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American Idol’s current crop of finalists had one eye in the rear view mirror on Wednesday, as season 13’s top eight finalists put new twists on their audition songs.
Now Idol Worshippers, we know you watched along as two fans were treated to hugs from CJ Harris and watched host Ryan Seacrest throw candies on Harry Connick, Jr., but read on for more juicy tidbits from inside the CBS soundstage on Wednesday.
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Don’t Scare the Viewers: Does it look like the in-house audience is having a blast? First of all, they are. But it’s also worth noting that when the cameras aren’t rolling, there are crew members hyping those fans to the point of near collapse. You might think that the overzealous crowd could do no wrong (“You’re gonna be on TV tonight! All of you!” they are repeatedly told), but there’s one condition: “Don’t look right into the camera,” audience hype-man Cory Live told the crowd. “It scares the people at home.”
STORY: ‘American Idol’ Recap: The Top 8 Revisit Their Audition Songs
Let Me Take A #Selfie: The polarizing dance track often plays before showtime, but audience members are actually encouraged to keep their phones handy during commercial breaks to snag selfies with J.Lo and Keith Urban. (Fellow judge Harry Connick, Jr. doesn’t often participate in the pastime.) Ms. Lopez spent her fair share of commercial breaks wheeling around the stage on her chair and snapping selfies with the fans. On multiple occasions, she had to be wheeled back to the table just in the nick of time.
Don’t Worry, It’s Just An Earthquake: Due to recent events on the West Coast (oh, just a handful of quakes have hit L.A. in recent weeks), the audience was prepped on what to do in the event of a shaker — locate your nearest exit and find a crew member wearing a red blazer.
Sing-a-longs: With both Jessica Meuse and Alex Preston performing original compositions on Wednesday, not many viewers were likely to know all the words. Their fellow competitors, however, not only knew the words but sang along in time. Urban called attention to this during Preston’s “Fairytales,” but THR couldn’t help but notice Caleb Johnson putting his heart and soul into singing “Blue-Eyed Lie” from the sidelines of his duet partner’s solo set.
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Hi, I’m … : Following the broadcast, the top eight gathered backstage to give their reactions to the press corps. During THR’s sit-down with Dexter Roberts, the “One Mississippi” singer introduced himself with a handshake and a, “Hi, I’m Jack Black! Nice to meet you.”
Don’t Clap to This Beat: Before Jena Irene and Preston took the stage to put their twist on Pink and Nate Ruess‘ “Just Give Me A Reason,” the audience was instructed not to clap along. “It’s kind of a tricky beat,” they were told.
High Five: Johnson has found a fan in Lopez. The pop star was spotted giving him a high five as she exited the stage on Wednesday. No big deal, guys.
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