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"American Idol" Keeps On Giving, Whacks Aussie

After a day's delay so "American Idol" could bring you the Miley Cyrus Queen of All Media Telethon, one of the Idolettes is gonna go.

First, show host Ryan Seacrest, who's hair keeps getting pointier, takes us on a walk down memory lane in re the night before. Ben Stiller wants to raise a googillion dollars, Robin Williams grabs judge Simon Cowell's heinie, Jimmy Kimmel makes fun of Cowell's man-breasts, Annie Lennox acts like an adult and sings a touching song as befits the occasion, everything that comes near Miley gets sucked into her Circle of Self-Absorption, girls swoon over Brad Pitt.

So far "Idol Gives Back" has raised more than $60 million for needy children, Seacrest announces, noting you can still make contributions -- indefinitely, it would seem.

In addition to being results night, this is also "IGB Flotsam & Jetsam Night," when we get to see all of the bits that did not make the fundraising celebrithon. It's like a master class in TV Extravaganza Editing.

Among the leftovers: A surprisingly roly-poly Zack & Cody read the toll-free phone number on the screen and urging viewers to make a contribution, followed closely by the traditional Celebrity Lip-Synch Dance Off. This time it's to the tune "I'm a Believer" -- featuring the likes of Camryn Manheim, Dr. Phil, Eddie Izzard, Michael Chiklis and Ricki Lake, but is won by the ever-adorable Selma Blair by virtue of her extra bouncy hair.

Seacrest announces 31 million votes were cast in the competition this week -- this season's biggest haul.


Michael Johns sings bye-bye. (Michael Becker/FOX)

He orders the lights dimmed and Nanny Brooke is called out on stage. "You were emotional" on the performance night, Seacrest says. Hello? What night isn't she emotional? This week it's because her sister is getting married on Saturday and she's not going to be there, she says. Realizing her mistake, she quickly says she doesn't know what's going to happen on "Idol" and maybe she will be at the wedding, and she doesn't want to be presumptuous, and "let's find out." Seacrest hands her her results card to read and, no surprise, she's safe and her sister's wedding will be Nanny Brooke weep-free.

Coroner Munchkin is out next, breathing worry-feigning sighs. Seacrest asks him about Simon having said his performance was pompous. CM notes Simon also called him arrogant and smug, which sounded like another way of saying "Simon's an ass." Simon begins to boo. Seacrest says CM is safe; CM gives a big ol' melodramatic sigh and heads to the Sofa of Safety.

This year's winner David Archuleta is also through to the next round which stands to reason.

It's time for Forest Whitaker's second video -- the first one made "IGB" night. This one: a child in Angola who lost his mother and spends his days helping his blind father, who lost his sight in a land-mine explosion.

The emotional documentary is followed immediately by last year's "Idol" winner Jordin Sparks duet/emoting with Chris Brown, after which some of her fans are brought on stage bearing framed platinum records to mark her having hit one million downloads of two tunes, and a gold album for the half-million sales of her debut CD.

"Thank you, guys!" Jordin gushes.

"I think the message here is 'American Idol' works!" Seacrest emotes. Yup, that will sure stop all the talk about the "Idol" winners who've recently lost their record deals.

Michael Chiklis says he'll come to your house and break down your door if you don't call the toll-free number on the screen and pledge some money.

This week's Ford Music Video involves being behind the wheel of some Ford sedan and deliberately skidding the car on a surface that's been doused with gallons of paint, so as to make a picture -- ironically while the song about just wanting to celebrate another day of living is playing. Of course, it's more fun if done while smoking and drinking, kids, but Ford's got no product in those categories so you'll just have to use your imagination.

Jason Castro and Seacrest debate the price of ukuleles and then Jason is sent to the sofa of safety. Likewise Kristy Lee Cook. That leaves Syesha Mercado, Carly Smithson and Michael Johns in the Bottom Three.

Wow, Jim Carrey did not make "IGB" night -- and they owed him after he agreed to sit in the "Idol" audience a while back, dressed like an elephant to plug the new Fox animated flick "Horton Hears a Who!" He urges viewers to donate more money, after which Seacrest says "Idol Gives Back" isn't about one show or one night and Bono will explain. Bono, by video from Africa, tells us the three U.S. presidential candidates keep talking about "imagining a new America" and the America he's a fan of is one that picks up the phone and writes checks and sends in their pocket money to help needy people via his group one.org (which is part of "Idol Gives Back").

