March 13, 2005

Mario Leaves American Idol [Updated]

By Michele

American Idol 4 top 12 finalist Mario Vazquez withdrew himself from the competition on March 13th, stating personal reasons for his decision. Mario was a fan favorite and expected to do very well this year, possibly even capturing the title of American Idol 4 Winner.

Inside sources tell me that Mario was unhappy and felt like this was not the place for him. He was having a difficult time in many areas and although he appreciated this opportunity, he chose to leave
immidiately.

Nikko Smith, who was the last male contestant to be eliminated from the show will take Marios vacant top 12 spot and continue in the competition this year.

If you'll take a look at the Idol contestant page, you'll see Nikko's photo where Mario's used to be.

Thanks to Greg for the heads up on this.

So what does this mean? It means that Bo's chances of being in the final round just got higher. I originally thought it would be Anwar and Mario as the final two - now with Mario gone, Bo has a chance to get in there.


More here .

Update:

Drudge now has this:

Vazquez tells “Extra” that, “It was a very, very hard decision on my part…‘American Idol’ was only positive and wonderful with me…but overall, my intuition told me there was things I really needed to take care of, personal areas in my life that I’m trying to keep private…to me that meant that I couldn’t continue on with the competition.” Vazquez goes on to say, “Everything is great! I’ll be expecting some bad press and some good press, but that’s what comes with being in the public.”

So what's Mario running from?

AHA!

Wario.jpg

Somebody is up to no good! (Thanks, Skillzy)

 

Comments

How odd! Just the other day, I was one of 12 finalists in a contest with a million dollar prize, and then I just said "Ya know, I'm unhappy and I just don't feel like this is the place for me", and quit.

Call me Master of the Obvious, but there's something more going on here.

Posted by: dave at March 13, 2005 08:13 PM

Gotta root for my Alabama homeboy. Also I wasn't a very big Mario fan.

Top three:

Bo
Anwar
Nadia

Posted by: Gabe at March 13, 2005 08:13 PM

What Dave said. It just doesn't make sense: Mario was a favorite among the fans *and* the judges, so any difficulty he's having can't have anything to do with the show.

What a shame; on the other hand, I'm glad to see Nikko's back in it, because I was really ticked off that he was voted out.

Posted by: Kathleen at March 13, 2005 09:35 PM

I'd wager he left before he was asked to leave - contestants in the past have had some of their prior exploits exposed.

Posted by: Trish at March 13, 2005 10:05 PM

The only "news" coming out about this was his brother's comments that this "was for something good" or something like that - maybe he got a record deal elsewhere - now.

Posted by: Tom at March 13, 2005 10:47 PM

Ugg how annoying! I had money bet on Mario to win. Not only was he talented, he was also quite attractive. Oh well. Anthony is my next personal favorite, the boy can sing. Out of the past 3 American Idols, only one was deserving, and it wasn't season 2 or 3. Hopefully we can get a deserving American Idol again this year...

Posted by: Danie at March 13, 2005 11:31 PM

My heart is broken now that Mario has left the competition, I actually thought that he had good chances to win AI but unfortunately he's gone. Wherever you are Mario I Love Ya 4 ever and I will always be your fan #1. Peace

Posted by: Kayly at March 14, 2005 02:23 AM

Ugh. One more week of Nikko.

I kinda feel bad for him, it's likely he'll be voted off a second week in a row. How.. embarrassing.

Posted by: Nikki at March 14, 2005 01:38 PM

I just can't believe he wanted to leave due to personal problems, his own MOTHER said the family was fine so I think something personal about him was going to come out, something negative and AI wasnt going to take it. I think he was pushed out.

Posted by: maldonor at March 14, 2005 04:21 PM

no way nikko smith would be voted out this week. he's better than just about any of the women in the competition.

*crosses fingers for mikayla to be gone*

Posted by: dtp at March 14, 2005 05:00 PM

Mario is a quitter. Hopefully Nikko will get tossed again this week. I don't think they should have brought anyone back but let everyone sing this week and surprise them all and not vote anyone off 'cause Mario left. Peace! ro

Posted by: Roger L. Fischels at March 14, 2005 05:08 PM

You can bet that Mario's evil twin Wario had something to do with this.

Posted by: skillzy at March 14, 2005 05:48 PM

...personal areas in my life that I’m trying to keep private...

I knew it...Gay Porn.

Posted by: Sekimori at March 14, 2005 06:00 PM

ok, i was kinda dissapointed because i dont like Nikko at all, they could of at least brought Tavis back, instead of him.. i was kinda upset Mario was gone, we all liked him. What i heard is that he got a record deal somewhere. so i hope that is why he left.

Top Three
Constantine
Bo
Venzel

i also like makala she is pretty good, i want her goofy self back.. she is trying to be someone she aint.

Posted by: jaimelynn at March 14, 2005 06:30 PM

Wow. Mario was my absolute favorite! I wanted him to win and I was rooting for him from the start! I totally think that American Idol is a fix. He should not have left! I blame Mario for this too, it isnt fair someone else got to come back!

Posted by: irina at March 14, 2005 06:54 PM

It's great that Mario is gone and Nikko's back. Nikko should never have been gone in the first place. Especially after Constanine's pathetic performance. Go BO!

Posted by: PM at March 14, 2005 07:14 PM

Too bad! Mario was a sure winner. His fans would like to know how he does and if he ends up recording...

Posted by: Kaleb at March 14, 2005 07:19 PM

Yeah!!! Nikko is back. I was extremely disappointed when he was voted off last time. I think he is the best of all the guys and derserves another chance. I think Bo and Constantine need to go! Hurry please!

