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Category: Simon Cowell

Poll: Can Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler finally win 'American Idol' an Emmy?

September 23, 2010 |  6:37 am

Steve Tyler Jennifer Lopez American Idol

Many Emmy watchers, including this one, expected "American Idol" to be the show that stopped the seven-year winning streak of "The Amazing Race" at the Emmy Awards this year. That it was "Top Chef" that prevailed in the reality-competition category was the biggest jaw-dropper of the night.

On Wednesday, Fox introduced the radical revamping of the judges panel: Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler in, and Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi and Ellen DeGeneres out. Randy Jackson, who has been with the show since day one, remains as one of the trio who sit in judgment on the singing hopefuls, and Ryan Seacrest will continue to host.

"American Idol" had its best shot at snagging the Emmy crown this year, submitting the two-hour finale as the sample episode to Emmy judges. Not only did the episode showcase the competitive element of the series, but there was a touching tribute to the curmudgeonly Cowell, who was leaving the show to launch the U.S. version of his Brit hit, "The X Factor." Surprisingly, Seacrest submitted a different episode -- one in which he interacts with the nine remaining contestants -- for the reality-show-host race. Jeff Probst ("Survivor"), who has won in both years of this category, prevailed once more.

As part of Aerosmith, Tyler has taken home four Grammys, all for best rock performance by a duo or group with vocal: "Janie's Got a Gun" (1990); "Livin' on the Edge" (1993); "Crazy" (1994); "Pink" (1998). The group has contended for 17 Grammys in total. Lopez lost both her Grammy races for best dance recording and her two Latin Grammy bids as well. However, she has a pair of American Music Awards and two MTV VMAs to show for her song styling, such as it is.

Photo: Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson at the Forum in Inglewood on Wednesday. Credit: Genaro Molina /Los Angeles Times

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Simon Cowell, 'Harry Potter' stars among BAFTA TV winners

June 7, 2010 |  4:11 pm

Simon Cowell BAFTAs Simon Cowell was a double winner at the TV BAFTAs Sunday.  Cowell — who worked on "Pop Idol" in Britain before "American Idol" made him a household name stateside — received a special award recognizing his outstanding contribution to British TV and his development of new talent. And one of his home-grown shows — "Britain's Got Talent" — won the light entertainment prize for last year's edition, which brought us Susan Boyle. TV viewers in Britain could not escape Cowell this weekend as the fourth season of "Britain's Got Talent"  concluded Saturday with the acrobatic gymnasts team Spelbound crowned champs.

Two of the older performers from the "Harry Potter" film franchise prevailed at these TV kudos that are the British equivalent of the Emmy Awards. Julie Walters, the on-screen mother of Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), won the best actress race for her portrayal of real-life politico Mo Mowlam in "Mo." Walters — who now ties Judi Dench with a record six BAFTAs — was also nominated in the catch-all category, which includes performances in one-offs, minis and series, for "A Short Stay in Switzerland."  She edged out Helena Boham Carter — the dastardly Bellatrix LeStrange in "Harry Potter" — as beloved children's author Enid Blyton in "Enid"; and Sophie Okonedo as Winnie Mandela in "Mrs. Mandela." Both of Walters' works, as well as "Five Minutes of Heaven" with Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt, lost best single program to Samantha Morton's directorial debut, "The Unloved."

Kenneth Branagh -- who played vain professor Gilderoy Lockhart in "Harry Potter" — was snubbed last year for the first season of "Wallander," which had earned him an Emmy nomination. But he won for the second season of the mystery series. Brendan Gleeson -- who plays Order of Phoenix member Alastor Moody — won that Emmy race last year for his BAFTA-nominated performance as Winston Churchill in "Into the Storm." John Hurt — who was wand merchant Mr. Ollivander — won the BAFTA 34 years ago for his portrayal of Quentin Crisp in "The Naked Civil Servant" and was in the running again for the sequel "An Englishman in New York." Rounding out the race was David Oyelowo for "Small Island," which lost best serial to "Occupation."