It's a clunky segue for the three presidential wannabes, who are finally getting their call-to-action closeups on "American Idol" after not making the cut to appear the night before.

The good news: They are reaching a larger audience on the results show than they would have during the celebrity-encrusted telethon for needy children. The "IGB" broadcast clocked about 17.7 million viewers -- a low number for an "Idol" broadcast these days.

With Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in a fight to the finish for the Democratic nomination, neither dares risk showing any crack in the veneer. It's all "collectively we can make the world a better place and we can give our children a brighter future," "when ordinary people come together they can do extraordinary things," and "I hope that everyone watching will make a contribution to 'Idol Gives Back' and help make this world a more just, more equal and more hopeful place to live."

John McCain, on the other hand, has the GOP nomination sewn up, so he can show a pulse:

"'American Idol' is a lot like a presidential primary election. Except for people who live in Michigan and Florida -- their votes will actually count!"

Snap!

Then he gives his "when Americans unite as one, and our generosity and compassion are unleashed the results are nothing short of remarkable" shout-out. But he follows with, "As for me, it's back to work on my new immigration plan. Watch your back, Simon!"

McCain wins -- no contest.

Those were America's three top politicians -- and these are "American Idol's" bottom three, Seacrest segues, demonstrating for the googillionth time this edition why he's gonna walk away with that very first Primetime Emmy Award for best performance by a reality-series host.

Syesha and Carly are -- safe! In this edition's first genuine voting surprise, Michael Johns gets the hook after landing in the bottom three for the first time.

After he is tagged the lowest vote-getter, Seacrest tortures Michael a while, with some blah, blah, blah about how last year during "IGB" week, the show decided to spare the Idolette who'd gotten the lowest vote and instead combine the votes with the next week's and whack the two lowest vote-getters.

This year, Seacrest says -- no dice.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  April 11, 2008; 9:21 AM ET
Categories:  "American Idol"  
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Next: "American Idol": The Guys Have It

Comments

FIRST!

Posted by: Yeah, it's me! | April 11, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Michael Johns getting voted out is so bizzare. This show is such a popularity contest. How can he go home before Kristy Leecook or Jason Castro or Syesha!!

Posted by: Reston | April 11, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who had a time of it finding Lisa's column this a.m.?

Switched channels back and forth during last night's show waiting to see who got the bottom three votes... didn't come 'til the end, of course.

Couldn't believe MJ was in the bottom three, and was thunderstruck when he got the bad news. Still can't believe it!

BaNanny's safe and Michael leaves? Huh?

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | April 11, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

it's whose, not who's

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Did you see the look of shock on Carly, Syesha and Paula's face? Genuine. I too am shocked, he did not deserve it yet.

Posted by: hodie | April 11, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Interesting that the viewers and giving are down so significantly. Is this due to the economy or are we getting tired of being manipulated into giving?

Disgusted by the vote - the only one I wanted to hear sing Andrew Lloyd Weber songs.

Posted by: Kris | April 11, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I was surprised Michael Johns went home. He definitely deserved to be in the bottom 3 based on his performance Tuesday. America got the bottom 3 right and if there was a bottom 4, David Cook should have been in it too. I really thought this would be Syesha's week to go home. I think Michael had a few surprises left in him and since Syesha has no surprises, next week will be all the poorer that she is still in it. Syesha is very attractive and has a good voice too. But you can guarantee that whatever song she sings she will sing it well but in a forgettable and unoriginal fashion.

Syesha & Carly need to do something huge to stay out of the bottom 3 next week. I'm so disappointed in Carly. She clearly has one of the best voices but no a clue as how to use it properly in this competition. She ought to pick an Evanescence song and try to not over-sign it. Sometimes she goes for volume and the big scream. If she ever manages to bring the emotion of the song out with her voice & performance, she'll go right to the top of the voting. I hope she manages it at least one week before she goes.

And David Cook, please no more self indulgent stink bombs like last week. What a pile of manure that song and performance was. And I've been a big fan of David C's from the beginning.

Posted by: Ron | April 11, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I think it was unbelievably, needlessly cruel for Seacrest to even get Michael's hopes up by mentioning how last year's low vote getter didn't get sent home. What a tool!

Posted by: jmom | April 11, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I'm not that surprised the MJ went home.