Posted by: Kate at March 14, 2005 07:22 PM

That is so disappointing that Mario is gone. I really thought he was going to win it all. Now that he is gone, I almost don't want to watch anymore.
~make Mykala go away~

Posted by: Katie at March 14, 2005 07:29 PM

Oh my GOD. U guys i can't catch the show without my favorite Mario. He was the best out off all 4 guys. I will miss u mario and i love u for ever.
BYE HONEY (._.)

Posted by: RORO at March 14, 2005 07:50 PM

Not shocking. I thought he was a big phoney anyway... he's perfect for hollywood.

Posted by: Liz at March 14, 2005 07:52 PM

Aww!! im so disapointed that Mario left! he was my favourite from the start and i thought he was goin to win! I hope he did at least! hes the hottest by far and hes so talented! I barly even wanna watch the show anymore! I really hope he gets some sort of record deal!hes amazing.Anywayz..im gonna go #1-Fan MARIO!!!

Posted by: Emily at March 14, 2005 08:03 PM

What is wrong with you people? Nikko is a great singer. The Rockers need to go! And as far as Mikayla goes.."Rock on". I hate Mario is gone, but what is the problem with bringing someone else back? It IS the top 12 not 11, idiots.

Posted by: Val Jack at March 14, 2005 08:07 PM

I can tell that almost everyone is sad over Mario's exit. I know that all of my friends are upset. Nikko got more votes than Travis last week so it's only fair that Nikko comes back. I agree that he is much better than many of the female contestents. But Mikayla is wonderful. She just needs to get back to her spunky self. The ones that need to leave are Vonzelle(who is boring even the few times that she sings well) and Lindsey(again boring, and sings worse than Vonzelle). And Anthony is going to start really tripping up this week because although I like him all he can sing is Marc Anthony and Jon Secada songs. It'll be funny to watch the contestents trying to sing songs out of their norm. So far this year they all have thier own niche but few of them have shown that they can sing a variety of songs. But you know what...good luck to all of them(Especailly the 6 of them that could truly have sucessful singing careers).

Posted by: Jessica at March 14, 2005 08:11 PM

Maybe he and Michale Jackson had a thing and he is up next at the trial. But it's ok. I would just advise Mario that whatever happens, don't let go of Michale's hand.

Posted by: D at March 14, 2005 08:15 PM

Jessica,
Vonzelle is a very good entertainer with lots of potential. She has "it." Don't do drugs. Say ugg to drugs and nope to dope . . .you dope.

Posted by: D at March 14, 2005 08:18 PM

I was very disappointed to hear about Mario leaving American Idol, and I'm super curious about his reasons why, but I'm sure we will soon find out. I think it's very fortunate and fair for Nikko to be coming back, he is such a talent and this will be a good chance for people to vote for him and keep him in the competetion longer like he should have been. I'm sorry... I was a huge fan of constintine's at the beginning, but he doesn't compare to some of the others same goes for that blonde haired kid with the glasses... so welcome back Nikko!!

Posted by: Tara at March 14, 2005 08:23 PM

I heard that "D".

Posted by: valjack at March 14, 2005 08:23 PM

I just started watching AI this year. Of course I like Carrie, but I think Anwar is the best of the guys. I just hate it that Mario left because that place could have belonged to someone else all along. I mean someone else could have even possibly made it to the actual competition if it wasn't for him taking a spot then backing out...be realisitc, whatever is wrong now probably was wrong the whole time! Why decide now when you're in the top 12 to bow out?

Posted by: Farmgal at March 14, 2005 08:47 PM

i am embarassed to even be on this website right now because i am a closet american idol fan. However i find it very strange that Mario has decided to leave the competition and I have to know why!! He would have for sure made it to the final two. I think he got a record deal. I would really like to know if that is against American Idol rules. Im sure this is not the last we see of Mario. On a lighter note I love Mckela but I think she should should have her own talk show.

Posted by: jeanvieve at March 14, 2005 09:26 PM

sounds like someone was ready to blackmail the boy and goto the tabloids..............hope he got a record deal!!!

Posted by: rheapypooh at March 14, 2005 09:36 PM

I bet 'cha $10 bucks within the next week the media will have gotten some dirt on Mario. He was asked to step down by AI. Remember the dude a few seasons ago that was ousted by AI because he physically abused his sister? He was the best thing since Mario. Wouldn't you know it? The best seem to always have a criminal past. Boo hoo. I don't have a favorite now. The competition could end and I wouldn't miss it. The girls are all awful. I wouldn't take a CD from them if they gave it away. Well maybe ... but I wouldn't pay for it. The guys? Constantine is out of the 80's. Great voice. I love the guy. The show needs these rockers to keep it interesting. I didn't watch last season because I was tired of the emphasis on young kids trying to get famous. It's really pathetic to watch sometmes. I'm sick of the pouting. How about that Amanda last week? Just when you think you're so good, you're not good enough. Shucks.

Posted by: Barbara Richards at March 15, 2005 12:14 AM

boo hoo......Mario was the best. Well at least Nikko has a chance to prove himself and we can vote off that blonde nerdy Clay wannabe.

Posted by: sj at March 15, 2005 02:20 AM

Yea, Nikko is back. I think Mario might be gay and scared that it is going to come out and American Idol is probably scared also. It really does not matter because if America gets it right, Bo is going to win anyway!!!

Posted by: schamp at March 15, 2005 07:35 AM

It's a shame they even put 6 gals through, I didn't think there were 6 of them worth watching. They'll probably be the first to go (especially Mikala- she is soooo annoying!)
Picks: Anwar, Bo and Constantine.

