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TMZ Infiltrates "Idol"

4/12/2007 2:45 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

TMZ secured entry into last night's J.Lo episode of "American Idol" -- and we've got the dirt on what went on behind the scenes!
After going through metal detectors, checking our cell phones/cameras at the door, and depositing our gum into the CBS Studio page's blue cup (no gum chewing allowed on camera), TMZ was ushered to our seats. Celebrities in the audience included Eva Longoria, Sharon Osbourne, J.Lo BFF Leah Remini, and most interestingly, 80s TV bad girl Donna Mills.

Remini brought some of her tough Brooklyn girl edge to the "Idol" set, as staff made an entire row get up and move so she and her hubby, Angelo Pagan, could sit on the aisle. When a page tried to get Leah to dispose of her gum, she shot him an evil death-ray look that sent him cowering back to his post. The power of Xenu!

Booted "Idol" hopeful, curly-haired Chris Sligh entered the studio and the crowd roared with applause and cheers. Sligh must be a huge fan of "King of Queens," because he made a beeline for Remini and introduced himself. Pre-teen fans roamed the set asking for autographs from ex-"Idols" like Sligh, Alaina Alexander (who traipsed around in trollopy red five-inch heels), and Season 5 diva, Mandisa, membah huh? Some Fanjayas even approached Sanjaya Malakar's sexy sister Shyamali for her John Hancockakar!

Just prior to going live, judges Simon, Randy and Paula entered the studio while high-fiving fans with their burly bodyguards in tow. When they weren't on camera, guards never left their sides -- never underestimate those menacing soccer moms! Say what you will about Ms. Abdul, but the foil-wrapped woman made it a point to go up to fan after fan during commercial breaks, while Randy and Simon waved from their perch.

Last night's Akon performance was not live. The studio audience watched a pre-taped performance on a screen, just like everyone at home. Before J.Lo's performance, Longoria chatted up Remini and her husband, while Simon and newly-named "America's Got Talent" judge, Sharon Osbourne, kibbitzed on the side. Taking bloody notes?

Everyone was on their feet when Jennifer appeared on stage and sang her new Spanish-language single "Que Hiciste?" The fiery performace filled the studio with so much smoke, that production staff scrambled to air out the set by the end of the next commercial break. Muy caliente!

When Ryan Seacrest revealed that Phil Stacey was safe, Sanjaya's mom and sis let out cheers. Apparently, they weren't Haley Scarnato fans either!

After the show ended, producer Simon Lythgoe announced that Mr. J.Lo, Marc Anthony, who was backstage supporting his wife, was asked at the last minute to tape a humorous segment for the upcoming "Idol Gives Back" charity special. Marc obliged and lip-synched a version of "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees in front of a green screen. It seems that rumors of the demise of the musical marriage are just that -- rumors! Chisme!

The final surprise of the night came with one more unannounced performance; P!nk was in the house to tape a segment for an upcoming episode (like Akon). Simon, Paula and Randy didn't stick around for P!nk, so audience members sat in for the trio. P!nk, who looked amazing in a form-fitting dress, sang her infectious hit "Who Knew," while the remaining "Idol" contestants sat in the back, groovin' and studying how an authentic pop star moves.

Four hours after arriving to the "Idol" set, we were finally released on our own recognizance!

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Whammer Jammer    

I continue to be glad that I don't watch this crap and have no idea who any of these singers are. I'm much better off for it.

2714 days ago

LOL girl    

Did anyone notice how cocky Chris acted when it was him and Sanjaya left standing for the bottom three? I loved it when Sanjaya was told to sit down - shut Chris up. I just wonder about that story TMZ ran about Sundance and him saying that there was a male Idol contestant that was so stuck on himself that he believes he will win, you think it is Timberfake?

2714 days ago


American Idol is stupid. Leah is too ugly to have a bad attitude, come on. She is an ignorant cow, who else with class would be chewing and popping gum like that? She needs to take her ugly ass back to Brooklyn and be a waitress or something. She is disgusting I willchange the channel on my television set anytime I see or hear her. Yuk! Yuk!

2714 days ago


Hey Whatever--You're the minority. Racists are going extinct. Can't wait for your turn.

2714 days ago

c'mon...get a clue    

How does this story relate to Imus?

2714 days ago

just keeping it real    

I think Americian Idol should be on BET. next season....................................

2714 days ago


Why does everything nowadays gotta be political or racist!?!?!? I just don't get it anymore! Who cares who started MTV, everyone watches it anyway!! Let these people be! Stop with the racist comments its getting played out already!

2714 days ago


#1, John---jealous of Chris, are you? You sure sound it!

2714 days ago


#12, whatever----you sound like the biggest, most bigoted asshole on the planet!!!

2714 days ago


311, "just me"--somehow, I think they will all survive without your approval!!! They just keep making HUGE deposits at the bank, and leave you in the dust!!!

2714 days ago


I go to alot of Dance clubs and a few Karaoke Bars and believe me!! not all African Americans can dance and sing!! It's the same with everyone regardless of race. As for American Idol, they need to allow the contestants to choose the songs they like to sing that way their true personality will shine through. When they have to choose a song that's 30 years or 40 years old how can they make it sound young!. They need to make changes if they want People to keep watching!

2714 days ago


#6, Naprem--you just exposed yourself buddy--this happens only in your mind!!!

2714 days ago


Such drama. I love this site for that. I have noticed that alot of people are commenting on how dull this show has become. I write a lot about that on my blog:

2714 days ago


4. I used to enjoy watching Leah Remini, now she is just plain irritating. She used to be funny & down to earth. Now she comes off as better than everyone else. What happened to her?

Posted at 1:54PM on Apr 12th 2007 by Dani


Leah Remini became a Scientologist, that's what happened to her. Well, she was already one, but now she's not hiding it and is recruiting. Watch out for J-Lo and hubby joining, as rumors have circulated around them, now that Jennifer Lopez and Leah are *best friends.*

Scientology is held out as salvation to Hollywood types with failing careers. They get each other jobs and hire mostly other scientologists for their projects.

2714 days ago

Mermaid Fairy Girl    

I've had a real fun time reading all your comments this afternoon. The song was Money for Nothin not I want my MTV, but you are right, Whatever, MTV ruled in the 80's and 90's. My first son was born the same year as MTV and that is when it rocked. Anyway, thank you all for the entertaining comments.

2714 days ago
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