'American Idol': The inevitable scandal roundup

145258__mandisa_lWhat kind of a week would it be if there wasn’t some kind of American Idol drama to discuss? One where I’d be sweating and shaking in the fetal position under my desk, that’s what kind. Not to worry, though, at this very second I’m neither shivering nor the least bit clammy, thanks to Mandisa, Elliott Yamin, Chris Daughtry, and Paula Abdul. Thanks guys!

- First up on our docket of dishonor, a sharp-eyed writer at Reality TV Magazine briefly spotted Taylor Hicks’ name and toll-free number on screen during Mandisa’s performance of ”Shackles (Praise You)” on Tuesday night. Fox officials refused to comment on the snafu, but a source close to the show pooh-poohs that the technical glitch lasted less than a second, and that Mandisa’s 888-number appeared correctly through the rest of her performance and during the end-of-show recap. In other words, probably not a big deal, especially considering the popular belter escaped the bottom three last night.

- While we’re on the subject of Mandisa (pictured), The Advocate.com has a story questioning whether this season’s power vocalist is part of the ex-gay movement. Writer Neal Broverman points to Mandisa’s official Idol page, where she says her personal American idol is author and speaker Beth Moore, of Living Proof Ministries, whose website contains links to so-called ex-gay organizations such as Exodus International. Broverman also wonders what exactly Mandisa meant with the shout-out that preceded her Tuesday performance: ”This song goes out to everybody that wants to be free. Your addiction, lifestyle, and situation may be big, but God is bigger.” When asked for an explanation, a publicist for Idol told me it’s not the show’s policy to comment on contestants’ personal lives (and apparently not their on-air remarks, either). That said, as a gay Idol addict, I’m not ready to label Mandisa a homophobe just yet. In fact, I got more of a ”God loves everyone” vibe from the ”Shackles” performance. Now ‘Disa, don’t prove me wrong, or it’s gonna break my heart!

-Just a tidbit I missed while basking in the brilliance of Elliott Yamin’s vocals this week was the fact that he flubbed the third line of Gavin DeGraw’s ”I Don’t Want to Be.” Listen for yourself!

-Remember all that tabloid scuttlebutt about Paula Abdul getting replaced by Jessica Simpson or Deborah Gibson? Not happening! The Idol judge who always sees the glass half-full (of something) has signed on for three more years of duty.

-And lastly, for those of you still seething that Chris Daughtry wasn’t shown giving credit to Live for his arrangement of Johnny Cash’s ”I Walk the Line” last week, the band’s lead singer, Ed Kowalczyk, released a statement giving props to the Idol hopeful, according to MTV.com (scroll down). "We wish Chris the best of luck in the competition," Kowalczyk said. "I thought he did a great job with the song. There’s no doubt he’s a talented performer and I hope he goes far.” Ditto for me — as long as the dude promises to never again cover Creed.

addCredit(“American Idol: Ray Mickshaw/FOX”)

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  • stefanie

    I totally caught Elliott’s flub during his performance… I was shocked the judges didn’t say anything about it, especially during this part of the competition.
    thank goodness Simon finally told Chris something that I’ve been wanting to tell him for the last couple weeks. every performance is the same… it’s true. He really needs to do something different… it’s getting very boring.
    my man Taylor pulled through yet again… I loved his performance.
    I’m surprised there was no mention in this post about Katharine being in the bottom 3 instead of Bucky… and that she was in the bottom 2 instead of Ace…
    that teenage girl demographic can really mess things up.

  • David

    That’s some pretty salacious stuff about Mandisa. It makes a good deal of sense (the pre-perf. shout-out and the ties to the ex-gay speaker). If I were betting – which I’m not but it’s always fun to pretend you are – I’d put my money on this scandal growing in coming weeks (days?). I don’t think she’ll win regardless, but there’s no way this new info won’t cause a stir. She might be gone sooner than she deserves to go.

  • jcoop

    i wasn’t feeling mandisa’s song…it dropped her notches in my esteem. and what else did she mean by ‘lifestyle?’ that’s the international buzz word for gay and lesbian. unless she was referring to swingers.

  • Josh

    I don’t have it taped so can’t check, but I could have sworn that there was a brief mention that Chris was performing another band’s take on ‘Walk the Line’ during the little segment of him with Barry Manilow. Was I the only one who caught it, or have I imagined this?

  • Ben

    Say it ain’t so Mandisa!! I too am a gay Idol addict and I predict her to be Top 4 or even Top 2 but that won’t happen if the speculation is true. And I have to say that Michael Slezak is my new idol…you are hilarious!

  • Brian

    Katharine was in my top 3 list, but America’s bottom 2 list. WTF AMERICA??!

  • Brian

    Katharine was in my top 3 list, but America’s bottom 2 list. WTF AMERICA??!

  • Joey

    I hadn’t read Mandisa’s bio before this week’s show, but was immediately pissed off when she announced she was going to be singing a Mary Mary song…aren’t they the homophobic christian group who had an anti-gay song a few years back?

  • Christina

    From the second Mandisa’s bio was posted on the Idol website she has come across to me as a so called “God Warrior.” The opening to her song Tuesday night confirmed that to me. Plus did you see how uncomfortable she looked when Paula said that there was now a “church of Mandisa.” When Paula said that it appeared that was a big no-no in her book. I’m not gay but I do fear that Mandisa does hold some opinions that a lot of people would not be happy with.
    I caught Elliot flubbing the lyrics too. He recovered enough that it was a non-deal though.

  • Tim L

    Ah homophobia wrapped in the veil of religion. I love how people can’t just be honest and say “I believe this.” No they have to hide it in their religious beliefs saying “Well the Bible says so so it must be right.” Well the bible also says we should see our daughters into slavery and not touch the skin of a dead pig. Guess it all depends on social context but as long as we have garbage like that performance last night being spouted we arn’t going to get anywhere.

  • Lori

    What happened to judging a person on their performance and singing ability and talent…not their personal life!?! If someone wrote off a contestant because they were gay, wouldn’t people be in an uproar? What Mandisa chooses to believe is her business. To judge her because you may believe differently is completely NOT tolerant!!!

  • Jomcol

    Mandisa – American Idol?? I don’t think so. Chris – a little too boring – but that man, Taylor Hicks, he has is all.

  • jcoop

    lori,
    judging someone for being gay is not the same as judging someone for being anti-gay. it is totally within reason to stop supporting a contestant who is intolerant of a group of people based on their sexual preference. just like it would be within reason to dismiss someone for being racist. hate is hate!

  • Jill

    Did anyone else wonder if Shakira and Wyclef Jean were lip syncing? I thought his first line where he shouts out ‘Shakira’ was heard, but the camera was on him and his lips didn’t move. I don’t have Tivo, so I can’t check for sure, but they both seemed really off and like the camera avoided too many close-ups.

  • Janean

    Elliott also mixed up the first and second lines of his song, if I’m not mistaken (sang them out of order, I mean). I think that’s what threw him off for the third one. Doesn’t matter, though, he’s still one of my favorites.

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