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Posted by Anna McCauley

Cutie pie American Idol runner-up, David Archuleta, has returned from his two year Mormon mission!  The season seven runner-up has returned from his two year mission in South America.

David spent two years in Chile in the Missionary Training Center.  While there,  Archuleta performed in a Mormon choir for its general conference.  He also gave two special Christmas performances that were held on the Santiago Chile Temple grounds.

David is back in the States now, and he uploaded this video to YouTube to share the news!  He posted the video to his Facebook page to let his fans know he is back.  I'm excited to see where he goes from here!

Photo via WENN

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Posted by Meg
season 13 idol judges talk smack

During Monday's Television Critics Association winter press tour event, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. indicated they have a really good feeling about the upcoming season of Fox reality series 'American Idol.'

Ratings have plunge by more than 20 percent during each of the last two seasons.  While season eleven lost ground with the advent of NBC's 'The Voice,' a full fledged train wreck featuring diva judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj nearly gutted season twelve.

Season thirteen of the singing competition premieres Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 8 p.m. ET/PT with auditions that were taped in Boston and Austin.  The following night will feature San Francisco talent.

Urban, the lone survivor from last season, is optimistic about his new panelists, "We have a very shared spirit.  That's what I felt with both of them, with Ryan, too.  There's the balance between being very focused and having discussions about the craft but also having fun with it."

Connick joked, "I will tell every kid that comes, whether you're dedicated or not, you need to work on your craft."

Former judge Lopez said, "I'm luck enough to sit between two people who I respect and have a good time with."

The show also boasts new producers and a new director.  Executive producer Trish Kinane acknowledged, "It's still 'American Idol.'  However, the many changes have made a fresher whole."

Photos:  WENN

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Posted by Missy
mariah carey hot 97

If you watched season 12 of 'American Idol' it probably won't come as a surprise that Mariah Carey didn't enjoy her time on the reality singing competition.

During a radio interview with Hot 97, the singing diva dished about her time on the long running Fox show, "Honestly, I hated it. I thought it was going to be a three-person panel."

She elaborated, "They gave me a nice dangling monetary moment, and I was just like ... 'Okay. Randy Jackson will be there. I've known him forever, he used to play bass for me. Like, this isn't a big deal. This will be nothing.' But it wasn't that ... It was like going to work every day in hell with Satan."

Hell with Satan? One can only imagine that she was speaking about Nicki Minaj since we know she adores Randy Jackson, and who could say anything bad about Keith Urban?

She later recanted and said, "I'm just playing. It didn't affect me that much. I was disappointed."  Carey claims that she loved the contestants but didn't come back for "political reasons."

Season 13 will kick off with a mix of old and new judges: Keith Urban, Randy Jackson, Harry Connick Jr. and Jennifer Lopez.

Carey has decided to stick with what she enjoys, "I like being in the studio better and going on my own tours, etc.  So we're going back to that."

Photo Credit: Video Screen Grab

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Posted by Meg
kanye west turns down idol

After careful consideration, Kanye West has decided not to accept a seat on the judging panel when 'American Idol' kicks off season 13.

According to an Us Weekly exclusive, "He didn't want to go that mainstream... or risk losing any street cred, so he turned it down."

With West now out of the picture, the top candidate to become judge #3 is record producer and remixer Dr. Luke Gottwald, who writes and masters tracks for the likes of Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Flo Rida and Ke$ha.

If all goes well, he'll join Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez on the Fox network beginning Jan 15, 2014.

Kanye will appear Friday on the final day of the 'Kris Jenner' show.  Their interview, his first in three years, was recorded on Monday.  West talked about Kim Kardashian, their baby daughter North, the pressures of fame and his hate affair with the media.

West's last interview was with Matt Lauer in 2010.  The entertainer lost his cool after the TODAY host brought up his claim that "George Bush doesn't care about black people," and showed a clip of the rapper interrupting Taylor Swift during her 2009 VMA acceptance speech.

We're guessing that Kris Jenner handled her prospective son-in-law with kid gloves.  Expect a great deal of hype before the end of the week because the first photos of baby North West will also be revealed.  We wouldn't be surprised to see Kim Kardashian appear as well.

Photo:  WENN

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Posted by Missy
jennifer lopez american idol

Jennifer Lopez will be returning to the judges panel for season 13 of 'American Idol' after agreeing to a $15 million payday, plus bonuses.

This is the same deal that Britney Spears penned with 'X Factor' and just shy of the $18 million that Mariah Carey raked in for her one season stint on 'AI' earlier this year.

JLo and Marc Anthony's twins, Max and Emme, will start kindergarten in the fall and the entertainer is determined to give them a stable life in Los Angeles during their school years.  She plans to use this opportunity to focus on film work and her fashion business.

She'll be joining one-season veteran  Keith Urban, who was the only survivor of a season that pitted Mariah and Nicki Minaj in a perpetual battle of the divas.  We are hearing that and Jennifer Hudson remain on the short list for third judge.

The Fox reality singing competition has been in a ratings free fall for the last few seasons, due in part to the huge success of 'The Voice' on NBC.

Inquiring minds have to ask -- could it be that the network's fair-haired host Ryan Seacrest is part of the problem?

Photo Credit: WENN

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Posted by Meg
fox network fires idol exec producers

Executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick have been fired by Fox in the latest 'American Idol' shake up.

The network issued this statement, "The passion and dedication that Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick brought to American Idol guided the show to become a true cultural phenomenon.  While we are saddened they will no longer be executive producers on the show, we are grateful for their tremendous contributions and look forward to continuing to work with them on additional projects."

