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Idol Season 9: Top 20 -- The Elimination

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

Last night's show began with another godawful lip-synced group performance. The group performances, with 20 folks crowding the stage, invariably have a painful 'Up With People' aura about them.

Idol Season 9: Top 20 -- The Women

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

The women took to the stage and after a very strong Crystal Bowersox, so many of the women crashed and burned that the not-bad women towards the end seemed pretty good in comparison.

Exclusive: Midlake On "The Courage Of Others"

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

The bandmembers of Midlake have finally emerged almost four years after their last CD with The Courage Of Others, a quieter, moodier and genuinely beautiful album.

Idol Season 9: Top 20 -- The Men

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

A good improvement for a number of men this week on American Idol ... but then, so many of them had so much room for improvement.

Idol Needs Me, Says Producer Steve Lillywhite

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

What began as an off-handed comment by a fan on Facebook has blossomed into a full-blown campaign to replace Simon Cowell with legendary British producer Steve Lillywhite.

Idol Season 9: Top 24 -- The First Elimination

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

American Idol contestants faced their first possible elimination on Thursday night and no wonder so many of them looked freaked: very, very few of them have given performances that stand out.

Idol Season 9: Top 24 -- The Men

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

The judges touted the women but the men on American Idol offered a little more positive news in their first live performances.

Idol Season 9: Top 24 -- The Women

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

Crystal Bowersox was an instant standout from the moment she began singing. She was her own woman, and there was a harmonica break!

American Idol Season 9: Top 24 Named, Part 2

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

One storyline is clear in this season of American Idol: happy thoughts. In the midst of a recession, the producers clearly believe people want to hear good news.

Idol Season 9: Top 24 Named, Part 1

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

It remains frustrating how little of the performances we actually see. If Lost can launch an entire university online devoted to its backstory, why can't Idol post every single audition that snags a golden ticket?

The Best CDs of 2009: It's Never Too Late to Hear Great Music

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

It's never too late to get a recommendation for great music. So here are my picks for the best albums of 2009.

Explaining John Mayer: He's a Musician

Eric Deggans | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Eric Deggans

Imagine what sort of things we might have learned about musical genius freakizoids like Prince, Michael Jackson or Little Richard if they had been inclined to expose themselves on something like Twitter or Facebook.

Reflections On Taylor Swift and the Music Biz Boogeyman

Jorge Hernandez | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Jorge Hernandez

We're tired of all the superficial, talentless artists the music biz boogeyman is forcing on us.

The Classic Crime in Haiti

Jorge Hernandez | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Jorge Hernandez

Classic Crime, a Seattle-based band, inspired by a previous trip to Port-au-Prince are working hard to draw attention and raise money for Haiti with their music.

Idol Season 9: Hollywood Week Day One

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

Ellen. That was the big event of the day for me. How would Ellen Degeneres fit in? Would she get along with the other judges

Nick Jonas: A Kid After a Boomer's Own Heart

Chris Willman | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Chris Willman

The danger for young master Jonas is that, as seriously as he takes music, he's on a career carousel that will encourage him to indulge himself as a multi-hyphenate at the cost of being an artist.

Idol Season 9: Auditions -- Finale

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

The auditions finale for American Idol was both the most entertaining and enjoyable show so far... and the lowest rated at just 20.8 million viewers.

Idol Season 9: Auditions -- Denver

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

A brisk, well-edited show with 26 winners heard or glimpsed but not one that excited me. Did you think any of the people headed to Hollywood had what it takes to go all the way?

Lady Gaga Live: the Queer Pop Ghost in the Machine

Alex Pasternack | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Alex Pasternack

What's fascinating to me about the Gaga phenomenon is the way it pushes the bar past our cynical expectations for a super-glossy, multi-media, over-hyped 21st century pop star.

Idol Season 9: Auditions -- Dallas

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

American Idol finally has a breakout star this season. Unfortunately, it's not an unknown talent but the very popular TV, movie and Broadway star Neil Patrick Harris.

Idol Season 9: Auditions -- Los Angeles

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

Just barely more than one good audition every 15 minutes made this show drag on. And since about 22 people got through to Hollywood, why did so few of them make the cut for air time?

Listen Up

Jeremy Gerard | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Jeremy Gerard

The title track on "The Ache of Possibility," Louis Rosen and Capathia Jenkins' most recent album, is a kind of knife-edged psalm.

Idol Season 9: Auditions -- Orlando

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

I thought Tuesday might have been a fluke, so I held off on trumpeting it. But it happened again Wednesday. Idol scored 26.1 million viewers on Tuesday and 26.7 million viewers on Wednesday.

Idol Season 9: Auditions -- Chicago

Michael Giltz | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

One hour felt like two hours in Chicago where talent was thin on the ground. As a result, the judges were so relieved to hear people that didn't suck, they let some through that didn't deserve it.

What Does It Mean When British Pop Fans Rage Against the Machine?

Mark Blankenship | Posted 05.25.2011 | Media
Mark Blankenship

Like anyone, I enjoy a lot of the pop music dispensed from Simon Cowell's empire, but it's just exciting to see this netroots campaign unseat the winner of Britain's American Idol-like X-Factor with a 15 year-old song about revolution.