'American Idol' Exclusive!: Ellen and Simon are friendly...

Hello, Idoloonies! Normally, I would be coming to you live from inside the American Idol studio in a week's time, when the Top 12 contestants enter the gaping maw that is the Idoldome and my colleague-in-snark Whitney Pastorek and I soak in the behind-the-scenery for your unceasing bemusement. And we still plan to do that, along with our newest Idol correspondent, the intrepid Mr. John Young. But this year, EW is getting an exclusive chance to sit in on the final week of the Idol semis, when the stage is much smaller, the audience sits in the round, and Cory the Warm Up Comic delivers an opening routine that is exactly the same as every single other opening routine he's ever done on the show since at least I started covering it four years ago.

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