Exclusive: Justin Guarini On American Idol’s Final 8

By Justin Guarini
Fancast American Idol Correspondent
Host of Reality Chat: Idol Wrap and Idol Tonight,
TV Guide Network


I was sitting at CBS Television city, waiting for the show to commence, and laughing to myself. It’s always a pleasure to be there. Even when I have to wait a while before I get to do my interview. I like to think of my time there as a family reunion, and I feel fortunate to be a small wheel in the workings of television history. But enough musing about me; fast forward to the show.

Last night I was given the privilege of watching the show from inside the green room, where I sat with various Fox, Fremantle, Idol execs, and their families. My publicist Jeff was there too. He’s always good for a laugh, and it was nice to spend some time with him. I’ve been in the room at various moments throughout the years and it used to be an area that was basically cordoned off by huge, heavy black curtains. A faux room that was nicely appointed with tables, a wet bar (lots of coke products) and a catering for the guests.

Well this year they’ve stepped up everything The room actually has walls, real ones, that have a rather elaborate sun design painted on them. It’s much like a TV sitcom set, but with tables instead of couches. They even threw in some fake ferns (tastefully appointed) to give it a lively feel. It was from here, with chicken wing in hand that I saw the show.

“Nine to Five” — Whoo hoo! I love that song, even if it’s painfully squeezed into a group medley. I’m also glad to read that some of you like the movie as much as I do. Was Dolly smokin’ hot or what?


I never liked Wednesday’s. Even before AI. They’re made all the worse by having to say goodbye to one of the people we’ve broken our fingers voting for each week. Such is Idol life…

To the eliminations, Batman-

I’m gonna keep this brief, cause I think we know by now, barring any unforeseen goofs or complete wrong song choices who is headed for the elimination interviews with Me, Rosie, or Kim over at least the next 2 weeks. It’s starting to skew towards the obvious, mostly because the same people keep getting put into the bottom 3. Sure, a Carly, or a Syesha, or like tonight a Brooke will get thrown in because of the fact that their performance wasn’t as strong as it usually is…but you know that when those guys (or gals in this instance) are down there, that it’s just fodder for our own personal anxiety attacks. Not that we would have an impersonal anxiety attack, but you get what I’m trying to say.

I am not at liberty to say who I think the next two people to go will be. However the writing is on the wall for at least one of them. (Sigh)…or is it? (Double sigh…((yawn))

Tonight was a great show for me. Not only was I sitting among friends and colleagues, I was watching Dolly do her thing on stage. I was amazed at how strong and vibrant her voice still is. She’s as lively as she was in 9 to 5! She is by no means “old”, however most people in her position would have given up trying to do what she seems to do with the ease of a woodland sprite. She’s got more money than she’ll ever be able to spend in this lifetime, and probably in many lifetimes. So, what’s her secret? How does she stay so young in spirit? I for one would like to find out. I’d also like to have one one-hundredth of her catalogue. Dreams can come true…

Dolly literally graced us with her song and we were left to watch the remaining contestants march out like convicts to the guillotine steps. Oops, I almost forgot! How touched were you by the Idol Gives Back montage? Wow, I don’t cry much, but I was on the verge with the beautiful story they showed about the two sisters who were lost then found. As if there weren’t already ten million reasons to give to this special program…we just got one last night.


“Yea right”! I and the rest of America thought. Poor Brooke, on what is by its very nature an emotional night, she was forced to endure the bottom three. Not fair, not deserved, but we can only blame ourselves.
Brooke sits…surprise, surprise.

Aaaaaand Kristy iiiiiiis….safe.

Once again Kristy escapes by the hair of her chinny-chin-chin.


RM finally falls to what was, I’m sure, the mounting pressure on America to vote her off. I’m happy for her that she lasted this long, but am mildly surprised. Fortunately, no one that wouldn’t have gone within the next two weeks anyway didn’t go in her stead. I think I used a triple negative in that last sentence. To hell with good grammar!

I would have rioted if Brooke, for example left. I would have ripped open the huge doors that shield the studio from the outside world, ran up on stage and…been shot to death on national television…former Idol or not. (sigh) In reality would have probably been really mad, I guess, and sulked at home. Alone. Alas, neither was my fate. Besides the going home alone part, I guess.

Anyway RM looked like she knew that she was doomed, didn’t she? Sad to se her go, but not unforeseen. She’s gonna be huge in The Philippines…I’m not kidding, she’s gonna be a superstar, and rightfully so. I wish her all the best.
Until next time…

Homepage photo credit: Matt Beard

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.
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