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Just when you thought you could get away from Ryan Seacrest...

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More than anything else, Bernie Ecclestone is a businessman. And as a businessman, he's interested in increasing the spectacle in Formula One racing. To that end, reports suggest that the F1 chief is talking with Simon Cowell and Simon Fuller – the creative forces behind American Idol, among countless other reality TV shows – about how to make F1 more attractive to a broader audience.

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It's not love of the limelight. Or propelling raw talent onto the world stage. It's not a taste for performance, either, although these are all attributes that Lewis Hamilton shares with American Idol. (And no, Hamilton hasn't signed a sponsorship deal with Ford, though McLaren has run Dearborn's engines in the past.) What binds them together in contract – as well as spirit – is the deal which the former Formula One World Champion has signed with American Idol creator Simon Fuller an

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Aaron Kelly's Ford Fiesta – Click above for high-res image gallery of all Top 12 American Idol Contestant designs

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Click above for a hi-res gallery of the American Idol Edition Ford Fusion Hybrid

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Our brothers-in-green have already covered the fact that Ford saw fit to provide new rides to the two American Idol finalists. This isn't a shocker; Ford is a major sponsor of the hit talent show on Fox. The chosen rides? Ford Escape Hybrids, which we have found to be very nice vehicles that return rather good fuel efficiency. According to The Detroit News, Cook is getting along with both his new car and Ford Motor Company in general rather swimmingly, "I love it. It's nice to have a new car. Fo

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Click the 2009 Escape Hybrid for a high res gallery

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Ford Motor Company, one of the main sponsors of "American Idol," told dealers yesterday that it is circulating a tape around various TV networks to bolster interest in a new reality TV series starring Ford and a yet-to-be-designed vehicle. The concept behind the series is that participants will work with Ford designers to develop their dream concept car.

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