Scoop: Clay Aiken says final ‘Idol’ season begins with a yawn

Clay Aiken, pictured in, in Los Angeles, made some tough comments on social media about "American Idol." (Rich Fury/Invision/AP)

“American Idol” season 2 runner up Clay Aiken had a few harsh words about the first episode of the show’s 15th and final season: “Well… now I know why the ratings are down,” he tweeted, adding that he missed former judge Simon Cowell’s gibes.

“I’ve watched root canals more entertaining than these judges,” referring to Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban.

In other “American Idol” news, Forbes released its list of 2015’s top-earning “Idol” contestants: Adam Lambert, who was fronting Queen ($10 million), Carrie Underwood ($8 million), Chris Daughtry ($6 million), Phillip Phillips ($5 million), and, tied for fifth, Scotty McCreery and Kelly Clarkson (both $4 million)

Meanwhile, at Wednesday’s People’s Choice Awards, Vin Diesel gave a heartfelt tribute to Paul Walker, Dakota Johnson had a wardrobe malfunction and serial event crasher Zacari Nicasio (a Kanye West wannabe) was kicked off the stage by Sharon Osbourne after stealing the microphone from “The Talk” hosts during their acceptance speech.

Ellen DeGeneres, after winning the favorite humanitarian honor, said, “It’s a little strange to actually get an award for being nice and generous and kind which is what we’re all supposed to do with one another.”


On Thursday, Berkeley Repertory Theatre staffers and supporters celebrated the opening of its new Peet’s Theatre (formerly the Thrust Stage) after a renovation that included installation and demonstration of a high-tech Meyer Sound system, complete with thunder effects.

On hand were John and Nancy Meyer, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, Peet’s Coffee CEO David Burwick, Berkeley Rep board president Stewart Owen, artistic director Tony Taccone (who thanked patrons and likened the event to “inviting people over to see the work done on the foundation”) and managing director Susan Medak, who got a laugh when she likened the theater to “a lady who’s been well loved and ridden hard.”


Beyonce is slated to join Coldplay at the Super Bowl halftime show in Santa Clara. …. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco curator Esther Bell is taking a moment today to chat with select art lovers about Raphael’s “Portrait of a Lady with a Unicorn,” a 16th century painting on loan from Rome’s Galleria Borghese and the subject of a show opening Saturday at the Legion of Honor.

Actress Sarah Polley is 37. … Baseball player Jason Giambi is 45. … Singer R. Kelly is 49. … Singer David Bowie is 69. … Guitarist Robby Krieger of The Doors is 70. … Scientist Stephen Hawking is 75. ,,, Designer Carolina Herrera is 77. … Game-show host Bob Eubanks is 78. … Singer Shirley Bassey is 79. … TV host Charles Osgood is 83. … Actor-comedian Larry Storch is 93.

— Staff, wire report

Got scoops or Bay Area celebrity gossip? Email

(Rich Fury/Invision/AP)Adam LambertAmerican IdolBerkeley Repertory TheatreClay AikenEllen DeGeneresEsther BellForbesLegion of HonorPeet's TheatrePeople's ChoicePortrait of a Lady With a UnicornRaphaelSimon CowellSusan MedakTony Taccone

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