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Justin Timberlake, "American Idol" Score Emmys, Plus Peter Travers Fixes the Show

September 21, 2009 1:56 PM ET

30 Rock and HBO did the majority of the heavy lifting at last night's 61st Emmy Awards, but Justin Timberlake and American Idol also took home their share of trophies. Timberlake nabbed a Guest Actor in a Comedy Series statue for his hosting job on Saturday Night Live, giving the FutureSex star a second Emmy, following his win for Outstanding Original Music in 2007 with "Dick in a Box." Timberlake was nominated twice in that category in 2009 for the SNL Digital Short "Mother Lover" and the ESPY Awards theme "I Love Sports," but was beaten out by Hugh Jackman's opening number at the 81st Academy Awards.

American Idol managed to score an Outstanding Directing For a Variety, Music or Comedy Series Emmy, but was shut out in the bigger categories like Outstanding Reality Competition Series or Outstanding Host. For the second consecutive year, AI's Ryan Seacrest lost out to Survivor host Jeff Probst, and for the seventh straight year, American Idol lost the Reality Competition Emmy to The Amazing Race.

For anyone who watched the Emmys instead of, say, the season premiere of Curb Your Enthusiasm, the ceremony itself seemed a tad lackluster (although last weekend's VMAs make all subsequent award shows seem tame by comparison). Rolling Stone's movie critic Peter Travers also tuned in last night, and he's got a ton of ideas on how to fix the ceremony. Read all about it over on the Travers Take.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Bleeding Love”

Leona Lewis | 2007

In 2008, The X Factor winner Leona Lewis backed up her U.K. singing competition victory with an R&B anthem for the ages: "Bleeding Love," an international hit that became the best-selling song of the year. The track was co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (whose radio dominance would continue with songs such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Adele's "Rumour Has It") and solo artist Jesse McCartney, who was inspired by a former girlfriend, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy. Given the song's success, McCartney didn't regret handing over such a personal track: "No, no," he said. "I'm so happy for Leona. She deserves it. There are really no bad feelings."

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