He was really good with "Bohemian Rhapsody" during Hollywood week. Then he did a bunch of songs that were "OK" to "Bad" until last week when he did very well. This week, his rendition of "Dream On" was not only not that great, but he also went first.

I saw at some point, people saying he would be in the top 3, and often wondered if they were talking about the same guy I saw.

Posted by: Duffman | April 11, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

If we ever had any doubt that those teenyboppers rule - we only had to look at the tremendous shout out to Miley Cyrus on the charity show and David A. sailing right over to the sofa while Michael Johns gets the axe.

If adults actually voted on this thing (and I'll include myself) - and if your remote control were equipped with some hot button to a teletransporter - this morning David A. would be on planet Krypton. But no.

We'll have to rest assured that Michael Johns will have a great career and, as has happened in the past, will far outshine the winner of this edition's popularity contest.

Meanwhile, I'm betting Carly woke up with a lot of rubber-pants-and-one-armed-walk-overs envy today. I hope she was paying close attention during Fergie's performance, because I still think she has one of the best voices - and one of the worst approaches to the "contest" aspect of this show.

Posted by: Jean | April 11, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Bottom three should have been Brooke, Jason and Kristy Lee. Whatever. Very sorry to see Michael go. I may be wrong but why do I think AI has some kind of trick up it's sleeve . . .

Posted by: WI | April 11, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Who cares? They're all pathetic. Tennisboy was going to take a whack sooner or later anyway. Poser. If he's real, he's happy he's off. If he's the poser I'm sure he is, then good riddance. Win win.

Posted by: Doorknob | April 11, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

It's about time that MJ got voted off. He's done nothing but impersonate one rock star after another.

He's a pretty face, but he's got nothing original going for him.

Glad voters finally figured it out.

Posted by: magpie | April 11, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

The look of shock on Carly's & Sayesha's faces along with the look of shock on MJ. Carly's "whaaa" lasted way longer than anyone elses. I think she was fixin' to pack her bags.

Posted by: priceless | April 11, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Color me so surprised. I thought MJ would be in the final four. He wasn't near my fav three, but I thought he had a big fan base: handsome, accented-speech, dusky, tall...? What's not to love?

I am sticking by my claim that KLC will be there until the end. Truthfully, I let myself by swayed by the judges' early comments, and her mediocre performances--that were probably due more to her nerves and simple shock of being catapulted to a national stage from relative obscurity, then her talent. She's been *slamming* the vocals lately, and she's been picking songs that suit her--- anyone else would be told "good song choice," but for her, she's conniving, or "smart." That's a crappy double-standard.

AND
RE: Carly's seeming decisions to forgo sleeves. I *think* nit has been implied here that perhaps Carly has been purposely wearing short sleeves just to show off her tattoos, and that she could have been wearing longer sleeves, but is rebelling or something.

I watched closely last night, and pretty much all of the girls are wearing short sleeves or tanks--including in the Ford videos. I think Carly would be drawing the same unwanted attention if she opted for sleeves because she'd be the only one wearing them. It's spring for goodness sake. Sleeveless is what everyone is wearing.

A double-standard is just thinly-veiled sexism.

Posted by: Sam | April 11, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Ron & Jean - agree with much of your comments. My husband and I were sad to see the Aussie go, but I'm not sure he ever developed much of a voting base. He was likable but not very engaging, and he was not consistent. We will miss him. Was shocked that Carly, one of my favs didn't go, because she keeps performing below potential. Evanescence - good call. I'd include Annie Lennox music.

I think it hurts a singer to go first, especially if the rest of the pack performs reasonably well. You are forgotten in favor of other performances.

I think we are now seeing the full impact of the effect of the previously departed votes. I was sure Syesha would benefit from Ramiele's departure last week, but apparently Carly did too. I'll bet Jason did as well.

So who will benefit from MJ? Most likely David Cook and Carly, esp. if they improve over this week's poor performances.

Btw, thought Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown were terrible - hated that song. She has a good voice, but that kind of over-synthesized pop/dance sound is BORING. It actually pained our family to watch it.

I realize I sound like an old fart, but we have three teens (18,16, and 13), two oldest perform anything from Les Miz to the Ramones. We are a musically eclectic family, and all three kids LOATHE Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, etc. Disdain it as girl tween music.