Posted by: Steph at March 15, 2005 09:37 AM

I agree-gay porn

Posted by: Steve at March 15, 2005 10:22 AM

please mikala sings through her nose and the rockers suck........anthony is a clay wannabee

top three
carrie
anwar
nikko

Posted by: robin at March 15, 2005 11:11 AM

Personally I think Mario got a recording contract offer.... He's quite talented and adorable. And with Gay porn in the mix he can't go wrong! ;) Seriously, I do think he's quite talented and I'm SURE he will go very far in his musical career!

Posted by: Stephanie at March 15, 2005 11:35 AM

Mario was my 18 year old daughter's fave! She is so disappointed now. I thought that he was a cute guy and a good singer, but unlikely to win it all. My heart belongs to Constantine and Bo! I LOVE Rock and Roll!!

Posted by: Mindy at March 15, 2005 11:53 AM

Mario is gay! That is the skeleton is his closet. Isn't it obvious - not that there is anything wrong with being gay... he just isn't ready to come out yet. Oh...I think Constantine is the worst thing on TV! If he is not voted off this week, I may have to rethink my Idol loyalty.
My Top Three
Anwar
Bo
Nadia

Posted by: nichad at March 15, 2005 03:12 PM

Constantine is awsome, and so is Bo, i hope they are either in the top 4 or 3..maykala is good too.. but i hope Venzel makes it, she lives in south west fl, and i do too..

GO VENZEL!

Posted by: jaimelynn at March 15, 2005 05:17 PM

i read on this other site...that mario has been seen in a many of gay clubs out in Cali..or wherever he is from. I knew he was gay....look at his hips...hahahha

Posted by: june at March 15, 2005 06:56 PM

So sad that a person needs to do what is right for them and they have to be classified as gay-porn or like Michael Jackson. Get real here!!

By the way I am rooting for Bo and Nadia.

Posted by: JustMe at March 15, 2005 07:22 PM

So what if Mario is gay. Amirica and AI is not ready for a gay Idol. It's a shame that someone with so much talent has to give up on his dreams because of the risk of who or what he does behind close doors may become headline news. If he was str8 do u think anyone would have a problem with that. You would never see the headline "A.I. Mario sleeps with women". However, just think how many papers will be sold with the headline "A.I. Mario sleeps with men".
Damn what have we come to.

Posted by: trevoughn at March 15, 2005 07:26 PM

Chill out. It's just speculation. And it's not the fact that he's gay (if he is) that would be the problem for him - it's got to be more than than that.

If just being gay was reason enough to leave, Clay wouldn't have gotten very far now, would he have?

Posted by: michele at March 15, 2005 07:28 PM

Mother of freaking gods, IT WAS A JOKE!! But then what do I expect of people who think the caps key is cool and can't quite spell a word without including a numb3r. Industrial strength MEH.

Posted by: Sekimori at March 15, 2005 07:31 PM

I'm glad that Mario is gone. He had a bad hair cut and an even worse singing abillity. I'm also glad that Nikko is back in. Nikko sings WAY better then Mario ever will.

Posted by: Mady at March 15, 2005 07:56 PM

Awwww... we'll all miss Mario.. He might be gay.. or he might not. Who really cares anyways? It's his business. The real question that were all dying to hear is Why. Why did he leave? We'll all know soon.. The new has a way of working.

As for the other idols --
Anwar - Wow! Great voice, has good potenical.
Carrie - Pretty girl, good voice, and would make a good country singer.
Constantine - Awesome (one of my faves) cool and has great charisma.. not the best voice though.
Mykala - Ahh! Why isn't she gone yet? Does any one beside me think she sounds exactly like Fran Drescher (the nanny)?!? She is soo annoying. Boo.
Bo - He will be the next American Idol. He's got a great voice. American loves him as well as the judges. He's not my pick but that's okay.
Nadia - Good. And cute.
Scott - Why is he even there?!? He's not the good.
Jessica and whoever else I'm forgeting - Not very memrable.
---Christie

Posted by: Christie at March 15, 2005 08:05 PM

As stated at abcnews.com,

"He declined to comment on whether he was unhappy with the "American Idol" contract he and the other contestants signed two weeks ago and which industry observers have called restrictive."

Open your eyes!

"Industry observers" called the contract restrictive... he is obviously getting a bigger contract. One that won't allow him to participate in the competition.

Don't get me wrong, I like Bo and Nadia, but Mario would have won Idol this year.

Posted by: AP at March 15, 2005 09:09 PM

I just want to say for the record that Makala deserved a lot better for her performance of Son of a Preacher Man. She is by far better than many whom the judges praised. Makala, GREAT job!!!

Posted by: TalentScout at March 15, 2005 09:29 PM

Keep it real...I leave the room when Mikayla is on. Yuck! So many others are just average. Nikko is 10 times better than some of the girls, and also Constantine (gross).
My picks:
Anwar
Nikko
Vonzel

Posted by: Chris at March 15, 2005 10:02 PM

Mario left because he was having an afair with Wario and AI pushed him off the show. Who cares!! Gay or straight, if you can sing you belong.

Nah! Nah! Don't like Scott!

Nadia all the way...hey Nelly?

