'American Idol': The inevitable scandal roundup | EW.com

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'American Idol': The inevitable scandal roundup

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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.

Originally posted March 30 2006 — 11:00 AM EST

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