Posted by: Idle fan | April 11, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I'm a huge Michael Johns fan ... I was a fan 5 years ago (back when he was Michael Lee) with the band "The Rising" and am still a fan today. I find it hard to believe he really had the lowest total. It's votes like this that make me question the validity of these phone-in votes. Sayesha, Brooke White (and as much as I've become a fan) David Cook should have been in the bottom 3, with Sayesha going home.

Posted by: I can't believe I actually watch Idol | April 11, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Johns' range covered everything from shouting to squealing, so I'm not sorry to see him go.

I liked David C's performance more than most people did. It seemed to me that he was willing to take some vocal risks.

Posted by: Tom T. | April 11, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I can never see myself purchasing ANYTHING from David A. Why is he still here. Maybe if he wins Idol this year the show can keep the streak of the winner selling less albums than past winner. One can hope.

Posted by: Ugh! | April 11, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Definite shocker that Michael Johns is gone, especially since that was his first time as a B3. Totally agree with jmom that Seabiscuit was a total Tool with the whole "last year we kept the loser, but this year not so much, you're outta here!" line. Carly was still weeping at the roll of the credits. I really believe she thought she was done.

Posted by: jpstang | April 11, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Knew MJ wouldn't make it to the very end, but still disappointed to see him booted before Syesha, Horse Pawner, or Pull-off Dreads.

Posted by: MAlan | April 11, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I want to repeat part of my late afternoon post from yesterday. It was in response to a poster who shall remain nameless but rhymes with "Golly!"

Let me get this straight, "Golly" . . you wrote: "Syesha is safe . . I love her voice . . I agree she has good vocal talent . . (she is) very pretty, poised, polished . . capable of singing well for a lot of audiences . . is marketable and could be a success . . appears smart." And yet you "don't like Syesha".

Exactly how many of you are there that have written something to this effect? Can anyone say "cat fight!" -- you vs her? And Hodie was right, "Golly" was cynical against Syesha's simple shout out to Ramiele, her former roomie for many past weeks, for Christ's sake! Even assuming it was calculated that she executed "transparent vote trolling" its not unheard of on reality shows. Perhaps it's . . oh, what's the word . . smart! But I tend to believe things are not always as calculated as one would think.

DadWannabe was right yesterday with his simple observation that David "Smiley Gator" A's "mind-controlled voting block is probably twice as large as anyone else's right now." He may be voted AI but that doesn't mean we have to accept him. (can anyone say Taylor Hicks? or [the very Un]Fantasia?)

Specific to last night, the only real suprise was Kristy not in the B3. Michael's leaving is a mild suprise but not many seemed to think he was top two anyway so why all the tears?

Carly can still survive if she brings it and does it with sleeves. David C needs one more big night w/out relying on his guitar. And all of them still need to dress the part of AI and not look like they were just plucked off the street. Only Syesha seems to do the gown and hair and ironically gets dissed for it. Did anyone happen to notice the dress and earrings Carrie was wearing, or as "Jean" pointed out too, Fergie's outfit? You've got to sell the look also.

Posted by: RedRocket | April 11, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

These kids aren't stars yet so forgive the lack of polish. I remember thinking some of the exact same thoughts with former AI winners but look what time in a recording studio vs a week of virtually on your own and a few bucks for wardrobe does for one's star appeal. Look at the old AI reruns for what Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia, Carrie Underwood etc looked and sounded like before they won. And to those who said Fantasia is already "has been", you're wrong. You probably don't listen to her genre of music. She is still very popular and successful. Has spent much time on Broadway too which may also be why you haven't heard as much from her. Let's hope Taylor Hicks is an anomaly. I'm still optimistic about what this group will do. Maybe it's the rose colored glasses....

Posted by: hodie | April 11, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

is anyone else bothered by the heavy emphasis on Jesus songs this season? Dolly Parton, fine. But last night's was just weird.

Posted by: heathen | April 11, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Well, I, for one, am not surprised to see Michael go. As has been pointed out, he has had 2 good weeks, several mediocre weeks and several bad weeks here. He may be more talented than some of those left, but he definitely was not consistent enough to continue. The problem is that he was fighting for the rocker vote with David C who has been much more consistent. Even this week's weaker performance by David C was stronger than Michael's...and so Michael lost. Also, it is statistically true that the under-25/under-30 crowd vote significantly more than the over-30 crowd and Michael appeals much more to the over-30 crowd (look at his song choices...almost nothing after 1980). David C may do older songs, but he's been doing more recent covers that appeal more to the younger voting crowd.