Posted by: Aidanne at March 15, 2005 10:41 PM

I seriously doubt Mario left for a recording contract. Why leave right before a chance to win AI and really become famous...makes no sense. Must be some skeleton in the closet we don't know about...yet.
That leaves Anwar and Nikko as the two singers left that are in Mario's league. Bo has great charisma but is not an excellent singer. Constantine actually sounded ok tonight...but judging from his past performances I still wouldn't vote for him. I wish Nadia had a better voice because her stage presence is awesome. Carrie played it too safe this evening. The blond Clay Aiken wannabe surprised me tonight by sounding the worst I've heard him. I keep expecting Lindsay to be gone but somehow she hangs in there....same goes for the Nanny. It seemed as though some of the contestants were made nervous by the new surroundings. They'll have to adjust quickly.

Posted by: Doug at March 15, 2005 11:03 PM

I just had to add that I'm also ready for Mikalah to be kicked off the show already! If I wanted to listen to that I'd tune into reruns of The Nanny!

I love Nadia, but don't expect her to make it the whole way. Without a doubt, Anwar has the most real talent. What a voice! What's with the boring chicks this year? I've got to hand it to Fran Drescher, though - she's entertaining to watch alright. Too bad she's so... for lack of a better word... icky.

Posted by: Pat at March 16, 2005 12:18 AM

Okay...I am totally perplexed here. Honestly I just don't get it...How does someone go sooo far in the competition as to make the "top twelve" and then decides that "for personal reasons" he can't continue forward? It's just to weird. I personally thought Mario had an excellent chance at winning this thing. I don't know the whole deal behind the "Real" reason for his departure, all I know that if it has anything to do with his "preference" that wouldn't have mattered to me one bit. Unfortunately, the industry isn't as understanding. Regardless, of what the reason is...eventually it will come out..nothing stays secret forever, especially when you open yourself up to the public. Good luck Mario. America isn't gonna settle for your excuses.

Posted by: Debbie Lee at March 16, 2005 12:26 AM

According to me i think that Anwar is the best. But I amstill soo sad that Mario left! He wasn't one of my favorites but he is soo much better then Anthony and Scott and Nikko! I luv the mc Nikko sang but it just wasn't right. Go Constantine, Anwar, and Nadia!!!

LuverUvAmericanIdol

Posted by: LuverUvAmericanIdol at March 16, 2005 12:53 AM

THE WOMEN THIS YEAR SUCK!!!!! ALTHOUGH THE NANNY IS A HOTTIE AND IN A YEAR EVEN LEGAL !!!??? SHE WAS SHOWING MORE T&A TONIGHT BUT IT'S NO BFD IF SHE GETS THE BOOT.

Posted by: Keith at March 16, 2005 01:18 AM

I believe that Mario was a really good singer and is also gay. He practially admitted it on David Letterman. I think Nikko is a good singer but needs to show it or he will get voted off soon- people are little upset about Mario and don't want to see Nikko take his place. I agree that Mikayla is a spunky girl, but should probably be an actress not singer. Carrie and Jessica are also great singers that I predict will be in the Top 5 along with Bo. I don't really like Nadia and Anwar as American Idols but could see them making it in the industry. By the way Anwar is also gay.

Posted by: Cynthia at March 16, 2005 10:08 AM

Heres what I think - Mario is gay and something was about to come out. Its not a new contract, because he is already under a very restrictive contract with AI, it cant be another label. Its sad he had to quit...but then again, this show has sucked since the days of Jennifer Hudson leaving. P.S. - why hasnt Fantasia had a career like Clay and Kelly? Also - yes the guys are better this year, except for Nadia and that HOT HOT blond country singer.

Final 3 will be Bo, Nadia, and HOT Country girl ( or Anwar.

Posted by: roadster2005 at March 16, 2005 10:49 AM

I think that Constantine should have his teeth whitened - We all know his voice isn't going to carry him through to the end. I don't have a favorite yet.

Posted by: rav5 at March 16, 2005 12:44 PM

Constantine doesn't need his teeth whitened, he needs to stop posing. Doesn't anyone notice the little Ricky Martin Posing 101 poses he tries. The little smirky smile (and you can't miss that double chin), or the hair flip. (Does he think he's on sex in the city?)

Actually the only real problem I have with constantine is the complete lack of talent vocally. If there weren't a lot of desperate girls who haven't had any fun in a long while, he would have been gone 3 weeks ago, when he should have been removed.

Posted by: ai_infected at March 16, 2005 03:19 PM

Okay, Mario is gone, and if he's gay, what's the big deal? There are lots of shows and lots of stars who aren't ashamed of their sexuality and the industry hasn't held them back. On the contrary - since it's a little less tense to address the issue and more and more people are open about it, the media almost tends to *want* everyone to be gay! Put your worried and curious little minds to rest children, the answer you seek will eventually have some exposure, and I'm sure even then it won't suffice... For all of you who tend to put down some of the participants: shame on you! Some of you can't even spell their names! Everyone deserves and are entitled to be where they are on the show because WE all are responsible for putting them there. Even the music industry is a democracy... it's just a shame we can't get as many votes for presidential elections as we do for American Idol... either way, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but please, please, please save yourself from being the next subject of ridicule by learning correct names, correct info, using less vulgar acronyms and by remembering a little magic word that your 3rd grade teacher taught you: proofread! err free is the way to be! ...see - Texans can be intelligible!

Posted by: Mayra in Texas at March 16, 2005 05:07 PM

Hey Mayra from Texas, thanks for the primary grammar lesson. Now maybe you can get a job during the day in an elementary school and quit editing the AI chatters. Anyway, Mario was great. Surely he and Anwar were the top two. Obviously, Anwar has the best, overall, most controlled voice. I just don't think Anwar is "Sellable".

Posted by: Denise at March 16, 2005 06:01 PM

you're all gay!!