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Gold Derby nuggets: Simon Cowell feted by BAFTAs | Tonys telecast details | Ausiello's Emmy dreams dashed by forum posters

May 28, 2010 |  2:56 pm

Simon Cowell BAFTAsSimon Cowell will be honored at the TV BAFTAs on June 6 with a special award. Cowell -- who worked on "Pop Idol" in the UK before "American Idol" made him a household name stateside -- is being recognized for his "outstanding contribution ... and for his development of new talent." John Willis, chair of BAFTA's TV committee, said he was "delighted" to salute "one of the most brilliant entertainment producers of our time." Cowell left "American Idol" this week to concentrate on launching an U.S. version of his Brit hit "The X Factor." He has already succeeded with an American version of "Britain's Got Talent." Later this year, Cowell is slated to receive a similar accolade from the International Emmys. BBC

• The Creative Arts Emmys "might more accurately be described as the Not Ready for Primetime Emmys," says Todd Longwell. He details the fun to be had at these awards, which are handed out one week prior to the prime-time kudos. "While the event has a handful of celebrity-friendly categories, like guest acting, the bulk of the awards are for below-the-line disciplines deemed too mundane for the big show, such as art direction, cinematography and sound editing. The show's low profile has worked in its favor, making it one of the looser, edgier stops on the awards circuit. 'Because it's on a cable channel, not a broadcaster, and we know that the show is going to be edited, people tend to relax a little bit more with their language,' TV academy Chairman and Chief Executive John Shaffner says." HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Tony Awards logoMichael Riedel reports that the Tony Awards telecast on June 13 will open with a medley with the working title "Pop Songs You Might Not Know Are on Broadway." As Michael writes, "Cast members, in costume, will perform the pop-hit medley. Surprise 'guest performers' are likely to include 'Glee' stars Lea Michele and Matthew Morrison (both Broadway babies), Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong and, possibly, Jon Bon Jovi. Elton John, the producer of the Tony-nominated play 'Next Fall,' might pop up as well. Tony host Sean Hayes will certainly sing something from 'Promises' with his un-nominated co-star, Kristin Chenoweth." NEW YORK POST

Roger Friedman recaps Thursday's ceremony honoring the recipients of the Outer Critics Circle Awards. Among those attending the soiree at Sardi's was best actress in a musical winner Catherine Zeta-Jones ("A Little Night Music"). "She gestured to the myriad caricatures hanging on the walls around her and said, “You have my family here already.” She meant Michael Douglas and his father Kirk. It was very touching." And as Roger writes, "Zeta-Jones wasn’t the only star in the room, however. Both Denzel Washington and Viola Davis came to get their citations for 'Fences.' Frank Langella came at his own request to present the Best New Play award to John Logan, who wrote 'Red.' Langella couldn’t have been more effusive." SHOWBIZ 411

EmmyAwardsMike Ausiello concludes his annual wish list of Emmy Awards nominees with his slates of series. On the drama front, Mike is pumping for bids by freshman hit "The Good Wife" -- "Single-handedly raised the bar for procedurals on TV" -- and never-nominated "Friday Night Lights" -- "A different team, but still victorious." Among the laffers, Mike likes "Better Off Ted" -- "the best show that no one (with a Nielsen box) watched" -- and "Chuck" -- "I spy a consistently awesome and hilarious show in need of some long-overdue Emmy love."  ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

• Our forum posters are weighing in on Mike's suggestions and find some of them wanting. For jss0058, "Drama Series...I like it, but to not include 'Lost' is ridiculous. Also you have to include 'Dexter' which had a such a great season. I say throw out 'True Blood' & 'The Good Wife' for those two." Says PaulHan, "No 'Lost'; no 'Party Down'; no cred, Michael." And Zackfins thinks "As much as I like all of the comedies mentioned, I would have to bounce either 'Better Off Ted' or 'Chuck' for 'Community.'" However, Markk believes Mike is mostly right: "I'm not really down with the mentions of 'Damages,' 'True Blood,' 'Cougar Town' and 'Glee,' but I like the rest." And says ItsNotMe, "I actually like a lot of his choices, in all categories. These are much better than the actual nominees will turn out to be (to me, anyway)." GOLD DERBY FORUMS

Top photo: Simon Cowell on "The X Factor."  Credit: ITV.

Middle photo: Tony Awards logo. Credit: American Theater Wing.

Bottom photo: Emmy Award statue. Credit: ATAS.

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Poll: Do you think 'American Idol' can finally win the Emmy?

May 27, 2010 |  9:46 am

"American Idol" has lost the Emmy for best reality-competition show to "Amazing Race" for the last seven years, but the songbird smackdown finally has a good chance to win, thanks to what it plans to submit to judges.

American Idol news-1

All nominees must enter one episode as an example of their best work from the past TV season. Gold Derby has learned exclusively that "Idol" will submit last night's spectacular two-hour finale that had everything: Simon Cowell's farewell (no, they didn't drop a house on him); appearances by the Bret Michaels, Carrie Underwood, Kris Allen, Alice Cooper, Bee Gees, Michael McDonald, Christina Aguilera, Alanis Morissette; even "a Kanye West moment" when a former contestant grabbed the microphone and insulted Simon. Oh, yeah, and they also crowned a winner (Lee DeWyze). It's the most exciting Emmy episode entry ever.