And I really think that Nanny-nanny- cry-cry needs to go. I'm very tired of her. Probably the weakest singer on the distaff side but she chooses songs well and presents well. But the attitude and complete lack of range needs to go. It's a shame that she'll beat out Sayesha and Kristy Lee because she's a weaker singer than either of them, but she's smarter when it comes to her song choices.

Speaking of song choices, I think that if Sayesha picked songs for Carly and Carly picked songs for Sayesha, they'd both do a lot better. Carly actually has the voice to do justice to the big divas and Sayesha has a more edgy voice and sound and can probably do much better with the songs that Carly has been singing. It comes down to song choice and these two (and Michael) all suffered from picking songs they liked instead of songs that showed them off well. For those of us who have been to many, many, many auditions, it's a classic problem. These guys need to go to any theater school for the music audition 101 course and they'd gain huge insight into how to pick songs that suit them.

Posted by: DadWannaBe | April 11, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Hodie,

Kelly Clarkson back when she was on Idol was exceptionally polished. She made her fellow competitors look like jokes, and would wipe the floor with anyone this season.

There isn't a single person on this season who could pull off what she did with "Stuff Like that There" on Big Band night, in fact there wasn't anyone who could do anything in any season on big Band night, that's why they stopped doing it.

Posted by: Duffman | April 11, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

RedRocket - I not only noticed Carrie's evening gown and elegant 'do, I was thinking she looked more mature and polished than I've ever seen her - and sounded more beautiful, too. She seems to have made the JLo "transformation" when the latter learned to switch to Chanel for grand red carpet entrances.

IdleFan - Couldn't agree with you more on the miserable Jordin Sparks performance. It was so bad I had to hit "fast forward" which is one step below my "teletransporter button" in terms my "my" voting!

In terms of who is left that I really feel can sing well - but need to work on the whole "package" - it would bring me back to Carly and David C. and I'm hoping you are right, IdleFan that they'll be the beneficiaries of the Michael Johns votes.

My bottom four are populated by limited range and often off-key Brooke, baby David A., Jason, whose "I just stumbled out of the Scooby Do stoner van" act has gotten old, and that diva wannabe, Syesha.

I actually have always thought Kristy Lee had a good voice - and now that she's working "the package" she, in my opinion, might deserve to hang in longer than the aforementioned Gang of Four.

Now, who do you think will meet their Waterloo on Andrew Lloyd Webber night?! So many juicy choices, so little time . . . . Honestly, if little David does "The Music of the Night" I might have to teletransport MYSELF to Krypton!

Posted by: Jean | April 11, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

How bout that nice dermatage add? Kind of creeps me out!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

--"so forgive the lack of polish"-- (from 1:19 post) Why? Why should we accept stagnation week after week?

Thanks Duff for chiming in and backing me on this.
Okay, the rest of the class? I took your challenge and viewed the "transformations" pages on AI site for Carrie, Jordin, Taylor, and Kelly.
Jordin went from looking like a HS sophomore at the mall, to a singer. Her earrings got progressivly larger and the gowns got longer, not to mention she discovered makeup. Except for a couple of hideous Slash-like hairdos, she at least had hair"styles" and not just hair. She mostly lost the jeans by about the third week or so of Top 12 except for the all-sing productions. Taylor predominatly wore suits (not the Izod-style jackets that Smiley Gator seems to prefer) but sans tie. At least it was a crisp look and respectful for the occasion. Kelly had the spangly vest and the iconic hat and favored black (flattering) a lot. She also seemed to find (or borrow?) some nice complementary jewelry and had a great hair/face team. And Carrie? Well she simply went from country girl at the fair to the image of an AI. Her eyeliner got progressively darker, her hair pulled off her face, and the gowns were either classic or at least award-presenter longish. And need I mention how Clay transformeed into a finalist during his season?
So what are we left with? Carly with tats and one unflattering, unchanging hairstyle; DC with his grunge look, haircut by John Deere, and facial hair, plus jeans; DA with his unremarkable hair and dressed-at-Gap look, always including a superflous off-the-rack jacket of some type, et al, and Jason don't-get-me-started with his coffehouse attire and says-it-all hair. That leaves Brooke, Kristy and Syesha to fight for the idol look, unless DC could find some leather pants and some sort of statement jacket-over a crisp white dress shirt.
Look, all I am saying is yes, one needs a voice too to win, but if one wants to impress and separate from the others, s/he should consider trying to look the image of what an AI should be -- someone with a dignified, imperial look that we can aspire to - a c-e-l-e-b-r-i-t-y on the tube, red carpet and concert venues, not someone to watch in a bar or bar band.

