Kirstin At 'IDOL:' The Set Was Still Being Built Minutes Before The Guys Performed!

Wed, March 2, 2011 7:53pm EDT by 4 Comments

American Idol isn’t just about the singing. Check out all the drama you DIDN’T see when the cameras weren’t rolling!

American Idol seems pretty cut and dry on the surface. The contestants come out and sing, the judges critique the performances and the audience votes on its favorites…right? Actually, as HollywoodLife.com learned last Friday during the Top 12 guys’ show, watching a taping live in the studio audience is quite a different experience than watching the hit reality show on the small screen — and we have all the inside details.

You may think you saw it all, but here’s what FOX didn’t show you:

  • The new set, which holds 700+ audience members, has been completely redone. In fact, the stagehands were still drilling the judges’ table together as the audience was finding its seats.
  • No matter who is crowned the next American Idol, Steven Tyler will still be the biggest star of the show. Whenever his name was mentioned by the stage manager, Nigel Lythgoe, the audience warm-up guy or even Ryan Seacrest, the crowd went NUTS. They chanted “Steven, Steven!” and even gave the Aerosmith rocker multiple standing Os.
  • Executive producer Nigel Lythgoe is determined to make Randy Jackson the new Simon Cowell. During commercial breaks, Nigel grabbed the microphone and encouraged the audience to boo Randy when he was mean to contestants. “[He’s] being very naughty,” Nigel said.
  • He may seem reluctant on the surface, but Randy is eating up his new role as “the harsher judge.” “It must be this chair,” he joked during a break, referring to Simon Cowell. “Someone used to sit in this seat…”
  • Marc Anthony is super supportive of his wife, Jennifer Lopez, and sat behind her with his family, cheering her on the entire time. Several times Marc and Randy started chatting during the breaks.
  • During the breaks, Stephen took tons of notes (what in the world was he writing?), while Nigel and J. Lo chatted and Randy joked around with Marc.
  • After the show wrapped, the audience had to stay for pick up shots — and even a re-shoot! Apparently there were problems with the steady cam during Jovany Borreto‘s first performance, so he had to sing his solo a second time. The judges had already left though, so their reactions on the actual show were from his original act. Pretty tricky, huh?

As I said in my Top 12 recap, watching the guys in person was unbelievable and even better than seeing them on the small screen. Honestly, we haven’t seen this level of talent on American Idol for years. Click here to read who I think will make the Top 12 — do YOU agree? Who do YOU think deserves to stay? Sound off below!