Posted by: su madre at March 16, 2005 08:12 PM

i'm just kidding...don't offend su madre

Posted by: su madre at March 16, 2005 08:13 PM

who got voted off????

Posted by: Missygone at March 16, 2005 10:21 PM

Maybe he quit because he realizes American Idol is ruining music as an art form. Maybe he didn't want to be a sellout and a joke for the rest of his life.

Posted by: Stephanie at March 16, 2005 10:50 PM

Props to Mario if he did get a contract. I'm not sure how much most of you know about the recording industry, but most "untried" artists get terrible contracts at the start. Very much in favor of the record company. In fact, though they may give a newly-signed artist an "advance" (the first bling the artist has ever gotten) if the artist fails to be a hit, that artist must pay back the advance. Also, most record companies will spend very little on marketing an untried artist. In other words, they don't support you very much at first, until you prove you are a cash cow. And if you become one, they take most of it, and big artists by then realize they have been used.

AI is even worse in this regard. It appears that if you are on their show, they OWN you. Look at the dog-and-pony shows the former seasons' performers were forced to do - yes, I mean the "tours". Did you know they are creating AI Barbie Dolls this year? Yes, you're a star for a little while, but they own your likeness, your voice, and your time, probably for a very long time. You can't get signed by someone else. So, you don't get to "make it on your own" from the exposure they've given you on national TV. I'm sure the contract owns you for so long, your popularity is sure to fade to the point where people don't know your name. It's designed that way. They get the maximum bang for their buck, you don't.

So I suspect Mario actually read the contract he was supposed to sign, and stalled them - perhaps saying a lawyer needed to review it. And they likely put presure on him, saying that he couldn't continue to perform if he didn't sign. So he took the leap of faith - and wouldn't sign. Meaning that for the next 15 minutes, the world STILL knows his name, and someone might offer him a real recording contract. That doesn't ensure he'll be successful, but it gives him a chance to be seen as a legitimate artist, not that guy from IA (like most people think of Kelly Clarkson.) So if he did manage to land one, or is just hoping someone will offer one, good for him! I think he made the right choice. After all, what HAVE you heard from any IA "star" except Clarkson recently? Not much. Because in the long run, the majority of the music-buying public does not see IA performers as legitimate rock stars. They are just people who won a contest.

And as for the industry supporting gays... which industry are you talking about? Hollywood, TV, and Broadway, yes, to a greater or lesser extent, but the RECORDING industry? I don't think so. These are the only openly gay recording artists I can think of from the past 35 years:

Elton John (who did not come out for years)
Freddie Mercury (but it was not publicized much)
George Michael (who got outed, he never came out)
Frankie Goes to Hollywood (although it wasn't publicized much)
Right Said Fred (novelty artists)
Melissa Ethridge (wasn't out until she became famous and chose to reveal this)
KD Lang (struggled with the "gay" label - it was a hot topic in the news)

My point is that the recording industry has NOT traditionally been very interested in promoting gay artists. And I am sure AI is no exception. I'm not sure they could have asked him to leave without creating a media circus, though, unless he was paid not to talk and made to sign a non-disclosure. I am not sure they would do this, based on the fact that a couple of others who I feel may be gay are still in the competition. My thought is that they will take a "don't ask, don't tell" position on this issue, as the recording industry has always done.

Finally, I am not sure we hear the same performance that Paula, Randy and Simon (who is the onyl one with an ear, and who tells the truth, painful as it might be) are hearing. On several occasions I have had to fast forward the performance because the performer was paining me so - some of them are wildly off on their pitches - yet the "judges" thought the performance was fantastic, the best they'd ever heard! Simon has recently been rescinding his position after watching the tape, at least. Paula, on the other hand, never could sing her way out of a paper bag anyway (the pitch controller device which is now an industry standard was made for her, by the way) and neither she nor Randy really give any sort of constructive criticism. The only one who actually gives information that is useful to the performer is Simon.

This is one of the reasons I am flabbergasted that Constantine even made the competition, let alone made the Top 12. Not only do I think he simply cannot sing; he cannot keep time, either. He drags the band down in every performance. His stage schtick is horrible as well. I am sure that 14-year-olds everywhere are eating it up, but it turns me off. I hope America has more taste in the end.

Mario was certainly the finest voice among the men. I always thought his stage schtick was a little cheesy, though. A good choreographer could make that problem disappear fast.

Anwar is a pretty good singer, but he lacks that "spark" that makes you want to keep watching him. Vonzell is the same way, but she has a tendency not to be able to control her pitch as well.

The little blond boy has a pretty good voice and would probably sell very well if he entered the Christian music genre. He would probably do well in Europe, too. I don't think he is what America is looking for, ultimately.

I like Scott Savol for modern R&B and perhaps rap music. It's a shame they aren't allowed (to my knowledge) to perform music from these genres. He seems tailor-made for this.

Nadia has a fantastic look, and gives a good performance, but she has shown she's not really a singer. I would be more accepting of her as a rocker if perhaps she played her own guitar or wrote her own material.

Jessica and Lindsey are interchangeable to me. Marginally good country singers, pretty faces, but again, they don't have that extra "sparkle" of a truly gifted, exciting performer. To me, they are just so many more Celine Dions (and we don't need any more of her, lord knows. Ick.)

Nikko makes me uncomfortable watching him. He is exactly what Simon said, an imitator. He learned to do Stevie, and I guess since everyone around him thought that was so fantastic, he never learned to do HIM. And even his Stevie isn't that great - this guy is uncomfortable on the stage, and I do not enjoy watching him or listening to him for this reason.