Posted by: RedRocket | April 11, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

My point exactly, Jean! If you remember way back when, Carrie and Kelly looked like the high school girls next door. Now they have the image to go with the fame. There is no question anyone can improve with the right stylist so I think the judges need to put less emphasis on the look. They will mature with time. Fantasia has also dramatically improved her look since winning AI. Most improve throughout the experience but most don't go to the heights of glam as we saw with Carrie the other night due to the fact they are not yet stars and it would be very pretentious.
Duffman, I agree even in the beginning of season 1, Kelly Clarkson could sing the butt off anyone this season, but she is still way more polished now than she was then. Would you rather to listen to her AI demo or her studio recorded release? There is a world of difference and it will mean the same to the present contestants as well.

Posted by: hodie | April 11, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

One last thing about Kelly.
The AI franchise owes her a huge debt of gratitude. As the first, her success (or potential lack thereof) could've made or broke the show. Her voice, style, humility and success gave the show credibility. Her eventual growth as a songwriter hasn't hurt either. For those of us who remember the Kelly vs. Justin final night, the pre-hype was as big as the Super Bowl. It was an exceptional marketing success (A Moment Like This on the radio seemingly the next day) but they picked the right person to mold the AI standard.

Posted by: RedRocket | April 11, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Some of my favorite stars are hideously ugly and fashion don'ts. Why is this such a big deal? Just listen. Big earrings, eyeliner or even sleeves won't help them.

Posted by: bg | April 11, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

"Circle of Self-Absorption" and "breathing worry-feigning sighs" - further evidence that Lisa de Moraes deserves the very first ROFL Distinguished Writing Award for LOLZ

Posted by: Mary | April 11, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I agree that one thing being judged is "evolution" or "development" or "maturity" over the weeks. And that criterion is being applied both to "the package" (which includes both your sound and your look) and your presentational or showmanship "smarts". Some contestants show us this growth - and I think Kelly did within her own season; and some really don't, Kelli Pickler comes to mind. I always thought Kelli actually had a very pretty voice, but she remained clueless about song choice. When they did show tunes or something - her voice was really displayed - but she didn't seem to "get" it. So she went out at an earlier round - though has achieved some of this development in her post-AI career. But she and her red high heels and Carrie Underwood and her ballgown - remain in two different leagues. I'm not saying one is "better" than the other - but they are very different in terms of what gigs you get, and who is going to buy your music, etc. - though ultimately I realize all the money spends as "green". So ridiculous theme nights such as Andrew Lloyd Webber night will be a little test of who "gets" it - right NOW. That person will have a better chance of winning the whole shebang, if that's what they really want to do.

Posted by: Jean | April 11, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Jean, well said.
I predict the Davids will "get it". David C if he does not self indulge, and David A, because I can really see him in this genre better than I can see him as a popstar. I cringe thinking about what Jason will do. BaNanny doesn't have the range. KLC who does appear to be "evolving" before our eyes, may do well. One can only hope. Carly could do well--would like to see her glam up for this one with an actual dress and maybe an updo. Would show she can be versatile. Syesha, mmmm time will tell.

Posted by: hodie | April 11, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Jean,

It's funny that you should mention this, because I was racking my brain last night trying to think of an ALW song that Brooke will be able to sing. I honestly can't think of one that would work for her.

I think Jason Castro might be in for some trouble, as well.

I think that the Davids, Syesha, and KLC will all be able to pull off Webber, and I think that Carly (if she picks the right song) will really be able to shine next week. ALW is notorious for his Belter-friendly songs - good money is on her singing something from "Evita."

On Further review, if Nanny can get "memories" from Cats, she might be able to re-arrange it into something that would work for her, but I really can't think of anything else. She's going to have to re-arrange the HELL out of something to get it to work for her, no matter what it is.

Jason C could be toast, though.

