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Fly Me With Balloons So I Can Meet Katharine McPhee!! America’s Favorite Series Rockets Back To Your TV!!

I am – Hercules!!
“Everyone I know who watches it, only watches for the first few painful open-call episodes,” says Harry’s wife Yoko, who just turned 22, “and then stops after that.” I was thinking the same thing. So “American Idol’s” plan, as I understand it, is to cut down on the painful open-call episodes. We’re also getting a fourth judge, which makes me wonder how ties will be broken. The show launches its search for the next Studdard-caliber hitmaker tonight. Bandwidth. Predictions. Reactions. 8 p.m. Tuesday. Fox.

"I love love love DR. HORRIBLE’S SING-ALONG BLOG as much or more than just about anything I’ve seen this year." -- Harry Knowles

This business will get out of control!! It will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it!! 247-Title 3-For-2 Blu-ray Sale!!

Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 13, 2009, 2:35 a.m. CST

    Many critics pick on the open-call eps

    by Rinse

    but I'm not embarrassed to admit the show is mostly a snooze fest afterwards.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 2:38 a.m. CST


    by estacado1

    Only worth watching if there's somebody as hot as Katharine McPhee on.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 2:49 a.m. CST


    by Neojanus

    A Howard Stern Reference, Nice! Seriously I need to see that stuck up midget flying.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 2:51 a.m. CST

    Re: How ties will be broken...

    by Ribbons

    Just trying to help drop some knowledge here. According to my newest issue of EW, in the event of a tie, Simon will have final say over whether or not the audition-ee goes to Hollywood. Flawed system? Yes, although I do think they need to shake things up a little.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 2:51 a.m. CST

    Simon gets final say regarding ties, Herc.

    by monolithik

    For a minute there, I thought they were finally eliminating the annoying drama caused by Paula complaining about being the odd woman out. Then I read this somewhere, and it turns out they're just doubling the drama, because now Simon gets the final say, which is pissing off both of the girls, so I've heard. This AND cutting out the losery portions? PASS.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 2:55 a.m. CST

    Nice Stern reference there.

    by gotilk

    That Eric the midget stuff was some of the funniest Stern in years. I heard the guy actually works out here where I live. Oh and great idea there American Idol. Cut back on what the audience loves best. Give us more Opiate-addled Paula! More crappy covers of beloved songs, ruining them forever! Give me suspended animation. Wake me when it's all over.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 3:08 a.m. CST

    Even the first few flame out episodes

    by Wheel99

    sucked last year because everybody complained that Simon was too mean so they toned him down. Also the 4th judge was bought in this year so they could get rid of Paula Abdul next season.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 4:38 a.m. CST

    If it's a tie...

    by penhapus

    they have a big klaxxon and the deciding judge puts it to 'SUDDEN DEATH' and then it's decided by who gets the most votes - it's basically designed to frighten the masses in to voting where they might not before because at the end of the day the judges were making the final decision (this is what happened on the UK's version last autumn).

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 4:59 a.m. CST


    by Juror Number 8

    let's turn the pansy american idol talkback into one about america's most hated/beloved midget!!

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 5:41 a.m. CST

    This show STILL FUCKING ON?

    by Pennsy

    Ack, indeed.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 5:48 a.m. CST

    Eric the Midget doesn't work...

    by Karl Childers

    He's too busy fucking whores at the Bunny Ranch.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 5:58 a.m. CST

    ^the music industry"

    by F-18

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 6:17 a.m. CST

    BIll Brasky ended up on Idol once....

    by Bill Brasky

    He sang the finale of 'Traviata' to the tune of 'Sweet Dreams' in his Elvis Voice!!!! When he was done he lit up a smoke, pulled down his pants and dropped a great big Cleavland Steamer on Simon's chest! Here's to Bill Brasky!!!!

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 6:45 a.m. CST

    Eric the Actor you heartless fucks!!

    by Fart_Master_Flex

    Bwahahahaha...horny ass midget. Seriously, he has already gotten more pussy than I ever have. Who cares that it is from whores. Those are some nice looking whores bro.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 7:09 a.m. CST

    Except that's not true, Herc

    by chrth

    The ratings for the later episodes are consistently higher than the intro episodes.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 7:25 a.m. CST

    Brasky, you magnificent bastard!

    by Cletus Van Damme

    Say what you will, but Katharine McPhee is my celebrity dream fuck.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 7:33 a.m. CST

    Eric the Midget's American Idol commentary...

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . is back!!! Love that little shit.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 7:40 a.m. CST

    The Fourth Judge - naked?

    by HewligansHaircut

    The Additional judge is being added because it has worked well on the UK version of the show (The X Factor). The fourth Judge just allows more people for Simon to piss off and allows for more judges to gang up on Simon.. It works fine in the UK and I'm sure it will work in the States too (and I apologise for the 'naked' reference in the title - if AICN can do it, so can I!) :)

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 8:27 a.m. CST

    Eric the Stupid Fucking Jerkoff

    by FuckMichaelBay


  • Jan. 13, 2009, 8:28 a.m. CST

    "look at me everybody! I'm a flying ewok"

    by FuckMichaelBay

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 8:34 a.m. CST

    America's Favorite Show?

    by magic_ninja

    I guess that's why William Hung's the only person anyone remembers when they talk about this peice of shit show.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 8:59 a.m. CST

    The "painful open calls" are the only reason to watch

    by Timelord-2112

    Seriously who thinks the "music" the "real performers" sing is any good anyway? The 5 minutes of fame losers they find in these cities is the ONLY reason to watch this lame ass show...

