Another week down, another step closer to identifying this season's "American Idol" semifinalists. We'll learn who made the top 24 next Wednesday. Until then, here's a roundup of this week's "Idol" news:
*Fourth judge Ellen DeGeneres made her "Idol" debut and received mainly positive reviews. Her Tuesday appearance garnered a ratings boost for AI, reportedly its biggest audience since the season nine premiere.
*Radio star Howard Stern continued to fuel rumors he's replacing Simon Cowell, while sources tied to the show continued to debunk those rumors. Meanwhile, the Parents Television Council urged Fox to issue a statement confirming Stern is not being considered for the job.
*Fans learned Danelle Hayes, an emotional karaoke hostess who got a golden ticket in Denver, didn't compete in Hollywood after all. Why? Blame it on her past troubles with the law.
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*Michael Lynche, whose wife gave birth while he was in Hollywood, earned a fan following this week. Early in the season, rumors circulated that Lynche (aka: "Big Mike") had been disqualified after his father broke a confidentiality agreement.
But Michael's dad, Marque Lynche, recently told the St. Petersburg Times he hasn't talked to Michael in almost five years and was simply conveying information he read on spoiler blogs. With luck, we'll get the truth soon.
What did you think of this week's episodes? Weigh in on our "American Idol" blog.