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'American Idol' daily: Tragedy strikes Idolland

November 13, 2008 |  7:10 am


A terribly sad day in Idoldom.  As has been widely reported, a former "Idol" auditionee named Paula Goodspeed, a longtime fan and follower of judge Paula Abdul, apparently killed herself outside of Abdul's  home. 

In her 2005 audition segment, Goodspeed is  shown eerily discussing how since she was a child she has made a hobby of drawing pictures of judge Adbul, before she goes on to be summarily dismissed after a typically misguided rendition of "Proud Mary."

This news raises frankly mixed feelings for this "Idol" critic.  First of all,  whatever the temptation to point fingers, one cannot lay blame  at the feet of the show as the cause of the tragedy; suicide is a messy, complicated, very personal matter.  Someone as deeply unable to cope as Goodspeed apparently was could have been pushed over the brink by any number of things, and one certainly cannot blame the depths of her illness on her brief brush with fame.

That said, the audition episodes can make for some uncomfortable moments, as some seemingly unstable people are brought into a  combustible situation.  With the handful of these people who seem to cross the line from mere narcissism into mental illness, one finds oneself wondering what is being stirred up.  Not, as I said, that the show should be held responsible for what happens to those who clearly suffer from troubles much much bigger than a bad audition, but it does seem at times a potentially explosive combination.  It will be interesting to see in the new season whether this aspect of the show is reined in at all.

Most importantly, though, our thoughts and prayers are now with the family of Goodspeed and with Paula Abdul in what must be a very harrowing experience all around.

Happier "Idol" news in the day's roundup after the jump.

"American Idol's" domination of the CMA Awards was complete this year with reining "Idol" queen Carrie Underwood not only taking home her third trophy in a row for female vocalist of the year, but also taking over as the show's hostess.  Reviewing the best and worst of the show, the L.A. Times' Stephanie Lysaght named Underwood "most refreshingly immodest,"  writing, "CMA co-host Carrie Underwood has finally shed the aw-shucks demeanor of yesteryear for calm confidence and perfect poise."

Elsewhere on the show, Season 5 favorite Kellie Pickler raised eyebrows in a leather minidress, which Lysaght dubbed the night's "most perplexing costume."

Season 2 runner-up Josh Gracin has had his fourth child with wife Ann Marie Stephens.  According to US Weekly, daughter Isabella Sophia was born Wednesday morning.

David Archuleta's album stood for a second day Wednesday at No. 2 on the iTunes top albums chart.

Five days until David Cook's album hits the stores.

Sixty-one days until Season 8 begins.

And to the kids at Hollywood Week: Be strong!  Destiny is calling.

-- Richard Rushfield

Photo: Paula Abdul's home. Credit: Nick Ult / Associated Press

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