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CASTING CORNER
 
Tuesday, April 22, 2003
'American Idol'

It's down to the final six, but the big news from "American Idol" isnít about the singing. Kimberly Caldwell may have gotten the boot last week, but she tells "Extra" that she's walking away a winner in love, dating fellow former contestant J.D. Adams.

Kelly says, "I not only got the greatest experience of a lifetime, I got a great boyfriend along with it."

And while Kimberly jokes about her next job, she promises you havenít seen the last of her. She says, "I wanna continue singing and I would love to act."

So why didn't Caldwell make the cut? We asked Simon for his opinion. He said, "I just donít think girls like Kimberly."

Superstar songwriter Diane Warren sure likes Kimberly. Tuesday, she'll be the "Idol" guest judge and when "Extra" got a tour of Dianeís home, she was singing Kimberlyís praises. Diane says, "She's a great vocalist. I'd love to work with her."

Meanwhile, the original "Idol" winner, Kelly Clarkson, is enjoying the release of her first album. "Thankful" hit stores last week, and even though many wondered if Kelly would be a one hit wonder, the album is getting rave reviews. Clarkson's producer, legend Clive Davis says the CD will enter the charts at number one. He says, "This is unusual. This is the first ĎAmerican Idolí winner. Normally the critics have their knives out. They're highly suspicious of a television contest winner. Talent has won out."

So who does Clarkson think will be the next Idol? She says, "I think it's definitely going to be Ruben."

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