LOS ANGELES – Even though "American Idol" judges Paula, Randy and Simon signed on to strut their stuff for a seventh season and host Ryan Seacrest insists they all just spent a "compelling and dynamic" week with an army of "amazing" finalists in Hollywood, it seems the seams are slowly splitting.
"Oh, God, when people ask me whether or nor we're getting along this year, I always kind of start stumbling. It depends on the weather, or what day it is, or whatever other criteria Mr. Cowell decides," Paula Abdul told Pop Tarts while on a photo shoot for the FOX reality series last Friday.
"I don't know whether or not if I should walk on the same side of the street, or walk across the street. I don't know. It's just, wherever the wind's blowing. We either get along like we are as thick as thieves, or I've been known during Hollywood week to change my seat and make Randy sit in the middle. It just is what it is."
And Seacrest agrees that the surf is stronger than ever this time around — and we’re not just talking about the tunes that are being churned out.
"At times and especially this season things have become a bit intense," Ryan said.
But for once it isn’t Simon stirring up behind-the-scenes sagas with Seacrest.
"Randy and his attitude this year is beyond what I've seen before. I don't know what's going on in his life, but something clearly is agitating him, so you might want to get to the bottom of that," Seacrest said.
"In general, we're like everybody else who spends a lot of time together — we laugh a lot and there's a little bit of frustration every once in a while. There might have been only one time that a judge stormed off the set, and you're going to have to get to the bottom of who that was."
So was it Randy running off in a rage? After all, he was being somewhat silent…
"Somebody did storm off the set. That's all I'm going to say," he said.
Has 'Idol' Taken Place of 'Lazy' Record Companies?
Speaking of "Idol," it seems even a winner has a bone to pick with the viewers.
Jordin Sparks is riding high following the release of her latest single, "Tattoo," but the reigning "American Idol" has issued a backlash against anyone who says that as a rhythmical reality star she hasn’t had to struggle for her success.
"Being on 'Idol' really, really was like a training camp because it helped me a lot with interviews and how to respond to the camera when you're being filmed, as well as the audience and the judges at the same time. How to pick the right song, what looks best on TV, how to dress, just it was a ton of different things," Sparks said to FOX.
"But above all it helped a lot to build up stamina, because we had the craziest schedules ever. People only think that we sing a song on TV for a couple minutes each week, and it's way more than that. And in terms of the tour, I have never sung that much in my life, so it really taught me how far I can push myself, how far I can push my voice."
And just as Sparks swears that winning the show doesn't mean she was handed success on a silver platter, executive producer Nigel Lithgow says the real "laziness" can be found in the record companies.
"I think this is great exposure for finalists whether they win or don’t win — just look at what’s happened to Daughtry and his band since being on 'American Idol.' He came third or fourth and there he is No. 1," Nigel told Pop Tarts.
"What saddens me a little bit is the recording executives aren’t going around and finding them. It’s now down to television shows to do it, which is a little strange for the record companies. They can just sit on their a— and wait for them to win on a television show and sign them up — lazy."
And as for season seven, it seems as though the worst are getting worse.
"I think every season you think people have learned after last season or the season before that and they don’t, so I love it," he said. "I think it’s remarkable that these people delude themselves like this or their family deludes them and say you know you’re a great singer, you should go on 'American Idol.' They must be tone deaf."
And according to Abdul, there are certain spots that the saddest singers hail from…
"We got off to a rough start as we went to Philadelphia and Charleston and the talent was not so great," she said. "But then we got to San Diego, which was the real hub for everyone from Los Angeles to San Francisco to Las Vegas, and we found a tremendous amount of talent so things were certainly looking up after that. Phew."
Lindsay vs. Paris: Whom Did Stavros Choose?
Lindsay Lohan may have moved on from her rehab romance with Riley Giles only a week ago, but it seems she has no intentions to "Li-Lo" when it comes to getting a little lovin’.
According to spies for the New York Post's Page Six gossip column, Stavros Niarchos (the former flame of former friends Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan) attended a recent bash at Hollywood hotspot Crimson alongside the hotel heiress before leaving her high and dry to hang out with the reformed rehabber.
"Paris looked a little bummed," a source said. "But nothing gets her down for too long. She was back busting a groove before too long."
Britney Has a New Beau?
Britney Spears never ceases to surprise, but we have to admit the "Crazy" crooner has left us a little perplexed by her apparent choice of dating destination.
Prying paparazzi spotted the pop princess strutting her stuff at the 76 gas station twice on Tuesday night. The first time Spears slammed solo, but the second time she was with a guy.
Brit told her paparazzi "pals" his name is Robert, and when asked if he and the songstress were an item, Robert responded by laughing. Surely, Brit ain’t that bad!
Johnny Depp Gives Helena Bonham Carter a Bikini Wax?
"I had a shaky hand when I was lathering people," Johnny Depp, the star of "Sweeney Todd" told FOX. "But I got to give Helena [Bonham Carter] a bikini wax. The clock was ticking and she got a little afraid."
But before you start thinking that "Willy Wonka" has gone a bit bonkers, he actually plays a butchering British barber in the movie based on the Broadway musical.
And even though he doesn’t mind getting his hands "hairy" by hurting others in the film, Depp won’t turn the tables.
"It’s actually really terrifying, 'cause you got some guy who you don’t know who's got a knife on your throat and you’re thinking, 'Gee, I hope he didn’t have a fight with his family last night or this morning or he’s got some emotional problems,'" Depp said. "You just don’t know who that barber is."
But that wasn’t the only issue bothering the Oscar-nominated actor — his character had to croon and Johnny was terrified about being in tune.
"I was hoping that I could fake it for long enough so people wouldn’t realize that I can’t sing," he said. "I was worried about subjecting people to that type of torture — I wasn’t sure if I could do it."
As for Depp's own facial hair issues, it looks like he doesn't need to go to the barber that often.
"The fact of the matter is this is full beard for me; this is the whole megillah right here," he said, referring to his barely there beard. "Just a few hairs, about seven. Maybe I’m going through puberty. They say my voice is gonna change soon, so it'd be mortifying to go in and be shaved in like 15 seconds."
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