Mikalah is interesting to me. She is very young, but she has boatloads of that "sparkle"! She needs to realize she is not, nor ever will be, Barbara Streisand. But the good news is, she's Mikalah! I think she is extremely talented and could be quite successful if she's handled right. Contrary to what someone else said, I think she'd be great for a talk/variety show.

Carrie is quintessential country. Blonde, pretty, and with a voice. She has a great personality that comes through in performance and interviews. I believe she is a major contender. But I don't necessarily think she brings anything new to the table.

Therefore, my money is on Bo Bice. He's a fantastic performer, creative, a true hard rocker, and his singing is very good. He may not be one to warble a nouveau-rococo Whitney-esque run, but aren't we all a little tired of that? Simon is once again right - it's time to have someone who actually sings the song, who doesn't just warble around it. Bo is pure, unadulterated soulful southern rock excitement. He has elements of the glory days of grunge, too, as well as groups like Sister Hazel. He is talented as a musician, so much that I can see him even doing a fantastic rendition of James Brown's "Get up off of that thing"! No matter what he performs, I am sure it will be fantastic.

-rizzir

Posted by: rizzir at March 16, 2005 11:00 PM

Rizzir,

If you have nothing to say, fine, but at least give us an opinion. Something !

Posted by: Keith at March 17, 2005 01:01 AM

Admin note: Brad's comment has been edited out because he's a homophobic jackass.

Posted by: Brad at March 17, 2005 03:52 AM

I agree with everyone who said mikaylah has GOT TO GO....Im a fan of Carrie Nadia and BO....hope thats the top 3...Constantine is hot..but just cant compete with them other voices...

Posted by: Melissa at March 17, 2005 08:55 AM

I hate bo and constatine please leave. They are the worst and the way constatine smiles makes me want to throw up. Im glad nikkio is back i was upset he left.

TOP THREE
VONZELL(MY BABY)
aNWAR
COUNTRY SINGER GIRL

Posted by: dre at March 17, 2005 12:15 PM

Wow! There sure are a lot of opions in here. I don't really care about the whole Mario/Nikko thing. Tough I did vote for Mario and not Nikko, and wodner why Mario left.
I LOVE Nadia, she rocks and is my pick to win it all. Also like Carrie and Anwar. Hope those are the top three!
This is my first season of following AI so it has been interesting and fun. Peace out!

Posted by: Eliz at March 17, 2005 12:24 PM

Mario is 100% Gay.No doubt

My picks

Bo or Nadia

Posted by: Chris at March 17, 2005 05:39 PM

Wow. Getting a lot of people on here who can't spell.

Guess not all those google searches are from weirdos.

Then again...

People, it's a show. It's fun to play with obsession, a little bit sad to actually BE obsessed.

And no, I don't count the authors here as being truly obsessed. I love them all and they kick ass. So therefore they are not obsessed.

Go ahead, try to follow THAT logic =)

Posted by: kat at March 17, 2005 05:48 PM

Oh God... Mario was eliminated... i felt so dissapointed. because im in Malaysia and don't know the latest information about American Idol. Need to wait tonight (18 mac) to watch American Idol. Kuang...kuang...kuang... I like him because of his attitude and style... also like constantine not to mention anthony.. gud luck u guys from me in Asia of Malaysia..

Posted by: Sam at March 17, 2005 10:59 PM

I am so glad NIKKO IS BACK..He shouldn't have been voted off in the first place especially when he has OUTSUNG Constatine, Scott, Anthony and all of the females..He was a favorite and ranked up their vocally with bo, anwar and mario. Nikko may not win but I have a feeling he will be around longer than people think..

As for mario, I wish him the best but more and more stories are coming out about him and how he screwed AI. Now he has hired a lawyer to get out of the contract he is in with 19E..It's about to get MESSY!!

Posted by: Lanae at March 18, 2005 04:16 AM

i thought for sure that Mario and Anwar would be the final two, but i was wrong...........i wouldn't be surprised if ratings of AI go down.

Posted by: allen at March 20, 2005 05:21 PM

I think simon has a crush on that country girl, jessica sierra.

Posted by: allen at March 20, 2005 05:36 PM

OK, the cat is out of the bag. I just heard on Court TV this morning the reason why Mario stepped out of the competition as well as other "true" dirt on the idols. When the kids, oops, boys and girls, get down to the final twelve, they are forced to sign a strict contract by American Idol i.e. Simon Cowell (who is AI). In a nutshell? Mario said no way Jose'. Smart guy. The good news? He has a recording contract from some company out of Atlanta! Yay! So, all of you can now sleep at night. He's not gay afterall. Heaven forbid if he was. Why do people automatically assume a guy has to be gay if something is "up?" Gay is a term used by teens today for weird. So? He's gay. Define it.

As far as Rueben Stoddard goes? Court TV says that he is up to his neck in lawsuits! He pulled a Justin on his agent! Bad news in Dollywood. He sued, they countersued and others stepped on the bandwagon. Rueben has disappeared like a vapor. I hope he saved his money while the going was good. Let that all be a lesson to us that if we ever win big? Save your pesos and don't spend them on fast cars and beautiful people.