Meantime, we've also learned that "Amazing Race" plans to enter "I Think We're Fighting the Germans, Right?" in which the teams reenact World War I. "Dancing with the Stars" will enter the season opener. "Top Chef": "Vivre Las Vegas" (contestants performed for French chefs in the season opener), "Project Runway": "Sew Much Pleasure" (guest judge Jessica Alba). Those five shows were all nominated over the last several years and will probably return again. Read the views of our forum posters here.

Photo: Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze and Ryan Seacrest on "American Idol." Credit: Fox TV


Oscars mystery: Whatever happened to Hattie McDaniel's Academy Award?

Emmy race for best TV movie: Top contenders

Inside AMC's Emmy campaign box: 'Mad Men,' 'Breaking Bad' and 'The Prisoner'

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Judging 'American Idol' judges: Best catfight?

April 8, 2009 | 10:47 am

Considering that there will be a new Emmy Award this year for best reality-show judge, it's important that we pay special attention to what those naysayers, sourpusses and rascals are up to now.

On TV's top reality show last night, "American Idol," there was another hilariously revealing clash between Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul. I think it's obvious to everyone, including Paula, that she's on her way out. Her contract's over at the end of this season and Simon — who's now running the show — sometimes forgets to hide his disgust for her in the meantime.

American Idol Paula Abdul Simon Cowell

Last week, Simon and Paula began the "American Idol" telecast by linking hands as they strolled toward their jurist bench. Last night, Simon would win no award for acting. He let loose on Paula in one of those hissy fits that make him the TV wildcat we most love to hate.

Soon after Danny Gokey finished his bizarre rendition of "Stand by Me" and Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi predictably gushed over the show's golden boy while confessing that they didn't like his song's arrangement, it was Paula's turn to comment. That's always a special moment at the start of each "American Idol," when we viewers lean in close to the TV screen to see: Is Paula tuned in? Zonked out? Taking her own rocket ride to Neptune again? The answer was hard to fathom during the opening musical number last night when Paula teased us by jumping up from her seat and wiggling about — she's been doing that a lot lately, as if to convince us how cool a 46-year-old gal can be. But Simon soon knocked her down.

Addressing Danny, Paula offered her approval of his performance: "Everything from the creative liberties you took with the arrangement, which I happened to like very much, to the chord substitutions — they equally match how brilliant your voice was tonight."

Simon laughed uncontrollably while she opined, holding his hand over his face, trying to gag his guffaws, but he couldn't. When she was done, he snarled to her privately, "Why do you say things like that?"

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Paula Abdul finds four a crowd on 'American Idol'

February 25, 2009 |  3:15 pm

Paula Abdul has told "OK Weekly" that adding a fourth judge — Kara DioGuardi — to the "American Idol" panel this year was a mistake. She explains, "It takes up so much time for each of us to give our opinion that it slows down the pace of the show." Of course the great reviews that DioGuardi is getting have nothing to do with this insight from Abdul, do they? According to Abdul, "Kara and I have known each other for years and we get along great." All this talk may be Abdul's way of easing herself out of the show with her dignity somewhat intact. As she says, "It is the last season of my contract, and I have so many other things I want to do."


Critics hailed DioGuardi's addition to "American Idol" this season as a much-needed breath of fresh air. And with the Emmy Awards considering a new category for judges of reality TV shows, she could prove to be a serious contender to any or all of the original trio — Abdul, Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell.

Over the first seven seasons, "American Idol" has won only two of its 34 Emmy nods. The judges were credited as part of the losing team on five consecutive Emmy bids for outstanding reality show program from 2003 to 2007. Interestingly, they were not listed on the 2008 nomination. "The Amazing Race" has won this Emmy Award every year since it was introduced in 2003.

Before DioGuardi debuted on "American Idol," she was introduced as a Grammy Award-nominated songwriter. Though technically true, she is in fact a Latin Grammy nominee for co-writing a 2007 song of the year contender — "Bella Traicion." She shared the nomination with the track's singer, Belinda, as well as Mitch Allan, Ben Moody and Nacho Peregrin. They lost the race to Juan Luis Guerra's "La Llave de Mi Corazon," which also won record of the year. "Bella Traicion" wasn't nominated for that top honor.

