Daily Insider for November 25
Although the next season of American Idol doesn't kick off on FOX until late January, Paula Abdul reports that she, Simon and Randy have already narrowed the field down to 36 finalists. "This season, I think, is going to be favored toward the females," says Abdul. "We have some gorgeous girls with some amazing voices, and some great looking boys too. ...Two of the 36 finalists are teenage brothers from New York who'll be competing against each other. ... I think it's three girls and one guy who are just brilliant. Voices like you've never heard." For her part, Abdul is recording her first studio album in years, as well as developing a reality TV series about a dance-cheerleading squad, titled Skirts.
ACES FOR JON
In a way, rocker Jon Bon Jovi, 41, was reconnecting with his roots when he hung out at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City for an entire week prior to his recent gig there: During his teen years he played in an R&B band called Atlantic City Expressway.
Gothika star Robert Downey Jr. – clean and sober for the past two years – has big plans for the upcoming holidays. "I want to go hang out with Woody Harrelson at Christmastime in Maui," he said, assuring us there is no danger of falling off the wagon in the company of one of Hollywood's biggest marijuana proponents. "He is actually a very, very organic and safe person to hang out with."
CAUGHT IN THE ACT
Tennis ace Pete Sampras, wife Bridgette Wilson and actor Luke Wilson (no relation), enjoying dinner in a private booth at Spago in Las Vegas. It must have been good – the two men returned the following day for lunch.
Richard Simmons, buying face cream at the Yves Saint Laurent counter at Saks in Beverly Hills.
Taryn Manning, flipping through magazines as she waited to use the Liquid Sun Machine at Uvasun Tanning Center in West Hollywood.
Written by: SEAN DALY
Reported by: SEAN DALY, AMY GURVITZ, MARISA LAUDADIO, DANA MELTZER, WILL KECK and PEOPLE's N.Y. BUREAU
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