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'American Idol': first four to go

The 24 "American Idol" semi-finalists "all will be fighting to secure their spot in history," Ryan Seacrest gushes at the top of Thursday night's results show.

Speaking of historic, Seabiscuit says the "buzz of the nation" is that judge Simon Cowell was "harsher" than normal on the first night of this season's competition. Seabiscuit needs to spend less time playing back his own radio show to get his buzz.

"It isn't the buzz of the nation at all -- it's just a couple of people's thoughts," Simon notes correctly. He also points out that there were a lot of bad performances this week which is undeniably true.

Judge Kara DioGuardi's husband is in the studio audience.

We've been looking forward for days to Mama Sox's participation in the traditional results night group lip sync. She seems to think that if she stands very still no one will notice her.

Seabiscuit begins to cull the herd. First, the chicks; he narrows half the gaggle down to just two women; judge Randy Jackson pronounces them "too close to call, baby" then sucks air between his teeth to signal his deep concern. Janell Wheeler is the first Idolette tossed this season. Janell was very bad on Tuesday; she re-creates that badness for us now.

The pretty brown eye Alison Iraheta has not hidden behind her iridescent red hair returns to sing; she was one of last year's Idolettes.

Seabiscuit winnows down the remaining chicks until Ashley Rodriguez gets the hook. Rodriguez recreates her losing performance, and then it's time to pick on the guys.

Next to go is Jose Munoz, though his was one of the better vocals of Guys Night which, yes, is setting the bar very low. He recreates his Performance That Got Me Axed, while Tim Urban contemplates the miracle that is his life these days. Tim was brought back into the competition after another Idolette tried to pull a fast one on "Idol" producers about a singing contract, and now he has somehow survived the first week of AI" competition because Munoz had gotten no airtime ever, so few were motivated to vote for him.

While preparing for Wednesday night's School of Pretend Rocker performance -- the one that got him so severely criticized by the judges, Tyler Grady had apparently asked himself what Jim Morrison would do, and had showed up for rehearsals in a white bathrobe, gym socks and boots. Seabiscuit shows us the tape which is how we know. Tyler explains he thought he was going straight "to wardrobe."

Simon predicts Tyler will go home Thursday night. But first, last year's winner Kris Allen comes out to mangle the Beatles tune "Let it Be" which you can download on iTunes and hear for yourself, knowing 100 percent of the proceeds will go to help with the relief effort in Haiti.

Simon's right -- Tyler's toast. Then the sound goes dead on the show for a few seconds which we can only assume means somebody said something juicy. When the sound comes back Tyler is telling the judges that while he likes them and had a really great time with them "I feel like I didn't get much constructive criticism during Hollywood Week." And what the judges told him this past Wednesday was too little, too late, he tells the judges.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  February 26, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  "American Idol"  
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I'm going to miss Joe Munoz. I hope he follows through with his pledge not to give up. He was my favorite by far.

Posted by: nthwoods1 | February 26, 2010 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Joe Munoz wasn't my favorite but he was better than at least four of the guys. On the chick side, I can't believe the 16 year old girl got through. She was the worst of the worse.

Posted by: MrsKirby | February 26, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Aaaargh. I am so distraught over the elimination of Munoz!!

Did I hear you ask "Why?"

Answer: Because I was looking for to weeks of comparing him to Jorge, Ben Stiller's "son" from Meet the Fockers!!

Posted by: molsonmich | February 26, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

I was disappointed with the men's elimination. I thought Joe Munoz had one of the better performances on Wednesday. I also thought that Tyler Grady had potential despite his poor showing.

Alex Lambert needs to be eliminated for his own sake. The kids looks tortured up there. Tim Urban is another obvious choice. I also wan't impressed with Lee Dewyse, Todrick Hall, or Jermaine Sellers, although admittedly the latter two showed potential in Hollywood week.

Posted by: niceshoes1 | February 26, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I have not been watching AI at all, as a woman, I took a stand with Paula, who helped make this show the phenom that it became. I watched last night because Allison Iraheta was going to perform Scars, I am a big fan of hers. Must say, she seemed very low key and not herself at all. I stopped watching after that, and tuned in at the end to see the last guy dismissed singing, he was awful.
In fact, to me the 15 mins or so of Idol that I saw last night were very boring and I did not hear any singing, even in the group number, that would make me watch this season. Maybe when they bring Adam Lambert on, it will be interesting for those who watch this season.
As a judge, Ellen is no comparison at all to Paula, am just going by the answer she gave to the question that Ryan posed to her. Sorry, Idol sucks.

Posted by: margc | February 26, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I generally don't watch any "vote off" shows of any program because I can't understand anyone's desire to hear a repeat of 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th place finishers. It's like being required to watch the Agony of Defeat ski crash ad nauseum. Gives me psychic bruises.

Oddly enough, I did pick Tyler as one going home. But I appreciate both his (and Crystal B's) candid remarks as to how this show is put together.

While the judges are clearly obsessed with figuring out whose most telegenic and which combo provides the most "diversity", the program does have vocal coaches and a musical director. I wonder that the latter do not take on the role of offering "constructive criticism" during Hollywood Week - unless they are forbidden to do so.

And surely some of the assistant directors could give them advice on "telegenic-ness" and crafting your back story, etc.

Since there is a apparently actually a lot of money at stake - both for the producers and the ultimately winning contestants, I'd say that would be a good investment of all the "audition" time.

Posted by: jqw3827 | February 26, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Tyler, looking for practical help from that panel is looking in the wrong place. Have you never seen this show?

Posted by: kirstenpaulson | February 26, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I too will miss Joe. I was looking forward to seeing the timelapsed video of his hairline creeping furhter down his face until he was entirely covered, revealing him to be none other than el chupacabra!

Posted by: ozpunk | February 26, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, were there any performances this week that would make you have to DVR next weeks' shows because you just didn't want to miss somehting special.

A few have nice voices but not a single "must see" star in the making.

Posted by: hapster | February 26, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I have not been watching AI at all, as a woman...


That's okay. You can watch it as a man.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | February 26, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

So far this season is a big bore to me. Pretty bland lot in the top 24. I never thought I'd say this but I really miss Paula's "quirkiness." Am a big Ellen fan, but not in this venue. She just adds "filler" time in my opinion. For some reason which I have yet to figure out, Tyler gave me the creeps, but he certainly can sign better than lots of the remaining guys.

Posted by: seaduck2001 | February 26, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who thought Janell was a pretty good singer, and was looking forward to seeing her progress through the season? I think there were several others who should have been voted off before she was.
I'm actually enjoying Ellen as a judge- Kara is the one I can do without But I think we can all agree that this blog is the best- the only thing that makes some AI nights bearable is looking forward to seeing how Lisa will describe the show the next day!

Posted by: faywray | February 26, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

faywray - I agree, Janell was better than at least one other - I didn't think the 16 was good at all. Maybe I don't have the "ear" but I did like Ashley too. Oh well. waterfront property: hahahahahahaha.
Sorry Joe is gone too - at least 4 others were worse than him!

Posted by: MILWI | February 26, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

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