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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.

Is your favorite still in the running? Check out the Idol Set List!

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. 

"Round of 16: Men" - March 7-9

Well, this is the week you've been waiting for. After this week, it'll come down to the final 12 - six men, six women - on one stage. And a right big one at that. But first, we have 16 singers hoping for one of those 12 seats. Gordon has the eight divas of the evening tomorrow, but today, it's all about the brothers...

First, Ryan reminds us that it's okay to say "Awww" for the departures of Joe, David, Celena, and Aloha. Fine enough. Awww.... Then Simon devalues the Idol Postulate as will be handed down by Gordon in this week's State of Play, saying that the audience isn't stupid.

This week, we're deconstructing more than just music. We're deconstructing the Zodiac, starting with Scott Savol, a Taurus. A fitting description, but will his rendition of the Four Tops' "Can't Help Myself" go over like a bull in a china shop? He's done well to last so far...

What they say: Randy says, "I loved that you came out having fun. You did it." Paula adds, "That was a nice change for you. Good job." Simon says, "The choreography and dancing at the beginning were horrendous. It was the equivalent of an amateurish performance at a party. That was not good enough."

What we say: Not Scott's best, but props for making a risky change-up and succeeding to a point. But the tone was just not there. And the dancing was indeed scary. He'd better learn from that IF (and it's a big IF) he makes it next week. At least if he does go out, he goes out having a good time. But you know, to make it to the final 12, you gotta be about business.

From the soul stylings of Scott, we go to Bo Bice, the soulful rocker. The Scorpio details his mellow demeanor as, to put it in Chico-speak, mafiose. Translation: you can mess with me, but mess with my family, and it's on. "You mess with a Scorpio, you will get stung." He's been a stinger in the comp thus far, but does he have enough bite for Edwin McCain's "I'll Be"?

What they say: Randy tells Bo, "That wasn't the best you've done, but it was aight. You got that gruff, you got that growl, man. Always use that." Translation: Wasn't good enough. Paula calls it another slam-dunk performance. Simon agrees with Paula, saying that at this moment, this is Bo's competition to lose.

What we say: If only listening to an off beginning, I'd agree with Randy. If listening to the end that's right on the money, I'd agree with Paula and Simon. But still, it's good enough for the top 12. And the fact that the song agrees with him and that he doesn't overdo it means that he can only go up from here.

That performance was for Uncle T. Good for him. Next up, a guy who learned English at the age of 9, Anthony Fedorov. Another Taurus, he was determined to learn the language and ten years on, you can hardly tell the slight Ukrainian tinge. But how would a Ukrainian interpret the Latin stylings of Marc Anthony? He's got Jon Secada mastered, but this week, it's all about "I've Got You".

What they say: Randy says, "You're finally back. I'm proud of you. That's the best you've done." Paula tells Anthony, "It's like you're brand new. That was excellent… You found yourself. Brilliant." Simon concludes with, "I found it all a bit odd. I mean, you have about as much Latin flair as a polar bear. You're just not that. You just looked uncomfortable."

What we say: Another risky change-up. He was out of breath a few times, but other than that, it works. Although my sister says that he doesn't need to be doing the Latin thing. I thought he was doing just fine.

So while Anthony heads back to another chess showdown with Travis, who can kick his ass, it's Robert Townsend... err, Nikko Smith. Another Taurus, he's very stubborn. He can't just listen to everyone telling him what to sing. He decides on Ray Charles' "Georgia on My Mind".

What they say: Randy tells him, "That was a very ambitious choice. You ended it so good. That was brilliant." Paula called it wonderful, and can't manage the top 12 without him. Simon calls it an incredibly smart choice, and he showed personality, especially for the last note.

What we say: This song choice can work for or against him. It could work against as he doesn't have the range for it yet. But it could work for him as he draws comparison to Ray, who won an Oscar for Jamie Foxx if you remember. But still, a consummate performance. The last note, though, wasn't such a good time.

It's time for the Garry Kasparov of the Idolers to do his thing. Travis Tucker, an Arian and a footballer, is very confident. He channels song by Bobby Brown by way of dancing by Michael Jackson on "Every Little Step".

What they say: Randy gives the performance an A, but the pitch a D. Paula calls him unique. Simon, trying to say something that Paula obviously couldn't (you think she would after four years), thought it was appalling. says, "That was as good or as bad as you would get in a theme park. You came over tonight as a dancer first and a vocalist second. At this stage of the contest, that wasn't good enough."

What we say: The entire performance just reeked of "I'm going home, I'm going home kicking and screaming."

So we have the two people most likely to be given the royal boot, but we still have three singers left. Next is Super Mario, Mario Vazquez, who as a Gemini has two sides. We see his softer side with the Bee Gees' "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?" Without the hat.

What they say: Randy says, "That was another ambitious choice. Excellent." He also notices that he has his own dawg pound. Paula got goosebumps. Simon says, "You have a charm about you, and that's part of your appeal. I prefer the other side of you, but you are going to sail through to the Top 12." All three agree on that.

What we say: A strong voice, so the ogling the camera is justified. But it's a little too sweet and sickening, at least from a viewer standpoint. But still, he's going to make it through you know... Because he's Mario, and that's what Mario does.

Next up, it's Constantine Maroulis, who expects great things as a Virgo. So far, he's been a cusp-performer. Will his great things include the Police's "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic?"

What they say: Randy says, "That was a great song for you. You sang it in tune. That was one of your better performances. You've got some star potential, and that's the kind of joint you should be doing." Paula tells him, "That was my favorite performance of yours so far. You've got a magical thing about you." Finally, Simon calls it simply, "a bad impersonation of Sting".

What we say: Agree with Simon... again. Another dreadful performance all round by the New York rocker. Way to ruin one of my favorite songs. But still, he's going on charisma power alone at this point. And even that can only get you to a point. This is, after all, a singing competition.

Finally, it's all on Anwar Robinson... no, no, no, too sexy too sexy, to deliver us to the ladies. "A bull chooses his target. And once he's fixated, he goes after it." Tonight, Anwar is continuing his daring charge with Satchmo's "What a Wonderful World".

What they say: Randy doesn't usually give it up easy, but "I gotta give it up for you, dawg. That's the best vocal I've heard all SEASON!"  Paula adds, "You breathe new life into each song, and it is beautiful." Simon tells Anwar, "You're everything a music teacher should be. You have a great voice. You're NICE. We could've had puppies on stage. I don’t think you'd change one iota if you won this competition. In fact, you and Paula should marry and have children."

Imagine what THAT would be like. We'll, it's on Travis, Constantine, and Scott to sit and wonder, but the rest of the crew seem to have it down. We'll see on Wednesday who YOU put to the final 12. Right now, it's time to set the stage for the women with Gordon Pepper and his magical mojo...

CONTINUE TO THE WOMEN

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