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01.15.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
Last night's Kansas City auditions episode of "American Idol" introduced a contestant who is apparently the first Wisconsin native to make the initial cut this season, Jamar Rogers. Don't get too swept up in Badger pride, though, since it's unlikely he'll be along too much along. Despite his likable demeanor and loud fashion sense, Rogers' possesses one of those overblown musical-theater voices that audiences are indifferent to and that the show's judges love to rip on. (The Broadway voice was what did in the otherwise talented Syesha last season

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Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008

Today @ the Bradley Center - 7:30 p.m.

Arriving after the commercial disappointments of Ruben Studdard and Fantasia—and just before the pop-chart poison that was Taylor Hicks—Carrie Underwood proved that “American Idol” could create a bona fide mega-star, with create being the operative word. In Underwood’s malleable voice and vague, girl-next-door charm, the show’s producers found a blank slate, one they molded into the most old-fashioned...
Sunday, Sept. 7, 2008

Tonight @ the Turner Hall Ballroom - 8 p.m.

Though he’s never been a contestant, Graham Colton is inextricably linked with “American Idol.” The heartland rocker—who has often been compared to a young Tom Petty—has toured with (and also dated) inaugural Idol Kelly Clarkson, and this year his 2007 single “Better Days” became the exit music for the latest . . .
Saturday, Aug. 30, 2008

Tonight @ the Summerfest grounds - 8 p.m.

Though he lost to instant-joke Taylor Hicks, Chris Daughtry proved to be the real winner of the 2006 season of “American Idol,” recording a number one album and becoming a bona fide star thanks to hits like “Home.” Tonight, the throaty singer brings his band, Daughtry, to the Harley-Davidson stage of the . . .
Friday, June 27, 2008

CANCELLED

Since winning the third season of “American Idol,” R&B superstar Fantasia Barrino seems to have escaped the curse that haunts many of the show’s most promising performers (anyone seen Ruben Studdard or Taylor Hicks lately?)...
05.22.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
In the end, "American Idol" voters went with the guy who can actually sell records. Although teenage crooner David Archuleta was favored to win, thanks to his appeal to young girls and old women�two demographics, by the way, not particularly inclined to buy albums�David Cook took home the (increasingly irrelevant) honor. To be sure, Cook isn't a tremendous talent. He vocals are blandly ...
04.09.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
I'm trying to downplay how much �American Idol� I've caught this season, but since I am watching�and since I�m as opinionated as the next guy�I might as well blog about it like everyone else. A couple of observations about last night�s comically uninspiring �Inspiration� episode: 1. All lecherous eyebrows and apolitical dreadlocks, Jason Castro is still my least favor...
03.19.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
I�ve caught enough episodes of this season�s contest that I feel comfortable weighing in a bit. My three least favorite �American Idol� hopefuls: Jason Castro � Guys always reserve a special kind of distain for non-conventionally handsome men that girls swoon over anyway. GQ men like George Clooney or Jude Law? We can understand why women find them attractive. But a boldly featured, dr...
02.21.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
Early blogosphere whispers about an "American Idol" ringer soon bloomed into an outraged roar as major news organizations picked up the story of hopeful Carly Smithson's high-profile (and comically disastrous) stint on a major label. Somewhat absurdly, "American Idol" never acknowledged the elephant in the room, and in Smithson's life story segments, the producers wrote around her tenure on ...
01.16.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
"American Idol" producers have publicized a number of small "tweaks" to retool the program after a slight dip in ratings last year, among them a greater emphasis on the performers�back stories and less reliance on celebrity guests. If online reports are to be believed, however, there's a secret game plan the producers are downplaying: Use ringers. According to "American Idol" spoiler si...

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