By Joshua Gillin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Find videos and more gossip at blogs.tampabay.com/juice
The power of interest in American Idol and a single online post have combined to create a tidal wave of media speculation centered on a single question: Was St. Petersburg native Michael Lynche ejected from the talent competition for violating the show's confidentiality agreement?
The Web log Joe's Place Blog posted a report on Friday saying Lynche may have been disqualified for violating confidentiality concerns, citing a "rumor floating around American Idol message boards."
The Web site Reality Blurred noted Friday that Lynche's father, Marque Lynche Sr., confirmed his son's place in the top 24 in a story by the St. Petersburg Times, which might violate the show's confidentiality rules.
But neither blog cites concrete evidence connecting the newspaper story to any possible dismissal of Lynche. The Fox network has continually refused to comment on the status of contestants before it is revealed on the show, and Marque Lynche Sr. has now disconnected his home phone in Sarasota.
Nevertheless, Web sites maintained by People magazine, Zap2It.com, Us magazine, MSNBC, the New York Post and the Tampa Tribune have all reported more definitively that Lynche was cut and that the newspaper story may have been the cause, citing Joe's Place Blog as the source.
"It's like a big game of telephone, but it's completely based on rumor," said M.J. Santilli, a freelance writer in Boston who maintains another Web site that features American Idol rumors, MJ's Big Blog. "As far as I know right now, it's all just a rumor."
The final 24 contestants on American Idol will be revealed Feb. 17, according to the network.
Eric Deggans, Times TV/media critic
John Edwards has a sex tape
Leave it to the folks at Gawker to find sources who say that former presidential candidate and smarmy womanizer John Edwards made a sex tape with his mistress, Rielle Hunter, and the secret tore his campaign staff apart. Two unnamed sources say the tape (actually, a DVD) contained "several sex acts." This would be the DVD that was allegedly found by Edwards aide Andrew Young, who found the disc in a stack of DVDs at Rielle's house. "It (the tape) was kind of the last straw for people who had sacrificed savings and jobs to lie for John," one of Gawker's sources said.
Elin goes to Tiger's addiction therapy
RadarOnline says Tiger Woods is dedicated to saving his marriage, so wife Elin Nordegren spent a few days with him for therapy for sex addiction at Gentle Path in Hattiesburg, Miss. She was there for five days but flew home to Orlando by private jet late Sunday, the site says. "The marriage is not over. They both want to save it," a source tells Radar. Meanwhile, her twin sister and a nanny watched after their kids and took them to SeaWorld. Wow, a built-in body double! How very 007.
Gary Coleman arrested in Utah
Gary Coleman is back in jail after being arrested in Utah on a warrant for failing to appear in court, the AP reports. The 41-year-old Diff'rent Strokes alum was booked into the Utah County Jail on Sunday, said Santaquin police Officer Shawn Carter. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Utah County Jail records show that the actor was arrested after police received reports of a disturbance at his Santaquin home, and while nothing apparently happened, Gary was popped for the failure to appear, which stemmed from a 2009 domestic violence incident.
Pernell Roberts, TV star, dies at 81
Pernell Roberts, the ruggedly handsome actor who shocked Hollywood by leaving TV's Bonanza at the height of its popularity, then found fame again years later on Trapper John, M.D., has died. He was 81. Roberts, the last surviving member of the classic Western's cast, died of cancer Sunday at his Malibu, Calif., home. Although he rocketed to fame in 1959 as Adam Cartwright, eldest son of a Nevada ranching family led by Lorne Greene's patriarchal Ben Cartwright, Roberts chafed at the limitations he felt his Bonanza character was given. It particularly distressed him that his character, a man in his 30s, had to continually defer to the wishes of his widowed father. In 1979, he landed the title role in Trapper John, M.D.