DioGuardi has won other kudos. In 2003, she took home a BMI Cable Award for co-writing and performing "Somethin' to Say," the theme to the now-canceled Lifetime Television series "For the People," which starred Lea Thompson, Debbi Morgan, A. Martinez and Cecilia Suarez. And in 2007 she was named BMI's pop songwriter of the year for 2006, as she had accumulated 10 BMI awards in the previous four years for having written the "most performed songs on the radio."

But it is Abdul who has the more impressive collection of showbiz awards hardware. She won a Grammy Award way back in 1990 for best short form music video for the track "Opposites Attract." And she also has a pair of Emmy Awards that she picked up for choreography. Abdul won a Emmy on her own in 1989 for "The Tracy Ullman Show" and was one of three choreographers on the 1990 "American Music Awards (along with Dean Barlow and Michael Darrin) to tie with Walter Painter, who choreographed the opening of the Disney-MGM studios. She had been a solo nominee in 1988 for "The Tracy Ullman Show" but lost to Alan Johnson, who handled the dance numbers in the song-filled "Irving Berlin's 100th Birthday Celebration."

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Can Kara DioGuardi win 'American Idol' an Emmy Award?

January 14, 2009 |  4:47 pm

Kara DioGuardi quickly established herself on last night's premiere of season eight of "American Idol," as a presence on the judging panel. And with the Emmy Awards considering a new category for judges of reality TV shows, Kara could be a serious contender.

Over the first seven seasons, "American Idol" has only won 2 of its 34 Emmy nods. Of course, with Simon Cowell in charge of the show, Kara DioGuardi may not want to run the risk of ruffling that peacock's feathers by earning an Emmy nod possibly at his expense. Already, the reviews, for the most part, are focusing on her addition to the show as a much-needed breath of fresh air.


For Jim Farber of the New York Daily News, the show "has finally found its mean girl. In stark contrast to pushover Paula Abdul, new judge Kara DioGuardi showed some teeth in her debut Tuesday night." As he explains, "The season premiere didn't find her quick with a honed zinger like Simon Cowell. She favored instead a general tone of condescension, told in an instantly annoying tic of calling everyone 'sweetie' and 'honey' right before she kicks them to the curb."

Idoltracker here at the Los Angeles Times said, "At first glimpse, it was hard not to be struck by the visual difference between DioGaurdi and her new colleagues – in appearance younger, sharper, more attractive, conveying a slightly dangerous edge to her smile — she instantly put a little spring in the aging juggernaut’s step. But the question remained; how would she fit in and stand up to the other judges.
" The answer — "In the first half, while Diogaurdi was largely unheard, an interesting dynamic took shape as her presence in the middle of the table had the effect of seeming to isolate Randy from the real action — which was taking place in the Simon/Paula banter … In the second half, however, hints of the DioGuardi promise were seen. In the heated 'bikini girl' incident, the new judge showed clearly that the knives are there, waiting to come out. She demonstrated an edge sharper, more informed and potentially even nastier than Simon’s occasionally shopworn put downs. In her parting comment to the bikini girl, a tossed aside of 'Sing naked next time' she gave us a glimpse of potentially deadly force to come, with an edge that could inject a great deal of energy into the show."

Rob Salem of the Toronto Star thought, "DioGuardi's charismatic credibility seems to somehow ground them all, and indeed the entire show. She's more than a match for Simon, more substantially authoritative than Randy, and gives Paula someone non-threatening to play with and divert her attention away from Simon." And TV Watch at People says, "DioGuardi, who looks like an older, more languid Katharine McPhee with a touch of Anna Paquin, is presumably meant to be a level-headed counterpoint to Paula, who lives in a magical, sometimes baffling world. Kara — pronounced “care-ah” — was slickly pleasant, but you get the feeling she won’t really tolerate too much nonsense, and she knows how to make a point."

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PODCAST: Ryan Seacrest on hosting and being an Emmy nominee — oh, yeah, and being surprised by the hiring of new 'American Idol' judge Kara DioGuardi

August 26, 2008 |  3:33 pm

"There's less pressure this year!" cheers Ryan Seacrest in our podcast chat when we discuss his return as host of the Emmycast, this time joined by his four rival nominees for the new award for reality TV host: Tom Bergeron ("Dancing With the Stars"), Heidi Klum ("Project Runway"), Howie Mandel ("Deal or No Deal) and Jeff Probst ("Survivor"). "We'll probably be able to have a little bit more fun because there are four other people to take this ride with me and we can all blame each other for any failure."


