01:03 AM EDT 04/18/2014

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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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Credit: Frank Micelotta/FOX
American Idol's Group Round Brings the Mama Drama

American Idol

American Idol's Group Round Brings the Mama Drama

Originally posted 02/07/2014 07:15AM

The group round of American Idol's Hollywood Week is always filled with drama, and this year was no exception: Harry Connick Jr. quit the competition.

As a joke, of course.

"I am dropping out of the judges' panel," Connick said, after the surprising exit of Tiquila Wilson, who quit without warning to follow her dreams of becoming a gospel artist.

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Credit: REX USA; WireImage
American Idol Cuts More Than 100 Singers as Hollywood Week Begins

American Idol

American Idol Cuts More Than 100 Singers as Hollywood Week Begins

Originally posted 02/06/2014 06:30AM

American Idol's Hollywood Week featured a big twist this year – after touching down in L.A., all of the contestants were gathered in a airport hangar, where either their talent soared or they flew home.

A total of 52 singers, who the judges were on the fence about, were asked to sing a song of their choice to survive.

Following their impromptu performances, they were divided into groups and asked to get on one of two buses without knowing their final destination: A Hollywood hotel or the departure lounge. In the end 20 of those singers made it through – but the drama was just beginning.

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Jennifer Lopez Shows She's Still Jenny From the Block in New Video

Jennifer Lopez Shows She's Still Jenny From the Block in New Video

Originally posted 01/31/2014 06:45PM

In case you forgot, she's still Jenny from the block.

Jennifer Lopez released a new music video on Thursday for her "I'm-still-a-straight-up-Bronx­gal" single "Same Girl."

The American Idol judge went back to her roots, taking a camera crew back to her old neighborhood, the Bronx.

The video shows the 44-year-old walking the N.Y.C. streets and is reminiscent of her 2002 "Jenny From the Block" video (minus her then-beau Ben Affleck kissing her bikini-clad tush).

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Credit: Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP
American Idol: An Air Force Singer and 'Chipmunk' Country Crooner Soar

American Idol

American Idol: An Air Force Singer and 'Chipmunk' Country Crooner Soar

Originally posted 01/31/2014 07:45AM

The final tickets to Hollywood were handed out on Thursday's American Idol, and the last singer to book a seat on the plane reminded Harry Connick Jr. of … Barbara Mandrell?

Referring to the popular '70s and '80s country singer and TV star, Connick told Tessa Kate, a 25-year-old from Branson, Mo., that she had the same timeless "vibe."

Kate sang "Folsom Prison Blues" by Johnny Cash and although Jennifer Lopez said the guitar-playing performer "almost went into chipmunk territory" with her high-pitched notes, Keith Urban said, "You've got your own lane."

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Credit: Steve Granitz/Wireimage
American Idol: Keith Urban's Kindness Inspires a Contestant

American Idol

American Idol: Keith Urban's Kindness Inspires a Contestant

Originally posted 01/30/2014 07:00AM

Keith Urban learned how a few encouraging words he spoke backstage after an awards show inspired a contestant who auditioned for American Idol on Wednesday.

Casey Thrasher, 22, a father of two young children from Tuscaloosa, Ala., recalled his unexpected yet inspirational meeting with Urban after the CMAs in 2012.

"You were humble enough to come over and speak to me. You said, 'I believe in you, brother,'" Thrasher said, before launching, appropriately enough, into an emotional performance of "Believe" by Brooks & Dunn.

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Credit: Courtesy Glamour
Jennifer Lopez Conflicted About Her Body as She Gets Older | Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez Conflicted About Her Body as She Gets Older

Originally posted 01/28/2014 07:30AM

Jennifer Lopez has mellowed out a bit when it comes to rigorous exercise. But old habits die hard – and she admits to being conflicted about letting go of the drive to look perfect.

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Credit: Michael Becker/FOX (2)
American Idol: Kids Rule the Night

American Idol

American Idol: Kids Rule the Night

Originally posted 01/24/2014 08:05AM

If the Atlanta auditions on Thursday night's American Idol are any indication, "Hotlanta" might soon be known as "Totlanta."

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Credit: Frank Micelotta/FOX
American Idol: Harry Connick Jr.'s Hilariously Bad Audition

American Idol

American Idol: Harry Connick Jr.'s Hilariously Bad Audition

Originally posted 01/23/2014 06:45AM

There have been a lot of awful auditions over the past 13 seasons of American Idol, but there was one so bad Wednesday night that it might even top William Hung's infamous performance.

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Credit: Michael Becker/FOX
American Idol: The Son of Season 1's Nikki McKibbin Gets a Ticket to Hollywood

American Idol

American Idol: The Son of Season One's Nikki McKibbin Gets a Ticket to Hollywood

Originally posted 01/17/2014 09:30AM

The second night of American Idol featured a few familiar faces and a whole lot of characters.

For the first time, a second-generation Idol hopeful earned a golden ticket: 15-year-old Tristen Langley – the son of season one's rocker girl Nikki McKibbin, who finished third behind Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini – sang a cool version of Sublime's "Santeria" to earn his way to Hollywood.

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