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Here’s something that probably didn’t translate on TV: how ridiculously hot the American Idol studio was on Wednesday night — and we mean that literally. Perhaps it was the milder-than-expected temperature outside or maybe the A/C was down, but even Jennifer Lopez had to fan herself dry during one commercial break. What else didn’t the cameras catch? Plenty, including some sweet PDA by two out of the three judges — not with each other, of course. Read on…
1. Jennifer Lopez had an extra kick in her step and some bonus rufflage to her dress which she rustled ever so strategically upon taking her seat at the judges table. It was 80s night, and as a child of that decade, her hands were in the air on minute one.
2. If you ever wondered how they decide which audience members get key camera time, the answer is simple: executive producer Nigel Lythgoe points his finger. Call it casting-on-the-spot and he’s an expert at it, as evidenced by DeAndre Brackensick’s opening seated among the studio audience. In no time, Lopez is getting her groove on and singing along to DeBarge’s “I Like It.” For his part, Randy Jackson nods in time, then looks to his right and mouths, “not bad.”
3. As Elise Testone is getting ready to take position for her rendition of Foreigner’s “I Wanna Know What Love Is,” she shakes out her shoulders in a far-off corner of the stage, peeking over her shoulders towards DeAndre as Ryan Seacrest tries his best falsetto.
4. Seacrest, perhaps extra giddy coming off of a cross-country flight from New York (he appeared on the Today Show earlier in the morning), high-fives the mosh pit members just as stage manager Debbie Williams spots a hand-made sign that says, “Obsessed with Seacrest.” What happens next? You guessed it, the woman holding it is escorted down to the front stat.
5. Gwen Stefani knows her Idol. Pointing out to bandmate Tony Kanal that goosebumps have been dubbed “goosies” on the show, the word’s TV originator, Jennifer Lopez, laughs.
6. There seems to be a lot of love in the air because seconds after accidentally rolling his chair on the bottom of J Lo’s dress, she and Steven Tyler not only hug, he plays with her hair. These judges are tight, all right.
7. By the time Colton Dixon and Skylar Laine hit the stage for a duet of “Islands in the Stream,” the judges had thrown out five “beautifuls” already (final show tally: 9). No doubt countless viewers at home are thinking: it’s going to be one of those nights.
8. Another break, another lovey-dovey session at the judges’ riser. First, Steven Tyler’s fiancée Erin Brady hops on his lap for a moment while J Lo, chatting with her beau, dancer Casper Smart, who’s on the floor, leans in to give him a quick peck. Awww….
9. Phillip Phillips’ take on Genesis’ “That’s All” received rousing applause from the Idol audience, including one boy no older than eight who jumped on his chair to nudge all of the adults in his section to stand up with him.
10. Season 10’s Naima Adedapo is in the house and looking fabulous in a super flattering khaki green dress. It doesn’t take long before Steven notices and come over for a hug. Nigel then takes Naima by the hand and walks her to the judges table so she can say hello to Jennifer and Randy.
11. Ray Chew and his band practice the opening to The Pointer Sisters’ “I’m So Excited” while audience members catch a glimpse of DeAndre’s curls as they flip from right to left — a preview of what’s to come.
12. Joshua Ledet is up next with “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” but stage manager Debbie has some instructions for the audience first: “Don’t do the sway thing,” she says. “We’re sick of it.” Here here!
13. Joshua’s performance moves Randy, who motions over and jabs his fellow judges to get their butts off the chair! Steven and Jennifer oblige with little resistance and not soon after, Randy says the “F” word — as in, finale — possibly pinning duet partners Joshua and Jessica against each other.
14. Oopsie — a technical snafu (no power to the synthesizer) delays Hollie Cavanagh’s start of “Flashdance … What a Feeling” by a minute but surprisingly, bandleader Ray Chew and stage manager Debbie don’t look all that concerned.
15. Jessica Sanchez lets the control room know when she’s ready with two thumbs up then proceeds to deliver yet another impressive Whitney Houston cover. She later told THR, “I think I pulled it off.”
16. It’s getting to the end of the show but Randy is just noticing image consultant Tommy Hilfiger sitting in section B and runs over for a quick hello and photo op.
17. Colton Dixon’s “Time After Time” clearly gets to the core of this crowd — even during the break, the shrieks don’t stop.
18. If ever there was a time for Randy to blurt out his overused phrase “we’ve got a hot one tonight!,” it was Wednesday. Sure, the room was reaching a boiling after two hours and 11 performances, but also Skylar Laine was on fire, hitting it out of the park with a powerful rendition of “Wind Beneath My Wings” that garnered her first standing ovation. And much deserved, we might add.
As for who will be on the chopping block on Thursday? Twitter and post-show press chatter point to Hollie and Elise in the bottom three, with the latter a likely save candidate. How do you think elimination night will play out, Idol Worshipers?
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