Ryan Seacrest jokes around a lot during our chat because he's having a wild day. We gabbed yesterday just hours after that jaw-dropping announcement — one day before the start of "American Idol" auditions — that Kara DioGuardi has been added as a judge. (CLICK HERE to download the MP3 file and listen to the full podcast chat.) NOTE: You may need to hold down your computer's control key while clicking.

Ryan Seacrest admits that the news took him by surprise, but he's excited because her addition "will make the show fresh again," he says, adding this warning: "She's a tough New Yorker with a lot of candor." Aha! Competition for Simon Cowell?

Back in June when The Envelope interviewed Ryan about the new Emmy Award for reality TV host he joshed a bit there too: "Part of the beauty and satisfaction of this new award is the fact that Simon can't win it. It makes me happy."  (Read the full interview HERE.)

OK, so I ask Ryan: now that reality TV hosts have their own Emmy race, should judges have their own category too? "Yes!" he roars. "The judges on all of these shows are very important characters and frankly are lead on many of them. Absolutely, they should be acknowledged for what they do and I think that perhaps we'll see that happen . . . . But to go back to my statement in The Envelope issue, it does make me feel good, just between Simon and I, that I don't have to deal with the possibility of him winning one individually and taking all of the credit."

Yikes! These guys love to jab each other, don't they? (Answer: Yes, and hallelujah.)


Ryan also likes tweaking his fellow Emmy cohosts. While discussing their preparation for the Emmycast, he notes that they took a group photo the other day. "I, for the record, am not the shortest host," he announces proudly. "That would be Probst, (although) he might've walked in with his open-toed sandals."

Not all of the nominees in that category measure up in another respect. Four of them host reality TV shows, while one emcees a game show: Howie Mandel. "Survivor" producer Mark Burnett recently said he doesn't think that grouping is fair (CLICK HERE). Does Ryan agree?

"You might see that category broken off into subcategories" in the future, Ryan notes. "What we do is similar in some ways, but it's very different. The mechanics of what Howie's doing running a game show and what I'm doing with music competition and what Jeff's doing in the bush in the middle of insert-continent-here it's all different, but I'm personally happy that we're at least grouped into the category."

Unflappable Ryan doesn't even seem too upset over what's happened to "American Idol" in that other related category — for reality/competition program — in years past. It's lost over and over to undefeated "Amazing Race," which has zoomed ahead five times.

Describing the Emmy ceremony moment when that envelope gets opened every year, Ryan says, "We used to get excited when you hear 'Am-' — 'American Idol' maybe? But it's 'Am-azing Race.' So I think we've conditioned ourselves to pretty much stay in our seats and watch the Bruckheimer army go up and accept, but they deserve to be acknowledged and rewarded for the success of that show. It's just all very different."

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Should new 'American Idol' host Kara DioGuardi be eligible for an Emmy?

August 25, 2008 |  5:22 pm

With references all over the Web to Kara DioGuardi as the new "Grammy-nominated" host of "American Idol," surely you're wondering: What was she nominated for?

Turns out it was a Latin Grammy in the race for 2007 song of the year for the Belinda single "Bella Traicion," a nomination Kara DioGuardi shared with Belinda, Mitch Allan, Ben Moody and Nacho Peregrin. They lost to Juan Luis Guerra's "La Llave de Mi Corazon," which also won record of the year. "Bella Traicion" wasn't nominated for that.


But Kara DioGuardi has won other awards. According to her bio on Wikipedia, "In 2003, Kara DioGuardi won a BMI Cable Award for co-writing and performing 'Somethin' to Say,' the theme to the now-canceled Lifetime Television series 'For the People,' which starred Lea Thompson, Debbi Morgan, A. Martinez and Cecilia Suarez. In 2007 she was named BMI's pop songwriter of the year for 2006, as she had accumulated 10 BMI awards in the previous four years for having written the 'most performed songs on the radio.' "

Next stop: an Emmy Award? Since the Emmys recently added a new category for hosts of reality TV shows, do you think the TV academy should add one for judges too?

Poor Kara DioGuardi would have to compete against Simon Cowell, who's now apparently running "American Idol" after the departure of producer Nigel Lythgoe. Considering Cowell's sour 'tude and senior rank, she would be smart never to rise above becoming known as an "Emmy-nominated" judge of reality TV, don't you think?

Simon Cowell's not afraid of making drastic changes. He told that he wants "American Idol" to "be more interesting and controversial" and "to introduce more jeopardy" to the top-rated TV show.



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