American Idol premieres tomorrow. OMFG, are you ready? Those first few weeks of try-outs—the screaming fans, the dreams made, the hopes shattered, the back to Wal-Mart we go—is always something special. To celebrate this cultural touchstone, we're peeking at what the main faces of the show—judges and crooners alike—have called home.
? Saucy music ex Simon Cowell founded the American version American Idol from the British original in 2002, and quickly made a name for himself with a razor-sharp tongue and a no-holds-barred approach to criticism. His house-fixing methodology hasn't been so quick-hitting, however: Cowell purchased a Beverly Hills, Calif. plot for $8M in 2004, broke ground in 2006, and finally finished his $6.23M dream home in Sept. 2008. Bloody hell, Sim, speed it up a bit!
? In February 2007, Randy "Yo Dawgs" Jackson put his 5,900-square-foot Tarzana, Calif., mansion on the market for $2.99M. Apparently he was super-confident that his first-ever studio album Randy Jackson's Music Club, Vol. 1, would make the magic happen.
? Perennial house-flipper Ellen DeGeneres purchased this Beverly Hills, Calif., megamansion for $40M in 2008, only to marry Portia de Rossi at the estate later that year. In November, the couple purchased a condo in the area, continuing to beef up their real estate portfolio. It's a good thing DeGeneres has a side hobby now that her judging days are over.
? This is where the oft-inarticulate ex-judge Paula Abdul lived until late 2008, when she put the place on the market just a month after a crazy Idol-obsessed fan committed suicide outside her home. She was later spotted house hunting in Tarzana, Calif.
? Marshfield boasts all the things one might expect from Massachusetts's South Shore: a median family income hovering the six-figure mark, about 25,000 people, and so on. One thing that really throws a wrench in the New Englandy-ness? Why, Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler, of course! Tyler will join the show this year.
? We've been through this one already—Jennifer Lopez's plush pad outside L.A. 'Twas pretty enough to be featured in the most recent issue of Veranda, what with Michelle Workman-designed interiors and touches of '40s glam. JLo and crooner hubby Marc Anthony purchased the $10M pad early last year.
? Season Four winner (and Grammy Award winner, Grand Ole Opry inductee, Golden Globe nominee, CMA winner, and so on) Carrie Underwood will certainly not be in Checotah—or outside Nashville, where she's lived for the past few years (above)—when she and new husband Mike Fisher finish their dream home near Ottowa. The duo anticipated moving in by September; no word yet as to whether the home—reportedly brick and stone and about 5,000 square feet—is actually finished yet.
? The original Idol, a one Miss multi-platinun Kelly Clarkson, put her Nashville, Tenn., home in the market for $1.449M back in October. She purchased the home for $1.49M in 2007, but something tells us she can weather the $41K loss.
· American Idol [official site]
· A mansion fit for a TV king: Simon Cowell's £4m dream home is finally ready... FOUR YEARS after he bought it [Daily Mail]
· Yo Dawgs, It's the Randy Jackson Crib [The Real Estalker]
· It's Official! Ellen DeGeneres Marries Portia de Rossi [E! Online]
· Ellen Adds Beverly Hills Condo to Property Portfolio [The Real Estalker]
· Paula Abdul Selling House After Suicide [HuffPo]
· Thursday Morning Mish Mash [The Real Estalker]
· Steven Tyler's House [Virtual Globetrotting]
· Jennifer Lopez Proves, Yet Again, She's No Jenny From the Block [Curbed National]
· Carrie Underwood, Mike Fisher, Build House Near Ottowa [Vancouver Sun]
· Carrie Underwood, Mike Fisher Building Dream Home in Canada [US Weekly]
· Kelly Clarkson Lists Nashville Manse [Curbed National]
· American Idol Kelly Clarkson Lists at a Loss [The Real Estalker]