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American Idol

Go Inside the American Idol Contestants' Lounge

American Idol

PEOPLE Takes You Inside the American Idol Contestants' Lounge

Originally posted 03/19/2014 10:20AM

American Idol's Top 13 are just as excited to watch the show as couch potatoes as the viewers are at home. It's just a different couch.

"You get to watch a free concert right in front of you and also feel a part of the TV show. It's fun," contestant C.J. Harris, 23, tells PEOPLE of spending the performance shows watching from the blue couches in the stageside contestants' lounge.

In seasons past, the contestants have spent the performance shows backstage until it's their turn to grab the mic. But the season 13 singers are unanimously excited to watch their fellow competitors.

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Credit: Michael Becker/FOX
American Idol's Jena Irene, C.J. Harris and Alex Preston Stand Out from the Pack | Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban

American Idol

American Idol: Jena Irene, C.J. Harris and Alex Preston Stand Out from the Pack

Originally posted 03/13/2014 07:00AM

American Idol's Top 11 sang songs from the cinema on Wednesday, but who possessed the Gravity to impress the judges and which contestants are destined to be Gone with the Wind?

Jena Irene, 17, who was in the Bottom 3 last week, earned a standing ovation from Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez, and a prolonged ovation from the crowd, following her electrifying performance of "Decode" at the piano.

Urban said there was a "ferocity" about the way she performed the Twilight song, comparing it to "hurtling along the edge of a cliff," while Lopez called it the best performance of the night and yelled, "America, get on board!"

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Credit: Michael Becker/FOX
American Idol: Pitchy Performances Get Harsh Criticism from the Judges | Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban

American Idol

American Idol: Pitchy Performances Get Harsh Criticism from the Judges

Originally posted 03/06/2014 06:30AM

There was no place like home for the contestants on Wednesday's American Idol, as the Top 12 performed songs that captured the spirit of their hometowns.

But the judges weren't feeling warm and fuzzy. Instead they were harsh on the majority of the performers, with one of last week's standouts, Jessica Meuse, taking some of the harshest criticism after her performance of Dido's "White Flag."

"You were sharp the whole time," Harry Connick Jr. said, calling the pink-haired singer's performance "blasé". "When anybody hits a high note, people applaud … that didn't happen tonight. You were so off."

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Credit: Michael Becker/FOX
American Idol's Top 13: Some Girls Shine, Others Falter

American Idol

American Idol's Top 13: Some Girls Shine, Others Falter

Originally posted 02/27/2014 06:50AM

American Idol's Top 13 debuted Wednesday, choosing songs that expressed who they are as artists and people.

And, overall, the girls did a better job of that, according to the judges, with Emily Piriz, 18, singing Pink's "Glitter in the Air," and earning unabashed praise from tough, oft-booed Harry Connick Jr. who said simply, "I'm proud of you."

"That was big for Harry!" Jennifer Lopez laughed, with Urban immediately adding, "I was waiting for the 'but.' "

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Credit: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters/Landov
What Idol Contestants Really Think About Harry Connick Jr.

American Idol

UpdatePosted 02/26/2014 07:00PM

What American Idol's Contestants Really Think About Harry Connick Jr.

Originally posted 02/22/2014 03:30PM

Harry Connick Jr. has only been on American Idol for half a season but he has already been booed more than his fellow judges Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban combined.

"As a performer you really hope to not be booed but here it just shows that the audience is really engaged," Connick, 46, tells PEOPLE.

And despite the negative critiques some of the contestants have received throughout the season, they remain positive about the jazz artist and his comments.

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Credit: Michael Becker/FOX
American Idol's Top 13 Features Some Surprise Picks

American Idol

American Idol's Top 13 Features Some Surprise Picks

Originally posted 02/21/2014 06:15AM

Who made the Top 13 on Thursday night's American Idol?

Dim the lights …

After the nationwide vote, America's Top 5 Girls are Malaya Watson, Emily Piriz, Jessica Meuse, Majesty Rose and MK Nobilette.

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Credit: Michael Becker/FOX
American Idol: Early Favorites Make the Top 10 Boys | Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban

American Idol

American Idol: Early Favorites Make the Top 10 Boys

Originally posted 02/20/2014 06:30AM

It may have been ladies night Tuesday on American Idol, but the boys stole the spotlight Wednesday.

Once again, the judges only called to the stage the 10 singers who impressed them most, eliminating the remaining five.

Rocker Caleb Johnson, 22, kicked things off and stayed true to form with "Stay With Me," a "real rock star" performance according to Jennifer Lopez, who added, "It's your time."

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Credit: Todd Williamson/Invision/AP
American Idol: Randy Jackson Returns as the Top 10 Girls Perform

American Idol

American Idol: Randy Jackson Returns as the Top 10 Girls Perform

Originally posted 02/19/2014 06:15AM

There were new twists, familiar faces and loads of drama on American Idol Tuesday night, as the ladies kicked off the first of the live performance shows.

The new twists? In what was dubbed Rush Week, the judges reviewed tapes of the Top 15 Girls and picked the 10 that impressed them the most to perform, surprising the ladies one at a time.

The familiar faces? Randy Jackson, the "Dogfather" of Idol, was back to mentor the contestants, leading a sort of Rush Week "wisdom workshop" for the pledges, which included vocal coaching from former Idol contestants Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry, and guidance from stylists, a movement coach, and a pair of spiritual advisers.

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Credit: Michael Becker/FOX(2)
American Idol's Latest Twist: Viewers Choose the Final Top 30 Singer | Drake, Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez

American Idol

American Idol's Latest Twist: Viewers Choose the Final Top 30 Singer

Originally posted 02/14/2014 07:40AM

The final contestants were added to American Idol's Top 30 Thursday night … almost.

In a surprise twist, the judges couldn't decide which singer would round out the Top 15 Boys and, for the first time, are leaving it up to America to choose.

And it all came down to the odd couple: country singer Ben Briley, 24, who sang "Stars" for his final solo performance, and silky voiced Neco Starr, 22, who sang "Halo" by Beyoncé despite battling a cold.

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American Idol's Top 30 Includes the Show's First Openly Gay Contestant

American Idol

American Idol's Top 30 Includes the Show's First Openly Gay Contestant

Originally posted 02/13/2014 07:00AM

After thousands of auditions, hundreds of golden tickets and weeks of performances, there was a first on Wednesday's American Idol: An openly gay contestant made the Top 30.

M.K. Nobilette, 20, broke that barrier, saying, "I'm very obviously gay, and there are always gonna be people in America … who will definitely hate me, but I think that in the last two years there have been a lot of things that have really changed that."

"The world is changing," said Jennifer Lopez, "and we think you could be an American Idol."

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