*“American Idol” kicked off its first ever “Rush Week,” where five of the 15 female contestants were eliminated by show’s end – without ever getting to sing for America.
The remaining 10, chosen by judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr., performed Tuesday for our votes, as will 10 of the 15 male finalists tonight (Feb. 19). Five guys will also exit the show without getting to perform. On Thursday, one male and female contestant will be sent packing based on America’s vote.
This new “Rush Week” wasn’t the only thing different on “Idol’s” Tuesday episode. Longtime judge Randy Jackson also debuted as a mentor for the Top 30, giving out performance advice alongside guest mentors and “Idol” alum Chris Daughtry and Adam Lambert.
*Rosie Perez and Jennifer Lopez have been frosty toward each other for more than two decades, Perez reveals in her upcoming memoir, Handbook for an Unpredictable Life.
It all started on the set of “In Living Color,” where Perez was the choreographer for the Fly Girl dancers and J.Lo was auditioning to join the group.
Perez says she immediately noticed Lopez, who she recalled as a beautiful girl with “a big ass,” reports the New York Post. Show creator and host, Keenan Ivory Wayans, wasn’t a fan though. She had to convince him to hire Lopez, who he thought was “chubby and corny.”
Jennifer Lopez on the set of the new Ricky Martin music video in Miami, Florida on February 10, 2014.
*“American Idol” pulled over 11 million viewers on Thursday (Feb. 6), and was the third most-watched program for the night behind the Winter Olympics and “The Big Bang Theory” at No. 1 and 2, respectively.
That being said, Fox’s singing competition is far from the ratings goblin that it was during the glory days of Fantasia and the Velvet Teddy Bear.
Despite the fan-approved return of Jennifer Lopez at the judge’s table next to Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr., Season 13’s Jan. 15 premiere was bittersweet: The episode drew 15 million viewers and won the night, but it was its lowest-rated premiere in history – marking the fourth consecutive year of record low premieres, and continuing an overall ratings slide that began in 2006.
Wonder Mike and his daughter Carmen Delgina (L) on “American Idol” (Airdate Jan. 29, 2014)
*The “American Idol” audition train rolls into Salt Lake City, Utah on Wednesday’s episode, and it’s there where we find perhaps the most eclectic audition group of this young 13th season – including the daughter of a hip hop legend.
Carmen Delgina, 24, stunned the judges when she revealed that Wonder Mike from the Sugarhill Gang is her daddy.
“Oh my God! Are you kidding?” screamed Jennifer Lopez before footage cut to her pops busting his famous intro to “Rapper’s Delight” in the waiting room.
*Viola Davis and Jennifer Lopez will star as grieving mothers who take matters into their own hands in the upcoming film “Lila and Eve.”
Directed by Charles Stone III (“Drumline,” “Crazy Sexy Cool: The TLC Story”), “Lila and Eve” tells the story of a grief stricken mom (Davis), who in the aftermath of her son’s murder in a drive-by shooting, attends a support group where she meets Eve (Lopez), who has lost her daughter. When Lila hits numerous roadblocks from the police in bringing justice for her son’s slaying, Eve urges Lila to track down her son’s killer herself.
The two women soon embark on a killing spree of their own, as they work to the top of the chain of drug dealers to avenge the murder of Lila’s son.
(L-R) Ryan Seacrest, Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Connick, Jr., of the television show “American Idol” speak during the FOX portion of the 2014 Television Critics Association Press Tour at the Langham Hotel on January 13, 2014 in Pasadena, California
*In Wednesday’s premiere of “American Idol’s” 13th season, the show’s lone new judge appears to be the most Simon Cowell-like in his impatience with contestants who have no business trying to audition for any singing competition.
Harry Connick, Jr. was never treated with kid gloves by his mentors early on, and the 46-year-old singer, conductor, pianist, composer and actor says dismissing contestants who have no chance of advancing is not being mean – it’s being practical.
“It was my teachers like Ellis Marsalis who would say, ‘You should quit, you don’t have talent for this, you should think of another vocation, you’re not good enough.’ Those were mean things to say,” said Connick at the show’s TCA panel Monday.