I have to agree with Rizzir above. Bo is the "only" one that I would buy an album of in the entire group. Nadia? Come on! If Constantine's facial smile makes you want to puke how about Nadia! I hate the way she turns it on and off. I've never liked her for that reason. She's either had botox injections or it's for real! If she loses any more weight she'll become the stick woman for AI. A poster child for what you shouldn't turn into when you make the final twelve. The country girls? They're on the wrong competition? I think it's called "Nashville Star." The rockers should easily flow over into "Making of a Band" with egotistical P. Diddy. There are reality shows for everything today! How pathetic have we become? The challenge now as a potential hopeful is that you make sure that you get on the right program. I know that I carefully select the reality shows that I get involved in. It's almost comical really. What's not comical is when I try to vote on AI and get a busy signal. That never used to be at the beginning of the competition. I still think these contests are silently hush hush rigged. Why did Clay come in as runner up and yet he's the famous one? Do you think they wanted him to be #1 and just pushed Reuben out? A thought to ponder. Kelly was #1 yet Justin didn't amount to anything. Speaking of which, Kelly is a hottie isn't she? Her music is absolutely fantastic and she's morphed into a wonderful artist.


Posted by: Barbara Richards at March 21, 2005 12:24 PM

Sorry, I just have to give a belated guffaw to "Freddie Mercury (but it was not publicized much)."

Gee, I wonder if there could have been any hint in the name he chose for his band... (in case the purple sequined unitard didn't give it away.)

Posted by: Tanya at March 21, 2005 01:13 PM

Tanya,

You know that in the '70s folks just didn't have open conversations about these things... it was more just something that folks who were paying attention just "knew". Freddie certainly wasn't giving interviews where reporters were asking "so Freddie, are you gay?" It just wasn't seemly to talk openly about homosexuality.

I think you meant Simon Fuller is AI, not Simon Cowell. Simon Cowell is just the face of AI. He works for Simon Fuller, the producer of AI.

Incidentally, was anyone surprised that Lindsey was the one who was booted? I have to say Nikko was pretty strong, and deserved to stay this week. Lindsey, on the other hand, couldn't keep up the pace. Some people have to really work to polish a song, while others could sing "Mary had a little lamb" and make it spectacular. That's the person we're looking for - and his name is Bo.

-rizzir

Posted by: rizzir at March 21, 2005 09:55 PM

Simon Cowell is American Idol. He is the "creator" of this Idol craze and sold the idea to America. He is not only the face but the brains behind it. I bet Cowell is richer than Fuller. Without Simon, there is no Idol. Sorry. Simon Fuller is just a puppet on Cowell's string. Where did you get your information on this Fuller guy? Wrong. I say this with confidence because I'm usually always right. So there. Prove me wrong.

Posted by: Barbara Richards at March 21, 2005 11:40 PM

Simon Cowell’s music career is now infamous having, over the past 20 years, shaped what we consider to be modern pop music today.Starting in 1979 with EMI Music Publishing, Cowell (42) cut his teeth and got a taste for what the public want, a sense of commercial potential and most importantly; what makes a hit. It wasn't long before he decided to take these essential qualities and put them to use for himself, setting up his own label, Fanfare, along with partner Iain Burton. Fanfare developed throughout the 80's spawning a brace of memorable...

Never slow to recognise a bright young talent, by 1989 BMG had offered Simon a position as A&R Consultant. It was a relationship which would prove to be hugely successful, profitable and enduring, in fact since last year Cowell set-up his own label through BMG, S Records, reflecting the success and vision he has manifested.

Posted by: Barbara Richards at March 21, 2005 11:46 PM

Read more about the brains behind AI:

"Simon Cowell’s music career is now infamous having, over the past 20 years, shaped what we consider to be modern pop music today. Starting in 1979 with EMI Music Publishing, Cowell (42) cut his teeth and got a taste for what the public want, a sense of commercial potential and most importantly; what makes a hit. It wasn't long before he decided to take these essential qualities and put them to use for himself, setting up his own label, Fanfare, along with partner Iain Burton. Fanfare developed throughout the 80's spawning a brace of memorable... "

"Never slow to recognise a bright young talent, by 1989 BMG had offered Simon a position as A&R Consultant. It was a relationship which would prove to be hugely successful, profitable and enduring, in fact since last year Cowell set-up his own label through BMG, S Records, reflecting the success and vision he has manifested."

"Making records and breaking them, in the last 10 years, Cowell has achieved sales of over 25 million albums, over 70 top 30 records and 17 number 1 singles."

"The key to a successful A&R career is of course always keeping one eye on the 'next big thing', and now Cowell ...

along with Simon Fuller, another of the music industry's most talented and innovative stars,

...are doing just that. Having seen the amazing success the 'Popstars' series achieved and the level to which the public got involved, Cowell and Fuller wanted to go one step further and let the public choose who will be the biggest solo star in the UK. Thus, the conception of Pop Idols in Autumn."

"In the wings for the nation's Pop Idol was an album deal with BMG teamed with the priceless advice of Cowell and Fuller's management and A&R expertise. In other words, the person who the public chooses has the guarantee of a very exciting future in music, which explains the audition figures of 10,000; the most extensive auditions to ever be staged."

"With Cowell's direction and expertise expect more records to be broken and both Will Young's and Gareth Gates metamorphosis as two of the biggest British solo artists for today."

There. Read more at: http://fan-sites.org/simon-cowell/simon.html

Posted by: Barbara Richards at March 21, 2005 11:52 PM

Mother of GOD.

Posted by: Sekimori at March 22, 2005 10:20 AM

Cowell may be the one who knows how to create a pop star, but Fuller is the guy who creates the contracts. I found the following article at:

http://www.tvtome.com/AmericanIdol/

American Idol creator Simon Fuller sells 19 Entertainment for over $210 million

Today, Sports Entertainment Enterprises, Inc., doing business as CKX, Inc., announced that it had purchased control of SImon Fuller's 19 Entertainment Ltd., the U.K.-based company that, among other things, owns the trademark and co-production rights for the worldwide Pop Idol series, including American Idol and Canadian Idol.

