'American Idol' Top 10 Boys Take the Stage: 8 Things You Didn't See on TV
Judges' stand-ins, season 13 hopefuls and Randy Jackson converge on the "Idol"-dome.
If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, does that explain the difference in how they act on the Idol stage?
Wednesday marked the boys’ turn to sing on the second live show of American Idol XIII and things inside Stage 36 at CBS Television City weren’t all that similar to that of girls’ night on Tuesday. As always, your faithful Hollywood Reporter Idol worshipper was there to spot the differences.
1. After waiting patiently for hours outside, and then waiting even longer once inside the Idol-dome, audience members are grateful for any activity at all and are eager to applaud the slightest hint that the live show is about to begin. That explains the loud clapping of hands at 4:30 p.m. as a stage manager introduced the judges. Only it wasn’t the actual judges. The part of Keith Urban was played by Tom DeBone, Jennifer Lopez was portrayed by Lori Hall and filling in for Harry Connick Jr. was Larry Toffler. They are the regular stand-ins for the season 13 judges and usually do their work before audience members file into the studio. On Wednesday, they had to do their walk from behind stage to the judges’ desk four times, and each time they did it, the audience applauded louder.
2. Cheers came again at 4:35 p.m. when the 16 male finalists were walked into the audience and seated in the bleachers. On Tuesday, the 15 female finalists were escorted to their seats at 4:33 p.m. They did receive some applause, but not as much as the boys. Their moment in the spotlight was eclipsed by the four rehearsals for the judges’ stand-ins, which were still taking place.
3. There was even more applause at 4:57 p.m. as former judge/current mentor Randy Jackson took his seat among the crowd.
4. On Tuesday night, as each of the 10 women walked onto the stage, they remained silent and introspective until they received the stage manager’s cue to begin singing. That pattern was broken immediately by the first male out of the holding room tonight. While his boot camp video was playing, Caleb Johnson began shouting out to the folks in the audience, asking them, "Feelin’ good?" and "Y’all ready?!"
5. Family members of the contestants have special reserved seating in a section of the bleachers so they can cheer on their loved ones. The Hollywood Reporter was seated right behind C.J. Harris' mother Stephanie and girlfriend Britney, who leapt to their feet when C.J.’s name was announced. Their support wasn’t limited to C.J.; they continued to cheer and stand for the other male contestants as well.
6. Another difference between the men and women: as each new girl took to the stage on Tuesday, the other women remained seated in the new on-stage lounge area. Wednesday was a whole new story, as the guys in the lounge were on their feet right at the edge of their corner of the stage so they could slap hands with each new arrival.
7. Now that audience members can bring their mobile phones into the arena and are encouraged to use them on commercial breaks, it was a common sight to see warm-up host Cory Almeida taking photos of audience members with their own phones, using the judges or American Idol signage as backgrounds. When Almeida called up three students from San Diego State University on stage to take a photo, he warned them that Jennifer Lopez was photo-bombing them.
8. During the longer commercial breaks, Almeida ran up to the balconies to talk to audience members who were standing high above the stage. An hour into the show, Almeida found a young Connick fan named Kelly who told the warm-up guy, “I think I should go down there and take a picture.” Almeida agreed, escorting the youngster down the stairs, making sure she didn’t run so fast that she would fall. Connick jumped out of his chair and met his fan part-way. She got more than a photo; she received two big hugs from the newest Idol judge.