 8: Lancaster, PA (American Music Theater) Aug. 10: Hampton Beach, NH (HB Casino) Aug. 11: New York, NY (Hammerstein) Aug. 12: Verona, NY (Turning Stone Casino) Aug. 13: Hammond, IN (Horseshoe) Aug. 14: Biloxi, MS (Beau Rivage)
*Whoopi Goldberg, Mya and Wanda Sykes join a host of gay, straight and bisexual celebrities in a new PSA promoting the Give a Damn campaign, which features famous faces speaking out for equality.
Anna Paquin, the star of HBO’s “True Blood,” comes out as bisexual in the video, which was filmed during a private taping on Jan. 30 in Los Angeles, reports People. Sources said no one was aware beforehand that Paquin would make the announcement.
Other celebs featured in the spot include Clay Aiken, Elton John, Cyndi Lauper, Sharon Osbourne, Margaret Cho and Jason Mraz.
The PSA comes on behalf of the True Colors Fund, an organization dedicated to earning equal rights for people who are gay, straight, bisexual or transgendered. The group’s “Give A Damn” campaign launches today, with the below spot as the first of several to be unveiled on-line in coming months.