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American Idol
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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 Chico Alexander & Gordon Pepper, GSNN


FACT FILE:

Host: Ryan Seacrest
Judges: Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson
Creator: Simon Fuller (based upon "Pop Idol")
EP: Nigel Lythgoe, Ken Warwick, Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Simon Fuller
Packager: 19 Entertainment, FremantleMedia North America
Airs: Tuesdays at 8pm ET and Wednesdays at 9pm ET on Fox


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Web design by Jason Elliott. Logo by Chico Alexander. 

"From 97 to 75" - February 9

I don't really have much to add this week, as I agreed with pretty much everything that happened. Something else I agree with - my favorite part of the competition, which is tonight. We get to see....GROUPS! The Idols are divided into 3...well, the 96 that are left.

The groups are randomly divided as people have to rely on each other -people who they don't know - or may not like. For example - Scott Savol, who is getting cursed out my his teammate Matt Myers. The groups also select a random number to determine what order they are in.

Jaclyn Crum, however, isn't in a singing mood. Her mother, who has multiple sclerosis, has collapsed and she is off with mommy to the hospital. Matt is hoping that it's Scott who would have gone in the hospital, as he and Danny Kingman are struggling while Scott is playing the role of a log. 'He just doesn't seem like he's all there, and I'm ready to b!tch-slap him.'

He's not the only person who has problems (though Scott has left the group to go to bed). Natalie is worrying more about dancing than singing, and that upsets Janae and Gina (and her mom, who is writing the words on a chalkboard). Matt is still wondering where Scott is, as Matt and Dave are waiting for him. Dave: "I feel like this is a date - and the date didn't show up."

There are groups that are happy to be working together, though. Anwar Robinson, who is a music teacher, is working on their pitch. Elizabeth's problem isn't her pitch - it's her lack of remembering words, as she is stopping her group, who want to pitch her out of a window. Back to Gina's group. Her mom is now joined by her dad, and he's now giving singing lessons. Gina's teammates are waiting to pitch him in the same dumpster that Elizabeth may be heading in.

Constantine is getting dancing lessons in his group - and he's cringing. He thinks it's going to be a train wreck and retires early for the night. Elizabeth's group has given up on Elizabeth and leave her alone to memorize the words, 'We have no chance to win if we're singing with an elephant.' Well, Elizabeth is a small elephant and the women have had enough. They try to explain this to her and she still can't get it. Gina's parents also can't get it, to the point that Natalie asks them to leave. Next person to get bitch-slapped - Scott, as Matt and Danny finally get in touch with him. Scott gives Danny a hug as they start - and while they do that, other teams are going to bed. Could this be a bad omen for Scott?

Jaclyn Crum is still at the hospital, but fortunately, her mom is suffering from food poisoning, and she can go back to the hotel. Unfortunately, it's too late to rehearse, so their group goes to bed. In Elizabeth's camp, it's still high drama as Elizabeth stops to care and decides to go on her own. The other two hug and wake up, not caring where Elizabeth is going.

We are up on the next morning - and Gina's dad is still going at it until Natalie tells him to shove off. Gina's dad, in turn.... does. Meanwhile, Elizabeth's group sings - without Elizabeth, who misses their practice time. She says she didn't hear them. The other two throw their hands up in frustration.

9am - Groups are singing in the bathroom, while other groups haven't started. Jaclyn's group is one of them, which is understandable. The crooners...are not, as they say that they have plenty of time to rehearse, because they are going up last. Hmmm...

With that, it's time to go! Everyone will be judged on vocals, spark, and originality. We first see...

Constantine, William Blake and Dezmond Meeks. Constantine hits it well, while Dezmond is good with the choreography (which Simon hated). William was...average - and gets a no. Constantine gets a yes and so does Dezmond (who, if we remember, barely got in) has survived 2 cuts so far. Good for him.

It's not good for the last group, who still can't get their lines straight. THis isn't good...

Rachel Leslie, Carrie Zaruba and Elizabeth Pha - Rachel sounds good. Carrie sounds fair at best and Elizabeth again forgets her words. Based on last year, where Jon Stevens mangled his way to the top 6, I can't see how Elizabeth gets out of this - and she doesn't, as the judges call her on her lyrical amnesia. Rachel gets a yes and Carrie gets another chance (probably based on Elizabeth). Afterwards, a crying Elizabeth says that it's been very unfair. It would have been more fair if she remembers her lines.

Another check up with the crooners - they still haven't gotten it together. Ick.

Mario Vasquez, Jamar Jefferson and Anwar Robinson - Damn, Mario has got a nice pair of pipes. Jamar isn't as strong in the vocals but he has moves. Anwar has got it going on and all three of them should get in. Paula calls it refreshing and she was thrilled - as are the rest of the judges, who tell all three that they are in.

"Great things happen on the last minute," says the crooner. I hope so...

Janay Castine, Gina McFadden and Natalie Weiss - All three of them sound pretty good, though Natalie is probably the weakest. Gina and Janay should easily get in, but Simon didn't see any sparkle in the group. Maybe a wear-down from the parents? Janay gets in, as does Gina (and her parents), but Natalie gets eliminated.

After a montage of eliminated people, we get Mr. Savol, who says that it's time to blaze it. Him, Danny and Matthew all get to go in - and Matthew, holding a little teddy bear, mangles the words. Bye bye, Matthew. Danny should easily get in - and so should Scott, who yes, does blaze it. Danny and Scott get in, but Matthew doesn't, and maybe more time memorizing the words and less time being pissed off at a singer wouldn't have cost him. They all talk afterwards and Matt and Danny end it with a little hug. AwwwwBarf.

The crooners get some more lyrics down - but not yet. "Maybe we shouldn't have gone to bed early." No....really?

Aaron Kelly, Timothy Sauer, and Lamar Jefferson - Aaron is out of key, Timothy can't hit the high notes and Lamar mangles the words. This is a hideous mess, and it may be the first time that all three of them will be leaving. Simon? "I don't know why I left England to see this."

This isn't the end of this, though. When deciding who to get rid of, Paula accuses Simon of having Randy change his vote. An enraged Paula calls over executive producer Nigel Lythgoe to call Simon out, but Randy sides with Simon and Paula is overruled. This decision was meant for... Delmar, who gets tossed by Simon as a visibly upset Paula looks on. Aaron joins him, but Timothy somehow hangs on. Paula and Simon share a make-up hug after the three singers leave. AwwwBarf.

After seeing another botched effort by the crooners, it's time for... Jaclyn (mommy in the hospital) Crum, Rashida Johnson and Faith Gatewood. They all sound decent, and the question becomes has the judges found their quota of singers? Rashida tries to explain the situation and is looking for sympathy, but Paula says that none is needed, as they have it going on. All three singers get in - and are greeted by Jaclyn's mom as they get off the stage. AwwwwBarf.

We get a montage of people who flub up lyrics, including Nicholas Wokalsky, who loves himself - and loves himself out of the competition. And with that, we get.... Kurtis Parks, John Zisa and J.P. Koehler. To their credit, they pick the tough song, but they completely screw up the lyrics and were maybe worse now than their rehearsals. John says that they took a risk and it was a bad risk. Simon says that a song ruined their chance - but he will give them one more shot. They are thrilled and even crying. And somewhere, an angry Elizabeth Pha just threw her shoe at her television set.

75 people make it past this round - but we still have 2 more rounds to go. Chico will give us the results of the next round.

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