Posted by: Duffman | April 11, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

David C. could totally rock "Jesus Christ Superstar", but Carly should avoid "I Don't' Know How to Love Him", though I would actually pay to hear Kristy Lee try "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina".

Nanny Brooke has a serious problem because ALW has mainly written female vocals for a very bright soprano - like Sarah Brightman (pun intended). Brooke does not have the range and her fewer notes are lower.

If properly styled, Carly might do a smashing Betty Buckley-esque "Memory".

Unfortunately for Jason, ALW did not write "Hair", and neither is his gleaming, flaxen or waxen.

And I'm really going to miss Chikeze, because I can just envision him doing "Bustopher Jones" and giving that fat cat some credit.

But if I hear the words "Touch me, trust me, savour each sensation" coming out of David A's mouth - I will run screaming from the room.

Posted by: Jean | April 11, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

LOL, Jean. I can see David A as Anthony in Sweeny Todd.

Posted by: hodie | April 11, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

or even better, Toby "Nothing's gonna harm you"

Posted by: hodie | April 11, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

My mistake, Sweeny Todd is Stephen Sondheim. oops Pitty, great music

Posted by: hodie | April 11, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Some thoughts on ALW,

David C can do several songs from JCS ("Heaven on The Minds", "Superstar", "Blood Money")

David A can do a lot including several of the Che songs from Evita ("High Flying Adored" comes to mind) Of course, he could be sickly over-saccharine if he did anything from Cats.

Jason should do something off-kilter like maybe "Benjamin Calypso" from Joseph? Possibly "Pilate's Dream" or "Poor Jerusalem" from JCS?

Carly should get "Memory" or something else that shows off her soaring voice but how much do you want to bet that Sayesha will t take it and give another C+ performance with it. Carly should do something like "Memory", "Phantom of the Opera", or "Another Suitcase in Another Hall" but she'll try to pick something edgy (maybe from JCS) and again will try to hide the fact that she has the best female voice of the lot.

Sayesha should pick something like "Go Go Joseph" or maybe even "Gumby Cat" (can you imagine her doing the Andrews Sisters section?)

Brooke needs something interpretive like "I Don't Know How To Love Him" or "Love Changes Everything" where she can do the Carole King/coffeehouse thing.

And Kristy needs to do one of the light lyric soprano songs like "Tell Me on Sunday" if she doesn't go for the country gal thing in "One More Angel in Heaven"

Posted by: DadWannaBe | April 11, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

This blog is HILARIOUS and extremely well-written. It's riveting - almost addicting.

A singing competition? Or popularity contest? I think it's a bit of both, but these results are rather surprising. Carly Smithson has a great voice, but she just looks too angry to become the next American Idol.

And can anyone tell me why Nanny Brooke is still on this show??????!!!!

Posted by: Raquel | April 15, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

OMG, It's Mariah Carey week. Lisa, I'm already anticipating your column for tomorrow. Can anyone enlighten me on what music of hers is memorable and worthy of being covered? Are others sick of old pop stars trying to generate buzz for comeback albums? Their appearances on shows like this and Dancing with the Stars are downright embarrassing. Kelly Minogue on DWTS was AWFUL. My teenage kids reaction: WTF?

If nothing else, tonight's show should be amusing as hell. Carly and Syesha have best shot of doing well since they have the best voices for this music. Poor BaNanny. KLC might surprise us. Jason needs to be real creative. David Cook, who is creative, could make a great statement, since he is a risk-taker and his voice is suited to this.
Could be a struggle for David A. IF, MJ's fans bother to vote, they will make a difference in who stays/goes.

Re: previous discussion of what contestants, esp. women wear. I think the producers encourage them to keep it simple ("keep it real, man") at the beginning so that audience can identify with them. But as show develops, I think audience expectations alter, and react positively to a more polished look. Syesha and KLC were smart to don gowns when they did, enhancing the perception of their performances. I think this is tough for Carly and Brooke, not because they would look bad dressed up, but because they don't seem to have a comfort level with that style at all, whereas Syesha and KLC seem far more versatile in style.

Posted by: Idle fan | April 15, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Wait, the "Hooray for Everything" Choir sings a ditty about Jesus being our salvation and our savior as the opening number last week and no comment here? Would Fox force a Jewish or Muslim contestant to sing along? When did Fox officially become a Christian network and why didn't anyone notice?

Posted by: Roger | April 15, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

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