Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Your chance to break the streak of American Idol winners from the South, and the Cute Boy Theory

Fox's "American Idol 2012" Finale - Results Show - Photo Room

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American Idol winner Phillip Phillips poses in the press room during Fox's "American Idol 2012" Finale Results Show at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on May 23, 2012 in Los Angeles.

Fox's "American Idol 2012" Finale - Results Show - Arrivals

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Singer Scotty McCreery arrives at Fox's "American Idol 2012" Finale -Results Show at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on May 23, 2012 in Los Angeles.

"Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade" TV Taping At The Magic Kingdom

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Lee DeWyze, "American Idol" season 9 champion, performs 'The Little Drummer Boy' while taping a segment for the "Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade" at the Magic Kingdom on December 4, 2010 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

People's Choice Awards 2010 Nomination Announcement Press Conference

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Musician Kris Allen attends the People's Choice Awards 2010 Nomination Announcement Press Conference held at the SLS Hotel on November 10, 2009 in Los Angeles.

American Idol Contestants Visit LOVE

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"American Idol" contestant David Cook waves to fans as he arrives at the Mirage Hotel & Casino to see "The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil" show May 3, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Cultural commentator Andrew Sullivan has had a couple posts this week about why most American Idol winners come from the South (9 out of 11 thus far). That may be true (we'll get to more on that in a minute), but if you want to break that trend, you can audition right here in Los Angeles next week at Dodger Stadium. (More on that next week.)

Sullivan's first post cites Harry Enten from the Guardian. The theories he cites:

  • American Idol viewers in the South are more likely to watch the show;
  • You can vote as many times as you want, which others have said allows phone-eager teen girls to stuff the ballot box for their favorite;
  • And Enten's own theory, that there's more untapped talent in the South.

He argues that it's easier to get a record deal on the coasts, thanks to the proximity to California and New York. In the age of the Internet, this seems a bit less likely, but there's probably at least something to this. Still, I don't find it entirely convincing since it doesn't account for Nashville, which is still a huge deal in country music, which many of Idol's winners have been practitioners of.

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Justin Bieber pranks fans, Catwoman pepper sprays Ozzy and the Voice vs. American Idol

2012 Consumer Electronics Show Showcases Latest Technology Innovations

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Bieber.

  • An Ozzy Osbourne impersonator ended up with a face full of pepper spray after harassing the Catwoman on Hollywood Boulevard. So, remember kids, only accept the original in your Ozzy Osbourne needs. (Hat tip: Comics Alliance)


  • An excerpt of this was featured in a Super Bowl ad, but you can see OK Go's music video shot in the desert outside L.A. where they used a car to help play instruments and make this video. (You may know OK Go from all their other awesome viral videos.) (Hat tip: Geeks Are Sexy)


  • In other Super Bowl ad news, you can compare and contrast the Matthew Broderick pseudo-Ferris Bueller sequel with the original film. (Hat tip: The Daily What)


  • Pop Matters reviews They Might Be Giants' recent L.A. show. I saw them a couple years ago and had a blast, but sadly didn't get to check them out this go-round. Here's a classic TMBG TV performance from David Letterman:


  • The Atlantic Wire on why "The Voice" isn't as fun as "American Idol." They argue that Idol's nationwide search gives it a more organic feel, while a bunch of singers showing up and instantly performing for L.A. crowds on "The Voice" falls a little flat. (As a devotee of both shows, I claim no allegiances.)

  • A fun look back at the straight to cable movie "Mean Guns," shot at downtown's Los Angeles County Prison. Here's a clip:


  • What's your favorite part of L.A.? The city wants you to talk about it on their impressive new MyHistoricLA site, which uses a variety of digital tools to make talking about the city fun. (Hat tip: L.A. Observed)

  • Not certain what to say about this one. Justin Bieber pranks young women on behalf of... Proactiv? OK, sure. (Hat tip: Justin Bieber's Facebook page. Yes I like Justin Bieber on Facebook.)

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Paula Abdul is the latest judge axed from X Factor

paula abdul twitter

Screenshot via Twitter

Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell's Randy-less relationship was TMZ fodder on Monday when the gossip site reported that Abdul had been straight up fired from "The X Factor" by her good pal Simon.

Sans finger-pointing, the dancer/singer confirmed her empty seat on Tuesday citing "business decisions" for the departure. Paula took it to the tweets and issued a series of statements in 140 characters or less: 

Yes, it's true; I won't be returning to The X Factor next season…I’ve learned through my longevity in this industry that business decisions often times override personal considerations...Simon & I, along with Fox & Fremantle, have been communicating about this for a while now, & I have absolute understanding of the situation…Simon is, and will remain a dear friend of mine......and I’ve treasured my experience working this past season with my extended family at Fox and Fremantle…I want nothing more than for The X Factor to exceed ALL of their wildest dreams. This truly has been a blessing and I am most grateful.

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