Tuesday, March 17, 2009

'American Idol' fixed?

American Idol contestant Lil Rounds.
'American Idol' chatter four-sees finalists

Aside from Paula Abdul, the producers of “American Idol” have one more loudmouth to deal with on the set.

One of the hit show’s staffers is running around telling anyone who’ll listen that the team of producers and judges has already picked the final four contestants — despite the fact that 11 kids are still battling to be the latest pop star.

The female “AI” worker told a “group of people that the last four are going to be Danny Gokey, Lil Rounds, Adam Lambert and Alexis Grace,” said our insider. Asked if this was opinion or actual fact, the staffer vehemently retorted, “Those ARE the people,” saying it wasn’t mere speculation.

If it was just her prediction, she’d be spot-on with this week’s TV Guide, which also chose those exact four wanna-be crooners as its picks for stardom.

But the lass took it a step further, claiming that higher-ups at the hit Fox show were taking an issue with two of the top contenders.

“Adam Lambert and Lil Rounds are better singers and musicians than Gokey and Grace, but they’re too much like past winners and ‘A’ successes,” the woman said. “Adam’s too close in style and sound to Chris Daughtry, while Lil Rounds is a dead ringer for Fantasia. Even their background stories are similar!

“The producers really want it to be Danny or Alexis. They think they’re very commercially viable, have a good image and a great story.”

Gokey’s sorrowful story of the death of his wife, Sophia, during heart surgery a month before his audition is “a huge reason viewers are tuning in,” said the staffer. “Fox likes the attention that he’s getting, and they’ve taken to giving Danny much more airtime as a result.”

While Fox’s reps had no comment on the allegations, another TV insider told us, “It’d
be very hard to manipulate the entire final four. Sure, the judges get one vote to save someone, but that’s before the top five, so theoretically, it’s just delaying the inevitable.

“There’d have to be so many people lying for them to pull something like this off — so I doubt it’s true.”

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