Lythgoe tweeted, "Just had 10 days in the Bahamas, rain everyday.  I get back to the States and get fired. Sad!"

He added, "Yes, don't worry.  I'm on #SYTYCD.  Fox still loves me.  It's not a personal thing they just feel IDOL needs new leadership after 12 Seasons."

Rating were at an all time low during the season that ended in mid-May and the 2013 'Idol' Live Summer Tour has scaled back from 40 venues to 30 due to lack of ticket sales in certain markets.  According to promoters ... the season didn't generate any major buzz among the Top 12 finishers.

Photos:  WENN

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Posted by Missy
jennifer lopez photo

Jennifer Lopez is ready to return to 'American Idol' and is in the early stages of negotiations, according to her manager Benny Medina.

With Randy Jackson, Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey out, JLo is in an excellent position to strike a deal that will put her back on the panel -- perhaps seated next to Keith Urban.

According to, “Benny told FOX that she does indeed want to return. They’re talking. Negotiations are in their infant stages, but they’re underway to get her back to the judges’ table.”

Jennifer would like to stay put in Los Angeles because her 5-year-old twins Max and Emme will start kindergarten in the fall.

During an 'ET' interview last month, the singer said that she had a "gut feeling" that going back to 'Idol' was in her future.

She said, “That door’s not closed.  I know I love the show and I had a great time on it. But the honest truth is I really don’t know what my plans are… I still enjoy the show, I still enjoy seeing those singers take that journey. For me, that’s the real heart of that show.”

Season 12 had the lowest ratings in the history of the franchise, with the May 16 finale down an astounding 40 percent from the previous season.

The lackluster season has had repercussions with the 2013 American Idol Live Summer Tour.  Ten of the 40 tour venues have been cancelled because people aren't buying tickets to see this particular crop of talent.

Speculation is strong that several former 'American Idol' alum are being offered judging positions.  On the short list are Jennifer Hudson, Clay Aiken and Adam Lambert.

Photo Credit: WENN

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Posted by Meg
american idol live 2013

Due to waning interest in all things associated with 'American Idol,' tour promoter AEG Live has scaled back one-fourth of the previously scheduled summer concerts.

For the past eleven seasons the top ten 'Idol' finishers have spent a summer touring the country as part of an ensemble cast.

Season 12's entourage includes winner Candice Glover, Amber Holcomb, Angie Miller, Burnell Taylor, Curtis Finch Jr., Devin Velez, Janelle Arthur, Kree Harrison, Lazaro Arbos, Paul Jolley and Aubrey Cleland.

The 40 venue show has now become 30 gigs that will run from July 19 thru August 31.  Affected cities are St. Louis, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Detroit, Rosemont, IL, Tulsa, Broomfield, CO, Las Vegas, Oakland and Ontario, CA.

AEG Live promoter Jared Paul explained, "You have to match the public's interest.  Whether somebody will part with their hard-earned money is all talent-dependent."

The 'Idol' finale, two weeks ago, saw the biggest deterioration of viewers in the history of the franchise.  Three of the four judges have announced they won't be back.

Photo:  Facebook-American Idol

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Posted by Meg
officially out

It didn't take long for 'American Idol' to lower the boom on Season 12 judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj.  Both divas have been booted from the Fox network after the worst ratings in the show's history.

'American Idol' producers and the network released this statement: "Mariah Carey is a true global icon -- one of the most accomplished artists on the planet -- and we feel extremely fortunate that she was able to bring her wisdom and experience to the 'American Idol' contestants this season.  We know she will remain an inspiration to 'Idol' hopefuls for many seasons to come."

Minaj hit Twitter shortly afterward to reveal that she is also off the show, "Thank you American Idol for a life changing experience!  Wouldn't trade it for the world!  Time to focus on the Music!!! Mmmuuuaahhh!!!"

FremantleMedia producers acknowledged the contributions of the 'Super Bass' singer, "She is a superstar who brought a level of honesty and passion to the show."

Randy Jackson announced his departure a week prior to the May 16 finale.  That leaves only Keith Urban still blowing in the wind.  Reports indicate that the Season 13 judging panel will be comprised of former 'Idol' talent.  Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert are rumored to be negotiating contract offers.

Photos:  Facebook-American Idol

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Posted by Meg
idol alum tapped to judge the show

FOX and 'American Idol' are reportedly courting several former contestants to become season 13 judges -- the latest attempt to turn the ratings tide that has been plummeting for the past several cycles of the show.

There are strong indications that Jennifer Hudson is negotiating a deal that will land the Oscar and Grammy-winning entertainer a place on the judges panel.  Other successful past participants who are rumored to be on the short list include Clay Aiken and Adam Lambert.

Kelly Clarkson, who won the first season of 'Idol' in 2002, was also in the rumored mix until her rep stated emphatically, "Kelly will not be a judge on 'Idol.'"  She is slated to get married later this year to Blake Shelton's manager, Brandon Blackstock.

at the white house

Fox Alternative Entertainment President Mike Darnell talked about finding the perfect singing show judge, "If you've never done it before, we don't know what we're getting.  You might be great, you might be terrible.  It's a skill... Everybody thinks they can do it but not everybody can."

Shortly after sharing that tidbit Darnell fired himself.  His statement read: "Mike Darnell votes himself out of Fox Broadcasting Company.  The results are in.  I'm extremely grateful that Fox has offered me a new long term contract but I've decided it's time for a change.  I've been in 'reality' since before it was even called that, and it has truly been an amazing ride."

Assuming you are a former fan of the show ... would a season of 'American Idol' alum as judges lure you back in?

Photo:  WENN, Twitter-Kelly Clarkson

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