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 8:59 a.m. CST

    I'm listening to an American Idol song right now!

    by chrth

    Well sorta: Weird Al's "Do I Creep You Out?"

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 9:07 a.m. CST

    Eric The Midget Naked

    by eric haislar

    Yep! It's Disturbing.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 9:50 a.m. CST


    by Itchy

    they've already announced the plan for tiebreakers. The judges will guess the barituate count in Paula's blood and the closest gets to make the call. "What's your name again?" "Eric the fucking shit head".

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 10:42 a.m. CST

    I join.....the fun

    by ZoeFan

    That whole Sanjiya thing was great. How come McFee never came in? According to FlaFla Flooey, her people agreed for her to come in. Dates must not have worked out in the end.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 10:53 a.m. CST


    by TheDailySentinel

    The reason why Katherine never appeared on Howard was because Howard gave Eric Katherine's cell phone number and obsessively called her 50 times a day! She had to change her number as a result of that ungrateful little prick! He should be apologizing to Howard for every time he called him a "big nosed a-hole" now that he's got a in at the Bunny Ranch. Hoff wouldn't use Eric as a doorstop without his connection to the show!

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 11:26 a.m. CST

    America's #1 TV Show?

    by DarthFloyd

    This is why the terrorists hate us so much.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 11:41 a.m. CST

    Looking forward to Stern...

    by Karl Childers

    having Sanjaya on soon. I hope he talks about his hot sister.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 12:12 p.m. CST

    And again...

    by rassmguy that is decidedly NOT cool. American Idol? Really, AICN? Christ.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 12:23 p.m. CST

    American Idol Geek Here

    by The Alienist

    I love this show. I am so fucking excited. Yes, I also feel shame...

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 12:44 p.m. CST

    Neon Genesis is back?

    by WickedJacob

    oh, how disappointing. When I read the article title, I thought you were mimicking the crazy version of that song that plays at the end of every episode. I'd rather watch that.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 12:50 p.m. CST

    Justin Gaurini gets work again.

    by The_joker

    Thanks to the ridiculous TV Guide channel pre show.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 12:54 p.m. CST


    by ZoeFan

    I know all that, but even after that her people said she was cool to the idea of coming in.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 2:12 p.m. CST


    by kongoman

    I almost thought they were going to bring Stern back to regular TV, instead of that damned, DirecTV not having OnDemand. Oh well, one can continue to hope.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Please, America...

    by DarthCorleone

    Please wake the fuck up. This show is dung.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 3 p.m. CST

    American Idol is "must-not-see TV"

    by jim

    otherwise known as "Disppointment Television"

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 3:46 p.m. CST

    American Idol needs to use the Doctor Who theme

    by Meta

    Just like whenever Eric the Midget calls in. "I want to...Ack! Ack!...buttfuck Katherine McPhee". Never watched AI, never will, just listened to the recaps on Stern.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 4:41 p.m. CST


    by turketron

    I don't watch this shit, even though I'm always mildly curious about the first few episodes because the only "good" reality telivision is when it's as much of a train wreck as possible. Usually I never get to see these episodes with the crappy singers because I manage to stumble across something else more entertaining... like tonight, maybe my torrented episodes of SUPERJAIL! or some good old disgusting internet porn. Yum!

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 7:24 p.m. CST


    by Stormwatcher

    Wow what our grandparents would think of today's tv if they weren't all hopped up on painkillers and ipods.

  • Jan. 13, 2009, 9:45 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    Anyway, Fox is under boycott. Spare the rod, spoil the child.

  • Jan. 14, 2009, 12:19 a.m. CST

    Sure it sucks and these people that can't sing are re re's but..

    by Ka Dargo

    Goddamn that new judge is insanely beautiful!!!!

  • Jan. 14, 2009, 2:43 a.m. CST

    herc, you are an evil fuck

    by bacci40

    whoring for the shit known as reality is neither real, nor good tv...and the wga fucked the writers on these shows, right up the ass

  • Jan. 14, 2009, 2:43 a.m. CST

    herc, you are an evil fuck

    by bacci40

    whoring for the shit known as reality is neither real, nor good tv...and the wga fucked the writers on these shows, right up the ass

  • Jan. 14, 2009, 10:09 a.m. CST

    It wasn't McPhee that showed up

    by Itchy

    for the Eric show ... it was Diana DeGarmo. McPhee actually has a career, and didn't need to let that creepy midget take snapshots for his mental spank bank.

  • Jan. 14, 2009, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Howard Who?

    by Pennsy

  • Jan. 14, 2009, 4:46 p.m. CST


    by Potch

    Most people that I know DON'T watch the audition episodes. They prefer to watch the real singers. And the last few episodes always have MUCH higher ratings than the auditions. Last year's finale was one of the highest rated shows of the year. That doesn't say much for the viewing public, but whatever.

  • Jan. 14, 2009, 6:24 p.m. CST


    by HonestAbe

    Yoko is 22? Isn't Harry like 40 by now? Nice pull, man.

  • Jan. 15, 2009, 1:51 p.m. CST


    by ChapaJ

    I hate that little midget!

  • Jan. 16, 2009, 8:25 a.m. CST

    4 judges is just retarded

    by chimpjnr

    It makes the whole concept of having judges completely redundant. If they wanted to freshen it up they should have either changed a judge or two, or add two judges to make it an odd number, though that would have made the show unwieldly. They've effective done it anyway by giving Simon what amounts to two votes. Makes no sense. It won't last long, mark my words.