Category: Idol Notes

'American Idol': Finalists lean on heavyweight producers to tackle personal idols

AI

Much has been said about the transformations that producers would bring to the revamped season of “American Idol,” leaving purists to ask: Will it rejuvenate the aging show, or will the stream of tweaks flounder? 

One change that had the potential to make the most difference -- besides new judges, of course -- was the addition of some marquee music producers to help the contestants dress up theme nights. 

Viewers got the first taste of this when the 13 finalists took the stage Wednesday to tackle songs by their personal idols.

Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Universal Music Group's Interscope Geffen A&M Records and the competition’s in-house mentor, enlisted his own dream team of producers to rotate duties, including Polow Da Don, Rock Mafia, Rodney Jerkins, Don Was, Jim Jonsin, Ron Fair and “Tricky” Stewart –- and that was just for the first week (Timbaland and Alex Da Kid are also confirmed for the show as well).

The producers were each given a finalist and had a hand in arranging and producing his or her selected song, all under the watchful guise -- and often criticism -- of Iovine.

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Video: Chatting with 'American Idol' finalist Lauren Alaina

After Thursday night's show, Pop & Hiss caught up with the 13 chosen "American Idol" finalists, who were immediately (and we mean immediately) thrust into the spotlight of flashing lights and eager reporters looking for a sound bite from America's new darlings at an after party thrown in their honor Thursday night at the Grove. 

Check out video interviews of them all. We chat about favorite artists, inspirations, who they'd love to cover if given the chance (Black Keys! Esperanza Spalding! Beyonce! Usher?) and if they think they have what it takes to walk away with the crown this year.

Lauren Alaina 

Hometown: Rossville, Ga.

Currently resides: Rossville, Ga.

Age: 16  

Related:

Idol Notes: Pop & Hiss lends an ear to the tunes that play out on "American Idol"

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

twitter.com/gerrickkennedy

Video credit: Gerrick D. Kennedy / Los Angeles Times



Video: Chatting with 'American Idol' finalist James Durbin

After Thursday night's show, Pop & Hiss caught up with the 13 chosen "American Idol" finalists, who were immediately (and we mean immediately) thrust into the spotlight of flashing lights and eager reporters looking for a sound bite from America's new darlings at an after party thrown in their honor Thursday night at the Grove. 

Check out video interviews of them all. We chat about favorite artists, inspirations, who they'd love to cover if given the chance (Black Keys! Esperanza Spalding! Beyonce! Usher?) and if they think they have what it takes to walk away with the crown this year.

James Durbin 

Hometown: Santa Cruz

Currently resides: Santa Cruz

Age: 22  

Related:

Idol Notes: Pop & Hiss lends an ear to the tunes that play out on "American Idol"

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

twitter.com/gerrickkennedy

Video credit: Gerrick D. Kennedy / Los Angeles Times



Video: Chatting with 'American Idol' finalist Ashthon Jones

After Thursday night's show, Pop & Hiss caught up with the 13 chosen "American Idol" finalists, who were immediately (and we mean immediately) thrust into the spotlight of flashing lights and eager reporters looking for a sound bite from America's new darlings at an after party thrown in their honor Thursday night at the Grove. 

Check out video interviews of them all. We chat about favorite artists, inspirations, who they'd love to cover if given the chance (Black Keys! Esperanza Spalding! Beyonce! Usher?) and if they think they have what it takes to walk away with the crown this year.

Ashthon Jones 

Hometown: Valdosta, Ga.

Currently resides: Nashville

Age: 24  

Related:

Idol Notes: Pop & Hiss lends an ear to the tunes that play out on "American Idol"

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

twitter.com/gerrickkennedy

Video credit: Gerrick D. Kennedy / Los Angeles Times



Video: Chatting with 'American Idol' finalist Jacob Lusk

After Thursday night's show, Pop & Hiss caught up with the 13 chosen "American Idol" finalists, who were immediately (and we mean immediately) thrust into the spotlight of flashing lights and eager reporters looking for a sound bite from America's new darlings at an after party thrown in their honor Thursday night at the Grove. 

Check out video interviews of them all. We chat about favorite artists, inspirations, who they'd love to cover if given the chance (Black Keys! Esperanza Spalding! Beyonce! Usher?) and if they think they have what it takes to walk away with the crown this year.

