'American Idol': Down to 9
More than 30 million viewer votes were cast this week for the Top 10 Idolettes -- the biggest haul so far this "American Idol" season.
As befits the occasion, judges Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell have changed costumes since the previous night. She's no longer a Parisian apache dancer, she's Cinderella, on her way to the ball. He's no longer a longshoreman in "On the Waterfront," he's a waiter in "Saturday Night Fever." Randy Jackson looks pretty much the same. Ditto show host Ryan Seacrest, the King of All Media.
Kimberley Locke, the second runner-up from Season 2 -- the Ruben Studdard versus Clay Aiken season -- is going to sing. Seacrest begs people to send in their submissions for this year's American Idol Treacle Tune competition. He notes, once again, that last year's treacle tune was included in 2007 Idol Jordin Sparks's album, which is still only certified gold. Which means just 500,000 have been sold.
Because this was Songs From When We Were Born week, the 10 Idolettes are forced to run out on stage and jump and twirl like it's recess time on "High School Musical 23" while singing "Right Back Where We Started From," which we presume is a nod to the whole year-they-were-born thing. Yup, Nanny Brooke is still the worst dancer in the history of "Idol." She should always be planted behind a piano or a potted palm.
Seacrest takes us on a trip to see the making of the Idolettes' iTunes singles. Did David Cook, the Coroner Munchkin, just admit he trolls iTunes to find semi-emo covers of pop tunes, such as this week's "Billie Jean"?
Nanny Brooke pats us on the face and explains patiently that the iTunes recordings give us a chance to hear a little more of each song than we hear during the "Idol" broadcast.
Seacrest shows us the Sofa of Safety and the Three Stools of Danger. Chikezie Eze, who the night before had given an AARP interpretation of "If Only for One Night," which had not sat well with the judges, is immediately sent to sit in a Stool of Danger.
Nanny Brooke is brought out and asked why she allowed the "Idol" band to get in the way of the cosmic purity of her pianoed performance of "Every Breath You Take." She explains patiently she "didn't want to run the risk of sounding self-indulgent." Seacrest sends her to the Sofa of Safety.
Carly Smithson comes out on stage. Seacrest asks her to reveal the story about her that was burning up the blather-o-sphere. "Apparently I'm pregnant -- but I'm not. It was on the news today," Carly responds.
No, she is not pregnant, but she was wearing Spanx Tuesday night, she says, to make herself look thinner. Which is why, she explains, Simon was "definitely right" when he told her Tuesday she was not on her game.
"Carly, you are safe!" Seacrest exclaims before we have a chance to ask her why on earth she was wearing corset-like Spanx while trying to perform the Annual American Idol Singing of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" -- something that simply cannot be done.
David Archuleta is brought out to explain why Simon had suggested Tuesday his rendition of "You're the Voice" played like a ghastly theme-park performance sung while surrounded by animated characters. "Well I had a lot of fun up there and maybe I got a little carried away," Archuleta suggests, helpfully.
"They liked your fun -- you're safe," Seacrest says. The Mosh Pit Chicks squeal in approval.
Coroner Munchkin smirks his way onstage. Seacrest says for maybe the fourth time that C.M. knocked off Chris Cornell's version of the Michael Jackson tune "Billie Jean." Seacrest says he heard from Cornell today. Coroner Munchkin pales. "He loved it, just so you know," Seacrest says. C.M. smirks. America voted, and vocal plagiarism pays off -- he's off to the Sofa of Safety.
Syesha Mercado isn't so lucky, she's sent to take the second Stool of Danger, despite Randy having declared her performance "blazing hot" and Paula having crowned it "perfect."
But the judges' love of Michael Johns's Queen medley was shared by voters and he, too, heads to the Sofa of Safety.
Look! In the audience! It's Constantine Maroulis -- the other Idolette whose Queen covers made chicks swoon. Will he ever wash his hair?
It's time to let the little people ask questions of the Idolettes and judges on actual telephones!
Nicole wonders why David A. chose "You're the Voice" out of all the songs he might have picked from the year he was born.
"I just love that song and I don't know why it's so weird I picked it; I actually did pick it," he insists. This is in re Simon's comment the night before that he did not believe David had picked the song himself -- which, of course, means it must have been chosen for him by his Controlling Stage Dad.
Kaitlin wonders: If Nanny Brooke could do a duet with anybody she wanted to, who would it be? Vanessa wonders whether Simon considers himself the most attractive person on the show. Ari would like Seacrest's job. We resist the urge to throw a brick at the television.
"Idol" Season 2 non-winner Kimberley Locke on tape tells us her life story, including how many pounds she's lost -- why do women always assume that's fascinating? -- after which live Kimberley Locke comes on stage, looking extremely overdressed in a gown designed specially for her by "Project Runway" winner Christian Siriano, and sings her new single, "Fall."
The dress is going to be auctioned to raise money for a camp for children affected by HIV/AIDS, so we won't make any cracks about it. Let's just say Siriano said in a news release the dress was designed to "accentuate the goddess in Kimberley" and leave it at that.
Back to the Idolettes. None of the judges likes Ramiele Malubay's performance -- again. But this week she was very very brave, they said, because she was sick, and America agrees, sending her to the S of S.
One more Stool of Danger is vacant and only Kristy Lee "Horse Pawner" Cook and Jason Castro of the pull-off dreadlocks are left. Jason tells Seacrest he's nervous, which no one believes because Horse Pawner lands in the bottom three like always.
Ah, but this week she sang "God Bless the USA," which she's never done before. And it worked! Kristy's got a one-way ticket to sofa safety and Jason's in the bottom three. He proceeds to tell Seacrest he knew that was going to happen, because he's never been brought out on stage so late on results night, and he knew this would be "a big shocker," but it's okay, even though he was freaked out all day.
"Jason, you're safe," Seacrest says to shut him up. Which is a shame because he's the one who shoulda gone, if this was an actual singing competition. But he's one of the popular Idolettes.
That leaves Syesha and Chikezie and then Syesha is sent to the sofa and Chikezie, whose "She's a Woman" a couple of weeks back remains this season's best performance by far, is out, taking with him at least 50 percent of this year's Top 10 personality.
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