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In the world's ultimate talent search - where the eyes of a nation are upon the best undiscovered singers in the country, where the audience has the power to make or break you, and where a million-dollar recording contract is on the line, there is only one rule: If you can sing it, bring it.

Recaps by Gordon Pepper and Chico Alexander, GSNN

Host: Ryan Seacrest
Judges: Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson
Creator: Simon Fuller (based upon "Pop Idol")
EP: Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Simon Fuller
Packager: 19 Entertainment, FremantleMedia North America
Airs: Tuesdays at 8:00pm ET and Wednesdays at 8:30p ET on FOX

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Web design by Jason Elliott. Logo by Chico Alexander. 

April 28/29 - Finals Round 7

Bienvenidos a "American Idol," y el busco de una nueva estrella continua con el especial de Gloria Estefan. That's right, her music is the theme, she's the guest judge, and backing the Idols are, could you think of anyone else really, the Miami Sound Machine! She trained ‘em, and now she judges'em. This is gonna be hype... I hope. First off, Fantasia Barrino tells everyone to "Get on Your Feet" with her song, that she explicitly dedicated to last week's ousted Jennifer Hudson. And with her song, she's telling me personally to get on my feet and head for the exit. I mean, sure she hypes up the crowd and plays to the band. But intonation is way off at points. I chalk it up to a bad song choice. I mean, she could've picked a song as funky as this, but she didn't. Trust me. I have every Gloria Estefan album since "Primitive Love".

And yes, pimping for Jennifer's vote will not help.

Randy: Great performance. Vocally, I don't know if I felt you, heard you. Just a little wobbly.
Gloria: With all due respect to the judges, you haven't sung a bad note in the competition.
Paula: It's about performing, and you take on the task of what the theme is. You gave it your all and you look great.
Simon: I'm actually going to agree with Randy. You sounded like a cartoon character... Donald Duck in helium. You're a great performer, but when you watch this back, you're going to look and say that wasn't great.

Fantasia's defense: "A lot of people tell me I look like Bugs Bunny." I would've guessed Elmer Fudd. Hehehehehehehe… Rolling along to George Huff, who will try to incorporate a little salsa move in his performance of "Live for Loving You." I could've seen Fantasia do this, but George didn't really do too badly on his own. He's injecting his own little thing. And the George bounce is back. And so is the George salsa shuffle. Is he coming back? Possibly. Is he the next Idol? Probably not.

Randy: At least you found yourself in that song. It's hard to dance and sing. (George can't dance)
Gloria: One of my favorite songs. You did a great job.
Paula: You gave it your all. You smiled.
Gloria: Simon's shaking his shoulders!
Paula: He's shimmying.
Simon: Start with the good news: Gloria, you have a great band. If this was the first time seeing you, I would be amazed to know that you were in the final six of this competition. That was amateurish. (To Ryan) He was as good as your presenting skills.

And then the audience boos. Again. But Ryan gives George false hope as he brings out La Toya London. She wanted to do something outside her box, so she goes into "Rhythm is Gonna Get You". La Toya works the stage without having to pimp anything. And she sells the song with her voice, her moves, her dress, just the whole package. There was a few iffy points, but the rest of the performance more than makes up for it. She's gonna get a few of Jennifer's votes... and maybe a few more. I'd say that I would be surprised if she was NOT in the final.

Randy: First of all, you look beautiful. You seem to settle in well with a band. It was good, I wasn't wowed.
Gloria: When I saw you in the auditions, I didn't know I was going to be there, but I knew that you were going to be there.
Paula: I just wish there was more than a minute and 40 seconds.
Simon: I think you needed to do what you did tonight, because I think there was a danger of you becoming boring. It was an okay performance. It proved that you could do more than just stand there and sing well, and not be boring.

That was a compliment, by the way. Next is John Stevens. He's singing the "Music of My Heart", trying to focus on her grandmother to mellow him out. Yeah, like he needs help with that. He NEEDS to get some pitch back. He NEEDS to get some tone back. He NEEDS to be put out of his misery. And mine. I like his little ensemble tonight, though.

Randy: I love the shoes, dawg. You're the nicest guy I know. The song... horrendous. There were probably three notes in tune the whole thing.
Gloria: I think you made your grandma proud.
Paula: You gave a valiant effort. I'm proud of you. You did your best.
Simon: One of the reasons you are doing so well is because you have taken every bullet thrown at you like a man. No complaint. You and Latin music go together like chocolate ice cream and an onion.

Yeah, he's taken every bullet... SO WHY AREN'T YOU DEAD YET?! Okay, enough angst. Next is Jasmine Trias. Another big fan. Sounds like "Here We Are" at practice. Mature song. Beautiful at practice. But that's practice. Now comes the real deal. And the real deal starts abnormally strong for her. That's a good thing. From there, it tails off. That's a bad thing. And she's starting to sound scratchy with the bridge. I tell you. There was power in the flower, and the flower is gone. She also needs to do something dangerous. This is starting to sound eerily predictable.

Randy: Good song choice. Fell a little short for me.
Gloria: I thought you did beautiful.
Paula: I've always been a fan of your voice, and today is no exception.
Simon: At best, that was a pleasant imitation. It was pleasant, and tonight, pleasant is good.

Judge fight ensues between the newlyweds. And no, they're not newlyweds. Finally, Diana DeGarmo, the most saccharine singer since Hilary Duff... and I'm not a fan of Hilary Duff. She'll "Turn the Beat Around," and as much as it pains me to admit, she's starting to become a favorite. She sounds great, but she's not really doing anything really daring. Emotionally, this is a very charged song, but she's just flailing her arm. And she shouts. But other than that, better than the only other female on the bubble. That'll keep her in the top for this week, I think. Again, not saying much.

Randy: Cowell's always talking about the age, but you got mad talent. That was really good.
Gloria: Thanks for giving props to my band. You were great.
Paula: Another great week for you.
Simon: I'll give the performance a seven and the dress a zero. You can't have it all, Diana.

AGREED! Okay, that's it. All of the performances sucked. But some sucked more than others, some sucked less. Right now, it's a game between should and will, because we're coming off the chaos upset and now we're in butterfly mode. All things considered... Diana, Jasmine, and John should be in the bottom. George, Jasmine, and John will be in the bottom with John being escorted off the premises. But that's just me.

And remember... you don't vote... they go to the HOUSE. *points left* Vote... *points right* House. We learned that the hard way last week.


Chico's Idol Chart - Gloria Estefan (or: "The Requisite SUCK Episode")

1 - La Toya
2 - George
3 - Diana
4 - Jasmine
5 - Fantasia
6 - John

After seven rounds:

1 – La Toya (80)
2 – George (73)
3 – Fantasia (65)
4 – Diana (54)
5 – Jasmine (51)
6 – John (38)

Results coming...

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