American Idol finale’s ‘Kanye moment’

Ian Benardo Extends 15 Minutes Of Fame With “Idol” Interruption

The Grammys had Soy Bomb, the VMAs had Kanye West, the Oscars had that purple-shirted crazy redheaded woman, and now “American Idol” has Ian Benardo, the latest famous interrupter in live television history.

On Wednesday’s Season 9 “Idol” finale, fur-vested freakboy Ian stole the show (and the microphone) from fellow “Idol” rejects Tatiana Del Toro, Renaldo Lapuz, and Norman Gentle, not to mention Dane Cook, during Dane’s musical tribute to Simon Cowell. None of those rejects were supposed to talk during Dane’s skit, but that hardly stopped the mouthy Ian from spotaneously interjecting mid-song. “Nobody cares! It’s all about Ian Benardo tonight!” he sassily declared. “And I’m replacing you, Simon Cowell, because I’m more entertaining than you!”

Skip to the 1:30 mark below:


Tatiana, probably also trying to extend her 15 minutes of fame, tried to play superheroine and righteously wrestle the mic away from Ian, and which point producers quickly cut to commercial and effectively cut all the skit’s participants’ 15 minutes.

But actually, this was just Ian’s latest ploy to stay in the reality TV spotlight. Back in 2007, the brash New Yawker and self-declared “superstar” auditioned for “Idol” with a bizarre performance of Laura Branigan’s 1980s pop hit “Gloria,” then sparred with Simon after he was unanimously denied his golden ticket to Hollywood. And Ian is also a two-time reject on “So You Think You Can Dance,” a show that gave him even more screen time. On that show, he memorably boogied to Rick Astley’s viral hit “Never Gonna Give You Up” and sparred with Simon’s counterpart, judge Nigel Lythgoe. Then, after Ian was rejected by that show’s judges, he Rickrolled poor Nigel with a barrage of soundbite-worthy slurs:



Say what you will about Ian Benardo, but this is one guy who knows how to work the camera. And he knows how to get the last word, as Reality Rocks’ “Idol” Season 9 finale red carpet interview, below, proves. Expect this guy to audition for “The X Factor” in 2011.


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Posted in American Idol.

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