Oprah

, who has test-driven numerous diet plans, has started a new regime that is overseen by a diet-book author who apparently is also a spiritual counselor. Oprah's first move? To have an inner makeover (

eeewww!

) by going on a 21-day detox that has her give up caffeine, sugar, alcohol and so much more.

'Idol' packs 'em in

The final face-off between

David Cook

and

David Archuleta

on Wednesday night's

American Idol

finale drew a whopping audience of 31.7 mil, according to Nielsen Media Research. That's a cool million more than last year's finals. It means the finale was this season's second-best turnout for the show, trailing only the Jan. 15 premiere, which was watched by 33.6 mil lucky citizens. But, notes USAToday.com, the seventh season had overall declines of 8 percent for the series.

Chesney clears the air

Kenny Chesney

upset many fans Sunday when, minutes after accepting his fourth consecutive Academy of Country Music entertainer of the year award, he dissed the academy for using fan votes to determine its top prize winner.

Writing on his MySpace page, Chesney tells his fans he meant no disrespect.

"To me, Entertainer of the Year is about the work that goes into it. I don't ever want you [the fans] worrying about the work; I want you . . . being in the moment of the music," he said. "That was my point. Let the people who do the work, judge the work part of it. . . . let the fans love what we do for that."

Usher: Be open, honest, vulnerable . . .

SuddenlySensitive megastar

Usher

tells

Ellen DeGeneres

- for a segment of her show due to air today - that being a father is a beautiful adventure. "I just want him to grow up to be as wise, as smart as he possibly can be, be kind, openhearted," the R&B singer said of his 6-month-old baby,

Usher Raymond V

.

Usher also rubbished reports that his wife,

Tameka Foster

, is a destructive force in his life. "The opinion is that maybe this wife has come in and torn something down. . . . she's built it up even more now the foundation of who and what I am is even more. This stands for more what I want to see more of . . . I want to see more men standing with their women," he said.

Madonna, a stylish weeper

Madonna

, 49, was most resplendent Wednesday at Cannes - garbed in Chanel haute couture - when she broke into tears while presenting her new documentary,

I Am Because We Are

, which is about orphans in Malawi.

"To say that this film is a labor of love is trivial," said the Spiritual Mom, whose adopted son

David Banda

was born in Malawi. "It's also the journey of a lifetime. I hope you all are as inspired watching it as I was making it."

Love triangle blues

People.com cites unnamed sources who say that

Shania Twain

's sudden split from her hubby, music producer

Robert "Mutt" Lange

, was due to Lange's affair with another woman -

Marie-Anne Thiébaud

, one of Twain's best friends, who manages Twain and Lange's estate in Switzerland. Mutt has denied he was in a relationship with Thiébaud.

Bale up for termination, again

Christian Bale

, 34, who plays world savior, rebel leader, and sexy-yet-sensitive guy John Connor in the forthcoming

Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins

, has signed up to do two more sequels in the beloved

Terminator

franchise. Producers will not say whether

Arnold Schwarzenegger

will return for the new films.

Soderbergh defends 'Che'

"I find it hilarious that people always complain about movies being the same, and then when something different comes along - a film that deals the cards in a different way - they say why isn't it more conventional?"

So says

Steven Soderbergh

, director of the

Benicio Del Toro

-starring

Che Guevara

epic,

Che

, which has drawn caustic comments from Cannes critics. The 41/2-hour pic avoids the usual biopic cliches, especially the

revelatory backstory

recounting the hero's childhood traumas that, conveniently, explain all his motives. (Say, that Che grew up to be a revolutionary because his mom threw his security blankie into the fireplace.) Worse, since the flick is shot in Spanish, you have to read subtitles (

gasp!

).

Contact "SideShow" at sideshow@phillynews.com.

This column contains information from Inquirer wire services and from Web sites.