Total consideration for the purchase was set at US $124.4 million plus 1,870,558 shares of CKX common stock to be paid at closing, along with an additional $36.9 million in cash or stock to be paid following delivery of audited financial results for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2005. At the end of the trading day, shares of CKX, which began trading on the Nasdaq market (symbol: CKXE) in February of this year, were priced at $26.73/share (a jump of about $10/share from their $16.91 finish on March 17 ... and the stock's all-time high), placing the total value of the package slightly over $210 million (at today's stock price).

As part of the deal, Simon Fuller will enter into a long-term development agreement with CKX. Said Fuller, ""This is a hugely exciting new partnership for myself and 19 Entertainment. CKX will provide 19 with a powerful platform for global growth and allow us to fully take advantage of all the amazing opportunities that lie ahead."

19 Entertainment takes its name from the first #1 hit performed by an artist managed by Fuller, Paul Hardcatle's "19" in 1985. In addition to the Pop Idol franchise, 19 Entertainment is a partner in a global joint venture with soccer star David Beckham and his wife Victoria Adams Beckham, the former "Posh Spice" in the Fuller-managed Spice Girls. 19 also manages recording artists ranging from the various Idol contestants to Annie Lennox.

However, recent controversy has erupted about the standard American Idol contract, which binds all winners and selected other finalists for recording, management and marketing. In May 2004, Idol 2 runner-up Clay Aiken, the biggest U.S. star produced by Idol so far, extricated himself from the management and marketing portions of the contract. Since January 2005, rumors have swirling that Idol 1 winner Kelly Clarkson is about to follow suit. And, just last week, Idol 4 finalist Mario Vazquez quit the show for undisclosed reason, which now appear to be his unwillingness to sign that same contract.

As a result, 19 may be seeing one source of revenue -- the high commissions charged to successful Idol contestants -- dry up in the near future. However, American Idol continues to dominate U.S. ratings, as it heads for its second-straight #1 finish in both total viewers and Adults 18-49, so the loss of revenue at the back end may be offset by higher front-end earnings.

This purchase of 19 Entertainment follows CKX's recent acquisition of a controlling interest in Elvis Presley Enterprises from his daughter Lisa Marie Presley. EPE owns and/or controls (1) the commercial utilization of the name, image and likeness of Elvis Presley, (2) the operation of the Graceland museum and related attractions, and (3) the revenue derived from Elvis Presley's television specials, films and some of his music. Lisa Marie, however, retains ownership of Graceland and certain of her father's personal effects.

Controlling interest in CKE is held by Robert F.X. Sillerman, who stated, "Simon Fuller and his associates at 19 Entertainment have a long history of developing and building some of the most impactful branded entertainment properties in the world. We are thrilled to have them as partners of CKX. As we grow our business, the content that 19 owns, controls, is developing, or develops in the future will become important elements in our effort to refocus the relationship between the creators of content and the distributors of that content."

The "refocusing" between CKX and 19 seems likely to produce an "Elvis Week" on American Idol 4. Stay tuned....

So we're both right, Barbara. They both are amazing men in their fields. What's more, they look alike - check out Fuller's picture at:

http://www.tvtome.com/tvtome/servlet/PersonDetail/personid-69064

-rizzir

Posted by: rizzir at March 22, 2005 07:50 PM

First of all, i think that Carrie (dayam is dat how you spell it?) is the best singer/performer. Do you have any idea how mnay goosebumps i got on me while she was singing? And yes.. i counted.. this girl can really sing, and not only country, did u see the performance on mar 22/23? it was incredible. Her voice reminds me of.. who was that one... oh! Kelly Clarkson. Yes they both share that soulful, powerfull voice! i can put 50 bucks down that she'll win


p.s. oh and to that person who said that simon has a crush on Jessica, i personally think he luvs dis gurrl, carrie ;)


~~~~~C.I. / A.I. FAN~~~~~~

Posted by: nazia at March 23, 2005 10:09 PM

I don't know if it is my age, but I definately love the rockers. As for the girls, Jessica and Carrie are my favs. However, have anyone of you listened to Makayla not looking at her? For instance, when she came on I had to go into the kitchen for a drink and I couldn't believe how off she really was. When you need to vote watch half of the song and close your eyes in the second half. You'll see what I mean. Try it on all of them, it isn't what you look like it is how well you perform and sound performing that song.

Angie

Posted by: angela at March 23, 2005 10:28 PM

So I knew Mario was gay all along! AI wouldnt want to support a gay star, and still though it's not his idea of washing his dirty linens in public. Hey "did i say dirty"? not that being gay is bad,its a free world, but ofcourse its' a personal issue, and that should remain so. Yeah, and so he has some connection to the neverland ranch of Michael Jackson, cos he usually visited it as a kid, and is supposed to testify to some allegations.

Posted by: flinstonesadrian at March 26, 2005 12:25 AM

I cant believe mario has gone cos i loved him to bits! and i cant stand watchin the show without him.. i hope the press unravels this mystery fast cos im afraid ppl mite forget about him soon!... pls i hope he'll hav a record deal somewhere! plzzz... :( Mario fans are dying out there! pls pass on the word and get him bak on tv or on the radio or anywhere so we can hear about him ! :(( *CRY*

Posted by: ilovemario at March 26, 2005 02:57 AM

Yah. Time to close comments.

Posted by: kat at March 26, 2005 04:36 PM