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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. 

May 11/12 - Finals Round 9

America's newest singing sensation will be a woman. That's guaranteed.

But which woman? We're two weeks away from finding out. But first, it's afro time. That's right, it's disco night on Idol. And who better to judge our Idols tonight than the Queen of Disco... Ms. Donna Summer, y'all... She's looking for uniqueness, self-possession, and star quality. Well, you'll get it tonight. We hope.

First up, another twist that really doesn't mean anything. This time, Simon, Donna, Paula, and the Dawg will critique in backwards order. O... kay. In a twist up of sorts, I've invited another thing to come out of the 70, my sister, to co-critique with me. Say hi, Quisla. (Q: Yo!)

First off, Jasmine Trias offers "Everlasting Love". Very... typical. Seriously. At this point, she's out of her league. I mean, the state of Hawaii can only do so much. (Q: Where's you ukulele? Wait, you don't have one, do you? Yeah, that's why you're going home. Got one word for you. Aloha!)

Simon: This feels weird going first! I think you know how vulnerable you are tonight. I thought it was a really average karaoke performance.
Donna: Pretty good. I thought there was some pitch problems.
Paula: You kinda fell into your groove. Not my most favorite choice of song.
Randy: You hit the high notes and that's about it. It wasn't very good.

Bad choice of song. Ouch, ouch, ouch. And if the guest judge doesn't like you, then you know you're going home. (Q: Quentin Tarantino doesn't count, because he and Simon were having a d(^_^) measuring contest). Next up, La Toya London comes to "Love You Inside Out." Never heard of it. (Q: Great dress). This is what I call a pizza performance (Q: Even when it's bad, it's still kinda good?) Yep. Disco and ballads never went together. But you have to dig the voice. And she put herself into it.

Simon: We know you are a great singer and everyone else knows it. But I think it was quite boring. I know nothing more about you now than I had known before.
Donna: I think you emoted the song. I understand your choice as a singer.
Paula: I think you continue to shine. You've been consistent as a star. I think I'm looking at an American Idol.
Randy: I don't agree with the safe thing, but I do agree that there was nothing special. I keep looking for... Dude, blow me away!

Yep. And La Toya's being a little modest, you know? Next, "Knock on Wood" (Q: Woo!) with Fantasia Barrino (oh no.) Actually, she's less nasal than past week. Fantasia, you're starting to get it. Finally. And she works the crowd in a way not seen since Josh Gracin last year. (Q: I don't know. She made the song her own, but something wasn't right). It's called her singing.

Simon: This is a winner's competition. Everyone should want to win this competition, and the person who I want to win should be different. You are different.
Donna: I agree. You know who you are. You're excited. And you give your all. What's there to say? You're fabulous!
Paula: You always know how to pick the right song. You didn't knock on it, you kinda karate chopped it.
Randy: As soon as you open your mouth, you can feel that star spirit in your voice. Dude, you got it going on.

And last lady up, "This is It" for Diana DeGarmo. It's as saccharine as it gets. (Q: But I love her dress). Shut up. A few pitches here and there, but again, she emotes her way through the piece as if she deserves there. And she does, really. (Q: I think she finally realizes that she needs to put out). Well said.

Simon: I have said that you are too young for this competition. I'm going to take that back. Before you sing your second song, stay well away from Fantasia and La Toya because you could very well break up what everyone's expecting to be the final.
Donna: I was really impressed.
Paula: something has happened. Something broke through. You look fantastic and you finally broke out.
Randy: You worked it out. You did your thing. Most improved performer.

As much as it pains me as a male of discerning tastes to say... I agree with the judges. Okay, next up, repeat performances. Jasmine Trias is delivering our forecast. "It's Raining Men". More like "it's raining pain." Butchered lyric? Check. Worn pitch? Check. But when she was good, she was really good. Too bad it does NOTHING to save her. NOTHING. (Q: Too little, too late, too bad. That was probably her best performance ever. Too bad it's her last one). I must say this... Geri Frickin' Halliwell did a better version.

Simon: You better hope that every household in Hawaii has at least five telephones, because you're going to need all the support you can get.
Donna: I didn't like the choice of song. I think you gave your best, but you know, it was okay.
Paula: I know the power your voice carries. I think you got thrown off because you forgot the lyric. When that happens, your confidence gets thrown off as well.
Randy: Not your best performance. It was definitely pitchy all over the place.

(Q: WILL SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT PITCHY MEANS?!) It means she can't sing and she's... crying? (Q: Oh, f(^_^). They hurt her feelings.) Yeah, she knows she's going home. I think the Idol Chart this week is a moot point. La Toya's back with "Don't Leave Me This Way." All I can say to add on at this point is... thank you, La Toya. Thank you.

Simon: Well that was more like it. This was as good as the original.
Donna: Fabulous!
Paula: Stunning!
Randy: You brought it back, man. Props to you!

And next with Fantasia, "Holding For a Hero", which technically isn't a disco song. At least not that I can remember. Between shouting and intonality, I don't know what to make of this. (Q: ... no, I don't think so. She would've been better off singing "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" again). She looks angry.

Simon: I actually didn't like that, because you're so much better than that kind of song!
Donna: I would love it, because you're great.
Paula: I don't know why you picked that song. Not my favorite choice of song.
Randy: No matter what song you choose, you can really sing.

Song choice makes a difference. I'm beginning to see La Toya vs. Diana in two weeks. Speaking of which, Diana comes out last with "No More Tears." And interesting contrast, I must say. And this is so much better than the "come on, y'all!" Diana I'm used to seeing. She's got the judges grooving. Good sign. Note that shook the heavens. Good sign. Q singing along. Good sign.

Simon: Undoubtedly the best song of the night. How you controlled that song in the middle. I have to give you total respect tonight.
Donna: I think you dedicated yourself to this song. It was great.
Paula: This was your week.
Randy: Best song of the night.

Mission complete! And show complete! (Q: She knew that if she didn't pull it together, they were going to send her fat ass home). Be kind... Okay, tomorrow night, see Jasmine cry again.

Oh, did that come out loud?

Results coming...

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