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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 9: Classic Musicals" - April 5-6

It's Tuesday, it's 8pm, it's time to party. After loving the 90s to the point where Jessica Sierra just had to leave, we get... Broadway Musicals! Not just any Broadway musicals, mind you. CLASSIC Broadway musicals. Ryan notes that this week may put the contestants on edge, as they have never seen the musicals or heard the songs.

Can't wait.

First up, Scott Savol dreams "The Impossible Dream" from "Man of La Mancha" after having a heart to heart with his mama. Yeah, you always listen to mama, until...

What they say: Randy calls the song tough, and the start shaky. "It was just a'ight for me." Preprogrammed Paula calls the performance heartfelt and relates the way Scott picks songs that tell the story of his life. Simon called it ordinary. Paula retorts with "extraordinary."

What we say: God, I wish Paula would shut up. Yeah, way to a) be flat all the time, b) forget the words, and c) just be undesirable all around. Of all the ways to start the show, why start it like that?

Next up, Constantine Maroulis, who was an actor in a lot of musicals, entertains us with another Rogers and Hart tune, "My Funny Valentine" from "Babes in Arms."

What they say: Randy keeps it most real. "I didn't really buy the whole rocker thing. THIS is the best you've sang anything. Unbelievable! I was like 'What?!'" Paula admits that she's falling in love with him. "You're the perfect role model for guys to get into musicals." Simon thinks he's grown in confidence, and calls it the "best pouting performance ever seen on American Idol," giving it a 9.

What we say: Not the best Constantine performance, but among the best. The arrangement was pretty hard, and Constantine made something of it, and for that, he gets mad props. But he sounded a little bit out of energy at the end. Hope that doesn't hurt him.

And he toured with Rent? Well.. got my vote. Next up is Carrie Underwood, who found this theme hard. She stretches herself outside of her bounds again with "Hello Young Lovers" from "The King & I". Not the Chow Yun-Fat version, mind you.

What they say: Randy thinks the song is boring... but she sung it well and well-controlled. Paula says she looks simply stunning and sounded elegant. "The audience is swelling with you." Simon agrees with Randy, as he relates it to "a dishwashing soap commercial from 1965."

What we say: That was as cellophane as it gets. Sure it sounded good, but I saw right through the heart of it and what Carrie was selling, I wasn't buying for a second. I can tell that she was very uncomfortable, as I saw the "deer in the headlights" in her eyes. It's all in the eyes.

Seven weeks until we name a successor to Fantasia, who, as luck would have it, is on the show tomorrow. Meanwhile, Vonzell Solomon on deck with "People" from "Funny Girl". I always loved this song. Let's see how she does.

What they say: Randy says "You just keep getting better and better every week. I think a girl might win this year. Brilliant." Paula calls Vonzell on her high note and says something about her being unbelievable. Simon thought it was good (not great) and controlled, but was left kind of cold, relating to last year's performance of "Summertime."

What we say: Vonzell was dead on tonight. She sang the arrangement. She told the story. If I had one beef, it would be her stage presence, as she was kind of stand-offish tonight. But maybe it was just me.

Now to Anthony Fedorov, who wants to "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" ("The Sound of Music").

What they say: Randy did not like that. "It was flat all over the place." Paula called it "interesting." Simon has only one word... "Hideous."

What we say: I didn't think it was possible, but Anthony sounded worse than he did last week! The song was in his range, but still his voice is too weak for it. And it looked like the band was feeding him shots. Again, agreeing with the guys on this one.

Nikko Smith, please save us with "One Hand, One Heart." He remembers seeing this from "West Side Story."

What they say: Randy says he keeps it contemporary. "Wasn't your best performance, but it was good." Paula calls Nikko the comeback kid. Simon calls Nikko on the big note savior, saying that the first part was out of tune.

What we say: Hard to sing two parts of one duet, isn't it? Nikko started a bit shaky, but found a groove and got into it. And he played around with it. A good thing. But again, you have to play ball all the time.

Anwar Robinson should have a field day with "If Ever I Would Leave You" from "Camelot". He sure KNOWS of the song, at least.

What they say: Randy: "Welcome back, baby. You are one of the best singers tonight." Paula agrees with Randy, calling Anwar brilliant. Simon says "You seem very comfortable." And Ryan cuts him off.

What we say: Anwar is back in his form. He did what Nikko couldn't, which is go from start to finish. The tone is right there, and he's telling the story. My only thing is that he's stationary. He needs to start interacting, or else voters will interact with him. Sure America's a bit off, but we're not stupid. At least I don't think so.

Bo Bice has song choice down to a science, "I close my eyes, point to the page, fingers crossed." End result: "Corner of the Sky" from "Pippin."

What they say: Randy calls him "consistently great". Paula: "You deserve to be on this stage. You're a winner." Simon thinks that he had two bad weeks and needs to pick up.

What we say: I like this arrangement. And Bo's in his element, but he's missing something from his previous performances that made him what he was. Kind of like he was forced to do it. And I'm calling him on it right now. It sounded forced.

And finally, it's Nadia Turner with "As Long As He Needs Me" form "Oliver!". She's coming off of a high so far, let's see how she does.

What they say: Randy calls it a great performance. Paula calls it beautiful. Simon calls her the strongest she's been in weeks, but will see to it that Ryan doesn't choose the themes anymore. Hear here.

What we say: Better than Vonzell. A great ending to the show. Just bang on right there, and she reached a part of her audience that Vonzell didn't. The latter could be in a bit of trouble.

So to sum up...

Tony winners: Constantine, Anwar (he's back), Nadia
Obie winners: Carrie, Vonzell, Nikko
Grand opening, grand closing: Scott, Anthony, Bo

But that's just me. Let's see what America thinks.

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