Jacob Lusk 

Hometown: Compton

Currently resides: Compton

Age: 23  

Related:

Idol Notes: Pop & Hiss lends an ear to the tunes that play out on "American Idol"

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

twitter.com/gerrickkennedy

Video credit: Gerrick D. Kennedy / Los Angeles Times

Video: Chatting with 'American Idol' finalist Stefano Langone

After Thursday night's show, Pop & Hiss caught up with the 13 chosen "American Idol" finalists, who were immediately (and we mean immediately) thrust into the spotlight of flashing lights and eager reporters looking for a sound bite from America's new darlings at an after party thrown in their honor Thursday night at the Grove. 

Check out video interviews of them all. We chat about favorite artists, inspirations, who they'd love to cover if given the chance (Black Keys! Esperanza Spalding! Beyonce! Usher?) and if they think they have what it takes to walk away with the crown this year.

Stefano Langone 

Hometown: Kent, Wash.

Currently resides: Kent, Wash.

Age: 21  

Related:

Idol Notes: Pop & Hiss lends an ear to the tunes that play out on "American Idol"

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

twitter.com/gerrickkennedy

Video credit: Gerrick D. Kennedy / Los Angeles Times

Video: Chatting with 'American Idol' finalist Scotty McCreery

After Thursday night's show, Pop & Hiss caught up with the 13 chosen "American Idol" finalists, who were immediately (and we mean immediately) thrust into the spotlight of flashing lights and eager reporters looking for a sound bite from America's new darlings at an after party thrown in their honor Thursday night at the Grove. 

Check out video interviews of them all. We chat about favorite artists, inspirations, who they'd love to cover if given the chance (Black Keys! Esperanza Spalding! Beyonce! Usher?) and if they think they have what it takes to walk away with the crown this year.

Scotty McCreery 

Hometown: Garner, N.C.

Currently resides: Garner, N.C.

Age: 17   

Related:

Idol Notes: Pop & Hiss lends an ear to the tunes that play out on "American Idol"

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

twitter.com/gerrickkennedy

Video credit: Gerrick D. Kennedy / Los Angeles Times

Video: Chatting with 'American Idol' finalist Paul McDonald

After Thursday night's show, Pop & Hiss caught up with the 13 chosen "American Idol" finalists, who were immediately (and we mean immediately) thrust into the spotlight of flashing lights and eager reporters looking for a sound bite from America's new darlings at an after party thrown in their honor Thursday night at the Grove. 

Check out video interviews of them all. We chat about favorite artists, inspirations, who they'd love to cover if given the chance (Black Keys! Esperanza Spalding! Beyonce! Usher?) and if they think they have what it takes to walk away with the crown this year.

Paul McDonald 

Hometown: Huntsville, Ala.

Currently resides: Nashville

Age: 26 

Related:

Idol Notes: Pop & Hiss lends an ear to the tunes that play out on "American Idol"

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

twitter.com/gerrickkennedy

Video credit: Gerrick D. Kennedy / Los Angeles Times

Video: Chatting with 'American Idol' finalist Naima Adedapo

After Thursday night's show, Pop & Hiss caught up with the 13 chosen "American Idol" finalists, who were immediately (and we mean immediately) thrust into the spotlight of flashing lights and eager reporters looking for a sound bite from America's new darlings at an after party thrown in their honor Thursday night at the Grove. 

Check out video interviews of them all. We chat about favorite artists, inspirations, who they'd love to cover if given the chance (Black Keys! Esperanza Spalding! Beyonce! Usher?) and if they think they have what it takes to walk away with the crown this year.

Naima Adedapo 

Hometown: Milwaukee, Wis.

Currently resides: Milwaukee, Wis.

Age: 26  

Related:

Idol Notes: Pop & Hiss lends an ear to the tunes that play out on "American Idol"

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

twitter.com/gerrickkennedy

Video credit: Gerrick D. Kennedy / Los Angeles Times



Video: Chatting with 'American Idol' finalist Thia Megia

After Thursday night's show, Pop & Hiss caught up with the 13 chosen "American Idol" finalists, who were immediately (and we mean immediately) thrust into the spotlight of flashing lights and eager reporters looking for a sound bite from America's new darlings at an after party thrown in their honor Thursday night at the Grove. 

Check out video interviews of them all. We chat about favorite artists, inspirations, who they'd love to cover if given the chance (Black Keys! Esperanza Spalding! Beyonce! Usher?) and if they think they have what it takes to walk away with the crown this year.

Thia Megia 

Hometown: Hayward, Calif.

Currently resides: Mountain House, Calif.

Age: 16 

Related:

Idol Notes: Pop & Hiss lends an ear to the tunes that play out on "American Idol"

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

twitter.com/gerrickkennedy

Video credit: Gerrick D. Kennedy / Los Angeles Times

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